Gorgeously Tanned In Summer

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen in Harrods WC

Earlier this year, my younger sister and I had the chance to run around Harrods for about an hour or two. Rather than working our way floor by fabled floor, we instead opted to beeline to the children’s section – because, seriously, if the toys section isn’t any fun, I can’t quite expect the rest of the mall to be either. And Harrods didn’t disappoint! I got a selfie with Anna and had the chance to give a GIANT Olaf a big ol’ bear hug. 

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I remember watching Frozen in the theatre, after hearing my brother and younger sister rave about the movie. If it hadn’t been for them talking about the movie so much, I would have given it a miss (and kicked myself really, really hard after). I also recall mid-way through the movie recognizing Idina Menzel’s voice and getting very excited, because she has such a beautiful, powerful voice and I was happy that Disney had decided to work with her again.

On a sidenote, Disney casted singers for the translated versions of ‘Let It Go’ based on how well the singers matched Idina Menzel’s voice. Loved that!

But the surprise star who kinda stole the show (and audience’s hearts) would have to be Olaf the Snowman. The moose comes in close second (?)

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It’s perhaps on this note, of Olaf’s popularity (because I didn’t see any Elsa or Anna dolls), that Disney is banking on another collaboration this Christmas. Because, as I found out at Harrods, Olaf isn’t cheap.

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Yes, you read that right. Olaf has a whopping £1,000 price tag!

Olaf SK Jewellery

So it comes as some relief that SK Jewellery’s ©Disney’s Frozen Collection has a relatively friendly price point, starting at S$399 only!

I thought it was extremely clever of the design team to incorporate the diamond placements to mirror Olaf’s “buttons”.

The ©Disney’s Frozen Collection will be available at all SK Jewellery showrooms island-wide from December 2014.

 Image Credits: Disney UK, SK Jewellery, Pinterest

Seamlessness

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The summer sun down under can really bite. I recall spending some time in Sydney in ’06 when my family and I would hurriedly rush out of the sun, in between buildings, in Sydney city. The fact that we’d turn the corner, escaping the sun’s biting rays, only to be hit by icy drafts funneled between skyscrapers is another matter. But recalling that incident and after attending the press preview, it’s almost given that a beautifully hand-crafted hat brand would hail from Australia. Introducing Helen Kaminski.

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Helen Kaminski has been around since 1983. They’ve got a strong presence in Australia. They are also popular in America and, closer to home, Japan and Korea as well. Starting 2015, the hats featured in this blog post will be available at Club 21b.

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Personally, I found myself preferring the Kaminski XY designs, essentially all the masculine designs. Most of which boast features such as ‘roll-a-bility’, water resistance and UPF 50+ sun protection. Also, because this range is designed for men, the hat brims come in different sizes, to fit my big head.

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Their signature style utilizes Madagascan raffia which contain natural resins. These imbue the raffia with strength and flexibility. According to an infographic in their release, a ‘Provence 12’ (floppy sun hat) has 18,000 stitches and requires 2.5 days of hand crocheting to complete. All Helen Kaminski hats also boast no visible knots nor joints. (!!)

Depending on design, it can also take up to 85 metres of braided raffia to make one hat.

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As a brand, especially one whose key raw material is so closely connected with the earth, Helen Kaminski articulates a strong  and long-standing commitment to sustainable materials and practices. In 2007, the brand received the Fashion Group International’s Sustainable Design Award  for their  eco-friendly design principles. They are also invested in conserving traditional handcraft techniques by working with local communities in Madagascar and Sri Lanka.

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Designed for the globe-trotting citizen in mind, Helen Kaminski hats with the string at the crown brim line (above) can be rolled up and squished into your suitcase for a beach holiday (or any holiday for that matter!) and they promise to keep its shape! Just unroll and they should pop back into shape.

So you can do away with bulky hat boxes and trunkloads of travel “essentials”, unless you plan to show off that extensive Louis Vuitton trunk collection you’ve been amassing, and pack light, pack efficient instead.

I much prefer (and can afford!) the fuss-free latter.

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Bags, pouches, cases were added to the product line in 2004. They were very nice and very well made, but none of them really caught my eye.

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Was much more preoccupied taking selfies with different hats on. 😀

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Keep your eyes peeled for when they hit Club 21b in 2015!

Loewe by Jonathan Anderson

Two years ago, I had the opportunity to interview Jonathan William Anderson about his collaboration with Topshop. Fast forward to 2014 and he’s a creative force behind Versace Versus and also recently appointed creative director of Spanish leather brand, Loewe.

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I’m not sure if he’s also behind Loewe’s latest campaign image, which pays homage to the brand’s heritage (above, left). But I think this campaign image is beautiful. At a glance, you get an overview of how the brand has evolved since their inception in 1846.

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Jonathan Anderson’s first collection for Loewe recently debut on the runway with a very strong opening look – sand tanned hides draped into an asymmetrical drape dress, which really harks back to the brand’s roots in leather and yet has a refreshingly new interpretation of how the material can be used. Granted the look is quite avant garde, but what a statement it makes.

The second look (all-black) is much more up my alley but I like the overall direction he’s taking the brand in.

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And ahead of the Spring/Summer 2015 drop, Net-A-Porter.com has launched an exclusive 5-piece collection available for purchase now.

Here are my three favourite pieces from the capsule.

