Goodbye February, Hello March

I'm so glad my least favourite month is over to welcome my most favourite month of the year (not because you know, ahem, it's my birthday month). Anyway the weather was treacherous today because last night's rain got frozen over by the night chill and this morning it was raining on top of the slick sheet of clear ice covering all the sidewalks. Let's just say this morning I saw five girls slip on my way to my drawing class, which is only a few minutes anyway. Luckily I escaped unscathed but I do feel bad for my classmates who did not.
I hope spring is coming soon and I did hear something about it coming earlier this year (something related to groundhogs day or whatnot - it doesn't hurt to be optimistic). At least Spring Break is right around the corner, right?

No worries, this is not going to turn into a food blog anytime soon, but it's suppose to tide you over until my last midterm of the week is finished by DÉMAIN! But speaking of food I think I should heed the advice of M. Lebovitz even if it's on food blog per se. It has many advice that a blogging n00b comme moi, should learn from.
 By the way though I didn't watch the Oscars last night I was ecstatic to see that Colin Firth, finally finally got his much deserved award and that The King's Speech managed to nab Best Picture and Best Director from The Social Network. It's strange that this year I've pretty much watched all the movies that got nominated except for The Fighter. The only low point of the evening was that Hailee Steinfeld didn't manage to win Best Supporting Actress, even though I thought she should really be in the Best Actress category (she did steer the whole film with her own true grit).
But until then, I hope everyone started the week on the right foot (sans slipping and all).

Thoroughly Swamped

I was so happy that I got to go off campus last weekend go visit my friend at the college nearby, after waiting her to come back from the Black Solidarity Conference dinner at Yale. Anyways if you cannot tell, it was absolutely freezing that day and I can't say I looked my very best since I slept for five hours at the very most. Also I was rather slapdash about my appearance because I woke up with a groaning headache that day - I think it was from drinking too much coffee before I got onto the bus.
I was very irritated by how cold it was because just a few days earlier it was gloriously warm and I could swear I thought spring was just right round the corner. 

The first picture is of the building right outside my house. Look at how dreary it is! I don't want to spend the entire post whining but I really need spring soon. Anyhow I was able to indulge in some great crab cakes while my friend had clam chowder. Mmmmm, thinking about it makes my mouth drool! Oh why did I have to post this before going to dinner very soon? I know I will be most likely disappointed with the dining hall offerings (spoilt child speaking, yes).

I shouldn't be saying this, but my friend's college is so so beautiful and I daresay even more beautiful than mine. Though I wouldn't give my school up for the world, I just like the overall atmosphere of the campus better. I really want to come back and visit for spring because I know it can look only better then. 

Anyway I am afraid it is still mid-term week so I am still drowning in school work. I am barely coasting and am basically dragging myself from one activity to another. I can feel my eyes strain from the lack of sleep so I am truly looking forward to this weekend for some much needed (and dare I say much deserved?) sleep. I promise a much longer post very soon as well as other fashion-related goodies as Paris Fashion Week I mean Milan Fashion Week is starting!

Into the Wild

I think I have just stumbled upon the best fashion show I've seen (virtually) at NYFW yet. And it's not even womenswear! I'm no expert on menswear but I just happened to come across N. Hoolywood's runway pictures at COACD, which I used to check religiously but not so much anymore. You cannot believe how nicely put together the clothes are. I have yet to see Michael Bastian's show so I shouldn't call any final judgements nevertheless I have nothing but praise for this collection.

This is what The Cut had to say about this collection that pretty much sums up the entire look of the collection for the F/W '11 season:
All of the intricate elements worked together to narrate Obana’s [designer Daisuke Obana] theme — a Yosemite mountaineering expedition in the 1800s. The procession of models walked out to an eerie soundtrack of wind and piano — at times plaintive and then pounding — and were made-up to look like wind-burned climbers, all bearded and a few even carrying pickaxes. The clothes were a dark take on the mountain man — wool houndstooth trousers stuffed into cable-knit kneesocks were contrasted with loose pajama-like pants and long johns worn as outerwear. Interesting flourishes like a geometric crew-neck sweater vest and hooded cardigans were thrown in.

The Yosemite mountaineering vibe is definitely there which explains why the collections feels so quirkily rural and rustic unlike the East-Coast sophistication of Ivy and Trad looks. Don't get me wrong and I think those are still fine and dandy, but it's refreshing to see hulking frontier men who are at peace in the wilderness that is so much more exhilarating than men sailing or playing polo.  I think this still shares much of the same kinds of aesthetics but just worked into a wholly different dimension. There's a slight touch in sensibility taken from "True Grit" which I see is becoming more common across runway shows and editorials (post about it coming up very soon). I wished there were HQ versions to the photos so I could really really see the details of the different fabrics. I envy those lucky fellows who get to see up close! I just found out from their website that they actually have their own store back at Hong Kong that I would surely follow up when I'm back home for the summer. I've never been so excited at the prospect of going back home before now that I know N. Hoolywood and Gant (and others) are waiting for me there!

