Chaotic Fashion

Fashion inevitably recycles. The 70s recycles the 30s, the 90s recycled the 60s. What is so special about the millennium then? We have recycled the 30s,40s, 50s all the way up to the 90s. But we don’t have a set look to accommodate all these. We fry them all up and wear a neon nike jacket over a highly tailored suit trousers. A 60s bathing suit under an 80s’ padded coat. We wear a hippie tie dye dress with a rock, silver studded belt. If you are trying to define a style for us now. Unfortunately it is “undefined”.

Chaos go into our look. But what makes a good mix? There is no fix formula for it. You’d just have to experiment. A good look is messy but yet clean. You look at an outfit and you can still clearly distinguish the pieces. The edge, the colour.

This is an era where outfits scream for attention. Where people dress their personalities and not so much so for the purpose of the clothes anymore. It won’t be long before Dr. Martins are worn with evening gowns. And so far Lily Allen has perfected the dressy look with colourful trainers. Although Lily Allen has attracted many malicious comments about her lack of “style”, most of the time it takes people time to realise this is not a question of “lack of”, but “creation”.

Lady GaGa got on the front page for her high waisted tight PVC A-line skirt in nude coupled with a black leather bra. Having seen so many maillot under coats in reputable collections in this season’s London Fashion Week, you start to wonder when would Lady GaGa look officially arrive on the runway. After all, these mixes share the same sentiment. A chaotic and ruthless mix. It is only a matter of time before the general public starts to understand and accept the forward thinking ideas.
Bikini was a design that has shocked the world. Now you cannot imagine wearing a full body speedo on a beach in Spain. Would you like to ask yourself why?

London Fashion Week – Day 4

17:30 Reem Alasadi, On|Off Exhibition, Science Museum

What Reem – the line which takes the same name as the designer – desrcribes of this era’s fashion trend is probably true for her collection as well. “Fucking chaotic”. But of course in a nice way. A sophisticated level and pleasant mixed style, romatism and quirkiness; a reinvented victorian cropped jacket with a pair of what I can only imagine Iraqi sandals.

The level of details; the intricasy of the craftsmanship; the fabric the collection uses rival the genuine couture houses. Although not all pieces received top notch level of tailoring, the silouette and the creativity is undoubtedly plausible. A self-taught designer and a very articulate business woman, we had a small interview with her and had permission to try on a few pieces!

Kawai: Fashion inevitably recycles idea, what is so special about the era we are in now that we haven’t seen before?

Reem: Fucked up chaos. I mean look at this! (Points to her rapey looking white top)

Kawai: Do you believe in trends?

Reem: I don’t follow trends. But no matter how trendy you are everybody inevitably gets influenced by bits of it.

Here are some of her pieces:

An elephant...scarf? Neck decorating piece? Jacket?

An elephant...scarf? Neck decorating piece? Jacket?

Kawai gets to try on an insane feathery cape. Mixed fabric of expensive feather, murano lace, tulle and with a felt lining. This pretty much spells the "fucking chaotic" philosophy for Reem.

Kawai gets to try on an insane feathery cape. Mixed fabric of expensive feather, murano lace, tulle and with a felt lining. This pretty much spells the "fucking chaotic" philosophy for Reem.

This is how the front of the cape looks like on catwalk. Reem AW08

This is how the front of the cape looks like on catwalk. Reem AW08

19:45 William Tempest, Fashion Scout Merit Award Winner.

A new talent’s show being attended by some of the most influential journalists in British Fashion: Colin McDowell and Hilary Alexander. You know this is going to be a heavy show. And this did not disappoint.

The show opened with a few futuristic shoulders that give the impression of a space invader suit.

Space invader shoulder

Space invader shoulder

Recurrent themes include origami hems, beautifully folded and tailored. Neat and tidy 3D shapes. And then again origami lengthy and reinforced pockets folded on the side of a knee length A-line skirt with a corset lined tube top.

Beautifully executed origami hem adds edginess to youthful feminity.

Beautifully executed origami hem adds edginess to youthful feminity.

