Monthly Archives: November 2012
This might sound funny to you but despite living in tropical Singapore, Fall is my favourite time of year. I love traveling to a much cooler climate and being able to layer up and feel that bit of frosty chill that tingles my spine. The cooler weather also means that I can be more creative with dressing up and playing around with coats, gloves, boots and hats. Something that I can’t really do much in a tropical climate. And so today I’ve decided to indulge in coat envy. These are the timeless classics that I wish I could wear more often…
Before my Hawaii trip, I decided to read Alain de Botton’s The Art of Travel to prep myself and to get myself psyched about traveling. I previously read his book of essays, Essays in Love and found it incredibly insightful as it approached love through various disciplines (philosophy mostly). I knew that he could achieve the same feat again with this novel and I wasn’t disappointed.
I love how the book is split into various sections that deal with a different issue each. The first chapter was aptly named ‘Departure’ and it discussed the notion of interstitial spaces like airports and it also discussed the experience of taking a plane ride or one’s first encounter with the hotel room. It’s all incredibly surreal, sometimes it almost feels like you are having an out of body experience and encountering these descriptive events from the perspective of a third party. But I guess this narrative mode has a purpose. It’s meant to get you to think deeply about certain issues that we take for granted.
I loved especially how he would attempt to break down certain complex ideas through his little analogies. I remember clearly the instance where he is fighting with his lover and how that causes the entire vacation to be unpleasant, thereby proving that it is of paramount importance who accompanies you on the trip for it colours your particular experience. He also talks about the discomfort of traveling, having to live without everyday conveniences and to put up in a hotel or to endure a long haul flight with limited leg room all for the sake of escaping reality and life’s unreasonable demands.
“Sublime places repeat in grand terms a lesson that ordinary life typically teaches viciously: that the universe is mightier than we are, that we are frail and temporary and have no alternative but to accept limitations on our will; that we must bow to necessities greater than ourselves.” – Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel
It is a highly intellectually engaging read, thoughtful to say the least. I wouldn’t exactly say it is bedtime reading though. I find myself too stimulated to actually fall asleep after because my mind is constantly trying to grapple with the ideas that he quotes off Proust or Baudrillard. None of which present easy ideas. None of which make suitable bedtime reads. But in terms of being the right trigger for an upcoming trip, it definitely worked like a charm. I am ready to see the world with new eyes and to find myself in the process.
Caroline will be away from 23rd Nov to 2nd Dec.
Be sure to keep yourself entertained browsing through our past posts. Last I checked, it just crossed the 1000 mark!
If you are a secret lurker around Lookbook.nu, well then it is time to step out into the limelight and Romwe is going to give you a helping hand. This online retail store markets itself as a street fashion retailer that turns to real people as their inspiration. So fashion bloggers, Instagram models and Youtube become the driving force behind its advertising of products. For example, Galaxy prints are in vogue and Romwe is riding on this wave by offering an entire Galaxy Collection. It’s a really smart strategy because they are aware of what’s going on at the ground and using the power of the masses to sell their products. I think this is especially useful since social networks and photoblogging is becoming more and more popular.
Picture Credits: hanna-moura.blogspot.com
What sets Romwe apart from retailers we are used to is probably their eclectic fashion pieces. Like I’ve said before, Modcloth has a distinctively vintage vibe while Young Republic is indie (considering their selling point is that of marketing new fashion designers). I think Romwe being a street fashion retailer, they have more outrageous and quirky pieces because really, the point of street fashion is to be noticed.
So I’m sure we all are familiar with the animal prints trend. I’m not talking about leopard and zebra prints but rather, prints and motifs of actual animals like birds, horses and cats (you can see my previous post here and Ruth’s post about Tibi and the lobster obsession here.) But Romwe basically takes things to another level.
In my previous post, I looked at timeless and classic designs for coats because I firmly believe that it only makes sense to invest in a design that lasts for years to come. However, while I strongly advocate that for coats (because it is a rather expensive item in your winter wardrobe especially if you want to get a good quality one i.e. wool or down feather), I think that it is quite fun to experiment and try different trends when it comes to other articles of your outfit. Small items like gloves or scarves which don’t typically cost a bomb are a great way to jazz up the look without adding bulk to your luggage or a hole in your wallet. Sweaters too are a versatile piece of clothing that can be worn even in warmer climates with air conditioning as long as you pick the right fabric and design.
