Fee Fi Fo Fum

Hello there! I wasn't planning to post much since I am in a state of total panic and anxiety right now. My circadian clock is still crazy - I am not sure if my body can tell the day from the night any more. Meanwhile it is the end of April (time flies!) so I consider this an occasion to post once more. I was going to do an artsy fartsy post but I decided it would be better to post something a bit more fun and less academic-like. Today I present my wonderful friend whom I will call "F" who has an amazing collection of clothes. Her wardrobe is something I admire on a daily basis. She is the one who should have a fashion blog, not me. I would do an closet interview but alas time does not permit me to do so. This is something I plan to do once I get back to school in September. Happy weekend and cheers to a new month!

A Different Kind of Sweetness

Images Courtesy of Fashion Gone Rogue.

Miss Michelle Williams, fresh off the press on the May issue of Interview. Read an excellent film review of Blue Valentine here.
Not exactly super spring-y at all but it is still very inspiring. I love how quiet and serene the editorial is - something that I am at all internally right now due to exam/end-of-the-year stress. My circadian rhythm is seriously messed up. Go away sugar and caffeine! Tomorrow is the last day of class.

Do It the Preppy Way

Due to having less Korean friends in college, my case of K-Pop flu has now mostly gone (though I have to say K-Indie is absolutely fantastic). However, the K-drama bug stayed. This is good and bad - it is a great source of entertainment but is extremely time consuming since it is so easily reachable via Chinese video hosting sites online that uploads it translated and ready for viewing extremely fast.
This is Yoo Ah In (유아인) who is currently endorsing the Korean brand "Jack & Jill" who recently collaborated with Nylon Korea for this editorial. He is so adorable even though he can be kinda of a diva (though methinks he is just cheeky and playful). I liked his latest drama (except for the last episode) and one of his film, Antique Bakery which I might do a post on in the future if I can find good stills. You can see his full bio here.

The Jack & Jill Commercial

I had been feeling quite guilty recently. Every fashion-related post I have done as of late is quite a departure from the preppy/neo-trad aesthetics I was going for when I first started the blog. This might not be truly preppy in the sense that they are wearing the correct Sperry Topsiders and Bass Weejuns and other conventionally  known preppy bands, nevertheless I think this editorial captures the playful and relaxed air of summer preppiness. I love the heavy feature on stripes and denim which are two things I'm pretty sure I will incorporate into my summer wardrobe. I can't wait for summer to come and I wish it would stop raining (it has been going on for about a week + already).
P.S. I just ordered my Olive Hunter wellies in anticipation for more rain~
P.P.S. As I am hitting "publish post" right now (since I wrote the post on Monday night), the weather is absolutely perfect and beautiful. Harrumph!

Behind the Scenes of the Shoot with Nylon Korea

Images courtesy of Yooahinhaven.wordpress.com

On Whitfield Lovell

Happy Easter! Unlike many beautiful blogs out there like the amazing Krissy who elected to post very adorable pictures of them lapins, I have decidedly I would be the lone wolf who would post something entirely unrelated to Easter.

I have already talked at lengths about featuring this particularly artist by the name of Whitfield Lovell, who came to my school at the end of last month as an visiting artist who made wonderful use of the my school's printing machines. His process drawing out a portrait first (either on glass or something other medium) which is then transferred by the printing press onto different materials - in this case he used mostly old wallpaper, fabric and normal pieces of paper. Most of the time it's lithographic prints but he chose other methods this time. Too bad I cannot expand on more about the process because I know very very little about print making being a drawing and painting type of girl but he was so good that I am now inspired to take a class in print making to learn more about this fabulous medium.
I was fortunate to attend his lecture that accompanied the showing of his work at the college art museum. It was very interesting to learn about his process and that this collection had came about when he started to collect vintage old photographs of African Americans from late 18th century and the 19th century. Normally I find traditionally drawn portraits to be rather boring, however Lovell pays great meticulous attention to detail that the portrait itself becomes mesmerizing and beckons one to come closer and ponder at the mastery. What sets Lovell's Kin Series portraits apart however is the item that is placed on the drawing. It is as if Lovell assumes the role of the portrait subject and places a personal artifact onto the drawing, making the drawing much more personal and insightful person's life.
Interesting fact! One personal anecdote that Lovell shared was that he was visiting a friend down south when he came across a photograph on the mantel of the friend's home that seemed strangely similar. After searching through his collection, he found that he had a copy of the friend's great grandmother. It blows me mind sometimes of how we are all connected in some fashion, one way or another.

