Thursday, 28 February 2013

lover of the light☆

sometimes, a Disney movie is better than Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer. 

sometimes, dressing is an instinctual, organic process rather than being inspired by a specific muse/mood or heavier thoughts or ideas. 

what i mean is, i am rather... indulgent with the choices i make, sartorial or otherwise. i am both fickle and devoted with things i like love. when i grow obsessed with something, that's all that my mind will care to focus on and yet at the same time, somewhere in the background, i grow fond of its very opposite. 

i'm sure i'm not alone in this... right, fellow creatures who love too many things/too much at once?

i like examining why my brain works the way it does, because... because. my mind wanderings have led me to two things: 

this song is beautiful, this video is beautiful, Idris Elba is beautiful, everything is beautiful

and this essay by Junichiro Tanizaki i read for an art project back in secondary school, entitled "In Praise of Shadows". 

the essay was written in Japanese in 1933 before being translated into English in 1977. it discusses the differences between Western and Eastern aesthetics in pensive, highly visual anecdotes. Mr. Tanizaki's words continue to ring true to me and heavily inform both my wardrobe choices and my design work. 

sheen of antiquity: Topshop t-shirt // Y's by Yohji Yamamoto suspender trouseers // Y's x George Cox creepers
look #3 from "Ephemeral"
look #6 from "Wandering Souls"
at the end of everything, i like extremities and jump from one to the other or once in a while, simply settle down in the middle quite happily. you see, my life is rather unexciting, so i often feel like i have to project my excess energy into my aesthetic pursuits. 

don't you feel like that sometimes, too?

Sunday, 24 February 2013

black crows and peacocks

"fake it till you make it" has been my mantra since i was about 15. 

i've since learned how to edit myself quite carefully in public spheres... because no matter how much i pretend to be otherwise, i think i'll always be the highly sensitive child i remember being way back when. 

making the decision to start a ~fashion blog~ is one i've been deliberating for a few years now, and have only acted on it now because i feel like my confidence level is at a point that it can take the inevitable hits now. i used to devour other people's fashion blogs ravenously, finding one after another constantly inspired me because it was like having an entire collection of muses at once. 

my collection has since been re-curated, and now i follow much fewer blogs (and their bloggers) that have maintained ~*quality*~. 

one such blog is Style Bubble


Susie Lau needs no introduction in the world of fashion blogging. she is a splendid kaleidoscope of a fashion enthusiast whose wardrobe is as diversified and enchanting as her text. i came across this post which linked me to the original article by Suzy Menkes of T magazine, which essentially bemoans the general ridiculousness of street style stars/bloggers who lurk about outside show locations during fashion weeks in New York, London and Paris, starving for attention from street style photographers.  

essentially, i read it as an Old Institution refusing (or is too slow) to learn and adapt to this brave new world in which anyone, and i mean anyone, with an internet connection and is somewhat/arguably articulate in stating their opinion can work their way into an industry based on elitism and exclusivity. 

nostalgia is the most selfish but the most human indulgence, and Ms. Menkes went to town with it in her article. this is all fine and good, but the fact is that the state of fashion now is its monster growth is rooted in its democratization. the very moment this beast called Fashion decided that it would appeal to the masses, the snowball was already rolling itself down the hill. everyone wanted a piece of the pie and the fact is that the internet made it possible. or, at the very least, it creates a most convincing illusion of accessibility being possible. 

with the fact being what it is, the grown-ups of the industry need to learn to play nice and quit reinforcing the awful stereotype of fashion people being nothing but uptight elitists who can gush and coo over fabrics and silhouettes among themselves and not truly, sincerely, welcome anyone new (and therefore new ideas/thoughts) into the fray. 

Fashion was my escape from the terrible, mediocre people who occupied the population of my secondary school years. it invited me in, telling me i could love odd things and those influences could be made fun or beautiful or thought-provoking... or all of the above. i fell in love and i still am, but it is things like this that makes our relationship a tumultuous one. 

/as a side note, i think it certainly has to be said that street style has existed and thrived long before Scott Schuman was around to tarnish it with his incessant egoism and so-called "high taste". but that argument is a whole other post. 

Friday, 22 February 2013

fighting purgatory

i saw Cloud Atlas yesterday. 

it was a stunning, moving film experience that did momentarily steal my breath in the best possible way.

watching parallel lives run their course and threads of fate interweave with one another on film, combined with still-fresh pensive thoughts on life and death after my step-grandmother's passing... the two had me thinking about "existence" in general more intensively than i had done in a long while.

what does being alive (or dead) for that matter really mean, anyway? 

i'm an emotive creature, so to me, i feel most alive when it feels like my soul has taken a gasping breath of life from purgatory-like sleep. the trigger varies, but it feels no less true.

watching in awe, excitement and completely succumbing to the magical suspension of disbelief during my viewing of Cloud Atlas makes me feel alive

and so, my soul still felt elation when i woke up today

but it also felt remnants of the existential thought processes that plagued me before that

Comme des Garçons pour homme blazer // JW Anderson x TOPSHOP t-shirt // Vivienne Westwood ring // Zara trousers // Church's slippers

Memento Mori: "Remember that you will die."

I had the image of this ~charming~ character from Cloud Atlas in my mind when dressing this morning

it's good to be constantly reminded of one's mortality; because we'd waste a lot of life-time otherwise. . . which i think seems to happen more often than not.

i really do hate to say it but... you only live once and all that. so best make it count, right?

Friday, 15 February 2013

as CNY draws to a close . . .

"I have the scene but not the whole story."

My step-grandmother passed away today. 

