Thursday, 30 July 2009

Once Upon a Time in Paris Fashion Week - Part III - the arm and more

The day of the Stockman mannequin arm . . Nsha bought a stockman mannequin and a stuffed arm for fittings.. . it became our toy from the Ruc up to L'Opera to see Moncler-Valli . . .very funny especially with Saloni - all arms and legs in her very hot zipper skirt with Susan and myself with the giant hot orange corto cassette clutch all of us in heels too high to be walking in the daytime - hitting each other with an "arm" . . .classic.

Susan, the arm and Saloni

Not sure what our French passerbyers might have thought - rather strange sight I think it was.

Saloni and I

Saloni was in Paris to show her collection as well - her label is called Saloni and she showed it at the ultimate pad in the Marais - stunning duplex. Her small but collection was well beautiful - I loved it. The zipper skirt in the pics are from the aw 09 collection, I think I ordered a white one - BTW SAL - WHERE IS MY ZIPPER SKIRT? The collection should be hitting the stores very soon if it has not already - you get kind of spoilt wearing next seasons goods during fashion week. We all become life models of the clothes for our friends. . .


Moncler was an installation in the dungeons/underground of the Opera Garnier - produced by Alex de Betak - the colletion was a collaboration between Giambasta Valli and Moncler. I know Alex worked hard on the installation - he missed my bday the night before. . . the moment I entered I knew why - it was magical, a snow palace with real horses, it felt like I had walked in a great Russian romance novel.

Snow Fountain at Moncler-Valli

A room made by lights

That night we congretated at Fidelite, the english crew anyway . . of which i sort of am still member . . . Nish came along with me to Fidelite and I went with her to Neo.

Nishita and I

Nishita and DJ Sinatra

I have not been to Neo since at least 3 years ago, teenage models and young euro men . . . not my thing really so as soon as Canon arrived I left to Montana . . .

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

And girls have diamond rings . . .

to look forward too . . . diamonds are a girl's best friend after all . . . that does not change . . .

The  little piggy ring made of diamonds with ruby eyes at Olivia Diamonds counts as rocks, for sure . . . how cute is he?

I also adore the little monkeys and animals . . . .

Yui of Olivia Diamonds makes the dopest jewellry, beautiful and incredibly diverse, her shop is like a treasure chest - so many stories and themes . .. she promised that she will do a lookbook soon.  I always imagine one that has titles like Animal Farm, the Odysee, Treasure Island, skulls and bones, Alice in Wonderland as there are diamond crusted skulls, rainbow serpents, diamond gardenias, jewelled tiger rings, huge sapphire rectangular drop earrings, jewelled black bow brooches as well as simple diamond chains - so simple, yet sooo chic. .. . 

Yui has a wild imagination and her atelier has great workmanship and rocks of course. . .. I love going to her shop at Gaysorn Plaza to sit and chat to her and her sister as well whilst having boat noodles from Provence, the restaurant in front. 

Yui did fashion design at the London College of Fashion then came back to Thailand to start her own jewellry label some years ago, it was evident that her flair was in jewellry - not a surprise as she has been designing and been around it since she was a child, her family having a gold boutique and all . .. now it has definitely become a spot to visit in Bangkok and indeed Yui is growing to be the grand dame of all things that sparkle that are still edgy and relevant.  There is so much in her store - so much so that all those precious stones look less sparkly and less precious but indeed every little bit in there is PRECIOUS - Yui reinforces her idea that well, jewels should be an everyday thing!  

The sqaure cut big black diamond ring surrounded by white diamonds will be mine sooooon . .. .

Boys have all the fun . . .

They really do . . .I went to a store today - one of Nat Sarasas' spots - in Siam Square - a bit hidden, off the beaten-track . . . it is what I would describe as the ultimate dandy's spot in the most lowkey, off-beat way  - does not try too hard - it is just itself . . . No surprise really, the owner, or "Master" as he is known to some is without doubt one of the most knowledgeable men I have ever met - on pretty much everything but probably more poingnantly on subculture and its implications (see Nat's latest blog entry on this topic).  It is subtle, it is genuine, it is the result of passion and gives truth to the idea that once a collector always a collector.  He even knows this kid who makes hats in NYC, Frenel Morris of Still Life in the Lower East Side . . best hats - really . . . my fave is the woven riding cap that he made me . . .The "master" also had a story to every piece of clothing or accessory in his store.  I loved that he said, you don't pick the shades, the shades have a way of picking you . . .you bet I was beaming as I had on a pair of vintage Cazal frames when I heard that :)

Well, it made me envious of what boys can wear . . .

