12 June 2016


Three of the best at the on-going London shows:

J W Anderson
Whimsical, joyful and relevant in these rather depressed, cynical times - a jolt of inspiration.

Margaret Howell 
Elegant, thoughtful, desirable clothes with hidden wells of sensuality. Cuts out the social media noise instantly and suddenly you see, and think, clearly.

E Tautz
Rumpled academic meets Talking Heads - more deliciously desirable clothes that will stand the test of time.

Monday With Monet

                                                        Still Life with Meat, 1862


I hadn't planned on being hooked to Make It Right The Series (MIR), because its trailers had promised a formulaic follow-up to the hugely successful (and iconic) Love Sick The Series (LS) which ended last year (also by Thailand's Mcot Station). As predicted, MIR has hewed lazily to the boys' love genre conventions, casting a few extremely pretty boys to enact what is less of a plot than a trail of tropes: Confused Uke (Fuse) ensnaring Passionate Seme (Tee); Nerd (Book) falling for Younger Flirt (Frame); Out&Proud converting Straight-for-Now, and in these combos, throw in some third parties (in Thai, these are called "third wheels"); and then stir in a few disposable girls into a sweetly fluffy meringue of a story (MIR, like LS is adapted from a Thai online novel). 

After watching the first four episodes (subtitled in English by fans), I can assure you that the story is just as twig-thin as any of the cast's scrawny arms. It's hard not to compare MIR with LS, as the two are almost identical - I would go so far as to say that MIR is the production team's attempt at getting LS right, ironing out some of its wrinkles and creases and smoothing out the edges (for instance, they made MIR a lot more racy, with sex in Ep 1, and lots of skin - whereas LS muddled along and it wasn't till towards the end of Season 1 before Noh and Phun actually got down to business). However, because of its similar territory, MIR suffers in comparison, possibly because it comes later, and thus carries the weight of having few/no surprises/ novelties. It's obviously mining a formula (as many are doing - even the recent Chinese webseries Addiction was inspired by LS) that had proven successful - I hope that I will be proven wrong in due course with a compelling twist or two - but I'm not holding my breath.

Of course what's really working, and credit should be given where it's due, is the excellent casting as usual. The four main leads (plus quite a few more in the supporting cast) are spot-on heartbreakers (but then Thailand is like a factory that keeps churning impossibly cute boys out - I need to take out all my savings and move there pronto!) that give MIR its sparkle and life. Again, this is like LS - you don't really watch it for the plot, but for those coyly seductive moments and intense looks of longing that only the really young can carry off - that's the heavy lifting there. The rest is merely working out the various moments/situations where Peak, 16 (as Fuse), Boom, 15 (as Tee), Ohm 15 (as Frame) and Toey, 20 (as Book) these looks can dart those deadly stares into the camera or wrap their nubile limbs fetchingly around each other. For now, Tee has emerged the real star - he's like the new Captain isn't he? Tee represents a new type, very Chinese-looking with the most sculpted of noses and full juicy lips. 

I think fans are watching because MIR fills the void that LS left - it's a pale shadow of LS, but it's a familiar shadow. MIR has to make it on its own merits to matter, and to prevent any more comparisons to LS. 

11 June 2016


Good Clothes, Bad Clothes, Well Worn, Badly Worn are four factors that can result in four possible variants of style. Who are you in this scheme of style?

1. Good Clothes Well Worn:
Attractive, well-fitted clothes worn with confidence and deliberation
eg Hillary Clinton
After a long career of failures of dress, Mrs Clinton are now well-tailored classics of simple design and strong colours. She will never look great, but she looks as good as she can possibly look.

2, Bad Clothes Well Worn:
Ill-fitting, or ugly clothes that nonetheless project the desired image. 
eg Justin Bieber
Often quite strange, borderline-trashy, badly fitting, clothes but warn with great charm and confidence, contributing rather than subtracting from, his effect. 
The President and the Strange Blue Dress/Belt

3. Good Clothes Badly Worn:
Attractive, good quality and fashionable clothes worn without sense or understanding.
eg Michelle Obama
Mysteriously acclaimed dresser, Mrs Obama has a dream wardrobe budget; Unfotunately, she's assembled some good clothes that sit uneasily on her person and her role. Her hair is increasingly desperate and she seems to harbour delusions about her actual size.

4. Bad Clothes Badly Worn:
Ill-fitting, ugly, poor quality clothes worn without care or taste.
eg Madonna. 
There is no shame in this category when you mean to be in it, but Madonna doesn't.