Dec 31, 2013

Happy 2014: Auld Lang Syne

Sex and the City shows us the beauty of friendship in this new year's eve scene, which communicates the essence of the Auld Lang Syne soundtrack in the clip below:


 
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne
?

Auld Lang Syne was orignally a poem by Scottish poet Robert Burns, which formed the basis of the song now often sung during New Year, farewells, funerals, and graduations. According to Wikipedia, the song begins by "posing a rhetorical question as to whether it is right that old times be forgotten, and is generally interpreted as a call to remember long-standing friendships."

Sometimes, no matter how busy you think you might be, it might mean the world to someone - if you just took a moment in your day to let them know - you're not forgotten.

Wherever you are, I truly hope you're having a happy new year.

Dec 9, 2013

Christmas Picks for Glasses Online

Glasses Online, the fastest growing online retailer of glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses in Singapore approached me to put together a wishlist for Christmas - check out my picks for the guys and girls below!

Christmas




Christmas for a gal


Chloé brown leather boots
net-a-porter.com



Lanvin gold ring
ssense.com


Ilia lips makeup
net-a-porter.com


Nov 24, 2013

International New York Times Luxury Conference Shines a Spotlight on Southeast Asia

Some of the biggest names in the fashion and luxury industries descended in Singapore on the 21st and 22nd November for the "S.E.A. Of Luxury" conference, the first international luxury conference to focus on Southeast Asia.

Hosted by internationally renowned fashion editor Suzy Menkes, "S.E.A. Of Luxury" is part of the International New York Times Luxury Conference series, and was held in Capella Singapore.





At the press conference, Suzy Menkes talked about why Southeast Asia was chosen to be the conference's focus, the key themes that would be discussed during the conference, and answered some questions from the media present.



Much of the focus on growth in the luxury market in Asia has been on China, the "holy grail" of the luxury industry, as Suzy puts it.

However, especially with the economic slowdown in China, the luxury industry ought to shift its focus to Southeast Asia. Menkes said the thing that struck her was the "tremendous difference between these various [Southeast Asian] countries", and "the fact that they each have a strong culture of their own". She also lamented the loss of Chinese culture in the Cultural Revolution.

The first key theme discussed was the rising power of the male Asian consumer. Menswear in Asia has developed into a form of self-expression, where a young man is able to proclaim to the world that he has made his mark.

Suzy Menkes asserted her point a few times throughout the press conference, pointing out some journalists in the front row as proof and asking rhetorically "why are asian men so well dressed?"

At the end of the press conference, a few of us were standing around Suzy, some intending to ask her questions personally, some just wanting to soak up her presence.

I didn't have a question in mind.

When Suzy had finished answering someone's question, she looked over at me and said, "Well, there's a well dressed man!"

And guess what I did?

I said nothing.

I stared at Suzy.


 Exactly how I stared at Suzy.

I think she was expecting me to follow her compliment with a question, but I had none.

So I smiled and hid behind my friend next to me.

And.. that's my story of meeting the legendary Suzy Menkes.

Moving on.

The second was the potential of the accessories market. She pointed to Malaysia as an example - where a majority of its residents are Muslims - Suzy noticed that though women were covered up, their clothes were very colourful and joyous, in stark contrast to the Middle East.

The last key topic Menkes talked about was sustainability, which she said is "something that we've built into all of our conferences" and something that she really cares about deeply. There are many issues with sustainability in fashion - the first affecting human and workers rights - the recent Rana Plaza accident in Bangladesh is a notable example (among others).

The second is the irresponsible production of fashion, which has contributed to pollution of rivers, even poisoning our bodies, harming our environment and depleting its resources.



I had a personal encounter not long ago when a friend and I met a young man who'd moved to Singapore from India at a bar. He asked us what we did, and we said we both worked in fashion.

He asked us questions about fashion, and as we got to talking, I brought up the issue of sustainability and ethical fashion - and how tragic its been to see accident after accident happen because of the abhorrent ways fast fashion companies are taking advantage of low working wages in developing countries and their need for work. He seemed to take issue with what I was saying, and told us we as westerners or Singaporeans don't understand how it is there. Living conditions are so bad, and even having a factory job is a step up in quality of life for them.

A garment factory job might still be a step above the average wage (which at 14 cents an hour in Bangladesh, really isn't even much at all), but wages are just one issue. There's also the issue of workers rights - abusive bosses are common - and building and fire safety.

I talked about the numerous accidents that have happened, the fires and collapse in factories, and he seemed to be unaware of them - expressing incredulousness that accidents have happened, much more so fatalities.



Which led me to think - are these workers even aware of their rights? Do they continue to work under such deplorable conditions because they simply aren't aware that this isn't acceptable?

Recent events indicate that they are aware, and have had enough. Garment factory workers in Bangladesh have been rising up, with violent protests in September calling for a minimum wage of $100, and a new wave of protests just this week, after a previous protest left two dead.

So, what are we to do?