The collection includes a lot of printed fabrics, purple and acidic pink, on what I imagine to be gabardine. Lovely jacket, almost the only short and officious fitted jacket in the show. William worked perfectly around this fabric and attained a symmetric V shape on a bit of tie-dye.

The V-Shaped tie-dye jacket on gabardine.

The V-Shaped tie-dye jacket on gabardine.

Gone backstage and chat to the Grandad of William Tempest (oops!) more photos later. Check out William’s full collection here.

Back to the Past

A geek will never fathom the courage to part with their Casio Calculator watch. Not after they have seen this (Don’t tell Hot Chip!):

A watch just slightly better than a bite mark on your wrist. What's the time now? It's time to partay!

A watch just slightly better than a bite mark on your wrist. What's the time now? It's time to partay!

Or maybe slip a mixed tape into their crush's locker...

Or maybe slip a mixed tape into their crush's locker...

Still no response from them? Mix again.

Still no response from them? Mix again.

Well, at the end of the day, they are geeks afterall. They never take NOs badly, because they can retreat to the world of Nintendo.

Well, at the end of the day, they are geeks afterall. They never take NOs badly, because they can retreat to the world of Nintendo.

These crazy little wallets are made by a Californian girl who has an AA in Fashion Design. Lindsey, who is known as the BraveMoonman on her Etsy shop sells purses in styles ranging from Floppy Disks to Keyboards.

LONDON FASHION WEEK – DAY 3

Sunday morning 8:30am I’m already in the Press Centre at the BFC tent in Natural History Museum.

SD card is still in Work Laptop! But the nice people at Canon lent me (or basically just gave me) a card…

9:15 Betty Jackson: First solo show in 1981; won British Fashion Designer of the Year in 1985. Once a visiting professor at the RCA; current trustee of V&A and an MBE and CBE. Has she shown design fatigue?

The show kicked of with bouncy Ambience music and a short homespun woollen wrap tied as a huge bow in front. It looked so sloppy that I suspected if an accident happened to the piece shortly before the show and Betty had to hide the flaw with this hideous…scarf/cape/wrap/thing.

More work could have been done to the cape to make it look tidier.

More work could have been done to the cape to make it look tidier.

The show was pleasant. Afterall 28 years of experience the show won’t go wrong massively. Some old ideas has resurfaced here, 70s look, large and loose trousers. Cropped cashmere/merino wool short sleeved jumper that won’t make a woman with even a small belly happy.

There are some interesting pieces however. Velvety full length dress with squared and heavily padded shoulder was quite surprising. The buldging folding on the side was clean and tidy.

An overall dress that captured a little bit of femininity with the 90s over-the-top shoulder and careful folding on the sides. Not a dress for the faint hearted though.

An overall dress that captured a little bit of femininity with the 90s over-the-top shoulder and careful folding on the sides. Not a dress for the faint hearted though.

It is a Betty Jackson show, so you won’t miss her printed fabric classics. Recurrent theme being high-waisted but loose and cropped trousers tied with a bow mixed with a mini merino cardigan as discussed above.

Accessories:

1) Looped and looped long earrings that touch the collar bone.

2) Beautifully crafted thin strapped backpacks of different shapes and sizes.

All in all, the show was good but lacked the spice that makes you feel fully satisfied.

The aforementioned cropped merino cardigan with typical Betty Jackson art print fabric seen here as loosely fitted trousers.

The aforementioned cropped merino cardigan with typical Betty Jackson art print fabric seen here as loosely fitted trousers.

Little crafted bags with smaller pockets lightly attached to the bigger one on the back is a recurrent item in the show.

Little crafted bags with smaller pockets lightly attached to the bigger one on the back is a recurrent item in the show.

10:30 Falguni and Shane Peacock.Mumbai fashion duo almost annoymous in the European circuit. After their first show in London last year in September, Harrods started to stock their dresses. Emerging Dolce and Gabbana!

Utterly jaw dropped at the sheer quality and detailed embellishments on all of their dresses. Insanely chaotic decorative embroidery but cooperated extremely well. In fact if weren’t for the top craftsmanship and the sharp desinger instinct at the add-ons the dresses would have looked boring and tedious.

