Patricia Field

 

I had the pleasure of meeting with the styling queen of HBO a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I wasn’t articulate enough, or maybe she has already said it all with the gazillion interviews she has done with other media outlets. Nothing was worthy of reporting other than this:

1. What do you think of Santa’s outfit?

It’s a good colour.

2. Do you ever see Santa being an inspiration for the catwalk?

Jeremy Scott. His designs have been comedic.

Patricia Field, if you just youtube her, talks as if she has a swollen tongue and drags her words as if the keeeyyboooarrd isss stiicckkkyy anddd theee syylllabbllleess aarree long.

Which leads me to leave you on this note:

I am desperately in need of a large nose to suck in more juicy ideas into my already shrinking head because of the lack of stimulation (in the city).

MONKI MONKI MONKI MADNESS

The reason why my heart just stopped, the sounds surrounding me have reduced to a blur, and the squealing noise emitted from my purse! MONKI, a company based in Sweden and is 60% owned by H&M has arrived in Hong Kong. Chic Scandinavian style ala Hel-looks etc etc is finally doable in Hong Kong without breaking the wallet. I am sooo excited! I already own an immaculate bow bracelet (in faux leather) given by my boss! Maybe, just maybe even though I have to live without Charity shops, I can still look chic! The shop will open at Langham Place on the 30th September!

Tiltillating seduction — you’ve got us teeming with raw anticipation, MR TOM FORD!

That was the latest we’ve seen of Tom Ford’s design for women. More precisely, woman, for Julianne Moore at the premier of Ford’s debut film — A Single Man.

He has privately showed his latest and first collection under his eponymous label during New York Fashion Week on the 13th September, 2010, to a select few of the industry’s most esteemed editors and stylists — such as Carine Roitfeld (French Vogue), Anna Wintour (US Vogue), Suzy Menkes (International Herald Tribune), Hilary Alexander (Daily Telegraph), Jim Shi (freelance contributor to the likes of the FT, Vogue China, V Magazine, Marie Claire). They have all signed confidentiality agreements.

Photography was banned at Tom Ford’s Madison Avenue flagship where the fashion show was staged. Everybody except Terry Richardson, Tom Ford’s turn-to photographer who takes charge of all of Tom Ford’s advertising campaigns, was allowed to snapped away like a child at a candy store. Richardson laid on the floor, spreaded out on the carpet, and clicked away senseless at a star studded cast of models. These pictures will not be released until January 2011, when the clothes are manufactured and are ready to go, in order to prevent plaigiarism.

The impressive fleet of models included Stella Tennant and Beyoncé, Julianne Moore and closing the show — Daphne Guiness who decorated her look with her own diamond jewellery.

 According to reports, Tom Ford showed every outfit there is to turn any woman into sex kittens  — the revamped Le Smoking, courtesy of his mentor Yves Saint Laurent (who never approved of Tom Ford to the degree Ford would have liked, according to Betty Catroux), structured pantsuit in black and in leopard, sheer gowns with frills, chatreuse chiffon blouse…

Beyoncé, according to Suzy Menkes, “in a silver sequined dress, sashayed toward Tom Ford… turned by the marble fireplace, where vases were filled with cherry blossoms intertwined with orchids, tossed her ample curls and revealed a hazy tease of nudity on her famous booty.” The diversity of  models that Tom Ford has used, from single ladies to yummy mummy  (Karlie Kloss to Natalia Vodianova), from skinny to curvy (Freja Beha to Beyoncé), has demonstrated Tom Ford’s confidence in satisfying every woman’s need.


Despite the hush-hush nature of the show, Hamish Bowles managed to sketch the outfits on Karen Elson and Beyoncé as seen on Vogue.com.

Only Tom Ford can bring back the exclusivity in fashion. The days when haute couture or even trendy fashion was only available for the few private eyes to see. This day and age when internet can air a show to 10,000 miles away almost instantly, this Tom Ford way of masterminding his [truly] debut collection is certainly ingenious.

He has sent the fashion world wild with delicious eagerness. Oh wow, I don’t  remember feeling so restless for a collection ever before.

Prabal Gurung Spring/Summer 2011

Before we talk about the clothes, can I just say I am blown away by the shoes. If I were allowed only one item for New York Fashion Week (albeit it has merely just started), it will be these Nicolas Kirkwood for Prabal Gurung shoes.

