Friday, 21 June 2013

cannot even

in times of chaos, a need for some semblance of order emerges. 

in times of personal anxiety and uncertainty, a similar effect takes place in terms of sartorial choices. 

recently, i've taken to dressing in ways that allude to a more uniform state of being in response to the utter helplessness i feel like my life has been spiraling into for pretty much the entirety of this year so far. other than drawing and writing obsessively into the early, delirious hours of the morning, personal styling is a bit of a coping mechanism.

if i can't control where my life is going, at least i can control what the hell it is i put on my body and how i choose to put myself together. it's a fragile illusion of safety to be sure, but it helps at least a little bit... other than putting on some empowering music on really ear-thrumming volume, anyways. 

my brain right now looks like this:

which apparently results in this

off-duty "school uniform": J.W. Anderson x TOPSHOP jumper // TOPSHOP lace blouse // UNIQLO denim // Giles x HappySocks socks // Madewell tap oxfords (customized)

army of one: TOPSHOP Unique mix-fabric shirt // Y-3 tote bag // COMME des GARÇONS shorts // Dr. Martens 8-hole boots

ps i got new glasses (MASUNAGA is the make^) that look rather old-world and inspires an imaginary nostalgia which is rather nice because it lets me escape for a bit

Thursday, 6 June 2013

tell 'em that it's human nature

i'm not really into music but... i'm a huge Michael Jackson fan.

this song is my first real musical love, and i think it laid down a solid foundation for what it is that i look for in an artist now - creative conviction and generosity. 

not just in music, but in any field that serves as an influence on how i continue to build my own creative identity.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

reinterpreting darkness

i love the visual aspect of music makers. a lot.

i like most when i can immediately equate an aesthetic sensibility with their music.

on that note, the night before last, i watched these: 

"The Next Day", David Bowie

”ファッシオン モンスター”、きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ
「"FASHION MONSTER", Kyary Pamyu Pamyu」

it should be noted, i guess, that it isn't my first time watching these music videos, but watching them both one after the other served as an inspirational forefront for this look.

i'm really fascinated with the use and interpretation of darker, sinister elements in any creative endeavour. Bowie and Kyary could not be more opposite as artists, but there is something to be said and applauded (i think) about their love for theatrics.

walking between the cute, the shocking, the macabre and the sardonic was what i was trying to get at with this look, i guess. maybe i'm just overanalyzing and just wanted to put a more girlish look together but using items that employ more "grown-up" darker elements to them?

(honestly though i think i'm still riding the cotton-candy flavoured high of Kyary's live concert i went to go see a while ago in Singapore, combined with listening to David Bowie's latest album on repeat right after. i just love them both so much!! in different ways but equally ardently...!)

ファッシオン モンスター: Alexander McQueen scarf // McQ by Alexander McQueen tshirt // Uniqlo skirt // Givenchy backpack // HappySocks socks // きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ x adidas originals sneakers

this skull-print scarf is wholly overexposed as an item, i know. but it serves its purpose rather well, doesn't it?

these collaboration sneakers were sold out in Tokyo when i was there, but i happily came across them while i was in Singapore! they remind me of the gleefully gory Gloomy bear!!

kind of speaks for itself, doesn't it?

maybe my mind is in a dark place right now 
but simultaneously i can feel the constant urge to laugh to keep from crying; that sort of feeling. 

i don't know. maybe i just like an overstimulated brain.

(unnecessary sidenote: blogging is hard, major kudos to those who do it persistently and a hell of a lot more consistently than i do)

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


i'm in a bit of a rut, dear reader.

i've recently read several pieces in which Nicolas Ghesquiere reveals his reasons for leaving Balenciaga, Rei Kawakubo expressing (very frankly) the problems of corporate control in fashion and a statement from Riccardo Tisci saying something similar. as a still-aspiring creator, i have been feeling immensely discouraged and "angry at the system", so to speak. mediocrity is thriving and it just seems like with each passing day, passion and truth in any form (at least within the fashion scope) dies a slow, painful death. 

this leads me to some angry, extremely discontented thoughts on the latest Met exhibition - PUNK: Chaos to Couture.

