31 August 2009

Bathtimes Are Made Interesting

Bathtimes are made interesting by using new toiletries; I'm now using a Harnn and Thann Oriental Herbs Natural Shampoo that's tartly refreshing and washes my hair squeaky clean. I'm cleansing my face with Clarins's Gentel Foaming Cleanser, which is mildness itself and smells chastely wholesome. And I was thrilled, because I don't usually use Kiehls, to rip open Kiehls's Ultimate Man Body Scrub (which is an extra large brick of a soap) that's mildly citrusy and with grains that act as a scrub. Yes, a men's product!

30 August 2009

He Said She Said

"Babe Paley taught me a lot of things; How to look at a room, for instance. She showed me how to decorate by throwing things together, expensive things with cheap things from the dime store. She showed me that a room can be fun and personal, and that's the way I've decorated ever since."
Truman Capote
Photo: Capote and Mrs Paley in Paris. Mrs Paley is wearing Gucci loafers, with a Gucci purse.

Pretty Perrier Packaging

Sooo pretty and O So French!

Dominick Dunne (1925 - 2009)

Novelist and reporter Dominick Dunne, who made a career covering the lurid trials of celebrity defendants (Claus von Bülow, O. J. Simpson), and obsessively wrote on high society tittle-tattle died on Aug 26, 2009, at 83. His best-selling novels were The Two Mrs. Grenvilles, An Inconvenient Woman and A Season in Purgatory, as well as an essay collection Fatal Charms. He wrote a memoir The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper. Vanity Fair, where Mr Dunne was a social correspondent, announced that his last book, Too Much Money: A Novel, is scheduled for publication this December.

29 August 2009

Sunday Self Pic

...Meanwhile at the Acropolis...

Weekend Reading List

I went around the office asking if anyone had the Kinokuniya discount card yesterday, just before lunch at Imperial Treasure. I wanted to dash in after lunch and before my shoot to buy Chandler Burr's debut novel You Or Someone Like You, for the weekend. Can you believe it? No one in the office has a Kinokuniya card! None of the editors had it, nor the writers. S at the reception, who adores Jane Austen just as much as me, didn't have it. In desperation, as I stopped to talk to A from sales about an advertiser, I decided to ask her as a by-the-way, not expecting her to have it, but she did. She's from sales.
Chandler Burr is the New Y0rk Times perfume critic and has written a couple of books on perfume. I liked The Perfect Scent alot; He writes well. You Or Someone Like You is a book about books, and seems promising so far (chapter 2). I also bought some magazines - Vogue Paris is finally out and I devoured it. I think it's fantastic that the whole issue is themed (Ameircan icons) and the theme is carried through consistently. Also that the spreads all have a fashion point that is carried through whatever the reference for the photography may be. For instance, the spread based on Gloria Vanderbilt is also about lace, and the 'Diane Keaton' spread is about menswear inspired clothes. What I hate about a lot of fashion spreads is that they have no fashion angle, and seem to be a lot of random clothes thrown together to illustrate just how incompetent the editor is, and how self-indulgent the photographer. These useless glossies function like wank sheds for photographers with bloated conceptions of self.
Inspired by K from my paintng class, who is studying to be a tattoo artist, I dusted off my Tahiti Tattoos, by Gian Paolo Barbieri (1999) to have another look. It's a gorgeous book, and so really sexy.

28 August 2009

Mobile Phone

There's something the matter with my phone, thought ER one Saturday night, around 01:00: He could get SMSs but couldn’t send any out.
He thinks W very cruel; W said he would do that for E, get the phone checked at the Teleshop on Friday, but didn’t.

"Isn't that what a boy friend is for?" ER said to SK (his unlucky friend) over the phone. SK rolled his eyes; ER didn’t see that.

ER scrolled angrily through all W’s messages in the phone — yes, the scrolling still works.

"u bluff me" 23:59
"nitey nitey nite :)" 00:32
"not sleepy yet at tab" 01:02

It’s frustrating not to be able to ask the satisfying questions, and ER had many of those on his mind. Not that W would give satisfying answers. W wasn’t that simple (nor sober or indeed lucid, not at this hour when he was out in the bar) — and W's answers were often cryptic riddles.

So ER didn’t call W, even though he wanted to.

ER took a sleeping pill instead, and before he fell into a dreamless sleep, slathered his face with a fortune of expensive creams, and pulled the duvet right up to his chin. ER’s last thoughts (before he blacked out) were of W (smiling), with the harbour in the background, the Merlion spouting on the left and Clifford Pier on the right and in between, the dark sea rippling and glancing with the city's dazzling lights.

