Friday, October 14, 2016

Coming Soon: Coping Strategies for Victims of Workplace Bullying


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Coming Soon: The Culture of Hate the Urban Poor Learned to Substitute for Better Quality of Life


Friday, October 7, 2016

The Power of Window Display - Deception of Luxury




Fall is upon us, and soon winter.

Here, the vulnerable-minded Asians and Malaysians are deceived into the material luxury of the Western world, making us channelling all our money into buying the "luxury lifestyle", thus making the West richer still. Asians have forgotten about the real luxury - which lies in the quality of our atitude and behavior towards each other like kindness, fairness and understanding. Not materialistic gains to show off who is at the higher rung of social ladder. I'm not against buying Western luxury goods, but when it's done at the total substitution of the human value - then it's dehumanising and devaluing yourself only. Unfortunately, the power of western advertising has won once again with their dazzling window display in making us depart our diminishing earnings to the super rich in the west. From our local government ministers to the urban poor - we are spellbounded by the incredible visual array that already succeeds in separating the rich from the poor even further from sheer display of material possesions, all can be bought at a price.

Travel Aspirations
At Coach, they bring us the subway space and turn it into a travelling adventure! Ride the New York subway in your minds when you're outside looking in the store. The rich golden background further beckons the bystanders to come in. The colors for Fall is a touch of green and lots of black for men. Personally, I'm tired of black because it seems to be everywhere this season. The light golden background makes the clothes "pop", but don't be fooled. Black hardly pops when worn in the public where hard lighting is not present. When the weather is cold, most would stay indoors. But here in tropical climate Malaysia, the heat would turn us away from buying. For this case, the indoors turns out to be the insides of a subway train from New York - so the feeling of coldness is conjured in our heads. For the women, a pop of red is enough to shout boldness. Notice the space between the manequin and the seat, where the handbag is placed. The empty space gives the much needed room for the products to breathe and so enhance its appeal of how tiny and precious it can be.


Small Package, Big Space
Zara's venture into fashionable accessories results in their displays being ultra minimal. This is a wise move, considering how small the bag with the "golden" beetle-ensignage clasp actually is! But the golden bug clasp is the central selling point. Being bare with just the product at the centre - all attention is focused on that one particular detail! It's how the vision of the bystander is firstly captured by the vast space, and then quickly zeroed onto the "golden" clasp that holds the small bag together, right at the centre of the light. The viewer won't notice the size of the bag because of how bare the surrounding space is - further exaggerating the exquisite-ness size of the bag. This definitely is form over function, because I tried the bag on and it was only as big as the palm of my hand. What can you put into such a tiny bag, except maybe my pair of bug-eyed sunglasses?


Lighting Details
A deceptive display needs not lie on the outside window but inside the retail floor as well. Here again, Zara managed to showcase a beautiful tuxedo coat with light floral prints. This tuxedo coat only sells when the lighting is this good because without it, you won't be able to detect the floral prints on the coat. This coat is not suitable for any occasion, except for fundraising event or maybe to an awards show. To stand out in the crowd, you'll need constant hard lighting to show off the details of this tuxedo or it'll just be wash up by soft light.





Functional Green
A small bottle can be arranged to form into a column of shiny magnificence. This is what a bottle of tea leaves essence can be used in glowing light that emanates from the columned shelf itself - making a point that it's green and ready to be "plucked" for purchase. Besides acting as an attractive display, it is also the booth where the actual products can be taken by the customer and bought at the counter right away.







Big and Golden
A huge mirror can be a tad tacky to be put on display but this is a reflection of our own narcissistic society. The sheer glittery gold is able to conjure a false impression of luxury. This Versace display is always rich in its embellishments to portray its ostentatious-ness in full glory. Patterns are bold and easy to wear.

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Bold Pattern
Turban or head band is in right now, what's with our Malaysian women who covers their head? The patterned paper plane design as the backdrop raised a curious question - what does a paper plane has to do with the clothes on display?



Neon Blue
Blue coat on neon blue backdrop - this display is shouting for attention. Firstly, a blue coat is something of a novelty color. We are used to the drab and boring black for trench coats - but to see a pop of blue is always eye-catching. To further accentuate the color blue, a rounded neon blue ring lights up the display - to further the statement that blue is new and modern.








Red Glory
Anything bright and stark like the color red is always a must-have. Add that with a head of golden crown and you got a king Kumare that's ready to rule your world. Who doesn't want to be the sexy King or Queen that sits on the throne of power - clothed in gorgeous red coat of multiple pockets for your keys, wallet and smartphone? One coat to rule them all, one coat to bind them.