Moreover, instead of being inspired by the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald or J.D. Salinger, one would read instead the works of Mark Twain or the poems by Robert Frost (one of my favourites along with Emily Dickinson). Which makes me think I should go and finish his hefty autobiography - and I hear there's more installments to come. I think I would end this with an amazing Yosemite nature video that I coincidentally found on Vimeo. Until then, bonne nuit. 

Nothing Short of Amazing

I love how everyone is commenting on how "perverse" the collection is.

Who Else is Loving This?

I never paid much attention to Theory previously, which makes sense because I am not a working gal myself (yet). I'm so glad Theysken's back into the game after his unceremonious departure from Nina Ricci (which I absolutely ate up as a silly, wide-eyed fourteen year old). Everything is so well done and just so wearable and classy.
This concert I was looking forward to all week just got canceled and on top of that, I had a four hour lab to endure without any breaks from classes. I am thoroughly exhausted and must go nap a bit to only continue reading Emile Zola for french class tomorrow. I'm losing it! I will definitely post something substantial tomorrow, je promets!

From Your Valentine

 Many a great good things had happened since I last posted. I really must have forgotten how hectic and stressful school is over the long winter break. I have never been so hammered with french assignments before (readings, reading comprehensive questions, mini-essays and presentations all in one blow) and on top of that summer school applications. For now I am done with them but I see a huge biology exam looming ahead next week and a flurry of other things to do before then. Ah, school really makes us work for our grades! I've learned though from this experience to prepare a few posts beforehand to make sure the blog doesn't dry up from the lack of content. 

Speaking of lurve, since it is Valentine's Day, does anyone think I should give the Modern Love College Essay Contest a try? I think my story, though probably not the best written, would still be an interesting read of a single straight girl in an all womens' college among your typical, stereotypically hyper-sexualized, alcohol-fueled college atmosphere. There are also considerable contrasts from the two co-ed schools around here so I can talk about the two and such. I think it would be a fun endeavor indeed, whether I would win or not. I really miss doing things just for the sake of doing them.

And lastly for those who have bought things from Lands' End before, do they always send "Thank You" cards? I got a handwritten one on Friday unexpectedly saying that quality is guaranteed and send all questions to this email etc etc etc. This is probably commonplace at least for those used to ordering from catalogues but this was a pleasant surprise for me. Bravo marketing team at Lands' End, for touching base with your clientele and establishing brand loyalty.

I will be keeping up with regular postage, and lastly here's a little something something from an alum:

BBC on Harris Tweed

Word of caution: Only proceed ahead by watching the videos if you have the time. Otherwise if you watch it on a school night like I did, you will struggle to stay awake the next day while trying to make up lost time on schoolwork. Other than that, I hope you guys will enjoy this.

It's rather long but thoroughly interesting. I originally have heard of this from Die, Work Wear! which despite it's antagonistic name is an interesting read. Again I had confronted my doubts about posting this purely because the reason I moved from Tumblr to Blogger is because I was sick of all the reblogging that went on. However, I do have something to say about and perhaps some commentary that would resonate with the focus of this blog.

I first was so excited about this because I miss BBC and surprisingly the British media in general (Little Britain anyone?). No, I am not necessarily an Anglophile - though I really love Colin Firth and The King's Speech and Pride and Prejudice - nor do I share the same fascination of some Americans over the "British Accent" which I think is gross misnomer because there are in fact many accents on the island (i.e. Cockney, Essex, Birmingham to barely scratch the surface).

At first I was overcome by a wave of nostalgia of my childhood in Hong Kong when I used to watch BBC programs on a daily rotational basis. It's the overall quality of the production and focus that really sets it apart from other media groups. No longer need to harp on this but I have to say this "teledocumentary" - yes I am murdering Greek, sue me - made me genuinely feel for the plight of the Tweed industry and its workers. The plight of the people ardently trying to their tradtions, way of life and heritage really spoke to me in their great concern over their culture. I found that though the people honestly didn't "promote"their product as great as they could have, I was greatly perturbed at Brian Haggis's obstinate view that he, himself alone, with his son I suppose, needed to hold monopolistic control over the entire trade. I struggled to like him on his "noble" naïve view that he could single-handedly revive a industry and delighted in his demise when he scrambled to sell his seventy thousand odd jackets. In general I hated his egoistical stubbornness that he tried to assure everyone that he was doing when he eliminated 7,996 colours of tweed available in only one price and one cut - though it is highly probable that one would be inclined to feel that way when one becomes a successful textile tycoon up to this point. Also I hated the fact the Scottish parliament or other national government bodies did nothing to help and relied instead on the efforts of patriotic Scottish ex-pats and enthusiastic tailors from Savile Row. Nonetheless I'm glad that through the combined efforts of the ex-pats and tailors and others, Harris Tweed is able to breathe a little and survive for a little while longer - at least for now.