I personally think responsibility lies in both the companies and the consumer. Brands are driven by profits of course, and will seek out the best ways to minimise cost and maximise profits. Corporate greed, we see that across industries, globally and all that. However, we as consumers also contribute to the problem when we buy into cheap fashion.

This brings in the fashion lesson of quality, not quantity. Think in terms of cost-per-wear. Yes, those Forever 21 shoes cost $15, but how long would you wear them for?

That's not to say that you can't get something cheap and have it last - I've had pieces from Zara that have been in my closet for a long time, but instead, resisting the call of that $10 top because "well, its only $10!".

Like Susan Scafidi, a professor of fashion law at Fordham says, “You have to bring your conscience with you into a store. It’s worth dragging along because in the longer term it’s better for everybody.”

Check out free live streamed sessions from the conference here.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Nov 14, 2013

Songzio Paints it Red at Fide Fashion Week

The most buzzed about menswear show of day four from Fide Fashion Week this year was South Korean designer Songzio, and he didn't disappoint.



Citing a “Pine Forest” as his inspiration, the collection featured an abstract print of one but instead of a predictable green, a bright, bloody red was used. Songzio’s depiction of his inspiration was evidently translated in an artistic manner; the prints almost resembled a Jackson Pollock drip painting, but with more controlled, streamlined brushstrokes which reflects the designer, known for his well-cut pieces and architectural silhouettes.



Cropped jackets, blazers and long vests showed off the designer’s sharp tailoring skills, while long flowing scarves tied tightly on the neck threw a sense of fragility to the looks.



The gladiator-style sandals and high-top shoes rounded off the complete look by giving a dichotomy between vulnerability and ruggedness.



This review was also published on Marie France Asia. Check out the complete review of day four's menswear shows on Marie France Asia here.

Oct 22, 2013

Five Fashion Cities for Nike

Sneaker freaks, pay attention because this is one collection you'll be freaking out about!



This October, the high-street brand well-known for fusing international trends with Seoul's street style, Headline Seoul, will be Singapore's exclusive retailer of the NIKE Women's Air Revolution Sky Hi City Pack – a limited edition collection of sneakers inspired by the world’s most fashion-forward cities: NYC, London, Tokyo, Milan and Paris.



New York – They say if you can make it in New York City, you can make it anywhere. New yorkers are a tough bunch, and this black-on-black sneaker would fit right in with their all-black uniform. Inspired by the city’s rain-slicked cobblestones, black pony hair overlays are paired with a tonal print and a NYC lace dubre.

 

 

London – Inspired by London’s traditional Saville Row tailoring and 80s punk movement, this sneaker is a modern balance of English refinement and rebellion. There are many subculture references, a traditional British boot with distressed oxblood leather combined with herringbone textile upper, and a simplified embossed Union Jack flag. 




Tokyo – The capital of Japan has long been lauded for holding onto traditional values while navigating a path to the forefront of global influence. Inspired by the traditional Japanese fabric-dying craft known as Kasuri with the sneaker’s indigo-hued weave, the Tokyo edition is represented by blending old world traditions with bold new world styles.





Milan – The culturally vibrant city is known for its bold style, and the bright red colour of this sneaker echoes that. Roman numerals 2013 compliment an embossed Italian flag and a distinctive speckled midsole. The vibrant culture of high fashion and impeccable quality inspired the Classic Florentine craftsmanship behind this edition.



 

Paris – Parisians are known for their effortlessly minimalist-chic style, emulated by girls and boys everywhere. This clean all-white sneaker features a paint-splattered paint effect also adds a gritty, graffiti-styled pop to an otherwise minimalist design. The Air Revolution’s signature strap can be untied to reveal a leather embossed insignia honoring Paris.



Headline Soul will also launch a special edition capsule apparel collection to complement each NIKE Sky Hi City Pack release, comprising of four dresses, two tops, one skirt, and one trousers.

Click HERE to view more photos from the NIKE Sky Hi City Pack collection.

NIKE Women’s Air Revolution Sky Hi City Pack will launch with Headline Seoul’s City apparel collection on 26 October 2013. Each pair is priced at S$299.

Headline Seoul Flagship store: #B2-09/10 Wheelock Place, 501 Orchard Road 

Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10am – 10pm

Oct 14, 2013

Naomi Campbell to Make Southeast Asia Debut at Singapore's Digital Fashion Week

Supermodel Naomi Campbell is slated to walk in Singapore's Digital Fashion Week this year! This will be Campbell's Southeast Asia runway debut and her only stop in Asia for the Spring/Summer 2014 season.

One of the "originals", Naomi Campbell has walked for top designers internationally including Chanel, Azzedine Alaia, and Christian Dior, and has paved the way for models of color, breaking down barriers by being the first British black model to appear on the covers of British Vogue, American Vogue and Time Magazine.

Campbell is still in the forefront of fashion industry, pushing for racial equality on the runways when she's not busy serving as the Executive Producer and judge on the modelling reality series, The Face.