To further amplify my point - the read coat is a must-have in a sea of black and white. Colors are scarce in the fashion world, and everyone just wants to be safe and not stand out. But the coming season will see the resurrection of red. From Dior to TV teasers of the upcoming season of Keeping up with the Kardashians -  a pop of red is always a great deception to the eye that balances out the monotones of blacks and whites. Or maybe fashion is really nothing but an arrangement of bores with an occasional dish of cherries at the top?

Who wouldn't love a long coat covered in red? For the Chinese, red is the color of prosperity. But red is also energetic and powerful when used in the right setting.



Props Free
Finally, there's a form of window display where the actual retail floor becomes the display itself! Take a look at the new Saint Laurent store just opened at KLCC. There's no mannequins or fancy props to cover the store front - but actually allow the store space to become the display in itself. This form of transparecy really allows the eye to see beyond just the display and allows space to breathe through. If you love colors, this one could become a disappointment. But if you love only black and white - then this store if definitely for you.

For more articles about FASHION/ART, click below:
African Arabian Adventure - Law-rence of Arabia
Fast Fashion Labels (For Men) Review
Summer Window Display 2016
Fashion as a Tool that Unlocks the Subconscious
Seed Bag for Men Review
Best Fall Winter Fashion Show 2016 (Women)
Jetsetter's Fashionable Guide
HM Fashion Review (Coats Special)
The Ultimate 7 Point Guide to Winning Project Runway
Messenger Bags Special
Tips for Buying Shoes (Sneakers)
Stuff Magazine 9th Anniversary Party
Myanmar Art Review
Student Art Fair





THANK YOU! If you enjoy my blog, kindly click "Join this site" button on the left side of this page AND 

*Click Like on my Official Facebook

*For enquiry about my coaching and requests to write and feature your product/services here in my blog, kindly click Email

CREDENTIALS:
* BMW Film Awards Best Actor
* Jury Duty
Worldwide Photo Exhibit
Endorsement Value
World Cup KFC commercial
Controversial but Most-Watched Episode
The Golden Shorts Fame



Saturday, July 23, 2016

4 Common Rude Behaviors All Retail Outlet Promoters Must Avoid (especially the ones at Suria KLCC and Avenue K - UPDATED)



If I have the money for shopping, I rather go to Pavillion or Lot 10. I find the promoters there are better at serving the customers enquiries as compared to the ones at KLCC. I hate to compare but the difference is so stark! KLCC seems to hire the most incompetent and self-entitled sort of promoters in their retail outlets. KLCC is a first-world infrastructure occupied by third-world mentality workers. Shocking and unfortunate really, because I used to be proud to share the same initials with KLCC, but now?

Suria KLCC salespersons and staff seem to have that very entitled, blur and rude way of talking AT customers. Is it because of the close proximity with the Petronas Twin Towers? These sales persons or promoters are in their early or mid 20s, mind you, and sometimes you may want to forgive their attitude? Unfortunately you need to ask yourself whether they really are worth forgiving after I tell you what their rude behaviors were. Since now I'm older, I began to view their rude behaviors as either something fascinating or really downright stupid.

1) Respond a Question with a Question
I was in my fashionable wardrobe and was walking around the Sony flagship store at KLCC. I thought of getting a Sony DVD player there since I have the members card where I can collect points. Upon entering, I asked this tall, skinny Indian boy at the audio visual section about their DVD players. He showed me this RM600 model which I said was too expensive and asked for the cheapest model instead. I was wrong in thinking this Indian boy as kind and helpful, for he gave me this look and walked away from me to ask his Malay supervisor about their other range of DVD players. Then both of them looked at me from their counters, since I was at a distance away from them. I could sense they were judging me from the way I dressed in my Issey Miyake outfit. This Indian boy then went inside the store room and came out with a box, looking at me point blankedly as if I should go towards him instead of him bringing the box towards me. So I went over to him and I asked him if this is their latest model. He responded my question with a question "You think Sony sell old models?". Then I asked him again the warranty period, and he asked me again whether he should bring another box, since earlier I told him I got a friend who wanted to purchase a DVD player. The Chinese guy at the cashier shushed him up a few times for he was behaving extremely rude. Then I looked at that stupid boy and he gave the excuse that it's just the way he behaves.

