Monday, February 28, 2011

Geek Peek: Dan Caten of DSquared

Bravo's TV show Launch my Line is premiering on Sony Entertainment Television (nowTV channel 514) tomorrow and our new friends Gayle and Joyce were kind enough to let us have a sneak preview of the show, as well as help arrange an interview with one of the hosts of the show, Dan Caten of DSquared. It seemed a fitting time as well, to launch our new column, Geek Peek, in which we profile interesting people using not-your-run-of-the-mill questions. You'll see what I mean soon enough.

Anyway, Dan and his twin brother Dean are the designers behind DSquared, and were asked to judge and host the programme, which falls into the fashion reality competition category. Successful individuals from all walks of life are invited to compete to launch their own fashion line, transitioning from fields such as dance, music, journalism, architecture... generally creative-type pursuits, which makes sense because you don't really want to watch a gang of lawyers put together garments.

It seems at least one Caten has a good head on his catty shoulders (you wouldn't want them any other way, now would you? It's good TV). As he explained, 'Just because somebody thinks they can make a pretty dress, doesn't make them a designer. What we're trying to do is build and create a designer, it's for the people outside watching the show. So they know, "If I want to be a designer, I need to know this, this and this. Just because I can get behind a sewing machine and whip up a little outfit for Saturday night, that doesn't make me a designer, that makes me a seamstress.' If anything comes out of this show, it's what it really takes. It's about personal style, being consistent and trying to build a brand."

Read on for Dan's favourite iPhone apps, what he likes to sing in the shower and which celeb he'd most like to be!

HKFG: What's on your lust list right now?
DC: Free time, travel and great food.

HKFG: What do you sing in the shower?
DC: Gaga... I gotta say Gaga. Or Beyonce.

HKFG: What do you pig out on when you get stressed?
DC: Chocolate or ice cream, the two worst things you can eat. Italian ice cream!

HKFG: What is next season's must-have fashion item?
DC: Next season is all about colour. Doesn't matter what it is, it has to be colour.

HKFG: If a genie popped out of a lamp and gave you three wishes, what would you ask for?
DC: Health, you can't be rich and not have your health, so the first would be health. I wish I could've met James Dean. And I wish -- this is a hard one. I wish the world just got along.

HKFG: Which celebrity would you most like to trade places with?
DC: I don't think I would want to trade places with anybody, but I wouldn't mind to trade places with Angelina Jolie for a day!

HKFG: What would you do if you weren't a fashion designer?
DC: Probably work in the music industry or theatre or something, I love doing shows. Something in production, or I would love to do a music video, something creative.

HKFG: Name your favourite iPhone apps.
DC: I love Shazam, and I love the camera apps, the extra-exposed ones with triple exposure and stuff?

HKFG: What's the one fashion item you can't live without?
DC: My brother!

Images: Lady Gaga, myrecipes, unbounce, movie star style, Marcolin


Bag Lady: Alexander Wang Ingrid and Kirsten

I've already been to Lane Crawford twice in the past three days to take a look at the Ingrid (the one on the left.) The Kirsten haven't arrive yet but I'm sure that give me a little time and I will be back to LC to check her out too. Be still my heart. You already have two AWang bags, buying two more is simply frivolous. But then again, what are us Geeks if not prey to the gorgeous creations from talented designers?


Friday, February 25, 2011

Sovereign Rule

This is really pretty late to the game, but tthe Julius Baer Sovereign Asian Art Award finalists are on display at the Rotunda at Exchange Square until tomorrow, and the works are really worth seeing in person. Traditionally the Geeks are all about materialistic pleasure to adorn the body, but this selection of works by up-and-coming artists really does blow the mind and excite the wallet. Particularly because some of the pieces are pretty darned affordable. The soldier piece above, for example, (which isn't a painting so much as a relief made of ceramic toy soldiers) is estimated at US$2,400-$3,600. It's not like shopping at Ikea, but it's not all that much more than a Proenza PS1 at Lane Crawford. That is, of course, if the prices stay within that range, which is unlikely because everything that I want is usually unavailable to me. The upside is that while your PS1 will only get more and more beat up, the artwork will only increase in price, and quickly, I expect, as the Sovereign Art Award gives plenty of good exposure to these artists.

What I like about the pieces is the diversity -- when you live in Hong Kong and pass by Wellington Street too often, you tend to think art is confined to the Yue Minjun school of big faces with big mouths, or a sculpture of a pig with an affinity for medicinal cupping. After the jump are some more pieces, which I will egregiously not caption or attribute in any way whatsoever, but you can view on the website here.

