31 March 2009

Mid Week Self Pic

Hollywood Hockney

"Hollywood is loneliness beside the swimming pool." - Liv Ullman
Day Pool With Three Blues, David Hockney, 1978

Vogue Homme

I'm quite sure it has been photoshopped to death but I like that it looks 'real'. Did you notice that all the coverlines are in English? That's rather a boon right? Or does it detract from its French-ness? Anyway this looks very promishing, and I can't wait to get it!

29 March 2009

Monday Monet

                                                               Thanks, Joe.

27 March 2009

Weekend Reading List

Yes, I succumbed and bought the Zac Efron Interview, because it's the first one worked on by M/M Paris whom I love, love, love. It's not their full issue yet, but already their signature doodles are decorating the pages. I'm also reading The New Yorker Style Special; It's got an in-depth interview with Alber Elbaz. I love The New Yorker. Closer to home, I must say I really like the South East Asian edition of Travel & Leisure. Published out of Bangkok, it's actually full of information and new ideas. It's not visually new, but it's well-made. Seriously. To continue with E M Forster, I'm reading A Room With A View, which is fresh and delicious, and Maurice, which I find a bit difficult, not very successful. Those Merchant Ivory movies of these novels are real treasures, so go buy the DVD!

God Made Me Eat Lunch

(For Brainwave)
Last week I was late for all three client lunches. On the other two days, my colleagues weren't ready to eat till around 2pm and so I was hungry a lot of the time. (I don't eat breakfast.) At some point, I was so hungry that I felt sick, giddy, irritable, weak. I couldn't wait to eat something, anything, the first thing that I could seize. At Les Amis I ate two rolls (and huge lashings of butter) before I could even study the menu without the words swimming around like a front-loading washing machine on spin dry. I love butter. Les Amis is one of those places that still think it still fashionable to serve olive oil but some of the food is good.
I had to eat. I needed food.
Last week I also decided that I couldn't make anymore excuses and went back to the gym. It was the first time - after a year of dinners and events and friends and travel and work and rest and stuff like that. And so I nearly died. My body seemed in revolt. It didn't want to exercise. It wanted to lie down, curl into a ball and go into a deep sleep for the rest of the decade.
and that's just one of those things that make me think that god is cruel.
God never ever makes me want what is good for me.
I never love those I should.
I haven't said sorry to so and so.
I haven't filed my income tax.
I have not picked up my dry cleaning for a year.
But. I always desperately want to eat lunch.

26 March 2009


He's been offered book deals and reality shows but thankfully, he's turned them all down. Jason Wu will be concentrating on expanding into shoes and makeup lines. These will happen within the next two seasons. Mr Wu said they will both be commercial ranges: "I've never been trendy and I don't design trendy things. I design for real women... I'll never be about the $20,000 phantom dress that no one wears." Yawn.
Yes, it's a slow day in fashion. 
(But he's still cute, wonky eye, vampire teeth and all.)

Resort World

One of the things that keep me going, tapping away in the artificial brightness of my artic new office, in the dash to the deathly monthly deadlines is the shimmering idea of the vacation. This vision is an amalgam of the memories of holidays past, updated and sparkling with all sorts of novel recent obsessions. However, the invariables of these daydreams are always these: An expansive, powder white beach, deserted; Glass-clear ocean, calm; Slow-motion days spent under rustling palms, turning slowly, lazily brown. An icy bellini served in the bowel of a rainforest. Escape for me means nature. It’s very old-fashioned notion, I know. But I started going to resort holidays when I was quite little (yes, once upon a time, in the ‘80s, when I last had a waist!) before it became a travel fair convention, and those halcyon days haunt me still. For me, it’s an atavistic longing: Warm salt sea (curative, surely?), the rhythm of waves (soothes frazzled nerves), the chorus of cicadas in bamboo groves (sensuous), the smell of Clarins sunning lotion, mindless, meandering, inconclusive conversations with loved ones lying in deck chairs (no phones, no laptops, no gadgets of any kind!), swimming in lagoons, encountering beautiful island natives or an estuary dolphin.
I never dream of city vacations: Shopping and chic remind me of work – everytime I enter a shop, I involuntarily think of merchandise in captions. I never dream of winter holidays. Not for me skiing and fireplaces and bundling up in coats. I like a tropical island, the more remote the better, but with room service. I’m aware that it’s become rather unfashionable now, what with all manner of modern scares: Bombings, tsunamis, earthquakes, pollution, sun damage, global-warming. You can’t dip a toe into the ocean without causing irreversible environmental damage it seems. I can think of a dozen reason why it’s safer to sit in the office in the air-con, beavering away at the machinery, none of them improving. Part of what makes a beach holiday so lovely a vision is the prospect of returning quite rested from it and swanning back in the city looking seamlessly tan.
To me, a tan is sexy. Pallor is overrated, and despite what the branding experts say, I’ve a lurking suspicion that there’s something menacingly racist about this mania for “whitening”. Anything that is natural, authentic and real will always be sexier than the put-on, the pretend, the contrived. I have in mind the antithesis of sexy those horrors so rampant in my world: Those, wonderfully labeled ‘clones’, who work out their show muscles in dank gyms, those who wear the infantile costumes comprising too-small tees, jeans too-low waisted, cargo pants cropped too short, trainers too-new, an incongruous ‘trucker’ cap sitting cutely on their pop star hair. Nothing fits, nothing appropriate, mouse-clicking horrors pretending they are teenage jocks! Add to this an unhealthy obsession with fashion and there you have the deadly caricature of unsexiness... and how did this turn into a rant?

