Bleu de Chanel by Martin Scorsese

Kiwibiwi has exclusively learnt that Bleu de Chanel – the first Chanel fragrance to be released in 4 years – will be available in Hong Kong from Chanel Beaute counters on the 15th August.

The manly fragrance features Frankincense, Ginger, Sandal Wood as base notes; vetiver and citrus as top note. Kiwibiwi has yet to take a sniff of the sample product yet, but it is believed that the fragrance will not be Jacques Polge style extraordinarily groundbreaking.

A Bleu de Chanel film is directed by Martin Scorsese, with a soundtrack by the Rolling Stones. Filmed in New York, French actor Gaspard Ulliel – who played Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising, the prequel to the Silence of the Lamb – plays a man stuck on his first love, Sofi. After a long break, the man bumps into Sofi on the street. He feels unsure if he still loves her, or if he is still living in a fantacised world of their imagined romance. In the end, he overcomes his doubt, and continues on with his life.

I can’t wait to see the film and smell the product!

Jennifer Aniston Lolavie

Jen, how you doin‘? (And yes, Brad Pitt’s an idiot). This Wednesday will see Jennifer launches her first fragrance, Lolavie, which will be exclusively sold at Harrods in London. (Rest of the world can only wait)

Brilliant ad campaign as you can see. But creeping under the facade of these beautiful images lies a phenomenal problem that is facing the perfume industry. The nondescript perfume which thrives solely due to the watts of its endorsement star.

In Jennifer’s own words, Lolavie is “a non-perfume perfume, sexy and clean. Floral, but not too flowery.” Wow, as good as wearing, say, none?! Are you sure you are not talking about Herbal Essences?

So yeah. The bland, souless perfume is currently my biggest problem with the industry. I recently interviewed a guy who owns a vintage perfume shop. He happily sprayed a few old samples on his and my wrists. And those scents were very identifiable and you can almost tell a story of the wearer just from the odour.

The man’s wife told me that, “I love Christian Dior’s Dune. It smells spicy, kicky and fierce”. The word “fierce” is not used in the over-utilised context in 2010. By fierce, the man’s wife meant untamed, wild and Christy Turlington in a cat-woman suit kind of fierce. You can almost imagine a woman in an Oscar de la Renta gown at the Natural History Museum, swigging a neat whisky while cracking witty jokes to senators and presidents.

The husband and wife team spoke of the millennium perfume with such disdain, that “they [the perfumiers] even use orange and cucumber!” This pretty much detailed the laziness of the new generation perfumiers.

Gone were the days when Jean-Paul Guerlain sailed to an exotic island, picked up a bunch of unidentified flowers and transformed them into an elixir. “Mmm, let’s pop down the supermarket and see what’s there”, is the mentality of today’s commercial, fast-result perfume industry.

Would it surprise me if we get Wagyu beef or fried egg  scents in the future? Let’s hope Marc Jacobs stops at fruits and macaroons.

Anyway for now, I am still a No.5 or the original Poison girl.

Mark Fast is Finally Here!

Oh, hello. Hello there. The launch date was May, and then June, and it’s now July. I was in London, and now, no longer. Nonetheless I am equally thrilled to be looking at you. Yes. Mark Fast for Topshop.

When I saw Nicolas Roberts wearing that green frilly skirt by Mark last year, that green skirt that I still have a soft spot for, I knew someday I will have one under my name.

Hence the long drive from London to Bicester Village near Oxford. The British Fashion Council’s pop up store was rumoured to stock Mark Fast. At half price, my precious skirt took the shape of a dress. Nonetheless the sentiment was there. “Size 12 please!”

And the kind man said there was only a size 10, which looked fearfully like a size 6. I pulled the dress up my thigh. Singular – one thigh – and there was no more. And so much for Mark Fast’s putting plus size models on his runway. Anyhow, at £600, I contemplated the prospect of starting my collector’s wardrobe.

Enough about the reminiscence, because here is my chance to get an actual item that I can wear, day in and day out! The long awaited Topshop editions for Mark Fast! Roll the drums, and let’s take a closer look!

Immediately you can see the knitting is less dense than the Mark Fast original. Miles of yarns are used in the original label which probably factored into the high price tag. But it’s safe to say these are apt for summerwear.

