Two Observations about Fashion

Wednesday, 27 November, 2019

Emily Ratajkowski’s Latest Styling Trick Is the Key to Wearing an XXL Jacket - Screen Shot 2019-11-27 at 10.42.11 AM

Two Observations about Fashion: 1) I’v long “liked” and “followed” Vogue Runway and I think (if you love fashion) should too. Beats watching shitty news in HK, US, Canada, … and you need the balance!

2) Style is always what you wear that makes YOU feel comfortable and nice. Never about the BRANDS and definitely NOT about the price you paid for them IF my YEARS of watching the late Bill Cunningham‘s epic cool “On The Street” videos have taught me anything! 🤣👗👘 And please don’t get me started on beautiful 👠 shoes! I will tell you I miss my late French friend Laurent Jean Phillipe (bless his heart) who was a family friend of the designer Christian Louboutin.

P.S. Laurent, you left us too soon as I was counting on you to introduce us to Christian and some nice French food in Paris. Sure, my better half and I ended up eating at Adeline Grattard‘s one Michelin starred (2010 and still 2019) Yam’Tcha (thanks to your recommendation), and ended up having a brief chat with Adeline herself and had a nice and long friendly chat with Adeline’s husband Chi Wah at their take out store. But Laurent my dear, it was not the same without you being our personal guide! :(

See this 2015 post “Paris Calgary friends Google Hangout the day after Paris Attacks” which got us talking about that sad day in Paris and defiantly talking about food that led me to Yam’Tcha.

P.P.S. Another post with an extra bonus video at the end featuring Laurent and me video Hanging out (he in Paris and me in Calgary), “Christian Louboutin – Great minds of our time

10 Things You Don’t Know About #CrazyRichAsians (with video)

Friday, 17 August, 2018

Here are 10 things you don’t know about Crazy Rich Asians the movie:

1) Author Kevin Kwan Optioned His Book for Only $1
The Hollywood Reporter (THR) has a great cover story on CRA, here is an excerpt about why Kwan ended up optioning the book for just $1.

“I met with, I think, six producers in one day,” says Kwan. “It was like a beauty contest.” Many had renminbi signs in their eyes. “They were interested in getting into the Chinese market, and I was like, ‘This is a 
movie with worldwide and domestic potential — that just happens to star Asians.'”

Color Force’s Jacobson and Simpson, known for the Hunger Games franchise, saw it the same way. “It feels so mainstream and accessible — anybody can relate to being rejected by in-laws,” says Jacobson. She and Simpson vowed to secure financing from a company with Asian ties, and UTA steered them to Ivanhoe Pictures, Penotti’s then-brand-new company with offices in Singapore and Hong Kong. While Kwan had lucrative offers, he optioned his book to Color Force and Ivanhoe for just $1 (with triggers in place for him to earn more as the project got made) in exchange for the right to remain involved with development decisions — a rare opportunity for a first-timer. “To say, ‘I’m going to do this for a dollar,'” says Simpson, “the only other person I know who does that is Stephen King.””

2) (see pix) Real life inspiration for Rachel Chu
See author Kevin Kwan’s Instagram post, “[my dear friend Vivian’s] stories inspired me when I created the character of Rachel Chu and her family. Jon M. Chu, the director of “Crazy Rich Asians,” was one of the cousins Vivian had been talking about for so many years. I never dreamed that he would one day direct the film based on my book, a film with a heroine who is inspired by the women in his own family. Last night, it all came full circle in this photo – the first time Vivian, Jon, and I were all together in one place.

3) (with video) Getting permission to use Gardens by the Bay went right up to the PMO
The producers were having a hard time getting permission to film at the epic beautiful Gardens by the Bay location until CRA author Kevin Kwan visited the set in KL one day and heard of the challenge and mentioned that actress Janice Koh’s (she played auntie Felicity Young in the movie) husband was the CEO of Singapore Tourism Board. Ultimately, it went right up to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) of Singapore to get the OK. Watch the producers talk about it in this segment of Oscars video (timecode 9:30).

