27 July 2014

In Defense of Accessories

As the current menopausal weather will have it, hot flashes dictate my life and my mood, which mostly oscillates between moody and mopey, neither of which churns out productive results. This leaves me lying face down, migrating back-and-forth between cooler sections of the bed in a suitably air-conditioned room. So even if I manage to somehow find a reason to leave these cold-comforts, I can't be bothered to layer anything, or can I? In this era of responsible sartorial editing, minimalist dressing, and anti-over-accessorizing; I hereby file as the defense attorney of 'accessories'. As adamant as I am about differing myself from the general public via my 'provocative' and at times subversive garment choices, I for one am not access-sorry for piling on that extra bracelet that sets off the metal detectors, or for putting on that printed turban made from cut-up table cloths, and certainly not for layering sheer socks under pineapple socks and into pretentious hipster slippers. I thank my trusty novelty accessories to personalize an otherwise bland ensemble. Exhibit A: Honestly if you were to ripped off these embroidered-mesh slip-ons off my feet, wrist bandana, as well as the graffiti backpack, I'm pretty much a homeless person wandering dodgy allies begging for food and coke, or Pepsi... any fizzy refreshments would do. So there you have it, substantial proof that justifies one need to sometimes over-accessorize, and even though wearing a headscarf underneath an over-sized boat hat may seem superfluous at first, let me tell you, headscarves not only make great sweatbands, but a layered headpiece look is always a good idea. Might I suggest ones the likes of Acne or Giambattista Valli couture?




shirt PUSH BUTTON | jeans WRANGLER | backpack CHANEL | shoes CHRISTIAN DIOR | scarf HERMÈS

20 July 2014

The Birkin and The Boy

When it comes to bags (or baggage), particular ones of the emotional variety, I've always been more of an Olympia Le-Tan book clutch kinda guy than a Birkin one; but when the opportunity came to work on styling some of Hermès' most iconic bags courtesy of luxury retailer Whisper Sales, along with my partner-in-crime Claire from Chouquette we couldn't wait to take on the challenge. It's not everyday you get to juggle around Hermès accessories like they're candy (more like arm-candy). Though with so much history, cultural connotations, and heritage surrounding such iconic bags, it was challenging for me to find a way to violently grunge them down. To me, 'Birks' were always the abbreviation for Birkenstocks, not Birkins. So whilst we ponder on that point, perhaps working with a Kelly would act as a warm up exercise. Let's see how I tackled the first outfit, which in hindsight, really pays homage to my love for dressing myself as a tomboy. It all began with a kitsch Dries embroidered shirt I found at an OC sample sale back in New York. Then for bottoms I've paired that with some knee-slit mom jeans that may or may not give you a desirable saggy ass the likes of Fran Lebowitz (here on The Provoker, that's a compliment). Alright, I had to go for vintage denim, the only fabric besides linen that could successfully grunge down something as luxurious as a Kelly bag. Afterwards, I threw on a suede biker to really pull down any residual fat around my body like an Alaïa dress. And since I yearn for 'ugly' footwear, I felt these did the trick. Mine are MSGM, and they feature tribal fringe straps with dangling bejeweled crap that reminds me of vintage chandeliers, very Margiela-couture earrings, no? Then to add a teaspoon of ma'self, I clipped on Johann, my furry key-chain I acquired a season ago when Fendi fur charms were still relevant; plus my obsession these days with wrapping anything in a foulard comes into play here on the handle, in hopes to add a final touch in personalizing this ensemble, or maybe also to keep my sweaty palms dry. No more awkward sweaty handshakes for this fella'!


biker ACNE STUDIOS (SIMILAR) or (SIMILAR)
shirt DRIES VAN NOTEN (SIMILAR) or (SIMILAR)
 jeans LEVI'S (SIMILAR) or (SIMILAR)
 bag HERMÈS (SOURCE)
fur charm FENDI (HERE) or (SIMILAR)
 cuff HERMÈS (HERE) or (SOURCE)
 sandals MSGM (HERE) or (SIMILAR)

Moving onto the second portion of the styling challenge, a vastly different 'lewk' from the first one might I add, it's time to bring out the other bag, well actually, "it's not a bag, it's a Birkin." - That infamous phrase uttered towards Samantha during her PR attempts at securing herself a Birkin, coincidentally also in red; come on, you must remember that episode, aren't we all Sex and the City sexperts by now? To be honest, I regret not wearing a white boob-tube or bustier under this sheer shirt exposing stomach/midriff regions for more provocation, but let's not over-offend the lovely posh folks down here at South Ken; besides I don't have the chest to support boob-tubes, nor would I really want one #FlatPride. Opting for alien cat-eye shades leaves me somewhat incognito, whilst wooden sandal-wedges were necessary to plop me up so the ends of my un-hemmed trousers don't sweep the floor. Now let's talk about the arm candy here, though in my case, it's armpit candy - a glossy red lizard skinned Birkin. Again, if I were any less of a tomboy, I'd rock a red lip (or red nails) with the red bag, but seeing that I'm already steering way too close to tranny-ville, I'd leave that option to the gals. Hmm, come to think of it maybe I'm already swimming in tranny-territory, let's hope not; but try focusing less on my gender and more on my armpit swag, so... do you wanna sniff it? The bag, not the pit. Or both? #NoJudgement



sunglasses KAREN WALKER (HERE) or (SIMILAR)
 shirt VINTAGE (SIMILAR)
tank T BY ALEXANDER WANG (HERE) or (HERE)
trousers CÉLINE (SIMILAR) or (SIMILAR)
bag HERMÈS (SOURCE)
bracelet HERMÈS (SOURCE) or (SIMILAR)
shoes MARNI (SOURCE) or (SIMILAR)

Special thanks to Whisper Sales for the collaboration opportunity and the bags.

09 July 2014

Cool-lottes

Let turn our attention to culottes, the trannies of bottom-wear. It's true, they're very gender-confused, or perhaps misunderstood. Commonly mistaken as a skirt yet they don't quite make it as trousers. Belonging in neither worlds. By just doing a simple Google image search on culottes, you get anything from flowy skorts to palazzo pants. But hey, there's no denying they are inheriently cool. Even the sound 'cool' is intrinsically embedded within them! That's gotta account for something more profound! Anything that has the sound 'cool' in them are, well, kewl! Examples include Kool-Aid, raspberry coulis, haiku, and err.. Mila Kunis? Actually, more like Mila Coolness! Okay I'd stop. So why not Cooool-lottes? You catch my theory? Let's not underestimate the power that is ambiguous clothing. Since this boy-tomboy here can't and won't be rocking 'skirts', I do relish in having partaken in the culottes trend for a season or two. Wearing baggy trows that masquerade as skirts, and with the whole Asian thing I've been told I look like a ninja, so okay... I'm a Nathan the Ninja. But honestly, do consider the culottes as your next skirt/trouser purchase. I believe Acne does them quite well in a printed cotton twill, or scale down and opt for structured crisp white ones from Topshop, either way give your legs the joys of a roomy sweat-free fit. #TooCoolottesForSchool
top ADRIENNE VITTADINI (SIMILAR) or (SIMILAR)
 culottes TOPSHOP WOMENS (SIMILAR) or (SIMILAR)
sandals JASPER & JEERA (HERE) or (SIMILAR)
bag PROENZA SCHOULER (SIMILAR) or (SIMILAR)

03 July 2014

The 'C' Word

Come to think of it, I can't recall when was the last time I've found lust-worthy 'ugly' hybrid shoes to fawn over. Perhaps it was back in the Spring of 2011 - Prada's espadrille brogue flatforms. But never did I thought to find desirable footwear from the 'C' word, which in this industry refers to couture, at least most of the time. Laid-back 'statement' sneakers had already infiltrated runways and into our wardrobes for seasons, but the message really became loud and clear when they made their debut from mega fashion maisons Chanel and Dior's couture shows, declaring the official trainer-craze (as if we didn't see that coming). Since that faithful day, our shifty eyes have been frantically scanning when the first pairs hit stores and then our swiped out credit debit cards. Okay, okay... Let's address the main issue here. I know it was utterly beyond expected that of all people, I'd get these (I'm rolling my eyes too) #BigFuckinSurprise! But listen, if you're anything like me, and adamantly yearns for provocative footwear such as these on a visceral level, how can you stand idly by and judge without the common decency of agreeing that these Dior embroidered mesh foot-condoms are cool as fuck. It didn't take much convincing, and after discussing said shoes with Susie from Style Bubble, I was sole-sold! It's the ultimate shoe that defines a provoker: unlikely elements clashed together resulting in a quirky aesthetic that grows on you through provocation. Eva Chen said she was puzzled over how to integrate these into her wardrobe, but honestly there's no 'correct' way to match jewel-encrusted pool slides now is there? So just do what I'd do, think of the least likely ensemble that would clash with these and go for them regardless. I'm thinking over-sized Sacai parka, pleated Dries peplum top, stone washed denim diapers, and you're done! Surprise! What do you mean this is inappropriate for your sister's quinceañera? How offensive are my hairy legs really are? Come on.
trainers CHRISTIAN DIOR (SOURCE)

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