And to end this and sign off for now on a positive note, I wonder where my (maternal) grandfather's tweed jackets would be (though I am sure that his is probably not made by the bespoke tailors of London but of Hong Kong).

Image from Google and videos from Vimeo.

Back from the Edge

I am not quite sure how it came, happened and went, but I was so close to quitting blogging and blogging about preppy fashion altogether to a minor relapse of slight mental break down. However just by watching this, the video revived my interest in all things prep and beautiful.

Vogue US Approved

The two that I like in particular:

Men I Admire: Giambattista Valli

Isn't the part where he gets so excited and ecstatic over the right draping just so adorable? 
I've always liked and admired Giambattista Valli. He is always so self-composed and very elegant. Unlike other designers who tries to find the next big thing, he is always consistent and sticks to what he knows best: quiet elegance. In this age where Lady Gaga and her outrageous fashions are worshiped on the streets and the internet (let's not talk about Ke$ha altogether), it's hard to find your ground and stick to it when it is just so overwhelmingly easy to conform to norm. Giambattista Valli, unlike other "haute couturiers" and labels out there, has carved out somewhat of a niche for himself. He truly embraces the "less is more" concept of things. Though his clothes looks simple at a first glance, it is evident that there is much thought behind every cut, every thread sewn. He and Thomas Maier are perhaps, the most tasteful designers that really pay attention to the details en particulière.

On the Giambattista Valli woman:
"She’s a woman who is very balanced with her femininity. It’s not about being strong or not. It’s about being in balance with yourself. But you know, what I really love — and is going to be always my message — is to be part of the happy moments of this woman. Even with the recession, there will be happy moments. Whether she’s loved, gets married or she goes to a wedding, I would love to have complicity with this woman in this moment."
I no longer really like Haute Couture, especially when now it's so removed from its original context. In fact, the haute couture collections going on right now are more garish and gimmicky than anything and are often just a platform to raise brand prestige and to hawk off profit-generating accessories.

I suppose Mr. Valli shares the same sentiments as I do:
“Haute couture today is used to support an image — it’s not what it used to be when I worked with Roberto Capucci and Emanuel Ungaro, when there were wonderful women coming to be dressed for daytime.” 
Though I would like to note that other brands out there doing couture are miles ahead of Emanuel Ungaro which has fallen far from grace with its lowly status cemented when it decided to hire Lindsay Lohan to assist with one of the collections a few seasons ago.

Alas, I am not the right age to wear such clothing out and about around campus. Though once I get past my 20s, you bet I will.

 Images taken from and quotes taken from the NYTimes.

Why is it Still Cold Outside?

I am writing this to the sound of Unabashedly Prep's awesome February play list playing in the background and potentially annoying my room mate in the process. I like all types of music lately but I am always too lazy really to go "find" music per se. Which is awesome because the play list lends itself as a tasting platter to different kinds of music. Also I can look "cool" to my uh, L.A.C. hipster-y type of friends. It is also a rather effective method to drown out the sounds of the Super Bowl party held in the common room of the house.

Anyway this morning I was woken up rather unceremoniously to the falling of a nasty combination of icicles and snow from the roof. Look at the size of those icicles! The school should definitely do something about them before anyone gets hurt. I don't know if it's just this certain part of MA but yesterday it was raining on top of the half-melted snow and ice slush. This made such a treacherous combination that I almost died walking up the ice-covered slope to my house. Call me a little melodramatic but I never want to experience that again.

Moreover, the melting snow from the roof is leaking in to the some of my housemates' rooms. Yes make that plural. The house really needs renovation but I guess you can't complain too much about the overall state of infrastructure since it was built in 1821 and that Franklin Pierce used to study law here. Though I have to say I have been to the other houses on campus and most of them look a lot nicer/homey inside; but this old house still has full of character and despite its other faults, is a heck a lot nicer than the pseudo-Bauhaus constructions from the 1960s till the 1980s of other universities and colleges -- that's for sure.
I woke up pretty late today (as in after 1 p.m. and totally missed the awesome breakfast) so I feel rather shitty and unproductive about myself. I know I have to do so much better this semester and I need to redeem myself. Which also means I am most likely going to quit crew and do sailing with another houesmate instead. This can be expanded in much more detail later soon :) But I want to stop whining or am I just procrastinating about whining even?