Technology and social media is intertwined seamlessly with this fashion week Digital Fashion Week Singapore is the world's first shoppable live-streaming fashion week, and the public can watch live-streamed shows on YouTube and catch daily interviews on Google+ Hangouts.
 
A total of 32 Singapore labels are scheduled in the lineup including cult favorites like L'ile Aux Ashby, Lion Earl, Mash-Up and industry veteran, Thomas Wee. Topshop will also be showing their latest collection at Digital Fashion Week 2013 for the first time.

Digital Fashion Week 2013 will take place from 1-4 November 2013 at the National Design Centre.

Oct 9, 2013

F1 Driver Nico Rosberg Revealed as New Face of Thomas Sabo

Jewelery brand Thomas Sabo and Mercedes-Benz hosted the Night of the Silver Stars party on 19 September in Singapore, where Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Driver and three-time Grand Prix winner Nico Rosberg was announced as the new face of the Thomas Sabo Rebel at Heart 2014 campaign.



Pictured (from left to right): Thomas Sabo and Nico Rosberg

Set against the glittering backdrop of Singapore's iconic Marina Bay skyline and in the heart of the Central Business District at the intimately elegant LeVeL33, guests were the first worldwide to enjoy an exclusive preview of the Rebel at Heart 2014 collection.




More than 200 special guests including celebrities like Patricia Mok, Max Loong, Andrea De Cruz, Pierre Png, Andrea Fonseka, Tay Ping Hui, Linda Black and 10 Miss Universe representatives, joined Mr Thomas Sabo and Mr Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, in celebrating the new face of the international jewelery brand.




Nico Rosberg commented on how the brand complements his racing characteristics, saying, "For driving race cars you have to be a rebel at heart to do it well. You have to push the limit, attack and take risks. But never go beyond the limit. That's a fine line. And this is what makes a winner in the end."

Evidently, Rosberg fits the bill of being the face of the brand to a T.

Fashion Worth its Weight

We pay for our fruits and veggies in the supermarket by their weight, but have you ever thought you could do the same with designer clothes?



Following the success of the "Fashion-by-Weight" concept in Milan, Kilo Fascion Asia, the first pop-up boutique in Singapore, lets you buy discounted designer items from over thirty designer labels like Balenciaga, Alexander Wang and Lanvin, even including labels previously not available in Singapore like Viktor & Rolf and Karl Largerfeld based on their weight!


Photo Credits: Kilo Fascion Asia

If you're already raring to go, you'll be happy to know that the merchandise will be restocked every month. Plus, score additional price rebates, invites to private events and shopping previews with their “weight-loyalty programme”!

The Kilo Fascion Asia pop-up store is located at Suntec City, 3 Temasek Boulevard, #01-62/64/66, Tel: 6238 1391 and is open Mondays till Sundays 10.00am to 10.00pm from now till January 2014.

Sep 21, 2013

Singapore Fashion Week Brings Prêt-à-Porter and Haute Couture Together

The madness known as Fashion Week, or in its present form, more like Fashion Month, as the NYTimes article "Is New York Fashion Week Near the End of the Runway?" by Eric Wilson says, (beginning Thursday with the overscheduled spring collections in New York and ending with those in Paris on Oct. 3, with no breaks in between for the now thousands of writers, retailers, photographers, videographers, bloggers and hordes of indeterminate somebodies who for various reasons really must be there) is currently underway.

There has been much talk about how Fashion Week has become a circus, and street style has turned into peacocking, with Oscar De La Renta slashing the number of attendes for his show by half, Suzy Menkes writing on the demanding speed of the "fashion carousel" and the "Circus of Fashion", which lead to responses by Leandra Medine from Manrepeller and Susie Lau from Style Bubble. (Phew!)

While it's undeniable that Fashion Week has turned into a circus (which I believe is symptomatic of the proliferation of fast fashion culture) there just might be another Fashion Week worthy enough to jet off to after the last of the Big Four's shows conclude in Paris.



New York has sportswear, the wunderkinds and commercial yet innovative designs, Milan for workmanship, London for bold, unrestrained creativity, and Paris presents the fashion dream, but this year, Singapore's Fashion Week will showcase an amalgamation of over 30 designers from all over the world that brings Men's and Women's Prêt-à-Porter and Haute Couture together.

Asia's best couturiers like China's Guo Pei, Japan's Junko Koshino, Philippines's Michael Cinco and Singapore's Frederick Lee will join French couturiers like Alexis Mabille and Stephane Rolland who showed in Singapore last year.



This year's Fashion Week will see a couple of firsts: A new partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the inauguration of the Asian Couture Federation (ACF), and a suprising collaboration between local online brand Love Bonito with couturier Julien Fournie for a capsule collection. While high fashion brands are known to collaborate with fast fashion chains, this is a first for Haute Couture.



The closing show still remains under wraps at the moment, but the fashion rumour mill has thrown out Oscar de la Renta as a possible contender.




In the spirit of our current democratization of fashion, shows will be open to the public. Tickets are priced at $20 for a single show; a full-day pass at $40 and a season pass at $280.

You can purchase your tickets here!