Now this isn't the only time of art Lovell does. The artist draws on many types of medium with either chalk or graphite on collected pieces of furniture, driftwood, parts of all walls, and other bits and ends of vintage fabric. But they all feature the same sort of motif - a portrait with object(s) placed around them. I admire his skill and technicality the most. He seems to be a master of charcoal and graphite with a precision that I have rarely seen in contemporary art. I wish you all could see the drawings in person up close and witness the details in its full glory. If only I had the skill!

Friday Favourites I

Ok last time I said something about not being able to post as much or something along those lines but I say, to hell with it! This is perfect for study breaks but I probably can't not check in with the blog from time to time. I just have to manage time carefully, juggling this along with a French final paper, a French final project, a drawing final project, Biology exam and Macroeconomics exam. It will be manageable and I will do it. I'm thinking more posts on art for the next two upcoming posts and perhaps a couple of posts on editorials. The latter are the ones I am most hesitant on doing because that was exactly why I have shied away from Tumblr to Blogger in the hope of trying to do something a little more original then just either mindless reblogging or snatching something off the internet to blog again. Though again, once in a while they are not too bad and are terrifically inspiring when used well in good timing. Also my fingers are itching again to change the layout of this blog when I quite like it already. Argh the fickle-minded self!
I've noticed that a lot of bloggers like to post a cute "Friday Favourites" post on five favourite things they've found on other style blogs or on Flickr but I think I'll like to start posting my favourite things found on the fabulous Vimeo. I can spend hours there watching just absolutely amazing works of art. Real art by real people :)

Jellyfish in Slowmotion by Michael Shainblum

Free to Be by Ové Pictures

Average Idea by Lindsey J. Testolin

Still Here by Rick Otte

Lily Donaldson by Mutant Jukebox

To the Professor's House We Go!

Top from Muji; Boots, belt and shorts from Urban Outfitters
Because I am an idiot a newbie at blogging and horribly inexperienced, I forgot to take my camera with me when I went for afternoon tea at my art professor's house nearby. I have never seen anything quite like it - there's the main house that looks and functions like any house (complete with bedrooms, kitchen and bathrooms etc) and two barns attached to it one after another. Her husband is also an artist and another art professor at my school but I have just never met him. One barn is her studio while the other is his. I like this arrangement and loved how well it worked out for the both of them. This is something to keep in mind for my future living arrangement.
I finally really made an effort to look good since it is a professor that I really respected, plus it was an excellent day to dole out the shorts that had been resting in the back of drawers since last fall. This is proof that I really need an SLR camera complete with a good tripod. (I did what I could with a point and shooter, folks!) Also it is a personal reminder that I haven't done an "outfit" post in so long.

I want to add that I might not be able to blog as much in the next two weeks, because the school year is coming to a close and right now everything is coming at once to wrap things up. It's already the second last school week and I can tell professors are trying to cram things in before the year is over. Soon we will be having a reading period and then it would be all exams. I'll see what how much blogging I can do but I can't promise anything.
It has been raining nonstop recently so I hope everybody else is having better weather!

Lennon Before the Beatles

 All film stills are found off Google Images.
I have learnt now not to write so much in "fashion inspiration from film" posts. More pictures and less words - now I know. Of course I think it would be nice to do so for more sentimental posts (see the one down below) but this post is just for pure aesthetics with less profound meaning or significance behind it. I am not the biggest Beatles fan *gasp* but I have to say I did like "Dear Prudence" and "Norwegian Wood" even if my knowledge of their music is extremely limited.
My only slight irritation of the movie was Thomas Sangster who played Paul McCartney whose baby face is conspicuously (sorry for lack of a better word choice) still there that it looks off when he is supposedly a growing teenager. Like Aaron Johnson, the one who plays John Lennon, looks 10+ years older. Maybe it's just me but it seems for the baby-faced actor, someone just cropped the head of an eight year old boy to a body of a lanky twenty year old.

