So. Much. Color!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

One of my colleagues was just in South Korea, and she brought us back some amazing fashion magazines, including the incredible local edition of Vogue Girl. It wasn't hard to gush over their inventive fashion spreads—some really fun and creative stuff. Luckily, my favorite shoot is online so I can easily share it. Isn't it so wonderfully quirky? Really, if this doesn't help cheer up your Monday morning, well… I tried my best.

L is for the Way You Look at me…

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I still have about five more posts on Paris (including a detailed description of the best new slouchy boots), but I'm interrupting them for a moment to post the Coco Mademoiselle video, which I saw for the first time on TV last night during the commercial break for The Bourne Identity (actually, it came on twice during the first 30 minutes, before I retired to my bed to watch the pilot of Gossip Girl, which you can download free on iTunes and which – surprise, surprise – I seriously loved. But I digress.)

Anyway, the launch of this Coco Mademoiselle commercial was one of the reasons we were all invited to Paris; we sat in artistic director Jacques Helleu's office and watched it (no joke) four times together at all its various lengths, dissecting every little detail (Why does she look a little sad at the end? What was the decision behind the Joss Stone song?). Truth be told, at the time I was a little meh about it – I thought it was okay, but it all seemed somewhat intensely overdone, so much so that it eclipsed the airy lightheartedness it was trying to convey. But actually, when it came on TV last night, it was just perfect – a breezy, distinctive, instantly noticeable song and a lush, detailed little film amidst the otherwise humdrum mix of shampoo commercials. Shows you what I know about advertising.

Actually, I think the only thing that really bothers me about this commercial is (and we're going to get nitpicky here) the dangling diamond necklace that hangs over the top of the higher-necked dress. I have very ingrained views on how necklaces and formal dresses should go together, and every time I see this, I was to yell (as I imagine Karl might), "No! No! No! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!"

Am I crazy to think a diamond choker would be a better fit with this dress? Or that a plungy v-neck would be a better fit with this necklace? It's annoyingly distracting to me.

Warning: The Joss Stone tune will get into your head, and it will rattle there incessantly until someone around you starts singing Madonna's "La Isla Bonita" and then that will plague you for a good 3-4 days.

Also note: Gossip Girl! I'm seriously hooked, if only for the fashion. Serene's slouchy-yet-sophisticated ensembles are infinitely copyable. In fact, I'm planning on channeling her striped tee, men's vest, and shorts action today.

Final note: Is it wrong that I am getting fashion inspiration from a show on the CW?

We interrupt our negligent non-blogging for an update

Friday, September 21, 2007

Yeah, I know, I'm a blogging disappointment right now. Would it help if I said I've been at the office past 11pm every night this week? (Ah, the glamorous life of a fashion mag editor...) More pity points: I haven't seen Mike or the cats at all either.

I'm taking a break to post this sneak preview of the very first Vogue India cover. You know how I'm a big India fashion follower – the hotly anticipated magazine debuts this weekend and I'm really excited to finally see what they've done.

More on Paris (and Hong Kong and the best high-waisted wide-legged pants ever) to come soon…

Paris, Part 2: Meet the Bloggers

Sunday, September 16, 2007

You bring a bunch of bloggers together and excessive photographing inevitably ensues

The object of their interest: chanel's historic hq at 31 rue cambon…

…where karl was allegedly hard at work in the top floor atelier.

When I got the invite to Paris, I admit – as a fashion industry follower – to being completely intrigued by the concept. Blog-focused marketing campaigns had worked well in other industries, like gadgets and books, but this was the first time anyone had made such a massive attempt to reach out to the motley group of fashion, beauty and trend bloggers from around the world. Leading up to the trip, I was curious to see who else would be chosen.

It was a truly fun group. The first to show up were the international bloggers, and they threw us all together at dinner and gave us a go at getting along. There was Seth and Ami from Coolhunting, who let me play with their iPods and animatedly discussed the finer points of bbq pork buns and which actresses were "smokin'." The lovely Annie from Blogdorf Goodman dispensed helpful beauty tips (regarding the navy blue nail polish craze, she recommends skipping OPI's Russian Navy and instead opting for Zoya Indigo. She also turned me on to the Sephora blog.) Professional blogger Jane from the Notcot juggernaut impressively oversees four sites now, including the supercool Notcouture (an instant new bookmark for me) and the delicious Tastespotting. Adorable Austin from Fashion Verbatim was perfectly, impeccably dressed for every event – we nicknamed him our own little Yves Saint Laurent (the resemblance is pretty remarkable). Liya from F.A.D. was just as sassy and frank and fun as you'd expect anyone with that URL to be. The Chanel team rounded us up for dinner overlooking the Louvre, where I accosted a darling young marketing employee: "So, how often do you see Karl, really?" She admitted that she'd only seen him in passing and not actually met him yet, somewhat unfortunately.

We swapped blogger stories and Chanel tidbits, mostly about Karl Lagerfeld – apparently, he owns one hundred iPods – before returning to the hotel and our enormous, exceedingly fluffy beds. The European contingent of bloggers would be arriving in the morning, and then the fun would really start.

