Monday, October 24, 2011

Giambattista Valli for Macy's Impulse

 French couture-ista Giambattista Valli is dropping his feminine looks on October 26 2011 for his collaboration with Macy's Impulse. If you can recall, Karl Lagerfeld has designed for Impulse and Valli is designer #4 to participate. I always loved his dresses worn by Victoria Beckham and Ashley Olsen so finding a few pieces in this lookbook that I can love is no-brainer. I'm already lusting over the sleeveless animal print jacquard dress (far right worn by Sasha Pivovarova). At prices from $50-$150, I'm sure some cherry picker will be buying hoards of these and then list them on eBay for stupid marked-up prices.

Check out the entire collection at and mark October 26 in your calendars!

FATS: Fashion's Are They Serious?

Stella McCartney clutch from Net-A-Porter
She usually makes lovely ready to wear and accessories with an eco-edge, but what was Stella McCartney thinking? What were the buyers of Net A Porter thinking?  and biggest question... what were the online shoppers thinking?!? This round plexiglass clutch is SOLD OUT! I sure hope they ordered this just for the "try it at home option"... what a gamble with $1995 of your hard earned dineros.

If I looked hard enough, I'm sure I can find something like this in our kitchen. For those that dig it and are more advanced and love the extreme minimalism for next spring, you may put yourself on the wishlist to buy at NAP. Better think hard of what you can fit in the 6"of ample space!

Opened, it can maybe fit a few credit cards

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pretty Ride Reveal

 After a year and a half watching every online car review and Top Gear reviews, especially that crazy episode where they place Range Rover Sport against a Challenger II tank, we finally took the plunge. I mentioned in a blurb this past spring about how we wanted this vehicle as our first choice:


 But we could not find one in that particular colour that was still under warranty- a key-must for RR's! And we also test drove their crossover, the RR Evoque, which was our second choice:

Photo courtesy of Gman

 In my opinion, the Evoque was gorgeous with some pretty wicked features: visual assist (crazy fish eye cameras that can see around corners!), electronic tailgate, panoramic sunroof (which every maker is catching onto), better integrated dash/touchscreen (meaning way less buttons than older RR's), neat gear shift knobby, and side mirrors which project a silhouette of the evoque on the ground at night. It drove like a car rather than SUV and it was certainly punchier than the Audi Q5 3.2 Turbo (our 3rd choice)... but I found myself uncomfortable because the side mirrors were so big they occluded my view and the back window was too small (in the 3 dr coupe). I don't want to go through life with endless lawsuits because I run over pedestrians on a weekly basis. Besides, Ford was the parent company to Land Rover (now its Tata) so that's why their Edge and Escapes are looking a lot like the Evoque. Most people won't know that the design for the Evoque was created years earlier and Land Rover just took their sweet time in fine-tuning their baby Range Rover that the copy cats came out before it did.

 Needless to say, we think we made the right choice when we brought this one home:

... And we are in less debt than if we went with the Evoque and massively less debt than buying a new one- it must suck when you lose half of what you paid in 3 years anyhow? She's an 08 Sport Supercharge and the former owner loaded it with everything available the time he bought it. However, we still miss out on some of the features and options that the newer models have with only 400hp rather than 510hp and of course, it's not like it's big sister, the classic Range Rover (maybe our next one in 10 yrs? :) For now we like the more streamlined look of the Sport and we love it and shouldn't have to justify it to anyone. As for the black colour, we accept that we share the same vehicle as the drug dealers and douchebags of the world. That's ok...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Denimology Timeline

  Sometime a couple years ago I inadvertently stopped paying attention to the "It" denim of the moment. It was always fun collecting the latest hyped up brands and in the end, you end up having many pairs with minor differences in fit and minor differences in washes. I am hoping there is a fellow jean addict out there that can relate to this! And the reason I still have so many is because I never really outgrew my jeans sizes and I had so many I rarely ever wore any out. :)

 Anyways, pre 2000 I can barely remember what I wore: perhaps Levi's and Mavi jeans? The addiction for me started in the summer of 2000 when I bought my first pair of Juicy Couture jeans before I moved to Toronto. That was also the time when $60 denim disappeared and turned into $109/pair.. and subsequently became $265/pair within a couple short years. Here is the chronological list to the best of my memory of the denim of the times, you may recognize some of the brands that have come- and perhaps gone:

2000: As stated, my first pair of Juicy Couture. They had piped seams down the front and super faded thighs (a no-no now!).

2001-2003: The flood of Seven-for-all-Mankind, Diesel, Replay, Miss Sixty, Citizens of Humanity, Yanuk, and Blue Cult. And in the mix was a pair of better-fitting Levi's and a pair of from its upscale line, Levi's Capital E.

2004-2005: Got pairs of Hudson's (before the rage began in 2008/9), Blue 2 (a spin off of the Blue Cult line), Rock and Republics, and I was dreadfully obsessed with this line called Meli-Melo because there were so many paparazzi shots of Jessica Alba wearing them. There was also a brand endorsed by Oprah, James Jeans, but I never got a pair.