For my commentaries on CURRENT ISSUES:
New Extension of LRT Lines - Is Bigger Ever Better?
Perhambaan Rakyat Malaysia di bawah Ilusi Kebesaran Bangsa dan Agama (BM)
Humiliation Culture that targets on Chinese
The Power of Joyful vs Joyless
The Violent Nature of Malaysian Society
Zaman Gemilang Ma-Lu-Gua
Why a Chinese person should eat at Chinese restaurant
The Great Malaysian Tragedy
5 Foibles Committed by Political Leaders
Street Protests
The Age of Haters
The Over Emphasis of Hardware over Software
How My "Friend" Make Plus-sized Looks Bad
City Folks' Sitting Culture (BM)
How to Identify Monsters Anywhere
Habits of Local Talent (BM)
Lessons learned from "Friends"
Malaysian "Mega-Structures" Hits and Misses


2) Walk Backwards towards Customer
Now I know why the Topshop store at KLCC was always quite empty. You see, I like to go to stores where there's not that many people and browse at the clothes so I have more space to breathe. When a shop is this empty, the promoters there tends to talk among themselves to pass the time. Fine, I won't need their help. I can search for my own clothes, thank you. But as I browse through their new arrivals, these 2 malay boys were talking among themselves without noticing that I was behind them browsing the clothes. One of them suddenly walk backwards towards my direction as I was browsing upwards towards the "New Arrivals" section. In the heat of their chitchat, he bumped into me from his back and then have the audacity to blurt out "Eh". So when you bumped into a customer, instead of apologising "Sorry, how may I help you?", this stylo promoter blurted out a rude "Eh" instead as if I am the one crossing his path. I continued on with my browsing, ignoring him and gave a sharp look at those two fools - both of them dressed stylishly like they were the customers themselves. But in actual fact, they're just lazy promoters who doesn't really care about their jobs. Please fire them.


3) Staring Intently at Customer
This behavior is still forgivable as compared to the first two because promoters staring at customers can be due to many reasons? For one, the customer may come frequently to browse through the clothes and the promoters were curious to know who this particular customer may be.  Or maybe the customer is someone famous they might see from somewhere? Alright, I hate people staring at me too intently. I frequented the Zara store at KLCC due to their sales season, and I liked to see what options I can get and compare. There's this outrageous and loud-mouth promoter who likes to act out like a drag queen in front of customers when they're coming in at its peak. I have nothing against him for he complimented my choice of clothes before and recommends a few items I liked. There's a positive and upbeat spirit about him, even though he's the attention-seeker whore type. But everytime I get out from the store, the alarm always get set off ringing! Now when I'm in the store, before the ringing, I noticed him with another of his chubby colleague staring intently at me from across the aisle. Gosh it makes me so uncomfortable, for I was busy checking out which clothes I need that time. But after I left the store, the alarm rang again which caused me to quicken my steps.

4) Condescending Tone
So I bought a Samsung tablet at the official store at Avenue K. After less than a year, the charging wire gave me problem. The problem being the charging process - which took a whole 8 hours for a full charge! I sent the wire back to the store for investigation - to determine what's the real problem of the slow charge. The salesperson told me there's problem with the wire. So I got no choice but to purchase a new wire which comes with warranty. After a few months, this new wire gave me problems, meaning the charging process again, took too long. So I sent it back to the salesperson, and this giant of a fella began to inform me about the past when I sent my tablet for them to investigate and it turns out to be "nothing wrong". Excuse me, doesn't I have the right to enquire the real problem about the product when I feel there's something not right with it? When it comes to the wire, he again told me it's able to charge and started in his condescending tone at me, in which I burst out at him.

In conclusion, the small things matter. The way the promoters looked and judged at customers is a big no-no, even if you're too young or stupid to understand that (the millenials generation do that). The way promoters speak and answer customer's enquiries are important. I remember a very good example all promoters should emulate and it comes from the Zara shop at Pavilion. He's a little too uptight but I can sense he was listening my questions when I asked him for instructions on how to wash a parka. Then, he knew I was a customer for I was holding their shopping bag. He didn't answer me right away but asked politely which item, in which I showed him. He took the item and looked at the labels carefully - then answered my questions promptly. Customers can pick up the unspoken cues easily and if the signs are rude - even forgiveness won't save you. But if the unspoken and spoken cues are favorable - repeat business is guaranteed. Don't underestimate any customer coming in the store, even if they're not buying. Because when they do, your store won't be at the top of their list.