4) (with video) Location for Young’s family home was a shithole (literally :)  
Finding a location for the Young’s family home was very hard as a home like that doesn’t exist in Singapore. A location was found in KL (where 65% of the film was shot). After watching the beautiful house in the film, you wouldn’t know it was run down, “collapsing on itself” and had monkey pooh on the floor! Watch the producers discussed it in this segment of Oscars video (10:10).

5) (with video) Dumpling & mahjong scenes are new and not in the book
(*** NOTE:
Unfortunately, this video is no longer on YouTube.)
The dumpling scene and the mahjong scene aren’t in the book and I quite like them both. Here co-screenwriter Adele Lim talks about these two scenes in this Q&A.
WARNING: Some spoilers!!!! Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim on writing CRAZY RICH ASIANS (6:53)

6) (with video) Coldplay‘s “Yellow” in Chinese
Director Jon M. Chu (朱浩偉) had to work his magic on Warner Bros and Coldplay to get the song into the movie. QZ has an excellent report in “HOW COLDPLAY’S “YELLOW,” IN CHINESE, ENDED UP ON THE “CRAZY RICH ASIANS” SOUNDTRACK” that is worth reading in full. Here is an excerpt, Read the rest of this entry »

Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life – New quote I love

Saturday, 2 December, 2017

I’m adding this to my long list of Quotes I Love,

The wider world that perceives fashion as sometimes as frivolity that should be done away with in the face of social upheavals. The problems are enormous. The point is, in fact, fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life. I don’t think you can do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization. Thats what I think.” – Bill Cunningham (1929-2016) from the documentary Bill Cunningham New York (low quality YouTube video excerpt)

Bill Cunningham: New York (quote on fashion) (Low quality YouTube excerpt)

I’m also watching this GREAT 2012 DP/30: The Oral History Of Hollywood interview and enjoying it so much!

DP/30: Bill Cunningham New York director Richard Press, producer Philip Gefter

3:05 Thanks to the filmmaker for his persistent in his 8 years effort to get Mr. Bill Cunningham to be featured in the doc. Bill is dearly dearly missed. The world is poorer without his special eyes in curating beauty for us and his charm and his insight.

6:01 “I basically stalked him [in 2001].” How cute! Again, so glad the filmmaker being creative to start the ball rolling. P.S. Thanks for another great and important interview.

Dec 2nd, 2017 update: I couldn’t get the song in the above Bill Cunningham New York clip out from my head so I ended up looking up the song. Have a listen. Enjoy!

Coldplay – Viva La Vida (starts at timecode 1:09)

Viva La Vida Lyrics (by Coldplay):

“I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can’t explain
Once you’d gone there was never
Never an honest word
And that was when I ruled the world”

Fashion Exhibits – Thinking of Bill Cunningham

Friday, 3 November, 2017

If things work out and time permits, I’m looking forward to visit a few museums’ fashion exhibits featuring the likes of Mariano Fortuny (checking out Fortuny‘s famous Delphos gown up close). And I’m real excited and ready to be overwhelmed by a massive Christian Dior collection! With these fashion thoughts in my mind, I can’t help but imagine what if the late Bill Cunningham was still alive, how cool would it be to be a fly standing on the shoulder of Bill and listen to his thoughts and insights when he check out these exhibits! Miss you still Bill!

P.S. As part of my research to write this post, I found an hour long interview with Bill. Enjoy.

(Hour long 2003 interview with) New York Times Photographer Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham: Words of Wisdom (a nice excerpt I found online last year)



Christian Louboutin – Great minds of our time

Monday, 1 August, 2016

I was introduced to the luxury footwear designer Christian Louboutin (1964 – ) thanks to my late French friend Laurent as he happened to know Christian as a family friend. Here are a few videos I am watching today. And I’m thrilled to include Louboutin to my Great Minds of Our Time series.

