Saturday, July 31, 2010

Phase of the Moment: In and Out of Fashion

Way before I followed fashion, I was into some other things. I remember in elementary, I always rushed home to catch my afternoon anime. I had friends that all knew how to draw, and we would have this "sketching party" where we'd doodle anime characters. It was a lot of fun.

Soon as I hit pre-teens I began poring over PDAs--remember those? Then came this very long affair with digital cameras, which promptly ended when my dad bought me my very own.

Afterwards was this steady obsession over cellphones, specifically ones that we Americans couldn't get. (Cellphones in Asia are much better feature-wise at that time.) I still remember my ultimate favorite mobile, the oddly shaped Nokia 7280 (pictured) a.k.a. the lipstick phone for obvious reasons.

In transit to adolescence, I had a phase with cars. I guess this is most typified as "the young man's obsession." I religiously read my car magazines such as Automobile, Car and Driver, Road and Track, and ogled at showroom floors. I was also a daily visitor to, which has an exhaustive list of automobiles and expert auto reviews.

That was then. Now I feel that my phase with fashion is starting to wane. It's not that I'm totally over fashion. It's just that my locus wouldn't be concentrated in that specific area anymore. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't be into fashion if I didn't appreciate animation, electronics and automobile design.

Image from

Friday, July 30, 2010

Personal Rant of the Moment: Lonely Hearts

I know I'm in vacation right now, but I seem to not have time to spend quality time with someone. A special someone if you can catch my drift.

Ever had those moments when you just want to hug someone but no one is there to hug? Or just talk to someone face to face, but still nothing? That's how I'm feeling: loneliness with a dash of boredom.

I can't wait to get out if this mood. Someone, anyone, please take me away!

But until my hero saves me, I'll bask in some nostalgic tunes. It can help heal the sorrow. I hope.

Video from

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Video of the Moment: Fur Realz?

Actual suit on the Paris runway

Remember that all-faux-fur Chanel suit Lagerfeld sent out a few months ago? Joe Zee of Elle test drove the ensemble in the middle of summer! I say kudos to the man for taking the heat. And maybe more just by looking at people's reactions. Suffer for fashion, baby!

Also, note how he's wearing a Jansport backpack with Chanel. Nothing bad with that, right?

Image from; video via

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Trailers of the Moment: Making the Grade

I'm literally on the cusp of insanity. Why so? For starters, I've been spending my entire vacation at home. Doing chores. Sleeping. Getting fat.

So to make an interesting day out of lameness, I delved into the world of cinema. Not making it, but just watching, enjoying and critiquing. Here is a sampler of my cinematic adventure with accompanying grade system:

"Up in the Air"

This movie deserved to be in the Oscars. It touches so many dimensions of real life that one has to wonder why it didn't snag Best Motion Picture of the Year. (Darn you "Avatar"!)

The emotional story arc is rich and compelling, and commentary about the complexity of relationships--with family, colleagues, friends, lovers, career, and self--is just mind blowing. Kudos to Anna Kendrick for playing the naive idealist! Totally empathized with her. Verdict: A

"Brideshead Revisited"

Based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh (a dude by the way), "Brideshead" is a story of one man's venture into the intriguing world of Catholic high society.

Charles Ryder, a down-to-earth artist, becomes center of attention as he befriends peculiar (but fabulous) Sebastian Flyte. Little did he know that Sebastian belongs to an aristocrat family whose unwavering faith in Catholicism is a major dealbreaker. Cue the love triangle between Charles, Sebastian and Julia (Sebastian's sister), and we have drama!

Unfortunately, forbidden love and snide remarks directed to, um, Catholicism can't save this movie. Stick to Waugh's vision, folks! Verdict: C

"Dominick and Eugene"

This gem of a movie is unbelievably underrated that I watched it at an unbelievably underrated channel. Despite it being old (hey, it's only 1988), the film clutches superb points for envisioning the unconditional brotherly love of Eugene and Dominick.

Thomas Hulce's portrayal of slightly challenged Dominick deserves laudatory mention. While Ray Liotta's Eugene is remarkable for being the conflicted yet caring brother. Minor characters should be noted for adding unbridled charm to this movie too. Verdict: B+

Image from; videos from

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Item of the Moment: Backpack Got Back

Marni, Alexander Wang, Lanvin and Patrik Ervell

Remember when you were young and had the clamoring to get the IT backpack? Not the ones with Prada or some haute label stamped on it, but the ones that have your fave cartoon plastered on the front. (Extra points if it had a clock!)

If that childhood itch went unscratched, most designers have you covered. Backpacks became the new IT accessory for Alexander Wang's Wall Street-inspired runway while Lanvin, Bottega Veneta and Patrik Ervell took advantage of its utility in the men's Fall collection. For Spring 2011, Consuelo Castiglioni of Marni furnished her man-geek with the sporty sac.

Clearly, there's some sort of budding romance between fashion and functionality. And why shouldn't it? For many seasons, designers have dabbled with the most ridiculous bag designs that barely satisfied the job description (see Dior Homme's manclutch).

Backpacks fit the bill perfectly because they're designed to swallow any item with ease. The fact that you can sling it on both shoulders is an added bonus. Just be wary of the bag's overall look. As shown above, simplicity is always key.

Images except Alexander Wang and Patrik Ervell from; Alexander Wang from; Patrik Ervell via

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dilemma of the Moment: Mother or Wife?

I am so inspired by Wenny's thought-provoking entries that I want to post one just for, you know, kicks. Take it for what it's worth:

There's a man in a cruise ship. He is on vacation with his dear wife and his lovely mother. They've been on the cruise for a couple of days and have been enjoying great food, sunny weather, and lots of interesting company.

