13 April 2014


Firstly, Louis Koo's bizarre waxen caramel toffee colour has been much commented upon, leading many to speculate that he sleeps on a tanning bed; But that doesn't explain the waxen Madame Tussauds quality that he has, does it? 
Nong Poy and The Burnt Toffee Twist
But the caramel colour and waxen quality didn't put off Thai transsexual actress Nong Poy who had reportedly foamed over Louis Koo while shooting film The White Storm with the caramel-coloured actor. Poy had even apparently dumped her long-time boyfriend for the actor (Hong Kong media reported). Although, bizarrely, Poy had declined to shoot "intimate" scenes with Koo for the movie "for fear of frightening her parents". 
This ambiguous latter bit is really hard to understand, and if you think about it, has no logic whatsoever. It does leave one rather wondering what Poy's parents might have objected to. 
My guess is Koo's unnatural colouring. 
Poy and Koo were rumoured to have developed a romance, and caused Poy to have broken up with her boyfriend of five years. Poy admitted that she and her boyfriend had split, but denied that Louis was the "third party". She said: "He treats me like a younger sister, and I feel that he has never courted me before. I don't want to tarnish his reputation!"

10 April 2014


Kevein Carrigan, Francisco Costa, Italo Zucchelli
Major preparations are underway here in Singapore to celebrate the Calvin Klein multi brands today with a one-of-a-kind architectural installation. Singapore was selected as the location for this invitation-only event to celebrate the global expansion, and to mark the opening of four new Calvin Klein Collection stores in Southeast Asia this year in Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.
The special star-studded event will be hosted by the company’s creative directors – Francisco Costa, Italo Zucchelli and Kevin Carrigan together with Calvin Klein ceo Tom Murry. The evening will include important guests from the worlds of fashion and entertainment.

Tonight, for one night only, Calvin Klein will present a unique concept house by renowned architect Joshua Prince-Ramus, uniting the company’s different labels under one roof. The structure is constructed within the former Kallang Airport – which was decommissioned in 1955. It is the first time such an event will be held in this architectural landmark. Calvin Klein Home pieces will be featured throughout and over 30 models will wear looks from the Fall 2014 Calvin Klein Collection, Calvin Klein platinum label, Calvin Klein Underwear and the newly relaunched Calvin Klein Jeans.

08 April 2014


"We are now married, which is nice. I know that was just made legal in the UK which is great, but we were married in the States." - Tom Ford, who has been in a relationship with Richard Buckley for 27 years. They have a son, Alexander John Buckley Ford, in 2012.
Meanwhile, on the Huffington Post the 64-year-old Jeremy Irons started out saying that he didn’t “have a strong feeling either way” on the subject of gay marriages, but speculated: “Could a father not marry his son? It's not incest between men. Incest is there to protect us from inbreeding, but men don't breed." 
Of course the sisters are up in arms.

07 April 2014



The Calvin Klein Collection flagship store opens in Singapore today. Housed in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, this concept store reflects the Calvin Klein hallmark minimalism updated with dramatic bold lines, sleek surfaces and immaculate finishes. The new Calvin Klein Collection store follows the brand's global store design. The design features a sleek Italian marble and glass storefront that mirrors the monochromatic surfaces found inside. The quietly contemplative interiors are complemented with state of the art lighting and cleanly graphic furniture.
A salon within the store has the hush of a curated gallery space where pieces from the current collection are highlighted in an intimate setting. The award-winning store concept was first introduced in the Calvin Klein Collection store at Forum 66 in Shenyang, China.
The store carries the latest mens and womens collections including key runway looks designed by Italo Zucchelli and Francisco Costa, and a comprehensive range of shoes and accessories.
This Calvin Klein Collection store joins five other flagship stores globally, and marks the rolling out of three more flagship stores in the region this year, including one each in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. 

Calvin Klein Collection, #01-16, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

06 April 2014


"The cover of Vogue is not exactly the Nobel Peace Prize, and Kim Kardashian isn’t exactly Pol Pot." - Tina Brown
What I think is this: That everything that is wrong in our money-centric, greedily self-promiting world is distilled in this Kim Kardashian Vogue cover. It shows that you don't have to have any real ability, to produce anything useful, to have any morals or probity, to be honoured and lauded. Vogue is just mirroring what is already happening in every dark, creaky corner of fashion and publishing.