Let’s start off with the Snood, which as its name suggests is a cross between a scarf and a hood. Otherwise known as the Infinity Scarf because it has no start or end, it is easily worn by draping it over your head. There will be no more pesky loose ends to keep propping up on your shoulder, no more dropping your scarf on the floor or having it accidentally touch your food. The Snood is made to wrap around your neck snugly (depending on how many rounds you decide to wrap around your neck) and to keep it toasty and warm. Alternatively, you could let it drape loosely and use the excess fabric as a hood as seen in the picture. This is great if your head is cold or if there is snow/rain. I also like how this gives an illusion of a cowl neck or a turtleneck. A great way to show your versatility in clothing without actually having to purchase a new top! Modcloth and ASOS have some pretty nice ones!
This next item is actually quite cool. I found this in Muji and it’s basically gloves that keep your fingers warm while giving you the convenience to fiddle with your smartphone at the same time! The tips of the fingers are made of a different material that mimics your finger’s sensitivity so you can still snap a picture, post it on Instagram and Whatsapp/iMessage/BB Messenger! All without having to remove your gloves. Ingenious.
I’ve alluded to how much I love versatility in clothing because really, you want to save space in your luggage for shopping so if an item of clothing can be worn 25860784 ways, why not right? Well, the shawl cardigan definitely falls in this category. It’s so effortless. Just throw it on and tie the sash and you are pretty much done! Else, don a belt to cinch the waist or you could always just drape it over your shoulder. Really, it is the Mighty Morphing Power Ranger of clothing. I know Victoria’s Secret has one at a hefty price USD 89+ in assorted colours and perhaps a more affordable version could be found at Uniqlo. Just purchased a shawl cardigan at S$29.90 because it was on offer! I swear Uniqlo is the haven for winter wear. It’s affordable, functional and fashionable. Definitely stocking up on heat tech and leggings!
With Journey due to perform in Singapore on March 19th 2013, I figured that it was about time to get in touch with my Rock roots and listen to Jane’s Addiction. For the uninitiated, Jane’s Addiction was formed in 1985 by lead vocalist, Perry Ferrell, bassist Eric Avery, guitarist Dave Nevarro (more popularly known to be a part of Red Hot Chilli Peppers) and drummer Stephen Perkins. The band’s name was inspired by Ferrell’s housemate, Jane Bainter who became the inspiration and muse of the band.
I think Jane’s Addiction hit its heyday in the late 80s and early 90s with hits like “Stop” and “Been Caught Stealing” but it is such a shame that they broke up a couple of times because Avery and Nevarro embarked on other solo projects. I always thought that the band was spot on about the issues and themes of their songs and it somehow remains current. Even today. For example, “Stop” was really a song about environmental destruction and he sang it in what, the 80s? I dunno, but that seems like a real accurate prediction, and that electric guitar rift towards the end? Hardcore and sick. And “Been Caught Stealing” is just totally weird! The video features a man dressed as a pregnant woman walking through a supermarket and of course there’s weird ass cat-woman person pole dancing in the supermarket. It’s completely absurd and outrageous but the song is so incredibly catchy. Once again, ahead of its time. A time WAY before Lady Gaga.
JANES ADDICTION LIVE @ LOLLAPALOOZA -SAO PAULO
Good news about bands that break up is that reunions become inevitable when they decide they wanna start touring. And while Avery has been replaced with Duff McKagan from Velvet Revolver, the band is still going strong with their new studio album, The Great Escape Artist. I am loving the mysterious title and interested to see if the band has brought anything new or fresh to the table.
Judging from the footage from their recent shows, Ferrell’s still got it. And that man is 51. Is that phenomenal or what?
And thanks to Dobel Tequila’s sponsorship, we get to hear Jane’s Addiction’s new album for free! Woohoo! All that is required of you is to like Dobel’s facebook page. After that, you will be redirected to the download page.
