Saturday, 31 October 2009

NEW YORK - Empire State of Mind

Not since Sinatra's New York, New York has there really been truly an anthem for a city as Jay-z's and Alicia Key's Empire State of Mind . . .truly and anthem and an homage.  I do not live in NY nor am I from there but listenign to the song does give me goosebumps and makes me miss those frequent hops across the pond over the Big Apple when I was in London or Paris.  If it makes me feel like this and makes me yearn to go back - then I wonder what it does for New Yorkers.  Yes, "Let's hear it for NY" . . .what a chic video that highlights the spots and goes so perfectly with Jay Z's rhymes and and the drama and power of Alicia Key's voice.  

Jay-Z - "Empire State Of Mind" ft. Alicia Keys

Jay-Z | MySpace Video

Let's hear it for New York . . . 

Friday, 30 October 2009

Corto Dreamin' - AW '09

"Corto makes me happy . . .Corto makes me happy" a chorus to a song sung by a performance "artist" years back in Venice when we were all together.

This season, the Corto bags that would make me very happy and thus I am dreaming about are: the Kryptonight bag in Panthere Chevre - I have been eyeing the Kryptonight since last season but this colourway has sealed the deal.  . . . 
Panthere Chevre Kryptonite

and the Priscilla bag (which has developed a cult following of its own) in Milky Way. . .the sparkles are reminiscent of the stars and are transfixed in a moody black deerskin.   It will be a worthy addition to my sci-fi/space themed Priscillas. . .the Darth Vader and Corto Galaxy.  A theme seems to be evident here - dark, brooding, mysterious, and inter-galactic . . . yet fun.  I love.

Milky Way Priscilla

I am waiting on my Cassette Clutch (the colour will be a surprise) which will come with Nat Sarasas as he returns to Bangkok after his European tour.  In the mean time, I shall be dreaming about the Panthere Kryptonight bag and the Milky Way Priscilla . . .(check out for where to buy and Corto will be introducing a special private club where you can buy on the internet very soon - will keep you posted)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

A Village Affair

At the end of Buddhist Lent, in Thailand, once a year, there is a ceremony called Tod Kathin - where families and friends get together to make merit by offering money and supplies to a temple for renovations and improvements. It is truly a communal affair and my first Tod Kathin Ceremony last weekend was a village affair as my grandmother who hosted the Ceremony together with some family friends did so in a temple in the middle of nowhere, outside of Phetchburi. 
I felt like I had gone back into time, of course one can choose to donate money which is presented on money trees to an already modern temple but that rather defeat the object . . . this temple was very basic and barely built, thus our little procession of family and friend plus local villagers together with a band complete with trumpet and saxophones with dancers in floral shirts and the money trees and other bits to be offered to the temple marched around the new unbuilt pavilion 3 times.  

Lunch was prepared by the villagers - basic, real and I kid you not, delicious - I especially like that the food was served on tiffen plates.

  ladies lunching (ran out of tables)


Then there was the actual chanting session and the offering to the monks, where we had to form a human chain to be blessed by the holy water.  It was rather surreal as well, seeing as  a petanque tournament was going on outside all the whilst the ceremony was taking place, and the little stalls with food, toys and paint-it-yourself ceramics added to the festival atmosphere. 



So ordinary, yet so charming, with an innocence and cheekiness that makes you see why all throughout history and to the present day there is a fascination with all things Thais and why even a little Village Affair evokes images of Thai new-wave films - this is when art perhaps does imitate life. . .with everything from Tears of a Black Tiger to Blissfully Yours . . . and this affair is real life.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


There are certain news that one hears that makes them beam from ear to ear and shine with pride, the news that Apichatpong Weerasethakul is among the six finalists for the Hugo Boss Prize 2010 is one such piece of information for me.  The winner is granted some money by the Guggenheim Foundation, the amount of which the fashion house sponsors as well as a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC in the following year.  Amongst the other finalists, is Cao Fei, a photographer/video artist from China who I also love - her work is very lucid and effective.  However, to have Apichatpong in there with his work Primitive, a multi-platform installation is so fantastic I can hardly contain my excitement, nor can I hardly wait to see the work.

A quite a few years back, another Thai won the coveted prize, Rirkrit Tiravanija - for a complex, engaging and powerful installation about freedom of expression and information.

