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).


Rant Rant

Firstly, I have abandoned this for a while. But it was Adam Philips, a lad who graphic designs for McDonald’s who asked: “You created My mate from the UK showed it to me and no wonder why I thought you looked familiar the first time I met you. It was you and the woman who wore a cherry on her head I saw!”

“Oh my god I can’t believe people actually read my blog, that’s why I have half abandoned it.”

“Well, I’m guessing they do. Don’t abandon it. You can say whatever the fuck you want to say there.”

I remember why I got into fashion in the first place. It was its creativity and its constant evolution. Nothing is more fun being in London during fashion week: there are these junkies who’d put a negligee and a pair of military boots together and you’d think it is an outfit pulled out of a hat. Somehow, weirdly, it does look aesthetically pleasing.

Fashion in London is a two-way affair. While the catwalks massively influence what will be seen on the high streets, the fashion show goers in their own way affect what will be seen on the catwalk for the next season too. So it’s a good cycle: fashion lovers become fashion perpetrators. And those who feast on what’s available on the street without a question, well, they are perceived as followers. They are scavengers of the London style scene.

It’s completely different here. People get excited about something because they are made by Hermes (uck), Louis Vuitton (double uck) and Ed Hardy (uck to the power n).

A printed silk scarf from Hermes (note: for those who don’t know, the art of printing was invented in China THOUSANDS of years ago. Silk existed as a writing instrument WAY before paper surfaced), a Louis Vuitton monogram patent leather handbag (let me see, the last time I saw a patent leather handbag was 2 seconds ago, when I looked in my wardrobe and there were five)… So? These “news”, aren’t exactly “news” by any standard.

There’s no individual style here per se. Money, rather than the people at the receiving end of fashion, seems to be the perpetrator of “trends”. The media goes at length to dig their heads in the sand (even fill their heads with it) in order to convince themselves a $200 plastic watch can’t be cool because it’s made of petroleum derivative, not of endangered animal or rare metal that money approves of.

Take the example of Juicy Couture. What’s the difference between a pair of cotton stretchy pants and a pair of cotton stretchy pants? They are the same until the first pair was sold at Times Square at an elevated price of one wozillian dollars, while the second was at an outlet somewhere in Wanchai. So does the Juicy Couture store opening at Time Square deserves a mention? You tell me. I am only a lowly inexperienced journalist who has no idea what style means in Hong Kong. (Refer to paragraph six)

Now I might appear I despise money. I don’t despise it, nor do I worship it that my eyes are blinded by the aura of God. There are ways to earn money without ripping apart your integrity. There are ways to spend money without perpetuating a vicious circle (rich conglomerates get free press, newspaper runs out of space to cover a collection by a fresh grad, talented designer becomes visual merchandiser).

I’ll leave you on the note of what Elli Hakami (director of programme development at Discovery Channel USA, also a former BBC employee) has to say about attitudes towards creativity in the UK and in the USA (capitalism model which Hong Kong thrives on)

“In the UK we talk about the most innovative programme we have come up with in the past year. In the US, we talk about what your end of year results were.”

The Reason Why Carine Was Banned

Isabelle Guichot, CEO of Balenciaga was cutting the ribbon earlier today at Hong Kong’s first Balenciaga boutique opened by the Gucci Group themselves.

When she was asked about the ban Balenciaga imposes on French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld, Isabelle said,

“It is the conflict of interest. They do many freelance job on the side.” And in between words Isabelle was referring to what has been on Carine’s mind and thus the clothes in the magazine are the projects that she works for on the side.

When asked whether Carine will be welcomed for the next show, Isabelle did not say for certain, but she said “we prefer journalists who are a bit…” she searched for a word and when suggested “genuine”? She nodded. Her reply probably implied that Carine will continue to be banned for the upcoming Balenciaga show scheduled later on this week.

Kiwibiwi the commented that Carine is lovely, I hope she will be welcome by Balenciaga again. And Isabelle replied, “Yes Carine is nice.”

This has put an end to the speculation over why Carine was banned from the AW 2010 runway earlier this year.

Isabelle is due to fly back tomorrow for the Balenciaga runway this Thursday/Friday night.

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

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.

Lady Gaga has laid bare the raw reality of skin and fur…

She is certainly the most thought provking popstar we have seen to date. You can see the unfurbished version of this article at the bottom. But on the train home, I realised the meat suit is so much more than just raw beef.

It’s September. It’s the new season in fashion. This fall, the minimalist leather trend prevails the pages of fashion magazines. Céline popularised the leather skirts, there are leather jackets there, fur overalls there. Where do these animal skin and fur come from?

Lady Gaga has dressed the raw reality of skin and fur. If people were so adamant that being dressed in fur and skin is just fashion, that it is their right to choose an ostrich skin handbag or a croc Birkin. Then why does Lady Gaga look so wrong in an animal suit?

