Monday, May 31, 2010

At The Fair

We spent Sunday afternoon at the Hong Kong Art Fair and found several booths that had really impressive art. We saw Picassos, Monets, Damien Hirsts(above), an Alex Katz and several James Nares. On hindsight, I wish I had taken more photos, especially of the Nares as they were stunning. Below are some of the art which I liked.

Pop art by Richard Prince

Figure by Pablo Picasso, 1936

David La Chapelle. There were several la Chapelle images as well as by Guy Bourdin and Tim Walker. I would like to save money for a Tim Walker photograph.

I failed to take note of the artist of this relief portrait. I like the technique of carving out a face out of wood and painting it. At first glance I thought it was by Elizabeth Peyton.

Skulls by Damien Hirst

Untitled by Tara Donovan, 2008. This piece calls out to me and I can't figure out why. I normally wouldn't not be drawn to something like it as it is almost comic book-esque but somehow I find beauty and mystery in the cracked surface.

9brushstrokes by Song Hyun-sook. This is one of my favorite pieces from the fair. I like that it is Asian-inspired but modern at the same time. It's timelessly elegant and would fit almost any interior design style.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chic Report

My interview with Alexa Chung for the South China Morning Post. She visited Hong Kong to promote her namesake bag from Mulberry.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Smooth Sailing

The weather's been awful in Hong Kong for the past two days and as a form of escapism, I have been looking at photographs from our past summer holidays in Capri, Positano, Santorini. This had me thinking about nautical stripes, because really, what could be spell seaside-summer-sojourn more than blue and white stripes? Coco Chanel wore striped shirts on holidays in Deauville, Jackie Kennedy did the same at Martha's Vineyard. Jean Paul Gaultier built a fashion house based on a humble sailor's shirt. Two summers ago, I was in Capri and was fortunate enough to go onboard Diego de la Valle's (owner of Tod's) massive yacht. It was bigger than most people's homes and the rooms where decorated in beautiful blue and white stripes.

While we have yet to establish where we will build a summer home, I am keeping the images below from the current Ralph Lauren Home collection called La Plage and La Gran Hotel for inspirations. Wouldn't it be divine to be having breakfast in the dining room?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chic Reads: Harper's Bazaar Singapore June 2010

In the June issue of Harper's Bazaar Singapore (out in stores now) is my interview with shoe designer Rupert Sanderson. The designer opened a free-standing boutique in Hong Kong last March on On Lan Street, the city's answer to New York's Meatpacking District. Click on the photo below to read all about him: why he makes shoes, what inspires him and what he has to say about other shoe designers working today.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Shanghai Expo Part 1: Italian Pavilion

Above is a rendering of the Italian Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai. The colors of the Italian flag light up the structure. With the help of my friend Valentina who is currently living in Shanghai right now because her husband is working at the Expo, below are photographs that she took inside the Italian pavilion.

I have also asked her to take photos of the other pavilions so we can share the images with everyone reading this blog.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chic Artist: Matt Albiani

I first heard about Matt Albiani when he launched his book Lifeguard on Duty at Bergdorf Goodman last year. The book which features stylish - and some homoerotic - photographs of lifeguards was showcased along side clothes by Michael Bastian. I happened to be in New York two weeks after the launch and was quite taken by the photographs. More than anything, the photos captured an all-American ideal of young, able bodied men on a beach. The kind of images that come to mind when one says California, especially if one is not from the US. I bought the book at the Rizzoli bookstore.

A year later, I was back in New York and I saw that some of the photographs were still on display and below them was a caption that said they are available for sale. I took note of the contact person and emailed them when I got back to my hotel. A couple of hours later, Matt Albiani himself emailed me and said that the two photographs I was interested in were available. He said that he would be near my hotel that night and he could deliver the prints himself. Unfortunately, I had dinner plans. I missed him. But he left the photographs with the concierge.

These are the two photographs I bought from Matt Albiani, framed and displayed on our TV shelf in our master bedroom.