An Audience with Christian Louboutin: Full-length video | NET-A-PORTER.COM (published Nov 25, 2011)

Christian Louboutin Addresses FIT Graduates (published May 23, 2014)

Christian Louboutin Interview | NET-A-PORTER.COM (published Nov 13, 2009)


I wrote and shared this entry in memory of Laurent Jean Philippe Ravalec, my late and awesomely unique French friend, where one of our last video chats (which I documented here) happened in November 2015 just a day after the horrible Paris attack.

Talking to my French friend Laurent about Food (published April 7, 2012) is another video of us chatting about our common love: food!

Laurent, I miss you my friend!

Priceless: Tommy Hilfiger Defending my “Fashion Honour”

Wednesday, 13 February, 2013

2013 Tommy Hilfiger at Fox LA defending my "Fashion Honour"

I LOVED & enjoyed the chance to ask Tommy Hilfiger @tommyhilfiger a question. (Tommy’s Facebook) And then it turned into a super #epic moment (at 2:07 of the clip) for me to watch Tommy defending my “Fashion Honour” at Fox LA Google+ Hangout! Thanks +Maria Quiban +Tony McEwing +FOX 11 Los Angeles for the #awesome hangout!

FOX 11 Google+ Hangout: Tommy Hilfiger Talks About His New West Hollywood strore

Bill Cunningham – Great minds of our time

Sunday, 8 April, 2012

Bill Cunningham New York - Pix 01

I’ve only “known” the great photographer Bill Cunningham (1929 – 2016) for a few days from watching the documentary “Bill Cunning New York”. From this one documentary alone and the testimonies from many people in the doc, I believe his visual contributions and the examples he set (ethics as a reporter and his work over the years) has taught me personally a lot. See also NYT “Bill on Bill” and also “The Picture Subjects Talk Back”.

I am delighted to add Bill to my list of Great minds of our time along the likes of Richard FeynmanRonald Coase & Steve CheungBill Buxton, and Warren Buffett.

Have a watch of “Bill Cunning New York” and you will see why. The film is on Netflex (US),  iTune, Amazon, and on DVD. Here is the Bill Cunningham New York Trailer

Additional Links:

March 7, 2012 Guardian, “Bill Cunningham – New York’s king of street style

Check out Bill’s NYT Video “On the Street”

Movie reviews: Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Roger Ebert

Bill Cunningham New York - Pix 00

Bill Cunningham New York - Pix 02

Bill Cunningham New York - Pix 03

Bill Cunningham New York - Pix 04

Bill Cunningham New York - Pix 05 Read the rest of this entry »

Bill Cunningham New York – Wow!

Wednesday, 4 April, 2012

Ready to be wowed by Bill Cunningham New York over dinner! Here is a trailer.

Bill Cunningham New York – LOVE IT

Sunday, 18 September, 2011

I love the Bill Cunningham New York trailer. If you enjoy fashion, I dare you to not love it. Hope it will be screened in Calgary but I suspect I’ll have to watch it on DVD.

Love this Anna Wintour quote in the trailer, “We all get dressed for Bill.” “He has been documenting me since I was a kid. And it is one snap, two snap, or he ignores you, which is death.”

[HT Alice Schroeder for the movie link and the recommendation, “just saw Bill Cunningham New York, surely will win an Oscar. Fantastic.”]

P.S. At press time, it is 98% Fresh.

Roger Ebert,

“Do not make the mistake of calling Bill Cunningham a “fashion photographer.” He is a photographer of people and what they wear. Don’t call him a “paparazzo.” He doesn’t know who half the celebrities are and doesn’t care. He’s genuinely fascinated by what people wear — not by haute couture, but by what makes people feel good about themselves. He cycles to social events and openings, to street fairs and parades, to parks and markets, and will stop in the middle of the street if he spots an interesting hat.”

Fashion TV (a Fashion File substitute)

Thursday, 11 August, 2011

More than two years have passed, I’m still not ready to forgive or forget CBC for killing my beloved Fashion File with the silly “Host Hunt” reality TV show and then cancelling the show in March 2009. Anyway, thanks to my new G+ French friend Laurent, he linked me to Fashion TV the other day. It is fun to watch while I will just have to accept Fashion TV as a substitute of Fashion File minus the journalism that I love and treat it as a camera at the shows.

