Class, not crotch.

I'm not one of those virtuous Victorian-esque prudes who are so fixated on propriety and take fashion so seriously. But I don't think that my ideas of feminism dissolve simply because I would like to see women... um, WEARING CLOTHES.

Sienna wants you guys to take her seriously as an actress. The part that mentions taking her seriously as an occasional stripper remains unsaid but understood.

I'm all for feminine liberation from archaic concepts of homemaking and the expectations that women should be nurturing, unquestioning ninnies. I truly believe that if I had lived during the late 19th century/early 20th century, I would've been one of those self-righteous, broach-wearing protesters thrown in jail, petticoat and all. But I strongly oppose the belief that female liberation must equate to the oversexualization of the arguably more objectified of the genders.

Towel dresses are the new LBDs. Audrey Hepburn must be rolling over in her grave.

More specifically, why don't women keep their freaking pants on anymore? What's so glamorous and sexy about being nude in public? I lack the understanding of just how this new "bare" look is attractive in any way whatsoever. Anyone considering this new "trend" and showing more than their share of skin would look better if they taped a sign to their back with an arrow pointing down at their ass cheeks hanging out that says, "Opening tonight: watch my cottage cheese jiggle. Limited tickets."

Paris Hilton, a constant offender. I'm tempted to assume that she keeps her bottom bare in order to easily have access her ninja throwing stars in case of any paparazzi. But maybe I'm being too optimistic.

It perturbs me even more when I realize that I am actually hesitant to tell my opinion to others, as if I don't want to them to see me as a prudish grandma who finds even turtlenecks scandalizing. I also realize that this is what current culture has evolved to and I, as an individual, can do little to change this new vulgar representation of women. I'm just disappointed that instead of women looking up to beautiful icons (Grace Kelly, anyone) and dressing like them, they are resorting to replicating their outfits based on the transvestites on a Jersey City street corner.
You have to wonder what's going through her mind when she chooses this to wear and knows she will be on stage. She would've been more subtle if she had just lifted up her dress in mid-speech.

The mother of all flashers.

An possible Oscar-worthy documentary that could rival Al Gore's climate project tribute: what goes through her mind when she's putting on clothes (or... not) in the morning.

The holiday season's not quite the same without those puppies wishing you a Happy Hannukah.

Oops, she did it again. (Couldn't resist.)

So I'm at a loss for words. As fashion becomes less and less about clothes and as women continue to believe in showing more and more skin, I still don't feel compelled to change my opinion that coverage is old, outdated, outmoded. There nothing classy or appealing about vaginas flapping around in mid-air. Oui!


Short commentary.

Bad thing about being too busy to blog, then making a comeback two months later.
No one remembers to check your blog anymore.

I guess I can't blame anyone but myself.
Like that's going to stop me!

[See below for most recent post on Shanghai.]


Shanghai Surprise.

From the 700 photos I took on my trip to China this past summer, I've selected the ones that best evoked the spirit of my vacation in Shanghai and the south (and it's only taken me three months to do it!). Some are fashion-related, while others pertain to culture. But I think the most identifiable thing about what I've captured on film is the idiosyncratic nature of everything I encountered. Voila!

Where the city meets the sky.

I spent about a week in the heart of Shanghai, in Pudong, shopping in the Oriental by day and strolling down Nanjing Road at night. But the most interesting part of city life was people-watching. There are surprising people around every corner, from a gold-digger 20-something in leather stilettos on the arm of a plump American baby boomer smoking a cigar, to young hipsters in skinny jeans with beautiful skin and even more beautiful smiles.

Rich colours dominated fashion in the city.

Stop two: the art scene. Painters trying to "make it" in the art world sold their works in side shops in narrow neighborhoods. I was surprised that many of their styles were influenced by western impressionism and not Chinese calligraphy.

Miniature painters in the Shanghai historical museum.

A whimsical art shop in the middle of Cheng Huang Temple.

A crafts stand on the side of the street. Wonder what she's reading...?
Of course, if it weren't for the food, half of my reason for visiting this country would be lost. There's something to be mentioned about the mindset of the Chinese when they use the phrase "Have you eaten yet?" to say hello.

Delicious dim-sum and dumplings.

City romance.

