Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fashion Math: Sex and the City

We all drooled the first time Carrie and her friends started doing their mini runway show on the first episode of SATC, and we haven't stopped drooling since. The movie version of this cult fave was a dream come true I never thought would ever materialize (yes kind of dramatic, I'm a bit of a fan). And as I've explained to a lot of men, the draw of these four characters wasn't exactly the sex. It was the clothes that came off, or stayed on, before the sex. Women everywhere fell in love with the characters, playing favorites, trying to figure out which one they were most like (I, according to an online quiz, was a mix of Carrie and Samantha). Needless to say, that whole shebang with the cutesy name necklace, the Dr. Scholl sandal, the ginormous floral brooch, and many other wildcard hits was due to this landmark show.

Carrie's ability to pull off even the quirkiest ensemble made her a fashion icon, and made the show's costume designer, the equally eclectic Patricia Field, a household name. Now, this would not have been possible without the incomprehensibly exaggerated amount of couture they had to play with. Couture that Carrie, on her writer's salary, wouldn't necessarily have been able to afford (I work in fashion, I know). Michael Patrick King, I read one time, did say that they imagined Carrie to have been a very resourceful girl with tons of friends in the industry to give her stuff. Something like that. The same fantasy was involved in the movie's wardrobe, and E! Online has gone ahead to do the math. Now, given all that information, I couldn't help but wonder, how much does it cost to be Carrie exactly...

Carrie and Big's luxury Fifth Avenue apartment: $25 million
Louise's Louis Vuitton Monogram Motard Firebird bag (a gift from Carrie): $5,400
Carrie's 18-karat gold H.Stern Love keychain (a gift from Louise): $6,800
Renting a room for five hours at the New York Public Library with a 375-person capacity: $30,000
Carrie's "vintage" white silk crepe suit from Christian Dior 2008 Cruise Collection: jacket, $3,785; skirt, $2,215
Carrie's made-to-order Vivienne Westwood wedding gown: $22,760

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not bitter! I do love fashion, and its ability to make us dream like we did as kids (though not of the same things perhaps). This was just a little bit of fun. Besides, fashion and style come at all price points. That said, I am super excited to get ahold of my Carrie-inspired studded belt from my friend Aira of Cintura. Super duper cute. I have the different outfits I am gonna wear it with in my head.

Birds: Cute? Creepy? Couture?

Birds for some reason have become a muse of sorts for creative geniuses of different genres, waxing and waning between extremes of immense cuteness, subversive allure, and incomprehsible couture. it's like we've fixated on them, for perhaps the vulnerability that they have; their delicate beauty. Here are some of my favorite bird-inspired objects and fashions of late. I myself can't decide which one I like the most.


On the cute corner we have, of course, the Disney Princess Snow White who often enlists birds and other critters to do the cleaning up for her. (Ditto for Enchanted's Princess Gisele).

I do adore these collage prints from Mulberry Muse artist Wendy Paula Patterson. Love the robins egg blue, the decidedly French femininity, the delicious feeling of nostalgia.

Artist Lizzie Buckmaster Dove's (how coincidental, noh?) pop-up masterpieces are another fave. The clever mix of vintage zoological illustrations with the whimsical 3D shapes is just genius, don't you think?


Alfred Hitchcock's suspense thriller The Birds, starring Tippi Hedren really set the bar for stylish avian horror. Of course, there is nothing horrific with Tippi's gorgeous and prim ensembles.

Check out this hauntingly beautiful editorial from Vogue starring super sylph Tanya.


Royal Ascot fever seems to have taken hold of the runways, as seen on this circular wonder from Ralph Lauren, and John Galliano's threatrical rendition. They're not exactly my cup of tea, but they set off the clothes beautifully.

Trust Carrie Bradshaw to put a bird on her head and still look good.

