Monthly Archives: September 2009

Marge Made Over!

Should Marge Simpson have hi-so hair?

I received this in my mail this morning from a friend in the US, who thought I would appreciate the humour (the ad is not new, having appeared stateside in 2005). Laugh I did. At the same time, I wasn’t sure I prefer Marge with her new look. Her towering beehive predates Amy Winehouse’s and even Eerykah Badu’s elevated turban!

I am sure many Bangkok women will approve of the makeover, but I say, let Mrs Simpson be the original she is. With Dove or not, we do not need another Pantene pooying!

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Filmsy Excuse For A Film Event

The best dressed couple of the night

The best dressed couple of the night

The crowd was so large, you’d think they were giving away free stuff at Central Food Hall. If cost-nothing grocery is not the attraction, then it had to be, as it usually is in this city, the celebrities. The Bangkok International Film Festival 2009 opened a short while ago at SF CentralWorld, and had promised to be a star-studded event, but it looked, to me, more Cirque than Cannes.

If this was a night for some serious star-gazing, you’d be disappointed. Past events may have yielded Oliver Stone and Michael Douglas, but this year, few noticed or recognised the portly James Belushi. If you had gone for a spot of trend-spotting, you’d be wondering if mills producing silk and polyester satin have been dumping their stocks in Bangkok.

Perhaps there was really no reason to be truly individualistic or upscale when you’re parading in the noisy foyer of a multiplex that is opposite a supermarket. But many women did try. Their efforts, however, were wasted, just like printed programs of the festival which had found their way into the trash bin.

It amazed me to constantly see those looking acceptable until they turned to reveal the back. A not-so-slender woman wore a one-shoulder ebony bubble cocktail dress with a rosette of plumage and ribbon in front that mysteriously morphed into a long, bristled insect in the rear, sitting on top of a skirt that looked like it was tucked between her legs. Another woman was in a strapless vermilion sheath with an odd fold along the back of the bust line , just next to her armpit, suggesting that it was there because the dress was re-sized in a hurry to fit the wearer. Closely behind her was a young lass in a hot-pink dress with a plunging cowl back that hung unattached to the dress with a waist that dipped so low, you could see the Khyber Pass .

It is interesting that the Bangkok International Film Festival shares the same abbreviation as Bangkok International Fashion Fair. Whether that is a plus, depends on what you think of one or the other.

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Tune In To Zune

Zune HD

If you are annoyed by the sight of scantily-clad girls fingering their iPod Touch with ultra-long, over-painted nails, drawing as much attention to the player  as to themselves, then you are not alone. For me, it’s really the omnipresence of the gadget, used so visibly and audibly, that’s more annoying. It seems that every other person you meet, in the office or on the BTS train, is employing an iPod Touch or its grander sibling the iPhone (now the 3GS). So, it was a real delight to know that Microsoft is finally releasing its latest version of their not-yet-a-hit Zune media player, the Zune HD. Competition, in my books, is always healthy.

I have not had the chance to hold the Zune HD  in my hand. Last check at MBK over the weekend saw none in the glass showcases. From initial reviews, it seems that the Zune HD is as stylish and nifty as the iPod Touch, if not more so. Published specs reveal that the former is a tad smaller and lighter. Audio battery life is around 33 hours, 3 more than the iPod Touch.

I rather like Sony’s X series although it is by no means an iPod killer. It’s not crucial that I own something that will challenge the popularity of Apple products. Can we, in fact, ever exterminate something that has populated the world to the point of overcrowding? In my view, the best bet is to just let them proliferate. It will come a point when familiarity breeds contempt!

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Pop-Up Down There

PopUp Shop

I don’t quite get the fancy name. But then Siam Paragon is always fond of giving their events and fairs descriptions that baffle. BFS Pop-Up_Shop. Don’t ask me why the underscore. I am as intrigued as you are.

Pop-up, as in a pop-up book, often conveys a sense of surprise or the unexpected. That’s why books that open to reveal three-dimensional illustrations are a joy to kids.

In modern retail, a pop-up shop is a temporary outlet that seemingly appears out of no where, with the intention of surprising and delighting. A good example of a pop-up shop is the Comme des Garcons Black space erected in the multi-label store I.T. in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay. I.T. does not normally house a shop-within-their-store, so CdG’s monochromatic unit is both unexpected and alluring.

