Facing the Inevitable

I am sure all college students go through this at some point: the transfer from collegiate casual dress to something a little more professional. I have been luckier than most, in that my internship last summer in Greece had basically no dress code. Whereas this summer, working in relatively conservative environment in Washington D.C. means I can no longer get away with wearing whatever.

Thankfully, due to my obsession with menswear, I already have a good steady rotation of button down shirts, chinos and a great pair of tan wingtips to boot. What I am lacking is a great navy blazer, which to me would be the cherry on top of a great business casual wardrobe.

For my search for The Great Navy Blazer, I headed to Soho. After my eye exam at Warby Parker (just got a pair of Preston in whiskey tortoise!), I beelined for my usual hotspot of Uniqlo. I couldn’t be more disappointed since they usually have a great selection of office basics, which is replaced by designer collaborations and subpar summer prints. As Zara was nearby, I popped in just to check it out. I couldn’t find any navy blazer that I liked but I was awed at how on point the prints at Zara were. Someone either hacked into the Céline/Liberty London/J.Crew HQs or my mind, but it was very hard to walk out of there without buying anything. Thank god I’ve trained my willpower through periodical shopping fasts and general curation (more on this later). I did eventually found THE perfect blazer at J.Crew in the end—it was everything I wanted from the lining down to the buttons but sadly it costs more than what I would’ve liked. I’m still mulling over it because it was just that beautiful and utterly flawless. It would be a worthwhile investment as navy blazers are classic.

Last but not least, after seeing these cute pair of heels at Miss Sophie's Les-Antimodernes, I have been thinking about getting them too. Not only are they affordable, but they will be very forgiving for a complete heels n00b like me. At my height, heels are not necessary but knowing how to walk in a pair of heels in my books is still a good skill set to have.

So here you go, a complete update with regards to my stance on shopping and what I’m currently looking for. I can’t wait to start writing full length pieces again for C+C once I’m settled in Montréal.

Art Basel Hong Kong

If you’re currently in Hong Kong, you’re in luck as Art Basel Hong Kong is on right now from May 23-26. Formerly known as the Hong Kong International Art Fair, MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd. has bought it to join Miami and Basel on the world stage. You can bet that I would be there in a heart beat if I was anywhere near Asia. The online catalogue looks amazing and with that many participating galleries, one can only expect great works to be available on view.

Also Kisha has kindly invited me over to her blog, Chronicled, to share 5 things that I want, need, visit, learn and eat, this week. Check it out when you can :)


Look Out for Me in D.C.

Enough of general malaise, sadness and melancholia around these parts (at least for now)! I have finally finalized my summer plans and I will be in living and interning in D.C. this summer. How exciting! I feel like D.C. and I were meant to be: I fell in love with the city after visiting for this past spring break and it’s now my favourite city in the U.S. by far. First, I will be in Montréal for my sisters’ high school graduation but after that it is to D.C. I go.

I just realized I haven’t shared zip about my spring break trip to D.C. so here are some pictures of Oyamel, a Mexican restaurant that has come highly recommended by Aurelie. Thanks for the rec! This place probably has some of the best guacamole and ceviche I’ve had ever and you can bet I will be back this summer. I can’t wait to hang out with my greatest blogger pal Jada, whom I had met through the blogosphere and more, but if anyone needs a buddy for new eateries/concerts/galleries/museums/festivals/outdoor adventures in either D.C. or Montréal this summer, be sure to hit me up!

The Difficulty in Moving On

With the current weather so sunny and warm, I haven’t been spending a lot of time in front of the computer these days. Perhaps it is this, coupled with the general anxiety I have as a rising college senior, that I haven’t been thinking about fashion much. At least in a substantial way.

On the odd occasion that I do think about fashion, it is always twinged with certain sense of melancholia, especially after all the recent Bangladesh accidents. It feels wrong to talk about “silly” things like aesthetics again, when so many have died for fast fashion. A particularly gruesome image of a man crushed under the rubble at the collapse of Rana Plaza continues to haunt me. I can’t help but feel partially responsible, even though it has been years since I bought anything from the known brands that used Rana Plaza for their manufacture of goods. What is particularly upsetting is to see so few mainstream fashion blogs (the big personal style ones) even mention in brief, anything about the tragedies in Dhaka. More so, I have yet to see any fashion magazine discuss the events either.

I want to argue that fashion is more than clothes, that it’s about capturing the zeitgeist and creating a channel for self-expression; nowadays, I just see D-E-A-T-H. It might feel overly dramatic, but for every piece of clothing (especially fast fashion) I notice, I can’t help but wonder: who has suffered for it this time round? I have always known intuitively, ever since I started buying fast fashion clothing as an pre-teen, that fast fashion sounds too good to be true. Though I have matured much since, with the full extent of the hidden social costs revealed before me, I have incredible difficulty in moving on past these tragedies to more lighthearted anecdote and musings in my continual discussion about fashion. Even menswear, which generally focuses more on quality and craft rather than trends, has lost its allure. I might be happy and thus learnt to deal with being small, but I highly doubt many others ever will be.

I wonder if there is any others, who feel as strongly as I do about the general appalling state of consumption habits in fashion, especially amongst the younger demographic that I belong to (ages 18-24). Perhaps there are more important issues that us Millenials have to deal with—terrible employment opportunities for one and chronic underemployment for another—yet the choices we as Gen Y makes, continues to matter with profound impact on the rest of the globe. Is there an easy(-ier) way out of this mess we’ve made?

My Current Uniform

Finals are finally over (well they have been over for a while now but it’s been hard getting back into the blogging game)! I’ve taken these photos a long while ago in mid April but it still holds true even now in mid May (can you believe it!). EVERYTHING goes so well with my chinos it’s insane. My jeans are definitely put on the back burners for the most part. The weather so far has been uncharacteristically cold...or maybe just last year was uncharacteristically hot. Either way, it’s pants and jackets weather still—not that I particularly mind.

As for other news, all the media attention over Bangladesh factory disasters, most prominent of which is Rana Plaza collapse and the latest being the Tung Hai Sweater Factory fire last week, has prompted changes in regulating the industry. This is great, yet more still needs to be done. Alas it is an absolute abomination that it had to take so many preventable deaths to warrant even minute changes in the fashion industry.

I have been creeping on all the great discussions on the topic, from Jess to threads on /r/femalefashioadvice to Lin. With regards to Uniqlo in Lin’s post specifically, this is a evidence of just how hard it is for well meaning customers (like Lin) to ascertain the origins and manufacturing process of their purchases, unless they are part of some convenient PR campaign (see H&M report at Jess and Everlane’s latest factory video). For those who argue against more regulation, it is economics 101 that for markets to be perfectly competitive, there needs to be perfect information, which is not the case here. As some someone who has tried to look into Uniqlo purely out of sheer curiosity, I have trouble finding the latest reports and figures too, since most of the up to date information is entirely in Japanese. Some things are mentioned, but only in vague statements in their annual report.

Two steps backwards, but at least one small step forward. What will this mean for the future of (fast) fashion?

P.S. Thanks for all the interest in sponsorship! I will respond shortly.