25 March 2009


Yet another fashion glossy has hit the stands. M is by the French Le Monde

Beauty Queens

Something else for you beauty junkies to watch out for: The PBS documentary The Powder and The Glory, such a brilliant title, about the arch rivalry between the beauty business icons Helena Rubinstein (Jewish) and Elizabeth Arden (Canadian). It's also about the history of the beauty business, which today is worth US$175 billion. Yes, that's how much your insecurities are worth. It's not cheap being pretty!

A Titian for Thursday

                    For dear Uncle CCF. Diana and Actaeon, Titian, 1559

Mid Week Self Pic

23 March 2009

Fashion Circles

"People who move in fashion circles never have anything to say. You know it's hard enough doing this job, I don't have to fucking live it as well. I'd rather sit at home watching Coronation Street."
- Alexander McQueen


It became dark as night that Sunday at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, and suddenly there was no one about and the rain, which started as a sudden silence, and gusts of cold wind that smelled of mud and river and old eternal things, pelted down through the rain trees. We ran into the gazebo with our coffee, snatching our paintings first and the paints after, and bent over, mopping our things with tissue paper, and our paint spotted rags, and laughing and wondering where the others might be, getting wet?- or dry like us? - with our half-drunk after-lunch coffee. Then we settled companionably down to enjoy the thunderstorm and tried to paint in the trees, and the grass and earth, trying to remember the effect of the sun, just a few moments ago. D leaned over and using the corner of his T-shirt sleeve wiped a smear of oil paint from my lip. He smelt loamy like the rain, like the roots of plant freshly pulled from the earth. We tried to imagine the details of the landscape, now smudged by the sheets of rain, of this garden that was started in 1859 by the British. It wasn't possible, in the blur of water, I kept seeing the dank plantation and tangled virgin rainforests that people got lost in, that stood here once.

22 March 2009

21 March 2009

Sunday Self Pic

Twins! Don't they look like human puppies?

marlon teixeira, born 1992

They really know how to make them in Brazil!

Terrible Teriyaki Chicken

The teriyaki chicken from smelly shop downstairs is truly terrible. It's not food. I took two anxious bites because I was really hungry and threw the thing into the waste basket, only eating the soggy chips. Not only did the chicken taste like uncooked, lumpy blubber, the entire sloppy thing came soaking through the paper napkin. The sauce is like a strangely-coloured salty slime.

Marc Jacobs Blush smells revolting, like a car deodorant gone very wrong. It's like week-old curry, thambi-rank, cloying and tenacious, making me feel like I ought to apologise to the taxi uncle.

The Sony digital clock/radio displays, not time, but heiroglyphics only three weeks after I removed the bubble wrap and plugged it in. The radio still works, but just, as the BBC is so static-ky it makes me feel like I have stroke. I thought it's because I have bad karma with machinery, but really, it's just bad quality.

$300 + $5
My new designer jeans have come back from the tailor hanging an inch above my ankles. And I took the pain to pin it all around. Now I can't even wear it, unless I cut them into shorts, but whoever wears cut-offs these days?

