It's a Pity I'm Not at Pitti & More

Revlon's Orange Flip Lipstick, J. Crew Top, Straw Hat from a boutique in Shanghai
Sorry for the horrible title - I just love puns (no matter how good or bad), hee. I have an announcement to make which is that the kid sisters are here! Which also means that one of them bought her considerably nicer Nikon D90 camera. She is still very much an amateur but she learns rather quickly. These are kinda test shots that she took just for fun (because practice makes perfect). She'll be my photographer for the summer!
Anyway I thought it would just take this opportunity to do a little update on things:
I.  Photos of MEN'S FASHION WEEK AT MILAN are everywhere and everything looks so beautiful and there is a little sample here by A CONTINUOUS LEAN's Micheal William. Illustrations by the talented RICHARD HAINES (seen here) are equally as lovely.

II. Resort 2012 Collections that I love and hopelessly adore:
III. I have missed DU JUAN (fellow home girl Liu Wen stole the spotlight in recent months) so I was super excited to see her in NUMERO CHINA here

IV.  Girl just upgraded technologically to TWITTER! You can follow me here. I also have the widget at the bottom because I know that not everybody tweets. If you do have an account, leave me a message so I can follow you :D

V.  And what I would be doing this weekend? Attending GENTLEMAN'S RESERVE Pop-Up Market hosted by FREE/MAN. Details here! I know there might be not of things that are suitable for me (me of the other sex) but I can still check out other things like bags and other accessories. So excited. Also there is a Rihanna concert tomorrow but I am only going because CEE LO GREEN is opening for her. Go Cee Lo! 

Dear Bill

I grew up watching not sitcoms nor soaps nor telenovelas but documentaries, from usually National Geographic or BBC. God was I the geekiest kid ever. A documentary on my favourite subject ever is basically a foolproof combination for me. I have enjoyed past fashion documentaries such as Lagerfeld Confidential (2007), Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008), and The September Issue (2009) so I was really looking forward to Bill Cunningham New York (2011) which features BILL CUNNINGHAM, the cutest old man ever one of the most iconic street photographers in New York who has a superb street fashion column in the NYTimes (but who doesn't know this already?). Anyway, I went with great expectations and was not disappointed at all to say the least. It's one thing to have a low expectation of a film and be surprised with its quality but what's even better is to have a film that surprises even your highest expectations. It was so well done not just as a film but as a fashion documentary. The film was not all superficial focusing only on the glamour of the New York fashion industry but also had heart in portraying the daily life of Bill, the other hilarious and eccentric residents of the studios at Carnegie Hall, as well as focusing on the trials and tribulations that the street photographer had to go through to get to the level of success he enjoys now.

Images via Google
It is obvious through the film, that the only reason Bill has the phenomenal success he has right now is due to his work ethic and incredible attitude and passion. This is clearly a man defined thoroughly by the work he does - his small studio of home is filled top to bottom with filing cabinets of negatives and his bed is a mattress lain atop of even more filing cabinets. He saves little time for relationships but instead spends an incredible amount going around New York on his bicycle with a camera in hand for the best street style in Manhattan. His millinery business failed when he was young, some reject his offer to let him take their photograph, and he has to fight to maintain the same integrity and quality of his photographs throughout the years, and in spite of all the hardships, his beatific smile and infectiously warm personality never falters. Of what I am most impressed by him is not his eye for fashion, but rather his unbeatable sunny outlook on life. It is rare to see someone so driven by passion where his work is no longer "work". To someone who feels overwhelmed with the amount of choices today, it's heartwarming and inspiring for me to see someone who could stay so narrowly focused in one field for such a very long time. The film is surely worth the watch (though it's sad that it's in limited release) not only because of the beautiful clothes and interesting life that Bill has led so far, yet also because he is a grounded, inspiring character in a field where so many focus only on the pretty. Now I just want to watch L'Amour Fou on YSL already!

