Friday, 31 October 2014

Taking Risks

Fashion is known to be a cut-throat and risk taking industry.

Before we begin, here's a question: How often do we take risks? Once a year? Once a month? On a daily basis? Or even multiple times within twenty four hours?

Alright, that ended up with multiple question marks.

There is always this chance meets percentage factor when it comes to taking risk. Be it you risk your life saving that cat on the road, or cheating in your high school final year examinations, there is always a difference in the percentage of success and failure. We always believe that the chances of taking such risks would result in an equal fifty-fifty percentage. It is either the cat survives or we survive. We did not get caught or we eventually got disqualified for our examinations. Yet, we fail to realize that there are other factors that disrupts the initial commensurate percentage. The car could be coming at a high speed that both the cat and you might not be able to survive, or you are seating at the back end seat and you think the teacher would not concentrate on you but then there is always a blind spot and eventually causing you to have a higher chance in getting apprehended.

If the chances of endeavoring such risk induced activities favour more towards the failure aspect and eventually paved to an undesirable result, should we blame it on fate? Or should we put the finger on our choices for performing such risks? We cannot deny that taking risks is actually fun; that adrenaline rush you receive from knowing that there is this chance of getting caught. However, in life, we cannot simply perform such risks solely for the sake of that fun factor. There would be a time when we come across a diverging path: A) Fabulous life you have always wanted but given a different percentage of chance to have a fruitful or an unsatisfactory outcome due to the 'risk' factor and B) Safe and stable life but you hate your job, which path would we undertake?

In fashion if we do not hold the slightest bit of eagerness to take a risk, we are unable to make that leap. Yes, despite the disparity between success and failure, but the real key that separates between the actual successful ones and those who are not doing so well, is the willingness to act upon such risks.

Here are some risks ventured by fashion that I believed reaped wonders:

1) Pajamas Party in Bed and Out of Bed

Roll out of bed still donned in your silk blend pajamas and proudly head to work. The worries you've got is to tame your mane, brush your teeth and the ubiquitous question: 'Which shoe should I wear?'. If it's Fall (aka weather right now), please remember to at least throw over a coat.

2) Do You Even Gym?

Alexander Wang gave the green light to go to work after your three hour long gym session - in your sports attire. Lol, jk. There is this old adage that goes: Birds of the a feather flock together. So if you're interested in guys who visits the gym regularly - and if you happen to hate exercising - make sure you pretend to do so too. In your chic sports attire. Don't say I never teach you some tricks.

3) Haute Couture For Ready-to-Wear

Go to a supermarket in Chanel. Period.

4) Anna dello Russo Replicator

Grab multiple prints from your wardrobe (for the fun, do it with your eyes closed) and stack them onto your body. Some might still be afraid to partake such a route, but hey, don't you agree that Leandra looks amazing above?

Images from refinery29, fabulous musesthe sartorialist and man repeller respectively

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Debate Between Cut-Offs and Cut-Not

Either you go short short, or you go long long. Don't go midway.

This phrase was often told to me when I started wearing denim. I may be an epitome of walking coarse fabric (as you can see from all the previous posts), but in reality, I didn't adore denim five years ago. I had this perception when they were all proudly hung in the stores of Topman; they were harsh, uncomfortable and I somewhat got hit on my head and thought that they would be unflattering on me. It was till the extent that I would avoid conversations with my friends when they talk about how skinny jeans fit them to a t. That was when my friends realized that I had a problem. I wasn't able to comprehend how great of an invention denim was. They immediately dragged me into a store on that day - I'm not even kidding - took a pair of denim jeans (I could remember it was this slim fit mid-waisted pair) and shoved me into a room.

I was apprehensive.

But I fell in love.

A week ago I was slipping on my denim cut-offs when I had the aforementioned retrospection. They used to be jeans; once I phased out of them (I really don't know why, perhaps I was a lil' crazy) and made them into cut-offs (which caused me a pair of earpiece because I didn't realized I was cutting through them), throwing them in the washers and letting the hems fray as time goes by. Marcus Wainright was right. He once chose denim as the only fabric he would design because it does not go out of style and goes better with age.

I finally comprehended his remark a year back.

Only yesterday whilst I was pulling up my It-pants, I had an epiphany. Since denim has become an indispensable part in my life, and I've mastered the art of wearing a jacket, a jacket x jeans co-ord, a jumpsuit, a blazer suit, jeans, cut-offs, shirts and chambray shirts, if I were to be able to only choose one garment, which one would I pick?

I seldom show favouritism that leads to prejudice because I believe in equality but if I did, it boiled down to two results: Cut-offs or jeans.

I hung both of them up and contemplated on which to show bias towards. The cigarette jeans have become my power weapon. They have evolved into something so significant in my life that sliding up my (unshaved) calves, thighs and ass have meant something more than just plain shielding us for modesty's and societal's sake. I felt comfortable and confident from wearing them. I got them off the racks of Zara. There were only last three pieces and one happened to be in my size (which I then found out that they continued production for two seasons, and probably still counting). I was thankful that I didn't bought that tartan shirt at random before this.