See look at what I mean? Anyhow, luckily Thomas doesn't appear too often so it didn't bother me as much as it could. I love Aaron Johnson though! Though I can't help but feel it's rather strange that he is in a relationship/getting married (?) to the director of this movie who is 23 years his senior. Oh now in this age and time, who am I to judge. I'm just slightly perturbed by it. Another talented one goes off the market. Heh. Read the film summary here if you'd like.

I personally prefer the harsher style of the aunt to the mother's. I don't quite know why.

Nowhere Boy Aunt

The mother, while very sweet and rather lovely, can veer on garishness at times too often for my taste - hence my preference for the aunt's more austere style.

Nowhere Boy Mum

I suppose it's ok to do so, once in a blue moon. She's such a sweetheart and very believable as the gruffy Lennon's mother, god bless her. My take on things, for the slightly more tomboy and traditional self:

Nowhere Boy I

Anyhow no matter what, you can't forgot the glasses. I like both pairs featured in the film but the more trendy black frames definitely look a lot better on him. I really recommend this film - just don't try to compare it too much with better organized films such as The King's Speech or True Grit. Have a great Sunday and hope everybody starts off the week on the right foot!

Magicians Do Exist

All film stills are found off Google Images.
I planning to post this for a long time now. But since my portable hard disk died on me (where I had stored many of the blog pictures), things have been put on the back burner. However in the recent turn of things, I feel now would be a good time to post this.
The film set first in 1959 Paris, follows the titled "Illusionist" as he tries to find a job in a world which finds him increasingly outdated. Despite being unable to find steady work and paycheck, he refuses to back down from his craft and keeps on maintaining his craft ceaselessly in hopes that maybe he could find his audience again one day. Through doing all the odd jobs as possible as he can, he later finds himself in a small island in Scotland. There he meets a country bumpkin of a lackey girl named Alice, who is impressed and in awe of this seemingly "wordly" old man who waltzed into the village, performing neat little magic tricks and speaking a different language. Alice however, in that she truly believes that he possess magical powers. The illusionist later moves to Edinburgh in search of more jobs with Alice following him there. He tries to keep the magic alive for her by spending lavish gifts for her, even though he can barely afford it. He takes on meager jobs on the side to support the series of gifts, with one time being almost caught by Alice in a "normal" job. Later on, Alice find a young man in the city and falls in love with him. At this point, the illusion himself no longer really believes that performing magic tricks can truly support her fantasy and finally has to succumb to the demands of reality. Unable to admit to her in person that he is not who he appears, the illusionist leaves Alice with a bit of money and a note that says "Magicians do not exist". There he packs off and hops onto a train.

Sorry that wasn't too great of a summary of the film. I watched it way back in early March I think so my memory of it is quite fuzzy. I'd say search around for a proper review because I think it's worth reading about and of course, eventually seeing it. This film was refreshing because it's hand drawn and whimsical, with some sort of child like innocence to it, which reminds me of Miyazaki Hayao's Totoro- my all time favourite animated featured ever next to Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind, both of which I truly truly recommend to see if you have not seen it yet. This film does have its flaws however it was heartfelt and unexpectedly humourous, something that I haven't seen much of in a while (ok, I lie I think I saw a bit of that in The King's Speech). Though I have to say unlike The King's Speech which was also absolutely phenomenal by the way, this French British production touches me in ways much deeper than the one of the stuttering king. It reminds me of how we can sometimes stubbornly hold onto the older things in the past, that it also evokes of the struggle between les grands magasins and les petites boutiques in Emile Zola's Au Bonheur des Dames. What is truly poignant about the film though is the story behind it, that late screenwriter Jacques Tati was trying to use this film to reach out to his estranged daughter. Granted this was never directly addressed in the film, but it is quite evident that the old illusionist was trying to be a fatherly figure for the young Alice and prolong her fascination for him. He knows that he is no magician, yet despite all odds, he strives to maintain his persona of being a "true" magician to Alice.

Individual images taken from Style.com of designer Beloved, pasted together by me in PS.
Enough of the film analysis! This was suppose to be a fashion post but I guessed I became too overly verbose again? This is what I liked to think the old man might wear if I had to translate him into real life. Frankly, he probably wouldn't be caught spending money on such finery and frippery in real life. But I suppose a girl can dream, in the far off "what if" land. The illusionist though would stuck to trusty Harris Tweeds with zany and colorful combinations and working in other subtle quirky twists. I think girls can also take note of the some of fashion, such as the colour combo plus the brogues and the blouse in a timeless vintage manner that is so popular right now.