For more images, visit:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chic Reads: Vanity Fair June 2010

Why can't magazine covers be more like the June 2010 issue of Vanity Fair which features soccer players Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba in nothing but their underwear. Men's magazine exploit and objectify women almost every month, why can't women's magazines do the same to men? Wouldn't they be selling more copies of their magazines if every other man they would have semi naked man candy on their covers instead of the B-list nondescript starlets and reality TV stars they love to banner?

For more man candy from the Vanity Fair issue, click on the link below for a video of the cover shoot and inside spread. More soccer players in their skivvies:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chic Trend: Ikat

In fashion or interior design, ikat is making its presence strongly felt. The fabric is often the go-to motif of fashion designers whenever they want to do a tribal-themed collection. Ikat is one of the oldest form of prints or dyeing techniques and it has almost universal roots: variations of it have been produced by ethnic groups in South America, Asia and Africa for generations.

Click To Enlarge

From top left: Ikat fabric from Pottery Barn; River ikat napkin from Dransfield & Ross; Dries Van Noten spring 2010; Oscar de la Renta ikat ballerina flat; Vintage Uzbek green ikat pillow from John Robshaw; Ikat clutch bag from Rafe New York

Click To Enlarge

Clockwise from top left: Purple ikat evening bag from Madeleine Weinrib; Gucci leather woven ikat dress; Studio sofa in ikat graphite by Nate Berkus for; Diane von Furstenberg ikat shopper from Bergdorf Goodman; Topography primer napkin from

Friday, May 7, 2010

Chic Additions

I couldn't resist not getting these wall sconces despite making a list of arguments against them. They were just to beautiful to pass up.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Met Ball/Costume Institute Best Dressed

I am not a fan of ball gowns because they are simply so expected at fancy parties like the Met Ball or the Oscar. Looking at the red carpet arrivals at the Met Ball, I found myself drawn to the women who wore simple and elegant gowns that had a long, slender silhouette. And I am also loving the return of sleeves on gowns.

Amber Valleta in RM by Roland Mouret

Marion Cotillard in Christian Dior

Naomi Watts in Lanvin

Jessica Alba in Sophie Theallet for The Gap

Iman in Prada

Zoe Saldana and Diane Krueger both in Calvin Klein Collection

Nicole Richie in Marc Jacobs


Monday, May 3, 2010

Chic Reads: New York Magazine Home Design Issue

Get your hands a copy of the latest issue of New York magazine, or go to the website The issue's theme is home design and the banner headline is The New Old. Inside are feature stories on interiors that are updated remake of classic interior design style such as Parisian, Victorian, Country and English. The photo below is the bedroom of Carolina Herrera's creative director, Pierre Herve, and it is done in Parisian/Versailles-esque style. I love the gingham canopy (the fabric was a gift from Herrera) and the trompe l'oeil panels (painted by the Herve) flanking the bed.

Herve also had the chic and clever idea of stuffing a Balmain glove and
using it as a curtain tie-back.

The photo above is a modern take on country home style

Also in the issue is a story on bedbug infestation on the Upper East Side and a new male mannequin with a 27-inch waist. The last time I had a 27-inch waist I was in fifth grade!

A Fashionable Home

The pinstripes on a Ralph Lauren suit make their way into the
upholstery of a French-inspired Ralph Lauren armchair

So many fashion houses have dabbled in the furniture and home accessories market. Looking at their home collections and their spring/summer pret-a-porter, it's easy to see that they apply the same philosophy they use to create their clothing in their home lines. This begs the questions: Would you really want to sit on a couch that looks like your dress? Wouldn't having the same color palette for your wardrobe and your interiors be boring?

Black and criss-crossing detail as well as a gauzy texture
are both present in the Casa Fendi sofa and Fendi dress

Peach and silver are used to created a tufted occasional chair for Versace Home
and a flowy floor-length evening gown for Versace

Geometric shapes - rectangular and grid-like in the Armani Casa screen and squares
in the Giorgio Armani dress - unify the designs for the home and the fashion lines

Simple, stark and minimal at Calvin Klein

Understated luxury and the lasting appeal of neutrals are present in both the dress
and the desk from Bottega Veneta