By the way, after checking out the site a few days ago, I posted this question on G+2012 Brazilian designed swimwear? OR 2012 New York designed swimwear? I think the Brazilian ones are more imaginative and interesting. What do you think?

Mara Hoffman (NYC) Swimwear Show – Miami Swim Fashion Week 2012 – Bikini Models | FashionTV

Aline Weber – Top Brazilian Bikini Models 4 – Swim Fashion Week


Aug 11, 2011 Update: Here is an excerpt from the 1998 Spring RRJ article (internet archive link) (emphasis added),

“[…] 10-year-old Fashion File is self-funded, surviving on commercial and international sales revenues. Réjean Beaudin, executive in charge of production at Fashion File, says his show is more news-oriented than FT, largely because the CBC expects the show to contain at least some journalistic elements to justify carrying it on Newsworld. “We always push the envelope to try to get that extra bit of news information, that extra little piece of something that makes our show a little smarter. I don’t believe in hiding the issues.

While Fashion File, like FT, isn’t above showing flashes of bare breasts and buttocks and can scarcely be described as investigative, there is a greater journalistic component.Fashion File’s host, Tim Blanks, contributing editor to Toronto Life Fashion magazine, is disinclined to let an issue pass without at least remarking upon it. Blanks, who resides in London and whose journalism background includes current affairs and political reporting, believes fashion journalism isn’t an oxymoron. “What I’m always trying to do is have a conversation with the viewer that’s a little more interesting than just what colours, fabrics and hemlines are all about.” For instance, Read the rest of this entry »

Hand cut t-shirt fashion

Wednesday, 22 September, 2010

Here are two old-ish video clips of Adam Saaks doing his t-shirt cutting magic. Enjoy. [HT Eva]

P.S. Adam’s t-shirts are probably “one-time-t-shirt” that he has to create on the fly and can probably be worn once.

Brett Wilson interview

Tuesday, 6 April, 2010

Short and sweet article + cool interview video by Calgary Avenue Magazine, “10 Calgary Tastemakers: Brett Wilson of Dragon’s Den“. Great job.

P.S. Here are some previous interviews and blogs entries I’ve posted about Brett.

The Lady Gaga zero-awareness-to-ubiquity time-warp

Tuesday, 23 February, 2010

For the record (emphasis added) from Adage, “Gaga, Oooh La La: Why the Lady Is the Ultimate Social Climber – Leveraging Digital Media and Creative Partnerships Makes Artist a Uniquely 2010 Pop Star”
By Andrew Hampp
Published: February 22, 2010

LOS ANGELES ( — As far as breakout musicians go, few artists have had quite the zero-awareness-to-ubiquity time-warp of Lady Gaga. And as far as brands go, few marketers of any kind have leveraged social media the way she has to drive sales of their core product — in her case, albums and digital singles.

Lady Gaga, with her army of nearly 2.8 million Twitter followers and more than 5.2 million Facebook fans, can move product. Since fall 2008, her digital-single sales have exceeded 20 million and her album sales hit 8 million, all at a time when no one under the age of 60 buys CDs anymore (see Susan Boyle breaking the record for highest first-week album sales last year). Now, she’s being courted by marketers to do the same for their products.

Gaga’s rapid ascent to the pop-culture stratosphere is often compared to Madonna’s, right down to their shared beginnings in the downtown New York club scene before their big record deals. But what makes Gaga’s star status, particularly in the marketing community, so uniquely 2010 is that she has achieved as many milestones (if not more) in 18 months than her idol did in nearly a decade. Madonna’s notorious endorsement for Pepsi in 1989 — cut short after her controversial “Like a Prayer” video aired on MTV — came seven years after the debut of her first single in 1982. Within a year of her out-of-the-box rise to fame in September 2008, Gaga had already lined up Virgin Mobile as a sponsor of her Monster Ball tour; created her own brand of headphones, Hearbeats by Lady Gaga, with record label Interscope; and landed her own (cherry pink) lipstick as a spokeswoman for Mac Cosmetics’ Viva Glam, benefiting Mac’s AIDS fund. And by January, she was tapped by Polaroid to become the brand’s creative director, hired specifically to create new products and inject life into a brand that hasn’t been hip for years — save for maybe a popular reference in Outkast’s “Hey Ya!”