I'm glad she went peacefully.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

serpent rising

all the luck, please.

chinese new year just happened this past weekend; a belated 恭喜发财 to you, my dear reader! i wish you the best of luck and prosperity for this year of the snake (my year, woo!). 

the holiday hullabaloo have been an extremely welcome reprieve from the excruciating agony that is job-hunting. which, i admit, i've been doing half-heartedly since leaving my post at a publication that i was really enthused about. due to immigration-related complications, i've been unable to continue there and it's been more than a little disheartening. i'm still picking up the pieces of what feels like an epic disaster of a misstep on the journey to adulthood thing. 

but enough doom and gloom!

chinese new year is really ceremonious in my family. we usually go all out with the decorations, the food, the socializing, the visits, the food, the new clothes, the food... it's almost like thanksgiving just because of all the food. 

mee sua is for longevity and good health and stuff. also it's my favourite. 

feasting is a highlight of the celebrations, but for me, inevitably, it's always about being able to wear ALL the new clothes! this year, the new wardrobe mostly consists of JW Anderson x TOPSHOP delights with some random Club 21 goodies scored from the Bazaar last year. 

after much begging and bartering, however, the show-stopper is my 草間 彌生 x LOUIS VUITTON polka dot Lockit handbag. words cannot justly describe how much i emote and wax poetic about this one seemingly superficial addition to my wardrobe... and i don't want to try. i'll only say that Yayoi-san is a personal hero whose work i've greatly admired for years now and i want so much to be like her.

also, we're birthday twins (22/03). there's that. which is awesome.

Second day of visiting: tao for Comme des Garçons top // JW Anderson x TOPSHOP skirt //  草間 彌生 x LOUIS VUITTON Lockit bag // Céline patent leather loafers

there's something about dressing in labels created by strong people that somehow, in my imagination, lends me the strength to assert myself the way i choose to. strength by osmosis, or something like that. i think there's something inherently human about fashion in particular, because we are so driven to embellish ourselves to portray the best version as we see fit. those aesthetic choices made is what creates that elusive "personal style".  

it is purely superficial, selfish and basic, and yet somehow, that's what i like most about the grey area between fashion and personal style.

thankfully, i share this concept with one of my cousins, who i staunchly believe was my twin in a past life. i count him as one of my best friends and he is the spine of my local support system. this makes chinese new year family reunions not only bearable, but downright enjoyable and memorable. 

he gifted me with this second issue of LOVE magazine on a whim, knowing how much i love Katie Grand. so lovely, right?!

while the festivities are indeed dying down now, they are far from over... so, thankfully, bitter reality can be kept at bay for a little while longer. job-hunting/soul-searching part deugh (deux) can continue after this week is over. 

Friday, 8 February 2013

freedom is not for free

22/03/11: Vivienne Westwood ring // tao for Comme des Garçons knit // limiFEU skirt // +J for UNIQLO leggings // y's x George Cox shoes

having spent five years in New York City on top of going to Parsons for university, i've come to learn more than i thought i ever could in the art of self-expression. i credit most of what i learned about the relationship between personal style and the freedom of expression to my time there - whether it was through the friends i made, the classes i took or the walks i would have through the gritty city streets. 

in retrospect, it was not a difficult time for me at all. it was a lot of work, but i didn't suffer.

but something just happened earlier today that made me realize why.

i have a dear friend who is unique in the extreme. and by unique, i mean for New York. Tokyo is her soulmate city, without a doubt. 

Tea & Sympathy was our thing, though. 

whether she knows it or not, she has been one of my ~silent muses~ as she dresses herself from the inside out. i've never met someone quite so self-aware, of both her aesthetic and her influences, and it's endlessly fascinating and inspiring to me. as a child of the internet, she opens herself to criticisms by people who take her at superficial internet-persona level and looking the way she does (and refusing with great adamance to not change it for anyone), she does. and often.

unfortunately, her online presence has attracted the attention of an even more unfortunate cretin in her class. 

some awfully disgusting judgmental things were said via an anonymous ask on tumblr and my said dear friend responded with a sharpness i've never been more proud to see her display. she is my beloved 後輩、so i feel very protective of her even though i know very well that she's capable of taking care of herself. 

it got me thinking about how this unnamed, cowardly waste of human life only reinforces how brave The Different, The New, The Unique have to be. it takes courage to not only find who we think we are, but even more so to dress the part too. while i do get hit with Special Snowflake Syndrome once in a while, i know for a fact that i do go out of my way to sometimes not "offend" people by the way i dress. which is ironic, considering how much i admire those who could not give two sh*ts. 

so i'm learning to let go, learning not to care as much and dress the way i want to and feel is right just for me.

starting with wearing these ugly-amazing deerskin sneakers by Number (N)ine x Converse again, in spite of them being a size too big, made for men and my mother wanting to set them on fire:

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

originality is a myth

i think about it more than i should.

there's something that needs to be said about there being too much of something. specifically, i'm talking about fashion blogging and their bloggers. 

a huge amount of bravery and impetuousness goes into putting oneself out into a public forum like the internet, and that, to me, is really something to applaud and welcome. content inspires content, after all. it's an endless circle that's not likely to end any time soon. 

of course, with so much democratization, quality comes into question. but then, the definition of said quality should also be questioned, right? personally, it comes down to how sincere the voice of the blog is. if on some level, i choose to believe his/her words and then be enchanted by the aesthetic, that's a sign of my eager heart happily following soon after.

with this in mind, i hardly claim to be original or unique at all. i'm quite happily a Frankenstein-esque sum of my influences, which i pick and choose with intent. so honestly, i don't really know what i'm doing here, but i'm making it up as i go along.