An Ode to My Mother on Father's Day

I know it completely makes no sense whatsoever but I can and so I shall. But there's more to that than just plain obstinacy, and I had thought of writing this precisely because of Father's Day. The though process went along the lines of this: Father's Day > Father > Posts on Dad > Realization that there is a total lack of posts on Mum > Mother. You see it's thoroughly logical to me, though it could also mean that I am utterly bonkers. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of my mother to show because I am so far away from home (Hong Kong) and also my mother has a huge paranoia of her privacy being invaded on the Internet. She is something of a technology-phobe. Oh well, to each their own. Also to those who only know me through the blog (which is pretty much everybody here) by judging from the posts, one would think I grew up in a single parent family (nein), have an estranged relationship with my mother (nein) or I am a total daddy's girl (nein; the two younger sisters do that for me). I do feel bad that I don't give her enough credit for being as quirky as I am (though I sometimes question myself if that is really a positive attribute or not) so this would be my way of making it up to the person who gave birth to me.
I didn't need to rummage through my mother's closet to know that my mother from the get go is extremely different from other Hong Kong mothers. For one, she is no "tai tai" who enjoys high tea on lazy afternoons, gossiping away on the most mind-numbing topics and spending her husband's cash like there is no tomorrow. She is a working woman thanks, and a damn good one to boot (architect by training). She is also pretty tall at 5'7" for a native Hong Konger of her age and extremely lean (I have no idea why, must learn her secret). Lastly, she is a MINIMALIST TOMBOY (of Calvin Klein and Yohji Yamamoto in particular) who stands out from the sea of overeager mothers of classmates who lavishly cover themselves in flashy labels in attempt to show off their wealth (and inadvertently their lack of good taste).
I didn't mean to be so harsh on others but it was obvious even to my six year old's untrained eye. I am always in awe of her frills free approach to dressing that I aspired to have that sensibility and mindset someday. That might take a bit of time; after all she is so pared to the bones that I remember her telling me that the last time she did her nails professionally it was for her own wedding, which is god knows how long ago. She wears little to no make up and owns nary even a pair of heels. For most mature women, such simplified dressing can be most severe and overly harsh on the complexion. It oddly however, only serves to highlight my mother's over-the-top eccentric attitude and personality. This philosophy works extremely well for her because she has so much energy and vivacity that if she had more on her, it would be too much and simply overwhelming. This brings to mind an age old cliché that in order to look as good and true to self, one really needs to know oneself well and understand what matches her best. In the end, most of the rewarding things in life need much forethought and planning (no matter how good it feels to act on an impulse).
Oh, and happy father's day to fathers everywhere!

By Popular Demand

Some of you have been requesting for a full view of the Zara pants and here they are! Sorry if they are not super clear but you have a sense of what the pants look like. They are not at the best state when the photos were taken today, as they have gone through several wears and they look best when they're not as baggy straight out of the washing machine. I don't necessarily blame Zara for this - after all you get what you pay for (read: cheap). Last Saturday, I went to explore CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE AND PARK where they unveiled a new cliff walk which was amazing and also borderline terrifying to go on. Nevertheless I loved the adrenaline rush so I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Apparently the only longer and more extensive version of it is in some part of the Grand Canyon so I hope I get to go there some day. The whole park was spectacular not only because of the bridge and the cliff walk, but also because the whole attraction was all dressed up in a new frontier images à la mid 1800s on pioneers that came from the east all the way to the west. It felt like being in some part of Disneyland at the Tarzan and Jane section. The price of admission was quite pricey at ~$30 but once in, any B.C. resident can get this card that guarantees a year's worth of free admission along with some discounts for any visitors they bring. I recommend coming here!

I met two very affable gentlemen who worked at the place (hence the costumes) but I can't help but feel what the men wore were way nicer that what the ladies had to wear - even if I like gingham.

