30 January 2010

Mrs C's Croco Kelly

Over the new year, Mrs C bought this vintage croco Kelly during her holiday in Tokyo. It was from a vintage store in Ginza filled floor to ceiling with all manner of Hermes bags, never, or hardly used. Mrs C said that Kane talked her into buying it, his menthol Marlboro hanging at a rakish angle from his mouth. I once looked into his Chanel bag - it was empty except for 11 packs of cigarettes.
"It's only $22 thousand anyway," said Mrs C, buttering her scone at the St Regis tea room. "A real steal."
I have to say it's gorgeous, one of the few croco bags that look really special. These bags can look common. But not Mrs C's: It's in three colours, black trimmed with two beautiful blues (navy and royal) and gold hardware. It's immaculate. The other croco I really liked was Mrs Tay's Birkin, in a dark malachite, almost black with palladium hardware.
It was stuffed full of shoes in cloth bags for a shoot.

Sunday Self Pic

He Said She Said

"Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree." - Ezra Pound

29 January 2010


Large Bull's Head, 1955, Pablo Picasso

Weekend Reading List:

During the week (Wednesday), J D Salinger, 91, the Garbo of letters (famed for not wanting fame), died at his 90 acre home in Cornish, N.H., where he had lived in seclusion for more than 50 years. I'll pull out my dusty copy of The Catcher in the Rye (1951) for another read. I've read it quite a few times already and am always struck by the wonderfully immediate whine that Salinger fashioned for the narrator Holden Caulfield — is it technique, or isn't it? It's hard to tell. I'm not good at writing dialogue (my attempts always come off stiff and arch) so I'm in awe at Salinger's colloquial, idiomatic language, his uncanny ventriloquism, a sharp ear for the rhythms and cadences of colloquial speech; And also, his ability to create stories within stories naturally. So, yes, I guess I am talking about technique. But it's also a gift, I think, something not easy to learn. On top of the amazing method, I never read The Catcher in the Rye without getting a lump in my throat and the prick of tears in my eyes, and this 'emotional' quality has made me gift this book over the years to not a few of those rebels and misfits amongst my friends (yes, there are many of those!). Holden Caulfield represented all the sensitive waifs who drift through life tossed and bruised by a vulgar and materialistic world, the freaks who never really outgrew adolescent feelings, the innocents who have never let go of their inner child. In this sense, there is overlap in his work and Bruce Weber's (the sentimentality and 'cuteness' is certainly similar).
"Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure.”
- J D Salinger

Spring Couture 2010: Jean Paul Gaultier

I had a think about it and since I couldn't get the collection out of my mind, have decided that this collection is good, even great. It is at least light years better than the dismal men's season showing - but not because of the Avatar references. The latter just smacks of desperation. Mr Gaultier vision is resolutely, atavistically it seems, rooted in the gilded past of hourglass corsets and elaborate decoration. Let's ignore some of his themetic execesses (is it some sort of misguided marketing ploy?) and focus on some of these looks, which represent a new idea or two, while reinforcing his signatures.

28 January 2010

Kate's New Hair Colour

It's sort of Chanel Couture silver... I quite like...


The new (2009)BBC Emma miniseries looks so good! Romola Garai, last seen in Atonement, is Emma Woodhouse. Can't wait to see this...
Miss Bates: "This is meeting quite in fairy-land! Such a transformation…..Upon my word, this is charming to be standing about among such friends! And such a noble fire! I am quite roasted. No coffee, I thank you, for me — never take coffee. A little tea if you please, sir, by and bye, — no hurry — Oh! here it comes. Everything so good!”
"I never saw any thing equal to the comfort and style — Candles every where.Well, this is brilliant! I am all amazement! could not have supposed any thing! Such elegance and profusion! — I have seen nothing like it since — Well, where shall we sit? where shall we sit? ..Dear Jane, how shall we ever recollect half the dishes for grandmamma? Soup too! Bless me! I should not be helped so soon, but it smells most excellent, and I cannot help beginning.”

Gucci's Own Orchid

Paravanda Frida
The newly renovated Paragon Gucci store, now a duplex, will open on 5 February, just in time for Chinese New Year. To commemorate, Gucci's Creative Director Frida Giannini has designed a limited editon collection of items (sales will go to benefit the Mainly I Love Kids (MILK) charity) inspired by the hybrid “Paravanda Frida”, an orchid named after Ms Gianini, to be presented by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), in association with the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

The Gucci Paravanda Frida Boston Bag

Tavi, Blogger

Only 13, the fashion blogger Tavi, as featured in Vogue Paris shot by Tommy Ton.
Read all about her front row saga at Dior Couture: http://twitpic.com/zpbqh

The controversial Stephen Jones hat worn with Prada skirt!

26 January 2010

He Said She Said

"If you can't be pretty, you have to learn to make yourself attractive. All the pretty girls I went to high school with came to middle age as frumps because they just got by with their pretty faces, so they never developed anything. They never learned how to be interesting. But if you are bereft of certain things, you have to make up for them in certain ways. Don't you think?"