In an interview with the US Vogue, Nicolas admitted that he has never met the Rodarte girls nor Prabal in person, the designs were forwarded to and fro via emails, et voila, Nicolas’ first runway shoes of the season — utterly brilliant. Girly and bold at the same time, it might be kitsch to say, but these shoes will go with everything. And so far, judging from the distinctly prevalent whites and monotones on the runway, these will be the investment of the season!

It might be rude to say this but the shoes have stolen the show. Have you noticed the lack of accessories on Prabal’s girls? Well, with these heels, there is no need.

In an interview that Kiwibiwi’s done with Nicolas recently, he mentioned that there will be bolts and nuts for the Rodarte runway. He will also be playing with “wax” (wax?). He will be utilising fun elements for the runway shoes that aren’t necessarily his signature, but are fun to do anyway. Nicolas is also doing shoes for the Erdem runway, focussing on Erdem’s signature prints. And now, more of these orgasmic shoes!

I am a sucker for colour blocking. So when the show opened with psychedelic clash of acidic colour — bright pink, cyan and orange — in a form fitted dress! Wow! The best thing about this dress is the thought Prabal put into the chest/collarbone patch. It gives the illusion of an elognated shoulder, making everybody a clothes horse.

He also showed a lot of trend worthy palette common at NYFW — the nudes, the whites and the yellows. Above right are two nudes apt for the office.

The print goes back as early as August when Associated Press went to his studio for an interview. The print was on a painted bit of paper hanging on the wall. LOVE the cape. (See below for alternative views)

Generally a VERY good collection for a one year old brand. I’d wear everything to be honest. Prabal does brilliantly from casuals to workwear, tea dresses to dinner dresses.

Let’s hope he is not going to turn into another Jason Wu or Alexander Wang (money minded to the point they have forgotten what is the meaning of excitement and thrill)…

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!

Show Reviews

Many show reviews nowadays are very detailed. Frills here, wool lame there; laser cut here, ruching there… There are even reviewers who attempt to describe every single dress in explicit detail… That’s very good of them to excercise the expert knowledge learnt in their three years worth of fashion design course.  Most of the people who read these review tho, are not fashion experts. Besides, the technology bloom allows people across the globe to browse show pictures in amazing details. So why do they do it?

Two of the best fashio journalists – Sarah Mower (British Journalist who fills in for style.com for major show reviews) and Hilary Alexander (New Zealander but based in England who writes for the Daily Telegraph) – never dwell on excessive details. Instead they relay the overall feel of the shows, interject with facts and interviews and the occassional description of a dress that stands out.

It is always a joy reading their articles. Never preaches, never judges, only a truly amazing collection gets an obvious thumb-up. And in this fast paced and attention seeking blogosphere, positivity is a rare quality.

An Open Letter to Mr McQueen

Dear Lee,

I still can’t believe what I heard 4 hours ago. I can’t believe you abandoned us. It may seem like we don’t know you. But our love extend to you from a mere fashion cause. WE CARE.

Kate Moss – remember her? She, the person who was going through her darkest days, you supported her by wearing a WE LOVE YOU KATE t-shirt. The one who was your bridesmaid? You can’t talk to her about your sadness?

Your 5 siblings? You can’t talk to them about your sorrow?

Your partner?

My nan, who knitted me all my knitwear – hats, mitts, scarves, pullovers; who made my winter jackets; my dolly-wear party dresses when I was little; who told me I am the most beautiful girl in the world despite the chicken pox on every inch of my skin – passed 6 month ago. I cried tearless. I pawed through wallpapers and carpet. I pulled through. I knew there are more to look forward to. Every little pieces in life.

Your passing is more than just the loss of a talent. You are a person, who deserved love and support.

You didn’t give us a chance. You didn’t let us in. You didn’t even try.

I am angry with you. I am angry with you for letting these tears streaming down my face. I am angry with you for being so hopeless.

You gave us so much to look forward to every season. You gave us so much joy. And when it came to your life. There’s nothing we could do.

If there’s a time machine – I won’t go back to the 50s. I will come straight to your rescue.

A letter too little too late. I am sorry.