The cutting and design of the dresses themselves didn’t let the embroidery take all the limelight. Exotic huge bare backs comes in slitted diamond shape or kite shapes. Golden zips gives dresses a strong and hardened edge.

So many different fluidy type of fabric have been used I have difficulty listing them all. All in all, perfect match of fabric, lovely and orderly blend.

Getting used to the cutting edge and creative ideas on bold colour and bold tailoring, this show featured typically sexy dresses in lovely details.

Getting used to the cutting edge and creative ideas on bold colour and bold tailoring on the LFW main circuits, this show featured typically sexy dresses in lovely details. Bulky side pockets that don't compromise the body hugging shape of the dress.

A surprise to see rather busty models in a show, the dresses heavily celebrate the curvaesous and the sexy shapes of women. Perfect evening gowns to grab attention.

Lovely painted fabric triangular shaped jacket with egg-shaped sleeves and hem.

Lovely painted fabric triangular shaped jacket with egg-shaped sleeves and hem.

A shockingly sexy gown with an ample train. Fabric used round the breasts and the back are nude. Gives you the impression that the model is wrapped round the chest by an X shaped cut and baring the breasts.

A shockingly sexy gown with an ample train. Fabric used round the breasts and the back are nude. Gives you the impression that the model is wrapped round the chest by an X shaped cut and baring the breasts.

General:

Had difficulty sneaking into the Betty Jackson show. If I didn’t stop at the door and looked at the PR I probably would have gone through much earlier than I finally did. Got asked for ticket and obviously I didn’t have any and the PR shocked me by saying “Stand By is upstairs”…

When seated I saw her!

Margy Kinmoth and daughter at the Betty Jackson show!

Margy Kinmoth and daughter at the Betty Jackson show!

Margy produced The Secret World of Haute Couture for BBC3. I watched it twice on the BBC iPlayer and I admired what Margy has done here. Tracked down the billionairess who are secretive about their identity. And then moved on to interview prestigious designers such as Karl Lagerfeld – who almost never gives interview and John Galliano.

Well done Margy!

To be honest I have no idea there are shows in the Science Museum. I saw these promoters in white laboratory coats carrying huge white umbrellas that says “ON|OFF” – a name I recognised to do with young fashion but had no idea what exactly it is. Anyway, walked past a PR who doesn’t really know who I am or what I do. Got into the boiling museum and a gentleman urged me to “Go that way. THE SHOW IS THAT WAY!” After a minute with the bouncer, who gave me a hard time, asked me for tickets and “by invitation only” blah blah. I got into a half empty show, thinking it’d be shit. It’s in fact, by far, the best show I have ever seen! Dolce and Gabanna in the making?

LONDON FASHION WEEK – Day 2

12.30 John Rocha – CBE for his contribution to fashion; British Fashion Designer of the Year 2004.

Good Show. Playful but kept his feet firmly on the ground for femininity and seriousness. The ready to wear collection has been injected with doses of quirky styling. A bit victorian, a bit 60s, a bit futuristic.

Brilliant cushiony accessories dominated the show. Pumped and stuffed pillow alice bands. Fur alice bands. Double pillows formed a V-shaped around the neckline. An excellent combination of quirkiness and elegance. Sounds horrific but completely wearable.

Puffy exaggerated alice band.

Puffy exaggerated alice band.


V shaped neckline with two puff collars on the side fitted to an otherwise tube top peplum dress.

V shaped neckline with two puff collars on the side fitted to an otherwise tube topped peplum dress.

Another ongoing theme is sewed on wavy embellishment on flexible see-through material on a peplum. The reinforced rim on the peplum gives a nice contrast to the frivolous and fluid tulle/chiffon used on the skirt.

An attempt to capture the sewed embellishment on the tulle/chiffon bit of the peplum. Look closely and you'll see pleated rope making a wavy mark.

An attempt to capture the sewed embellishment on the tulle/chiffon bit of the peplum. Look closely and you'll see pleated rope making a wavy mark.

Ingenious tweed swimsuit like maillot, perfect fine ruffles on the entire front. Loosely fitted morning gown like coat/wrap. Impressive.

Beautiful and extremely complicated and detailed tailoring is this bathing suit maillot accompanied by a loosely fitted coat.