ANARCHY IN THE UK: The Sex Pistols

i don't consider myself a punk by a long shot - i'm not nearly as brave or as angry or raw (although i rather wish i was). 

but the thing about something as incredibly pure as Punk is its raw honesty in expression. it was a brief, bright cultural flash of youth and rage and rebellion that has become to heart-wrenchingly romanticized in a nostalgic haze. having said that, that is exactly what makes it so inspirational to begin with. so while appropriation runs rampant in fashion especially and will not stop anytime soon, this exhibition is shaping up to be far too sterilized, monetized and a shamelessly decadent bastardization of the movement.

i feel like this exhibition has stolen and censored everything that was beautiful and honest about Punk.

what was even more disheartening was when there was confirmation of such things. the curator himself, a self-professed prep (and looks it, too), proudly states something akin to "we are interested in punk as an aesthetic, not an ethic." 

i wanted to hurl.  

Punk died a whole new death as those words were uttered. 

reading about these criticisms were about the same time election results in malaysia were announced and needless to say, what a black day indeed. i broke out a lot of the black that lived in my cupboard. 

in spite of all the doom and gloom of anything with a soul dying and the false idols who replace them leaving an awful taste in my mouth, i have to believe that there will be a moment of rebirth, or at least that there would be at least a few who would carry on being true. 

the perfect examples would be the people who supply most of the black and "punk" things in my cupboard.

long live the last of the true fashion punks!!

The Godmother of Punk: Dame Vivienne Westwood

The Original: Rei Kawakubo

"The spirit of punk lies in not ingratiating oneself to to preordained values nor accepting standard authority." ~川久保 玲

when i choose to wear their brainchildren, i like to think i can at least feel and hopefully exude a bit of the rebellious spirit they try to keep alive. 

i'm not a punk; i'm not brave or outrageous or full of anger at the world. but it makes me feel like i can be stronger if i feel like i can be. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


how do i begin to describe the pure, undiluted, girl-driven fashion fest that was 「TOKYO RUNWAY」。。。?

it was made by girls, for girls. completely and brilliantly unapologetically so. 

the event was held in yoyogi stadium on the 20th of march that ran for the whole day. it is open to the public, but tickets often sell out quickly online. i'm likely to keep reiterating this, but this was FASHION FOR THE PEOPLE in its purest, pastel-coloured, candy-flavoured self. mothers were there with their daughters, there were groups of friends, couples, business partners - all were present and accounted for.

attendees were greeted with goodie bags from the various sponsors of the event, and additionally lured in with celebrities, idols and music acts. 

idol worship: Yumemi Nemu 「夢眠ねむ」 &  Mogami Moga「最上もが

models as celebrities: ViVi model Lena Fujii

the runway shows, which were speedy, hefty, heady in their execution, the models are celebrities in their own right within this realm; they wink and smile and wave, all while perfectly coiffed - not a single hair or lash out of place. 

the brands that showed wholly embodied aesthetic singularity as a brand strength. the cuter brands dripped with saccharine sweetness and the edgier ones with airy, trendy confidence. as the brands were the point of the entire display, the clothes were almost like costumes as the models cast for each brand showing took centre-stage. each niche was clear and the audience responded appropriately. guest models from China and Thailand were also on the roster. their look and feel were so similar to the local girls' that the shared aesthetic allowed for a seamless, cohesive show.

"Once you have reached your audience in Japan, you don't need anyone else."

"Don't feel sorry for their lack of international presence, the girls and designers can live off the love they get from those at home!"

it still rings true; the devotion and excitement in the air in the stadium was positively intoxicating. 