And now for the very reason of the post. I was heavily debating on whether to post this or not, even though this blog is in no way professional. I had a heavy post only a few weeks before and do not wish to upset the trend of posting lighter and happier things. Nonetheless, now that I decided to write on The Illusionist, I figure I must do this after all. This post is dedicated to my wonderful grandfather who just passed away today. I have shed quite a few tears today once I got the email from my father and the phone call from my mother (it's her dad). This is quite a shocker since it's the first time anyone in my immediate family has died. I have been lucky to have all four grandparents alive with all fairly decent in health. I take solace in the fact though that he died comfortably and peacefully in his sleep at the grand old age of 90. My mother was by his side the whole time taking care of him in the hospital (he was admitted two days earlier before when he first collapsed, in fact his heart had stopped beating before being revived by the paramedics). Already he proved to be quite a fighter because the doctors did not expect him to last even the first night let alone carry on for the next two. For me he was a true magician, because of all the great memories spent together when I was a little kid (at least from what little I remember from when I was five). He was very learned man who spoke English, Cantonese and Japanese fluently and would always tell me fascinating stories of WWII and life in Hong Kong and such from back in the day. He would always buy my ice cream after school and make me promise not to tell my parents. He would hold my hand and bring me to the local botanical garden that also served as a mini zoo in Hong Kong. The only regret I feel as a granddaughter was that I was never able to say my final goodbyes to him, being all the way across the Pacific ocean. I am looking for ways to find a closure of some sort - one idea I have right now is to mail him a letter which can be burnt later as paper offering at the funeral. I also regret not being to be there for my mother when she also had to be the one who had to reassure me that everything back home is otherwise fine and dandy. So then dearest 公公, you were the very best grandfather a granddaughter can ask for. I will always love you and you will always be in my thoughts.

December 25th 1920 - April 14th 2011

Il Fait Beau Aujourd'hui

Photos from Fashion Gone Rogue. 

This isn't just a filler post! It's just that is it too beautiful outside to be cooped up inside writing...even if my campus has wireless internet everywhere... (it's hard to see in the sun). It's already time to pull out my shorts and pack my coats and scarves away.
Bio exam down, one measly Macroecon exam and French paper to go!
Now let's see if I can find a flower crown and think just as pensively...

I Have Always Depended on the Kindness of Strangers

I just noticed a strange trend going on in my posts. Increasingly, my titles of my posts have grown longer from one word to entire phrases. Random digression! However I have sadly forgotten where I have appropriated the phrase from. If you remember, please let me know!

Edit: Hahahh! It's Blanche DuBois from Streetcar Named Desire.

I was actually planning to write on the artist that came to my school recently and I thought it would be fun to talk about things other than fashion-y things for a while (not that there is anything particularly wrong about it). One thing should be noted though that arts (fine arts and music only - never quite agile or dexterous enough for dancing and have too much of a stage fright to act) have been with me longer than fashion has.

Back to the original topics of the post, thank you for those who have messaged me and encouraged me from my last post. A special shout out to Raulston for his kind words of wisdom!

I do think that the last post was quite weighty and more morbid sounding that I had initially wanted it to be. I apologize for the many typos and how much of my internal myself was offered to the cyber void of the internet. Usually I would be quite flustered about my vulnerability and would, in a heartbeat, delete it so that it would be forever hidden. However I think I should open up and not cower away, embrace the ups and downs as they come along, and should leave the post there as a sort of memento. I hope this does not sound as pretentiously chipper because the tone is quite a departure of from the last post! I sincerely believe this is possible; the last post was just a low moment for me filled with the anxiety of accepting adulthood officially.

The next biggest thank you is to my beloved aunt for sending these amazing boxes of chocolate for my birthday. A great complement du thé. She is the best! The next post is coming soon after the second wave of midterms are over (which should be either Tuesday or Wednesday depending on my French professor). I just didn't want to have an overtly long period of absence without a post to suggest something did happen after the post - I am currently just very busy, busy but functioning :)

P.S. Any thoughts on whether I should just post my email address up here without the message form? Having the contact form makes all the exchanges feel slightly formal/cold/impersonal. Did anybody get a lot spam after putting an email up?