However my denim cut-offs, snipped and frayed for a good whooping three years, was also doing me great justice in times of 'OMG, I have nothing to wear' instances. I noticed that it was not exactly practical to wear my boyfriend (the red pants link) out on a 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year temperamental summer climate that might rendition me to get legstroke (leg heatstroke that means). They are like this dark knights of justice, you can abandon them when you don't really need their assistance but seek for them (and not get bitched at for treating them as a back up) when you are faced with a 'Nothing to wear' scenario.

See what I mean? If you can't see it, then you either have to get these Marques'Almeida x Topshop denim low rise cut-offs, or a classic piece of Levi's shorts with a ripped square detail, or if you have a huge obsession with your grandma's table cloth, this Topshop patchwork mom shorts will be great for you.

Since it's actually Fall weather and we have already talked about cigarette jeans that could allow you to reproduce that effortless Parisian look, what is the harm for knowing a few more pairs? An adage goes: Sweep away the old and welcome the new. We could always make new friends like AG Adriano Goldschmied cigarette rolled up jeansKORAL light washed cigarette jeans and Zara ripped cigarette jeans (straight cut, but can be pulled off as cigarette), and not necessarily have to sweep the old ones away.

Since I haven't actually made my decision as I have a forte in being fickle-minded, I was actually comprehending the aforementioned phrase 'Don't go midway'. Why not midway? If we are faced with two separate and rather distinct pathways that we are unable to choose, why can't we pave our own way in between?

Why not denim culottes?

Images done by Mr Big. Collage images all from Google.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

He Who Wears the Pants

He was the epitome of 'The man who wears the pants' in our relationship.

I have always detested the idea of 'Guys should be the one wearing the pants in the relationship". Men often choose to be the paramount creature in the relationship because it often emanates and further elicits their masculinity and dominance. It sort of empowers them further amongst their fellow peers, showing that they've authority and power. If so, why would majority of the woman rather further glorify them by being the mademoiselle and give in to man? Is it because it makes them feel elated that her man is actually, very 'manly'? But what has gotten hold to us, to believe that if 'Men didn't wear the pants', it actually emasculates them? I couldn't help but wonder: Why must we let men wear the pants if they could look sexy without any pants?

But I let him take the pants.

We started off with an ogle. The ogle was so protracted that I could remember those eyes. His bright, iridescent doe eyes stared right back at mine; his stare was so intent that it turned crimson while it pierced through my soul (cliché, I know). My cheeks flushed in a similar hue as his eyes did. I was so abashed. And at that point I couldn't help but wonder: Is this what they call... love? Could we be forever?... And ever?

The fairytales and stories of 'Prince meets Princess and it was love at first sight and they kissed and they live happily ever after' cooked up by writers have effectively and successfully caused our youthful and alabaster pure innocent self to buy the stories. And I was one of them who bought them. Why couldn't fairytales occur solely because people claim that 'it isn't reality'? So what exactly do they mean by reality? The normality? The conformity? Just because dozens and hundreds and billions of people out there living the 'normal life', does it necessarily mean that the possibility of fairytales incurring into an individual's life is close to negligible value? It got me thinking. Why couldn't Prince Him and Princess Me live happily ever after? Okay, maybe with the exception that we are not bona fide royalty. What if we were destined to emulate fairytales?

They say that our lives are all written in the stars, and that it is predestined probably a gazillion light years back. And if the stars had destined our fates to be intertwined, maybe one day, instead of standing across each other gawking our gazes, we will actually get together. But when will this day approach? Three days? Three years? Or even three centuries? Shakespeare once said, I adduce: "It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves." What if the whole ideology of fate was untrue? Maybe it was created by an individual who couldn't write his/her own life to the version he/she desired and decided that 'destiny' was the best reason he/she could put the animadversion on. Maybe, like the concept adapted from parallel universes, that each of our actions and decisions we choose and make would result in infinite destinies. So what if I chose not to approach him? Would it eventually en route us to a denouement that doesn't include our lives to be intertwined? If we could actually write our destined fairytale by making our own decisions, wouldn't it be a waste if I didn't take up this risk of contacting with him?

I thought: "Why not let me make the first move?"

I mustered up my courage. I took my first step. And followed on with a second step. And a third. Step by step my heart started to race like as though it was doing a sprint, rushing to be the champion and only the champion, and it felt like I was about to regurgitate my guts out. My entire back was breaking out in sweat. My limbs trembled. But as I got closer, I felt a stronger sense of courage and motivation, that I'm creating my - and our possible which eventually led to a success - destiny, and my fairytale.

Once I was up close before him, I proceeded on by bringing him straight to the cashier. There were no second thoughts. He was this H&M vermillion patent leather trousers. I have loved him ever since. I'm wasn't sure if he did reciprocate my feelings as well - I stuffed him in the corner of my closet. His ego was (and still is) as big and as coarse as he is. He was, indeed, a pants. He was the man who wore himself (the pants).

Rodarte 'Rosarte' t-shirt c/o Shopbop, H&M red patent leather biker trousers, Bimba & Lola sandals

Image credits Imran

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.