- Iris Apfel (Photo: Bruce Weber)

Spring Couture 2010: Chanel

I'm speechless and frothing: An immaculate, frothy, coolly masterful collection, which raises 'pretty' into an art. There's nothing laboured about the minute work that I'm sure went into the construction of these confections. (As an instructive comparison, do look at Givenchy couture to see how sadly heavy the effect is; The weight makes it look 100 years old old, like leafing through old issues of Vogue Paris in an airless and dusty secondhand book store.) The pale pastel suits were there but I think the focus has to be the fluffy cocktail dresses that look like candied clouds. Note: The bride (what a fairytale gown!), clutching Karl's boy, has white Karl hair...

Mandarin Orange

The Mandarin Orange(citrus reticulata) is a small citrus tree with fruit resembling other oranges, though the fruit is oblate, rather than spherical. The tree is more drought-tolerant than the fruit which is tender, and damaged easily by cold. It can be grown in tropical and subtropical areas.The mandarin has many names which actually refer to crosses between the mandarin and another citrus fruits: Examples include the Clementine, the most important commercial mandarin variety, and the Tangerine, sometimes known as a 'Christmas Orange', as its peak season is December, the Satsuma, a seedless variety growing in popularity for its ease of consumption. The mandarin is easily peeled with the fingers, and can be easily and neatly split into even segments. This makes it convenient to eat, as utensils are not required to peel or cut the fruit. The dried peel of the fruit of citrus reticulata is used in the regulation of qi in Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as to treat abdominal distention, enhance digestion, and to reduce phlegm.The Mandarin of the name refers to the bright orange robes worn by the mandarins, public officials of the ancient Chinese court. Another distinguishing reason why they are called mandarin oranges is that these fruits were often reserved strictly for the privileged class in Asia. Although cultivated for over 3,000 years in China, mandarin oranges did not reach Europe and North America until the nineteenth century. The first mandarin oranges to be exported were shipped from the city of Tangiers in Morocco, hence the moniker 'Tangerines'.

25 January 2010

Spring Couture 2010: Dior

Can you not love it? (I guess you can...)

After what seems ages of dreary uninspired tedium, John Galliano seems to be getting back to his old form. If it seems familiar ground, it is. But what glorious grounds to be cantering back and forth over - and isn't this what couture is all about? It is the romance of clothes and a way of life long past, revisited in vivid clothes. The Cecil Beaton photo of the group of Charles James dresses is an obvious starting point, but the genteel ladies are truly gone, in their stead, female impersonators camping it up with zest! Very drag, I like

Slim Keith (one of Truman Capote's 'swans') wearing Charles James, a deadringer for these Dior looks, down to the 'riding' reference. At the same time, it isn't drag, because there is no ironic distance.

Men's Fall 2010: Paris

I'm way behind in my men's season coverage and Spring Couture has already broken, and nipping at my heel. So here's a quick recap of the Paris season: Altogether, Paris was a lot more refined and ideas-driven, compared to Milan. In fact, there seemed to be a concerted attempt to break away from what is classic menswear and a steady embrace on the one hand the reinvention of sportswear (Raf Simons, Lanvin) and on the other, women's wear (Dior Homme, Rick Owens). Both are exciting developements.
Lanvin Lucas Ossendrijver is like Louis Vuitton's Paul Helbers. He has invented for Lanvin a male identity which is seperate from it's women's, with a distinct voice: This collection is no less beautiful than his spring one, if a great deal less flashy. The military theme is given such a treatment as to make it a completely new without falling into the "costume" department. It's still belted and peplum-ed, and the easier fit is not excessive nor sloppy, and such interesting colours!
Rick Owens While I must note that it does go on and on and would benefit from a tighter edit, the continuation of the theme 'savage grace' carves this as Mr Owens's own. I love it chiefly for the Paul Poiret (see below) proportions, and the complete disregard of what is traditionally deemed masculine. Some of the items look like belle epoque dresses. The rest is from the Star Wars series - if only Lucasfilms had Mr Owens to dress the movies!

Raf Simons Briskly modern, this collection had all the vision and excitement that his Jil Sander collection lacked and restores all faith in him.
Dior Homme Twenty looks too many but I loved that it is as much about flow and draping as it is about tailoring. There seems to be a new vocabularly being invented for Dior Homme, one which reads so much clearer and sharper than Kris Van Assche's eponymous collection which is flabby in comparison.
Hermes What can I say? For me, this is right up there along with Paul Helbers's work. This is a luxe rive gauche idea, contemporary masculinity, sexy, graceful and elegant without being effete, achieved effortlessly by Veronique Nichianian.
John Galliano The styling is inspired and inspiring as usual. Love the Oriental splashes.
THE REST:Dries Van Noten Disappointing, incomplete but not as bad as some reviews will have you believe, just not fully formed nor entirely new (but then so few things are!). Yves Saint Laurent Besides the laughable Bruce Weber film shown (how irrelevant can it get?) Stefano Pilati seems to have painted himself into a corner; In truth, the coats and jackets with the interesting volume and proportion are beautiful and new classics, the rest is challenging to say the least. Comme Des Garcons Gimmicky and LOL, if it wasn't so deadly serious. Jean Paul Gaultier Seems designed specifically for Mr and Mrs Marc Jacobs to wear.