Beautiful and extremely complicated and detailed tailoring is this bathing suit maillot accompanied by a loosely fitted coat.

Accessories:

1. Princessy victorian collar with chiffon pleating held together by an elasticated ribbon as removable collar.

2. Pea shaped oversized black leather clutch box complete with round the side bold silver zip.

Mens collection is definitely manly and barbaric. Started off with a buff, big and warm; oversized, shapeless and ruthless fur coat that reminded me of a bear. Then a furry Germany SS coat with a thin belt above the waist. Impressive tweed suit that has mocked tailor mark as details.

A bit blurred. But it is the SS coat I was talking about.

A bit blurred. But it is the SS coat I was talking about.


A genuine Nazi black winter overcoat. See the similarity!

A genuine Nazi black winter overcoat. See the similarity!

1445 – Basso and Brooke, Press Office “Blow” at Goodge Street

1530 – Basso and Brooke, Bloomsbury Square, Bloomsbury Ballroom.

Failed to get in, more later.

General: Got interviewed by the Daily Mail, photographed by Elle UK and the stylescout (again!).

LONDON FASHION WEEK – Day 1

20th Feb, 2009: Friday

13.05 Noir/Bllack Noir.

First show – Danish designer. A must see. For my love of Scandinavian fashion.

The show opened with BFC chair giving a little speech about “ethical clothing” – basically making materials for sustainable farming and good for the landfill etc – should you decide to bin your clothes. That is daunting isn’t it. So 30 years down the line (should you be so incline to be sentimental to your clothes) your clothes have disappeared into a pile of excrement on your wardrobe floor.

Anyhow. Danish show, of collection Bllack Noir, opened with 20 Avril Lavigne looking girls strutting down in outfits purchaseable at NewLook. Perhaps the teen department of NewLook. Tedious tailoring. Completely unimaginative. On the bright side this collection used no Size Zero models.

Professional photos make these girls look more mature than reality. Seeing a show with your eyes is different from reading it on paper. A) You see the texture B) There's no beautification with light C) If it bores you it bores you.

Professional photos make these girls look more mature than reality. Seeing a show with your eyes is different from reading it on paper. A) You see the texture B) There's no beautification with light C) If it bores you it bores you.


Photo courtesy: The Guardian website.

Photo courtesy: The Guardian website.

The light dimmed and lit. Noir now. Unimaginative, unimaginative, unimaginative. Terrible mix of fabric on outfits that look just plain awkward. Velvet cropped jacket/cape thing with a cotton t-shirt and some tight leather pants? Other models looked raped – bare backs with bit of ripped and untidily pleated silk draped around with a rope in the middle. Poor tailoring. The only up side is the leather Afghan scarf. Other than that I’m unimpressed.

Noir's Afghan scarf in leather. Not so much creativity in terms of design. Good concept in terms of modern trend vs a classic material though.

Noir's Afghan scarf in leather. Not so much creativity in terms of design. Good concept in terms of modern trend vs a classic material though.

14.30 Eun Jeong

Second show – Designer Eun Jeong Hong from Korea. Just won a fashion award “Fashion Fringe” and presented a trophy by Donatella Versace. Prize money of £100,000 for her first solo show here and now.

According to Eun Jeong, the minute she won the Fashion Fringe sponsors were flocking to her. L'Oreal has set out some goodie bags for the front rows. Music was rather relaxing as opposed to adrenaline pumping. A refreshing start.

According to Eun Jeong, the minute she won the Fashion Fringe sponsors were flocking to her. L'Oreal has set out some goodie bags for the front rows. Music was rather relaxing as opposed to adrenaline pumping. A refreshing start.

Superb. Started with music that didn’t pounce my heart out and you already know it’s going to be a different show. Pieces are supremely creative; tailoring is flawless, exact and exquisite. Eun Jeong has certainly shown great ability at casual sporty and romantic. Evening wear contains surreal haute couture elements.  Eun Jeong has successfully spiced up her ready-to-wear collection. Authentic!

Finale, tried my best to capture as many pieces as possible with my applausing hands and as unprofessional as possible camera.

