Jun 25, 2009

cali #2: norcal

so the 2nd half of the trip was spent in norcal...more sights coming up :)
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the cathedral/church at stanford university...very majestic, full of stained glass and painstaking mosaic, but i really liked the central dome for its illumination of the church.
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the entrance to the church from teh courtyard. it was commencement week so the campus was absolutely crawling with tourists/family/etc etc. there was ALOT of photo-taking going on.
then, SAN FRANCISCO.
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hated the tourist thing but i just HAD TO take a shot with the bridge. i mean, who sees it and doesnt do that!??!?!
the sky was a gorgeous blue that day, and the bridge just looks stunning here. to me, san francisco isnt really about the sights, its about the city and its energy and its quirky vibe.
wearing: heritage 1981 knit top. probably with my trusty jeans. (i really needed to up my game, huh...now that i look back on the photos...haha)
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haha, alcatraz.
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and who can resist lots of high quality choccies from the bay area's most famous confectionary? all individually wrapped squares...excellent for snacking on, whenever.
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lori's diner...another one of those institutions. but i think its a sell-out. dont franchise it!!!! and the food was completely middling i must say. disappointed.
i did, however, manage to make a trip to dottie's true blue cafe, the tiny little shop in the tenderloin district (OF ALL places...). after 2 hours, we got our pancakes, italian sausage, fruit, omelettes, french toast, ham and potatoes.
you want to go to the institutions that only the locals know about, not the chain stores or fast food or anything that's "famous". dottie's is a SF legend, and 2 hours? it was worth the wait.
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the bay bridge, unfortunate poorer cousin to the golden gate, which most recently starred in fantastic 4: rise of the silver surfer. and plenty more to come, i'm sure.
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SF giants!
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ok SERIOUSLY, saks fifth avenue is famous (infamous!!?) for its dedicated shoe departments. i first heard about the zip code thing while watching oprah, and she filmed at the LA location i believe. so, i was extremely heartened to see that in SF, they similarly dedicated a zip code to their cavernous basement of a shoe salon.
and there's where i met the latest love of my life...
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yea, i caved again!!! the minipass 90 in camel, patent calf leather. -_-
i put them on and john, the guy helping me out, and i, just had a moment of silence to admire the shoes, it was completely surreal, almost like the world righted itself ever so imperceptibly; things went from soft-focus to crystal clear and my smile was genuine again.
don't judge me here--i didn't shop much the entire trip (BEING LITERAL HERE), with only one big purchase: these shoes. and a wallet, which was for my MUM. so the love did get shared. and people back home got lots of personalised gifts too, and lovely chocolates all round.
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city hall: in in the day, and at night. the uplighting is absolutely spectacular. and in the day, the gilded edges take centrestage. a glamorous city hall that befits such a magnificent city.
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back where it all first started, wicked!!! ridiculously overpriced merch, but thoroughly enjoyable evening at the historic orpheum. now all i have to conquer is west end.

wearing: michael kors dress. well you HAVE to dress up for the theatre, right?!
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the highlight of the trip... okay one of them. spent all my time in NYC in the museums, but it wasnt as pronounced this time. had a lovely day to myself jsut having peet's (san franciscans know its the best in teh bay!) and chatting with people about politics and art...then having the day enjoying robert frank, henri matisse and all the other lovely people. sadly there's no hockney amongst their already-extensive contemporary collection, but jasper johns made up for that deficit. lovely!
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the famous castro district...all rainbow flags and little bars and music. i only drove past, though.
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and the view of the city from twin peaks.
that bridge you see? its the bay bridge, which i guess looks alot better at night. it was a long winding drive up, but the view of the whole city made it pretty worth it. and the brightly lit street is market street, one of the main thoroughfares of the city.
i'm just posting the highlights of the trip rather than talking about what i did--which was mainly really boring everyday stuff like crash the couches of people i just met, walk around the city alot, go grocery shopping, and meet new people. i actually enjoyed that part alot more than any "famous" locales or photo ops.
SF really surprised me with how liveable it really is. for the longest time i was a detractor of the west coast--i still find socal WAAAY too laid back for me, and for that matter even the other parts of norcal i stayed in were too. but SF is a great mix of hi-low, fast-slow, culture and cosmopolitan life. but my biggest takeaway from the month was the generosity and genuine niceness of the people of california. i had a pretty awesome time there thanks to them. :)
anyone have stories of their favorite cities to share?

Jun 22, 2009

Arnhem Mode Biennale 2009

The Arnhem Mode BiĆ«nnale is being celebrated this year until 6 july, with a series of fashion events in Arnhem’s Klarendal neighbourhood, where many specialist businesses are based. you can check it out at: Klarendal Fashion Quarter 
 
This installment of the fashion event’s connecting thread is: SHAPE. 
Over 80 fashion labels are taking part, including Lanvin, Raf Simons, Hussein Chalayan, Jil Sander, Martin Margiela and Viktor & Rolf
i've just posted some images from the various exhibits...lovely!

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i think the lighted mannequins just highlight the drapery of the fabrics, exposing their exact placement on the human form. very clever way to showcase the architectural aspect of clothing! here its really just about the shape and form, with the colors, bright as they are, merely second fiddle. 
 
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extremely creative, accentuating the empire line of the gown with the waterscape; the bodice protectively enveloped, then the form-fitting, slim, train part of the dress being contrasted with the flare of the fountain jets. i love it, its so smart.
 
look closely and you'll see the previous picture in the background...fluoro-neon mannequins...
 
