21 November 2009

Death Becomes Her: Daul Kim

Korean model Daul Kim, 20, was found dead at her apartment in the trendy 10th arrondissement of Paris last Thursday. She was found hanging by her boyfriend. Ms Kim was brn in Seoul, but moved to Singapore with her family at seven, talent-spotted here at 13, when she quit school to pursue modelling. Ms Kim returned to Seoul at 16, where she continued to model. She has appearanced at fashion weeks around the world, modelling leading designers, including Chanel, Dries Van Noten and Alexander McQueen. Described as Karl Lagerfeld's new "muse" – she was the star of the Chanel's latest campaign for bags. Ms Kim wrote her hectic life on her blog http://iliketoforkmyself.blogspot.com/ revealing a troubled personal life and mood swings; She wrote about being depressed, admitted to suffering from insomnia, and was lonely and tired from overwork.

Sunday Self Pic

When I Heard at the Close of the Day

"...And when I thought how my dear friend, my lover, was on his
way coming, O then I was happy;
O then each breath tasted sweeter—and all that day my food
nourish’d me more—and the beautiful day pass’d well,
And the next came with equal joy—and with the next,
at evening, came my friend;
And that night, while all was still, I heard the waters roll slowly
continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands, as directed to
me, whispering, to congratulate me,
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same
cover in the cool night,
In the stillness, in the autumn moonbeams, his face was
inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast—and that night I was happy."
- Walt Whitman, 1819-1892

Weekend Reading List

After a proper ladies' lunch at M (soup and salad) with Ms Ong yesterday, we trundled into the Prada at Ion so I could pick up Prada: Creativity, Modernity, Innovation. The proverbial tome, it's a wonder the paper carrier didn't crack right open. And then I zipped back in the rain in a navy blue cab and have been studying the fascinating book since. This 708-page book on the nearly century-old brand is slipcased in Prada’s signature navy and divided into sections like Past, Inside, Stage and Product that catelogue the company’s output, from fashion design to runway shows, including Albert Watson and Brigitte Lacombe’s photographs of factory workers sewing, swatches of fabrics and ensembles from seasons past. The Place, Scene, Outside and Prada+ sections highlight the company’s architectural epicenters, and the art-centric Fondazione Prada. It's exhaustive, and especially useful for Prada fans, as Mrs Prada's entire ouevre is here (including, in one section, thumbnails of every outfit from every collection since the beginning of her career). Marc Jacobs should be pawing through this right now for inspiration.
I'm also reading again Fay Weldon's (1996) Worst Fears, given to me by BG on 12 June 1997. It's inscribed in a red ball-pen scrawl:

"To Tough Beauty and Sloppy Slop, I actually completed it! Not a very mean feat . All of it was done in the plane. Eva Air. Frightful, except for the seat, roomy."

On a side note: Isn't the cavernous Prada store at the Ion simply glorious (It's the store in Ion for me)? The dramatic, polished, black staircase is the last word in... steps and the assistant store manager twinkled his eyes at me and was impossibly... saucy and makes you want to buy it all. The Ion TWG is also really nice, the staff wonderfully trained, and of course the tea!

20 November 2009

The Louis Vuitton Duplex

Yes, the Louis Vuitton duplex at Takashimaya will open on December 5.

Leopard Spotted Birkin Bag

Strictly for all you Hermes fanatics out there: Lady R's special order, one-in-the-world leopard print Birkin. Try topping this ladies. Ordered in March, delivered in June (what - no legendary wait listing?) and taken to the rtw collections in October (pictured here, in Paris).
Please comment with your claws unleashed.

He Said She Said

"Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." - Kate Moss
This, as you all know, must have been said somewhat ironically. She's a lot of things, Kate is, but skinny? Not since 1990, if you recall. "You try and remember, but it never works."
That's more like it.

18 November 2009

17 November 2009

CFDA/ Anna

"I only go to the CFDAs because if I don’t go, Anna Wintour calls up and says, ‘You have to go because you’re part of the American fashion industry, da da da da da,’ and you can’t say no to her. So you sit through this thing as everyone tells you you’re going to get it, and then you don’t get it, and then everyone tells you it should have been you. You’re like, whatever. You go home empty handed one more time, and it’s fine. We have nine of them.” - Marc Jacobs (The Lady Boy Ga Ga of fashion)
The CFDAs are truly moronic, and this is the first time in years Jacobs has said anything that made sense. In years, and I am telling you.
(Source WWD)

16 November 2009

To The Point

Vogue, Dec 2009. This is an example of a good fashion spread that works on every level, not just a random collection of pictures.

He Said She Said

"A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment." - Jane Austen

Dinner At 8pm

Now, ladies, this is what dinner at 8 o'clock should be. In bed, on a tray. Heaven!

31 Rue Cambon

Do we need more paper in our lives?
Wait before you answer. Chanel and Olivier Zahm (Purple) have paired up to put out 31 Rue Cambon, an in-house Chanel magazine (named after the first Chanel boutique). Of course there will be shots of Baptiste Giabiconi. Just you wait and see.

15 November 2009

Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecture

The Limited plexiglass slipcover

Chrome plated bronze Keepall, Sylvie Fleury, 2000 Swing, Arne Jacobsen, 2005

Compression, Ron Arad, 1987
Faux Cul bag, Vivienne Westwood, 1996
What is your coffee table wearing right now?
I wouldn't be surprised if it was entirely obscured by one of these huge tomes that self-respecting fashion houses habitually put out now. Of course, some of them stretch the very definition of a book - and not in a good way.
Are you ready for the Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecture? Released last month, this book records Vuitton's major collaborations with 80 artists and architects; It at least serves some sort of encyclopediac purpose. And doubles as art (or a doorstop), with a limited edition Damier-patterned plexiglass slipcase designed by Takashi Murakami.