Furthermore, these Topshop versions retain a certain enigma of the original spiderweb. The fluidity and the seemingly non strategic placed holes on the SS10 Mark Fast catwalk translated well to the mass-produced products. Albeit a little bit rigid. But the sentiment stays.

So, hello Mark Fast skirt! Let’s travel around the world and come to mama!

Ten Fashion Essentials

I used to impugn her for wearing only catwalk looks. Only recently (shameful) did I find out that she styled those looks.  So whatever she wears off the catwalk, she owns that style. Undeniably one of the greatest stylists of our time, here are her ten fashion essentials. Well said indeed.

THE TEN ESSENTIALS

Anna Dello Russo, editor-at-large, creative consultant, Vogue Nippon

“My life is not basic, it is fashionable!”

1. My collection of jewelry
It’s the only personal touch of my style because I just wear catwalk outfits. Flashy jewels personalize your style.

2. My 4000 pair of shoes
Accessories lift spirits. When you don’t feel like getting dressedit means that you are depressed. You need a fashion shower!

3. My YSL nail polish
La laque, vernis à ongles, longue tenue. Number 1 RED, laque chinois for spring. Number 2 RED, intense blood for winter. Number 9 RED-ORANGE, ‘70 for summer.

4. My head pieces
Because nothing succeeds like excess!

5. My swim-kit of Speedo/Comme des Garçons bathing suit,
Speedo/Comme des Garçons cap and mirrored plastic goggles

I swim everyday. Diving in the water means lot to me – to refresh my thoughts,
wash my paranoia, translate my jump into the void, quash my fears.
I love to jump into new experiences with humbleness and devotion.

6. My mattress for Ashtanga yoga
Yoga is my philosophy of life. What do fashion and yoga have in common?
They both are the language of the unconscious.

7. My country house called Villa Villa Colle
I grow bio-organic food, drink fresh water, and live a sunny upbringing…
Perfect to start my endless summer!

8. My Blackberry for twittering everyday
During the fashion weeks, share your love for the shows on Twitter as much as you can.

9. My favorite book “A Wonderful Life” by Slims Aarons
A visionary heaven to live!

10. My love Cucciolina!

– From Self Service Magazine

Anna Dello Russo’s blog here.

Hairless or Headless?

I am one for the nature. Ideally I will be living by the sea, owning acres of land for my liberal soul and expectant legs to roam around the greenery in halcyon happiness.

Now, the perks with being a journalist is this:  sometimes we get freebies. Who doesn’t want some free press, eh? Christian Dior wants it, Megan Fox wants it, Apple wants it. A few words on paper in exchange for a zipper or a button by Christian Dior, a snotty tissue by Megan Fox, and an iPod cable from Apple. Win win, eh?

Yes, life as a journalist is good. But please, don’t punch your fists in the air and point your fingers in my face just yet.

Although the best scenario is that the givee receives some print currency and the poor hack walks away happy with two free grains of rice plus an article (while still pondering their next meal), there are other scenarios.

Most of the time — no pain, no gain. Sometimes it takes ages to sweet talk the givee so that they will let you write about their, harrumph, gems. Effort needed, but still, not too bad. And today I have encountered a nightmare situation, which is the definitive no pain, no gain.

Ministry of Waxing has opened in Hong Kong. Yes, after Ministry of Magic and Ministry of Sound we now have a Ministry of Waxing. It is a cheeky establishment who thinks that painting this sentence on the ceiling — “Brazilians are an essential rule of etiquette” — will suffice in making the procedure legitimate.

I curse, I curse the porn industry and peadophilic perverts. Who likes their garden sans grass? The British call in sick in order to sow seeds and perfect their lawn. And now you’re telling me going bald is de rigueur? Please, don’t fuck with me.

I am now standing at a crossroad, contemplating the worth of it all. Firstly, on a more shallow ground: shall I dig my head in the sand, ignore the pain, spread my legs and let them do me? Next, what is a good article worth? Finally and most importantly, will doing it and writing about it encourage a distasteful trend?

I try to search for the answer. According to wikipedia:

1. American actress Lisa Barbuscia commented on her first experience at getting a Brazilian: “It was so painful I collapsed. I only fainted, but I was nearly carted off to hospital and I have vowed never to try it again.”

So digging my head into the sand probably doesn’t help ignoring the pain at all. Not convinced?

2. There is also a health risk involved if it is not done properly, as well as a risk of infection.

Still not?