This is a review of the installation by Jessica Lack of the The Guardian . . .  
Soldiers in a derelict house take potshots at a young man walking across a paddy field. He clutches his chest and collapses – but before they have time to reload, the boy is up again. There is no soundtrack: we can see, but not hear, the gun as it jolts backwards. Once again the figure falls, with the same melodramatic twist of the body, but in seconds he rises and continues his journey with an easy nonchalance. This cyclical routine would be harrowing if the soldiers were not so comically impotent. Is he a superhero? The clue lies in another film playing on the opposite wall: a group of farmers are building a spaceship. If this is life, Jim, it is not as we know it.

This is Primitive, a multi-screen installation by the Thai film director Apichatpong Weerasethakul that opened at Liverpool's Fact gallery on 24 September. The work is divided up across three galleries: downstairs is a seven-screen video installation depicting different films of a group of teenage boys playing at soldiers, hanging out, letting off firecrackers and sleeping in a rudimentary spaceship. Upstairs are two movies, one called A Letter to Uncle Boonmee and the other A Music Video: I'm Still Breathing [featuring Moderndog]. In its entirety, Primitivemakes up a larger narrative about a sleepy farming community in north-east Thailand called Nabua ... where in the 1960s villagers were raped, tortured and murdered by the authorities after being accused of communist sympathies.

One can only imagine what with his aesthetics and ability to move and convey emotions in the most subtle and naturalistic way - what this monumental piece of work will do.

The piece is currently at the Musee d'art Moderne de la Ville Paris . . .(one of my favourite museums) until January 2010.

Best of luck to Apichatpong . . . Thai culture thus, Thai art is unique and it is probably about time that such talent and vision is better appreciated, especially in Thailand.  It is ironic that Primitive is commissioned by Haus de Kunst and FACT Liverpool, and produced by Illumination Films, London and Kick the Machine, Bangkok - a piece of work that showcases, critiques and is the creative fruit of a Thai director, not commissioned by Thailand. . . perhaps this will change very soon.  I support 100% global and international collaborations, but it is perhaps high time, that what is so quintessentially Thai (Apichatpong's Tropical Maladie, Wisit Sasanatieng's Tears of a Black Tiger), even though not so "commercial" and "easy", should be celebrated, what is seen as primitive, challenging and complex, especially when it is about our culture, should be cherished and encouraged (and definitely not replaced by the highly camp, simplistic and commercial).  Interesting times it is.

A piece which compliments Primitive project called A Letter to Uncle Boonmee will screen here in Bangkok during the World Film Festival which starts on November 6th.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009


A tour de force of a show by Issue where Roj and his team truly challenge the idea of gravity by taking the intergalactic space princess/prince, alien, explorer/Star Wars/Star Trek 1970's sci-fi concept to truly another level.  He defies the idea of gravity as his very coherent collection and styling was so tight to the theme  that he takes us on a galactic story to other worlds,  yet he is still honest and humble to his roots - that bohemian hippy ethnic one, complete with incense and tigers.  

First and foremost, the show was in a movie theater, the cinema as a backdrop, the first thing that greeted you were lasers, lots of smoke and a bunch of identical adroid clones to the Star Wars theme. . .then the show really started to the soundtrack of MIA's Bird Flu. . .the models in their sci-fi ethnic garb complete with little metorite hats.  

There was a taste of Leia for sure and of course Queen Nobi and Darth Vadar, Spock, Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo - all of them had little appearance.  
Smoke created an other-worldly atmosphere with the screen back drop showing planets and as the models came closer - their faces were faintly projected - like a vision of themselves, faded hardly real.
The Finale was Alien dressd a bit like an alien princess complete with flying balls rising from her head, an ultimate statement of something that defies gravity.  

Inspiring and engaging and moreover definitley conducive to "I want to BUY" . . . the little shift dresses and kaftans in "ethic geometric" design, the harem trousers and shirts.  Roj has a complete vision and is unique, his success is evidenced by his loyal following and 15+ years in the business.  I remember my first pair of Issue cargo trousers bought whilst still doing my GCSE's.  

Evidence of the commericial success of this AW 09 collection was that the Pop-Up shop was drained of stock by the end of the night.  I bought a little limited edition sarong scarf which is a scarf with about 9 different lives - from scarf to skirt, to dress, to turban etc.  A trip to the store is in order.

In the meantime, I have Star Wars in my head and stars in my eyes . . .Issue lets you escape and the clothes are great for escaping in. 
P'Roj and I

As for P'Roj, he remains one of the sweetest, most humble and genuine designers ever.  May the Force be with you.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow

My friend, Oliver Clegg is an artist, now he is also a surfer and has moved from London to Cornwall . . . he is without any doubt an extremely talented young British artist. 

The picture of the beautiful brunette was at the Distortions group show at the Venice Biennale . . . the second one is his latest work called Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and was what he showed at Frieze last week . . .  