Kate's Vintage

Kate Moss's new perfume: Vintage. It looks a bit Versace doesn't it?
Vintage is a blend of fruity and floriental, with pink pepper, white freesia, mandarin, heliotrope, jasmine and almond. The smoky topaz and jade coloured perfume bottle was was inspired by the vintage bottles of the 1920s and 1930s, finely faceted to create a jewel-like effect. Kate Moss: "I am fascinated by vintage because they have an innate sense of history. I love the fact that each object has its own story to tell. And yet vintage items can be reinvented with a modern twist to make them very fresh and relevant today. That's why vintage looks have inspired my personal style, my work as a fashion designer and, now, my fragrance."

Little Julia

In 1993, Little Julia was 13 and Mommy Carine was 39.

Sunday Self Pic

I can't show what happens next but you get the drift...

14 November 2009

He Said She Said

"If our vacant society would do with less gilt upon their chairs, they might donate more gold to their store of wisdom." - Lillian Russell (1860-1922),

13 November 2009

Supermodel: Karen Graham

Francesco Scavullo, Dec 1975
The letter, 1976
The Russian dolls, 1977
Her signature nose, 1980
I think my first ever supermodel crush was Karen Graham of the classic Estee Lauder ads. Ms Graham (born 1945, Mississippi) remains a model's model. For 15 years, she was the face of Estee Lauder, and I grew up staring at her face in those iconic ads in Vogue. She studied French at the Sorbonne in Paris, and later moved to New York City to be a French teacher. In 1969, while at the Bonwit Teller, she met the mother of all modeling agents, Eileen Ford, and the rest became modelling history. Ms Graham's early work included a shoot for Irving Penn; Her first appearance in Vogue was in 1970, and she became a supermodel when Grace Mirabella, then Vogue editor put her on the magazine's cover 20 times between 1970 and 1975. Her status as a legendary model was set, however, with the Estee Lauder ads. Beginning intermittently in 1970 and 1971, to appear in their print ads, she started working with photographer Victor Skrebneski. In 1973, she became Estee Lauder's exclusive spokesmodel. It was a job she would do for the rest of the decade, appearing in print and television ads that presented her in tasteful, luxurious, all-American tableaux - to represent the high WASP image the Estee Lauder was creating.
Graham quit in 1985, when she turned 40, and was succeeded by Willow Bay (thought to be a look-alike). In 1999, she returned to model for Estee Lauder (Resilience Lift), and this lasted for a few years; Victor Skrebneski returned to shoot the ads after leaving in 1993.
Ms Graham now lives in the foothills of North Carolina. In addition to fly fishing, she is keen on horseback riding.

Weekend Reading List

When I was in Primary five, a very long time ago, my aunt G (father's younger sister, a teacher at Fairfield's) gave me Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist, with the original illustrations, and I still have it. It has followed me through all my different addresses, and sat on all my different (dusty)shelves, outlasted my different phases and tastes. I'm whiling away the rainy days by reading this classic Dickens story all over again, laughing at all the memories that resurfaced of the time when we were all involved in our school musical of this book, staged with pomp, at the Victoria Concert Hall. And no, they didn't allow me to sing. I was made one of those orphans that had no lines to speak of. To cheer up from the gloom, I'm also looking at my collection of Eloise books, the irrepressible six year-old terror invented by Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hilary Knight. The little princess lords over the "room on the tippy-top floor" of the Plaza Hotel in New York with her English Nanny, her pug Weenie, and her turtle Skipperdee. Did you know a portrait of Eloise hung in the lobby of the Plaza until it closed for renovations in 2005? I read that a movie based on Eloise in Paris (my fave of the lot!), starring Uma Thurman as Nanny, is being made. Uma Thurman would make such a good Nanny!

12 November 2009


Bad hairdressing can really ruin a girl's look.
Impossibly creamy, but he's not 19!
Ghastly HDB perm.
What promised to be a louche, guilty romp, became banal nonsense, and I, unexpectedly, did a lot of forwarding on this DVD. I had liked Stephen Frears's The Queen a lot. The Colette stories Cheri (upon which the film was based), held such promise, and the people behind this so reputable - but what a bore the movie is. I couldn't care less about the two dull lovers, both of whom would be repellant in real life, and this is saying alot since I'm a fan both of Colette and Rupert Friend. Michelle Pfeiffer as the cougar/courtesan is beautifully brittle, but not convincingly Parisienne: Lovely to behold in a Lux commercial sort of way, but not truly poignant. Rupert Friend, on the other hand, never seems convincingly young, despite the youthful, creamy nudity - difficult to warm up to - perhaps it's that ghastly perm he's wearing? The bangs seem to be in their very own curly fries movie.
And not enough of the marvellous Katie Bates, too, who could have saved the show.
This very slight film is good for killing time if you're on the plane, otherwise, unlikely to be missed.

11 November 2009

He Said She Said

“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” -Samuel Johnson


Peaches, 2009
Still Life with Oranges, 2008
Still Life with Flowering Tobacco, 2009
Watermelon and Blackberries, 2009
Still Life with Pipe, 2009
As you all know, I love still life, and I got very excited to read about photographer Sharon Core's new show Early American, a new exhibition of still lifes, which was just unveiled at New York’s Hermès Gallery. That Ms Core combines her art (no digital work involved!) with a great love for gardening thrills me exactly, if you know what I mean.