3. Generally, discomfort lasts fewer than five days.

What? Still not?

4.  Sometimes bumps or in-grown hair can result.

These four points pretty much answered the first two ponderous bubbles. No amount of anything in-growing can bribe me into writing a bleeding script, OK?

For the last point, I know you will be tempted to be dancing around with joy for someone intelligent to speak your mind. But really? Distasteful? I also thought about waving the feminist flag and go, “I don’t shave, I don’t shag, I don’t… and FUCK YOU for objectifying women”.

But I mean it could be a personal choice. Just like I don’t shave my pits or trim my bits. And it’s always a welcoming alternative when a company offers an  “almost pain free” bikini wax. But when someone tries so hard to push their personal, commercial agenda into my belief system and start devaluing my personal lifestyle choice. I’ll say, shove your “Brazilians are an essential rule of etiquette” up your cleanly shaven ass.

The MBT Conundrum

Hello all, not sure if I’m missed at all… It’s been too long and I’m guessing you know I’ve been busy with work. Fashion used to mean the world to me and now with responsibility to write about Travel, Food and what not, this little indulgent space has been eaten up just slightly. OK, don’t tut. I vow not to neglect Kiwibiwi anymore.

So, I am in the Far East, writing for a cool little magazine known as Time Out (yes yes, chill on the applause). Unfortunately the Kiwibiwi name is yet to suffice for a creation of a little column on the magazine yet, but when that happens, you have my word, I’ll let the world know.

Anyway, I’ll cut out the Bryanboy style self-promotion crap and cut straight into fashion instead. MBT. MBT. Have you not heard of it? Well they are pretty big here on our tiny island. If I call them the sandal companion of the Ugg, maybe you’ll get the gist of it?

Well first, UGG had no medicinal purpose. At best it is only a pair of snug, warm, comfortable and friendly thingy migjig to wear below sub-zero. I personally detest cold, sweaty feet. And so naturally I’ll opt for a pair of Ugly. Yes, fashion is for life, but not for taking my life you know. Cold feet kills.

Here, you have got this gorgeous pair of hydrocarbon by-product which looks like a pair of synthetic soles for the amputated. It is an anti-christ of ugly. It’s fugly.

I try to keep an open mind. I mean, I love Chanel’s clogs. But wait, it doesn’t mean I also love Louis Vuitton’s minging version. So: just that I can lower my standard to love Ugg, doesn’t mean I have to love Fug.

So when you are faced with this Fug every other minute on the street where temperature hits 35 (celcius, not the stupid system the Americans use), how can my blood not boil?

I don’t understand how a pair of shoes which makes you look injured can go centre stage. I don’t understand how an elegant top from Maison Margiela can be teinted with such fugliness. I set out to find a culprit. Who’s this fashion dementor who’s made my street so uninhabitable? Well, unfortunately, the fashion crime mastermind turns out to be a person that I actually like.

Voila, the fashionista who thinks out of the box (for a start, “thinking” isn’t a behaviour known for homo sapiens in Hong Kong. So for her to “think” out of the box is something pretty Bill-Gates-Foundation-extraordinary. PS, Susie Bubble is an exception to this rule for she’s not really a Hong Konger anymore. Don’t protest darling I know your permanant address ends with a postcode).

Her name is Tsui Ho-ying, more narrowly known as Hilary Tsui, owner of the fashion store ‘Liger’.

She schoepentoetered MBT onto the fashion forefront in Hong Kong. And for what reason I don’t know. But she deserves a gold star for fashion thinking. Although you can safely say her style (questo season anyway), is defined by four things and four things only: 1. shoulder pads 2. harem trousers 3. leather leg warmers (in the summer!?) 4. celine (bags, clogs you name it), you must seriously give her a round of applause for 1. creating a fashion brand totally detached from the norm norm in the mass production haven 2. being an independent working mum (unfazed by the pocket money and a tai-tai lifestyle she might get from husband Eason Chan, a creme de la creme pop star in the asia pacific) 3. for propelling such ugliness onto a regional stage (god forBID this MBT business for going global, but if it did, I’ll still be happy for Hilary and I seriously need to rethink my tone of writing)

Hilary’s blog: http://www.ligerstore.com/blog/?p=HILARY&s=1

Liger Store, 1/F, No. 11 Pak Sha Road, Causeway Bay. (Occupational Hazard. If you read Time Out, you know what I’m talking about)