Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gaga For The Lady

Vanity Fair rocks. Lady Gaga on the cover of Vanity Fair September issue wins hands down as the best magazine this month. I love Lady Gaga for her determination. I am so inspired by the photo spread that I took the effort to scan the pages to share with you, along with favourite excerpts from the Vanity Fair article.

Lady Gaga transcends cultures and gender, the headline for the opening pages for the spread is aptly titled "Cultural Revolution".

"Lady Gaga was one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2009. She is the highest-ranked newcomer on the Forbes 2010 list - coming in at No. 4 - with earnings of $62million." - page 282, Vanity Fair.

Call her crazy or attention seeking. Say what you want. Beneath the crazy creative costumes lie talent, pure talent. She has truly arrived as designers now want to dress her. She is the perfect specimen for any designer's creative fantasy. Here she wears an Armani Prive dress, corset and boots. If Giorgio Armani can see it, I don't understand why others are so quick to judge? Lady Gaga truly epitomises show business. She is show business. Others can get on with the times or get left behind.

"But comparisons made to other female pop stars are simply beside the point. Gaga has a much better voice than Madonna, and she's got all those serious Rachmaninoff and Beethoven piano chops. Unlike anyone else who ever sang while sitting at a piano - from Carole King to Tori Amos - Gaga has pianos that are actually part of her attire; when she performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A., her piano was designed by Damien Hirst." - page 282, Vanity Fair.

"I'm not going to change who I am, and New Yorkers know that about me and they don't give a shit. I am my music; I am my art; I am my creativity. When I look into the crowd [at my shows], I feel like I'm looking into tiny little disco-ball mirrors and I'm looking at myself. And when I wake up in the morning, that's what makes my heart ticks." - page 331, Vanity Fair.

*Lady Gaga, if you ever chance upon this blog entry of mine, I want you to know that you inspire me to have no fear and be true to myself.

Get your copy of Vanity Fair September issue before it sells out.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A New Season At FiftyThree

Yesterday was a very good day. I kick started my birthday celebration with a lunch organised by a very good friend of mine. It was a "surprise" lunch as I didn't know which restaurant till I was being driven to the the location. It turned out to FiftyThree - one of my favourite restaurants in Singapore.

Chef Michael Han has introduced some new dishes and we were treated to a special menu he created for my birthday lunch. Check it out.

A special menu created by Chef Han for our dining party of four.

Pot of carrots,radishes and flowers. Everything is edible except the flower pot. No kidding.

The "soil" is the yummy part. It's not real soil but crunchy edible malt-tasting bits.

A good restaurant is one with freshly baked bread. I love the bread at FiftyThree... potato flour bread. The black ones are delish and are made with added charcoal powder. I also like the way they are presented in a sack with hot stones at the bottom of the sack to keep the bread warm.

Mud crab and kohlrabi, apple and chickweed. A very refreshing appetiser to start the meal.

Sweet shrimp from Japan with wild seaweed and cultivated coastal herbs. The sweet shrimps were cured but still retained the taste just like sashimi style.

Red Gunard (a tasty white fish) and hazelnut (drizzled at the side), Beluga lentils and smoked eel (that tasted like bone marrow bits).

Charcoal grilled Iberian black pig and black garlic, with stems and vegetables and ramson "capers". This was our favourite. I had black pork done Tonkatsu-style at Japanese restos before, but never charcoal grilled. These look more like beef than pork to me. The taste is excellent without a bad "porky" taste. The crunchy vegetable stems (I think it is Kang Kong) gave a very good texture to the dish. The black garlic sauce is sweet but not overly pungent.

This is the prettiest dessert I ever had. It is like a fantasy garden with an explosion of colourful flowers. The malt ice cream, rich chocolate twist (shaped like a sculpture) and the crunchy "soil" bits tasted very good together.

The birthday cake with raspberry sorbet and peanut butter decor. What a great way to end a meal and to kick start a two-week long of birthday feasting.

Official Site : www.fiftythree.com.sg

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Rachel Zoe Effect On Me

I finished watching Season 1 and 2 of The Rachel Zoe Project in just 2 days. I also watched the 4 episodes available from Season 3, all thanks to my newly acquired Apple TV. It is hard to ignore the effect that Rachel Zoe (RZ) had on me. I subconsciously started dressing up like RZ. I even wanted to go shopping at high street stores to bring out the stylist in me. Hence, I decided to give myself a styling challenge today.

Style challenge of the day is to shop at Forever 21 and find amazing must-have items that are beyond pocket-friendly. Here are the items I bought within 20 minutes... which I think RZ would approve.

Printed Tank Top - S$25

I love the colours and the print of this top (kinda reminds me of Peter Pilotto's digital prints). The material feels silky smooth and luxurious. I would have bought it even if it is priced at S$89.

Olive Knit Sleeveless Cardigan - S$25

This sleeveless cardi is right on trend for A/W 10. What a bargain at S$25! You can wear it relaxed like how Alexa Chung would, or belt it up for a smart look to the office.

Silver Earring - S$5

I love the antique look of these earrings. Very vintage YSL and costs only S$5! I would have paid S$250 for these at YSL.

Angel Wing Earring - S$5

These are like what Jade Jagger designed for Garrard a couple of years ago. I can't believe these are only S$5!

Feather Pendant Necklace - S$9

This is similar to the Kenneth Jay Lane feather pendant necklace at S$300. I can't believe it is only S$9!

