Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The Power Couple

Have you ever wondered how someone could be so confident that it would not overspill into the demarcation from confidence to cockiness? It is just this invisible aura that is constantly emitting out from their bodies, their dressing, their posture and their composure. They are looked up upon, the dreams of many individuals who desire to emulate them and even one day be like them. They are like secret undercover (or uncovered) role models not widely publicized by new media.

Three years ago, I adventured through the western part of America. I remembered this couple in Las Vegas; they had a presence so strong that it was unavoidable. In retrospect, I loved how the way they walked - she was wearing Christian Louboutin and her man was in Tom Ford - step by step they were setting foot full of assurance and certainty onto that smooth marble floor. They were at their peak of confidence and classy emanation, and it was definitely not tumbling into the line that separated cockiness. I couldn't help but to stare at them as they walked past the hotel.

'Man, I want to be like them one day.'

Fast forward three years, I could still vividly remember the air they carried. I haven't seen anyone like that before.

Perhaps it was that pair of shoes that they wore that gave them that confidence. Perhaps their shoes were their secret weapon that granted them such power and ability. One is American and the other is French. Maybe one of them is really American, while the other is French. Since in fashion terms, there are the four power houses: namely New York, London, Milan and Paris. And when two of them meet and coalesce, they become a power couple. A power couple is a couple so evidently strong, successful and attractive (as a couple) that their aura is inevitable. Think Olivia Palermo and Johannes Huebl. Think Brangelina. Perhaps that was what gave them that aura. Maybe power couple was the answer that led the two love-birds in Las Vegas to have that robust aura. When it comes to that power weapon, I couldn't help but wonder: Is the aura's lethalness only potent when it comes in a pair?

I actually found my power weapon: it was assuredly in a pair. It is this pair of Zara jeans I have gotten it off the racks during a sale season. Actually I would like to correct it: I got it off a woman's hands instead. I remember her clutching it securely, wanting to make it her power weapon too. But I managed to make it mine with a little 'Oh you put it down so I'm taking it and it's mine now!' trick.

I might have been reusing all these photos, but hey, here's the catch. If I haven't been repetitively exploiting these pair of jeans, would they actually miraculously reappear in all my other outfit-of-the-days?

Just so you know, I know what you guys might be thinking initially: 'White COS t-shirt isn't it.', but there are times that surprises might actually sprung onto you unsuspectingly. So I might have actually found mine, currently. But what about you guys?

Image One: Topshop blazer, Zara t-shirt, Zara loafers, Proenza Schouler clutch

Image Two: Feist collar, Topman t-shirt, Zara sandals

Image Three: Feist muscle tank, Monki crossbody bag, Zara sandals

Images done by Mr Big

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Reliving Something Old

Recently I read a witty article worthy of some repartee on man repeller. As I am an extrinsically dumb individual (I have no idea why people portray me as this) with an unexpected love for profound debates, I could finally find one I'd both agree and disagree. And to be frank, I seldom disagree. In fact, I never disagree. It is either I'm just a constant sucker for accepting what people have sold to me or I'm just inherently connected to my empathy side that I will tune myself into the same thinking levels of the opposite party (or writer).

I have to agree that the tag phrase for 'Buy now, wear forever' is omnipresent, or may I even say it, overly used when someone decides to undergo exploitation when they really needed something. Pay attention to this common catch-phrase next time while you visit the stores: "I'm so going to wear this like forever, it'll be my signature piece."

What a common excuse to repress your guilt for splurging hundreds of dollars on that Alexander Wang dress.

I dare to say this because I also do it too; I mean who doesn't? I recently found myself spending a hundred and sixty (a hundred and fifty nine, to be exact) on a faux fur jacket from H&M Studio collection when it was totally impractical for me, since I'm living somewhere near the equator.

"I'll need this for Hong Kong during December! And my sixty year old self when I visit the supermarket!" was my excuse to prove that 'it is a good investment and I'll wear it forever'.

But the truth is, I wouldn't. Kayla was right, would you see yourself wearing that pair of leather jogging pants (cue Alexander Wang x H&M) you just bought (you're twenty) when you're eighty? Would I see myself wearing that faux fur jacket when I'm shopping for groceries during sixty? Maybe I would wear faux fur to the supermarket, but it'll definitely not be the same coat from H&M. We're in a state of constant alteration; changing the way we look (cue plastic surgery and botox), changing the way we behave (cue social stigmas and relationships that renders us, the relatively more adaptable, to adjust), changing the way we see things (cue self help guides) that it is rather impossible for us to come to a halt. In our current generation, we are always mobile and fluid. If we could not get to our Plan A, fret not. We will just have a change of course and head for Plan B. Or even Plan Z.

For us fashionable individuals, our predominant excuse for buying clothes as aforementioned would then transpose into lies; and pile up even more lies to conceal our indiscretion for making that hasty purchase - followed by wearing it once and then chucking it in the deep hells of our closets that is non-existent to even your own naked eye with a simple and prevalent line: "It'll be vintage and then it means it's a good investment.".