But why temporary? Well, the reasoning is, if trends can come and go, why not shops? So, you work the space into a frenzy, and before everyone tires of it, you close it. Pop-up shops do not only apply to fashion retail, there are pop-up eateries too, such as London’s three-months-only restaurant Flash by the daring F&B duo Pablo Flack and David Waddington. Unfortunately, by the time you read this, it is closed. If, however, you want to know of an operating pop-up nosh, consider Nomiya in Paris. It’s a tiny restaurant atop the contemporary art museum Palais de Tokyo that seats only 12! It will serve its amazing food and view of the Eiffel Tower till 1 Jul next year.

Restaurant Nomiya in Paris

Restaurant Nomiya in Paris

BFS Pop-Up_Shop maybe impermanent, but surprising? What’s so surprising of a retail space that takes up exactly an area designated as a retail space? In this part of the second floor of Paragon (the mall, not the department store), selling has always been its main activity, from houses to handbags and shoes to plants. In fact, this area below the largest video screen in the complex is known to many shoppers as an event hall of sorts, where clearance sales are usually conducted.

If pop-up is meant to suggest an appliance that ejects such as a pop-up toaster, then you will be disappointed because everything within the ‘shop’ is grounded. Unless you count the sales people ejecting from their seat each time the occasional customer saunters in.

And what’s in there? This is a three-day event co-organised by BFS or Bangkok Fashion Society. Drawing a blank? Me too, until I remember a corner shop of the same name at Gaysorn. But it wouldn’t make you sweat to guess what is in there and even a passing speculation will throw up  Stretsis, Playhound, and Issue. The current collection is available for inspection, but when the ‘shop’ is set up to look uncannily like a sale, bargain hunters who walk in will only be let down. Is that why it is as still as a cemetery even on a Friday night?

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Fave Pic | Hot Dots

Opening pic of fashion spread in issue 3 of Vogue Hommes Japan

Opening pic of fashion spread in issue 3 of Vogue Hommes Japan

I have finally bought my issue of Vogue Hommes Japan issue 3. Despite it’s Tokyo base, many of the pictures in the magazine appears to me more Brit than Jap, especially this picture shot by Mariano Vivanco and styled by Shun Watanabe. It reminds me of The Face in the Eighties, in particular those styled by the late Ray Petri. The model in the middle, with his porkpie hat: a tribute to Petri’s Buffalo style? Timely!

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LV’s CV

louis-vuitton-bookSaw this at Kinokuniya during lunch today and I must say that I was impressed by how fast they put the book out (it will only be released in the US on 22 Sep). It was, as usual, shrink-wrapped to deter those who have no respect for books. It is a heavy tome (400 pages in all), and the journey from the shelf to the information counter, where I wanted it to be unwrapped for inspection, was a little tricky since I was laden with other things.

Quick look: As hyped, it’s packed with images of projects that LV did in collaboration with some of the most important names in modern art, architecture, fashion and photography. The usual suspects are in the book: Zaha Hadid, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Stephen Sprouse, Inez Van Lamsweerde, and Vinoodh Matadin, and everyone else you can and cannot remember. There were pages bursting with nostalgia, such as Jean Paul Goude’s photo of Azedine Alaia draped in animal skin.

Closer look: The white cover is a dirty-fingerprint magnet. Flip the pages; they feel like they will come off. The sewn binding is not sturdy enough and you can see the threads that hold the pages together. I was afraid of cracking the spine.  It is inevitable that this book has to be handled with care. Not one to snuggle in bed with to read.

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What’s With The Hair, Ms Young?

Tata YoungGiven her wardrobe of only less-is-more pieces, Tata Young cannot really be considered a trendsetter. One note does not a melody make.

So it is rather curious that she chose to make a statement with her hair for her new album Ready For Love. The do was reportedly created by a Korean hairstylist. Why go all the way there (or make him/her come all the way here) only to look liked you’ve stepped out of Siam Square is really quite beyond me.

When I first saw the music video of the title track (a song no different or more exciting than her other pop-as-usual fare), I thought she was wearing a hirsute Cardin-esque helmet. A little closer, I get it. Tata Young was trying to mimic Christiane Amanpour!

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