Honey I'm Home

...even though I never left the house significantly more than when I was super actively writing. It's strange to hear that people are actually complimenting me on my writing style and voice - I never was that girl who always had essays in the "Prize Paper" (a collection of essays my high school printed annually to show off the best papers of the year before; read: something to mention on college apps) or someone that would send a whole pile of prose and poetry to the school's highly recognized literary arts magazine (in fact I was the head arts editor heh). No; since I am wont to write run on sentences, I am the one with the reoccurring nightmare of myself as a gazelle (sometimes zebra) in the African savannah being hunted and chased by a very drunk Hemingway with a rifle in hand. That being said, THANK YOU very much because there is nothing quite like a compliment where you least expect it to be. On the other hand, I was always the de facto "fine arts person" of the school whether I liked it or not owing to my tell tale dirty fingers whether it was the rainbow-coloured due to paint, black due to charcoal, dark grey due to graphite or red and raw from crew.
This was suppose to be just a laundry list of things that I did while I was away on "holiday" but it turned out to be way wordier than I ever thought it'll be: studied for and took Chemistry exam, ditto with German exam, took lots of photos (fortuitous blog fodder), watched "Midnight in Paris" TWICE (a post in the pipeline on this), applied to be a nature guide at Capilano Suspension Bridge & Park, applied to be volunteer at an contemporary Asian arts gallery (mmmmm right up my alley), dutifully as a citizen of Vancouver watched the Canucks epically lose against the Bruins (this totally broke my teenage heart but damn is Thomas good), went through two hours of my weekly belly dancing lesson, spent an hour minimum at the gym on three occasions, finally finished The Pale King and Bossypants and reread The Portrait of the Lady. It feels good to be productive!
However awesome it feels to get through the monotonous drudgery of every day life with such an enthusiastic mindset, nothing feels better than to be back conversing and sharing things on Blogger again. I am pretty sure I experienced some kind of strange blogging withdrawal that I had to fight the urge to log onto Blogger and go back to playing Clair de Lune on the piano for the umpteenth time to distract myself. It warms the cockles of my heart to be typing once more.

Here is something you could release your anger at if I had inadvertently made you angry/annoyed through what could be misconstrued as smug boasting though I am not responsible for the state of your screen afterwards (also because I have no relevant pictures to add so this will be filed under GPOY). This additionally serves as a final good bye to any political and Wall St. aspirations I might have had before this.

Taking a Breather

Courtesy of Fashion Gone Rogue
I have to say this is the best summer themed image in a while this season. The photo is part of Daria's shoot with T MAGAZINE's summer travel edition. But also guess what? Huzzah! I just finished my 'a post a day' challenge for a month! Trying to plan on what to write, what kind of timing and order the posts should be, researching for material and images - it was all super fun and extremely enjoyable. However it was not all unicorns and rainbows along the way; there were many many times I feel like I was just posting filler posts, without giving too much thought to them but felt obligated to post anyway because I had to fulfill this artificial challenge that I had set upon myself. Nonetheless the pace picked up and I soon found the groove and rhythm in which I worked best in; I basically played around with the timing of things in the day to make the blog work for me. And it did! In this short month I have made new friends, learned so many more things, gained unexpected followers and most of, grew so much as a writer. I am getting a new camera soon so hopefully I can add photographer to the list as well later. Despite how much enjoyment and utility I got from the blog, it is rather tiring and taxing. Constant daily blogging, checking comments plus answering emails meant that I had to sit still very often, indoors and you know, not really making use of the glorious weather outside. It's not very healthy, and as the challenge got more intense for me, I did little to no exercise (well among other things). Therefore I am now going to be on a short "blogging vacation" of a week to just chill, relax, wind down, sweat a little, get the heart rate up again and some vitamin D along the way. A week goes by super fast so I'll be back before you'll know it. For those who wonder what they could do now without any drivel to read for the week, there is LONGREADS. This site is addictive with many great articles on all subject under the sun (though I tend to skip the ones on sports). You can now be that annoying person who corrects people with random facts that no one cares about! Woohoo! And you will proceed to hate me because 1) now your head stuffed with irrelevant info and 2) I have just added to your list of things to procrastinate with. I'd still love you though...*insert gif of Puss from Shrek acting cute* Another head's up is that now the challenge is over, I am going to not post as frequently though the amount of posting will only be reduced to a minimum of thrice weekly, if not more.
P.S. The greatest thanks goes Pugly Pixel's KATRINA for plugging me in her blog, even though it is all undeserved (on my part). Most of you guys came to me from her but in the case that you haven't been to her blog (unlikely but you never know), please do! A lot things that you see on my blog is either downloaded or learned from her. The same goes to Capture the Castle's HANNAH-ROSE for great fashion writing and much needed inspiration.
P.P.S. Last but not least to new friends who've made the month so much more worthwhile due to your insightful comments/observations/musings!  