This is an epitome of "Buy now, wear for now".

However, we all know that there are some - despite being very negligible in number - individuals who would still slide their vintage leather pants up their saggy asses and say 'I still love them'. I can't see myself not donning on the simple white t-shirt when I reach sixty. It might not be from COS, but hey, it'll still be that overly used and abused white t-shirt that justifies it's timelessness. There will be a time whereby that bastardized excuse you have used would not make you regret for purchasing something when you want to relive in them. It will be then the right moment to pull them out of your closets, which happen to be in a deeply hidden abyssal state, and go "Hey, I missed you.". Two years back, I may have been addicted to highlighter jeans, but not now. Yet, there is this essence that still lingers inside me, craving for that rekindling sensation to reconnect with the old you.

So I'm reliving my past clothes in hopes of salvaging something old, something that might still be inherently residing deep down beneath my current obsession with French ways. I might not be wearing highlighter jeans in the above pictures, but I was rather sure that my love for high-waisted khaki trousers has already ended two months back. I mixed it up with something that is au courant: tweed sneakers and french slogan t-shirts. At times if you miss who you were, the easily comprehensible way to feel like your past self is to wear the old you.

Zara t-shirt, Zara high-waisted khaki trousers, Man Repeller x Superga tweed sneakers.

Images done by Mr Big

P/S: Not applicable if you do not want to relive unhappy emotions.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

How to Look (French) Chic Even at the Coffee Shop

I have to admit, I was slightly thrown aback when I started on the first page of 'How to be Parisian'. I wasn't exactly thrown back till the fact that I stood dumbfounded with my mouth widely hung for like a good whole minute, but I wasn't anticipating it. It was after all, Parisian; something you would associate with poise, class and presence. You'll know a Parisienne once she enters a room, her presence spreads throughout the walls and permeates the entire compartment. She carries that effortless class and wears that signature scent that when you smell it from a distance, you'll instantly know that the Parisienne is arriving. Despite that stereotypical portrayal we'd always project on Parisienne/Parisians, that aphorism in the book was lurking with a subtle hint, yet conspicuous, of naughtiness.

"Always be fuckable: when standing in line at the bakery on a Sunday morning, buying champagne in the middle of the night or even picking the kids up from school. You never know."

Do you get what I mean by an unexpected surmise?

With that stated, in order to fully achieve that Parisian look and mainly character, I continued scouring through the book. "There has got to be some sort of clue that would lead you to looking like a fuckable Parisienne."

"Virtues of a Signature item" was bolded across page twenty-eight.

Even when it mentioned a singular noun 'item', I look at it as a whole; an entire outfit (singular too, do not that no 's' is present) that justifies and distinguishes a Parisienne from the rest. And this is what I concluded: a basic black blazer, a used and abused white t-shirt and a pair of good, straight cut cigarette jeans.

This H&M Black wool double breasted blazer is something which I coincidentally possess and am currently donned in it, and if you guys missed the Studio '14 collection, perhaps this BLK DNM double breasted tuxedo blazer or this Alice + Olivia long tuxedo blazer could be your basic black blazer.

Everyone needs a white t-shirt. It's like primer to a foundation, truffle oil to truffle fries. It's a necessity. If you're rich, you can try out this T by Alexander Wang classic pocket slub t-shirt. But if you're not that affluent, this Topshop viscose t-shirt is a good substitute. If you're feeling a little too hot in a sweltering and humid climate that is similar to the one I am in, this BLK DNM muscle tank is the best option if you really want your hell hole - also known as armpits - to achieve maximum air ventilation.

Basically if you're on a tight budget and you really want the perfect cigarette jeans, Zara does it the best. I swear, almost all of my jeans (like really almost all) are from Zara. Basically, the jeans are aforementioned from Zara. The first cigarette jeans is not exactly pre-folded up, but you can do that wide fold which I believe is rather fashionable now. The second is a cigarette dark denim jeans that nicely graze at the ankles, which is also the same for the black denim cigarette jeans at the absolute right.

I don't think it's quite challenging to achieve that 'French chic' look, despite the fact that I was facing some difficulties that thereafter led me to take advantage of slogan t-shirts and now contradict to what I once said. But is it possible for everyone to emulate the same amount of effortlessness like the French masters?

H&M Studio blazer, COS white t-shirt, Zara cigarette jeans, Proenza Schouler clutch

Image credits Imran, collage images from all over the web

Monday, 13 October 2014

A Blazer or a Jacket?

Choices. A concept succinct enough to be summed into a word yet brimmed with content that is condoned into an overly generalized term. When people are given choices, we are often stuck with the action of pondering over what we should choose. A blazer or a denim jacket? The look for today: Parisian or New YorkerCourt heels or strappy heels? Because we are all blessed with infinity amount of countless choices that often choosing what we deem as ideal could be tiring and occasionally, extremely challenging. Can't I layer my blazer over my denim jacket? What if I wanted to look both a Parisian and a New YorkerIs the rainy weather still appropriate for strappy sandals? This often, as shown, resulted us to develop more questions and eventually furthering our choices that ambiguity might actually be our eventual answer. Outerwear or no outerwear? Yes or no to Parisian? Heels or sliders?