Carrie: i put a bird on my head for him...
Miranda?: oh, is that what it was? i thought it was feathers-
Carrie: no. it was a bird

Fendi's feather mini is a tough chick rendition that i really I wouldn't mind wearing, while Sonia Rykiel's ethereal print reminds me of woodland nymphs and other such storybook notions.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Heart Fifi

I've always dreamed that I could someday have a magic wand that could whip up couture frocks at my command, and of course whittle me down to a size 0, which is the size most couture frocks come in. Unfortunately, a bunny beat met to it, a bunny named Fifi. Garbed in the latest fashions (well Spring, but let us give Fifi time to assemble her Fall closet) she traipses around the Internet in the cutest designer outfits. I discovered this site courtesy of Vogue Australia, and courtesy of my BFF Karaine from Perth, who sends me quite a generous fix of Vogue from down under.

Go pay Fifi a visit!!! Thanks Kars!

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The Antidote to Bad Boys

The antidote to bad boys is to be the bad girl.

It's a theory that has captured my intrigue these past few weeks, an intrigue propelled by my realization that I am hopefully attracted to the bad boy, and that no amount of psychoanalysis or therapy might cure me of this flaw in taste. But I reckon, some S&M heels from Rodarte, a couple of frocks from Alexander McQueen, and a dollop of Lanvin might (I just love Lanvin, it's to boost my spirits).

It's no secret that goth is one of Fall 2008's biggest trends. While autumn collections of the past have dallied heavily on the concepts of luxury, this season a darker undercurrent seems to prevail, albeit one with romantic inclinations. Lace with religious overtones at Givenchy, distressed black chiffon at Chanel, and Wicked Witch of the West hats at Dior and Luella all indicate a move towards subversive fashion. The sweet and soft-spoken girly girl of spring has given way to a new goth, one that sports couture with heavily lined eyes, a la Viktor & Rolf.

I suppose there is a certain comfort in being the bad girl, fashion-wise. I've always had this nagging feeling that I could somehow fall into evil if I wasn't too careful—perhaps become a spinoff of Eve, the woman, the one who was tempted in the garden. But I suppose when you're cloaked in jet black velvet, shrouded in lace, and shod in black leather boots (all fabulously decadent things, hopefully, not worn on a single day), there is a feeling that you've already crossed over to the dark side, and that no chance of further indiscretion exists. If fashion is a form of communication not only directed towards the world at large, but also, to one's own self, then maybe a bit of black leather can change my luck. But then, although good girls are often attracted to the bad boy, good boys go for girls of the same virtuous persuasion (a double standard i never understood). Then again, with such delicious, midnight-hued frocks, who at all cares.

Runway Goths at Alexander McQueen, Luella, and Givenchy

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Feline Flickers

My current obsession with wing-tip eyeliner is well-documented as all my party photos of late have my peepers dramatically flicked in noir, with the occassional sprinkling of sparkly eyeshadow (very very subtle, not to worry). I wear this look so often that when my cat-eyes go MIA, my friends notice in 5 minutes and declare with mouths agape, "Where is your sparkly wing tip?", like I had gone on to the red carpet sans heels or something.

I would say that my fixation with this look came quite by accident. Being born with naturally slim eyes (code name for small Chinese eyes), eyeliner has always been my friend. Along with my Shu Uemura eyelash curler and my mascara mascara mascara, my look has always featured generous eye makeup, be it day or night (unless I am plagued with magazine deadlines, wherein I skip makeup and all other forms of vanity altogether). But this season's obsession with this '50s original has propelled me to experiment and go beyond the confines of my natural lashline. Blame it on Lily Allen, whose feel-good quirky style had me enthralled (it's a regression-type coping mechanism, I know). Or on the Prada ads with Sasha's alabaster complexion artistically decorated in midnight-hued flicks—the perfect foil to Miuccia's critic-friendly off-color color palette. Or could it be Louis Vuitton's Fall 2007 collection—an ode to Vermeer that ultimately transformed into a parade of feline-shaped eyeliner. Of course, one cannot berate a list of such culprits without Christian Dior making an appearance, whose models sashayed down the catwalk in larger-than-life gowns, delectable bling, and of course, winged peepers. However, the ultimate incarnation of this makeup marvel is on none other than Wong Kar Wai's muses, Maggie Cheung in In the Mood For Love, and Zhang Ziyi in 2046. Garbed in skin-tight cheongsams, closed-toe pumps, and a daily dose of lusciously lined eyes, these two vintage vixens exude retro charm in a modern way.

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