05 April 2014

WEEKEND READING LIST: One Thing Leads to Another

Bla and I were both inspired by PH's improving habit of systematically eating at one new cafe a week, reading one new book a week, going to one exhibition, one performance, watching one movie, every week. He'd been doing this since the new year and he has the notebook as proof of his resolve, on each rather dog-eared page are lists and dates, in his poor scribble, of all the new things he's seen and read and watched and (hopefully) absorbed. 
And so last week, one very hot afternoon, Bla and I, to kickstart our very own effort, visited the Asian Civilisations Museum, Empress Place, to view the rather special Secrets of the Fallen Pagoda: Treasures from Famen Temple and the Tang Court (till 4 May).  It's a rather lively and interesting show (see the tortoise container above? It's so cute and a real luxury item don't you think?) and I urge you all to go look at it if you haven't already.
Anyway, that led me to want to learn more about Chinese history and this led me to randomly pick up a book, without much thought from a shelf about Chinese history. It was a lucky chance find. I'm now swiftly devouring A Brief History of the Dynasties of China by Bamber Gascoigne (2003). I can't put it down. I'm sure it's not as pedantically academic as it can be, but it's exactly what I need at the moment. You see, the focus is oddly personal and Mr Gascoigne just seems to zoom in on all the sometimes odd details and character that does bring out the flavour of each of the periods he's writing about; It's a quick guided tour of over 2,000 years, and Mr Gascoigne's concerns, are thankfully like mine, heavy on the arts and culture (and the odd fact or two), and less about warcraft and politics. I like that it's quite a subjective focus, and it's beautifully, humourously written. This isn't to say that Mr Gascoigne is without erudition, it's just that he uses his learning to convey his own passions for his subject. Of course this is just an entertaining launch pad for more specific reading. 
I learnt a lot from just one swift reading. For instance, did you know that Marco Polo was only 20 years old when he was made a high official in the court of Kublai Khan? He later waxed lyrical of Kublai Khan's appearance:
"He is of good and fair size, neither too small nor too large, but is of middle size. He is covered with flesh in a beautiful manner, not too fat, nor too lean; he is more than well formed in all parts. He has his face white and partly shining red like the colour of a beautiful rose, which makes him look very pleasing; and he has the eyes black and beautiful; and the nose very beautiful, well made and well set on the face."  

Isn't this a marvellous detail to highlight? I was simply entranced that this 20 year old Venetian boy is studying this great Mongolian emperor as if he were some model come for a casting! I would never have thought that the thing that struck one about Kublai Khan (above left) would be his beautiful black eyes. Highly recommended.

03 April 2014


The Beckhams are conquering fashion as a clan! Football star Papa Beckham is all round fashion figure, underwear 'designer' and pin-up; Mama Spice is a serious 'designer' and famous handbag hook; Baby Bro Romeo is a Burberry model. And now, the formerly pudgy Brooklyn Beckham, only 15, is the cover star of Man About Town's SS14 edition. This magazine is (purportedly)  "targeted at high-end business-engaged and culturally-orientated male urbanities" althought it's quite hard to see what the connection is with a youg teen on the cover and a 20 page spread featuring Brooklyn in disheveled style ( shot by Alasdair McLellan)
Is this going to be an annual thing? Only last year, Papa Beckham was the cover for the same magazine.
Next spring Baby Bro Romeo perhaps?

02 April 2014


 1. The Grand Budapest Hotel, identifies Stefan Zweig, an Austrian novelist, as an inspiration (a contemporary of E.M. Forster from the early half of the 20th century). It uses a Zweig-like author as one of its three framing devices, which left me wondering if this was necessary - or just another cute style flourish in a movie composed entirely of cute style flourishes. Form is function in this (writer-director) Wes Anderson film. What is this manically-paced movie about? It is all about style, if it is about anything at all. 
2. It's a meringue of a movie, profoundly sweet and pretty, like one of those confections from the confectionery Mendl's in the movie. It's a heist and a caper, it's a whodunit too, with a body in the library, a butler (in this instance the protagonist, the pompous, mannered and perfumed grand concierge Gustave H, brought to life by Ralph Fiennes in a comic, sympathetic and droll performance), a missing painting, a jail break, a disgruntled heir, a gothic palace, and a guest-list of cameos. The whole thing is finely art directed and exactingly styled, reminding me of nothing so much as one of those big production Tim Walker fashion spreads.
3. Luckily the rather self-conscious thing is enlivened by wonderful little pieces of acting by the ensemble of cameos. These are studded like brandied cherries in an all-cream wedding cake, densely sweet on sweet, with a bit of tartness. We see them all through the extraordinary pragmatic eyes of Zero, the Indian lobby boy (Tony Revolori): I was riveted by a sequence where a chain link of grand concierges of the crossed keys make telephone calls. Tilda Swinton is amazing and memorable (she looks like amazingly like Dame Vivien Westwood here); Adrien Brody adds a darkly sleazy note 
(always!); Jeff Goldblum is surprisingly good (because 
almost unrecognisable, I suspect); Willem Dafoe is really 
rather funny as the ruthless roughneck; Edward Norton is a 
handsome policeman: there are many others including 
Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray, Jude Law, Owen Wilson, Jason 
Schwartzman, etc. They are uniformly eccentric and 
wonderfully good.  

4. For all its polish and distancing nostalgic style, this work 
still feels human. It has a warmth and heart because it is also 
about rather real human frailties and heroic qualities.
I think also that it is made with great passion and that does translate onto the screen.

5. Lush visuals aside, the movie suffers from a rather abrupt ending (not that it's a short movie). The various threads seem to be knitting themselves into a bigger picture than it really is. As it is, the movie seems to be a tribute to "CUTE" and "CHARM" and that's sufficient I suppose in these rather dark and charmless times.

He Said She Said: Beaute

"All I need is twenty minutes on the bathroom floor with witch-hazel pads on my eyes, and I can conquer the world.” - Diana Vreeland

The leaves and bark of the witch-hazel hamamelis virginiana is used to produce an astringent, which is used medicinally. This plant extract was widely used for medicinal purposes by American Indians and is a component of various commercial healthcare products.

It's mainly used externally on sores, bruises, and swelling. Witch hazel is also used in skin care. It is a strong anti-oxidant and astringent often used as a natural remedy for psoriasiseczema, aftershave accidents and ingrown nails, to prevent swelling, cracked or blistered skin, for treating insect bites, poison ivy stings, and as a treatment for varicose veins and hemorrhoids.