I take that back. Ambiguity itself actually poses a huge choice-related obstacle: Do I need an outerwear since it's still pseudo fall weather? How can I look Parisian? Do I need to walk yards today? We are given the opportunity to make our own independent decisions that should satisfy our constant thirst for more, yet we eventually wind up with the wrong 'mores'. More hardships.

Is choice complicated or are we the ones who complicate our choices?

What if we made the wrong choice? What if a blazer would be the key to securing that internship but instead we chose to don on a denim jacket rebelliously? What if everyone looked Parisian today? What if the court heels were able to do more justice than unstrapping one million and one straps when I'm trying out the latest Charlotte Olympia?

I couldn't help but wonder: If choices are really that troublesome, should we leave it to fate?

If we were to let fate, the concept whereby things and objects and events are already predestined and written for us in the stars, be the judge to approve our destiny, do we often get what we truly desire? If choice gave us the ability to pick what we think is best for us (aka paving our own paths) and if fate was just a mere excuse for our inability to make such independent path-shaping decisions singe-handedly, would we regret (eventually) when fate was the one who decides the wisest choices for us, yet in conflict with what we truly want?

I look out of the window and pretended to be cogitating (this post, my next post, my outfit for tonight's dinner, my outfit for tomorrow) but in reality, I was actually spacing out and thinking about choices. If choosing between a blazer and jacket or even the subsequent outfits to wear for the next few days was already formidable, will choices eventually matter? Because I know that despite the endless list of options we are given, during the moment of doubt and stress which thereafter leads to panic, we will assuredly end up choosing (and sticking with) what we feel most safe and most comfortable with. It will be our pillars of strength and moral support. It will be that something we personally feel closely attached to, that is justifiable to let us feel secure and not judged.

That I believe is the basic chic outfit.

Collage images all over the web, Blazer is from H&M and Denim jacket is from Topshop.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Are You Hot Enough?

Whenever someone throws a passing corny question saying "Are you a heater because man you are so hot!", I often doubt their sense of creativity and impracticality of choosing an inanimate object to describe someone who is living. Must someone be a heater to be hot? Why not a hair dryer? Are there biasness I am sensing in choosing electronics? Couldn't they have just went with something like "Are you (insert hot supermodel here, usually Victoria Secret's Angels are the first few to pop up) because man you are hot!"?

Though, I would have to say you might score well in Literature for producing imagery.

Actually, I take that comment back. Maybe I wouldn't mind being a heater; only if I was the heater residing in Alexander Wang's Fall '14 show. Initially, you'll see his regular ready-to-wear pieces, starting of with grey coats with incisions and orifices that actually summed up into pockets, paired with knee high boots that gradually phased into mule booties (!!!!), which then turned into a whole (relatively unexpected) neon colored party and the pockets eventually became bags. The entire collection was witty; I like it for the fact that Wang did not just produced his signature black/grey/white three color combination, but brought a little hint of neon colors into his game (which then lingered on to his Spring '15 collection and those sneaker bags!!!). But hey, that's not the best part.

Everywhere turned pitch black and then all of the sudden you'd realized that models were donned in an entire black outfit, standing in a huge pseudo-cult circle, as though they are waiting to be either sacrificed or exorcised. Lol, jk. They then start to spin and gradually, each model were paused in front of a black heater (aka the heater I wouldn't mind being) and laser-cut neon patterns started to emerge and materialize from the black. It was amazing, first it was glow-in-the-dark during Spring '13 (which they are resurgence of those mesh t-shirts with his H&M collaboration!!!!) and then heat technology in Fall '14? How amazing is that?

I'm still stoked over how awesome he'd managed to inculcate such 'technology' into fabric and leather; just imagine you are able to have their signature Rocco studded bag in a bright blue hue in summer, and a darker navy hue during fall. That's what I call killing two birds with one stone!

So in any case if you guys are keen to actually possess such lovely interchangeable clothes and accessories that would result you to feel like an amazing fashionable chameleon when you're standing right next to a heater, a warmer or me (since I am emulating Alexander Wang's heater), Shopbop is now offering some of this luck (minus the skirt though).

Clockwise from far left: Square heat tech t-shirt that turns bright blue like that Rocco purse when exposed to heat, Chastity colour changing clutch that changes from supernova to flamingo (aka dark red to pink in layman terms), their signature Rocco heat tech studded bagLys heat sensor booties from soil brown to sunshine yellow and Stretched thermo knit skirt from black to neon green.

Are you ready for this amazing ability to 'metamorph'? I would safely say hands down, I am up for being a fashionable Mystique.

Collage images all over the web