20 March 2009

Weekend Reading List

It's been a while since I read E M Forster, so this weekend I'm going to read Howard's End, which I loved as a kid. And I really liked the Merchant and Ivory movie of this book. I do so miss E M Forster books and I do so miss Merchant Ivory productions. Did you know that Zadie Smith's On Beauty is based on Howard's End? I resisted reading Zadie Smith for ages because of those pictures of her in all the magazines: She looked too beautiful to be a good writer. But I was given On Beauty and once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. So gifted and so pretty, my goodness! It's a superb book. Anyways, I finally watched CNN Revealed on Carine Roitfeld and found it not as in-depth as I would have liked. But I love what her kiddies (Vladimir is super cute, Julia's American accent sounds stupid) say about her, and what she says about her family. And that shoot with the farm animals? I don't think so...

My Space

Every morning the birds start to twitter around the same time the mosque calls mournfully out to the faithful. And then the Sikh temple right downstairs start to clang its bells. I walk down the short street, my street called Chander Road, that turns out onto Race Course Road. I flag down a cab right outside an Indian Restaurant called Spice Queen, which is screened by a row of mango trees. There's always that one pigeon on the lampost. It's so cute.

19 March 2009

The Passage of Time

Mark Van der Loo and Werner Shreyer shot by Hedi Slimane for Vogue Homme.

Valentino: The Movie

The director Matt Tyrnauer on Valentino The Last Emperor:
"I don’t think of the movie as a tribute to excess, or a celebration of opulence. It casts a relatively cold eye on it. I want audiences to take away from it what they will. In terms of making Valentino an accessible character, fashion is the backdrop here. It’s the relationship between the two of them that’s a universal story. It just so happens that they’re two of the richest men in Rome. But any time you have two people who have survived a half century together, who are so connected and clearly have this deep love for one another—that is universal. People really connect with that. Also, I think people want to look into worlds that are not their own. That’s why I encouraged Valentino to not phony-it up and to let it hang out a little bit. You know that he and Giammetti are Olympic mind-changers. I mean, I’ve never seen anything like. It can range from the type of pasta at lunch to a round-the-world trip that will be rescheduled minutes before takeoff."

In and Out of Fashion

All you fashion folk know by now that Jil Sander is back in fashion as creative consultant to Uniqlo. It's been in the works since last June. Ms Sander said she had received “a lot of offers from many companies” since leaving the fashion world, but ended up deciding to try something “completely different”, an interesting choice, don't you think? It's much more intersting news than speculation about Olivier Theyskens's career ups and downs. Despite the ardent endorsement by Anna Wintour (did you read the vehement editor's letter in April's Vogue?), and a fawning following, the undoubtedly talented Mr Theyskens has yet to make a substantial impact in the business. Is he too young? Too fragile? Or simply a quitter? In any case, I've lost interest, and cease to care where he goes next, or if he starts his own label after showing his last collection for Nina Ricci. Level of irrelevance: Maximum.
It's delightful to see Wintour becoming undone. Has anyone noticed how she seems to have filled out her face at 60? Her cheeks and lips are puffy! And that bob? Surely it's a wig? She's such a drag. On the subject of drags, also in April's Vogue, in that great booby's column, always a huge joke, Life with Andre, the has-been is frothing over Jason Wu's fall 2009, comparing it to Gres and Dior. That man has really come undone in a big way.

Kate 2002

See? Not tacky at all. Ladies, ladies, this is the way to carry a Birkin! There's a lesson here for the Elles and Victorias of the world.

18 March 2009

Vogue Paris April

Yes, that's Scarlett Johansson with chestnut hair... I rather like it, no? Of course, she will always be blonde in my mind. I heart Scarlett for being curvy and funny and extraordinary in those Woody Allen movies.

Mid Week Self Pic

I forgot to put this up yesterday! Golly! The brains...

17 March 2009

Birkin Bag in Zebra

I can just predict all the ladies going into fits to get the new Birkins in zebra or leopard print. Elle Macpherson's hair... can you imagine anything more vulgar with the bag? Can you imagine anything tackier with or without the bag?

Designer Copying

Why does this even happen? The Guardian reported that Burberry is the most copied designer label, ahead of Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent. In watches, Cartier is the most copied (not Rolex? Strange.) The counterfeiting trade is said to be worth billions globally, that means that there's alot of horrible fake goods floating around.   