She has definitely made me re-think the meaning of fur and skin. I marvel at the luxurious feel of python skin. I love the soft fur of mink. I would love to own a bona fide leather hand bag. But what is the cost of making one?

Why does mink fur feel luxurious, a leather Céline dress look appropiate and chic, yet a raw beef suit is vulgar?

Now do you see the genious of Lady Gaga?


Old version: Certainly a very talented pop star, she knows how to grab headlines and sell tickets to her shows. Her endless flamboyant dress antics today ends in a bloodshed — Jackass style. She wore a meat suit to the VMA awards and said “I was born this way”.

Grr. Style? Perhaps. Beauty? When I can’t even bear to open my eyes to look at this photo I think the meatsuit has veered off the territory of beauty (certainly) into the far away galaxy of disgusting.

It doesn’t take an animal rights activist to shout — Gaga, you have gone too far this time. Think about the starving kids in third world countries….

Earlier Lady Gaga posed nude in a beef bikini for Vogue Homme Japan.

Alexander Wang Spring Summer 2011

First reaction: stomach turns. 2 more exits, feeling a bit nausesous, “sorry, am I at an A-level textiles graduation show?” Then projectile vomit ensued until the very, very end. When the out-of-the-dustbin styles have disappeared and Taekwando and detective inspired jackets salvaged my now stomach acid laced mouth.

I have never been a huge fan of Alexander Wang. I think this show is the manifestation of why. He has always been a hit or miss. One season out of three an idea will strike him and the presentation will be good, nice and consistent. A lot of the time he has no idea what the fuck he’s doing. Even the front rowed Bill Cunningham looked quizzical, he must be asking “what the fuuuccck??”

Back to business, to sum up, Alexander Wang has returned to his college days, applying a patch of material block here, a cut out there. His inspiration was a dress from a charity bin for $5. He chopped off bits and pieces and replaced said area with juxtaposing fabrics or when he was really clueless — he simply ignored the unstylised empty space. WHAT A MESS!

[Even the shoes are fugly… College experimentation prevailed, he has cut out a Timberland boot to arrive here. I hope none of them are named after any models this time]

I am sorry, but I cannot understand how did he amass so much media attention in the first place. He struggles with ideas and yet he insists on putting out 4 collections a year (either Anna says so or to keep up with the demand from department stores).

Actually, if you squint — some of the pieces aren’t that bad. If you pick a jacket out, you wonder why didn’t it get matched to a skirt or a dress? What can I say? SACK THE STYLIST!

Dior Shanghai Ads Caused a Stir


Firstly I’d like to point out that for the past few seasons, I’ve made it known repeatedly that I’m not exactly fond of Mr Galliano’s repetition in a lot of his recent collections: haute couture looked like pret-a-porter; autumn winter played like spring summer; year 2009 looked like year 1950, so on and so forth.

I used to be Galliano’s fan, a fervent fan for his ingenious designs, something jaunty and out of the blue which really, really moved the fashion world to the edge of their seats.

So for Galliano to repeatedly disappoint many of his fans, I remember asking, “has he lost it”?

Secondly, I dismissed “lazy designs”  as a cause for his design repetitions. I pointed my fingers to a bunch of money-minded people in the boardroom — who wanted to sell as much clothes by doing as little as possible.

When Galliano showed in Shanghai, he said something along the lines that “what’s the point of showing Chinese influence on Chinese territory”, that he wanted to bring Paris to China, bring House of Dior to China.

I originally thought: if Lagerfeld could take the time to incorporate Chinese influence in his Beijing collection and made it a brilliant French show, made the clothes completely modern and still retained that Chanel flair, why couldn’t Galliano do it?

I also remember thinking distinctly that: what could Galliano be so occupied with right now that he couldn’t take time to read a book, walk a street in Shanghai or even watch some old videos of China?

But yeah, I thought at the time: sure, a beatnik, playful, functional and colourful collection that was easy on the eye and the body would sell like a dream, one of the prime concerns for couture houses in the time of an economic downturn.

But I knew better. It was laziness; and the advert is a joke which Galliano or the House of Dior is playing on us. Having spent so much time at university in London, and even though at the time of his study there weren’t that many Chinese students, he knew and still knows the sensitivity between races. Having been in his current post for so long, he knows where is market is.

He knows that Dior sells in China. And in the same mentality like Mr Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, he knows that whatever he puts out, whatever he markets, whatever comes out of the runway of LV and in this case Dior, whether the products are good or bad, beautiful or ugly, people will still buy it. Similarly, an ad, however poor taste, will be swallowed and digested without question.

Galliano knows the symbolism which these photographs represent. At the first glance of this , one immediately acknowledges the presence of the white lady. Then one sees that she is standing amid a crowd of people. A crowd of people — singular. A unity. As a background. The third thing you see is their uniform cut-and-paste faces — they are identical, expressionless and above all — rigid.