One day a storm hit the ship. It rocked the ship so hard that there were warnings of capsizing. The ship was mauled hither and tither until it broke.

The captain announced everyone to grab a life jacket and run to the nearest life boat. The man grabbed three life jackets; one for him, his wife, and his mother. He jumped in the escape boat as fast as he could. Sadly, there is only one space left in the boat. Any more occupants and the life boat itself might sink.

Question: Who should he save? His wife or his mother? Should he stay in the boat or give up his spot for the two most important women in his life?

Answer: He should save the wife. He never vowed to his mother "'til death do us part," so it makes sense to save the wife.

How about you? Who would you have saved if you were the man?

Image from

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Trailer of the Moment: Newcastle

Drama, drama, drama. Seems the ladies are hogging all the relationship kerfuffle in hit shows like The Hills and Gossip Girl.

Enter "Newcastle," which makes boy-drama a sinewy breath of fresh air. For the moment at least.

"Newcastle" is a tale of one teen's coming of age. Jesse Hoff (Lachlan Buchanan) takes center as the ambitious, über-competitive hotshot. Along with him is his misfit brother, Fergus (played by Xavier Samuel who will be featured in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"), and a harem of surf-happy friends.

Following a dismal trial for a surf competition, Jesse and pals trek to some deserted beach for a night of sexual discovery and--you guessed it--more drama! You see, Jesse is trapped in a life of coal mining (as his father and older brother) and his only way out is to become a professional surfer. Unfortunately, friend Andy stole "his spot."

Jesse may come off as whiny and bitter, but that's the whole thrust of the film. It's about him growing up and realizing things aren't as peachy keen as he wants it. Though immature and self-serving, Jesse eventually comes to terms with reality and the pain it'll bring.

If the protagonist is too overbearing for your palate, director-writer Dan Castle gave Fergus a deserving subplot.

Fergus is a foil to Jesse in every way possible: he doesn't surf, he doesn't have friends (at least not on camera), and he doesn't relate well to his brother's (and the majority of the neighborhood's) surfing obsession. Although he's considered the oddball of the group, Fergus has something the others lack--insight.

"Newcastle" isn't everybody's movie. The plot isn't pitch perfect, and the editing definitely needs tweaking. Some surf scenes, no matter how pumped with hyper adrenaline, are too long to even take part in the drama. In addition, the film's jaded message of surfing as the alternative (or only) career doesn't help teenagers either; one has to question whether these kids even go to school!

Despite the flaws, the movie has its charms. It's rife with symbolism and features a gratuitous amount of, er, surfer bums.

Video from

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Brilliance of the Moment: Diesel

I always appreciate ads with crazy concepts. Ads with substance more than style; ads that make you think and not just sell things; ads that propose alternate realities and not simply scream product placement. Diesel makes some pretty awesome page-droolers. It's not because of the trendy, stylish clothes or the hot, toned models. Brilliant (and oftentimes cooky) concepts for the win!

Update: A couple of the Be Stupid ads are reportedly banned in the U.K. One is a picture of a girl "flashing a surveillance camera, and another of a girl taking a picture of her naughty bits." (NY Mag)

Global Warming Ready via; Live Fast via; Be Stupid via; Human After All via

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Soundtrack of the Moment: The September Issue

Approximately one year ago, I had the clamoring to see R.J. Cutler's "The September Issue". I never went mad for a movie before so this was my manic schoolgirl moment. Fast forward today, and I finally saw it not once, but twice! (Had to return the DVD, sigh....) And that goes for the oodles of deleted scenes too.

I'm sure you guys read zillions of reviews about it. Though I admit it's not the best documentary ever, it still touched my emotion-starved heart. I appreciated Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington's creative friction, ogled at Raquel Zimmerman's beauty, and gasped at André Leon Talley's celebration of the high fashion life (witness him drip
Louis Vuitton and Piaget at a tennis session).

But the icing on the low-calorie cake, I believe, is the superb soundtrack. It wonderfully complemented the shifting mood, the fast pace, and the harsh-but-rewarding reality of the industry. Do take time to hear a tune or two here.

My Favorite: "Around the Bend" by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

Video from

Recap of the Moment: Paris on the Loose

Balenciaga's futuristic nerd

After pounds of man flesh strutted Milan's catwalks, it's time for the lightwaifs to saunter the runways of good ole Paree. Skin is definitely in for Spring 2011, yet Paris headlined not for the flashy show of *insert body part here*. Instead designers focused on a looser, more casual silhouette (sometimes coupled with something slim and prim). Here are my candidates on the loose:

Alexis Mabille

The model may look sunburned and unkempt (look, stray leaves!), but the bell-shaped jacket keeps him cool.

Dior Homme

Movement is the theme for Kris Van Assche's
Dior. Just look at that coat swing!


Spring can't get any easier than this slouchy-shirt-and-pants combo. Veronique Nichanian always fomented an effortless approach to chic.


Où est Waldo? He sure isn't in Paris but Antonio Marras stamped the signature stripes in a lightweight double breasted jacket.


Lanvin's Lucas Ossendrijver steadies the street-style streak for another season. That means casual sportswear with a hint of French sophistication.


Being bad ass usually means wearing leather and anything skin tight. This disproves everything.

Raf Simons

Raf's rather austere approach to reincarnating flared pants--deluxe version! It actually goes well with a slim jacket.


Starting from the shoulders as the focal point, Wooyoungmi creates office-friendly coats high fashionistas can nod to.

Yves Saint Laurent

Though the silhouette aims for shapelessness, cinching the waist can give an extra kick. Other looks have girdles at the ready.

Images except Balenciaga and Wooyoungmi from; Balenciaga from; Wooyoungmi from