Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Those of you who know me personally can attest to the fact that I have absolutely no sense of direction. One time, ShoeGeek and I were supposed to meet up with some friends at a restaurant right behind my office building. In anticipation of my geographically challenged brain, I loaded up Google Maps and ventured out to meet her. We met, somehow took the wrong turn and ended up in the opposite direction of where we were supposed to be and took about half an hour to go to a restaurant basically one block down. (Yes don’t ask. I’m still baffled as to how that happened).
Anyway, so when I go traveling, I normally make sure I pick up a map if it’s somewhere I’m not too familiar with. The one thing I hate more than anything, is folding the map back into its original state. Apparently, I’m not the only one. The people behind Palomar came up with this awesome idea of a map that is supposed to be crumpled up. If you’re lost, look up where you are supposed to go, then just shove it back into the pocket or bag. The map is apparently made of a more durable paper and is waterproof. The downside is that the only cities available are London, Paris, New York, Rome and Berlin. For those who are going to be in need of a map of these cities and don’t trust your GPS, get them here for 12 euros.
You can RSVP at their FB event page http://www.facebook.com/superpearl#!/event.php?eid=172469352772016
If you're looking for more ridiculous ways to drop some cash (you know, because who isn't?), consider these US$460 hangers from Christopher Jarratt, made from birch plywood and enforced with a water-based finish to make sure they pass the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy test. What did wire hangers ever do to them again? Anyway, these are also extra special because they form cityscapes for four different cities: New York, Paris, Tokyo and Milan.
Obviously these cost that much because they are more "designer object-slash-installation" as opposed to "random household crap you get your helper to buy for you at Ikea." But still, this is really quite unnecessary, and brings up that whole art-versus-shit debate. Specifically, when do you call it art, and when do you call it shit? More specifically, like when I was at the art fair earlier this year and spotted my actual Ikea silver trash can on a shelf, posing as art.
Maybe I'm just jealous that I didn't think of it first and thereby become a groundbreaking international artist. Anyway, back to less controversial subjects... Jarratt also makes something called "Giant Hairbush." Now this, I like, art or fart.
Monday, November 29, 2010
I've had a long weekend of slaving in the kitchen trying to put together Thanksgiving dinner, so there's not much time for blogging left. I hope you accept this semi-narcissistic post of me trying on my H&M x Lanvin buys and then doing the whole cell phone pic in the mirror dorkalicious thing (which, sorry, I've also posted on my tumblr, so the originality in this is nil). To make this post somewhat value-added, I'd like you trick you into thinking this is a substantial post by recommending you download Photoshop Express for iPhone. It's addictive and can make your crappy cell phone pics look almost special.
Friday, November 26, 2010
As the leader of any successful military operation knows, the key to victory lies in teamwork. A few weeks ago when images of the H&M x Lanvin collaboration hit, a group of us girls decided to brave sleeplessness and shame to line up for the chance to nab some of the limited-edition collector's items. After much discussion, strategizing and planning, we came upon the predetermined hour of 4am at the Elements branch of H&M, rationalized based on the fact that for the H&M x Jimmy Choo collection, Laura had gone at 6am and come away with what she wanted. Andrea and I both had half days of annual leave left, so we put in our forms to take the morning of November 23rd off from work. We chose Elements because it was the only fully indoor branch, guaranteeing us comfortable temperatures.
Those same successful military leaders will also tell you that even the best laid plans often go to pot. At T-minus 24 hours came the first sign that all was not right. Spotted in central almost a full day before the collection release were the first-in-liners, eager as beavers and ready to give us a run for our money. By early afternoon, Laura sent me this picture from her Blackberry.
Operation Lanvin needed to go into action earlier than anticipated. The six of us came to the agreement that we still wanted in, but none of us were prepared to do the 12-hour overnighter. Quick thinking led us to a shift system, in which each pair of girls would take a four-hour stint beginning at 8pm. Almost immediately after work, Laura and her devoted boyfriend Mark headed to Japan Home Centre, where they picked up cheapy plastic chairs that would be our only shelter from the elements.
