31 December 2011

Published

Here's what happened, I took on a little side project two years ago while I was still in high school. I accepted a commission to illustrate an extract of a 17th Century poem by Christopher Smart. I was commissioned by Gerald Nelson, a British professor who specializes in literature and typography. During my little stay in Hong Kong, I met up with him and our PR/liaison friend to reveal the first sample of the finished product. The actual book will be published and completed in two months but I got an exclusive copy/preview of the finished product (proud moment here). In a technical sense and humbly speaking, I'm a published artist. Here's a sneak preview of the insides.
These books aren't sold anywhere, they are called "private/fine print press", meaning they are created using the highest quality of ink, paper, binding techniques, etc. to create a book like a piece of artwork. Only 35 copies will be printed (as seen in the photo above), and 10 more deluxe copies that will be signed by the author and I. More pictures will be uploaded when I receive the actual official copy, can't wait....
 
   


29 December 2011

Zen

As anxious as I usually am, I don't really find time to "have a beer" or "take a walk". I usually relax by either taking a nap or curling up and catching up with my favorite TV shows on my laptop while munching on high cholesterol snacks (they're the best aren't they..), but there are those rare occurences, where I will take a stroll down "relax lane" and wonder off to a very zen place to clear my mind. I took the MTR (equivalent to the tube in London) all the way out of central Hong Kong to join with some relatives to a special zen park that is very well maintained and peaceful (rare scene in bustling Hong Kong). As I glided through the well-trimmed trees and Koi fish ponds, and skipped along the mosaic pebbled paths, I too felt a sense of tranquility long lost in the fast paced world of fashion. It felt like time almost stood still, even though I was anxious to get on with my scheduled appointments. I just wanted to share my zen experience with you all, and while trying to not sound overly Confucius here, I do wish everyone to find some inner peace....... but LFW is coming up so you all better start finding matching seperates for that statement piece you've got locked up in your closet! But for now.... peeeeeeace.....
the weather was beautiful, it made the trip feel even more peaceful than it already was
interesting fact about all the temples here, not a single nail was used in building these, they were all built by putting together hand carved interlocking blocks, the same technique that has become a lost art during a specific dynasty

28 December 2011

New Mode

I've been wanting a DSLR camera for quite some time now, just never found the right moment or right model to buy since my compact cameras worked out so well. This desire of mine has finally come to an end, when I finally received the Canon EOS 60D for Christmas! There are Christmas bells in my head, dinging-and-donging, or are they wedding bells? Quite similar aren't they? Anyway, I can't wait to try out all the many functions and features with it and take even more lovely pics for you all to enjoy! I'm lugging this to LFW!
I had to take a picture of my new born before taking it back home... I can't believe I'm a father! Wait, this isn't my real baby, it's better cause it doesn't cry and steal my food...haha

27 December 2011

All Ye Faithful

In the spirit of the holiday seasons, I'd just like to say I wish everyone happy holidays and an amazing new year filled with success, joyfulness, and peace. Here's one of my all time favorite holiday song from Hurts - All I want for Christmas is a New Year's Day.

Pour Homme

Don't you love how a scent can take you back somewhere very specific in time, it's like memory through smelling. Due to the changing seasons, I thought it was the opportune time to move on to my next eau de cologne, Amber by Prada. I thought that this aroma represented what I will be about. There's a sense of young maturity in it that I felt suited me now, or maybe it's just the magic of Prada, either way, I can't wait to wear it!
They give away little goodies along with your cologne such as two sample colognes and a travel-friendly shower gel

25 December 2011

Teemed with Reem

I can't help but lust over designers who've found their niche and knows how to harness it, and while I'm on my constant hunt for the next designer for me to obsess over, I lucked out in spotting Reem's 2012 'tWisted OLIVER' collection that happened to only be in town for a week. Luck or fate? Regardless, the point is I've found a new "super-niche designer" whose style is so distinct, original and with a very recognizable style that can leave me drooling for more.
 
Reem's clothes are like eye and hand candy, you just want to look and feel everything! My tactile senses are on overdrive. Ok, I think I lucked out, because the designer herself - Reem Alasadi - was there and allowed me to receive an exclusive interview from her. After half an hour (give or take) of chit chats and fascinating insights on her take on fashion, I couldn't resist trying on a few pieces here and there. Not bragging, but there's nothing better than being styled and dressed by the designer herself. Yep, I'll chalk this off an amazing day, nuff' said.
 
Details of the interviews can be found further down in this post, but the most note worthy point I’d like to stress is that Reem has been doing this whole using recycled materials to make garments over fifteen years ago before anyone started doing so. She is truly the pioneer and ultimate fashion recycler. She really doesn't let any scraps or pieces go to waste. Even the smallest piece of scrap that can't be knitted becomes either decors or the actual fabric itself. No one can take recycled and used clothing, patch it up and make them look this good while making it all remain so collective. I never thought I'd say this, but I never wanted to wear patched-up fur and leather this much before! As always and I'm not proud of this, but I really couldn't resist buying another piece to add to own collection, it was too unique, plus I needed something for Spring (there I go again, convincing myself to shop, as if I need convincing).
I just absolutely love how her clothes stand so well on their own. You don’t need to worry about styling because the pieces themselves are already styled. They also transition from day to nightwear easily, dressing it up or down can be down in a matter of seconds, plus almost all her coats are reversible! That's a bang for your buck!



