Gasp. Choke. Wheeze. {Faint.}

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sometime last fall, I did a story on a fashionable young entrepreneur and instantly coveted her vintage floral Samsonite tote. I immediately started stalking the bag on eBay (it always soared into budget-breaking territory) and lusted after it loudly and repeatedly, especially after I found out it was a Marimekko print. But alas, it was not to be. Not yet, anyway.

Imagine my squeal when I was clicking around the web yesterday and found out that Samsonite is reissuing the print in a limited edition Black Label luggage collection. {It's not yet available online, but I'm keeping my eyes peeled.} They're retaining the old black and white graphic floral print but updating the luggage style for modern usability. The collection was done in collaboration with vintage guru Cameron Silver (if you haven't read the extensive profile of him in the latest style issue of The New Yorker, it's worth seeking out. Unfortunately, only a recap is currently online.)

Okay, please excuse me while I go have a small heart attack now.

P.S. I found the vintage pic of the collection here. Isn't it great?

Reading, writing and adorable little notebooks

It makes us happy to see happy things happening to people we know, particularly when those people are the kind of happy folks good things should happen to. Which basically means: We were ecstatic to see a full-page write-up and photo of our favorite Singapore bookstore, the wonderful Books Actually (which, you may remember, we gushed about last year), in the newest Wallpaper magazine. (That's a snippet of the page above.) Congrats to owners Karen and Kenny; it was only a matter of time before their charming little gifty things and fantastic selection was more than just a local secret. I only wish the store was just a little closer to my apartment; it's been way too long since I dropped in to see what's new.

Happiness is…

…having a kitten that thinks it is a tiny (albeit fuzzy) human, and therefore is happy to recline on your lap while you type at your desk. Not the most elegant of poses, but extremely cute nonetheless.

Pausing. Breathing. Napping.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My parents left this morning after their whirlwind Southeast Asia tour, and I'm taking the day to snuggle with kittens, catch up on deadlines and eat a massive amount of cold pasta. No, I could not be bothered to heat it up.

It was great fun to have them here, and they had a whole lot of nice, sunshine-y weather -- perfect for sporting about a variety of bright vintage dresses (like the one above) and my beloved rainbow tote, seen here enjoying a Singapore Duck boat tour. Today, I'm in jammies. And tomorrow? Tomorrow I am off to Topshop, just to see what they've been up to since I've been gone.

So close. Yet so far away. {Update: Now very close!}

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I saw this highly adorable leaf bag looking all cute on Little Birds today and immediately tracked it down to Target ($17! !!) but alas, it is sold out online. And in the Delaware store, so I can't even make my mom go find it after she returns from traipsing about Southeast Asia. Is there a kind soul who lives near a Target and would like to help out a desperate fashion lover in Singapore? (Target will tell you which stores in in your area have the bag in stock, which is very nice of them, even if their online store is woefully understocked.) I promise to paypal you the cash and shipping fees (and gas money even!) in exchange for one highly coveted leaf bag.

{Update!} Cat has scored me the leaf bag! Thanks to everyone who very kindly offered to aid my obsession; it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Also a little disappointing: I really kind of wish I could catch the Justin Timberlake concert extravanganza that is currently going on in the U.S. It sounds pop-tastic! It's really been too long since I went to a show and screamed like a 14-year-old-girl. JT's new song with Timbaland and Nelly Furtado is blowing up on MTV Vietnam, and I can't get enough of it, despite the fact that they insist on playing it approximately every 15 minutes. I've been here for two days and have probably seen it 50 times, no joke. Still, I'm totally digging Nelly F.'s glam/sequin dress thing:

Magazine Love

Monday, March 19, 2007

I am, as you know, fairly obsessed with magazines. (It probably comes as no surprise that Glossed Over, which offers cheeky commentary on the top fashion and beauty mags, has quickly become one of my favorite new blog reads.) Anyway, my mom brought me the new Blueprint this weekend (thanks, mom!) and I'm totally in love with it. It's just so damn cute! (In a fun vintage pattern kind of way.) The photography, styling and general design is really fantastic (for example: I would really like this umbrella, in the circle chain pattern [not shown]. And I don't even need an umbrella!). Here are a few snaps from the mag to get you started.

But really: Go forth and covet brightly colored housewares. It will make you happy!