Fall, Where Art Thou

via Fashion Gone Rogue
Maybe I should just go live south of the equator already, preferably in locations like Brazil or Australia. It's annoying how flip flopped the fashion industry is, enticing us by releasing fall collections and looks when it's only spring/summer. Nevertheless, this new Fall 2011 Collection by SEE BY CHLOE has me wanting to don layers and a pair of boots to go tread on freshly fallen leaves again. I don't intend to be a fashion news site any time soon, so posts on releases will be kept to a minimum - unless they are all so fabulous like this collection here. This looks markedly different from CHLOE so I am supremely curious as to who is behind this! Meanwhile, the collection is a perfect combination of clothing from the two sexes, there are tailored menswear-type pieces yet the soft shades makes it undoubtedly feminine. The icing on top are the bright colours mixed in to keep everything decidedly "off" and not boring. I couldn't refrain from not posting without some adornment in the form of graphics from The Graphics Fairy.   
The one I like the most is the outfit below. I don't quite understand why I like it so much - maybe it's the combination of the wonderful navy blue and the tanned leather boots, or the juxtaposition of the sweater's knitted pattern with the simple tailoring of the pants, or the cute bag - but all in all it's pretty perfect from head to toe. Last but not least, every pair of boots featured in the collection are extremely drool-worthy.

The Other White Dress

I was thinking about the the royal wedding one day while I was doing all this writing on Italian neo-realist films so I began to put the two and two together (how this idiom even makes sense is beyond me) and voila, this is the product! First off I am so glad that HRH KATE went with SARAH BURTON of ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, because Burton is so very talented and is the next best thing the label can have after Lee. Obviously HRH looked very gorgeous yet still demure enough in such a formal setting. Her dress was phenomenal and so much of it can be analyzed yet that has already been said and done so I'll move to the another equally famous white dress of the Italian neo-realist films: CLAUDIA CARDINALE's dress in Il Gattopardo (1963). By now you probably think that I am in love with VISCONTI and indeed I do, I love him more than Fellini.

I wasn't so in love with this photo but it was the best way to see the dress in colour. Personally, I much prefer the B&W photo below but I thought the colour photo would show how the dress looks in its original glorious white–not what could merely be just a pale colour in the B&W. According to my Italian professor, back in its heyday, every single girl in the country dreamt of having such a dress. The dress looks a little dated for today's tastes (unlike Grace Kelly's classical look) since after all, the period of the film is supposed to be set in during the Risorgimento when Italy finally united together as one country in the 19th century if you remembered your history from AP European History. Nonetheless, the dress is still so dreamily romantic, with a narrow bodice, wide skirt and all the lace flounces you can ever dream of. If anything the dress is not meant to last stylistically speaking but to remain deeply seated in the viewers' mind. In my opinion, Cardinale looks the most gorgeous here, even more so than in 8 1/2. I really enjoyed Burt Lancaster here in his role as the aging Prince, a relic from the older past slowly giving up to the new generation and the new direction of Italy. The film in all is very poetic as it is not so much about the romance between the Prince's nephew Tancredi played by Alain Delon (see below) and the businessman's daughter Angelica, portrayed by Cardinale but more on using the Prince as a metaphor for Italy, as it progresses from a society ruled by the nobility to one ruled by the new haute-bourgeoisie and other nouvelles riches. The film is rather long (nowhere near as long as Gone with the Road but it feels like it) so I suggest you watch it in Italian, with Lancaster's voice dubbed over, to keep things interesting.

The following image is rather big so I'll keep it within the post (but so beautiful so I couldn't resist posting it):

À la Riso Amaro

I recently came across these B&W shots of Catrinel Menghia in Bambi magazine issue 6. The shoot looks great and very authentic - so much that it reminds of Silvana Mangano in Riso Amaro (1949) by Giuseppe De Santis. Granted Catrinel is too skinny without Silvana's famous gorgeous curves but the spirit of the film is very much still there.