Finale, tried my best to capture as many pieces as possible with my applausing hands and as unprofessional as possible camera.

Harem pants – lots of. One piece Harems that have their top half mimicking a sailor’s overall. Harem pant shaped trousers that wrap around the bum in silk with loosely fitted legs with bulging pleated see-through. Eun Jeong has even made boyfriend unfriendly Harems exciting!

Excellent coats. Perfect execution of mutating a pea coat into a massively hooded masterpiece. The hood is so intensely big it can also serve as a shoulder cape. Dark flower carnations with sequins sewed into the inner hood. Pea coat has a low cut breadth and big round buttons to spice up the fluorescent pink knee length coat. Intensely mind blowing.

Shocking acidic pink coat with 3D floral studded inner hood.

Shocking acidic pink coat with 3D floral studded inner hood.

Evening – a bubbling and bulky white tube topped full length dress that pounce along the catwalk like a winner.

Training gown. Severly bubblish but haven't lost the frivolous fluidity. Excellent fabric manipulation. Applause.

Training gown. Severly bubblish but haven't lost the frivolous fluidity. Excellent fabric manipulation. Applause.

Eun Jeong is the one to watch.

General Note: I felt coronated when the press pass jumped on my neck. The pass protects and guides me through inaccessible areas. I had no ticket for any of the catwalks. So I had to rev up my confidence – I belong here! I was still better off than most – there was a “Press” queue for the catwalks!

In between shows Champagne are flowing. Oh the much needed alcohol. You do need a bit of high to chat to these fashionistas who may look a bit daunting. Erin O’Connor! Tall, elegant, super nice. Outrageously brilliant outfit spotted here:

Crazy style here. Totally original and self-expressive.

Crazy style here. Totally original and self-expressive.

Fag outside the tent – got photographed twice! Once for a “trend prediction website” and London Lite!

Sneaked backstage for Eun Jeong’s show. Reassured the PR I wasn’t going to cause trouble, will take a few pictures then leave. First time back stage! The pieces were packed away at an incredible pace – 10 minutes after the show all pieces were already hanging in black bags on the rack!

Next door was CSM’s backstage. Sneaked in and the pieces looked incredibly 3D and amazing. Tried to get a ticket from the CSM students puffing away outside and got directed me to a tutor (who stands next to a Punk from the 70s who wore a whole pack of eye shadow) and to no avail. Tried to get in for the CSM show again but security is so tight – no fucking way.

As close as I can get to any Central Saint Martins pieces. CSM backstage.

As close as I can get to any Central Saint Martins pieces. CSM backstage.

Wrapped sleeved jacket is still the jacket to have. Note. Note. Note.

–>Already looking forward to the shows tomorrow.

John Rocha at 12nn. Looking forward for more elegant classics ala Chanel and some neo-Calvin Klein with more shapes.

Nathan Jenden, 1500 at W1. New Galliano?

Basso and Brooke, 1600 near Tottenham Court Road. Won 2004 Fashion Fringe and showing independently since 2005. Creative juice has yet to run out, last AW’s show was as shocking as ever.

London Fashion Week

Some think fashion is superficial and shallow. Some should perhaps call themselves by the name they have called fashion.

I struggle to find words to describe a “coat” I saw on the catwalk today. What is the name for this coat? What are the names for the parts of the coat? How do I describe the colour? There is so much technicality to the wording. So much that Oxford should publish a dictionary for Fashion. And they should. Or maybe let Royal College of Art or Central Saint Martins do it.

Clearly writing for fashion is the most “superficial” of all and my word bank has already failed me. When it comes to the actual tailoring and working on the fabric? How do you make 3D shapes out of a 2D bit of cloth?

Some people might regard a bit of paper as an instrument to jot down a phone number. Some has painted Mona Lisa out of it. Some wear clothes to cover up. Some has filled an entire gallery in V&A with “Clothes”. C with a capital.

Chinese Art

Are you ready for some quality pop art that I doubt the West has seen in the past 10 years?

Yue Minjun's Untitled. Featured in the Saatchi Gallery's New Art of China Exhibition.