Seriously verklempt. (Talk amongst yourselves!)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Many, many thanks to everyone who came out for the inaugural Fashion is Spinach film night last night! We had a full house and I met lot of really cool people (despite the fact that after about five minutes of highly animated chatting, I developed a raspy Lindsay Lohan voice thing. Damn you, cold!) Anyway, we had a great time meeting some of the readers (and non-readers) who showed up, like Lynette (who is planning a Murakami tour –- the other Murakami -- of Japan, which just sounds awesome) and Grace and a bunch of very fun people who don't have blogs. The adorable Priya was the winner of the Murakami prize and collected it wearing the cutest dress (from Forever 21! I would never have guessed if she hadn't told me. Perhaps I need to start revisiting Forever 21.) Special thanks goes to Josh and the crew at Pitch Black for being such gracious hosts and also for feeding me a really delicious brownie-cheesecake concoction. We're finalizing the date for next film in the series next month and will be posting the details soon. Stay tuned!

A few important announcements:
1.Save Veronica Mars! Rumor has it the show is on the verge of cancellation, which would made me very sad. I'm intrigued by the possible new premise for a return next season, which would jump the plotline four years into the future and make Veronica an FBI agent. (Logan and Duncan would get the boot, but that's probably a good thing, what with the weird illegitimate baby subplots and all.)

2.I am proud to report that Hugh Hefner's main bunny and I have the same lifelong goal: To visit every Disneyland in the world. (Seriously, the article kind of blows it off like it's a bad/frivolous/dumb thing. Has the writer never been to Disneyland?) I have two parks left on my list – somewhat ironically, Hong Kong and Tokyo, the two cities I visit most frequently – but I'm hoping to reach this major triumph by the end of the year. At the very least, it's something to chat about if I ever make it to the Grotto.

3.My parents are arriving! We're off to Vietnam on Monday morning, which means the posting will be light and the shopping will be heavy. I hear Ho Chi Minh is fantastic for shopping. The last time I went to Vietnam (to Hanoi, about two years ago), I came back with so many gorgeous bamboo bowls that I haven't even unwrapped them all yet. That is not an exaggeration.

4.Back to the fash for the minute: I stopped off at a branch of Mphosis here in Singapore yesterday, and wanted to recommend it if you're looking to get on the transparent purse trend this season. They had cute little see-through purses reminiscent of Chanel's new "Naked" bag but much, much cheaper. And a few clear lucite bangles too, which wins our vote for the coolest trendy item you could adopt this spring.

5.Okay, I'm off to Swiffer aggressively (see number 3) and drink tea (lest anyone start mistaking me for a rehabbing teen movie queen). See you soon!

The Remainders of the Day: A Very Busy Friday edition

Thursday, March 15, 2007

+Thanks to everyone who signed up for movie night this evening! We are pretty much filled up, which is fantastic. {Our little surprise for one lucky audience member is this adorable pin by Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami (who was behind those multicolored LV bags a few years back, but don't hold it against him). We loved this little pin instantly—it's a cute addition to any bag/lapel/whatever. We now realize we should have bought two and kept one for ourselves. Hmmm.}

Truth be told, what we had really hoped to give away was a pair of stripey Zumreed headphones, but looked and looked and couldn't find them anywhere this time. So, the pin will have to do.

+I didn't end up adding much to my shopping buys list in Tokyo, mostly because I couldn't find too much covetable new stuff (is it possible I completely bought out Tokyo during our last jaunt? It seems it might be). The one thing I coveted was an awesome hot pink pinafore from Topshop Unique in LaForet, first seen on Facehunter being sported by the adorable Susie Bubble, but unfortunately, I have no real need for a hot pink pinafore dress in my daily life. So I passed it up. Very regretfully.

{Note to self: Must work on creating more opportunities to wear things like hot pink pinafore dresses. Ideas: Move to Tokyo? Start hanging out at some hip spots? Get more dressed up to sit on couch and watch Heroes? All worth considering.}

+Meg at Designer's Library has a great post on the various incarnations of the Goodman-Sohr household, whose design style I have coveted since I first saw it years ago in the now-defunct Budget Living magazine (best. mag. ever!). I've kept all the magazine spreads of this house and reference them often for design inspiration. So very cute.

+The one thing I do kind of want now is a set of shiny Japanese suitcases. The Travel Store in Loft in Shibuya had quite a few, but I wasn't fully smitten until I got to the airport to return home and was able to admire everyone else's spiffy luggage. Something like these maybe? In pink? I'm putting it on my wishlist.

+Today's recommended mass transit reading is this amazing article on Karl Lagerfeld from the latest New Yorker. The New Yorker's style issues are among my favorite reads all year, and this in-depth piece is no exception. (There are lots of great details, like the fact that he keeps dozens of colorful iPod nanos scattered around everywhere.) I've been on quite the Karl kick these days, and am also partway through Alicia Drake's fantastic book The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris. Highly recommended, at least through page 139. Oh Karl… what a wacky guy, in an unapologetic fashion genius kind of way.

+I'm really rather wordy today, aren't I?