Courtesy of
I don't know if it is done on purpose exactly but the resemblance is uncanny no? I see a little Maddelena from Bellissima (1951) too. I have to admit that film was very interesting and spoke volumes about the Italian spirit after the war and the ousting of the Fascist Party. It was Silvana's first film after being plucked as a winner of beauty pageant (this was how many actresses of the time were discovered) and it was painstakingly obvious that she had never acted before because she was so very green. As a result, the film became unintentionally humourous in supposedly highly dramatic scenes due to the fact she couldn't really emote (remember the scene where she shot the guy - LOL). Despite her awkward acting, she was unbelievably alluring, charming, sexy and seductive while always maintaining a coy sense of naiveté.

Ambivalent Choices

This post was inspired by the recent hoopla over URBAN OUTFITTERS and it's alleged plagiarism of small jewellery owner's designs from sites like ETSY. I am not going to delve into it here because already there were a lot of debate going on about this online elsewhere but nevertheless I just want it to be clear that I am firmly on the side of the Etsy people. All this business ethics question had me thinking about other types of ethical questions, this time concerning AMERICAN APPAREL (hereby addressed as AA in all following references) and its CEO's alleged sex charges (if you want to read all the news about it, click here.)

I am not going to discuss whether he was truly guilty of the charges or not here - so far I have not heard of any convictions and I suppose he is innocent until proven guilty. However when there are so many charges, I have to presume that something is going on around AA because when there's smoke theres's definitely fire. There are so many charges against DOV CHARNEY and I highly doubt so many girls would gather and gang up onto him this way. Because I have been reading so much about his abuse of employees, I have an extremely negative image of AA and I am rather happy to say that I don't have a single AA clothing even though supposedly it's all made in the USA and it would support workers in CA in the process. And on top of that, I never really had a thing for shiny spandex and body suits. 
I have to say I was never too surprised that he had so many charges against him. After all, AA ads look like soft core porn. It's like before you click a TERRY RICHARDSON editorial, you just know that you'll have a 99% chance of seeing boobs - it's almost a given. I think Terry Richardson has his own charges as well. Anyway, I was never really too worried about buying things from AA and was actually gratified to see the company teeter on bankruptcy in the third quarter of 2010 (see here). But then soon after it seems as if Charney resuscitated the company by introducing a whole new slew of designs that were a total departure from the hipster club wear the company so aggressively marketed before. Somehow it felt like Charney (or the head designer/creative director) that had the stroke of genius to quickly abandon the hipster market to jump ship to sell to a greater audience. It already knew it had a bad rep for trashy offerings but it quickly changed its image by selling well designed basics that even I began to covet. I walked into an AA store the other day and was shocked that I had started making a mental checklist of things to buy. They had the perfect blouse with the cutest Peter Pan collar and jeans in soft pastel shades I just don't see anywhere else. It has emerged and asserted itself as a something of a more fashionable UNIQLO so much that I can't help but applaud Charney for turning the company around so quickly and so well. Of course, I duly walked out of the store without buying anything due to my conscience gnawing at me. However this raises the question: would I be a "bad person" if I did buy the clothes, all the while conscious of the doings of the CEO? Or should I just forget about it because I have no control over the greater scheme of things, that I cannot do much about the plight of the girls nor whatever Charney does, since in the very end I am nothing but a small small consumer? Or should I just go ahead and buy because it would support whatever is left of the clothing manufacturing sector in the US? Or yet again should I just stop being so pompous and self-absorbed and sock it because there are so much more important issues in the world at hand that I should be expending energy focusing on those problems instead? Food for thought.

Foolproof for the Foolhardy

I would've shown the whole outfit, save for the fact that I spilt coffee on myself. How clumsy and so typical of me. In fact you can inadvertently see it in the photo - notice that slightly brown patch in the corner? Anyway this pair of brogues and pants combination is slowly becoming part of my go-to uniform on a daily basis. I just am so in love with the colours and how well they work off each other. Uniforms don't have to be in black and white, dull and boring! I had to baby sit my five year old cousin so we took long walks near around the waterfront and we spotted this really purrrrrty yacht.