2006-2007: Seven-for-All-Mankind & Citizens of Humanity were still around and still had a nice fit so I collected a few more. But my biggest discovery at this time was Paige Premium, which was started by a former fit model, Paige Something-or-other. At first when I tried on a pair, I could not get my thighs into them, but other Paige styles like the Laurel Canyon, Fairfax, and Santa Monica styles were much more relaxed.

2008: Oh, the emergence of J Brand, Earnest Sewn, Joe's Jeans, and Genetic Denim into my life. I did try on a few pairs of William Rast and Superfine but I never took any home. More so because I couldn't get even one toe in the Superfine legs and the William Rasts fit too big. There were also brands like Habitual and Fidelity around but I resisted. I even resisted the ubiquitous boyfriend jean, too!

2009: My year of financial limbo because purchasing a Chanel jacket and 2.55 Reissue flap meant jean purchases took a backburner. I think I only picked up only one pair of Current Elliots all year- and they were on sale. This also marked the exhaustion of trying to keep up with denim. In fact, I did a closet purge and reduced the 40+ pairs down to about 30. Most were given to friends' kids, my mother, and donated to an orphanage in Mexico.

2010 - present: I found a pair of Rich n Skinny at Winners and that was all I bought- last week I did fall into temptation and bought a pair of J Brands because they were only $69 but I returned them because they looked like any other pair I already own. Great deal or not. :)

So this concludes the chapter on the denim addiction. Thanks for listening as it has been quite therapeutic, seriously. As for shoes and handbags... that is another story!

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Deluxe, How Luxury Lost Its Luster" - My two cents

Available at

 This is an extremely belated book review of Dana Thomas' Deluxe, How Luxury Lost Its Luster. The book by the Newsweek style and culture journalist was published back in 2007. It significantly highlighted conditions before the 2008 world economic crisis and before this current threat of double dip recession. Regardless, it makes for a more interesting read. It is like watching a movie after having already watched its sequel. Thomas reveals an in-depth history of the grand luxury houses founded in Europe and how they were swallowed up and, in my personal opinion only, literally sold out in the last two decades by large multinational business conglomerates. I was appalled by how big companies like LVMH treated the family founders of some of the designer entities they took over (especially the founders of Vuitton and Celine). You may have heard of the expression "democratization of luxury" and it just means marketing luxury goods the masses. Cutting corners, moving production to Asia, and throwing goods on celebrities are just a few concerns she brought up. Thomas digs into the cause of all this: greed. When fashion fell into the hands of business owners who were more concerned about profit and less about the exclusivity, beauty, and art behind the creativity; the outcome is one of saturation. She praises (with my concurrence) the very few luxury companies are still true to their craft like Chanel and Hermes. No bias here, right?  Just a side note, thank goodness Hermes won an appeal to maintain the independence of their family company last month. Anyhow, Thomas also seemingly mocks those consumers who buy for the sake of displaying logos and conveying status (substantiated or not) and she penned a whole chapter on the counterfeit trade of knocking off luxury goods. It will make you think twice before agreeing to attend your neighborhood knock-off purse or jewelry party. I would recommend it as a read and to keep in mind the time frame of the stats. In her predictions for the future of luxury, I do agree Brazil, Russia, China, and India are definitely emerging markets and the growth of those countries has been explosive. I would like to visit the Daslu mansion she speaks of if I am ever in Brazil, but I wont have a bulletproof vehicle for the valet to park!

 One sour theme I found is perhaps her tone that luxury belongs to the rich. Me and many many other obsessed fashion lovers are members of the middle market she speaks of. This will never change because 1) I am not wealthy and 2) I will never be wealthy. However, this would never ever let anyone make me feel less entitled to the works of art that I see in a handbag, dress, or shoe. I may only buy a select few in my lifetime rather than a truckload, but they are special to me. It is funny that people approach me and tell me how they think I will like something because "we know you are so into fashion, Seng!". Just because something is a Prada or Gucci does not mean it's coming home with me! lol.. In fact, my favorite labels: Chanel, Hermes, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Isabel Marant, Vanessa Bruno, The Row, Marni, Celine, et al.. are all more discreet- well, aside from the crazy big interlocking CC's of Chanel which I'm not partial to. I am quite content having things that are only recognized by those that appreciate what they are. Anyhow in conclusion about the the book, the last lines Thomas wrote do redeem some of her snobbishness in a way. She quoted a Brazilian socialite who said:

"... We do not buy entry-level goods with logos...Luxury is not how much you can buy. Luxury is the knowledge of how to do it right, how to take the time to understand and choose well. Luxury is buying the right thing."

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sensible Pumps

... at no lower than 5 inch heels, that is!  My new standard- bring on the stilts! I am loving these snakeskin House of Harlow 1960 Norah pumps in the practical (and more affordable) corner. For the lust-for-only corner, a double team of 105 mm YSL Palais suede pumps in maryjane nude and electric blue peep toes.

House of Harlow 1960 Norah snakeskin pumps in natural
$265 USD at

Yves Saint Laurent Palais maryjane pump
$839 USD at
Yves Saint Laurent  Palais peep toe pump
$625 USD at