Enough moaning already! Look at what I found the other day when I took the bus to the college town nearby. I have already long forgone Starbucks in favor of the better and much more awesome local coffee places around the school but this is just too adorable to pass up. I think you can only find a Starbucks that looks like this in New England and nowhere else.
Should I mention I am really really looking forward to spring and can't get ready to get of the snow altogether already? Though I heard that there would be quite a bit of snow come Tuesday :( Because this post is rather sparse and not fashion-centric AT ALL I want to make it up  to you good folks by showing some  photos that I took around the campus in the fall.

I should get back to finishing up the questions for French class and retire for the night. I already have some ideas for future posts and I can't wait to share it with you guys. Until then, bisous.
P.S. Thanks for the awesome and lovely comments of the last post! I, however, do not wish ever to claim credit for the video because I just found it on Vimeo by chance. Though I am happy that you ladies do like it and I feel way more encouraged to post now!

My Aesthetic

This sort of video kind of shows what type of look I'm kind of aiming for. Of course, I am still terribly unsure of myself, but I love the care-free laissez-faire attitude of the les parisiennes' attitude to dressing, paired with the aesthetics of more preppy clothing and certain other items. Maybe I can be this good through more time and effort on my part.

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Welcome to the Year of the Rabbit

Happy belated Chinese New Year! I thought I could blog yesterday but my computer died in the library. On the other hand though, I fully organized my biology notes so that now I fully understand cell metabolism and glycolysis. Not that you needed to that particular detail. Anyway this year is suppose to be not so good to people born in the year of the rooster so my mother is going to send me a jade rabbit pendant from all the way in Hong Kong to New England for good luck? It's a tad strange that she would go such lengths to do so but it's all for my sake I suppose.
I was pretty down all day yesterday and today because I realized that it would be very hard to do pre-med and go abroad my junior year. It also doesn't help that I haven't been taking much pre-med prerequisites except for maybe calculus and biology. But thankfully, my order from Lands' End finally arrived to cheer me up in time for the weekend.

I had ordered a white oxford, a pair of skinny cords and a pair of straight leg chinos. The most disappointing one of the three must be the oxford blouse because it ran a little tighter than I thought it would. The only place I really order online from is Urban Outfitters and I know that their sizes run pretty small, so I knew I should get medium sizes. However on Lands' End,'s website, people commented that they actually run just right, and by looking at the sizing chart I ordered a size four. Little did I know that it doesn't match my shoulders too well and it seems to be a bit tight in the bust area. It's got great details and pretty well made for the price, but I am just bothered by the fit. I think I will send it back to Lands' End soon for a replacement of maybe a larger size so that it fits loosely. I had been trying not to buy loose clothing and more fitted ones, however I suppose I am most comfortable in looser tops. 

These are the straight leg chinos. I'm sorry that I don't full-length pictures of the pants but alas, the lighting is so bad. Why do I have such a bad habit of suddenly remembering to take outfit photos at night? The chinos sit pretty nicely on my hips, and is of perfect length and fit to body but the cut on one of the legs is kinda funky. The seam runs a little inward compared to the other leg. But it's a minor detail that I'm willing to overlook (I did get it dirt cheap!). Hopefully in the future, Lands' End could leave a little less to be desired. It's super comfy and soft to the touch on the bright side.

Now for the cords, these are truly perfect. I like the shape of my legs the best so I do like to wear pants that are of a tighter fit. They're amazing and I find no fault with it whatsoever. Again the fabric, the buttons, the cut and all other tiny details are all good and I can see myself wearing this almost everyday! Now if I could get my little grubby hands on a pair of L. L. Bean duck boots, Hunter green wellies and a Barbour jacket...

P.S. I'm so sorry about the constantly changing of names and banner and such. I am the most fickle person on and I love to fidget with small minute changes. I promise to stick to this name! 

Winter Habits

So more than a week ago,  I ordered my first preppy basics from Lands' End, which included a white oxford blouse, a pair of khakis and a pair of chinos. Normally I have the patience and civility to wait for it, but the curiosity towards seeing the final items are driving me crazy. Never before had I really envisioned about building a wardrobe -- finding things that fit and work together. In the past, I had not really given much thought as to what kind of things to buy. If it looks good, fits, and is within my budget then I would just go ahead and checkout. This is different this time round, that I actually envisioned what would be the cornerstone of my style and the way I present myself.
Meanwhile because I really have nothing to say much, except for doing a lot of school work and reading, I could share my winter skin must-haves. Again, this is probably not so preppy, but its is something that I care about regardless whether it is truly "preppy" or not.

