Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps

Hmph, down in the southern hemisphere, it's still winter! And to think that only a few weeks ago I was basking in this weather:

Well, too bad, at least there are only 4 days until spring! but good ol' zeus will probably keep the weather blustery wuthering heights style for the next while, so I'm rugging up in monochrome...

speaking of monochrome, I found this photo from Garance Dore really fresh & inspiring...amapp triblend + monochrome evening jewellery = a whole lotta rosa-love.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gimme a gimmel

Here's a gimmel ring. What on earth is a gimmel ring? It's a ring made of three interlocking rings, but worn as one, which I love, because it's kind of like having a secret room hidden behind a bookcase.

This one is from the victoria and albert museum, and I would put up a link to the website, but I don't know how!

It's just such a lovely testament to love: full of symbolism and meaning. The hands "mani in fede" are a popular symbol of love, the interlocked hoops suggest an everlasting bond, and that diamond heart is pretty damn obvious symbolism! The inscription is a quote from the marriage ceremony, that says "My beginning and my end. What God has joined together let no man put asunder".

I really like how meaningful this ring is, wedding rings nowadays don't have anywhere near as many layers of meaning this one does. Seriously, this is the caviar of rings, compared to your garden variety brussel-sprout diamond ring in a gold band -yeurk! I think it shows how people in olden days (1600-50 germany to be precise) invested a lot of meaning into material things. Today everything is mass produced and disposable, which really makes me sad. I don't want to consume all the time without valuing what I own.

My wedding is a looooonnnng waaaaay awaaaaay (hehehe I'm no child bride!), but in the distant future I think I would like to have this kind of wedding ring. And for now, I just want to keep the principle of surrounding myself with objects that are meaningful and beautiful, not just any old junk.

Anyway, ladies and gentlemen, give it up for the gimmel ring! *applause*

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Empire of the sun - walking on a dream

oh man, I love this! The song is really catchy, in a trancy, vogueing in the car kind of way.
But I love the video too...probably because I love Shanghai to death, but also because the singers don't take themselves too seriously. At first I thought it was pretentious, and a bit offensive, since they clearly don't know a huge amount about chinese culture beyond the cliches, but then I realised that it shows a slightly tongue-in-cheek interest in China, which is actually pretty cool!
It sort of reminds me of the film Marie-Antoinette, where Sofia Coppola combined new wave and post punk music with a totally incongruous era. And that suits Shanghai too: a city full of contrasts, a chaotic jubilant jumble of everything imaginable.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

august inspiration board

I know that at the moment everyone and their pet goldfish are embracing neutrals, patent leather and simplicity...but I just can't give up colours and silk!

Friday, August 22, 2008


spring slipping into summer
playing twister
picking blueberries
parks & sunshine

i can't wait for spring!
So yesterday I was talking about the differences between style, glamour, chic, elegance and fashion with my friends, and I suddenly remembered, “I actually have a blog where I could be writing all this out, in fact, I created it specially for that purpose (to ramble about fashion)”! So, here I am.
What is the difference between glamour and elegance? Style and fashion?

A rather wise friend of mine once said that being called glamorous was the mark of a genuine compliment, since saying “you look amazing!” or “I looooove your shoes/dress/jacket/hair/shoes” has practically become a mandatory requirement when girls greet each other nowadays. But if someone calls you glamorous, they really mean it. True, but is glamour something I aspire towards? If I listened to my mother, of course it would be, but I have nearly perfected the artform of doing exactly what my parents least expect, so I don’t want to give in now! To me, glamour is a vintage Italian quality. It is a wonderful quality in Sophia Loren and Margherita Missoni, it epitomises Valentino, Gucci and Versace, but it’s not really something that suits me. Glamour does not suggest understated, conceptual or alternative fashion.

and how can I forget? Liz is always glamorous, especially when she’s dripping in diamonds, which would be, er...all the time!

Style. Well, that reminds me of Kate Spade tome, and of course, Vogue US. I think being called stylish is a true compliment, because it encompasses such a wide range of personal expression, but it suggests good aesthetics. I love the sartorialist, because he photographs a huge range of individuals, yet what they all have is style.

Being called fashionable is hardly a compliment; after all, many trends are unflattering and vacuous ways for unimaginative designers to make a buck or two. To quote Oscar Wilde: “fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to change it every six months”! Whilst I don’t agree with him, I can understand how someone could feel that way, seeing anyone and everyone misguidedly fling themselves upon plaid shirts like lemmings (and I recline in my gladiator sandals, like the secret trend whore/hypocritical snob I am).

Amanda peet: trend overdose

Nicole Richie
(I'm not sure where this photo is from...coco's tea party perhaps?)

she always looks very “of the moment”, but only follows trends that are in tune with her personal style and body shape.

Elegance was a quality distilled in Genevieve Antoine Dariaux’s book, with the ingenious name of...elegance. Elegance is something really rare, but when you see it, even the most unfashionable mailmen are deeply impressed. Our neighbour when I was a child was an extremely elegant woman, who always seemed to brighten everyone’s day by her presence. Elegance also seems to be something that evolves with age, whereas fashion, glamour and even style seem to tarnish with age. I think elegance is something I admire, but since I’m young, I’m a bit too experimental with fashion to be called elegant!
Audrey hepburn

oh come on, no mention of elegance goes without Audrey!

This brings me to chic – definitely a coveted compliment, but rather overused in magazines on styles which hardly deserve the adjective! Chic is definitely a quality of youth, a quality of the ingénue, the gamine. It’s no co-incidence I’m using French words – Audrey Tautou embodies my idea of chic, especially in the film Hors de Prix(I think it’s called Priceless in English).

So what’s the verdict? All these words mean different things, and really suit different people. No one word is more complimentary than any other, and since I like to play around with different styles all the time, it’s good to appreciate the advantages of all those qualities of fashion. Things have changed since Wilde’s day – the great thing about fashion today is that it also celebrates individuality and imagination.