Lots of love,

Kiwi

Snobbish Slouch

I dressed slouchy yesterday. I have been reluctant to try this hot trend of the season. Somehow, slouching conveys a hint of a waning positivity. Slouching connotes a sad woman who has seen happier days. As an act of reminiscence, she dresses in her partner’s old clothes. The confidence that can be relayed by our beautiful conture is pared back with just a pair of baggy harem. Talk about the jokes that designers and magazine writers play on us.

I adapted the style to my mood. I tucked in a low cut tank top into a pair of black velvet Marlene Birger high waisted slouchy. The tank was low cut enough to show off my cleavage, and on my neck a vulgar and conspicuous gold necklace. I wore an oversize dirty green silk shirt open buttoned, and tucked the front into my trousers as if I am one of the Backstreet Boys. I put so much gel on my hair that I look right out of the shower. That wet look Agyness Deyn channelled for Armani eyewear.

I have to say I don’t feel superb in the outfit. What I felt is an air of arrogance around me that says, “I have that spare £4 to buy fashion magazines.”

 

Hilary Alexander

kawai and hillary

I went to the Telepgraph headquarters in Victoria, London yesterday to interview the fashion journalist, the legend named Hilary Alexander.

We talked about her personal style, the catwalk, the freebies, Karl Lagerfeld, Beth Ditto and her career as a journalist.

I must say she is one of the best people I have ever met in my life, out of the 10s of thousands of people I have come across. For a person who holds such high office in the fashion world, for a person who always receives a bouquet of flowers from Karl and John.

I must say, she has done a good job in staying humble and kind, and remains totally “human”. I have no wonder in why whenever a picture of her appears in blogs, the capture is always “Love her”.

A copy of the write-up will come on here once Hilary’s approval is received.

Summer Muses

Cut out leggings were once THE it trousers, and perhaps it still is, because I'm still wearing them. But cut out one piece vest gives you just that little bit of an edge. Rock to the max, and mind those muffin tops.

Cut out leggings were once THE it trousers, and perhaps it still is, because I'm still wearing them. But cut out one piece vest gives you just that little bit of an edge. Rock to the max, and mind those muffin tops.

 

Collarless jackets seem to be a hit this summer. The trend progressed from long, slender sleeves on boyfriend jackets to no collar no buttons at all. Kate Moss Topshop has waist-length suede version with metal rings attached along the collar and on either sides of the central openings.

Collarless jackets seem to be a hit this summer. The trend progressed from long, slender sleeves on boyfriend jackets to no collar no buttons at all. Kate Moss Topshop has waist-length suede version with metal rings attached along the collar and on either sides of the central openings.

Both photos from www.hoyfashion.co.uk.

On another note, Emma Watson has transformed into the fashion IT girl recently, Burberry ad, Elle UK cover girl… I must say – super stylish and love the transformation from girl-next-door to who she is today.

A talentless actress turning into a talented model.

A talentless actress turning into a talented model.

And there’s a reason why models don’t usually give interviews – if you’ve read the Gisele’s interview with Vanity Fair or Kate Moss and Philip Greene’s interview with the New York Times… you’d know you’d actually prefer to just see them and not hear them speak…

Emma told Elle:

“I don’t want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself.”

I’m sorry, you want to be a model, you want to be styled. Which means that you are a walking clothes rail. You’re still deciding who you are? That’s a bit pathetic isn’t it?

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.

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.

Mode of Writing

Shakespeare and Dickens must be really talented. Not that I am a fan of theirs. Oh no. But the fact that they didn’t have word processors in their days and were still able to write such flamboyant plays and stories. Did they have all the plots and characters decided before they penned it? What if Shakespeares decides that Peter was no good and needed to reformulate him to Romeo half way through creating the story?

I find it such a pain to write on paper these days. I am never decisive on how a plot should go. The springs under my backspace and the delete buttons are almost flattened by constant use. I read and reread about 50 times before I am satisfied with one paragraph.

I must glorify Word 2007. It has merged work processing and publishing. Everyone can become a writer these days.

Alan Sugar and Che Guevara

“Alan Sugar is a legend.”

“Alan Sugar is a dick.”

“How can you idolise Guevara and think that Alan Sugar is a dick?”

“Guevara is a legend for humanitarian reasons.”

“Alan Sugar is a legend.”