Because we are moving office, the dust flying is causing my face to have a flare-up, and my eyes to itch. It's horrible to have a fragile constitution. Luckily Marie remembered to bring back for me, when she returned from her skiing trip (yes, everybody and their dog is skiing these days - it's the new Facebook I think) in Switzerland, this wonderfully calming balm from Nuxe. I don't think you can find it here although some smart ass in my office said you could get it in Tiong Bahru. This is highly unlikely. Anyway, I discovered Nuxe Reve de Miel Baume des Familles S.O.S Repair Balm (don't you like these pompous labels?) years ago when I was shivering somewhere in Europe and suffering frostbite; It's wonderfully gob-smackingly thick (floral waxes): I can only describe it as a waxy paste. Now, I'm fully aware that it's the trend these days for everything to be light and sheer but I happen to like to slather my face in a protective shield. It's fantastic, instant relief for sensitive skin, and there are days when this is the only moisturiser that will do. SPF 12.

15 March 2009

Man and Mountain

The 80-year-old man entrusted by royalty to watch over Mount Merapi's ("Fire Mountain” in the local language) spirits is going nowhere — and insists the mountain is safe. "There is no risk," Maridjan said outside his home just four miles from the crater, which was billowing ash and searing-hot gas clouds. "I am still waiting here." This is a real-life drama that pits modern science against an ancient culture, played out on the verdant slopes of one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Maridjan, jokes constantly with visitors and occasionally falls into a trancelike state while looking at the peak. He was given the official title of "key holder of Mount Merapi" by the late king of the nearby court city, Jogjakarta.

He leads yearly ceremonies when rice and flowers are thrown into the crater to appease spirits that he and the villagers believe live over the mountain, which rises from the heart of Indonesia's mystical island of Java. It is believed that the mountain provides for them, and in return, they give offerings of rice and fruit to the rivers and streams, and at least once a year Maridjan climbs to the volcano’s crater and gives a live offering of an animal.

His refusal to budge is angering local authorities in charge of evacuation efforts. They say he is setting a wrong example, discouraging 30,000 villagers from leaving. “These people are listening to what they say are spirits from the mountain,” said one frustrated disaster worker, “they have lost confidence in the scientists.” The locals say they know “Fire Mountain” better than the experts armed with high-tech devices. They believe the spirits of the volcano are not angry enough to explode.

Maridjan, who inherited the honorary position from his father, insists he will not go, saying he is waiting for a sign from the long-dead king who appointed him. A handful of other people in his village are also staying behind with him. Maridjan says there "are many spirits above the mountain, too many to count." Visitors to Maridjan's house address him as Mbah, an honorific title meaning grandfather, and speak to him in a high form of the local language reserved for people of status.
"He has a special connection to Mount Merapi," said Eko Rudi, as he walked off to perform the midday Islamic prayer. "When I am with him, I feel like a child talking to his father."
Slamet, a 32-year-old farmer explained why he will not leave the mountain. “Allah will protect us and so will the spirits.” He is Muslim, as are 90 percent of this nation’s 220 million people, but, he and his mountain neighbors also hold animist beliefs. These men have been known to gather naked in groups at night and run in circles around their villages to ward off an eruption. In the early hours of Friday morning, a group of two dozen farmers set off on a silent march around one of the villages three miles from the lava flows. They said the march was an appeal to the volcano spirits to “calm” the mountain. They were followed by journalists for a half an hour before saying they needed privacy. One reporter was told later than many of the men wanted to walk naked without the cameras.

Fall 2009: Comme des Garçons

Romantic, wearable, inventive. One of the top five for me this season.
In no particular order:
Jil Sander
Comme des Garçons

Fall 2009: Alexader McQueen

Is this even ready-to-wear? Whatever this memorable collection may be, and it's certainly misogynistic, hyper drag, and irrelevant to the times, it is nonetheless the essence of what makes fashion fascinating, a rich marriage of vision and technique. I'm no fan of McQueen but this is a collection I can't stop thinking about.

13 March 2009

A Lotus Blooms

The moment two bubbles

are united,

they both vanish.

A lotus blooms.

- Kijo Murakami

Zac Efron

I wouldn't go so far as to say Zac Efron's the future, but she sure is a pretty bitch.
Interview April.