I have always worn boys' clothes, oversized shirts as dresses, shorts in smaller sizes hung off my hips - today I wore a men's YSL silk tunic - a light safari jacket inspired cut with jodphurs, the tunic cinched with a metal hoop belt, who would've thought it was a man's shirt, it just hangs - the way a tunic should.  Then again it was Monsieur Saint Laurent who created Le Smoking suit in 1966 thus empowering women with the option of wearing a suit which was not possible before. (Incidentally it was also the opening of the YSL store in Bangkok - first flagship but accesories only.)

YSL Le Smoking by Helmut Newton

I tried on shirt after shirt, alas not buying anything as I need the shirt length just that little bit longer.

Even shoes, I love brogues but not the boy meets girl type - I have one pair, Dolce Gabbanna brogues from years back, made for a woman without sacrificing the details that makes a man want brogues.  How I get so sad when the dopest AF1's only come in boys' sizes and the only Visvim mocassins I can get in my size are in tokyo and are often sold out .  . so yes, boys have a lot of fun . . . I suppose we do too, we have heels and jewellry and handbags . .. yet, I am as excited about my colette timbo's as I am about Nicholas Kirkwood's new collection of shoes . . .does that make me strange? I think not, I know Giovanna Battaglia has her shirts made in the best shirtmakers in Milan and she is one of the most beautiful, best dressed women I have ever met (you can go ask the Sartorialist about that) . . . So yeah, a nice balance is good.

This made to measure boardshort event at american rag is testament to the fact that boys do have more fun . . .why is there not a made to measure bikini evening for girls? For the 50th anniversary of Katin . . . a boardshort brand . . .the 84 year old Japanese lady Sato Hughes who was the seamstress came out of retirement for a one night only - made to measure session for the brand.

Oh well, I suppose the boys need the cool boardshorts to surf better and look hot on the beach to win the hottest chic. . . and the most suave and elegant of gentlemen needs his fine shirt and custom made suit and shoes to win the most beautiful lady in his day.  What follows I suppose is that the most feminine of females will make any male get-up her own and still remain a woman(Coco Chanel paved the way a long time ago and Yves Saint Laurent gave us the Smoking and Saharienne) and thus win the man of her dreams . . . 

Monday, 27 July 2009

Once Upon a Time in Paris . . . Part II - Fashion Week BirthdayBaby

And of course my birthday fell during the shows and thus this time I was a fashionweek baby, haha.  Well, that was a treat, the first night of my B-day celebration was having very delicious Japanese food at Kai, although the owner insisted that his food was very very serious and that his restaurant is not a cafe, thus we could not be rowdy, well . . . little chance of that.  Food was very yummy and apologies to Kai that we were so enthusiastic. We kind of overdid the ordering and ended up with a cake box of tempura to take back to the apt which was 5 steps away.  We then all jammed into Mark's Cayenne, me and Ploi in the trunk (my usual spot in SUV's during fashion week) and on we went to the Ritz(fashion centrale and would make any fashion student or victim cry with joy as everyone was there) but my agenda was more personal . . .the drinks at Hemingway and well, my birthday countdown to a personal little raspberry tart which Nish managed to miraculously convince/bribe the bartenders to give me. Only Nishita would be able to manage that - she's amazing at making the seemingly impossible - possible. . . What was nice about that night was that all our old friends were there, that I did not expect to see - Giovanna Battaglia was one of them . . . and well, it was my "UK crew" so Daniella, Susan, Hannah, Lara and Ben etc + Nish and Ploi. . .Then to Regine for Tommy Saleh's party . . .See Tranoi had finished on Sunday which meant that well, apart from the showroom in the apt, Ploi and I were free from booth minding.