As I backpacked around the eastern coast and got lost in nature and living spontaneously, there was always something that could catch the corner of my eye. A man fishing on the side of a lake and forgetting about it as he dozed off with his glasses askew; his wife fanning him during his nap. A broken bicycle left in the middle of the road. Romance under canopies of trees.

As great of a city as Shanghai was, I was glad to leave for someplace more quiet and peaceful. I spent the rest of my weeks in southern China, where street style was abundant. The following girl I photographed jumps to mind immediately when I think of the modern young generation of China.

In bloomer-esque jeans, rolled up to show flashy sandals, with a one-of-a-kind leather satchel, she evokes an intriguing type of sentiment.

And so my trip ended. I was disappointed, and nostalgic at first. But dwelling on the past isn't very practical, if comforting. More adventures to come, I'm sure.


Sartorially speaking.

The Sartorialist is whose job I'd like to steal in my next lifetime. Mostly because of his talent. Exhibit number one:

He went to Beijing a few weeks ago, and unlike most opinionated and comparably spoiled Americans, he actually took the time to comb through the streets to find the gems of the city! How clever is this outfit? There is no one who won't do a double take on this photograph. Not only does she wear prosthetically placed gloves but with jewel-toned purple tights. The nerve. More appropriately, the style.

I want to ooze with class like her.

Clicky for the sartorially addicted comme moi.


A quickie.

Oh, not that kind of quickie--get your minds out of the gutter. Finally getting the motivation to get off my ass and blog about something relevant--and actually rediscovering that, yes, in fact, I do have a blog--I'm posting a short message about one of the greatest artists I've come across in the past year.

Jenny Mortsell, a Swedish artist who illustrates for mostly contemporary hipster magazines, such as Nylon, is seriously and simplistically refreshing in a crowd of overemotional, trust-funded, "pauvre moi, no one understands me" types. Her upfront, realistic pencil renditions of mostly models and other interesting people are anything but plain. Fairly easy to understand in an artistic sense yet inspiringly young, I wish there were more artists like her.

The ubiquitous Irina, immortalized on paper courtesy of Mortsell.

It's not only the talent that is enviable, but also the lifestyle. Those who are aware of the starvation, downfalls, and sometimes (yet not unusual) disaster of an artist's life and knowingly pursue it are admirable. Perhaps not in judgment, but in a kind of intangible aplomb. Doing what you love to do... and the end result being this. It's one of life's rare delights, I think.


Ivy League's Next Top Model.

I've been a bad blogger. No, not just bad, horrifically negligent. I personally think that Blogger should shut down my blogspot just because of my shoddy behavior. I disgust myself.

That being said, I have many new posts in the works. =) Blogging is something that I've definitely missed and something I'm definitely coming back to as of... [looks at watch]... NOW. So many things to say about summer, people, traveling, culture, books, and most important of all--FASHION. Quoting the grossly distasteful CW theme song, "Get ready, 'cause here we go..."

Speaking of the CW, Cycle 9 of ANTM IS HEEEEEEEEEERE. Cycle 8 was disappointingly produced: girls who were chronic complainers, bad photoshoot themes, and who the hell associates high fashion with Australia? Ksubi Jeans rock the house but can hardly be considered couture (even if Gemma Ward hikes those skin-tight torture devices up so far that she gets camel toe). A short review/prediction courtesy of Crumbled Maps:

Heather - Fantastic idea putting her on the show. I've read about Asperger's before; it's like autism combined with high level anxiety. Interesting-looking girl, but she's total bait for all the other bitchy girls on the show (i.e. ALL OF THEM).
Jenah - "Like, I mean, I'm not like these other girls, I'm, like, smart, you know? Like, I read books and stuff." News flash: Teen Vogue is not a book.
Ebony - Great. Another Jade. At least she doesn't look 40.
Chantal - Seriously. Are all the girls from down south obsessed with themselves? It's time to pull that tampon out of your ass.
Victoria - Repping the Ivy League, what's up?! I was wondering if the producers would smarten up and start putting decently intelligent girls on the show who can hold an entire conversation that's not about themselves, their pole-grinding backgrounds, or the fact that they only auditioned so they could "get their haaair did and look FIERCE like Tyra, girl, you know what I sayin'?" I almost pity her; she'll probably lose a lot of credibility by being on this show when she goes back to Yale. Still, I hope she wins.