Exclusive interview/chat with Fashion Designer Reem Alasadi:
Me: Having an eclectic range of materials in your collections is your niche, so where do you usually find these materials?
 
Reem: I go around antique fairs, so I tend to buy home furnishings, fabrics, crochets, and then we put them together. Like this for example (refer to pictures below), these are Victorian bonnets.

Victorian bonnet sleeved top

Reem: And of course this year we're doing a lot of hand knitting with crochet pieces. Also, when we cut the fabrics, and things fall, we use it, and we don't waste anything. And if it's too small to knit with, me make it into the fabric.
Me: I noticed that in a way, this method makes all these garments very collective, which really brings it all together.
Reem: Yeah, even if we use new fabrics, and when we cut, anything that is wasted, we re-make. So then we will use all the small scraps from the new collection and we build it up.
Me: Even the leathers are so well-crafted and woven into the collars of your garments. How about these fur pieces?
notice the Korean hand writing and markings


Reem: The furs are recycled fur, and then we just patch it together. The furs and leathers are endless!
Me: In a matter of speaking, you're the "ultimate fashion recycler", so what exactly led you to decide to use used materials as your main medium?
Reem: I just don't like waste. I don't like to waste anything. I actually started in a traditional way, and found it was boring for me, whereas this, everything is one off and you can never get bored. There can never be two identical pieces. We have similar, but never identical.
Me: What's your favorite material to work in?
Reem: Um… That's difficult to say really, the thing is I like to combine fabrics. I don't like to work in just one material. Even our T-shirts have leather! I can't do just one plain piece. We even dye these in tea bags (picture below).


Me: Is there a material that you don't like to work with? Or even avoid to? Perhaps something that is too clean?
Reem: I wouldn't say I don't like to do something too clean, but I'd say that my style is very eclectic. And so I tend to start with a simple thing, and then it'll never end up simple. (Laughs) When we work, we drape on the mannequin so you can easily edit and not over-work a look. The thing is when you look at my pieces, although its got everything on it, it’s still comfortable to the eye and it’s not something simple which takes a long time to learn.
Me: What style do you like to instill within your garments?
Reem: I like the hard edge, but I still like it to look sexy and feminine. 
Me: They are! Another thing I like about your pieces is that they can stand on themselves so well. It’s all you need, and you don’t need to over-style them because they are already styled within them.
Reem: Yeah, My pieces match well with other designer pieces so you don’t have to dress in Reem from head-to-toe.
Me: Since you are based in London, are you going to be showing during this LFW?
Reem: We will be exhibiting not showing at Somerset House.
Me: Excellent! Then I’d come see you in London during LFW.
Reem: Great! See you there then.

love the mix of knits
one of my favorite coats from Reem! drooling here...
me combing through Reem's clothes
Reem fitting my friend Calista, I love how the weight of the dress falls and flatters her body
the small scraps that are too small to be knitted are sewn and made into fabric
the baby bib dress, talk about being a "big baby", hahaa
Reem and I

Reem has truly mastered the art of recycling, re-making, and re-using. What can I say? You can’t spell Reem without “re”.

23 December 2011

Against All Odds

To be honest, terms like 'original', 'avant-garde', 'eclectic', or even 'interesting' would not be personally used to describe fashion in Hong Kong. It's a great city for finance, food, mix-culture, and business, but fashion... as brutal as it is to say, it wishes. But once in a blue moon, a handful of boutiques and stores do manage to go against all odds and withstand against the city's strong conformist winds (perhaps by the city's underground group of true diehard fashionistas and fashionistos), which leads me to the store that I would love to proudly recommend: Bauhaus.

I came across Bauhaus completely by pure chance simply by walking past it and noticing the uniquely styled mannequins gingerly laid out on the porch of the store. After being unable to ignore its lure, I took three steps in convincing myself "I'm-just-gonna-take-a-look". Just as I was about to remind myself how much I've already spent in London, I immediately spotted three pairs of Moonspoon Saloon signature brothel creeper sneakers which I distinctly remember seeing back in a showroom during LFW. I knew instantly that this place was promising. So, I quickly contacted the store's buyer who then gave me a personal private tour around the store whilst I ramble away with my many many questions.

Bauhaus carries quite a wide range of brands but still keeps to the store's aesthetic and vision. The store carries designers such as KTZ, Reem, Reality Studio, Risto, Moonspoon Saloon, Babara Gongini, and Silent by Damir Doma. All of the above are part of my favorite designers, they've consistently put out strong works. I'm a true sucker for tall shoes, so when I heard that Bauhaus' buyer Dilys was going to carry Moonspoon Saloon's SS12 new creeper shoes, I was jumping for joy trying to use my psychic powers to materialize the shoe so I could walk out the store in them.
Moonspoon Saloon FW11 creeper sneakers, I'm wanting the SS12 ones which aren't sneakers but they're just as tall so that's a YES for me
19.02's infamous knitwear
all hand woven and knitted, the detailsssss!
Reality Studio
I want to buy this piece from Reality Studio, i like its shape and invisible zipper seam on the front, nice touch
very interesting texture.. almost leather-like but it's a fabric
can't live without a bit of KTZ's playfulness

i'm loving this KTZ biker jacket....
it's all about the details, this kind of reminded me about the stage set at the musical WICKED

thank you Dilys for giving me a private tour around Bauhaus
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