Feather Bracelet - S$11

I love the colours and the print. I would have thought it will cost at least S$39.. but at S$11??? Buy buy buy!

Embellished Hairband - S$11

This is so Prada! S$11 only. Seriously? Truly a bargain.

Feathered Hairband - S$6

Pretty and elegant. I love all things feathers!

I spent a total of S$97 for 8 items. Shopping without breaking the bank. That's what I call cheap thrill.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lust, Caution.

I have a way to de-stress. I don't window shop, I online browse shop. When I need a little fashion escape, I go to Net-A-Porter. Sometimes I buy, sometimes I don't (especially when the prices are hefty). Here's my lust list of the new arrivals. Caution, budget over limit alert!

Christian Louboutin Black Suede Platform Pumps

This is totally CFM. Love at first sight. Love the zip detailing. If I don't buy these, I will regret for the rest of my life!

Bottega Veneta Knot Sterling Silver Clutch

This is so beautiful. However, I can only lust and look as it costs S$11,500. This is definitely art! The best from Bottega!

Halston Heritage Susan Leather Clutch

This is so Carrie Bradshaw. Haltson Heritage has a winner in this box clutch. Unbeatable price of S$430.. and it's leather with faux snakeskin finish!

Solange Azagury-Partridge Shooting Star Skeleton

Amazing ring. I dreamt of it few nights ago. Priced at S$12,200, I will continue dreaming...

Yves Saint Laurent Printed Calf Hair Leopard Print Clutch

Timeless and definitely a fashion investment. It will add the va va vroom to any outfit.

Alexander McQueen Skull Applique Cotton Tank

I love Alexander McQueen skull print tanks. I have 3 of his other designs. I resisted this one as it's S$850!

Alexander McQueen Cashmere-Blend Skull Print Scarf

Love the colours. I will so add this to my skull collection.

Official Site : www.net-a-porter.com

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Love H&M

Most people don't know this about me... about my fascination and obsession with H&M. I LOVE H&M! It all started over a decade ago when I used to live in London as a fashion design student. I was exposed to all the amazing high street brands that I could find in London : Topshop, H&M, REISS, Warehouse, FCUK, etc.

H&M is now giving TopShop a run for its money. A decade ago, I didn't think the quality and variety were that great, and I even joked that H&M stands for "hits and misses". Since its pioneering effort in partnering designers to offer affordable designer pieces, it has been high street royalty ever since. Remember the collaborations by Karl Lagerfeld, comme des garcons, Jimmy Choo, Matthew Williamson, Sonia Rykiel?

These days, I get really excited when I visit cities that have H&M stores. I will literally go to all the stores in the city if I can. I last did that in Tokyo, where I went to all three stores... Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ginza. My shopping tip for you is to visit the store in the morning. It is when it is at its neatest, and you can shop in peace without the maddening crowd. That's what I will be doing in Hong Kong in a week's time!

Here's my edit of what I will be buying (if they are still in store) at H&M Hong Kong... and many more!

I love trench dresses. It's so effortless French chic. I have several but I want another one for my collection!

Never enough white shirts right?

Very Abercrombie, no? The length seems long enough for my long torso. I usually have problems buying shirts as most are too short for me.

This looks like my DSquared shirt. I love the poofy sleeves sleves. You will be surprised to know that H&M offers good shirts.

Very Rachel Zoe! I like these bangles. Perfect for the glamorous 70s trend we will see for Autumn Winter 2010.

Another to-die-for Rachel Zoe type of bracelet. I hope it is still available!

Love this belt. Must have!

I secretly wish that H&M will not come to Singapore, so that what I buy abroad will be more exclusive. Counting down to next week... H&M, wait for me.

Official Site : www.hm.com

Waxing Lyrical

A friend was over at my place earlier and exclaimed, "What's that scent? Your apartment smells good". It prompted me to write this entry about candles, some of my favourite candles. When friends said they don't know what to buy for my birthday, I will say "just get me candles".

So, what is the candle I was burning earlier? It is (diptyque) RED, a special edition for the RED project. 10% of the proceeds of each Special Edition candle is donated to the Global Fund, helping provide life-saving medications to Africans with AIDS.

The captivating scent comprises Rooïbos and Vanilla. This is available at The Link Home at Paragon.

Those who know me well know that I stocked up on Jo Malone candles (and fragrances). Some of my top favourites are Grapefruit, Blue Agava & Cacao, and Pomegranate Noir.

A tip I learnt from the trainer at Jo Malone is that the grapefruit scent is great for clearing odour in a room (think smoke and food odours).

Last month, Jo Malone launched the collector's edition coloured candles with Farrow&Ball, manufacturers of traditional paint and wallpaper. These two British lifestyle brands launched the first-ever collection of coloured candles to create a scented ambience and enhance home decor. This dove blue candle is now sitting on the bookshelf in the guest room.

A few years ago, I was staying at Hotel Costes and I fell in love with a scent. I love it so much that I will always stock up on the candles when I am in Paris. With aromas of Black Musk, Bitter Orange Skin, Rum, Mahogany and Paprika, this is the signature scent of the hotel, which burns these candles in all the communal areas.

I love the shower gels by Molton Brown, especially the relaxing Yuan Zhi. I recently discovered that they have the scent in candle too! This is what I will get when I head down to Orchard Road sometime this week.