Ivy League, save us from the superficial idiocy that is American youth!

I'm debating whether or not to follow the show. It's gotten more ridiculous each cycle, and I guess I should expect some level of superficiality considering it's a modeling competition. But it's depressing that these girls represent the substance of America.

The word "fierce" gets thrown around too much on the show. Tyra needs a thesaurus.



Jet lag.

OH, BLOG ! How I've missed you so !!!!!

Damn Chinese firewall...

New post bientot bientot bientot !


Chinoiserie: absolutely mad!

FINALLY. I'm hopping on Asiana Flight No. XXXX tomorrow to arrive, 20 hours later, to the land of cheap mass manufacturing and where all American jobs are disappearing to. Or, for lack of a better euphemism, China. I invite you to share my itinerary for my six-week vacation.

July 9-13: Guilin, near the border of Vietnam, a city with natural landscapes that stun.
July 14-20: Shanghai (can someone say STREET STYLE BLOGS?).
July 21: Backpacking around China's east coast.
August: Xiamen, a coastal city in southwestern China, where I've been promised that I'll go home with trunks of clothes and shoes to last me five seasons.

Expect photos and street style hunting soon. Who knows. Maybe I'll see one of you at the airport while we're going our separate ways or in a Chinese cafe having an afternoon tea.
A bientot.


"Lip my stocking, Mr. Harris!"

Lost in Translation has got to be one of my most favorite movies. Not only is it directed by one of my favorite and most fashionably sensible directors to have ever shunned Hollywood for the better sartorial environments of New York and Paris, it's got a subtle humor that not all people can relate to. Charlotte's backside as the random first scene? Good. A Japanese man randomly named Charlie Brown? GOOD. Random "entertainment" girl sent up to Bob's room playing coquettish? ABSOLUTELY GENIUS. It's the helter-skelter regardlessness that gets to me.

That's what's been inspiring me as of late (nothing could be better than a Coppola film to stir the senses). It's a good thing I've decided to resort to revoir-ing my favorite films this week; I've been mad sketching and working on my portfolio in an insane fashion. Oh, but I love it.


I don't care about your male insecurities.

I sincerely hate it when boys wear pink. Most of the time, they don't even like the color, but really, they're trying to "make a statement" and they somehow feel as if they need to prove their manhood by showing how comfortable they are when wearing a feminine color.

But this. I can live with. =)



I apologize for the unexpected hiatus. Studies are a lose-lose situation; they're boring and time-consuming. But due to my blogging withdrawal, I predict I'll be posting a lot more as my expectedly adventurous summer begins. I have a lot of street photos saved but I have yet to organize them. On a sartorial note, I just bought an unnecessary amount of graphic t-shirts, one of them being this clever little spoof:
Oh, I do love making a fashion + political statement at the same time.



UPDATE: I just bought the most gorgeous black silk Calvin Klein evening gown. I'm looking for excuses left and right to wear it, literally ANYWHERE. It wouldn't be that outlandish to wear it for a stroll to the local cafe, would it? Whatever; besides, I prefer "idiosyncratic." O_0

(Kind of resembles this one, but silk, not chiffon, and much longer. But basically the same idea.)

But to the heart of the matter of this post. Who knows where can by glass-less frames like the ones Iekeliene Stange always wears? If all else fails, I can just buy some sunglasses and destroy them. =D

The Dutch are sooooooo devious.


New England, je t'aime.

People never hesitate to praise Europe for all its historical, cultural, and fashion integrity, and most Americans, with the current state of the country, aren't exactly patriotically opposing the nay-sayers either. But do we realize that just across the pond from Buckingham Palace, New England holds up its own, in a very dignified manner, no less? Boston, New York, et cetera... Paris has Chanel and the Brits can take their Lady Di, but we've got Japanese street style and CBCG all in one city. On my spring holiday, I noticed the beauty of America that often sits in the shadow of the disgraces the rest of the world labels on this modern and surprisingly sophisticated country.

The New Jersey coast.

Downtown Boston.

Museum of Fine Arts (complete with flying plaster men).

The van Gogh corner. Can you feel his ghost?

The New England dining experience.

Columbia University.

"Boy on the right, you're trying to look studious, but I know you're enraptured with me."

Last stop. See you soon, New England.