JANES ADDICTION LIVE @ THE WARFIELD, SF 10/18/2012
Is that an amazing deal or what? Apparently this free album initiative and collaboration between the band and Dobel to bring arts to the masses. I love the cause, I love the music and I loveeee freebies.
Enjoy shopping new, unique and handmade designs at Young Republic? Like Etsy’s interface? Well these features come together in Blomming. A new social commerce platform that helps sellers set up shop at no cost whatsoever, this is a treasure trove for craft lovers, artists, designers and/or fashion enthusiasts (I guess I’m all of the above!)
The interface is highly intuitive. Once you create an account, you get to browse and shop with ease. The first page you see will show the featured designer and some of his/her creations, then on the right there are items that are on offer. As you can see, the discount varies. The fun of it all is being able to hunt down the best deal!
What I like about the website is how integrated various platforms are. Unlike Etsy, where it is mandatory for the seller to set up an Etsy online store, Blomming allows you to consolidate and use existing platforms. So, for example, if a seller is already well established on facebook, then he/she can just link customers to their facebook shop while also giving you the option to checkout your items from Blomming. So I guess from the seller’s perspective, it saves alot of hassle and inconvenience.
Other interface features that make browsing a breeze include Our Picks and Most Liked, courtesy of facebook. You are also able to use buttons to announce your picks via Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ In addition, if you are like me and tend to favour a certain designer then the categorisation of products according to shops and sellers would definitely appeal to you.
Payment of items are standard. Most sellers offer Paypal, Visa, MasterCard and American Express and international shipping costs will be stated explicitly on the item page. This much is similar to Etsy. I guess the main difference is that Blomming has greater breadth in sales. Aside from craft and fashion, people also sell real estate, games and consoles as well as electronics and services. So it becomes in effect, a one-stop shop for all things. Kind of like Etsy meets Ebay if you catch my drift.
I’m not done exploring but from my 1 hour of random browsing, my sense is that it looks promising! It definitely has quite a sizeable following and a decent range of products. What do you think about Blomming?
Amsterdam – a picturesque city with intersecting canals, a cosmopolitan population and rather bumpy brick roads.
It’s my first foray into Europe and thus far, the widest extent of my knowledge of The Netherlands has been (I’m ashamed to say), Miffy the Rabbit. Drawn by the dutch artist Dick Bruna, Miffy was said to be the inspiration behind the very well known Hello Kitty of Japan, but of course, Japan does mass production and cuteness so much better.
That said, it has been an utterly fascinating experience in Amsterdam so far. The birds are amazing (I saw this polka dotted one), the street food is wonderfully delicious – one should NOT miss out on the Albert Cuypmarkt! Expect to see an amazing array of local food and do sample the street food from the various kiosks. We enjoyed these tiny pancakes, some hot chicken and stroopwaffles. For those who don’t have a sweet tooth, beware though, baked goods and snacks are really sweet here. There were however, two “famous” things we didn’t dare to try – Gouda Cheese and Raw Herrings. both of us couldn’t take the pungent smell! Food prices at the street side kiosks range from 1-3 euros. A little basket of 6 drumlets cost us 2.50 euros. Very reasonable! It was the cheapest (and most fun) meal that we’ve had in Amsterdam so far. Sit-down restaurants easily cost you 10 euros and up for just the main course.
The apparel sold at the market is pretty similar to our local Bugis Street, just more catered for winter wear at the moment. Unsurprisingly, many of the clothings here bear quite a strong resemblence to that of Korean fashion (I suspect many of these are imported from asia) and prices range from 10 euros and up. Not very cheap at all.
Of course, the fashion choices of the dutch are markedly different from that of asians. Here’s one of the most popular combinations I noticed on every other woman out on the streets!
One particular thing I love about this style is that it keeps the legs looking slim (and warm) but the upper half flows beautifully when they cycle or walk. Cycling is a really huge thing here, so coats are typically belted quite tightly at the waist. Large collars do a great job of accentuating the shoulders and double up as really useful ear covers when the wind gets especially strong.