“He is a narcissist. He has no respect for anything apart from money. What does it tell you when he is even loathed by his own sister? You don’t have to work for family love and he hasn’t even got that.”

The US was scared of Guevara because they knew the revolution in Latin America would have succeeded. They had to execute him. Who can bear an enemy directly under your belt?

“Guevara is a legend for not he is a good guerilla leader. For he sympathisises and understand the plight of people. For he has forsaken his own comfort for fairness and justice.”

You cannot be a good leader without empathy. You cannot rage a war for anything reason other than love. You cannot win a war and get applause for any cause other than injustice.

Yes. I idolise Che Guevara in this respect.

Hell Looks

My all time favourite website is a street-fashion photo album from Helsinki, Finland.

It features stylish people that come in all shapes and sizes, across all ages and skin colour. Edgy people gets Marc Jacobphotographed on the street, in the club; goths, neo-romantics, rock chicks, 80s neon… or a mixture of all the above in one person. Everyone wears vintage and sometimes tops it up with a piece of designer essential. It’s a rarity to stumble upon those who actually dons a Chanel or Dior bag. But when they do, it completes the look and it doesn’t look icky at all.

 

Designer items are either for high achievers to demonstrate their worth. Or for those who can genuinely admire the value of the item. All designer followers should take note.

A Revolution

Can we find uniqueness in Hong Kong anymore?

Can we find uniqueness in Hong Kong anymore?

Of 22 years of age, not a lot of mental pictures have sprung to mind when one inquires what is so special Hong Kong. Any sightings or happenings that can be classified as truly authentic? I would have to blame my unfortunately sized brain for not recalling many as such. As an intruder to another culture, never has it slipped my mind the importance of having a “root”. Your root gives you your distinctive identity. Backgrounds, traditions, cultures, beliefs and mindsets that solely belong to you and your people only.

Hong Kong without a doubt is one of the fastest changing cities in the world. The glory it brings about include unprecedented infrastructure, economic prosperity and stability based on its ability to change and adapt to the global needs. A mice’s reaction time is nothing compares to our people’s. We see an opportunity and seize it; renders Hong Kong one of the best places in the world to be entrepreneurial.

Futuristic Road Connections

Futuristic Road Connections

An insightful Chinese proverb goes, “Ends of a needle are never both sharp.” I wonder if we  have thrown behind anything at all to float our economic success? Let’s not discuss the norm for example the Gini Index or the government failures that seems to appear on the newspaper front page almost every day.

“You can’t carry along with you anything when your legs are straight and stiffened.”  Hong Kong excels at providing herself with opportunities to grow.  We pave way for it; nothing will stop us. We tear apart buildings, relocate people. “Huai Jiu” or in Cantonese “Wai Gau”, an appreciation for the old things, can only exist in words and photographs. When we completely obliterate our past just to squeeze every last drop of milk, I wonder what have we removed for our children and grandchildren? What can we take away when we die? Are we sabotaging our grandchildren’s rights?

One question I would also like to ask is: have we been so focused on pleasing the world that we have forgotten who we are and what we stand for? This not just a question to the brand “Hong Kong” as a whole, but to every single individual that has helped founding and will help sustaining the brand.

Where is our individuality? Where is our root?

While moving forward so rapidly, is there a balance point where we can savour our past and at the same time not compromising on economic gain? Do we have to forgo everything the old Hong Kong stood for to pave way for the future? When the Star Ferry Pier was set to be demolished I was so sad. The pier could surely still provide functionality to the habour as a whole; improvements can be made so that our future can fit in our past, demolishment was completely unessential. Einstein’s relativity theory says it is impossible to travel to a time before now. But it says nothing about erasing your past. One clearly can.

Shops reiterate on the same road. Same road, same shit.

Shops reiterate on the same road. Same road, same shit.

It is certainly special that we always find a Mannings next door to a Watsons; a Bonjour next to a Sasa; a Luk Fook next to a Chow Sang Sang. It is certainly special that all “cool” fashion houses in Hong Kong are owned by one single person; almost all singers/artists have the same manager; all fashion magazines are owned by one publisher…

Why this phenomenon?

We aim to set out to ask the right questions, get the right solutions. We start our very own cultural revolution.

We love Hong Kong.