There are two prizes available, a Judge award which is given by experts, and a people's choice kind of thing, which is open to the public. I voted for the soldier, which is stupid, because I want it, and I shouldn't drive up the price by voting for it, or blogging about, but... oh well.


Cracked Up

Sometimes, I hate the internet. I find all these awesome product designs only to see that it’s a concept or a prototype not easily available. You’d think that would deter me from featuring these cool ideas yet I just can’t refrain myself and have to share the ecstasy of discovery and misery of it being unattainable with you all. My latest find is the lost in sofa by Daisuke Motogi Architecture. Taking the idea of always losing coins, phones, pens in the cracks of the sofas, the designer behind this contraption decided to build a sofa full of cracks. I actually think the sofa looks better with the phone slipped in as well as that random flower and book peeking out from the side. I want it!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

SHOErotica: Proenza Schouler Fall 2011



The Obvious Place

We're excited to introduce our latest Geek addition, hkCultureGeek Gillian Chu, who will bring us the latest arts events and hidden culture scoops around town. You can reach her at

I went to the Hong Kong Arts Centre (HKAC) on Chinese Valentines' Day to watch the musical Table for Two. My drama buddy, Audrey, was unfortunately detained by Japanese bankers at work, so I was left with two hours on hand to explore HKAC alone.

I usually come to HKAC to watch drama performances, so it has been ages since I last wandered through the building leisurely. I've always knew HKAC has a diverse range to offer, from arts courses to street music, but what I didn't know was the amount of artwork they had displayed in the premises.

Art Habitat

It looks kind of weird to see a bedroom in the middle of the staircase, but it's actually a display room for art loan. In HKAC, you can borrow art the way you borrow books. Artwork by graduates are available on loan, and all you have to do is browse through the booklet next to the "bedroom" to decide on what you'd fancy borrowing.

Taking Off

This looks like travelling back in time, when Kai Tak International Airport was still running. But nope, it's just an amazing installation art piece, utilizing the clear windows of the HKAC and the footbridge. It brings back fond memories of flying from Kowloon City.

Designer Toilets

I didn't expect myself to say this, but definitely check out the toilets. Every toilet in the building is ultra chic, and I especially love these ceramic sculptures of bathroom utensils.

Eat Drink Man Woman

Audrey arrived just in time for our musical, which is a crossover between two famous drama groups in town, Trinity Theatre and Kearen Pang Production. Both drama groups are famous for accurately depicting post-80 Hong Kongers mindset, and Table for Two was no different. It is a comedy which attempts to display the fear of commitment amongst local young couples. The plot is linked by different types of food, so make sure you eat something before you go in, because it makes the place smell really good.

If you want to know more about the HKAC, you can join their free Guided Tour.

hkCultureGeek, Gillian Chu, is a Hong Kong raised Canadian who enjoys exploring the secret cultural spots around town.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fashion Week Redux: Scarlet Fever

I'm seeing -- and feeling -- red for next fall. If only I still fit into pants.

And I'm seriously thinking of replacing all those LBDs with little red dresses. Middle slits, people!



Fiery Demise

I must admit when we were offered first look at a new film directed by James Lima that was specially commissioned by Loewe, this wasn’t quite what I had in mind. In fact, the little bag lover in me is still quaking a little after watching this two minute clip. I tried to comfort myself by saying that it’s not real, the Amazona bag wasn’t really damaged in the process but after checking with the brand, apparently it’s real pyrotechnics at work here and that a few bags were sacrificed in the name of drama. Don’t be showing this film to the boyfriend that’s complaining you're a shopaholic, he just might get some wrong ideas.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NYFW Redux: Theyskens' Theory

It blows my mind that anyone at Theory even thought of asking Olivier Theyskens to join the brand. I mean, what kind of whacky corporate planning was that? Like Tsui Wah asking Alain Ducasse to create a set menu. I love Tsui Wah and all but... huh? But Theysken's Theory has me reconsidering awkward collabo-efforts. Because the prince of darkness sure did a spin on Theory, retaining the brand's white-collar American standouts -- suiting and fabulously, flatteringly cut pants -- but applying a bit of his gothic romance and subversive cool. To paraphrase, he made Theory emo. It's pretty good. And he's totally helped push forward the label's agenda of low-slung boot-cuts -- those trousers are FANtastic.



NYFW Redux: Alexander Wang

At first look I kind of felt unexcited about Mr Wang-the-prodigy's latest collection. I just feel like his looks aren't as directional and singular-visioned as they once were. But then I just kept looking at those shoe-boot-sandal hybrids and I was going a little bit weak in the knees. And then I looked again and saw the beauty in the bizarre -- weird puffy things sticking out here and there, or teensy little things really not quite appropriate for winter -- and I guess I still don't love it for me, but maybe I can see it for somebody cooler than me.