We will call this genious marketing — “wear Dior, and you’ll stand out from the mundane crowd”. Only if the marketing department weren’t that lazy and instead put a Shu Pei or Tao in place of the white lady. Then can they escape the accusation of being racist.

But if you think about this: it takes meetings and debates to decide on a fastening on a dress, how can a mistake like this ad escaped any notice?

So the last question is: has our buying habit encouraged the luxury business’ laziness? Do they think that with effortless effort they can still escape the squinty eyes of the fashion world or of the international public, in the name of “keeping the house alive”? Or is Dior sending the Chinese a message?

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.


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.

Dior Cruise 2011 – Parisian Chic in Shanghai, Barbie’s Dream

The ideal accessories to Dior’s Cruise 2011 collection will be a doll house and a pink Cadillac. Although the collection was shown in Shanghai, the clothes have  little oriental touch.However, Galliano has his own way of explaining it, that “I didn’t want to come here and present a Chinese-inspired collection to my Chinese friends”. And indeed, Galliano does what he knows best and as he has Godard’s girls on his mind, the clothes exudes every bit Parisienne. The ready to wear are chic, girly and colourful. The thin silhouette will require a diet of fine wine and cheese to pull off the looks.

The heavily 60s influenced clothes also have little reinventing in question. The outfits are pulled straight off the pages of the sixty’s fashion magazines, and put right back on a good cast of models. Nonetheless, the collection will score high marks in the eyes of all fashion lovers, for the series of clothes are beautiful , very very pretty indeed.

The good news is, the collection is very wearable. In the current economic climate when even Alexander McQueen’s brilliant collection doesn’t render a profit in his own house, it is expected that the clothes will sell like a dream. Presented in Shanghai, the cutsey frocks and the reinvented and younger looks of the house’s highly sought after Diamond bags will bid in well with the Asian market.

Although Galliano didn’t bother to do any research on the Chinois look, a remote reference to Shanghai has been paid with the combo above. Styled like a mobster in an old Shanghai gangster movie, a top hat and a tweed coat is followed by a loosely fitted turned-up suit trousers. The weapon of choice is a pair of sky high stiletto and a Diamond bag.

Treading into the evening wear territory, madamoiselle Dior turns into a prom-belle. Some dresses carry the shadow of Dior’s AW08 Haute Couture collection. Nevertheless, the pale palette looks very pleasing to the eye. The collection, no doubt, will expand Dior’s client portfolio to cover a much younger generation.

The wardrobe of Barbie is every girl’s dream. And seems like Galliano has done well in capturing the hearts of the heiresses.

Cannes Film Festival Picture Special

Forgive me if you’re craving for my wise words. But I guess the Cannes gowns are best left for your own eyes to see. The only thing I want to point is the the prominence of the red lips and porcelain skin. Gucci couture seems to have dominated the red carpet as well, as seen on Kate Becksindale, Camilla Belle and Salma Hayek.

Chinese actress Fan Bing Bing below dons a beautifully Empirical China influenced frock, which stands out from the crowd. Let me go and find out who designed it.

My Crazy World List. Brand or No Brand – High Fashion Changes Lanes

The news one hears one day can sometimes be hard to stomach. I am compiling a list of Crazy World news on Twitter (#CrazyWorld), and we’ll see when will the world get sick of the randy brand diversion eh?

1: Valentino designs T-shirt. It’s pretty tough to believe the house which produces £8000 mink throw, £100,000 couture gowns and dresses for Elizabeth Taylor will come to designing accompaniment to mine workers’ jeans. Read more on

2. Gucci to design couture gowns. Last time I check a house can only call their products “couture” if they can pass the stringent criteria set by the official couture board in France. I want to know: how much of a gown is handmade and secondly, will Gucci flex their fashion muscles to hoax the strict Frenchmen into accepting their propositions? On a completely different note, Frida Gianni has dressed Selma Hayek, Kate Beckinsale and Camilla Belle on the Cannes red carpet. These are possibly the best walking mannequins you can get to promote your company’s new agenda eh? Crazy, crazy!

3. Ashley Olsen to design furnitures? Running a successful multi-million pound fashion house, The Row is clearly not enough to fill the Olsen twins’ insatiable appetite in world domination. Some has even suggested that they will find somebody else to design their fashion, and the siblings will focus on their furniture. Gosh. What’s next?

4. While we’re on entertainment, Beyoncé has plans to design homewares. Maybe if I were a boy, I’ll want a Beyoncé spoon so I can spoon her whenever I eat. Now seriously… Beyoncé and household chores? Designing a butler maybe a more credible job for you hun, for a doubt you even know how do kitchen utensils fit in the dishwasher…

5. Harrods is sold? I cannot imagine Harrods without al-Fayed. And for him to not mill around the shop floor whenever he fancies and greets shoppers anymore, that just takes away the fun of shopping at Harrods, no? But £1.5 billion, which is £1,500,000,000 if you must, I guess al-Fayed can buy a very nice retirement place indeed!

