She's With the Band

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A few months ago (er, like six), I read this fantastic comprehensive biography of the Rolling Stones. And yes, those guys are musical legends, but the parts I enjoyed most were their off-stage, headline-making antics – in particular, the impressive girlfriend juggling they seemed to master pretty quickly. Even decades after their hedonistic heyday, it's all so fascinating and scandal-riffic.

There seem to be a couple of requisites to being a Rolling Stone girlfriend: 1) Have a very high tolerance for flings with other women (and occasional illegitimate babies). 2) Be devastatingly stylish. (And, okay, a penchant for drug use didn't seem to hurt much either.) I'm mostly fixated on the stylish aspect, and went trolling for pics of some of Stones' main squeezes during the '60s and '70s, especially Anita Pallenberg and Marianne Faithfull. They've both got that great shaggy blonde, big furs, rumpled glam thing going on, and I love it. Have a look.

Let's start with Marianne. That's her above – aren't the glasses fab?

Moving on to Anita, who was decidedly more rocker-y (leather! short shorts!):

And here's a gratuitous pic of a young Mick (with pre-Marianne girlfriend Chrissie Shrimpton). Because really, the man's style could fill a few posts of his own:

Happy Halloween!

Without any little kids to come by and push sugar on, I had to mark the occasion by doing the Thriller dance in my living room. I'm no Filipino prisoner, but the cats were still amused.

Around the Blogosphere!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Today I finally had some time to catch up on my regularly scheduled blog reading (my bloglines list clocks in at 159 feeds right now, which means it's also probably time to update the links list at the left). The amount of wonderful things out there always astounds me; here's just a few that caught my eye:

1. A Pez work of art! Created by One Good Bumblebee. I still buy myself Pez dispensers when I'm waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store – they're just so happy. Love.

2. How About Orange has a great how-to on How to Make Fabric Wall Art. I've been wanting to do this for ages with vintage prints. Did I know it was so easy? No, I did not. So now I have no excuse.

3. Ma Vie En Rose turned me on to this apartment makeover from Oprah at Home mag. I'm definitely digging some of the ideas.

4. I so love this entire house, but I especially love these metal tabletop sculptures. Oh, to be a minimalist! I suppose a girl can dream. And then she can go right back to acquiring Pez dispensers.

5. On a non-blog-related note (also a non-decor related note), I'm having strong urges to run around in over-the-top ensembles this week, a la Margot Tenenbaum's fur coat and intense eyeliner (top). Sometimes, just getting super-dressed up makes you feel that much happier. Plus, it is Halloween tomorrow, which calls for an especially extravagant outfit, don't you think?

Mark your (stylish) calendars, Singapore!

Ah… November. A time of wooly sweaters, autumn leaves and pre-Holiday shopping. Or, in Singapore, pre-Holiday shopping. Still, they do the pre-Holiday shopping thing really well here. Here's what's on our calendar so far this month. What's on yours?

*Sunday, November 4: Our lovely friends at Epitome tipped us off to an upcoming shopping fair at the equally lovely House at Dempsey Road. (Unfortunately, we cannot find proof of this event on the Internet – can anyone help?) We'll keep you updated – rumor has it there will be lots of great vendors, the famous Longest Sausages in Singapore and a kissing booth.

*Sunday, November 18 marks the return of the Zouk Flea 'n Easy flea market. Squeeze yourself in from 2pm-7pm at Zouk.

*Saturday, November 24: The fabulous Fash Bash is back with a vengeance. They've got a new location at the Gallery Bar at St. James Power Station (less crowding! whoo!) and a great holiday shopping-worthy lineup. It runs from 1pm-7pm.

*Sat-Sun, November 24-25: Finally, the kids at are organizing the Yebber Fashion Fusion event, featuring some fun local designers and indie labels (sorry, vintage lovers, it's new stuff only). Looks like fun!

What am I missing? Share with the group!

Back. And in love! (With shoes!)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Well, that was kind of an impromptu little break, wasn't it? So sorry for the complete drop-off-the-face-of-the-blog moment. One day, I was just puttering along, doing my thing; the next thing I know, I'm juggling 15-hour photo shoots and looming deadlines and a packed schedule of activities (er, like hanging out with adorable puppies at Pawtobello Cafe and the Halloween bus bar crawl, which was just. so. awesome). It has been a lot of work and a lot of fun and not a lot of free time to ruminate about fashion, unfortunately.