But then, our plan to collectively cut in line and go in as a six-pack was foiled. No cutsies was the rule, and it was enforced by a couple of grumpy security guards with timestamped slips that allowed only 30-minute breaks from the line. That meant that as the last line of defense, Andrea and I would have 10 minutes to pull clothing for six girls. And allow me to remind you that you don't line up on the street for four hours in the middle of the night just to buy one dress. Yet it was our only solution.
I tried to sleep early but it was a restless night. I pretty much woke at 230am and lay awake until 330am, at which point I got dressed in my pre-determined "comfy outfit for sleeping on the street" and went downstairs to hail a cab. I think the cab driver judged me a little bit when he saw where I was going. When Andrea got in a taxi from her home and asked to go the Central, the cabbie instantly replied: "H&M?" How transparent we women are.
Getting out of the cab to see this was simultaneously religious and ridiculous. There it was, a window display that perfectly encapsulated what's so great about commercialism and fashion, immaculate in its reality (we've been dissecting the pics forever) and just a taste of what we were here for, a perfectly ironic reminder that we were so close, yet so far. And then right in front of the window, a troupe of fashion hobos, a potpourri of colourful characters: a cluster of Indian men, purportedly looking to scoop the clothing to clone and sell; Filipina maids, sent to fend for their employers' wardrobe; fashionable boys with undercuts, ponytails and designer tracksuits looking to buy for themselves and their friends (for a smartly calculated profit); and of course, the requisite girls who live for fashion.
At 4am in the morning, pretty much all sense of public propriety flies out the window. It's sort of like when you get on the plane in Economy class and the guy behind your seat INSISTS on stabbing his toes into the space behind your armrest. Does this happen to anyone else, or am I just lucky? And it's sort of like getting an arm massage, except it's really disgusting? Anyway. People were slumped in chairs and on newspapers and cardboard boxes. Our fellow comrades had left us with rations, though: water, magazines, snacks. I had a fishburger from 24-hour McDonald's and considered ordering Tsui Wah to the street. I had my Kindle and my iPad was stocked with episodes of Cougar Town and the seminal Shakespearean adaptation and Joseph Gordon-Levitt featurette, 10 Things I Hate About You.
It wasn't that hard to make it to 6am. I had a minor claustrophobic freak out but that was tempered by activities like memorizing the list of sizes and styles that Andrea and I would have to pick out for the six girls and all our friends and family. Reading magazines. Checking out the vitaminwater truck that pulled up. Watching its driver eat a lunchbox. Gossiping about work. Tweeting.
At 6am, they told us to stay put. They gave out free tote bags and scarves to the first 100 people in line. We drank our free vitaminwater and listened to instructions in Chinese which I then translated to Andrea. We would be in Group Four, the 850-9am section.
Here, there is a gap in photographic documentation as 8am approached and we entered the store to head downstairs to the men's section. Mayhem ensued, as can be imagined, with people grabbing like a drunken frat boy at a sorority house. We nabbed what we could, including a bunch of bow ties and blazers in varying sizes. Dally a second longer and everything was gone. Then we headed upstairs to wait our turn in the enclosed area.
I felt really bad for the H&M staff, but they were all so accommodating and genuinely nice and patient.
When our turn came, we ran in and grabbed as much as we could, as fast as we could. We grabbed and grabbed and grabbed, with little regard for sizes. We grabbed until our arms were filled in a froth of tulle, chiffon and ribbon, and then we grabbed more, until an entire area of the floor was covered with our pulls. The staff helped us put everything into shopping bags and made sure we didn't have more than our allocated allotment of items (one per style per person). Somehow we stumbled back into the store and dissected our purchases with Tina and Laura. That's Tina resting amid our clothes.
We bought pretty much all we pulled, leaving behind only one pair of men's sweatpants. If you need any indication of how ridiculous the amount me and Andrea carried out with our bare hands, this is the number of shopping bags we needed. (Okay, bear in mind the mirror makes it seem doubly crazy.) Then, we took a cab up to Laura's showroom, ordered breakfast and got to work trying on our new purchases.
Totally girly, totally materialistic, totally frivolous usage of time, and totally worth it.