6. Prada tea? The editors such as Jo Elvin of Glamour, Jess Cartner-Morley of Guardian and Lorraine Candy of Elle have been boasting the calmness a little Prada tea bag brings. Following the brand’s expansion into mobile phone in collaboration with LG, don’t know who makes the Prada tea? Care to place a bet? PG, Yorkshire or Twinnings? Don’t think it’ll be Tetley, if I’m honest!

7. This one must have sunken in already cos this is really old news: Armani and Versace both have their branded hotel in Dubai. The last guest you want will be Ross from Friends, seeing how an Armani bathrobe will set you back £200. And will they security tag every items in their rooms? Armani’s rooms have more to lose, as every items can be purchased… Can I have an Armani toilet roll please? Just one bit of info: is the roll made of silk?

8. The size zero issue: Marie Claire UK appoints a plus size columnist, which is a good sign to combat insecurity issues in teenage girls. After all, all of us are born in different shapes and sizes and as a trained Biochemist, I can tell you there’s nothing we can do about our natural and basal metabolism.
At the same time, the country which has produced some of the finest models of our catwalks today – Abbey Lee Kershaw and Miranda Kerr – has asked a 120lb, Australia’s Next Top Model contestant to lose some pounds. Unless she is 4 foot 3 and aged 3 year-old, I’d say the request is pretty immoral. Having said that, Australia is known to be quite tardy in picking up any new fashion trend. Editor in Chief of Vogue Australia condemned the rise of internet bloggers in an article in The Australian. I hope no one reads Susie Bubble’s tweet as she was the one to link the article. But oops, unlikely, and ranging wars against the man is a futile as crying over spilled water. Waste of effort. There, I’m slashing the Australian fashion world. (Those bus stop adverts, what, Aussie Pants? Who gives a fuck?)

9. Models as writers. Modelina has reported that Miranda Kerr is about to finish her book titled “Treasure Beauty”, or something. This one is about all women have insecurities (including the Victoria’s angel herself. Oh really?!) and recipes for healthy eating etc. If I can eat away to look like Miranda I’ll place an order on the hardback straight away.
Tyra Banks is also penning a book on “Modelland”. I read about what the book is about but I forgot. Forgive me. But I don’t think you should look it up.

I am one item away from collecting 10. If you know any crazy news to complete the list, hit the comment button below…

Sexy, Strong and Care Free – Guilty Brotherhood.

While I was sorting the lookbooks in the fashion cupboard, a little catalogue fell from the shelf. It was as if god wanted me to read it. The clothes were striking, very strong and sexy. They are a combination of rock and roll and curiously, serenity. It helps when you’ve got a model who has an enviable body, a very expressive face and a palpable attitude. The eye-catching  clothes – strong and soft at the same time – have schoepentoetered my curiosity.

But try to sequester information about the brand. Aside from the little bits and bobs on variuos blogs that are ripped off from the French brand’s website, not much at all. This is deliberate. Guilty Brotherhood’s designer, a young Parisian called Kevork Kiledjian, created the label 2 years ago. The designer has lived in New York for a few years in the 1990, hanging out with Cypress Hill. He was travelling a lot during this time –  New York, LA and Asia – and it was around this time when he created his first label called Triiad, selling chic streetware, in Paris.

Every bit the rebel he is, the glamourous creations are crafted by a man who has never attended formal art school. But the design juice runs in the family blood – Kevork’s father was a couturier for Lanvin in the 1950s.  As a designer, Kevork draws references from architecture, films and the urban lifestyle.

The clothes – hard-edged, with an undercurrent of elegance; one can possibly draw reference to Yves Saint Laurent’s masculine tailoring, Balmain’s reinvented man-eater style as well as DVF’s Upper East Side casual chic. So is it any wonder that it has already accumulated a celebrity following? Kate Moss, Nicolas Roberts and Doutzen Kroes were spotted in Guilty Brotherhood. The brand boasts Abbey Lee Kershaw on their Spring Summer 2010 campaign. Not to mention the numerous coverage in Vogue Paris, V magazine, Numéro…  Not bad for a brand which is only two years old, and hasn’t even had their a first catwalk yet! But fret not, more glamour is to come, Guilty Brotherhood has already put a catwalk on their agenda and it is likely to be in October this year.

Whether or not this catwalk will happen in Paris – the brand’s birthplace; or New York – where the company’s headquarters locates, remains to be seen. Although it is likely and wise for Guilty Brotherhood to debut in the fashion capital of Europe.