THANK YOU! If you enjoy my blog, kindly click "Join this site" button on the left side of this page AND 

*Click Like on my Official Facebook

*For enquiry about my coaching and requests to write and feature your product/services here in my blog, kindly click Email

CREDENTIALS:
* BMW Film Awards Best Actor
* Jury Duty
Worldwide Photo Exhibit
Endorsement Value
World Cup KFC commercial
Controversial but Most-Watched Episode
The Golden Shorts Fame





Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Extension of LRT lines - is bigger ever better?

New additions - longer lines now available.


I hate nostalgia.

I also hate taking the bus.

Back in 1998, I got the opportunity to ride the newly launched Putra line...for free! I was still in college and was easily mesmerized and surprised at how advanced KL was compared to back home. I was so proud of then PM Tun Mahathir, besides both of us shared almost the same birthday - he also built the KLCC and turned Malaysia into one of the most advanced country in its infrastructure. Malaysia was way ahead of its Southeast Asian counterparts that time, even though the country was still recovering from the Asian economic crisis of 1997.

Spanking new seats and elevators
Young and naive person like myself back then was steadfast to stay in KL after college to fulfill our dreams - mainly because of the LRT, being such a modern and convenient way to get into the city! Of course being free, I rode the train everyday, feeling like I can go anywhere in an instant and maybe even achieve my dreams in an instant too. Forward back to present day 18 years later, and now the remaining lines are finally complete. Of course, now, nothing is free. The poor remains poor - made poorer still when the elimination of the monthly RM100 pass which has literally taken a toll on active commuters like myself. Commuters are now treated like vehicles, paying tolls for using the LRT highway at each stop. These new line extension are merely an illusion of progress made to soften the harsh reality that commuters actually have to pay more.

But is it worth it?


Huge carpark
General Overview
For the urban poor, our money is limited. Therefore, it's vital we get a general overview of the entire line so we can determine which stations can best meet our needs - whatever it may be. For me personally, I am looking for a stop that can fulfill me from day to night, like my clothes. But I am still open to other options, if there's any. When the train went beyond the Kelana Jaya station, it was exciting to see a new view. It used to be the last stop - and our journey has ended. It was simpler back then, because we don't have the gnawing curiosity of what's beyond. But now, it's different.

Open air view
What's beyond is a sprawling plain of condominiums, business centres and new developments still in the making. I noticed plenty of empty building lots still advertising for occupancy. The newer condominiums situated nearby Ara Damansara station still have that less-than-vibrant atmosphere. There's even a large sign of the mall, stangely named Evolve. I wonder if it's advertising for the LRT putra new line extensions - like our transport system has evolved. The Ara Damansara station has a rounded womb like roof that resembles curiously like a woman's cunt. And in the train goes like the penis railing on a daily penetration.


The Womb
The Womb and The Shogun
There's basically 2 main types of station roof top design. Of course, I've already told you about the womb-like rooftop, but from afar it looks like a spaceship. But there's a second type of station design, with an interesting architecture that resembles a Japanese Shogun warrior armour for its silhouette. To make things simple. let's call these 2 station designs - The Womb and Shogun.

The Womb not meant for stops
I noticed the The Womb-like station are sort of reserved for the more upscale areas with sprawling high-end condominiums and malls. I suspect it must be perceived as more modern due to its ovular shape with cleaner lines. Where else for the Shogun-like station rooftops, it can be seen more at the lower-class residential and business areas. But personally, I prefer the Shogun because it has an open air without any enclosure like The Womb. These type of stations are situated higher above the ground and bigger in its size. That means one has to walk a bit more to come down from the station.

The Shogun
I made a simple conclusion so everyone who's taking this new line for the first time can be informed at which stop would be best for you. Basically, this new line serves a purpose to boost the economic activities at these 5 stations: Ara Damansara, Subang Jaya, Wawasan, USJ 7 and SS15. These stations are the more attractive stops being it's situated quite nearby to the malls. Below is the list:

1) Ara Damansara - Evolve
2) Subang Jaya - Aeon Big
3) SS15 or Subang Jaya - Subang Parade
4) Wawasan - The 19 USJ
5) USJ7 - The Summit

If you enjoy shopping for fashion, there's a little known HM shop at Evolve mall. If you're looking to buy groceries, then Aeon Big is for you. The other malls are basically a combination of shops and leisure spots. The other stations are situated at residential areas, with some very rich neighborhood.


