Backpacked and ready to go

Do you remember your first encounter with Moleskine? Do you remember your first Moleskine?

Maybe I have a strange love affair with stationary; with paper; with objects. Perhaps this also leads to my slightly unhealthy borderline hoarding status. But I remember exactly where I was the first time I had a true interaction with Moleskin – I was at my (then) workplace, speaking with a customer from Ethiopia (who, at that point was working for HDB, designing flats for ‘the masses’à la Singapore) , and he drew out a map of his country just to give me a better idea of where he came from, and how beautiful his country was.  Writing about this encounter now, it sounds a little bit creepier. Because he did say to contact him if I ever found myself in Ethiopia. But I also remember thinking, I’ll probably never meet anyone else from Ethiopia, how cool is this encounter.

Anyway…

If you haven’t had that first Moleskine encounter yet, all that may change now that Moleskine is rolling out a range of bags.

Starting late August, Moleskine is rolling out a line of slick bags islandwide – backpacks, totes and duffle options are available in colours such as black, steel blue, myrtle green and slate grey.

This bag series draws inspiration from the Moleskine notebooks – minimalistic, rounded corners and deceptively unassuming. There is also, hidden in the interior of each bag, a little label which reads, ” In case of loss, please return to: ___ “, just like their notebooks. Love this detail!!

If you’ve been looking around for a suitable work bag. One that is easy to carry around, looks professional and doesn’t break the bank *too* bad, this range is worth considering. Prices range from $148 to $279.

Personally, the Classic Tote Bag ($178) is something I’d definitely consider getting. It reminds me of my old tote that I used to carry EVERYWHERE. Before I spilled water in it and then it disintegrated ):  But the Classic Backpack ($239) looks sooo good to travel with. I’m contemplating planning a holiday around this bag. lol!

I’ve been using the Classic Backpack (lightly) the past 2-3 days. And I’m surprised by how well the material holds up. It’s soft but stiff/firm. It holds its shape very well even if there’s little inside. It stands on its base, and doesn’t tip over, which really impresses me a lot, honestly. I do notice that the backpack doesn’t quite sit so ergonomically on my shoulders. So I may have to adjust the straps a bit more to find the optimal length to fit more comfortably.

Other than that, I do hope that Moleskine expands the colour range to include colours such as Mushroom and Taupe, still professional, but slightly more adventurous colours.

Models Mid Turn

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The house of Maison Martin Margiela has been a cornerstone of avant garde thinking and many OMGWTFBBQ moments in fashion with their dedication to going against the grain and commitment to a white-on-white-on-white-on-white that is very worthy of admiration.

At their recent standalone boutique opening at Marina Bay Sands, the avant garde continued with in-store displays of beaded faces masks from their archives to current-season apparel. Keep your eyes peeled for the champagne bottle sticker long coat, rectangular-front dress (I have no other words to describe it) and a illusionary bare-there leotard top complete with gloved sleeves.

Warning: This is a very photo-heavy post.

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An unexpected element of the evening what a showcase of their Fall/Winter 2014 collection, presented by a slew of leggy beauties and scruffy male models (or least, the scruffy model was the most memorable of the lot).

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Because of the store layout and inherent lighting. When they’d stop in front of me, their posture obstructed half their apparel from being illuminated. The result is a series of awkward legs and ‘caught-you-while-blinking’ moments but illuminated clothing. I thought it was somewhat fitting that this would happen with Maison Martin Margiela. Perhaps as a cruel joke, all in the name of the anti-establishment.

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The clothing was deceptively simple and oozed wearability.

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And I thought the accessories really stole the show that evening. Above is a sort of inverted leather bags, with hardware buckles riveted to the interior of the bag. Below is a mother-of-pearl checkerboard clutch, which I thought was so beautiful. Not sure why I didn’t check the price of it though.

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Another favourite was this funny interpretation of ID bracelets into an oversized hardware detail for their clutch. Brilliant! So goddamn brilliant! I hope The Outnet stocks it in a year (maybe more), because I probably can’t afford it any other way in any case.

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In the meantime, I had a peek at The Outnet just to suss out what sort of discounted prices of Maison Martin Margiela would be. And was surprised by the details on some of their shoes!

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Despite the severe chopped look of these leather mules, £229.60 (Original price £459.21), they look so effortless and neutral, like they’d match just about anything I want to wear. They look comfy too.

MMM Shoes

I was scratching my head for awhile, staring at the cutout-heel leather boots, £274.35 (Original price £685.87), I’d buy them just to see the shocked/surprised expressions on people’s faces. Hehs. 

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The most special ones though, are these cutout leather pumps, £186.67 (Original price £499.34), with their reversed semi-d’Orsay detailing. I never would have thought of that. Wow.