Expect some serious world domination by Guilty Brotherhood. From day one, Kevork Kiledjian has been planning and treading a carefully planned route for the brand to expand. The lack of online and offline information originally has built some intense mysteriousness about the brand. When Guilty Brotherhood’s website launched in August in 2009, the site looked so professional, glamourous and grown up that it is hard to believe the clothes were only available at carefully selected locations. Initially, to get your mitts on these clothes you have only 5 stores to choose from. These privileged places include the USA (Los Angeles for celebrity following and New York for some serious big spenders), France (Paris and Rodez)  and Hong Kong. The fleet of stockists now extend to South America in Domenican Republic and Australia. Now the brand is the Arctic and the Antarctica short of collecting their presence across seven continents.

Guilty Brotherhood’s flagship store is expected to open in 2011 in Paris on Rue Saint Honore. Anything less than spectacular will not be associated with the label. Hence the multistorey store is designed by – none the other – Jean Nouvel, whose bulky and impressive portfolio has led him to an architecture Oscar, the ‘Pritzker Prize’

So much for the intro. Indeed with such a meteroric rise of a label in such a short time span does not happen everyday, a bit of a rambling is needed to emphasise the bravura of all this. So, so much for the clothes eh? But to put it in Kevork’s own words, they want people to ‘see the clothes for themselves’. If the tactic of hush-hushing their press/online presence was to limit any damage bad critics may cause, the tactic may just as well not exist in the first place. Because the clothes do speak for themselves. And without further ado, I’ll let you see them. From AW09/10 to current season SS10.

The Battle of the Political Wives

Well. The thursday-gone involved some frantic telephoning at the Telegraph fashion desk, and I imagine the same goes with every other dailies.

So what’s the deal? Yes, you’ve guessed it, the reclusive Miriam Clegg. Or the Miriam Gonzalez Durantez as she prefers to be known. Unlike Sarah Brown, who prepares a sheet of paper documenting the clothing items she is wearing for the day for the curious newspaper hacks, the Head of Trade of DLPipers in the city chooses to stay out of the spotlight. This makes it über difficult to pinpoint exactly where her threads and accessories came from.

Praise has to be given to Melanie, my colleague at the Telegraph who taught me a bucket worth of tricks. She alone, in one morning, in three hours, telephoned 10 shops and 10 ethical brands. The choice of those 20 10-digits is surprising logical for the fashion desk. Where do the Cleggs reside? Putney? Phone every shop within a mile radius. What are the Libdem’s manifestos? Green? Phone ethical designers and boutiques.

Mel eventually tracked down where Miriam shops: an ethical boutique in Chiswick; and what she wore on polling day – a patch work dress from From Somewhere.

But I digressed. Where Miriam (Megg as Hilary proposed how Miriam should be known), or Sam Cam or Sarah Brown shop is of no interest to me whatsoever. Nor should it to you. I couldn’t care less about what Michelle Obama wore to whatever event she went to. So let alone the pregant Sam Cam who for the few months ahead will be wearing nothing but stretchy trousers and loose skirts; or Sarah Brown who is forever the soigneé political wife/ professional PR/ charity campaigner/ mum – coding for nothing more than an M&S cardy and 1.5inch wedges; or Miriam Clegg, who mistakeningly chose not to wear a bra for the red patchwork dress she wore to the poll station. (After 3 children and under 40 years of gravity, unless you are Cindy Crawford or McMenamy, one should really consider containing those pups.)

The thing is, there are bazillion style crushes out there. Olivia Palermo (yes… Don’t despise me please), Anna Dello Russo, Diane Kruger… And not to mention the many, many street style heroes. And why has all of a sudden, these political wives, whose style is donned by every other mama on the high street, received so much media coverage?

Have we run out of stories to cover? Nope, not really: how about a preview of the RCA graduate fashion show? How about Brown’s exhitbition next week? Well, how about just give us a break over the who’s worn what? Especially when these women don’t really have much style to begin with?

You can blame my raging youth for not being able to appreciate the extricate combo of flair maternity trousers and a pair of black converse topped with a cocktail jacket. But hey, people dress their mood, and I usually throw the said combination on when I owe some serotonin to my biological system. So don’t tell me she’s particular stylish ok? It’s a trashy casual combo that a two year old baby can put together. You and I both know it.

Secondly, isn’t the whole political wife and their style thing a bit of a sheepish following? Who started it in the first place and why did everybody start following? When Andrew Marr wrote that journalists became lazy down the timeline, I never thought that it indeed rings true that journalists don’t get out of their air-conditioned office anymore… Stories, in the form of a phone call and finding out where did the clothes come from, will suffice the 500 word limit and quota for the week. Those are easy money per word, eh?

Come on, a month of excessive coverage on a story that isn’t even particularly captivating nor inspiring… I petition the spotlight to be turned away from these women, or we’ll be heading towards… The following:

Now Sam Cam is the pregnant wife at No. 10, get ready for another few months of coverage on maternity wear until Mothercare becomes the next Topshop, J Crew or Jaeger on her due day. You watch, the Cameron baby will be the next style crush.