Nothing is ever what it seems to be...
I was surprised to know how nearby Subang Jaya was to Kelana Jaya being a frequent train commuter. It was just on its next stop! I remembered before this new line extension, I have to stop at KL Sentral and transit to the Komuter line - the waiting period was exhaustingly long. Maybe that's why it gave the impression that it's faraway. it costs RM3.30 to stop from Wangsa Maju. But now, it's just a few stops nearby. I managed to catch a glimpse of how closely spaced the many rows of shoplots - perhaps I may even get a quick lunch later. I did get a quick lunch at Restoren Yee Fatt - a very rubbery wan ton mee for RM5.50 (small). I didn't order any drinks, but saved that for a teh tarik at Nasi Kandar shop opposite.

The reason I stopped at the SS15 station is because of the signage pointing out the nearby malls, mainly Subang Parade. After I got down to the station and had my lunch, I tried to look for Subang Parade - and it was nowhere to be found! I asked one college student, and he confirmed to me that it's quite a distance to walk to. When I got back into the train and heads back to Gombak, I discovered that Subang Parade is right behind a giant mosque that the train passed. I tried to gauge the distance, but it seems to be nearer to stop at SS15 than the Subang Jaya station. Again, you must never trust the signages. It's always better that you try it out yourself and see if you can take the walk. The distance may seem nearer when you're in a moving train than when you're actually on ground....

Free rides in 1998
In conclusion, the new LRT line extension merely offer options for the non-vehicle commuter. It may seem that you're nearer to a shopping mall, but experience it yourself when you're on the ground - it may be very different than what you expect. The more you get to see all these business centres, the more you realize how lonely and quiet business has actually gone down.  The trend now for commercial development is mixed residential and business - but how many of us can actually afford such lifestyle? Is bigger always better? Or maybe we should each take only what is enough and not get too much what we cannot handle.

For my commentaries on CURRENT ISSUES:
Perhambaan Rakyat Malaysia di bawah Ilusi Kebesaran Bangsa dan Agama (BM)
Humiliation Culture that targets on Chinese
The Power of Joyful vs Joyless
The Violent Nature of Malaysian Society
Zaman Gemilang Ma-Lu-Gua
Why a Chinese person should eat at Chinese restaurant
The Great Malaysian Tragedy
5 Foibles Committed by Political Leaders
Street Protests
The Age of Haters
The Over Emphasis of Hardware over Software
How My "Friend" Make Plus-sized Looks Bad
City Folks' Sitting Culture (BM)
How to Identify Monsters Anywhere
Habits of Local Talent (BM)
Lessons learned from "Friends"
Malaysian "Mega-Structures" Hits and Misses




THANK YOU! If you enjoy my blog, kindly click "Join this site" button on the left side of this page AND 

*Click Like on my Official Facebook

*For enquiry about my coaching and requests to write and feature your product/services here in my blog, kindly click Email

CREDENTIALS:
* BMW Film Awards Best Actor
* Jury Duty
Worldwide Photo Exhibit
Endorsement Value
World Cup KFC commercial
Controversial but Most-Watched Episode
The Golden Shorts Fame





Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Best Spring/Summer 2017 Fashion Show for Men



We haven't even conclude the summer season for this year, and now already the major labels are releasing their collections for next year. Indeed, fashion needs to stay ahead of the curve to create demand from buyers and set the trends. I'm already wearing next year's Issey Miyake thawb-like oversized coat. What else have I miseed?As I watched these shows, I notice that men's runway shows are really conventional and slow to change. The most you can expect are the fabrics, but a mass majority of the more luxurious brands would add more texture or details to its coats to enhance its collection versus the lesser luxury brand where the cut is more pronounced. Personally for me, the winning collection for 2017 spring/summer must have a clear man in mind.

(click on links to view the runway shows)



1) Gucci



Next spring/summer Gucci men are not afraid of colors. Fancy a bright yellow raincoat? Or a baby blue shirt with your favourite childhood story characters emblazoned on it? The Gucci man is simply more daring, colorful, whimsical and unafraid to stand out in the crowd. There are definitely some Chinese-inspired looks from the Ming Dynasty in a few of its night pyjamas for men - like the string buttons and angular silk shirt. Flowers and storybook characters like goose and snake are definitely in. So are raincoats! Why is it going to be a rainy or stormy summer/spring next year? I'll definitely be putting one on. Gucci weather forecasts say so. From day to night, it's luxury all the way. This Gucci man must be living in a mansion.