Leaving aside the fact that I was sadly not at Frieze this time,(Olly did rub that in a little bit), from the image he sent me, I felt that the painting is haunting, poetic and definitely nostalgic of a time past.  I love that he painted on dismantled old school desks, his use of colour is childlike yet precise and innocent with an undertone of something darker and more grown up - perhaps it is about tomorrow and thus a loss innocence.  

I find that as Olly matures as artist, his works become more haunting and more effective and clearer in its message.   Perhaps that is part of what happens when we grow up, we shed our innocence somewhat and immerse ourselves in a world that is darker, yet hopeful for the future.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Reminiscence - Kloset AW 09

Vintage inspiration, great accesories, fun prints, good colours - a couple vintage moments in the guise of Grandma - literally (P'Boyy's grand mama) and P'Boyy in a little cameo.


Great fun, A LOT of information, good styling, great choice for a finale . . I especially loved the all peaches, art-deco inspired look totale.

Candy colour-coated synchronicity - Sretsis AW 09

Fun Fun Fun - from the get go with the revolving doors . . .the formality of the black with the tail coats and ending with the synchronised candy coloured models shuffling along the stage in huddled groups was very very cute. Sooo cute.  Vintage reference, fantastic colour palette and really really good fun.  

Loved it . . .  a different quirky girl, but a very charming one indeed.

I stumbled along also to the Sretsis after party - yes, these girls, the three Sretsis sisters do not know just how to put together a collection and a show but they also know how to have a very good time - free flow Hoegarden and champagne at their little bistro Minibar . . . the old record player and eclectic fun sing-a-long music - I thought I was in the West Village for a second. J'adore - especially with Note running around with "Vote Note" the panel, which seemed to take upon a life of his own -

2 of the sisters, Note, and P'Boyy

Vote Note and Note

 Boyy in Sretsis

Note was filming the last installment to his HP competition film- rather sad as our impresario will be leaving for AGES - hopefully we will see a Trustfun X Dudesweet party very soon.

Note and I

Ice Cream Man

Hermes Ice Cream! . . . I loved the little gelati ice cream truck which was right alongside the Hermes scarf booth . . .how terribly chic - it was confirmation for me that if there is anything one should queue for - it is ice cream and nothing else . . . especially Hermes x ice cream . . .that is rather something.
Hermes ice cream 
ice cream man - Kongpat eating ice cream

Follow Me to the Stars - Disaya A/W 09

Last week was Bangkok Elle Fashion Week which unlike the shows in New York, London,Paris and Milan which are a season ahead, this was more of a showcase for Thai designers and a lovely social affair.

The highlight for me without any doubt was Disaya, her show called Celestial Goddess . . . inspired by the stars and the galaxy.  
The mood was definitely sombre, a stark contrast to last season's happy smiley faces yet the cheeky elegance and subtle sophistication of the Disaya girl remained - this time as a princess of the stars.  
It was smokey in its palette, the dull matte tones highlighted with diamante, rivets, embroidery and in some parts the most intricate crochet work, cut out flowers and the silver chain belts reminiscent of Princess Leia and at the same time a Siamese lady warrior from the past.  The darkness was sometimes highlighted with the odd fuschia. 
 A focus on tailoring and also on draping. . . More about what you can't see.  I liked the navy with black, and grey with brown, navy and more sparkle. 

I adored the Follow Me star print (seen above as a blur) - and how she manipulated the printed chiffon, a murky blue with off white stars and the zodiac.  The very high gladiators made the girls more fierce, I personally would not always pair them together but it completes that statement which she would like to speak and it is one of strength and the search for a new frontier.

I want to buy this dress, long black satin silk piece with just enough sheer , just enough pearls spoke very clearly about where this girl is going and where she has been.  
And of course the white crochet that sparkles the way the stars do. 

Disaya (Aom)is unique as a designer, her designs are as subtle as she is and just as cheeky yet at the same time extremely elegant and its complex. She does speak a language where less is more, the clever structures and simple lines allowing for clever detail and a certain strong feminine touch and a story to be conveyed.  Here we were taken along with her to her childhood obsession with the stars and the galaxy in a coherent, together collection and as much as I love yellow smiley faces, I do prefer the stars and shall definitely be following her to the store very soon.