Yue Minjun's Untitled. Featured in the Saatchi Gallery's New Art of China Exhibition.

 

Zeng Fanzhi's Tiananmen. One of my favourite out of the entire exhibition. Some say a picture conveys a thosand words. The shadow and the past of Mao Zedong still lingers over the present China. You may interpret it differently, but this is quality artwork combined with a great ideology. Whether you conquer with the idea or not, the aesthetic is still very pleasing.

Zeng Fanzhi's Tiananmen. One of my favourite out of the entire exhibition. Some say a picture conveys a thosand words. The shadow and the past of Mao Zedong still lingers over the present China. You may interpret it differently, but this is quality artwork combined with a great ideology. Whether you conquer with the idea or not, the aesthetic is still very pleasing.

A Chinese art book compiled by a germany company. The online version of the book can be found on http://www.chinaartbook.de/englisch.html. The content and quality of the artwork is striking.

A Chinese art book compiled by a germany company. The online version of the book can be found on here. The content and quality of the artwork is striking.

People of Hong Kong. If you are still debating if it’s safe to eat chicken. The world has already moved on.

What is your Valentine’s price tag?

If you are cynical like me, you’d agree that Valentine’s Day is only another excuse that businessmen use to pull digits off your plastic. I have once sworn that I will never celebrate St. Cupid’s Day, just so some briefcase carrying money-thirst can count banknotes while I ponder what I have gotten out of this “special day”.

When it comes to the actual day, however, my disappointment was not concealable when my beloved had completely forgotten about it. (How? HOW?) Over dinner he apologised for the lack of Valentine’s card. “No card is better than an 8p card from Asda”, I replied.

During the credit crunch, shops come up with outrageous products to attract those whose wallets are choked and wilted but still feel compelled to treat their other halves. But if you cannot laugh off the “Valentine’s Half Price Basket” or “Value Valentine’s Meal”. Would it perhaps lead to a moment self-worth questioning?

Tesco says “Treat Someone Special”. Maybe it should really say “it’s the thought that counts”. Why bother with a £25 bottle of Tattinger when you can spend a fiver and get a bottle of carbonated Rosè and a box of heart shaped chocolates? At the end of the day, does this bother you?

Every little helps. I hope her sense of humour will help you get through the rest of the evening.

Every little helps. I hope her sense of humour will help you get through the rest of the evening

Of course I know how much you spend on Valentine’s Day is not indicative of the amount of love being there. It is only a bit harsh that during this commercial celebration, couples cannot joyfully stroll down the road without getting cornered by a businessman who forces them to price each other.

While the poorer portion of the economy struggles to find a reasonable price tag to justify their love, the rich struggle to find meaning to the price tag. Coleen Rooney was showing off her £250,000 rock on a night out. In the world where a Bentley has the worth of a cucumber, only a fish that can blow heart-shaped smoke can ignite those hearts in her eyes.

Remember those Valentine’s when your secret admirer slip a grotty I Fancy You note into your geography textbook? Remember the thrill when you read it? Good times.

Shareholders vs Social Conscience?

Today ethics seem to have won a much deserved battle against the lure of money. Andrew Witty, the new CEO of GlaxoSmithKline – the second biggest pharmaceutical in the world – has announced three major revolutionary moves that are expected to make the CEOs of rival companies wet their pants.

1. Slash drug prices to 25% or lower compared to the UK/US price for the poorest 50 countries in the world. Also make drugs more affordable for developing countries such as Brazil and India.

2. Reinvest 20% of local profits into hospitals and clinics in the 50 most underdeveloped countries.

3. Allow access to intellectual properties crucial for developing cures for neglected diseases.

Andrew Witty

While some people worry the moves will be frowned upon by GSK's shareholders. I doubt it has jeopradised GSK's stock market position in anyway, if not improved it.

People in underdeveloped countries are unlikely to be able to afford the UK/US prices in the foreseeable future. They either die or rely on limited drug distribution by charities. By making the drugs affordable, almost every poor person can have direct access to the much needed drug. This will dramatically increase the sales units in such areas. If GSK can manufacture the drugs locally, not only would this further aid local developments but can keep manufacture and distribution costs low as well.