A Classics Conundrum

It is universally known that the most essential item to a traditional wardrobe is the WHITE BUTTON DOWN SHIRT. It is easily the most versatile thing to wear to be dressed up or down with the right combination of bottoms and accessories. Such an item of clothing is invaluable to the owner of the garment and will save them not only time but also money and headaches. No more painful moments staring at a full closet wandering what to wear you'd cry! However, the search to finding the right shirt for the curated wardrobe is much like trying to find the perfect black dress. It's everywhere in all shapes and sizes, but to get something that fits you exactly perfect in the most suitable style and cut is the hardest thing ever. To put it plainly, because it's supposed to be a major workhorse of the wardrobe, it just has to work every single time you wear it, meaning that it cannot be anything less than ideal. After searching for a year or two now, I have yet to find something that is the shirt for me. It is only after assuming that 99.9999% of my readers are female do I feel comfortable telling people this - that one of the biggest reasons that I have trouble finding the shirt that fits me seamlessly is because I have a heftier bosom than the average Asian girl. This problem is compounded by the fact that my waist is quite small relative to the bosom so that if I were to find a top that sits perfect on top, the bottom tends to sag shapelessly. On the other hand, if I find something that does fits my waist nicely, the buttons starts to unpleasantly strain. My mother always says that it's a problem that most girls would like to have, and while I have her to thank for the genes, it doesn't make it any of a lesser problem for me. It doesn't help at all that fashion designers now seem to design clothes that cater to a more slender, lanky, masculine body that is quite the opposite to mine. The easiest solution to my problem would be to go the tailor and have one custom and hand-made but that requires a certain amount of dough one doesn't have. Alas, the hunt continues.

Friday Favourites II

I was in the middle of writing a post on Bill Cunningham's fashion documentary before I realized that it's FRIDAY = Friday Favourites post numéro deux. This was originally meant as a weekly feature but evidently it didn't quite materialize. For the first post, please click here. Without further ado, here are some things that I found that are beautiful/inspiring/interesting on Vimeo. These works belong solely to their creators and I have no claim on them.

This is quite new in the favourites category - after all I just found it today. I'm so glad because it's the greatest tour of the city you'll ever be on without actually going there. I still can't believe a friend called Milan and Florence quote on quote "boring". Our friendship almost ended after that.

This is a very pretty, sleek animated video by couple of young, mostly Chinese art students. I am an ardent promoter of contemporary Chinese art and of course, am extremely glad that they're putting their work on the table up at Vimeo.

Um, how badass is this? A different volcano on Iceland is erupting this time a few weeks ago and the guy behind this had the nerve to fly up close to an ERUPTING volcano and film it all in the process. Kudos to you, dude.

This is only a screen shot because the woman behind it disabled embed option for this video. However it's so awesome that it's totally worth hopping over to Vimeo to go check it out here. The video first begins by looking strangely erotic but then morphs into something more morbid and scary to absolutely terrifying. Drowning by chocolate anyone? It's like reading Poe but watching it on film.

I am always such a big sucker for time-lapse videos accompanied with a great soundtrack. Remember the guy who did the that time-lapse feature on top of a mountain in Spain named THE MOUNTAIN? He's back again with a super awesome vid of the arctic lights.

This series will always be tagged with Art lest you lose track of this series and want to come back to it and check up on my progress. À demain!

The Geek in Me

Apart from being a huge history nerd and a die-hard bibliophile, I am first and foremost the biggest art geek ever. You should have seen me drool at the end of last year at MOMA when they had a special exhibition just on ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM in the New York where they hung Rothkos and De Koonings side by side. Or maybe the other time where I had to lie to an art gallery in Shanghai so they would show me the good stuff hidden away for only serious buyers. Anyway, I should not embarrass myself further, but let's say if I had all the money and time in the world I would be attending the following. Life is so not fair. The only other art expo I'd die to go is DOCUMENTA in Germany (and maybe ART BASEL).

Via Youtube

Hit and Miss

If I want a fashion-related career in the future (unlikely but always possible) I'd better shut my trap...but as we all know it's never to fun to just go along with the status quo so I'll just take my chances and stick my neck out there. This is not a final judgement of Vogue Paris  but simply just a few observations that I have noted down as I tracked the magazine's editorials since Carine Roitfeld's much publicized departure.