{As further proof of insane busyness, I offer this: The new Vogue arrived yesterday and I had not even finished the last one. This has never, ever happened before. See what I mean?}

But not to worry: I have also been shopping. (Er… probably a bit too much shopping, but that's neither here nor there.) I have recently developed a new obsession, and that obsession is the Calvin Klein fall collection. It features exactly the kind of sleek, dark, inventive styles that I was fixated on in my last post. I've been to the store in the basement of Ngee Ann City at least three times in the past week just to visit and drool over my favorite items (the long sweaters, mostly) and enjoy Francisco Costa's lovely, simple designs.

I've barely paid attention to Calvin Klein in recent years. (If by recent years, I mean since I was about 17, which is longer ago than I care to admit.) The company fell victim to the whole let's-put-our-name-on-everything boom of the 1990s, and I've never gotten over the stigma of all the Calvin Klein crap you used to find at discount department stores. What changed my mind? It was a skirt. A gorgeous, draped, pencil-y skirt that another editor had loaned for a photo shoot we did last week. I slipped it on just to try and it was so beautiful. It felt beautiful. Next thing I knew, I was a instant, total convert to the brand.

Oh, and their shoes! The shoes are amazing. I was so completely adoring them in the store – where they only carry up to a 38, which is three sizes smaller than my feet, and which is also much more expensive than in the U.S. – that I may have immediately went on the internet and bought these. And, okay, maybe these.

And that's what I have been up to. More to follow – much sooner, I promise.

{Update! Update!} So, the new shoes arrived. The pewter ones are pretty cute and seemingly very comfy. The black heels are gorgeous, intense -- and waaaay too high for me. There's something about the wedge-ish heel that makes them *appear* to be of a reasonable height, and yet they are not. After trying them on, oh, about six times in hopes of suddenly developing a tolerance for 4-inch heels, I'm returning them. I just purchased the slightly less fabulous (but also much less high) Steve Madden black patent Stich version as a hopefully suitable alternative. Sigh.

(A small declaration: I'm sitting here looking at the collection slideshow on, trying to pick out some pictures to show you, and I can't. Not one of the pictures shows the subtle loveliness of the pieces. This is why I hate runway pictures. I've always felt like a bad fashion person because I really dislike watching the runway recaps after the collections, because they are boring and flat and just never convey the drama and detail of seeing the clothes in person. It's always felt like cheating myself of fashion – I'd really rather wait the six months until the pieces show up in stores and beautiful magazine editorials than see the styles right away. And so, I am absolving myself of this guilt and admitting it publicly: I hate runway recaps, and I will continue to avoid them at all costs. Phew. What a relief.)

{the meager amount of pics I have found are from the Calvin Klein site, except for the shoes. isn't the first one – from the fall 2007 runway rehearsal – just gorgeous?)

Un croissant, s'il vous plait*

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Maybe it was my recent trip to France, or maybe it’s just all my current fashion obsessions converging into something logical, but I'm supremely influenced by Paris –-and more specifically, the Parisienne look -- this season. Which (in my book) includes all of the following: smudgy liner; shaggy, slightly-in-your-eyes bangs; long scarves; skinny jeans tucked into slouchy boots; flushed cheeks; trench coats; aviator sunglasses; leggings with flats; lots and lots and lots of black and gray. The women of Paris seem to have perfected the notion of slouchy glamour – clothes are fitted, but not too tight; they are stylish, but never too shiny-new or overly matchy or ultra-trendy. In Paris, one of my favorite things to do was grab a coffee and sit outside and watch the style go by (actually, it's my favorite thing to do in any city, but Paris was particularly rewarding).

The other day, I reorganized my closet and set aside all the bright vintage sundresses that have been my staple for the past few seasons (not that I'm throwing them away or anything, just giving them a little rest). Most of the pieces I'm wearing now are much more European-sober, if you'll permit me to invent that adjective (hmmm… eurosober?). Here's a list of my current wardrobe favorites:
+long skinny black-and-gray striped scarf;
+slouchy brown flat books ($3 at U.S. thrift store);
+a variety of tunic-length button-down shirts from the always amazing Soon Lee (in fact, I recently declared Sharon and Wei Loong to be "better than Topshop!");
+oversized aviator sunglasses from Mango;
+Black Karat eyeliner from the McQueen collection at MAC (dark with just a hint of gold shimmer – subtle but very cool);
+menswear vest (frequently worn over aforementioned extra-long tunics);
+ruched Topshop booties;
+billowy off-white scarf;
+skinny dark, dark jeans from the Gap;
+gold Topshop heels with braid detailing;
+black and white squirrel print Svensson scarf from Billet Doux (yep, I'm totally all about scarves right now);
+silver H&M hip-length pouch;
+slouchy Muji button-front cardigan (er… in case of freak cold spell);
+piled-on thin copper bangle bracelets;
+an oversized vintage frame bag in black patent;
+my amazing Zubair Kirmani tunics;
+leggings (yes, really! This development will soon get a post of its own.)