Old school meets new media
How did a 23-year-old singer/songwriter achieve so much in so little time? Two words: social media. Sure, Gaga had a fair share of old-school artist development — radio play — to become the first artist to score four consecutive No. 1 singles from a debut album. But she’s also put a new-media spin on her distribution strategy. Read the rest of this entry »

Shop till you drop @ 2010 Vancouver Olympics

Sunday, 21 February, 2010

An excerpt from Andrew Willis’ “The Shopping Olympics” (emphasis added),

Vancouver crowds have embraced the Games, and Olympic merchandise, with a passion that borders on frenzy.
Shoppers are lining up at 5:30 in the morning to get into an Olympic superstore that doesn’t open until 9. During the day, they wait up to 90 minutes to get in. The retailer expected 10,000 customers a day in the downtown Vancouver store. Late last week, under sunny skies, up to 50,000 shoppers went through the doors.

Half way through the Games, Hudson’s Bay Co. is selling Olympic-themed merchandise at three times the expected rate. More than 20,000 transactions a day are being run through its tills. […]

The top selling item is the red mitts that Ms. Brooks is pitching: The Bay has moved 3 million pairs, with 100,000 a day selling since the Games began. The chain will soon run out of inventory, as only 3.5 million mitts were knitted, and the retailer has decided that it’s too late to make more. The No. 2 seller is Olympic hoodies, with 2 million sold at $50 each, followed by lumberjack-style rally scarves, a $20 purchase.

Showing our love and support for the athletes and our Canada, the $10 red mitts were priced right and worked like magic. I hope the red mitts will help provide the athletes with needed funding for the years to come. I will see if I can get some numbers from Hudson’s Bay Co. after the game is finished.

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Red MittensVancouver 2010 Olympic Red Mittens

Alexander McQueen (1969 – 2010)

Thursday, 11 February, 2010

BBC is reporting the creative and inspiring fashion design icon Alexander McQueen was found dead at his London home on Thursday. (more news: CBCBBC Obituary, NYDaily, Mirror, WSJ, TorStar)

I love fashion and I am saddened of  the passing of Alexander. My heart goes to Alexander’s family and loved ones.

RIP Alexander.

It is always about the people – The September Issue

Sunday, 11 October, 2009

A good documentary is always, always about the people.

The September Issue is a documentary film about the behind the scenes drama that follows editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and Vogue Magazine. Directed by R.J. Cutler, The film follows the making of the 2007 September issue. The issue ended up weighing nearly five pounds, was 840 pages, and was the single largest issue of a magazine ever published.”

I love and enjoy fashion (even I am not fashionable). I highly recommend you check out The September Issue.

Prada Economics

Sunday, 8 February, 2009

I came up with the idea for Prada Economics while writing my Panda Economics – Lessons from 看熊猫 & 红烧熊猫.

The study of Prada Economics is a study and discussion of the love & hate and the “prices” people pay for international fashion brands like Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton in Hong Kong.

While I think these brands/lovemarks have been popular in some circles of the rich and famous for many years but the pathological obsession and blind lust and admirations of these famous brands by young school girls to ladies of all ages is a more recent phenomenon.

The almost benign form of “admiration” by purchasing fake brand name handbags with prominently displayed logos to enhance ones’ image has a price. In fact, for some girls and ladies, these fake bags may be their toy-cigarettes and simulate-cocaine that trains their minds to view these brand name expensive goods as a total-representation of their beings and self-worth. Unfortunately, I’ve also read reports of some extreme cases where young school girls were selling their youth and sex to older men so that these innocent girls can earn the thousands of dollars needed to buy these latest brand names handbags and shoes, etc.