Via Fashion Gone Rogue
As quoted from of new editor-in-chief, Emmanuelle Alt's vision of Vogue Paris under her:
“I want to keep the quality, the photographers we work with—David [Sims], Mert and Marcus, Mario [Testino], and Bruce Weber. I don’t think there should be radical changes. The magazine should still be chic and sophisticated. It’s a bit like buying an apartment: Before you move in, you have all these plans of what you are going to do, but then you get there, and you realize it is better to spend time living in it, and transforming it over time. I’d like there to be more beauty trends; there was so much of that in Vogue back in the eighties. And how people are living; there are so many interesting, cool people here, and they should be in the magazine. More French girls, more French lifestyle. And I am going to keep shooting for the magazine—hopefully a story every issue. I do project myself in my pictures, even if I would never wear what I shoot. Actually, most of the time I definitely wouldn’t. I always want a relationship with reality: nothing too sexy, or provocative, or fashion victim. Even if I love to dream, I want the magazine to feature a girl who looks like she belongs in real life. We are French—we can show smoking, nudity. We have no boundaries, and it can be good to have them."

This post would have started out as a mixed rant if it had not been for this editorial, which is the best I have seen since Alt took over. The quality of Vogue Paris's editorials has been rather lackluster lately though I would like to give Alt the benefit of the doubt that some editorials may have been planned well in advance while Roitfeld still at the helm the magazine. Therefore the onus of the blame does not rest entirely on Alt's shoulders but it does confirm my fears that Alt might be an amazing, sublime stylist and fashion director but not so good as a rédacteur en chef. I have been particularly troubled at first by her statement that the magazine would be more realistic because it doesn't make much sense as Vogue Paris under the former rédacteur was always about creating the fantasy and pushing the boundaries. This was what Vogue Paris stood for–the boring realistic stuff should be relegated to Vogue US! Vogue Paris always managed to surprise, either by the idea or the execution or both. I have seen the controversial editorial little girls with grown womens' makeup and clothes (I bought the issue because Tom Ford was the guest editor) which is supposedly one of the reasons behind Roitfeld's departure. The overall outcome was beautiful even though I didn't feel quite so comfortable with it. I admired and appreciated the old Vogue Paris for its bold undertaking for stimulating the imagination and prompting visceral reactions that are no longer there when I read the new Vogue Paris. Instead, the magazine is now no longer as intriguing; former sparkle of excitement in my eye is reduced to a dull bovine glaze. I am hardly the first to raise this question (see: here, here and here on Fashionising) but I don't see much of it discussed at all in the blogosphere. I am not condemning the magazine to the point of the no return as I was truly excited (and still am) to see what Alt would do and I recognize that you do not have to be over-the-top Lady Gaga style crazy every single time to inspire and be fun. That's far from the point and it's illustrated in my choice of this simple shoot as the best editorial I've seen in the après Roitfeld days.

If anything Alt seems to be confused with her statement because this the first editorial that truly matches her new vision. I am just sad that Alt seems to be playing it safe (reeling from the backlash of over-the-top-ness that may have prompted Roitfeld's abrupt resignation?) even when that is entirely against the magazine's DNA that now the progress and evolution of the editorials is slowly grinding to a halt. I wonder if Alt refuses to go one step further and indulge in the fantasy and the spectacle, would Alt's "realistic" vision be best served elsewhere for a different magazine? Maybe this is too harsh a judgement as it's still too early to call the shots for now, but I'd hate for the magazine to lose momentum, retrograde and undo the results of Roitfeld's decade long reign. Perhaps Alt just had an unlucky string of below average editorials since she does have the talent and the potential to go very far. I'd just sit back and wait and see I suppose, though I do ardently hope that Alt doesn't make me wait for too long. If this recent editorial is any indication, Alt j'ai la foi en vous! 

Help Yourself

Inadvertently, I have taken a Memorial Day break even though it is not observed in Canada. "Officially" Summer's begun! Anyway moving onto some news: Self Service is now available on the iPad and a few of this kind of video/moving pics having been posted on their blog for a while now. Never had I ever wanted an iPad so badly.
I don't condone smoking but man do I love Arizona Muse.