I'm still throwing in some colors and patterns -- and adding in a good dose of random eclecticism -- but in a more subtle way, like with bold belts and vintage scarves (as discussed). It's always a bit tricky doing fall/winter over here, as too many layers will have you sweating profusely in no time (unfortunately, "dewy" is not part of my look at the moment). What's on your must-have list right now? Please share!

{Photos from the ever-enjoyable Korean Vogue Girl.}

*Pretty much the extent of my French, but a fine phrase to master.

In Which I Was Forced to Leave the House "Looking Like That"

Even those of us who take some pride in putting our daily ensembles can be instantly humbled by a fashion challenge. In my case, that devastating challenge was my first golf lesson this weekend. Reading over course rules about 20 minutes before I was set to leave, I realized that golfers have serious dress codes to contend with. Such as: a requirement for collared shirts, belts and – the dreaded k-word – khaki pants. I am not opposed to many things in fashion, but recently I have become pretty opposed to khakis. (Seriously: Even the cutest khakis are never all that cute -- at least on me. I sometimes wonder what I was thinking during the years 1988-2000, when they were a regular wardrobe staple.)

I have kept one pair of baggy khakis from the aforementioned preppy stage of my life, and gamely pulled them on with a navy golf shirt and a stripey ribbon belt, in keeping with club rules and all. At which point Mike promptly started laughing at my get-up. (I believe his exact words were, "Now I know why you never wear khakis.") I scrambled around a bit and came up with slightly more acceptable gray shorts and a white oxford, along with a commitment to find some cute golf clothes. Which is way harder than originally anticipated. I'm thinking ostentatiously preppy -- a la Cameron Diaz -- might be the way to go. Where does one find argyle nowadays?

Wow. It's been a long time since I've been really stuck to find something to wear.

Getting all Gossip Girl-y in my Closet

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Subtitle: Yes, I aspire to dress like the characters in a teen dramedy and I'm not ashamed to admit it

So, I am still completely digging Gossip Girl. Earlier this week, I had a lengthy conversation over how Blair's fabulous raven hair made me happy to be a brunette and how she really got screwed, wardrobe- and makeup-wise, during the bar scene in the pilot episode, when she looked like a fashionably challenged prostitute, and gosh darn it, it was one of my most enjoyable conversations all week.

I was inspired by some of Serena's style elements from the first episode and came up with this ensemble a few weeks ago. I'm so feeling the little necktie – really, just a long scarf tied in a bow – right now. It's a great alternative to investing in the tie-neck blouse. It also isn't actually something that she wore, but the first picture above did convince me I could tie a scarf around my neck again without looking completely 1998/suburban soccer mom.

Chanel's Jacques Helleu

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Allow me to be a bit uncharacteristically somber for a moment. I was quite saddened to see that Jacques Helleu – Chanel's artistic director that I met earlier this month and just blogged about just last week -- passed away on Friday. The news was a bit shocking: He was incredibly vibrant and energetic in person, very dynamic, very funny. (Susie recounts one of my favorite moments of the meeting as well: After his cell phone kept repeatedly ringing, he answered it by yelling "Impossible!" and then promptly hung up.)

He was also quite candid, telling us insidery details about various Chanel campaigns he had worked on over the years (the one above from 1986 stars onetime Lagerfeld muse Ines de la Fressange, whom he declared "the most difficult person to take a picture of").

He also shared a story of the much-discussed red dress from the Keira Knightly campaign, which apparently was director Joe Wright's vision. Karl Lagerfeld wasn't too keen on the idea at first, especially when Joe started giving direction on how he saw the dress being designed. "Joe Wright was the one who wanted the red dress, and he came to see Karl with me," Helleu told us. "Karl was not too excited… [Joe was telling him,] 'No, it should be like this'. Karl is the king; he does not like advice." Guess they eventually worked it out.

Helleu worked at Chanel for more than 40 years – he first joined in 1956 as the "Manager of Good Taste" – and collaborated on campaigns with everyone from Richard Avedon to Baz Luhrmann. He is also, not unremarkably, the man behind the Chanel J12 watch – quite possibly the only super-identifiable designer product that I desperately covet (in glossy white ceramic, please!). His legacy is undeniable—even if his name isn't immediately recognizable, his ad campaigns have been remembered and referenced for decades. Here's another one of his famous commercials, starring Vanessa Paradis: