04 March 2015

Coasts of Kent

Wow, okay, let me start off by explaining myself a bit. I've been off the blogging grid for over three weeks as it has been a series of deadlines that were pivotal moments in my education and career, so I had to go MIA for a bit, think of me being in the witness protection program. Thank you for those who do check back regularly, and no I have not quit blogging, it will pick up back up eventually after I graduate in June, I promise. So, it was just another Sunday reserved for a blended cocktail of vintage market visits in the East, rejuvenation from the night before, completing unattended errands, marathons on Netflix, and social catch ups; instead, I dropped off the radar and without any prior experience to traveling to Kent, I headed to St. Pancras international and literally asked my way from point-to-point until I got down there. From the moment I stepped out of London, I realized how incredibly and exponentially positive, friendly and helpful folks were. Literally everyone I spoke to and asked for directions, have gone out of their way to provide me with information and guidance that no amount of Google Maps could have provided me. I was obviously not local, dressed in subversive clothing, equipped with an American accent and a face from the Orient, the town folks at every juncture were warm to an outsider like me, it felt very comforting sensing the simplicity of country life calm my internal urban urgency I'm so adept to. From trains to buses, and buses to trains, there was a point where I even took a 19th Century steam operated mini-train further along the coast of Kent, passing villages of abandoned mines, nuclear plants, wildlife reservations, and fields of grazing sheep. We swooshed by empty but not deserted caravans sparsely plopped on the pebbly beaches that overlooked the vast ocean beyond them. The wind was fierce and unforgiving, she fought my every step, shoving me back to land as I struggled to march in suede pointy boots designed for pavements not pebbles. I was unequipped to fight the icy winds of Kent's shores, not having the foresight to check how windy it was as I assumed sunshine was all that mattered. My coat though punctured with grommet hole designs were no match for the angry gusts, such a heavy metal-adorned coat felt like a thin blouse, fluttering weightlessly in the air. Being the anxious person that I am, for once in a long time, I was truly relaxed. I closed my eyes tilted my body back against the strong wind, almost being able to rest on them. There was no stress, no need of it. I felt miniscule and powerless, vulnerable and forgettable, yet it was somehow comforting feeling that way.
trousers ZARA WOMENS

photography BRYANT LEE

03 February 2015

Fleur Denim

It sucks that every post I put it seems to start off with apologies to my readers for not posting more often, and again, I have not abandoned you dear provokees. I shot two videos around Camden and Shoreditch two weeks ago and hope to post them up in a week or two once the footage is properly edited, still honing down to the right song to go with the mood. Currently, I'm up to my eyeballs in deadlines, meetings, projects, most if not all related to my final year collection, and I hate that I feel like I'm pulling myself out of friend circles and blogging as well, but I hope this little post here can make it up to you guys. Dear Melody aka. Meowie joins the 'crew' and made her way here to London, and since my cactus Harley needed a new pot, I figured going to Columbia Road Flower Sunday Market and ask people if they sold pot would be the right way to go, don't you? As we slowly blended into and merged with the slow shifting crowds of locals and tourists in a cramped narrow road, I sworn I will not spend a dime on new flowers that will welt in a week, then it hit me, I could always dry my flowers and keep them on permanent display, so in a haze of fresh cut flowers and pollen blazing about, I left with six bundles, hardly being able to carry them around without looking like I work there. I would've loved to stay and smell the eucalyptus leaves and one pound lavenders but the cold was just too unbearable, and my exposed ankles turned white, which was a sign that my nerves needed to be revitalized. I could've sworn I saw Jessica Stein from Tuula Vintage there, all six foot (or more) of her, but then again isn't she in Maldives according to her Instagram feed? So I tweeted her to confirm and indeed yes, it was her. From Maldives to freezing London? I choose the former, let's trade Jess.
jeans UNIQLO
loafers CÉLINE

photography MELODY TAN
editing BRYANT LEE

16 January 2015

Her Second Skin

Let me take you down memory lane, mine to be specific, to when I was living and working in New York half a year ago, where post-work and weekend activities with my urban family involved random acts commonly and overly known as 'shenanigans' (god, I miss them). If it was an act of hipsterity (hipster-ness?), we did it. So for the youthful New York hipsters, where else to squander our low and virtually non-existing salaries than Williamsburg. One of us suggests we meet at the trendy Nitehawk Cinema (the ones that play film festival indie movies while can dine along side your theater experience) on Metropolitan Avenue for the screening of Nymphomaniac 2 where we can judge Charlotte Gainsbourg's risk-kay performance where the excessive nudity is still considered tastefully done, but it never dawned on us that other hipsters would've beat us to it and tickets were sold out on arrival. Merde! So we reluctantly settled for ScarJo's indie film Under Her Skin, which left us leaving the theater feeling lost, perplexed, and confused as to why we put ourselves through that for two hours. If it weren't for ordering the truffle popcorn, that night would've been seriously lacking in flavor. Which brings me to the topic on skin, second skin that is. Perhaps we're slowly witnessing a paradigm shift back to more, dare I say, bodycon ensembles, Normcore was well and all, but even 'saturated minimalism' (which sounds like an oxymoron) gets boring after the millionith tumblr page that reblogs the reblogs of the same basic shots. Perhaps it's the fact that I study fashion design, where creating looks that are minimalistic is a crime far worse than a look that exhibits 'bad taste'. Which leads me to justifying this outfit (sort of), that is what I'd imagine one of the casts from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills would wear around West Hollywood post-spin-class with her sister talking about how eating kale is basically eating plate garnish. It's a take on reformulating the casual LA matching tracksuit; minus the 'juicy' ass-logo, since mine is far from that.
trousers LLUNAA
socks H&M

06 January 2015

Castle in the Sky

2015. The year I both fear and anticipate. 'Tis the year I finally graduate university in London and dive into the real world. I apologize for the sparsely uploaded blog posts, but as I said, I need to put my education first and foremost and focus on my final year at school, but I promise just as soon as I graduate, I will launch The Provoker 2.0, the upgrade is worth the wait. Think added lifestyle videos of me basically exploring cities and eating my way through them, hanging out with interesting people, and general provocation of course. As I type this, I bid my winter holiday farewell as work mode kicks in and the Monday blues come full force since I'm preparing for my journey away from the comforts of Hong Kong and back to London. I'm packing my suitcase (again at the very last minute), trying to imagine a vortex or wormhole in my suitcase that can magically teleport or shrink five suitcases worth of property into one. Tell me I'm not the only who does this! Oh yeah, I'm a recovering hoarder which doesn't quite sound like a sexy trait worthy to put on your Tinder profile, but just like many of you, I hoard. So whilst I take my Tetris skills #ChildhoodGameStrong and apply them to my suitcase, let me share some throwback shots Natalie took of me back in Paris. Wishing all my readers and provokees a successful and smooth new year ahead! #MUAH
 shirt CÉLINE

photography NATALIE CHYI

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