Boots-wise, I have completely fallen head over heels with the fuzzy ones. It took me sometime to hunt down a good quality yet cheap pair, as prices for shoes here easily go for 39.99 to 200+ euros. I got mine at a little shop on one of the side streets. Interesting thing to note – shops here are mostly self-service and if you want to find your shoe size, they’ll leave it to you to look through the boxes (which thank goodness, are neatly arranged) to get what you want. The same goes for most other shops and I had to give up on a hat because neither the bf nor I could reach it. Curse our short asian statures! hahaha. Well, here’s to me enjoying the rest of my Europe trip! Onwards is London, then Florence and Rome. I can’t wait!
In the previous post, we looked at staying stylish despite the rain, focusing on clothes and colour schemes. Well, today we are going to look at the must-have items/accessories to help us all weather through the storm. First off, let’s look at footwear…
So this month’s Bellabox was alittle delayed due to shipment issues but I’m glad to have received it because the theme for this month is Bliss. And Bliss means different things to different people. For some it might be travel, reading a good book or even soaking in a tub (for me it is all three!) and the products featured this month are targeted at nourishing your dry split ends and giving you healthy locks, calming the skin and giving it the nutrients it needs and lastly, enhancing your best features with none other than makeup.
The products in this month’s Bellabox includes…
- Loreal Professional Mythic Oil Nourishing Oil 125ml/$42
- Loreal Professional Absolut Cellular Repair Shampoo 500ml/$42
- Olive Care Natural Olive Oil Soap 100gm/$5.50
- Storyderm Silk Mask: Anti-aging $19.90
- Savoir Faire Mini Lipstick in Siren $65 for full size/ $9.95 for mini size
The Loreal goodies came at an opportune time. I just cut my hair so all the dead, dry ends are gone and this shampoo that promises to protect and repair is just the thing I need to maintain healthy locks. It will be very interesting to see if this range lives up or is comparable to the Nuxe range which I gave rave reviews for.
Another product that interests me this time round is the Olive Care soap. You guys know I’m a loyal Lush fan and I do love my Lush soaps but this is a great deal cheaper and it is 100% made out of Olive Oil so if it works just as well, I might actually consider switching. I’ve heard that it doesn’t lather too much though but as a result it is less drying. Seems promising but we shall see.
Last product that caught my eye? That cute little Savoir Faire lipstick. Okay, I’ve honestly never heard of the brand before so I’m glad that they sent me a lipstick sample because hey, you can’t go that wrong with lipstick. As least there won’t be some kind of allergic reaction or something.
The shade I got was Siren, a orangey shimmer shade that is pretty wearable everyday. I think it suits pretty much every skin tone as well. I’ve tried it on today and it goes on creamy and smooth and when I lick my lips, I was surprised to taste something sugary sweet! No cosmetic or synthetic taste at all. AND what was even more surprising was its staying power. It truly lasts and lasts! Even after eating lunch, I didn’t need to reapply alot cos it didn’t budge whatsoever. And colour payoff is actually quite good. Lots of people commented that it was a change to see me wear lipstick (which basically means that its noticeable) and the warm shade is great cos it stands out of my rather pale skin giving it a more olive tone. I’m usually not a lipstick kind of girl (Ruth is though. Check out her mega lipstick review here.) but I think this one is a keeper!
Oh and what’s quite exciting about Bellabox this month? A freebie! Previously we received a lipstick pen and this month, it was a necklace with a moustache charm! Tada!
Personally not a fan of the pink. Perhaps will colour it black with nail lacquer. But all in, a pretty comprehensive box that targets my problems from head to toe. Can’t wait to test them all out!
So dainty, so pretty, I *need* them on my feet!
Prettier than your average shoe, these pixie wedges are just perfect for the holiday season. & if you’ve had many a heartbreaking experience with other expensive, delicate pairs – never fear! The floral appliques are made of hardy PVC with crystal centres in the middle – meaning that these flowers won’t wilt in humidity or rain, nor lose their shape over time (unless you subject that PVC to horrendous heat conditions or forcibly fold them…)
Leather-lined with padded insoles, these shoes will also leave you feeling like you’ve been walking on cloud 9, so if you’ve got a huge end of year bonus, why not buy your way into pixie-dom?