Part 2 of Part 2: More bloggers!

Friday morning we were joined by the European bloggers, including London-based Jamie from BellaSugar (who let me read a rather ridiculous e-mail interview with Paris Hilton on her Blackberry. Apparently, Paris' new fragrance is called 'Can-Can by Paris Hilton,' which amused me greatly.) There was Susie Bubble, who is definitely the Internet Rockstar of the fashion blogosphere and who thrilled everyone by breaking out some crazy Balenciaga that we took turns touching, which she allowed us to do rather gamely. The fab Mary from Stil in Berlin took everyone's pictures (including a slightly goofy one of me on Coco Chanel's famous mirrored staircase). Julia made up the Spanish contingent, and the French crowd—Geraldine, Brian and Deedee—were as charming as could be and gave me pages of fantastic recommendations on everything from where to shop to where to eat steak frites. [More on that soon.]

We met, we shook hands, we complimented some very cute outfits, and then we were ushered into a fleet of Mercedes sedans--our own little Chanel motorcade that took off up the Champs-Elysees. It was not unamazing.

More to come… so much more…

Paris, A Love Story: Part 1

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So the backstory on the impromtu Paris trip goes something like this: A few weeks ago, I got a funny little note amidst all the spam in my inbox (baby slings! eco wine coolers!). It said that I had been chosen as one of a handful of bloggers plucked from around the blogosphere, and would I be interested in flying to Paris for three days, courtesy of Chanel? Thought #1 went something like: "Paris! Paris! Paris! Cheese… omm… Paris!" Thought #2 went something like: "Oooooh, business class. Oooooh, Karl Lagerfeld." Thought #3 was more like: "I wonder if Susie Bubble could possibly be as cool and charming in real life?" (Answer: Yes. Yes, she is.) And so, I packed up all my prettiest dresses in the bag I usually use for two week trips – not, uh, three day trips, but you never know when you're going to need that fifth pair of shoes – and off I went.

I suppose that is goes without saying that Paris is incredible. We (my delightful Singaporean traveling partner K. and I) arrived in the city early Thursday morning and had the whole day free to do as we pleased. After grabbing ham and cheese baguettes from a little café near the Place Vendome (our airport driver claimed it to be among the very best in Paris), we went out separate ways – K. to the Louvre and around the centre of town, and I on a long walk through many of my favorite areas of the city (lesson #1: those Keds aren't made for walking, no matter how spritely Mischa looks prancing about in them. After seven hours traipsing around town, I thought my battered feet were literally going to fall off.)

Still, it was fantastic. I saw an amazing exhibition of slightly wacky and incredibly cool installations from French artist Annette Messager at the Pompidou, hands down one of my favorite museums ever, and not just because it looks like a weird giant pipe factory. Their permanent collection is equally amazing, with snippets of fantastic works from a variety of international artists. I sat at Notre Dame and watched the wide range of tourists come and go and have their picture taken. I ducked in and out of the tiny shops of the Marais, such a fantastic little neighborhood of boutiques and galleries. I visited the charcuteries and the patisseries and the fromageries that line the Rue Mouffetard, one of my favorite streets (at least easting-wise) in Paris. I had an ice cream cone while walking past the Tuileries. I got my H&M fix on the the Rue de Rivoli.

And that was just day one! By mid-afternoon, I was completely exhausted and had to head back to the hotel for a short nap (and a foot soak). The real action was just about to start: Bloggers were beginning to trickle in from all over the world, ready for 24 hours of pure Chanel. Stay tuned…

{Renowned fashion photographer Melvin Sokolsky's wonderfully whimsical Paris pictures totally capture how I feel about the city. I found this one here.}

PS) On a completely unrelated note, Imelda and I are totally hoping some of you in Singapore will want to sign up for NAFA's Tuesday night "Print Your Fabric" course. It's 10 weeks, S$400, and by the end, you should be custom-making t-shirts with the best of them. Um, or at least, with them. We need four more people for the class to start on the scheduled date of September 18 (next Tuesday). Imelda's got all the details. Hope to see you there! Hurrah! Sounds like we've got ourselves a full course! Prepare to get artsy and craftsy, starting Sept. 25.

Will Someone Pinch Me Please?*

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

This will be short, because there is brie nearby. But, just a quick note to say hello! And! I am on my way to Paris! (Hence the brie: It seems the lovely Air France airport lounge lets you get your cheese fix on even before departure.) It's been a whirlwind week, starting with three days in Bangkok (quite possibly my favorite shopping city in the world), two jam-packed days of work, and now this: Paris! I arrive early Thursday morning and already have a day of intense shopping, walking and macarons planned.

And so, regular updates – like the items I've been stocking up with for fall – will have to wait until I am free from the distraction of cheese and wine. You understand. In any case, I've got two cameras packed and so: Exciting Paris fashiony pictures should be coming soon!

*To be sung Annie-style, if possible.

{photo found here}