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this is conceptually either too crazy or too complex for my mind to handle...either ways it is quite a sight to behold, if nothing else. =S
 
By invitation of the Biƫnnale, the photog-stylist team of Carmen Freudenthal and Elle Verhagen have created an exhibition of their vision of fashion. Within a huge space at the Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, they have built a house filled with installations inspired by fashion clothing and photography, and optical illusion.
. The artistic duo mark 20 years of collaborating in fashion and publicity photography with this exhibition. WOW! check out some of their stuff below...
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i absolutely love this--almost as if she's descending from the ceiling in her world and about to crash, feet first, into ours. its a photo and therefore static, yet there's an energy and movement to the way its been captured that the full force of gravity's effect comes through. 
i guess you could see it conversely too--that she's being pulled away, almost, away from teh world she knows and into the unknown.
 
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a raf simons piece, deconstructed photographically. very cool. 



HOLY HOUSE
Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem
Utrechtseweg 87
6812 AA Arnhem, The Netherlands
Tuesday – Friday 10.00 – 17.00
Saturday, Sunday, and holidays 11.00 – 17.00
www.mmkarnhem.nl

Jun 20, 2009

cali #1: socal

so, its basically been FOREVER since i posted anything, and a month away from everything, really, i think has done me some good. the AIM of it all was really to just live like a regular local, not a tourist--thumbs down to the glamor, none of that hotel-in-the-city nonsense, no guidebooks, no companions, no concrete plans. nothing but an open heart, a wide smile and wisecracks to keep me going. 
i'm happy to report it worked like a charm. 

 i demur from lengthy ruminations here, lest i reveal too much depth (OH, the horror!) for a fashion blog--just kidding. 
so the first half of the trip was spent in socal. unfortunately i didnt take many photos on the trip in general, so i have little to show for the month, but many MANY memories i can happily assure you. i wont post the boring personal bits, dont worry. you may read on in peace.
 
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prop 8 signs still displayed from dorm rooms--this was my view every morning. just reminds you that you're in california. LA was the first stop...
 
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of course i had to hit up venice beach and santa monica, soak in all that LA beachiness...i think this shot was for myself to remember the location, or something. 
 
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venice beach is an eclectic blend of everything you'd expect from LA, except the glamor. hippies trying to tell you the sky is falling, skateboarders weaving in and out, girls in bikinis laughing, street vendors hawking their wares, cyclists and joggers with the occasional dog, the odd tourist, every hairstyle imaginable, the list goes on.
 
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not on miami ink or la ink, but a pretty famous tattoo shop anyways. friends wanted to hit it up and they were satisfied with their end results. 
 
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i, on the other hand, made no bodily modifications, although i did meet 2 new friends. i forget her name, but she was warm and heavy and substantial (and quite moody)--so i'm not sure why we call reptiles cold-blooded. 
 
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then rodeo drive of course...not bothered with the picture taking, as you already know, but the FAMOUS PRADA FLAGSHIP STORE, i had to snap. designed by rem koolhaas, it made headlines in 2004 when it opened, with its open concept and seemingly-counterintuitive lack of flashy advertising. 

personally? i think its smart. on one of the most ostentatious boulevards in the world, sometimes less is more, and the extended storefront, anonymous mannequins, and imposing staircase of iconic luggage have combined to make this store a standout on the street, in a quiet classy way that truly says LUXURY.
 
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 and the worldfamous sprinkles cupcakes a block down. the line stretched out the door, but that's what happens all the time anyways. strangely enough, there was no line at all at stanford shopping centre when i went to that branch. hmmm.
 
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that was afternoon tea, supper and breakfast the next morning. waaaaay too sweet for my liking, i must say, but once i scraped off some of the frosting i was good to go.  
 
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beverly hills. nice residential area, really close by where i was living, so it was nice to see that much greenery, especially when stuck in traffic which was a daily occurrence. 
 
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and the nearby cedars-sinai medical centre, which if you read anything gossipy, you'll know about. the facility of choice for most celebs, probably due to its proximity to their homes.
 
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i just had to. i'm still a fan after all these years, YES!
 
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i just had to #2. seriously, if you're standing there having a conversation with 2 guys just dressed up like that, you're probably not gonna resist a photo op. especially not if they volunteer to orchestrate it for you. 
 
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yes, kitson was a stop. and i've really liked nicole richie's house of harlow 1960 stuff, so i checked it out. weirdly enough, the piece i liked the best, the black necklace, was super light despite it looking pretty substantial in photos. it felt flimsy and thus very cheap, and i just didnt feel the price was right. $125 just wasnt worth it.
 
these earrings on the other hand, were properly gold plated, and bold enough to make a statement without breaking the bank. they also come in a bunch of other colors (blue, green purple, white), with the same black stones. whatever, i have a piece of her jewelry now!
 and a nice blue kitson box. -_-
 
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next was san diego, which i took the train to just completely on a whim. 
a new friend so kindly opened his pacific beach condo, and thankfully he had 2 big couches. (ooh, choice!) visited the various neighbourhoods there, and SD is just gorgeous really, but unfortunately it RAINED while i was there. 
imagine: rain, in socal, in summer.
 
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but the pacific ocean made it completely worth it--the coastline, the breeze, the rocky outcrops, the stretch of cliff, the white waves, the penguins and crabs...
it was so stupid taking a photo but i couldnt NOT take one, it was pretty amazing to have the world's largest ocean at your feet pretty much. my friend acquiesced to take the photo, but having spent his life in SD, he just didnt get my fascination. :)
 
and then i had my flight to san francisco.
 
ps: southwest airlines are the BEST. i switched my flights 3x with no hassle, the last of which being 12 hours before i was due to fly. fabulous.
 
pps: thank you everyone for still reading my sketchy posts, and for all your lovely comments. i will get down to replying EACH ONE of them in the coming week when i'm done with being jet-lagged. have a good father's day! :)
 
ppps: wearing-- silence + noise blazer, ck top, levi's.