Monday was about changing the apt around - Ploi had gone to London and Nishita had nsha-related meetings.  Polina came to spend the day with me and the night was the real festivity although with so much going on, I was extremely late. . . the evening started at the Corto Moltedo boutique in the Jardins du Palais Royale for cocktails.  Corto had just recently opened his store in the Jardins des Palais Royale, if you know Corto, or Gabe to his friends, you realise that to enter into the boutique in the Galerie Valois of the Jardins is to enter his braind and his very view of the world.  Then to Colette I went with Polina where sniffing on a model with no shirt was what you had to do for the Fantastic Man perfume launch - bumped into some acquaintances there, Florent who stuck me in his blog for nsha and Chris Simmonds and Will Davidson who did the previous nsha campaigns. Po also introduced me to a wonderful lady called Anja - Russian lady, super duper chic, she rolled through to look at nsha during the week as well.  

Lady Bunny had invited me to Scott Lipman's beautiful loft for drinks . . .so my pre bday drinks were there and I dragged Polina with me - Bunny is wonderful, her energy and her friends were tres interesting, the host Scott, Micky boardman and Diane Pernet . . eccentric ny.  

So i was kinda late for my dinner at Fidelite, 
The table - Guillaume and Matteo

Mark and Daniella 

Nishita and Matteo

Polina and Julien

grand wait but great friends with the introduction of a new friend, a robot called Kallinka and a surprise pain perdu cake which John fed to me in search of the perfect photo op. 

John and I

The robot and I

the Pain Perdu cake with sparkly candles

John feeding me cake

After that was Stella's party and the stumble from rue st guiallaume or whatever it was to the Flore . . .it was a funny funny walk - Saloni's Flip was witness to this,  .  .a las . . .the night ended at Mobtana - the first night of my 28th year. I was the most tired, sleepy and grumpy bday girl if there ever was one.  

Hannah Bhuiya

Xerxes and Erica

Friday, 24 July 2009

Once Upon a Time in Paris Fashion Week - part I - nsha, Ploi and I

March 2009
Paris Fashion Week
No, I was not an observer, yes, I wish I went to more shows but actually this was in the recent past when I was directing Nsha so we were there for work! We were showing our 3rd season in Paris at Tranoi, which had a rather depressing atmosphere this time because the recession and all, but-for my very entertaining assistant Ploi it would have been pretty miserable . . .  

nsha booth at Tranoi


After the Salon was done, my partner Nishita and I moved the collection to our very cute St. Honore apartment on top of a patisserie that claims to serve the Elysee thus Monsieur President himself.  We were just happy with the smell of fresh bread every morning and buyers and editors coming through to view the collection was like have a tea party everyday . . . and so far as effectiveness was concerend, we did much better with our private little showroom on rue St Honore. 

What I did not know back then was that this collection at Nsha would be my last, go figure, I did call it Fountainhead, after the book, where else was I to go really if Dominique Francon and Howard Roark inspired the collection - my plan for SS 10 was Astronauts in Africa, so space, literally and figuratively speaking . . .(more on this later). 

It was also Ploi's last collection with Nsha as she left to pursue her music career, she has an awesome band called The Diet Pills, nu rave/electro clash/a bit of disco - very very cool yet cute at the same time. . .I adore it . . .particularly the song Freaky Friend. . .so catchy.  At the time though Daniella (of Issa) and Susan got pretty excited by their hit single at the tie "Don't Under estimate the Power of the Diet Pills" . . perfect for a fashion show no?

A behind the scenes pic from the AW 09 book - we shot it in Bkk, but the mood was rather appropriate for Paris if I do say so myself . . .The book was done by Piyatat Hematat, his first fashion campaign, styled by Polina Aronova with model Nadia Serlidou- I was very hapy with the results. . . (I'll post the pics later).

Piyatat, Nadia (in the Catherine coat) and Polina

Back to Tranoi - the days were long though - really really long . . . how happy were Ploi and I to get back to our apartment and eat salad and pasta . . we just had no vital force left, although we did manage to be out . . MOST NIGHTS. . .

A memorable night was that of the Cavalli party - did not think they threw parties like that anymore . . I thought Ploi would go hug the bear . . . or do SOMETHING . . .

Ploi and Cavalli bears

Me feeding bears
but no, Lady Bunny was there, so there was no need for dramatics!
Lady Bunny

We then went to Gabe's for one of his famous dinners. . .Everyone wanted to try on the Howard blazer (on Ploi) and the Catherine (on me) . .. .I never mean to usurp Gabe's house to a fashion show . . it just happens most sea :) they suit his bags so well though that I think no one really minds . . .impromptu fashion shows - always fun.  
Vicky, Susan and I

John (not missable with yellow cassette clutch), Ploi and Mark

John, Daniella and Ploi

Gabe, Dani Stahl and John 

then I think we went to Regine after - more like stumbled there. . .wow . . . that is what i mean . . the nights all merged into one . . what party it was that night - I do not remember . . .

