20 January 2016


In which H shares a few choice TIDBITS ABOUT MIN
    Kimmon: Min unfollowed Kimmon on social media around May 2015, after their Sing For Nepal concert. There was a long text post on Twitter (I don’t understand Thai), which I’m guessing ended things, not in a pretty way.
I don’t know what happened between them, but after this “breakup”, Min never attended any event with Kim alone again. Just think how close they were back in those early Freshy Camp days.

2.   Min only agreed to go on the Lovesick On Tour gig to Udon (with Buff4) with Na’s company.
3.   Around November, Min also unfollowed Alone (on social media). Alone was this guy that took care of Min and Oat, and drove them to the set, took them home, basically a chaperone. I consider this surprising, since they pretty much went everywhere together for months.

4.   So after the MinOat fanmeet, after the end of Lovesick, the only person from that whole thing Min kept in touch with is Na. And Oat. Min still seemed OK with Oat, replying to each other’s Tweets, and they hung out together at Christmas eve. 

18 January 2016


MinOat, the ship that sunk, isn't going anywhere
Notes on MinOat, Namin, and the strange ongoing discussion with H on this mysterious boy actor.

Born June 19, 2000, Min is quite a strange young man. 

Unlike his peers in the world of Thai lakorn, he keeps his distance on social media. There are very few clues as to what he’s really like in real life.
D: I first fell in love with Mick, the character Min plays in Lovesick The Series Season 2. Three of four episodes in, Mick came to supersede every other character in the series for me. It made me want to see him in real life – and so I went to the fanmeet in Bangkok, my first ever. This was the MinOat fanmeet, where they gave out the MinOat 2016 calendar. 
Oat is another teen actor from the series.
I was very disappointed at seeing Min. He seemed aloof, cold and distant, so much so that his personal beauty, unaided by the terrible styling, couldn’t hold me in the too-cold theatrette, and I made off halfway through the strained performance.
In December, I went back to Bangkok for the Lovesick final concert Lovesick Love Actually. This time round, I found Min to be much improved. But he seems nice and cheerful only with Nanoob Napian Permsombat (November 14 1995), who plays Mick’s sweetheart (for lack of a better word) Ohm in the series. They seemed close, in body language and verbally, with fans after the concert ended.
Min is rather special in many ways; Sometimes he seems troubled even.

H: From what I saw online, Min looked more vibrant than Oat at MinOat, and he took the lead and was proactive throughout the concert and fanmeet.  Oat seemed sheepish, less confident.
To be honest, I’m glad to hear that Min is only cheerful around Na. I didn’t really ship NaMin until their “secret” date in October. That was way after Lovesick ended its run and after the MinOat Fanmeet, which by the way was a huge discouragement to OhmMick shippers.
Min hung around with Na more and more, and he’s changed quite a bit since then. Min and Na didn’t start out this close, not even when the series was airing. I don’t know what happened, but something must have happened right then, around October.

17 January 2016

HE SAID SHE SAID: It would be mortifying...


Vivienne Westwood: Brilliant and inspired
Burberry Prorsum has, like clockwork, been turning up efficiently brilliant collections for so long that it nettles when its latest showed unispired looks that looked terribly mehanical - just the usual outerwear cut a little roomier. Compare this with the amazingly inspired Vivienne Westwood collection and you will see what I mean instantly. "Androgynous" doesn't even begin to describe the teagown and cardi aesthetics - this collection had balls (literally in the phallic pendants) and ballgowns and yet looked juicily, boldy, swaggeringly sexy, and very very British, with the kind of haphazard, modern sexuality that is embodied by an episode of Cucumber. Every piece is irresistible. More unlikey beauty came from Calvin Klein Collection - not just from the gilded denim or the silken tailoring but from the exaggerated puffa blousons and coats with the hood/halo - whoever would have thought? But that's what we look at in fashion isn't it? This discovery of beauty in some new way - in this case hoodies with a Renaissance effect. 
Prada made me slow and stop for a good look at the collars, key danglies, straps and patched on plackets, pockets, cuffs and collars. Very beautiful motley stuff, poetic and practical - how does she do it year after year? There's some recall of the printed tunic silk shirts from Dolce&Gabbana but taken in a much less literal way and given subtle magic. Beautiful/dowdy (always done so well by Mrs Prada) plaid things.
The fabrics were singing at Ermenegildo Zegna Couture, some very elegant songs. Very elegant stuff that would seem revolutionary if you haven't seen a Dries Van Noten collection. And we do want a revolution from Stefano Pilati, not more subdued, extreme elegance. For these difficult times, a bolder, punkier attitude is called for, don't you think? Just look at Alexander Mcqueen if you can't decide - very beautiful everything, but only the punkish, slightly violent looks register - everything else looks coldly immaculate and harmless. Because we have Pilati/Zegna-ish elegance at E Tautz too, with that interesting 80s inflection. And then at Bottega Veneta, a rumpled version of this elegance, where the plaidy-tweedy ones stole the show - dowdy made so desirable and new it makes one giddy for a weekend in Balmoral with a thermos of good tea.
Checks and Plaids at Bottega Veneta

07 January 2016


Justin Bieber, 21, is not only talented, he's a great beauty. Bieber is also really, truly stylish - his fashion feels unforced, uncontrived and authentic, a complete antithesis of Kanye West for example, if you need a reference.