These are the type of things I use almost pretty much on a daily basis. From the left, there is Crabtree and Evelyn's Hand Therapy collection to which I faithfully use everyday (at least the moisturizer). Then there is Pond's Cold Cream to remove mostly eye and lip makeup and then Aveeno, as body lotion. These are not really any cool, new products per se, but it's something I like and stuck by.

Out of the hand creams that I have tried, this is the best one that I have used. I have even used L'Occitane (which smells wonderful) but this is the finest formula yet. My skin, en general, is very dry and my hands in the winter is even drier. If I leave my hands unattended for even a brief few hours in the cold without any sort of cream, the skin puckers up, cracks then eventually bleeds. It's awful and painful and this Gardener's Hand Cream really saved the life of my hands.

Because I have such dry skin in general (that is exacerbated in winter), I really need a makeup remover that does not dry me out at all. Best yet, if it is moisturizing and does not remove the water content of my skin at all. I don't wear as much makeup as I use to, at least now during just normal school days, but I do like to wear the occasional mascara, eyeliner or eye shadow. Anyhow, I first came across this particular brand of eye makeup remover through the interview of Karlie Kloss on Into the Gloss. She was saying how that she and the models really swore by it and it removes everything very easily, I was thinking why not give it a try. It also helps that it is very cheap. Though I like the normal kind of eye makeup/general makeup remover by Pond's rose oil makeup remover (only sold in Asia I think) from Japan is better for use on normal days (i.e. summer), this one is surely better for winter. It is the most moisturizing makeup remover ever. It does not use any water and requires only a tissue or a towel to wipe it off. Therefore you do not need to use any water that could potentially strip you of your natural oils. (I suppose with gentle tugging, wrinkles could be prevented.)

It's really, ok, VERY annoying to apply this with the bare hands and finger tips. However it is incredibly good at keeping my lips soft. I guess with the Asian genes my lips are a bit fuller than norm which makes it prone to be dry quickly and get flaky, this lip balm really does its job. I do not have all that much to say about it, but get it and you will get results. I do suggest to wear it only before at night with a thick layer sur la bouche and wake up with soft pillowy lips.
And then there is my darling Aveeno, which I will live by and die by because it is the best skin lotion that I have used since my early childhood (though you can argue it wasn't all that long ago). This does not require much explanation and I am sorry to say that I forgot to take a photograph of it. I really should get back to my school work now and stop procrastinating. Bisous.

Taking Advantage of the Snow Day

Lately, I have been swamped by the amount of reading and problem sets we have to do in my lil' o' liberal arts college. Perhaps I have been spoiled silly by winter break but now we are surely getting whatever work's equivalent of a one month break. I would haven't posted this back on the day I was wearing said outfit because I was plagued by the aforementioned problems. However, we have a snow day today!
A snow day. In a college where everyone lives on campus.
It was strange because all my morning classes were done anyway, nevertheless, it meant that I had no three hours of biology lab to go through. We also got tomorrow off. Before you sniff at the liberal arts college's cowardly attitude to the cold, all my friends from UChicago to Washington University in St. Louis have their day off. Except maybe UMichigan.

The lighting would have been better if it was taken during the day but alas, I forgot so I promise to take better photos in the future. Also something to be forgiven, this was taken by a point-and-shooter (which already dictates the quality and resolution of the photo) propped on a shelf on a timer. Who knew boyfriends could be so useful in taking photos of oneself for the blog? The Zara pants were already shown before in a previous so sorry if it's kind of a repeat of the previous post. The jacket I bought from an decidedly unpreppy story of Urban Outfitters which I got for a steal. The gray flannel I purchased somewhere in Montréal when they had the big boxing day sale (which they should have here in the MA à mon avis).
The bag is also bought from Urban Oufitters. I wish I had more whimisical, amusing and witty things to say but I think I might be suffering a case of brain freeze and general overwhelmed-ness of school.  I am still recovering from what was a god-awful party of the liberal arts college nearby.
It's sad and strange to lament that I have not yet been to a party where I have thoroughly enjoyed myself (sober or not). I should probably catch up a few chapters worth of biology reading, finish Notre-Dame de Paris, start Maupassant's Contes et Nouvelles I & II among other things. Should I suddenly come up with something introspective and insightful I will add it in due time. Enjoy that cup of hot chocolate et bisous.