Many people think this day would never arrive: a Chinese girl as a face for an American cosmetic giant. Come June, when Estee Lauder’s new campaigns for summer are launched, we will get to see Liu Wen in the pages of magazines and on lighboxes at bus-stops. Ms Liu (seen here in the spread Beauty Beyond Belief in the December 2009 issue of Brit mag i-D) has not publicly spoken about her contract, but the Asian community is delighted to no end that finally a non-Caucasian can model for a very Western beauty brand.
According to models.com, Ms Liu currently ranks 14th among the world’s top 50 models. She’s been enjoying an extremely high profile, having walked the Chanel, Dior and Gaultier spring couture shows, appeared in the current Calvin Klein campaigns, and, back home, repeatedly in Vogue China. I have my reservations about her as a beauty model, but it should be interesting to see how she’ll turned out in the Craig McDean pictures. Those flattened-tear-drop-shapped lips might be no more! Or is it fortune cookie?
Photo: Sebestian Kim
Basics can look more than just everyday clothes if they are just as interesting in front as they are at the back. Case in point is this heather-gray henley T-shirt by the French brand Sixpack. The front is enticing enough: the necline is cut high, so that when you button all the way up, the tee looks like a regular crew-neck, and the placket extends, stitched down, all the way to the hem of the shirt. But the back is where the action is: a mock placket stretches downwards from the yoke, complete with buttons, one– two down from the top– in a contrast blue! As one of my friends pointed out: it’s cute! That’s not a bad thing for an otherwise regular ‘ol tee. Unfortunately, Sixpack is not available in Bangkok. Your best bet (and nearest) is in the south: Singapore, where so many of you are going to these days.
Sixpack is available at Beluga, on the 2nd floor of The Cathay, 2 Handy Road. Tel: +65 6735 3573
Unlike other lunar new year celebrations outside Thailand, Songkran is not a fashion-friendly festival. When you’re likely to be soaked to your skivvies as soon as you step out of your home, who would want to dress their best? Since the Thai New Year is not associated with new clothes, people are not inclined to buy any, which explains why retail sale is especially dismal in the month of April. The end to the Red Shirt protest is nowhere in sight, yet some retailers are rather unfazed by the Ratchaprasong shutdown, claiming that it won’t make a huge dent on the month’s usual figures.
While the Thai version of the Hawaiian shirt has strangely become synonymous with the laid-back, sanook style most people adopt these days to get drenched, it hasn’t become de rigueur during the three days of merry-making. Many Bangkokians consider the shirts look toong. That’s why you need to be very young to wear one in order to escape looking like you’re fresh off the Sakhon Nakhon–Bangkok express bus.
I am not sure of Karl Lagerfeld’s intentions when he agreed to lend his signature and unmistakable silhouette to an aluminium bottle of Coke Light, but at his age–a rather ripe 70 plus, Mr Lagerfeld has contributed to popular culture more frequently than pop-pros far younger than him. He has appeared on bags, as a figurine, a toy, a teddy bear, not to mention the parodies on assorted media, endorsed or otherwise.
Designers and beverages are not new pairings, of course. Perrier has collaborated with Agnes B, Jean Paul Gaultier, and recently, Paul Smith. How a designer’s signature or image can drive sales is not immediately clear, but it gives bottles of otherwise regular drinks some designer cache even when none of them have anything to do with the content. Coke Light is supposedly a “ladies’ drink” (perhaps evidenced by the pink bottle cap). If so, would any woman want to be holding a silhouetted image of a fully-clothed senior? How would this bottle look in a 7-Eleven refrigerator somewhere in Klong Toey?