Sure as Autumn Flame


Be bold this summer – snip ’em off
March 6, 2010, 1:04 am
Filed under: Beauty & Health, Fashion, Lifestyle | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Plucked off polkadotmonsters, a site where I contribute:

Singapore recorded its lowest rainfall this February, complete with one too many scorching “summer” days in a row. The weather, plus its humidity, makes it impossible to even layer the thinnest camisoles, wear your bangs straight without having your hair plastered to your forehead, much less walk around with a lovely long-sleeve shirt to work.

It is not like the weather is going to change itself. We only have hot and wet, no drastic changes, which allows the perfect hairstyle to wear out this summer season. Asymmetrical cuts have been the rage since Victoria Beckham appeared with her asymmetrical bob, and we Asians must realise that we are able to pull them off too.

The trick to these hairstyles simply lies in wax, wax, wax. Be religious – search for a long-lasting wax that holds your hair in place the entire day. I personally like Gatsby clay or Zoaa Vibrance Styling Clay. Forget Lucidol L that claims to transform your hair magically, just use clay! Of course, the essence of a good hairstyle lies in a good cut, so pick your stylist carefully. Show him/her photos of what you want and don’t look back after that.

Clay is an amazing product. Pinch a small blob off (about a finger dab) and smear it all over your ten fingers. Stick your fingers straight under the top layer of your hair and start scrunching, from sides to the back and deftly at the top – you wouldn’t want too much clay on each strand since it will weigh it down. Don’t forget the ends, scrunch them with a little twist so they wave out nicely.

Think you look better in long hair, or decided to chicken out? Fear not, Summer 2010’s styles feature more texture, more layers and wavy locks for the busy lady. It’s all about letting your hair characterise you – less products, better cut, more volume. Pin it up, braid it, or simply wind toss it. And don’t forget the wax!



Christian Lacroix unleashed
April 26, 2009, 11:53 pm
Filed under: Arts & Culture, Fashion

Mikeller’s enthusiasm for fashion rubbed off my enthusiasm for all dramatic things alike – hence the decision to trot down to the National Museum of Singapore to get our long-delayed culture-vulture fix.

T’was a sight to behold with small-scale stage costumes greeting us at the entrance. Dating from the 18th century operas and progressing to romantic (and dramatic) 19th century hits, one could view a medley of costume designer Lacroix’s sketches and thought processes, and admire his translated works onto fabric.

I marveled at the details in his sketches – reflecting a mastered drawing technique in textured fabric, intricate details and the natural flair to dramatize his characters. As I recall a line from Lacroix, he mentioned how he liked to take on a humble position as “theatre director” of his cast and costumes, simply because it enables him to understand each characters, project their colours onto his costumes, and direct the cast members to present the opera’s story and experience to its maximum potential.

It was easy to pick out my favourites in this exhibition – when Lacroix marries masculinity with the soft touches of femininity (see photo above with tailored suit plus a tutu), and the drama-like quality of the 19th century opera costumes, complete with heavy layers and intricate lace, gold and everything else woven in.

I liked how several aspects of fashion are reflected in today’s clothes, apparel that I am a huge fan of – especially when it boils down to the cut and flouncy skirt. Gathers, frills, bubbles, flare…I’m no fashion journalist, nor am I an expert on fabrics. But Lacroix’s versatility and creativity wowed me to warrant a return visit with another group of enthusiasts – that it, after I have infected them with my enthusiasm for Lacroix.

More photos over at the Flickr section on the right.



That’s 250 pounds, ma’am
January 14, 2009, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Fashion

Couture.

Plant that word in front of anything and you’ll be able to convert the price tag from a two-digit to a three/four digit (without decimal places) price tag in no time.

Just when we have gotten our first breath away from Juicy Couture’s exorbitant prices, they have this:

Couture lingerie by Strumpet and Pink

Couture lingerie by Strumpet and Pink

That’s one really cute underwear/tutu that costs a whooping 250 pounds. One I was thinking of bestowing upon a fortunate lady for a wedding gift (who better not start grinning with joy too quickly) IF…here’s the big if….I happen to have the cash. I suppose Victoria Secrets will have to do for now



Chinese, Chinese.
December 28, 2008, 10:14 pm
Filed under: Fashion, Two Cents' Worth

Christmas is over too soon. With that, I do not mean the 12 days of festive celebrations have come and gone, but I lament at the fact that all departmental stores, supermarkets and shops are playing those dratted Chinese New Year songs.

Trust me, I can carol for a month to “Tis’ the season to be jolly, falalala la la la la” but will not hesitate to rush out of the stores upon the first note of “Qi ge long dong qiang dong qiang!” Shop owners, take heed – if you want people like us browsing through your products, lay off the CNY music. Sales of up to 80% off will not be tolerated if I hear a single nasal female voice, a cymbal crash or the slightest hint of anything Chinese.

Funny how we embrace the Western, but turn our noses up at our own culture. Which often brings me back to the question, “How do you promote your culture when it oozes zero attraction and style?”

Take away the red and gold colour schemes, you have the old folks biting your head off saying, “This is tradition!”

Introduce a pop-culture mix into Chinese music, the foggies shake their heads in disgust and whine about how the good ol’ music of their time doesn’t resonate with us “youngsters” anymore.

Our perception of an oriental beauty clad in a bareback halter-neck silk cheongsam with slits up to the top of the thighs, the silver-haired scream, shriek and wring their hands going, “Oh my oh my! What has the world come to! This is sleepwear and not allowed out in public!”

Lament as they wish, it is inevitable that Chinese fashion, heritage and culture has taken a modern spin, because that is seemingly sexier, classier and certainly more stylish. Shanghai tailors whip out their cheongsams with flourish, adding high collars, slits and detailed hemlines to warrant that outfit fit for a catwalk. Chinese characters and the good ol’ dragon are popular in tattoo designs; the pagoda is adopted as the “in” architecture at some point in time, and we have Keanu Reeves spouting (lousy) Chinese in the latest version of The Day The Earth Stood Still. Hmmm!