In business, growth accounts for everything. With businesses achieving saturation in the USA and in Europe, third world countries are an ostensible target. Of course a company would want a slice of India and Brazil – they are the two of the biggest and fastest growing economies in the world.

Pharmaceutical companies are so keen on HIV research because this is a disease that affects 33 million people on earth. Think how many tablets they can sell and the potential profit? The sad truth is, rare diseases do not attract massive investment in research. The number of people suffering these diseases is not high enough to justify the research cost. It is not that uncommon diseases have no cure. No company can be fussed to pour money into research that guarantees only a meagre return. Even if they have succeeded in finding such cures, the prices of the drugs would have to be unreasonably high to offset the research costs.

By opening up the patent to these diseases, hope might befall those who are suffering the diseases that “interest” independent researchers but not the money-headed big pharmaceuticals.

Having said all this, Andrew Witty’s decisions are without a doubt unprecedented and plausible. We shall wait and see how it works out.

Send flowers, not rockets

A day’s count down to Valentine’s day. Israel has opened its border with Gaza to allow 25,000  carnations to be exported to Europe.

If only more flowers cross the border than rockets. The world will be a better place.

Creativity is simplicity

Of course this is not an exclusive statement. A lot of factors contribute to creativity as well.

These simple manipulations are truly delightful. Allow me to present these to my readers as a Valentine’s gift.

I Lego NY – Christoph Niemann, Illustrator for the New Yorker amongst many reputable magazines

New York Taxi "Cab"

New York Taxi "Cab"

Sushi

Sushi

What is worse?

What is worse?

Bankers

They dont have to jump off a building. But perhaps their social status will inevitably fall a bit.

They don't have to jump off a building. But perhaps their social status will.

Being a banker will never be the same. Banks used to dictate terms to governments for all the economic prosperity the banking system has provided the world. The table has turned, now that with bankers yearning for help with choking breaths…

With humungous amount of public money poured into private businesses and banks nationalised within a short period of time, taxpayers are going to glue their eyes to these companies’ doors to see how their tax money is being utilised. £1bn of bonuses to ruthless and greedy bankers after a year of unprecedented failure will not make happy for the taxpayers. For if the government didn’t lend a helping hand in the first place, the bankers couldn’t even dream of getting a paycheck for the end of the month. Let alone their ridiculous bonuses.

For every misbehaviour comes consequences. For years of minimal regulated trading has led to the pitiful situation we are in today, one cannot expect reward. How can a child throw food on the wall without getting any punishment?

It is a good thing that the general public now shows more concern for how the banks work. Whether the inner working of a bank should become more transparent is debatable, surely under heavy scruntiny anyone thinking of endorsing dodgy behaviour will now think twice .

I don’t doubt that bankers work long inhumane hours to push a deal through. And it is this that makes them deserved of plush presents wrapped in golden bows. Every occupation involves hard work. What about the scientists and the engineers? These are the people who actually contribute to the growth of the company! Lawyers and doctors? Don’t tell me they don’t work hard enough.

What justify bankers’ salary being utterly out of bound when compared to other professions? It is this regretful amount of money that has made seeds of greed blossom and resulted in the financial turmoil today.

For a bank to operate normally, I am sure making astronomical profits isn’t one of the necessary criteria. Profits – sure, this is what keeps captialism growing. And it is only human to expect growth. But Obama’s action is plausible, a cap has to be put on how much a bonuses a government owned business is allowed to earn. More regulations should impose on banks. Flamboyant and complicated derivatives have to make sensible for curbing any dodgy behaviour.

More rules are needed on the bankers who have been operating ruthlessly for the past 10 years. Perhaps the traditional view of a banker being plush, arrogant and glamourous will not the same any longer.

Are we ready to raise the Thames’ Barrier?

Jonathan Ross gave Kate Winslet a little tease for her emotional speech upon winning a Golden Globe a couple of weeks ago. While winning Oscar/Bafta/Grammy must be a worldly recognition and the ultimate achievement for a person, seldom do you see the winners flood the stage with tears. So why is it an unavoidable etiquette for singers/actors in Hong Kong to cry on stage?