Note the woman putting her hand up on teh other side - at Elle Fashion Week - photos are STRICTLY forbidden, for what reasons I am not sure as with the lights that shine on teh runway and at first row - flash is unnecsary anyway.  These are moonshine, smuggled pictures so do excuse the quality . . .I hope you do get an idea though.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Kuppa Spa and the rest of the weekend

There is a wonderful restaurant/coffee shop in Sukhumvit Soi 16 called Kuppa, the gorgeous and ever-so-talented founder of the restaurant, P'Robin decided to open a spa behind it.  Needless to say, this really is not any ordinary spa . . . along side the massage rooms and little hair dressing units there are private rooms upstairs for parties and a one-of-a kind guitar jamming studio.  So basically, if Guitar Hero ceases to satisfy, one can come along and jam on any of the the guitars in the fully equipped sound-proof studio . .  Pretty neat I would say.
Cleo, Michelle and I stumbled along to the opening after a rather hard day spent at the weekend market.  In retrospect, an afternoon hanging out the rooftop at P'Harry's might have been a smarter idea and the boys, Archie, Alex and Jez (Harry's guests) did look a fair bit fresher than we did . . . or maybe it is the wonderfully charming and vivacious nature of English boys where they are able to charm and entertain whoever it is that is in sight even if in actual fact all they long for is a bed?  I am not so sure, I spent a lot of the night catching up with old friends and making some new ones whilst Cleo and Michelle terrorised the Flow boys.  
Dannie mixing a cocktail
Vachek, Trina, Me, Archie, Cleo, Jez, Michelle
The cocktails were so sublime and really rather strong that we ended up heading to Demo after Kuppa . . . Michelle and I had gone the night before too - amazing fun for Jay's and Na's bday on the mezzanine.
Alex, Cleo and Archie
The additions of the English boys from Hong Kong (Archie, Alex, and Jez), my boarding school friend (Michelle), Cleo and her friends from the European Commission to the mix,  made for quite a difference in the atmosphere,  and added to that, being car-less and staying with Michelle at Ten Face made it a remarkable and memorable weekend. 
Michelle and I
The weekend did start for me at Chotchitr and went on and on up until Harry's place where once more he played the most gracious host late Saturday night.  It was utterly surreal as the weekend ended with Sunday lunch at Plern's and David's (Harry's parents) - for me it was completely out of synch with my normal Bangkok experience, it was like I was somewhere else and we enjoyed ourselves so much it felt a bit too short - though any longer and we might have needed resuscitation.  Definitely a sweet,  memorable and "maxi"-funny weekend. I said once that Harry is the king of creating fantasies - well, this one definitely was a fantasy but one that I believe, will be repeated again and again as there were far too many jokes and memorable moments for there not to be a bond. . . Bangkok has that effect on  people.

A Vintage Find

After rain, massage, more rain and our ad hoc umbrellas of free magazines we found ourselves at this cute store on our way to the pier on Phra Athit road - definitely a well kept secret.  We literally did "stumble" upon it as there was a little jumble sale outside.

Cute vintage dresses, old fabrics remade into dresses, old original cd's, old records.  A Warhol calender and print adorned the wall along with other bits and bobs of the old. Soo chic and definitley eclectic.  Might also add that the music was coming from a record payer and there was a special little stand to let you know what tune was crackin.

Michelle and I

cd's, stand and record player

I discovered the cover of Loy Kratong in which the cover art work looked like a Barry McGee underneath a table- the sales assistant forbade me to touch it saying it was very valuable and belonged to the owner.  Now if someone told you that, would you not want to touch it more?

old records - Loy Kratong in blue

Anyway, what a grand surprise, The Trapeze Swinger proved to be and we left with our 80 baht jumble sale pieces, vowing to definitely come back to try own and buy little dresses and a record or two.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Chote Chitr Revisited

The ninety year old institution called Chote Chitr is truly worth the trek across town on Friday. Michelle was visiting me from Singapore and I decided that she really did need to see old Bangkok in its full glory and that meant lunch at Chote Chitr . . .

Michelle at Chote Chitr

The menu is vast but what the restaurant is famous for are old Thai dishes such as Mee Krob and Banana Blossom salad - absolutely divine. We also adored the Fish Tum Yum with miso.

mee krob

banana blossom salad

Can you imagine that little kitchen has been there for generations and in that little kitchen the chef is able to create a massive and delicious menu with the freshest ingredients and most well-rounded taste? There are only about 5 tables in there so you usually do have to wait but there is something rather satisfying about waiting for a meal you know will be divine.

she's the boss

We worked out that it would take months and months of coming for lunch to sample everything on the menu - I suppose if it's been there for 90 years, it is not going anywhere soon. I am always so happy every time I leave Chote Chitr - walking through the little soi and seeing Gor Panich the famous mango and sticky rice shop across the street. This was only the start of our old Bangkok afternoon . . .