PS I still want those boots.



There's a Zombie on My Lawn

It’s no secret that we love Plants vs Zombies from introducing it as an app to countless references to the game here, here and here, it’s something that the Geeks can’t stop playing. (I just went through adventure mode for the third time recently as we downloaded the iPad version and I wanted to play mini games.) Anyway, much to the joy of the Geeks, Plants vs Zombies is now going offline. At the recent Toy Fair 2011, the PvZ board game was spotted at Screenlife’s booth. It’ll be a 2-4 player game with 80 zombie cards and 40 plant cards. Card flips and dice rolls determines where zombies are placed and you will be able to tackle your opponents lawn as well bringing the interactivity up a level. Scheduled for a fall 2011 release, Mashable gauges it will retail for about US$20.



Monday, February 21, 2011

Bag Lady: Tod’s Shirt Bag

Created in ultra soft leather with a drawstring closure, this Tod’s Shirt Bag supposedly is so light and exquisite that you can fold over the bag several times without ruining the quality of the leather. I’m definitely going to head over to the store to check it out in person. HK$9800 in calf leather and HK$18200 in Pitone


Friday, February 18, 2011

NYFW Redux: Preen

We learned a couple of things at Preen this season. 1) Tulip skirts slit in the middle are going to be big. 2) Prints are awesome.


Wonder Girls

I think by now, if you are a regular reader, you know us Geeks are suckers for collaborative efforts across brands. From lining up for 16 hours to get our hands on H&M x Lanvin to waxing lyrical about Disney x MAC crossover, it seems we can’t get enough on crossovers. So when I hear that MAC and DC Comics were doing a partnership, I was interested to see what sort of makeup Wonder Woman will be wearing. The first thing that struck me was that the products are super-sized. They are all slightly bigger with the iconic red, blue and yellow colouring. Secondly, big bad and bold seems to be the theme with the colours. Of course, do bear in mind that the best way to rock a bold look is not to overdo it so just choose one feature of your face to highlight. For those who are looking for undercover Wonder Woman colours, there are softer shades available such as peach. Check out the whole collection after the cut. Available starting March 11 at all MAC locations. Prices range from HK$100 for the nail lacquer to HK$520 for the Utility Belt Brush Sets.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

SHOErotica: Rupert Sanderson Hera

The beauty of these babies is a little bit lost in these photos. The Hera's gold-leaf wedge is perfectly crackled under a layer of laminate, a lovely combination of antique appeal and modern colouring.

Get them at Rupert Sanderson.


Lip Smackers

On my daily trawl for cool things to highlight for you, I came across Paige Thompson’s DivianART account and immediately thought that this is something worth sharing. Combine some face paint and ingenuity and you get these awesome Animal-ipstick art. I’m surprised that I haven’t seen brands do this on the catwalk as this would be a great way to showcase beauty products. This would also be a rather cool idea for a beauty shoot in a magazine. What do you think? Like it or hate it? Will you be doing something similar for Halloween as a quick costume?


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I'm a big fan of VPL, though admittedly I tend to prefer the brand's exploration of the conceptual, rather than the wearable. Fall 2011 was heavy on wearability, but there was still much to be loved, from inspired layering to quirky assymmetry to (as always) perfect chunky neutral footwear. The palette always folds seamlessly into my, or any, closet. It's a real shame that so few people get to see the lingerie in action. It's almost an excuse to become a slut. Or explore than whole lingerie as outerwear thing. Whichever.


NYFW Redux: Christian Siriano

It's funny because the quiet goth that appeared at Christian Siriano's Fall 2011 show would never have helped him win Project Runway. That show is all about the drama, or the "avant-garde," as they like to say on air. But this moodiness suits, I think. I love the T-shirt/ballskirt thing, very Jil Sander and very much not as well.

Because I'm constantly forgetting, I'll disclaim it here: all images from fashion weeks are taken from Because they are the awesome-est.


NYFW Redux: Prabal Gurung

I'm not saying I didn't enjoy Prabal Gurung, but it seemed suddenly a lot more French than ever, in a way that looked back in time rather in his typical forward. His eye for structure is still there but suddenly I felt like I was seeing the tailoring of Dior, the texture of Chanel, the froth and shapes of recent Valentino (and there were more than a few red columns). That said, when is it ever a bad thing to be compared to houses like those?

More black, white and red all over, after the cut.