The question is not whether if it is OK to be emotional. The question is the genuineness of the tears. Winning an award for the first time is surely a big enough a moment for anyone to feel overwhelmed. For those who repeatedly cry on stage, and repeatedly force tears from their tearducts. Let it be known that us audience aren’t idiots. It is extremely tedious to watch. This false and pretentious behaviour almost seizes the top prize of Cliche from the generic Korean drama which the leading actress die of an uncurable disease, yet again.

There must be better ways to get on a newspaper. Wear something flamboyant and authentic. Say something meaningful and encouraging.

Lack of creativity spells ZZZZZ.

Although this photo is used out of context - for which this was photographed while Gillian was giving a press conference for her Sex Scandal. This is equally demeaning to women. Why is it that women should cry everytime something bad happen to them?

When Gillian showed up in her press conference regarding her sex scandal, she blamed the episode on her naivety. The principle idea behind the crying is the same - get on to the newspaper and fish for some undeserved sympathy. Us accepting your "innocent image" doesn't make us idiots. Isn't it more respectable if you own up to your own actions? You can't be too naive in the first place if you were doing that in the first place.

Education

I stood in front of this painting in the Pompidou Centre in Paris for a full 10 minutes before I was dragged away from the canvas.

Education

This reminded me of all the painful exams I undertook when I was a teenager. Recitation after recitation. It was more important to memorise the sequence of a biological pathway than to understand each step.

I, myself have been the victim of Hong Kong’s old education system. Seeing the letter “A” next to “Chinese Language” on my HKCEE certificate, I felt as if I have scored a victory goal in the World Cup Final. Instead of screaming my head off with joy, I nearly soaked the bit of paper with tears. Afterall, it is difficult to remain sane after a full month of cramming paragraphs after paragraphs. “Answers to questions” on those  exam guides were the most merciless. If I had any imagination it would have been ironed out of my head straight away. Of course, the “answers” escaped via my ears from my folds lacking brain the minute I exited the examination hall.

If you have exam phobia, my consolation goes out to you for you are doomed in a stressful setting such as this. The old education system defines a student by the amount of As they achieve. Kisses fly your way from your parents and teachers if you have done well in your exams.

If you have exam phobia, my consolation goes out to you for you are doomed in a stressful setting such as this. The old education system defines a student by the amount of As they achieve. Kisses fly your way from your parents and teachers if you have done well in your exams.

I went back to this painting. I stood in front of it lamenting the time I wasted on useless education. There are many ways to interpret a painting. I saw it as “a vicious cycle”. Messing with a child’s brain they’ll end up messing the next generation.

Now that my education is relocated to England, a massive impact of my past is imposing on my present. Say, in a group project, my instantaneous creative response is never as sharp and intuitive as my colleagues. The old education system in Hong Kong “prepared me too much” and I’m terrified to “make mistakes”.

In real life, there is often not a black and white answer to problems. One arrives at a logical deduction via trial and error. In life, you only get wiser by making mistakes. It seems too lucky to me if someone never has to learn by mistakes.

Every mistake you make on paper a glittery point is taken away from you. Success or failure almost ties itself with how many points you get. This is where the old education system in Hong Kong deviated from reality.

The new 3-3-4 school system is ready to replace the old one. Whether or not the teachers – who were all victims of the old system are ready to agree with the ideology behind the new system is questionable. With less emphasis on exams and tests, teachers from my old secondary school are sceptical. I inquired if more coursework is going to be a happier ending for the new generation. They, teachers and parents, simply wonder if this is going to be a lazier ending for the new generation.

Understanding the significance of this change traverse the longstanding cultural beliefs within the Chinese communities. We have been ladened with exams since the Emperor’s Annual Exams to select government officials 1000 years ago. To make people appreciate a more diversed and balanced education that is brought about by dynamic teaching certainly requires more than mere PR skills from the government officials.

Teachers and parents play huge parts in a child’s education. Redefining a school system is only a small part to transforming “Education”. Not only students, but our older generations need to understand this change too. I am hopeful this time. I think they have finally got it right. Time will allow everybody to realise that in real life, spoon-feeding doesn’t do anyone any good.