For the working ladies of Hong Kong (especially those in the business district of Central), brand names expensive handbags, shoes, and clothings are almost like uniforms that formed a de facto dress code. While I respect these working ladies’ freedom to to spend their hard-earned money on anything they wish or desire, I submit some of these ladies may have unwitting have these material goods as a measuring stick of their social standing and self-worth and I think this approach can be detrimental to their ultimate growth as a woman.

I wander if the schools (the equivalent of grade 1 to 13) in Hong Kong (including teachers and school principals) are working with parents in Hong Kong to try to reverse the tides of materialism and blind lust and admirations of luxury brand names in Hong Kong? Ultimately, has Hong Kong lost a few  generations of girls and boys in the battle of blind lust and admirations of luxury brands?

Here is one of the quotes I love,

“The most beautiful make-up of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.”
Yves Saint Laurent, Fashion Designer

Here is my take.

A complex set of qualities like smarts, smiles, looks, wits, caring nature, gentility, insights, etc makes a woman charming and attractive. But designers handbags are easier to buy.

Brands/lovemarks like Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton have their places in the world. But in the current twisted value system of Hong Kong, it pains my soul to see generations of HongKongers being engulfed by the tidal waves of blind lust and worship of expensive brands like Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton etc.

In my humble opinion, the high prices (especially the non-monetary prices) are too high to pay for these brands. As a former resident of Hong Kong, I can’t do anything but I can only hope there will be movement to change Hong Kong for the better. Someone has to start it. If you live in Hong Kong and are in position start the change, why not?

Jef Lam Fashion Design

Wednesday, 8 October, 2008

You may remember my talented fashion design friend Jef Lam where I blogged about (with video) here, here, and here.

Well, Jef is moving on to something better as he will soon be going for an internship in New York. Congrats Jef. Wishing you all the best.

Take a look of Jef’s website for more info.

2008 CIFF: The Making of Beauties @ CIFF Opening Gala Party

Friday, 19 September, 2008

I am easily charmed by beautiful ladies, so in the CIFF Opening Gala Party last night, I couldn’t help but captured and decided to report on what I entitled as, “The Making of Beauties” (high quality Quicktime movie, or you can stream a full or lower resolution video here.)

While I was capturing the above video, I couldn’t help but keep thinking about Dove’s popular YouTube video about beauty which I first blogged about in 2006 and I’ve included here for your viewing pleasure. I hope you enjoy both videos.

P.S. More photos here, here, here, and here.

P.P.S. As my better half will confirm, I actually like ladies with little or no make-up at all. So I guess, the billion dollars make-up industry doesn’t like me. :)

Eleven Minutes – Chat with Michael Selditch & Robert Tate – 2008 CIFF

Monday, 15 September, 2008

Two years ago in 2006 Calgary International Film Festival, I had a lot of fun watching the fashion documentary “Viktor & Rolf: Because We’re Worth It”. This year, I highly recommend you check out the 2008 fashion documentary “Jay McCarroll: Eleven Minutes” about Jay McCarroll, the 2005 Project Runway winner. I actually don’t know Jay before this documentary, but I still enjoy the film very much.

The film is directed by Michael Selditch and Robert Tate. And here is my wonderful 25+ minutes chat with Michael & Rob (in mp3). You can also stream the audio by going to this page. Have a listen. I hope you enjoy it as much as I in conducting it. You can check out the Calgary screening schedule here with Fashion in Film Party and the film.

Here is the CIFF film synopsis,

It’s been two long years since the sharp-witted Jay McCarroll was dubbed “the next great American designer” on the first season of reality TV’s Project Runway, and he’s anxious to show his first line of clothing. The feature-length documentary Eleven Minutes chronicles his year-long journey preparing his first independent runway show for New York’s Fashion Week and the subsequent marketing of his line. The result is an in-depth, painfully raw and humorous exploration of the creative process and the constant conflict of balancing commerce with art, fame with talent, and reality TV with actual reality.

Here is a link to the movie trailer on YouTube.

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