***** Update*****

On the 12th May, Thursday, Sam Cam has announced that she will step down from her full time job as Creative Director at Smythson the stationer. Her husband has previously formed a coalition government with the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg. He will be holding a non-constitution role as Deputy Prime Minister. Britain now has two first ladies. Although as a city lawyer, Miriam Gonzalez will not step down from her role as Head of Trade. She was asked before the General Election whether she will forfeit her full-time role should her husband becomes PM. She said she will give up her job only if her husband becomes the leader of the country.

The Truth Brigade

Let me bow to you, my treasured audience, for my absence over the past few weeks. I have been busy reading. Lots and lots of newspaper and magazine articles.

I recently went through an interview with Timeout. The process was with such fierce formality, that my heartbeat transpired through my trembling mouth… and then the mouthpiece to the other side of the globe. Anyhow, I was asked to name a few writers of prominent publications, whose style of writing I adore. Without any hesitation, I heard myself uttered Jess Cartner-Morley of the Guardian. Then the food critic of Angie Wong of Timeout Hong Kong. Then I went blank, so we proceeded to the next, equally daunting question.

Having been ambushed by an unexpected question which I could well have been answered for full marks (Just TWO?); I sent a defiant email to my interviewer, in a quest to proclaim that journalism nerd trophy. I, afterall, spend hours a day reading good (and bad) journo articles from across the board. So I supplied the names of Charlie Brooker (who won’t?), Jeremy Clarkson, Hilary Alexander, Sarah Mower and Jeremy Paxman.

See a trend emerging? Those who capture the hearts of the public can be divided into three categories: unabashedly straight-forward and tell it like it is; those whose descriptive writing induces clarity and thrill; finally, the fierce, hardcore Robin Day type journo. Paxman I salute you. But sorry, you’re too heavy a substance to be of subject in a lazy Sunday morning blog like this.

I wrote again and again, that Cartner-Morley’s opening sentence to an interview write-up with Carine Roitfeld was so seductive that, I literally dropped the paper and got sucked into a kaleidoscopic whirlwind of romance.

“Listening to Carine Roitfeld is like having Chanel No.5 drops very slowly, into your ears”. Magnetic voice what? Sexy tone what? Smoky note what? It’s Chanel No.5, now get with the programme. I bet Jess quivered with excitement as she sat in front of the silver screen – bobbling on the keyboard like we all pedantic writers do – and this remarkable opener gripped her brain like a thunderstorm… Wordgasm.

Ever since then, Jess has topped my list of worshippable journo. Up there in the same league as Hilary and Sarah. What’s so unique about Jess tho, she’s less politically correct. And in this industry that journalists are threatened with libel cases all the time, a sense of harmless humour doesn’t hurt anyone.  So there Jess, you now know that there are people like out there who love your edgyness and acidity. Hats off, Japanese-esque bow to you.

Then cometh the food critic, whose slashing comes so elegantly that she can make “you wanker” sounds like “you pleasure lover”. Note, there’s a difference between polishing the truth and telling lies. “The service has been largely non existence”. And if you try to excuse them by “perhaps it’s a busy Sunday and they are mildly under-staffed”. That’s called consideration. At the end of the day, it’s like saying “would you excuse me” rather than “I need a piss”.

Well. Her expertise lies in triggering serotonin release by words. Be it chicken tail (that’s sun-don’t-shine, hello) or a no nonsense 6 course dinner; if Angie loves it, you’ll be sucked into that magical world of culinary pizzazz too. Your mouth will quiver and your tongue will curl. Next, you’ll find yourself smashing your piggy bank, fishing out the last penny and head to that said restaurant, which dinner may cost all yearly salary. But you know you’ll die satisfied and happy, only because Angie told you so, and you now have something worthy to scribble as your epitaph. Well, of course, I do not have that kind of financial freedom to squander on a meal, so there’s no verifying that Angie has malfunctioning taste buds. Nevertheless, to achieve that level of wordgasm takes more than a nice smile and a fit outfit. This, is what makes journalists, or wordsmith as I call them, so sexy.

Now the male counterpart whose literary bravery deserves the Victoria Cross.

Charlie Brooker grimaces. You can see his mugshot on the Guardian site. That’s not because he’s grumpy (or maybe he is). But the world is so full of bull’s excrement that someone has to get lairy about them and sets the record straight. Brooker rages war against multi-national money snatchers’ mind boggling techniques. His aides are us. We multiply his wordy ammunition by tweeting or facebook statusing his articles. The fervent ones may even leave a thank you note: as a comment in an acceptable form of gratitude, such as sarcasm.

Nevertheless, the man was given a truck load of special flavours Walkers crisps (he took the piss out of last year’s special flavours in his weekly column in the Guardian. Results? Walkers saved Charlie the leg work this year, hoping in return they’ll get some free publicity). In the normalest sense of word, freebies such as crisps should only incite the following reaction: “thank you.”