06 January 2016


 “I have often thought that in my next life, I would like to come back as Choupette, (Karla Lagerfeld’s) extremely beautiful and bourgeois cat, who has two maids, a chef, a personal hairdresser and many diamond necklaces.” - Anna Wintour


Alber Elbaz by Irving Penn
What is Lanvin be without Alber Elbaz? The designer’s peremptory and abrupt, and now acrimonious exit from Lanvin last November capped a year of dramatic changes in the world of fashion. 

Designer musical chairs are hardly new in fashion; But 2015’s edition seemed evidence of a trend of dumbing down to the masses, a trend that will shape the way we look at fashion for many years to come. Not all the new queens on fashion’s thrones sit comfortably. You can see that in Alexander Wang’s lacklustre three-year stint at Balenciaga – you can see everyone's palpable relief at not having to witness the products of Wang's struggles. One "cool downtown party" collection is enough and ought to be contained in downtown New Yuck, where it belongs. That sort of thing hardly sits comfortably at the Paris Collections, and can hardly be expected to replace Nicolas Ghesquière's work at Balenciaga. 

Ghesquière had spent 15 years reviving the nearly century-old Balenciaga before he moved on to Louis Vuitton to replace Marc Jacobs. His experiments here are also strangely both over-thought and underwhelming. 

Now there are two more mediacore collections to add to the general ugliness of what's out there.

Lanvin Pre Fall designed by Chemena Kamali and Lucio Finale
In 2015, the world woke up to the Gucci drama of an accessories designer, Alessandro Michele, replacing Frida Gianini as creative director. While many of Gianini’s collections during her seven year tenure at the helm of the label left critics scratching their heads and searching for polite euphemisms, although of course, when she succeeded the iconic Tom Ford (who truly revolutionised fashion for the Noughties), she was lauded with enough corporate praise to sink all criticism. Gianini was hailed as a second coming of sorts and beatified as a fashion saint, becoming thinner, blonder and altered beyond recognition towards the end of her reign. Now Michele is being thusly lauded too, for basically doing some pretty things, and some pretty commercial things, which in the end simply looks like a luxed up version of the hipster trend for all things vintage, a trend already a few years old, with a Wes Anderson aesthetic. It's a sort of Gucci version of the Hedi Slimane's Saint Laurent 'strategy' - give them what they already want - just better made, and priced to appropriately. Note: Lanvin's first collection (Pre Fall 2016) not by Elbaz looks like Michele's Gucci doesn't it? 

And all that is par for the course - after all it's ready-to-wear - but what of a storied couture house like Dior? After Raf Simons stepped down last November, no successor has been announced till today, even though Spring Couture shows are looming. Hopefully they are taking their time to field a visionary creator, and not some gloriefied handbag designer-with-a-proven-sales-record to dumb down fashion even further. 

Hopefully they will appoint Elbaz - he surely fits the bill.      

03 January 2016


Did you grow up dazzled b the girls of Takahashi Macoto, without knowing it? I did. I can still vividly recall the Colleen colouring pencils that came in pompous tins, 36 colours all arranged in an ombre rainbow. For years, I attempted to copy the cover illustration, a Marie Antoinette type girl clutching a poodle, wearing a huge picture hat just laden with flowers. I thought the pencils were meant for re-creating the drawing. It is only now, decades later, that I learned that Macoto drew with pencil and then coloured with watercolour, in delicate layers, and that his signature sparkles in the the eyes were added later in a constellation of goauche dots and stripes!

Takahashi was born in Osaka in 1934, debuted as a manga artist in 1957. He's still working today and that means that there is a huge archive of his work (there have been exhibitions and books). Of his work and inspiration, he has said: "Why do I always draw girls? I have this lingering image I had when I was a sixth-grader, right after the war. There was a church of the Allied Occupation Forces near my house, and one day I saw a girl over the fence. She was about five and was playing in the garden filled with flowers. The girl, her leg in a cast, was called by her mother. She turned around and ran to her mother, her beautiful blond hair flowing. It was such a beautiful scene in such a gloomy time in postwar Japan. The image stuck with me, and I came to want to paint that girl. I wanted to express the world of girls in a short two- to three-year period of adolescence, to express elegance, gentleness, shyness and sense of cleanliness." One of the authours of "kawaii" genre, I can see Macoto's direct influence even in Takahashi Murakami's work, in the obsessive detail, crazy explosive flowers, and the maniacally glittering, unseeing eyes of his creations. I wonder if Murakami has ever acknowledged his debt to the older artist?       
Murakami's work in Versailles has the same effect as Macoto's, combining old and new, cute with traditional 

01 January 2016


I've sworn off buying books for a while now, not for any noble green reasons (although you must consider these), and have been dutifully been borrowing all my reading from our wonderful libraries here. Truth is, I simply have no more shelve- or indeed floor-, space for one more book, and yet... I couldn't resist these. 
These are all picture books, and are about drawing, a talent which I've been neglecting - I havn't picked up a pencil to sketch in ages, and I suppose these purchases are meant to inspire me to draw in the new year (and not act as dust magnets). Fingers and toes crossed, guilt-drenched.

How can you resist Gruau: Portraits of Men (with a come hither cover like this)? 
How to resist anything by David Downton? I squawked when I saw it and flew down to Kinokuniya and bought it in a flash. David Downton: Portraits of the World's Most Stylish Women is not unrelated to Gruau and his work is very much in that tradition, although Downton doesn't acknowledge that debt. I don't agree with Downton's pick of "most stylish" - Coco Rocha? Dita Von Teese? Really? - but still.

Finally, my niece Sharon very kindly ordered the book Harry Bush Hard Boys - and she promptly added one into the cart for herself! I think she said she bought it on Book Depository, but whatever it was, it arrived to make an excellent Christmas present for me!