Thursday, 18 April 2013

mother father GENTLEMAN

I interrupt normal blogging broadcasting for this important message

i think i'm a bit late to the boat, but i just watched PSY's latest viral hit yesterday and i'm completely unashamed to say that i'm rather obsessed with it!! i'm not a K-Pop fan by any stretch, but there's an unspeakable greatness i associate with PSY. 

it's probably the stupidly sharp and over-the-top styling i've come to associate with K-Pop as a whole, combined with just wanting to make his viewers laugh... and dance! as far as pop music goes, i don't think there's anything much better. a sense of humour is so refreshing in a genre that i think takes itself a bit too seriously!

GENTLEMAN : Henry Holland x LeSpec sunglass // Comme des Garçons x H&M shirt // LIMIfeu waistcoat // Triple5Soul sarrouel pants // Céline shoes

Gangnam Style: am i doing it right? 

i realized that PSY wore the same sunglasses in the MV, which was the basis for the entire look. i debated detaching the frilly lace bit off the waistcoat, but it lends a femininity that i think was necessary. still, i was leaning towards mother father GENTLEMAN!!✧ 

Friday, 12 April 2013

east in the east

please be considerate of others.

can't you tell i love everything about this poster?
i wish these were everywhere in my current part of the planet...

anyway, i happened to be in 東京 during Japan Fashion Week. by some ridiculous measure of a rather new friend's generosity, i managed to catch a few shows while i was there!! Vivienne Tam was the featured international designer this season, and it proved to be quite the experience.


from the entrance to the interior, everything was quite aptly drenched in red light. Vivienne Tam's signature is an often seamless play between modernity and antiquity as reflected in her Chinese sensibilities. everything was impressively cohesive; from the projected graphics on loop to the music choices and lighting.

sidenote: plenty of beautiful fashion kids who take selfies that of course turn out gorgeous because they are gorgeous people. the variation in conversation leaves plenty to be desired, but the anxious maelstrom churning inside my chest cavity at the time calmed a bit when my ears picked up on conversations taking place in a colloquial mix of English and 日本語。

the audience absolutely lost it at the sight of 冨永 愛 「Tominaga Ai- who is arguably the most famous supermodel export out of Japan, and with good reason. she is neither of flirty winks and cheeky grins akin to Victoria's Secret Angels. instead, her aura is strong, silent and incredibly cool. メッチャカッコイインだ。

the show opened with purposefully worked, feminine sportswear. the palette was an exercise in restraint, in shades of rich scarlet and tangerine accented with sharp black and white. abstract, marble-like prints appeared to originate from Vivienne's own handwriting. the pieces were easy to love - an easy balance of clean, tailored lines, print, and chic proportions. 

the collection took a decidedly almost military turn; the prints faded away to black, displaying only the sumptuousness of the fabrics and ease of tailoring. stunning, painstakingly handcrafted pieces des resistance finished up the show. displaying a mastery of fabric combination, cutouts (that seem to originate from Chinese characters) as well as tailoring, the stark contrast of red, black and white only serve as emphasis. 

overall, however, the collection was held together with a very chic punk feeling. the models strut down the U-turn runway with quiet confidence that radiated with even quieter rebellion. the clothes, however ladylike they felt, did not ever fall into saccharine. the shapes helped to reflect this balance of opposites, calling on traditional pencil silhouettes juxtaposed against oversized outerwear which would look far more at home on the streets than in a fine restaurant.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

there and back again

i've returned from my soul's motherland, and i will say i'm more than a bit sad about it.

i am truly apologetic for the delay (to the two of you who actually read this blog, haha). 
the landing back down to stone cold, so-called "real life" was a bit of a process.

but what tales i have! i was determined to make this trip as different as possible from my previous ones, and i daresay i was semi-successful! i wandered through many a backstreet, got to know a few new faces and hopefully, gained some new experiences that add dimension to old ones. of course, nostalgia will sometimes prevail and did lure me to more familiar spots.

the packing process was a meticulous, purposeful one. 

this is because 東京 is a fashion city in the extreme. Japan itself as a whole is a country whose aesthetics are integrated into every facet of living, and fashion is no exception. the stylish and fashionable far outweigh the ones who are not within the city of Tōkyō, and it drives me to pack (and therefore, dress) appropriately. 

the process that started at 2AM and did not end for two more hours. good life choices, obviously.