ER woke up at 9am the next day, Sunday, and started to water the 19 potted bamboos in the heavy terracotta planters. ER surfed the net, and went to look at W's Facebook, to see if there were incriminating pictures of his night out. It’s frustrating that W would be sleeping pass lunch.
And what time did W get home this morning?
And how would you know what time he gets up if you can’t leave an SMS in his phone so W sees it the moment he opens his eyes?
ER made coffee, and changed his mind, and made tea.
He felt warped with evil that W was not at his apartment fixing up the Ikea shelves, bought during the sale, and which were still boxed up in their immaculate plastic bags in the storeroom. W must still be asleep — but where? At whose? Why are there so many birthday parties? These young people are a mystery to ER.

ER started scrolling through his messages again, trying to find a clue in cryptic SMSs, the smileys, the muackz, the hugs. He had studied W's messages so many times he could (almost) remember them by heart.
ER looked downstairs to the empty pool. Only three months ago, right at the beginning of their affair, ER had looked down at the pool one Sunday morning and saw W grinning up at him from the horrible plastic deck chair. But today, there were only mynahs.
No one ever uses the pool, only sometimes one stupid dragonfly would get stuck in there.
W refuses to swim here.

Well, it’s really horrible to be awake, the only one in the world. He tried to SMS again. Failed.
ER looked at his mobile phone very hard and threw it at a great velocity, at the aloe vera that wasn't doing very well at the corner of his balcony.
Photo: Actor Mario Maurer

27 August 2009

Friday For Nothing

More nonsense from Mario Testino. Don't you love naked male models? They go with everything. If you run out of any good ideas, just stick in a naked male model. Works everytime. Testino has been doing this for years and he's still getting paid. XOXO
From V Magazine #61. 

Photoshop Award: Kate

I think this is where Kate has become an illustration. 
Kate has become a re-toucher's version of herself, looking like one of those airbrush paintings from the 1970s. There's a huge disjunct between the paparazzi shots of her and the glossy images of her. Don't misunderstand me: I still adore Kate but I think the photoshopping has really gone a shade into Pixar territory. Here, Kate is modeling her 11th Topshop collection, the fall 'grunge' one. 

26 August 2009

Sienna's Saffiano

It's not so much the Prada Saffiano bag that attracts my attention as those Prada sandals. So flat! Sienna Miller looks so nice here!

Exit Summer, Enter Fall

Bookmark This

For the 20th anniversary of the house of Martin Margiela, Rizzoli is publishing a hardcover book with over 400 color photos of the work of the fashion icon. Carine Roitfeld, Jeasn Paul Gaultier and Andree Putman, amongst other fashion luminaries, contribute essays. Titled Maison Martin Margiela, to be sold this October (during Paris fashion week of course!), it aims to offers give insight into the creative process of the famously secretive designer. The cover—white cotton, embroidered— is a tribute to Margiela's labels: The telltale tag anonymously distinguishing all his merchandise. Printed on luxe paper, with silver ink, and 12 (!) ribbon bookmarks, this is definitely one for the bookshelf.
You can preorder this on Amazon now, at a discount.

Glamour Days

I kind of miss the defunct French Glamour (1988 - 1995); It was so cool in those days, sort of like the anti-Vogue. And those were the days when I had just discovered Carine Roitfeld (of course now everyone is Carine this and that!). And Kate still looked like a schoolgirl, and fashion was still fun and games, and there was a sense of excitement about magazines. This cover of Kate, styled by Carine and shot by Mario Testino (way before he became the mistress of the dull) makes me nostalgic for those glamour days... We were all so innocent then.

25 August 2009

Mid Week Self Pic

A Lover's Discourse

"Jealousy is an equation involving three permutable (indeterminable) terms: one is always jealous of two persons at once: I am jealous of the one I love and of the one who loves the one I love. The odiosamato (as the Italians call the "rival") is also loved by me: he interests me, intrigues me, appeals to me..."
- Roland Barthes (1915 - 1980)

24 August 2009

Lady Boy

Another fab editorial from Vogue Paris. This one clearly a hommage to Diane Keaton in Woody Allen's Annie Hall. Photos by Mikkal Jansson, model is Anna Maria Jagodzinska.

He Said She Said

"You can't cry on a diamond's shoulder, and diamonds won't keep you warm at night. But they are sure fun when the sun shines." 
Elizabeth Taylor


The pretty baby Brooke Shields.
Belle epoque Gloria Vanderbilt, the original poor little rich girl.

Is Vogue Paris out yet? Carine Roitfeld's work can still work me up into a lather, as is the case with this story enigmatically entitled "Gloria": I can see that it's referencing Gloria Vanderbilt, while also channeling Brooke Shields inLouis Malle's Pretty Baby. Isn't this inspiring and grand? Isn't this what makes fashion glamourous and exciting? Fresh and original? Photos are by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, model, Lara Stone.