From the Demolition Site to the Runway

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Long before Marc Jacobs made them cool, Japanese construction workers were rocking the poofy pants with aplomb.

More Japan photos are over here, if you're interested.

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Today's update comes with a very big apology. Months and months ago (if you remember), one of my readers, the very talented and sweet Ruilian, made me a fantastic piece of art. It's a papercut that reminds me of a stained glass window. It's absolutely gorgeous, but I decided that I would wait until it was properly framed before I did a post about it. Which, slowpoke that I am, took about eight months. (Or maybe it's been ten months. In any case, a very, very long time.) Of course, now that it is properly framed, the glare on the glass is taking away from the photos. Sigh.

Still, you can get a little sense of the fantastic detail and colors:

Even Commander Robot appreciates it, and he's very picky about art:

Anyway, I love it so and am happy to finally give it a good home on our apartment wall. Thank you, Ruilian, for such a perfectly happy picture (and sorry again for taking so long to give you a proper thank you). In the meantime, Ruilian has been up some new papercuts – this time with a fashion focus. So. Cool!

Fashion is Spinach Goes to the Movies!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Tokyo shopping tour for a big announcement: As you can see from the invite above, we're launching a fashion film series!

The fantastic gang at Pitch Black on Haji Lane here in Singapore have offered up their funky screening room (as well as free popcorn!) so we fashion lovers can get our style film fix every month. We'll be kicking things off this Friday, March 16 -- come on down at 7:30pm for a drink and a chat with other fashion lovers (up for discussion: do you think Britney could spark a buzz-cut trend?) and we'll start the film at 8:30pm.

The first film we'll be showing is Intern, a great indie flick about working at an absurd New York fashion magazine. It's one of my favorite films ever – how can you go wrong with a movie that champions the rise of "wheelchair chic"? There are lots of cameos by the fashion elite, including Vogue's resident guru Andre Leon Talley, Gwyneth Paltrow and makeup maven Kevyn Aucoin (all together at a meal, come to think of it).

Since this is our very first film showing and we have no idea if we should expect four people or forty, please RSVP here to ensure you get a seat. (If you're not ready to make an advance commitment, you can still drop by and take your chances, but we can only guarantee spots to those who send a note.) Admission is S$5 – which should leave you plenty of money to do some shopping in the neighborhood before you come.

Plus: We're off to find some sort of fabulous little Tokyo find to give away to one lucky audience member. Maybe it will be you!

We're really so very excited about this. Hope to see you there!

P.S. If you can't make it this time, don't despair… Depending on demand, we may try to schedule an additional screening. Plus, we've got plenty of fashion films planned very soon, including:
--Seamless: Vogue's Fashion Fund finalists duke it out in this great documentary.
--Unzipped: A fantastic behind-the-scenes look at a pre-Target Isaac Mizrahi as he preps for a huge fashion show.
--Qui Etes-Vous Polly Maggoo?: Life is mod (and a little mad) for a Paris fashion model in this hard-to-find 1960s film.
--Clueless: An absolute fashion classic. 'Nuff said.
--(And maybe even that newish Yves Saint Laurent documentary. It looks pretty fab!)

Any suggestions (film-wise or otherwise)? Please leave them in the comments…

Rainbow Bright!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

You can't go anywhere without Tokyo without seeing big ads for the the glossy new Pantone phone line. I'm such a sucker for shiny colorful things; I'd totally get one if Japanese phones weren't incompatible with… everywhere else. Oh well.

I'm still managing to do a bit of damage. The shopping tally thus far:
+1 Muji Umbrella (it is really rainy and cold here! My accustomed-to-Singapore blood can't take it.)
+$8 worth of fantastic Daiso stuff (apple-shaped felt coasters, hurrah!)
+2 great vintage dresses from Chicago in Harajuku (one is reminiscent of an amazing Karen Walker dress I coveted last year, but about $250 less)
+3 Starbucks coffees (lots of caffeine is a must: something about the chilly weather makes me very, very sleepy…)

More soon!

T to the O to the K-Y-O

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Just a quick post to say hi (hi!) and share my excitement over the fact that I'm off to Tokyo in the morning. We here at Fashion is Spinach don't like to sit back and rest, no sir-ree, and so we're thrilled to have the chance to head back to the capital of all things cool and pink and fun (not to mention the home of Hello Kitty).

I'll mostly be working (and likely doing some serious damage at Tokyu Hands and Muji) but I'm also looking for some cool Tokyo-ites to interview for an upcoming story. If you or someone you know and love lives in Tokyo and enjoys shopping, please drop me a note and I can give more details. Thanks so much!

For the rest of you: I am definitely going to spend my free time photographing as many Tokyo fashion highlights as I can, so stay tuned…