Terra Incognito

 

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I’ve been doing a bit of reading about the history of map-making, or cartography, as its called, and just yesterday, I came across the term ‘terra incognita’, which means ‘unknown land’. A phrase that map-makers often employed to label vast areas of land which they knew little about.

With that frame of reference in mind, it struck me as a little strange that Marc Jacobs would choose to title their key bag for this season as The ‘Incognito’ (above). A beautiful bag, no doubt, with a beautiful accompanying video that I caught while reading The New York Times online. You can watch here: The Marc Jacobs ‘Incognito’.

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The Incognito pays homage to the classic, and very structured, doctor’s bag. Yet despite the structured frame, is designed to retain a soft and pliable feel. The bag boasts clean and bold details which interest and intrigue. I especially like the very deliberate pleat on both ends, it gives the bag a distinctive silhouette.

The buckle hardware at the handle, however, throws me off a little, but I’m willing to overlook that.

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Upon further reading, the name Incognito is a tribute Marc Jacob’s muses, such as Faye Dunaway and Jessica Lange, for their understated, effortless style and their quiet strength.

All Incognito bags are handmade at an atelier in Florence, Italy. Each bag comprises 124 individual parts and requires a full day to construct (which I think is pretty fast, if you ask me!). They also come in smooth or textured leather, as well as crocodile.

Personally, I find the smooth leather finish the most successful. This pale blue one featured has the smooth finish.

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Available at the Marc Jacobs store (ION Orchard, #02-12). The Marc Jacobs Incognito comes in two sizes and a variety of colours such as black, pale blue, forest green (crocodile), cashew and plum. Prices range from $3,490 to $4,990. The croc-skin bag, however, will set you back $9,900.  

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Image credits to Marc Jacobs and Club21.

Maison Martin Margiela with H&M

Maison Martin Margiela is shrouded in mystery. Everything from the invisible, picture-less founder, anonymous design team, to the pared-down, super discreet clothing badge against a mind-boggling archive of fashion deconstructed, when deconstruction was a new thing.

It seemed to me that one can only pine, after, not own a Margiela. I was super stoked to snag this pair of shoes at the Club21 sale a few years back, and after that it was just a distant, appreciative affair. Now I’m super stoked, and I am sure that is also the case with everyone else, that the Maison extends its collaborative vein outside of its cloistered team to H&M, to produce a “democratic” collection, in line with the Swedish giant’s ideal of “fashion for all”.

All the pieces in this collection are re-editions – not an exact copy, but a fresh interpretation of a what previously went down their runway shows. Even the idea of re-editions is not new, in fact the house has been prone to doing this, even showing an entire collection of reproduced classics in the early nineties. The fanatical, brand-naming, season-dropping persons, will be glad to know that they’ve labelled each item with their debut season.

The collection is reasonably, thought I can’t say affordably priced and that’s why I’m having so much trouble deciding what I need. Accessories from S$16.90, tops from $79.90, dresses, bottoms, outerwear from $159, leather jackets from $449, (very covetable) shoes from $199. Here’s a price list in S$ for you to download and peruse.

If you’re not going to join the queue on 15 November (which I’m sure the boys from Onesixtynotepad will own!), try your luck online, now on eBay (!!!) or on the day itself at H&M’s website.

Meet the Johans

I can’t quite fully articulate the ‘why?‘ but the more I look at this Johan Double Flap Shoulder bag by Jerome Dreyfuss (or Mr. Isabel Marant) the more it grows on me. Our paths first crossed while I was helping my sister search for an appropriate and, very importantly, appropriately-priced work bag while in New York. And I’ve kept a tab open with this bag hovering in the “consciousness” of my computer because it’s simply too beautiful to put away.

I’ve been revisiting this versatile satchel-sized beauty with functional side zips repeatedly and have finally gotten around to sharing it (: Because good things are worth sharing. I can already envision this roomy carryall being a very easy everyday bag, transitioning from day to night. For all the bag hag magpies out there who put their whole world into their bags (#blameitonMaryPoppins), rejoice! Because according to Saks Fifth Avenue, it even comes with a mini flashlight!

In my imaginary Johan, I’d throw in an iPad or moleskin, some files, mobile phone, wallet and lip balm and I’ll be all set for the day. And quite honestly, I’m considering saving up for one, either in rust or maroon. But, save up the US$890 first(!) and then talk. For now, this goatskin beauty holds a spot on my virtual (and growing!) WANT-list as I remind myself that this bag will stay aspirational for the time being

And while doing my research, I came across this photo by Deedee Paris and just had to share it! Too cute 😉

(Image Credits: Style Memos and Saks Fifth Avenue)

Call me Crazy

Call me crazy, brought my Marni to the beach just because I could. Spent five hours baking under the lovely sun, stocking up on my vitamin D. Loads of sunscreen and sangrias were involved.

It was my day off, what can I say? 😀

Gotta make the most of it!