Maybe Walkers has mislabelled the box and thus it’s reached the wrong guy. The only imagainable result as the box reaches Charlie is this: Irish Stew flavour gets one word: “No”; Australian BBQ Kangaroo flavour gets this: “Call it ‘boiled pilot’s leg’ and the effect would be similar”. The review culminated in a high note: “Here’s hoping they steer clear of yet more bastardised takes on national dishes and go for topicality instead. How about American tea party flavour? Iranian uranium? Chinese dissident? Give it your best shot, Walkers, and with any luck you’ll start a war.”

So clearly, the men are better at crafting agression than seduction. Another British staple that finds codswallop impossible to swallow is – roll the drum – Jeremy Clarkson. His grand speeches are visceral. For a country that has been defined by politically correctness, Clarkson is like Jack in the Box, pops out and banishes all the bullshit. In all, he speaks the mind of most Britons.

A human version of marmite, Jeremy’s raffish views can be hard to stomach by some. But neverthless he has been routinely voted by the British public as the “Secret Crush” (Heat Magazine) and “The Real Man” (or something, by so and so magazine); or as the Prime Minister, as thetens of thousands of fans on such facebook group can testify.

So how does a middle-aged journalist from the Cotswolds appeal to young, professional women (who read Heat); and at the same time, adored by men everywhere in the world (minus truck drivers); be employed by the Sun, the Times as well as the BBC?

His boyish take on the world – not unlike the hyperactive Ben from Outnumbered – Clarkson employs an intuitive and an engineering mode of reasoning. His sense of humour also paints a frivolous picture in your head. Tampax as a solution to a water-soaked gas tank, anyome?

And on the matter of airport security. Sod the plane bombers, we have just got to accept the fact that 5% of any population are bonkers. That no amount of strip-searching will deter suicide bombers (because they are bonkers). Such as no one could stop the UCL student to strap some fuming explosives to his crotch. And because of this mathematical 5% of unpredictable event (due to malfunctioning people), the remainder of the population shouldn’t be subjected to unrealistic and unreasonable searches.

Does this resonate with you? Is it reasonable that we all have to arrive at the airport 3 days prior to our departure so that customs can tell us to rid of our 500ml water bottles?

However clever or sound his reasonings might be; however flamboyant and fluent his articles might be. Jeremy Clarkson is my most favourite journo no less, simply because of one fact.

His business card reads: “Jeremy Clarkson, Journalist”. You’ve got to love who you are before anybody else can love you. And damn right, journalist it is then.

M&S New Ad Revealed

Spot the different outfit?

Today unveiled the highly anticipated M&S campaign, featuring Danni Minogue, Myleen Klass (pregnant bump hides behind Twiggy), VV Brown and sex bomb and Victoria Secret model Ana Beatriz Barros.

M&S spokesman: “Ana is perfect. She’s sexy and exotic but approachable. We expect her to appeal to men and women alike.”

I mean really? Does she appeal to woman? I look at her and I immediately think of my own food baby. Note I don’t immediately think – ahh, these lingerie are appealing.

That’s why designers anti-advocate of super sexy and good looking. You double take the model and then you miss she is wearing.

So do you prefer the good old Noemie Lenoir – the sweet looking French girl with the perfect corkscrew curls and an amiable smile? Or the new Ana Barros?

Some Girls Overdo The Fashion Thing

Last Sunday, I received the best newspaper supplement of the year. It was the Sunday Times Style Magazine. This time it came oversized – 120 pages and easily dwarfs a Hello.

I am shocked by the sheer quality of it. The layout is fresh, youthful and jaunty. The writing is good, of course, it is after all, a part of the Times. The best about it is that it doesn’t feel pretentious.

Good writing that punches, with a tint of acidity that is just right. It is the kind of publication that isn’t deluded by the hype of fashion. It tells it like it is. The welcome letter penned by Tiffanie Darke and Claudia Croft reads, “We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: trends are dead, individual style rules. And that, we hope, is what you’ll take away from our spring fashion issue.” Damn right, I like how you pitch it!
Inside, several pages were dedicated to personalised look. Two of shinjuku girls; 4 of how celebs wear it (the celeb in question is not Alex Curran – they are Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley… You get the picture); an editorial dedicated to Alexa Chung (if you’re a fan…); a highly inspirational look book, 5 styles, 30 combinations that aren’t patronising like those in Look.
And check this – I say the best bit – an opportunity for Victoria Beckham to dissect her own collection – in her own words – with absolutely amazing results.
Finally, I will leave you with an article that resonate deeply. Have a good read!