I was distraught to find out that somehow my tee didn't make it back with me. We accused some lurkers of stealing from our shopping back. The rest of the girls showed up to try on their loot, and informed us that the line was still going strong at H&M where stuff was still available. We, against all reason and financial sense, went back down to see if we could get MORE stuff. We did not, as lunch hour had brought a wave of people, but Tina did find my tee, which was stuffed into the accessories wall because I forgot to get a hanger for it. And so here it is, paired disastrously with the ruffled skirt I bought two sizes too small which will soon be snapped up by my sister-in-law's friend.
And so ends the saga of this fairy tale-cum-military operation. Would I do it again? In a second. Even though it's Thursday night, and my left arm is still residually sore.
Want to be a part of our new Twitter Tips column? Follow @hkfashiongeek on Twitter and wait for the question of the week, or search #hkfgtwittertips. Otherwise, leave us a comment on our Facebook page Or if you want our readers' suggestions on something, leave us a msg and it may just be next week's question!
@hkFashionGeek #hkfgtwittertips Casa Fina in Henry House CWB- fantastic Oyster selection (with buy 1 get 1) and on spot pastas!
@hkFoodGeek Frites, BLT Burger, Wooloomooloo (Elements), Real Bread Cafe,
@hkFashionGeek Currently enjoying Oolaa on Bridges St
@hkFashionGeek apart from sandwich places like Pret & Agnes b, there's a huge void between Triple O's & the Robochon Salon de the.
@hkFashionGeek yes it IS tough!! Guess I'll tell wht I know: Agnes B, Simply Life, Cali Pizza Kitchen (serious, sadly), Dan Ryan's
@hkFashionGeek now u talk abt Cali Pizza Kitchen, how about Pizza Express? Outback Steakhouse?
@hkFashionGeek D17 - is that considered mid-range ($300-$500 / head)
@hkFashionGeek I said this as well last time. But i again say Cenecllo on George Street.
@hkFashionGeek I'd say Press Room / Pure in Soho (new version is gd), Pastis for French food :)), SML in TmSquare & 5th Fusion (Sheung Wan)
@hkFashionGeek my pick = antipasto, wanchai
@hkFashionGeek i'd say cenacolo in Soho, it's not amazeballs but it's gd quality for reasonable prices :) #hkfgtwittertips
@hkFashionGeek speaking of oysters, i would consider oyster station on bridges st is mid range
Thursday, November 25, 2010
ShoeGeek and I were just racking our brains the other day wondering if there is a Tory Burch store in HK. It seemed to be a bit of an oddity that there isn’t one available in HK considering the brand would be a great fit here- awesome prints, bold colours and great detailing. Then two days later, I get the press release announcing the opening of HK’s first Tory Burch store. It’s like the PRs were eavesdropping on our conversation.
Expect to see the Tory Burch store at ifc mall in Dec 2010.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
So, regarding what I said on Monday about trend-following. This is exactly what I mean. Why would you NOT want to follow the masses... when what the masses want is this? Denise posted pics from the whole collection and I am shamelessly poaching them, in a sort of want-list kind of manner. A "want-list" is different from a "wish-list" in that the latter is a list of things you actually might get, whereas the former is just an alternate-universe kind of want, in which said universe has no limitations on budget or closet space or feelings of guilt for materialism.
And what I WANT is:
Hot little flat handbag in any or all colours:
Olive-green ankle boots and white cut-out loafers:
I dub them my desert rose sextet. I have the Freja motorcycle boots in black, I can't believe I never even considered they might ever appear in KHAKI. And if you know me, "she of the khaki boot fetish," that is kind of strange
Mint Diego bucket bag and Coco duffel:
These awesome hybrids of the YSL Downtown and the Givenchy Nightingale, two awesomely stylish yet practical carryalls. Me likey the dove grey:
Speaking of dove grey, also this vaguely bondage-y shoulder bag. And the grey backpack you saw up top:
The full collection will be available starting December 9 2010 and only at the Lane Crawford IFC counter and the MAC stores at Causeway Bay, Queensway Plaza, Elements and APM.
Prices range from $180 to $655