Lara Bohinc, Susan, Ploi and Alexia

PLOI (with Susan in the background)

It was hard to be out without a clock ticking as we knew that the next day we would have to be at Tranoi, on your feet to a dead beat which was the fair is well, not fun . . but we did it . . . 

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Monkey - Chicken - Monkey

There are certain times when one can feels rather nostalgic . . . I felt that tonight . . .after an amazing dinner with Nat and entourage at one of Nat's secret spots (hint, it's Japanese), I went to pay Harry Bunyaraksh (P'Harry) a visit. 

Harry was hosting one of his famous dinner parties. . . P'Harry has become like an older brother since I met him - we have so many mutual friends we find it hard to count and have so many things we enjoy and get excited by together.  He has exquisite taste, is charming and downplays his extreme intelligence. So I have grown realy quite a attached to him and I adore Brook, Plern and David.  Hamish and I sometimes camp out at Harry's (far from camping),and there are such fond memories. . . Dinner tonight had a sprinkling of familiar faces but for some reason made me think of one night which we had together . . .a joint birthday party which Harry hosted together with Me and Hamish back in March . . . it is probably because the gift which Hamish bought for Harry which sits in the drawing room for all to see that reminds me often of that night . . . seems like a lifetime ago . . .

Hamish and I are born one year and one day apart, that makes him a Pisces monkey and me Pisces chicken, Harry is also a March baby and a monkey so we decided to throw a joint bday party after I came back from Paris.  It was rather fitting that the Spring/Summer collection of nsha was called Monkey Loving . . .based on a true story where a monkey belonging to Hamish fell in love with a chicken in his backyard back when we used to be kids living in Jakarta.  The monkey took her up into a tree where they hung out for 2 days.  The monkey was so in love with her that it did not want to let her go even they could not really be together (she was fine after they decided to come down) . . . absurd and very cute, so I used this as inspiration for a print that we did for nsha . . .it was called Chickmonk . . . with a line of t-shirts too called Monkey Loving/Summer Loving . . .

So yes, a joint b-day at Harry's, even Hammie's friend Sayan even came along from bali  . . .

The night before . . .the boys feeding fish at In Love

On the night, after a day of shopping and preparation, mine and Harry's friends flocked over and celebrated with us . . .  

I should mention that also the theme of the night was Arabian nights . . . hence my version of Princess Jasmine I designed many years ago and Hamish's harem/fisherman trousers, again Chomwan circa 2003 . . .wow . . time flies . . .Martina definitely got best dressed after our ultimate host in the robe of course. . .

Natasha, Me, P'Boyy

Martina, Me, Natasha, P'Boyy, P'Brook

Pette, Hamish, Me, Harry, Powpow

all good friends :) . . . on a very long table, sprinkled with flowers

Jeremy, Pette and I

The cake . . .

. . . but an applied version . . .the monkey loving chicken - rather appropriate really  . .  as I do love them both.

Harry, Me and Hamish

and not to forget that Michele's bday is also the same year and a day before Hammie's, so a monkey went to her too (on a slice of Pumpkin pie which we baked earlier)  . . . 

Michele - piece unique!

Michele and Tim - gorgeous couple

So a great night that was . . . and the way fairy tales have a happy ending those moments for me felt a bit fairy tale-like . . . .it's probably because  Harry is a master at that . . .creating a fantasy in his home, the way he entertains is legendary and of another time . . . as Harvey Weinstein said last year upon visiting a party after the Shanghai wrap dinner . . .going to Harry's was like walking onto a set of his own movie . . .circa 1940 . . .so Harry is as rare as those moments are rare - very special indeed. 

It would be so wonderful to play chicken and monkey all year long and eat cake of course. Alas, perhaps it is better that fairy tales do only a last a moment and we get back to reality - it makes the them more special that way - and also a fantasy.

The ancient sculpture that sits in the drawing room

Monday, 20 July 2009

The Exodus to Phuket . . .