23 August 2009

There's Rosemary

There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; 
pray, love, remember: and there is pansies. that's for thoughts.
There's fennel for you, and columbines: there's rue for you; 
and here's some for me: we may call it herb-grace o' Sundays: 
O you must wear your rue with a difference. 
There's a daisy: I would give you some violets, but they withered all 
when my father died: they say he made a good end..."


"She’s a risk-taker unafraid of taking chances. She doesn’t suck up. And she’s been very good to me on a personal level as well. When I was having some personal problems, Anna was always there for me. She’s very maternal and caring to people she cares about."
- Marc Jacobs

Anna Wintour a "risk-taker"? Has he seen Vogue? "Maternal"? How frightening an idea! Anna and Marc, my two absolutely fave fashion people...

22 August 2009

Sunday Self Pic

He Said She Said

"I didn't have dough handed to me because of my good cheekbones, I had to earn it."
- Jacqueline Susann (1918-1974)

Vogue Hommes Japan

Such a nice Michael Jackson tribute cover! Really, really nice...

Filler' Up

Now, now, this is waaay too much filler! For more puff pieces, click over to http://izismile.com/2009/01/26/girls_with_silicone_faces_47_pics.html

Weekend Reading List

Back from my mini break and feel the effects evaporating (was it worth it?) the moment I drag luggage off belt 31 at Changi. Unpacking and running errands, including a quick sweep to the library to do some last minute prepping for painting class on Sunday. This is the haul, and what I have to graze and digest after dinner: Oil Painting, The Workshop Experience by Ted Goerschner; I, Raphael, a large picture book (I need to study the skin tones); Divine Presence: Arts of India and the Himalayas (I'm looking mainly for Tibetan motifs and symbols, but I fear the colour plates are not large enough at all); And lastly Artists' Houses (for pure entertainment). I've also got a stack of The Straits Times to plow through, which my dad faithfully collects for me each time I go away. And from the Time I pinched from the lounge, this article about how exercise is quite useless for losing weight. Now this is the sort of stuff I love to read.
According to this report, this is what it takes for a 70 kilo, 30 year old to work off an innocent blueberry muffin (360 calories):

1. Lifting weights for 115 minutes (5 minutes less than two hours, non-stop) or
2. Skating for 21 minutes or
3. Jogging for 33 minutes or
4. Folding laundry for 230 minutes or
5. Vacuuming for 92 minutes

Take your pick of the torture.
Seriously, I'll probably have to be doing jumping jacks from today till Chinese New Year to work off the scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, plus four waffles with slabs of butter and drools of maple syrup that I ate for breakfast this morning, not to mention the tray of chocolates I inhaled while watching horror movie last night.
Personally, I'd sooner not eat the bloody muffin and not have to lift weights for 115 minutes.
As that's just not realistic, I'd rather be fat.
There, I said it.

20 August 2009

And Then Ajie Said...

And then Ajie said:
"Ah yo, why you want to go Night Bazaar. Got nothing one: They think of all the most useless things that people don't need then they sell it."
And then later, at the pub to the north of the old city, squeezed into a tuk tuk that backed into a scooter, Ajie screamed. The scream pierced the night (it was almost pitch dark, as the street lamp was on the main road), and even silenced the tuktuk driver, who was just a moment ago haggling over the fare.
Ajie's scream silenced all of us. We've never heard her scream. Such a high pitch from such a big body. It was very queer indeed.

19 August 2009

Evelyn Waugh Revisited

Evelyn Waugh, author of Brideshead Revisited, had "fully fledged" homosexual affairs with three fellow students during his Oxford days, a new biography has claimed. It's been long thought that Waugh, who died in 1966, was bisexual, biographer Paula Byrne claims he ''absolutely, unquestionably did'' have homosexual affairs.
Two of the students with whom Waugh was romantically involved inspired his beloved Brideshead character Sebastian Flyte, according to Ms Byrne's Mad World: Evelyn Waugh And The Secrets of Brideshead. Apparently, Waugh went through an "acute homosexual phase" while a student at Hertford College, but like the character Charles Ryder, put it behind him. Ms Byrne names his Oxford lovers in order: Richard Pares, Alistair Graham and Hugh Lygon, and says that while he was "candid" about the relationships with Pares and the well-heeled Graham in his autobiography, he refrained from explicitly describing them as homosexual. In fact, she says that Brideshead was even more autobiographical than has previously been supposed.
Source: The Telegraph

Kehinde Wiley

I'm totally besotted with Kehinde Wiley’s work. These are large, vibrant, meticulously patterned oil paintings of African American men wearing contemporary street fashion, but in mannered poses, after the style of iconic seventeenth- through nineteenth-century Western masterpieces. I'm thrilled by the virtuoso accuracy of the figure studies and the clothing, and the colours are just brilliant. I want! Price: About $80,000