“Some girls overdo the fashion thing” – Tom, 39, Stylist

I am not good with relationships, but I am au fait with style and fashion. I therefore feel entitled to point out that some girls overdo the fashion thing. One in particular. She was my type – leggy, brunette and fashionable. A well turned-out wiman is something I admire. Except that she was obsessed with wearing peculiar – sorry, cutting-edge – outfits. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for pushing the boat out a bit, but she was paddling herself right out into the middle of Lake Windermere.
She had a good wardrobe – some nice dresses, some sexy shoes – but she always prioritised fashion over flattery. Maybe she thought being fashion-savvy was attractive? Fine, but it didn’t cut it when her jersey harem pants made her look like she had an inflatable bum, or when her clumpy ‘asylum chic’ shoes made her look like she was receiving orthopaedic treatment.
And then there was straight-up embarrassing: it’s fun to be noticed, sure, but it was as if she was trying to attract the attention of social services. Casual outfits for pub liasons included an Ashish tracksuit with a to-scale sequined skeleton; a tiny Miu Miu fur jacket better suited to attracting silver gorillas; and leather leg straps that resembled Victorian callipers. I orchestrated a wholesome picnic on Hamstead Heath for us, and she arrived in a Walter Van Beirendonck full skirted dress with surgical truss-like accoutrements. She looked like a hospitalised Widow Twankey. People in the car park tittered. One man’s dog wouldn’t stop barking at us.
Perhaps this was a feminisit position – not to wear anything for anyone but herself. The problem was that it created an insurmountable obstacle between herself and the outside world. I squared with her. Why deliberately attract comedic attention, I asked. ‘I hate being a high-street girl,’ she retorted.
What’s wrong with a nice bit of Berardi or Mouret? Why wear shoes so precarious, you move like an AT-AT walker from Star Wars? I blame Topshop for delivering directional fashion for all. It was curtains for us – in fact, she’s probably wearing them now.

Time to Take Off Her Tiara


The Milanese’s disdain for Anna Wintour was evident. Several blonde bobbed Wintours donning ‘I Will Only Stay for 3 Days’ t-shirts flash-mobbed the venue of John Richmond and Gucci. Mario Boselli, the Italian Fashion Chamber’s president, told the Telegraph that ‘she’s [Anna] welcome in Milan. But if she only comes for a fleeting visit, perhaps it would be better if she stayed at home.”

Sandwiched between London and Paris Fashion Week, Anna Wintour told the Italian fashion industry that she could only afford three days for them this year. Many labels such as Prada and Dolce&Gabbana moved their catwalks forward to fit into Wintour’s schedule. As seen in the Milan Fashion Weeek schedule above, almost 20 shows have been squeeze into Friday, leaving only 5 shows on Monday.

 The powerful American Vogue editor also made a similar request to Paris, reportedly to catch a ‘short break’ before the Oscars on the 7th March. Many of the Parisian labels – knowing their true values – refuse to budge.

Since when has Anna Wintour amassed so much power that she can bring a fashion week down to its knee? The fashion pack struggled to weave through the infamous Italian traffic, often chasing the minute-hand with many shows scrambled between a thin line of 45mins.

Ostensibly it was a catastrophe for models, stylists, make-up artists and hairdressers. There were also packs of disgruntled reporters and photographers who routinely missed first halves of shows. The most theatrical case of all, masses of people walked out of Etro before the final exits – not out of frustration, but reluctance to miss another show!

The ridiculousness is not dissimilar to a fictional situation where Patrick Wintour – Anna ‘nuclear’ Wintour’s brother, the Guardian’s political editor – to wave his pen like a wand and sees the parliament dissolved henceforth. Now that the Italian fashion industry surrendered more power to Anna Wintour, the fewer grips they’ll retain with an industry that is so world renounced.

One has to be blind to be able to ignore the shift and divergence of power. Trend summaries appear on the Fashionspot weeks, if not month before they are plaigiarised by printed publications. The Cut Blog of the New York Times delivers punchy fashion news every 5 minutes.  StyleBubble is the point of call for emerging talents. Net-a-porter, the internet retail giant for luxury goods, reported a pre-tax profit of a whopping £9 million for 2009. Even outlets are going online, designer bargains can be bought at a fraction of their original prices at theOutNet. So why are the Italians fearful of the absence of Anna Wintour – a magazine editor – at their shows? Doesn’t the presence of Tavi generates more free press than the editrix, a dictator herself?

Fear is what a dictator induces. Power in a democratic world is given by the people. Since when did the designers – who created the bioshpere for Wintour’s reporting niche to exist in – allow a mere editor to reverse the food chain and consume them to the brink of breakage? How does a democratic pack keep faith in a traitor? If we can buy a house through gumtree, surely you can sell fashion through the web? It is time to stand-up for yourselves, Italians. Strip off the tiara you crowned her. The healing power is in your hands.

 Pictures from top: Anna Wintour got pied in 2005 by PETA activists in Paris; AW11 Milan Fashion Week official schedule; show invitations for AW11; Etro backstage this season; Tavi Gevinson with John Galliano during Paris Couture Week; Susie Lau of SusieBubble with New York Times Style magazine contributor Lynn Yeager; President of Italian fashion chamber  Mario Boselli