東京タワー「Tokyo Tower」at midnight. i'm pretty sure i teared up at the sight.

i arrived late at night, but before i promptly passed out after a quick shower in my hotel room's high-tech bathroom, i couldn't resist buying a bottle of water from the downstairs vending machine first. there's no real point to the anecdote, i was just overwhelmingly excited to be able to do so.

the next morning, 原宿「Harajuku」was singing its siren song, so there was the start of my epic week.

LAFORET is my Mecca. 

nowhere else in the world can compete with the bounding, positively thrumming levels of youthful, carefree creativity that this place emits to me. each brand that lives there do not only separate spaces. they create completely individual, unique little worlds through intensive visual merchandizing and branding with conviction that merrily wanders into the extreme end of the retail spectrum... with spectacular results.

in fact, this can be said of the standalone brick-and-mortar retail spaces in 原宿 altogether. 

it's positively fashion Disneyland!!

STUDIOUS is a relatively new fashion concept that effectively curates the very many local fashion brands who champion local manufacturing and craftsmanship, which i firmly believe is quite literally the best the world has to offer. the brands selected for the STUDIOUS umbrella are of course, impeccable, but commercial. 

by "sending out fashion items made in Tokyo or Japan to the world", did they mean it only had to be slim suits and remarkably petite womenswear? the accessories were wonderful, but i felt that the clothes did rather fall short of my expectations design-wise when i read about this store sometime late last year. 

LAD MUSICIAN: menswear stripped down to the barest minimum details, in both slim and billowing proportions that only really seem to look at home on painfully stylish Japanese men. i'd still wear it if i could.

one of the many unnamed storefronts in the hidden backstreets off 表参道「Omotesando」. i couldn't resist this one in particular not just because of the explosion of pastels and monochrome on the racks, which are abundant in this part of 原宿, but because two Spiderman toys were hanging out on their roof. also, きゃりぱみゅぱみゅ「Kyary Pamyu Pamyu」was blasting through the speakers. i can never resist.

i found the TOKYO BOPPER store, which proved to be most elusive in the past, was found by pure, wonderful accident this time around. i was really happy. TOKYOBOPPERは一番大好きの原宿ブランドから、私はめっちゃうれしんでした。ほんとうによかった。

not only did i manage to find and purchase my dream shoes, but the staff proved to be the coolest people i've met this trip. i even met the famous yama-san!! she was soft-spoken, remarkably polite and is practically the definition of effortless style for me. but in fact, i was overwhelmed by the simultaneous warmth and coolness in the store.  i left the store practically still shaking in disbelief. 

the TOKYO BOPPER staff: minami-san / shima-san / yama-san / nici-san

as if it weren't enough that my ultimate shopping goal had been met, in my wanderings i found some amazing second-hand/thrift stores that proved to be heavily reflective of the thriving vintage/second-hand shopping culture in 原宿。

this shop was highly curated and sold a lot of highly niche menswear brands; most notably WhiteMountaineering, visvim, NONNATIVE & PHENOMENON. street brands SUPREME & A BATHING APE were in abundant stock too.

RAGTAG is an immensely popular second-hand store whose size seems to reflect its success. where the previous store buys selectively, RAGTAG buys en masse. international and local brands mingle and are displayed with skill and an obvious knowledge of their customer base. they use a grading system that determines the price of each individual garment, but like most second-hand stores, RAGTAG does not do returns or refunds. 

i couldn't walk out without this perfect assymmetric Yohji Yamamoto knit!!

by this point, i was feeling pretty exhausted... off on a cafe search i went. i decided to explore the new Tokyu Plaza building that is now across LAFORET back on the main street along 表参道。i'm not even going to lie, the immense mirrored escalator-equipped entrance was a huge part of the reason why. 

how trippy and awesome is this???

girly snacks and girly magazines in a girly cafe is my kryptonite!!

needless to say, it was a ridiculously euphoric, cathartic first day in 東京。