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From left to right: Pleated linen maxi skirt £1,225 | Linen tunic (knee-length) £425 | Knitted silk and gauze maxi dress £1,325

Image credits: Bagaholicboy, Style.com, Net-A-Porter.com

Musing about monochrome

Of late, I’ve been infatuated with monochromatic or greyscale ensembles and I can’t help but wonder if this trend/obsession/interest in all things on the white-black spectrum has anything to do with the scandalised (or scandalicious?) hysteria around ’14 Shades of Grey’. Or whether, on a more serious note, these monochrome tastes are influenced by world events.

Edward Snowden, conflict between Russia and Ukraine, protests in Thailand, the umbrella movement in Hong Kong, the rise of ISIS and their practice of beheading people, the spread of Ebola.

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Houndstooth wool-blend coat by REDvalentino, £224.70 | Cropped wool-blend felt tapered pants by Jil Sander, £550 | Liesl woven toyo cap by Eugenia Kim, £47.50 | Lindsay distressed leather ankle boots by Frye, £96.67 | Multi-Chain Necklace by CharlesKeith.com, US$66 (online exclusive)

Last week, over a conversation with a budding designer about my predictions for fashion trends for the next two or more seasons will be affected by these world events. Perhaps, I’m already feeling the brunt of it now, feeling more drawn to the calm and serenity that a greyscale palette offers, as a fleeting shelter from all this sad news.

I’ve also read a statistic that there are more wars happening now, than there were 50 years ago.

Its not a statistic anyone boasts about. And I think its alarming and worrying that I spend more time stressing about why my Instagram posts doesn’t have very many likes, than trying to figure out how I can be part of the solution.

Not my proudest moments.

But, I digress.

Yesterday, a fashion brand based in Central area of Hong Kong reached to me via LinkedIn to check out their brand and online store. Here, I assume a little, but I think it’s fair to say they’ve been affected by this month-long protest, which has set up base camp in Central. I also hear that some stores in Hong Kong are thinking up creative means of getting sales in spite of the protests. And as a business, that’s what you got to do.

I’m intrigued to see how the next two seasons pan out. And eager to see if my predictions are on the money.

Till then, I’ll stick with the monochrome, for now.

Image credit: L’Officiel (I think), Net-A-Porter, Charles & Keith, The Outnet

Safety First

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Last month, my family took a weekend trip up to Malacca to celebrate my mom’s birthday. En route home, we stopped at a craft shop and my three siblings, mother and myself all went a bit bonkers scouring the shop very, very thoroughly. We spent over an hour in this humble looking shop and spent sooo much money, it was a bit ridiculous.

One of the objects I came across were these gaudy, tacky safety buckles that reminded me of Secondary school bags that had buckles with these plastic clips in varying sizes. I vaguely recall shuddering at the sight of these plastic clips in the store. And then, as with almost all the times I’ve chucked something into the ‘Never Again’ category, the fashion gods smirk down at me and throw a spanner into the mix for their amusement.

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Christopher Kane’s range of bags features this nostalgic hardware in a very refreshing way. From what I read, this Womenswear Designer of the Year 2013, awarded by the British Fashion Awards, first debut this hardware in his Spring/Summer 2007 collection but only launched a full leather goods collection earlier this year for his Autumn/Winter 2014 collection. And according to WWD, “signature details on the bags include hand-stitched elastics; oversized plastic zips inset into exotic materials; and baseball stitching on shoulder straps. The color palette features black, pink, gray and chocolate brown.christopher-kane-black-pink-plastic-buckle-satchel-butterboomHO18W_FAH01_BLK5NP05_CHRISTOPHER KANE_SAFETY BUCKLE CLUTCH

 

I feel like the bags exude a refined utilitarianism, which is quite endearing. And I’m looking forward to seeing how the use of these buckles will evolve with each collection.


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The Safety Buckle Clutch (above) by Christopher Kane, USD$688, is available at www.club21online.com

Image credits: Mytheresa.com, Butterboom.com, Purseblog.com, Telegraph.co.uk and Club 21

Her Name is Elmyra Duff

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Warner Bros and Lazy Oaf come together for Fall 2014 for another collaboration. In the process of trailing through Looney Tunes original characters, Lazy Oaf’s head designer felt drawn to Porky Pig, an integral, but perhaps oft overlooked character.

You’ll see a lot of Porky Pig motifs in this collection.

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A piglet even stars in the campaign pictures (above) and video, which is too cute. Seriously. (But I think I ate it’s cousin at the Hilton Hotel’s Sunday Brunch over the weekend :/ #guilty)

Their teaser video is equally cute too.

But above all else, I’m half hoping, half wishfully thinking that a collaboration with Warner Bros and Looney Tunes will see little Elmyra Duff, unnervingly psychotic but innocently unaware of her social ineptness, make an appearance in this future collection. I’m not sure if you experience this too, but there are just certain memories from childhood that are exceptionally crisp for some reason for other.

For myself, there’s a very vivid memory of a bald man singing ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ in a forested area on The Elephant Show and then there’s Elmyra and her  terrorizing other characters, like Taz (below).

For now, the Porky Pig collection will be available at Actually (277 Orchard Road, Orchardgateway #03-18 Singapore 238858) from November. Prices range from $19 for a tote bag to $165 for sweatshirts. *The Sylvester sweater is quite interesting and worth a look.

Image credits: Actually Singapore and Pinterest