Sometimes it happens that there should be an event that should require the mass exodus of people from the city to the beach, in this case it was Bangkok to the island of Phuket on the occasion was the opening of Sound Phuket . . .Bed Supperclub's new spot on the island.  I was not quite sure what to expect but my doubts disappeared when I arrived with Wyn to the airport to find familiar faces and amongst them some old friends - we were all on the same flight and staying at the same hotel - the Millenium which is conveniently a 40 second walk to the club . . .it was going to be a very good weekend indeed . .. it felt kind of like a school field trip . . . Props to Sanya and his team for getting us all out there in one piece . . . The excitement was definitely building up! 

Phuket airport . . .Jaco and Edward

Arrived, put into our mini vans, checked in then waited till the hour should arrive.  Sanya is a master at organising . . . to get that many people down there, organise and feed them is no small feat . . .especially a plane load of relatively vocal and not so low maintenance individuals!  

I managed to find Sonia and her husband P'Wyn from the start . . .I actually met Sonia, or P'Pim about a decade ago, on another one of these trips to the sea . . . she's awesome, funny and very very beautful, her and P'Wyn took care of me like a little sister  . . . We started with dinner at the hotel restaurant . .


.hilarious . . .I was bullied into taking my hair down . . .to my regret, as the little vintage red flower did disappear at one point that night . . .

I was a on van with Rudy and Lina and their gorgeous son Sebastian  . . .. . turned out that Rudy is friends with Sonia and Wyn as well.  Neither Lina nor Rudy recognised me as I have a tendency to transfrom from day to night . . .that's the fun of it! Lionel - P'Wyn's friend from Paris joined as did Paradon (P'Ball) and Natalie .. . thus that became our crew for the weekend 

 Lina and Rudy

Obviously the queue to the club was very long . . so we went through the back entrance and took the stairs and some took the freight elevator. . so ghetto - so fun!  

en route to the secret back entrance

Natalie and P'Ball

Rudy, Natalie and P'Ball

The club . . it was MAD . . .totally packed and there were dancers in black and white doing pretty extreme yoga on podiums . . .people everywhere . . .and a pretty sick looking club it is . . smooth concrete, dim lights, organic forms . . DOPE! Very spacy and just soo well done, the attention to detail particularly of the walls I looved.  But then again, I do love smooth concrete.

  The walls

the dancers

poster in the ladies'

a reflection of myself - the rose still in tact on the susan bag 

The dress is an old Issa dress . . .that P'Pim's friends seemed tolo love and want to order! Need to hit Daniella up on that :)

As P'Pim is a model and actress all of her friends are very gorgeous and tall, and the original group of Thai supermodels . . .thus - I was a shortie here  . .. . . 

P'Helen, P'Joy, P'Pim and I

smoking time . . .

P'Pim and Martina

P'Pim and I - end of the night . . .the red flower is gone

It was perfect really because we went to the beach the next day  .. . surfing . . .yes, one can surf in Phuket . . .I had no strength though, everything I had learnt in Sumba and all the strength had disappeared in the last 3 months and of course the night before left its marks, not to mention the club sandwich for lunch.  I really struggled out there . . .and have the wound to show for it . . .but it is always AWESOME to be in the water . . . 

The evening was a bbq . . by the pool so yes a pool party. . .no one was thrown in . . .it was voluntary . . .but seeing as there was no lifeguard the boys had to negotiate our session. . 

by the pool

it worked out though and was the perfect ending to a long day but it was not the end as by the time we were dried up - it was time to pay another visit to Sound . . and the second night was lovely . . .not crazy packed . . with friends. . .

me and P'Roj and his friends

and I was home by 2 am hoping to hit the beach in the morning . . .but that was very wishful thinking . .

The weekend went by so fast and the next thing I knew we were on the bus going back to the airport . . .

P'Pim and P'Wyn at the airport

all I could think about was food food food. . .I was famished . . . a las the airport and burger king . . 

Burger King

Burger King on the plane . . . not terribly sociable but definitely necessary . . 

Then that conversation piece struck up again . . .the one called "let's find Chomwan a boyfriend" . . .Paradon started it at the bbq the night before - I gave him my brief and he promised to do his homework and P'Wyn joined on the bandwagon . . .and has someone for me too .. . there have been some more offers of late from "matchmakers". . and well, let's see what the boys come up with . . .I am rather curious and it is pretty funny and very sweet that all my friends' husbands and boyfriends should want to find me The Suitable Boy.

the evidence - bruise from surfing