2) Dirk Bikkembergs



Athleisure wear for men is really going to be big next year. Elastic pants, swimming trunks and sports shoes (gold and bright red) are making a comeback. Jackets with orchid flowery motifs adds that feminine side to a sporty man without screaming too much. It's so easy to get the Dirk Bikkembergs man - he enjoys white color to start of his day, then swims in the afternoon and at night he would be out and about in some club in town, dressed in his cool jacket and skinny pants. I thought it was going to be the Olympics next year since a large pool was at the centre stage. But check out Fendi runway show too to see the similarity - another pool as the centrepiece.

3) Cerruti



Unlike other runway shows where the models strut on the stage quickly - for this one, all the models stood on their various designated podiums like some kind of museum exhibit. Watching this show can test your patience a bit but it also forces you to look at each piece closely - and realise it's actually very basic. Another label worth checking out is Maison Margiela where the basics are redefined, or rather deconstructed in a way that's more relaxing. The Cerruti man is the most conventional of the modern man and nothing shouts at all. You can wear the clothes to the office or at home, or even visit your aunt. Everything is quite basic, prim and proper. Heck, you can even copy any of the looks exhibited from your existing wardrobe and pretends it's a Cerruti. Cool.....

In conclusion, next spring/summer would be a predictable weather forecast for men. If you're expecting luxury to fall like the rain, Gucci is for you. But if you want to work for it until your body aches while displaying your swimming chops, then Dirk Bikkembergs. For the most conventional of us, Cerruti can bring you no mistake. In general, the flower motifs are slowly creeping into men's wardrobe and oversize is the next luxury!


For more articles about FASHION/ART, click below:
African Arabian Adventure - Law-rence of Arabia
Fast Fashion Labels (For Men) Review
Summer Window Display 2016
Fashion as a Tool that Unlocks the Subconscious
Seed Bag for Men Review
Best Fall Winter Fashion Show 2016 (Women)
Jetsetter's Fashionable Guide
HM Fashion Review (Coats Special)
The Ultimate 7 Point Guide to Winning Project Runway
Messenger Bags Special
Tips for Buying Shoes (Sneakers)
Stuff Magazine 9th Anniversary Party
Myanmar Art Review
Student Art Fair





THANK YOU! If you enjoy my blog, kindly click "Join this site" button on the left side of this page AND 

*Click Like on my Official Facebook

*For enquiry about my coaching and requests to write and feature your product/services here in my blog, kindly click Email

CREDENTIALS:
* BMW Film Awards Best Actor
* Jury Duty
Worldwide Photo Exhibit
Endorsement Value
World Cup KFC commercial
Controversial but Most-Watched Episode
The Golden Shorts Fame



Saturday, June 25, 2016

Fast Fashion Labels (For Men) Review: Comparison among H&M, Zara and Topman



Let me be clear: I'm not advocating mindless consumption through this article.

Rather, I'm advocating extreme caution and careful consideration before you purchase. I know I did. I was never a clothes horse. In fact, I dislike shopping for clothes! There are simply too many things I calculate for consideration before even buying a piece. Yes, I'm that anal and hyper paranoid. Honestly, being an urban poor - these considerations are super vital so my purchase does not go to waste or worst, sent for the Salvation Army or orphanages later. Or be the receiving end of the aid from Salvation Army, yikes!

Due to these harsh economic times, with no job but cost of living keeps escalating - fashion seem to be the only viable option of escapism. Fashion pieces, to me, are meant to be kept. Not just wear once and throw into storage. With the rise of fast fashion powerhouses like Zara, HM and Topman - a vulnerable and unconsious shopper might get himself sucked into a spellbinding shopping vortex that would chalk up considerable debt if one is not careful or conscious. Apologies to Padini and Uniqlo - you are left out from the comparison review because your clothing range are simply too ordinary to be qualified as fashion? Hopefully, this article would guide you in your shopping spree since now it's the time to splurge for everything's on sale! And perhaps even prevent you from buying anything foolish and wasteful.

Similar shopping bag design as Philosophy
- but the free magazine is a must takeaway!
Topman
Among the fast fashion labels - Topman can be considered as the top of the price range. Hence, the brand name itself suits its price tag. Just a T-shirt alone can cost a whopping RM100 and above. What the heck? A simple T-shirt with no design or embellishment of any kind? But the T-shirts are incredibly comfortable to wear since it's made from breathable cotton. Casual wear is uniform across its range, same as its office wear. There's nothing to shout about in terms of its design. I was looking for extreme graphics on its T-shirts and jackets, but the most extreme I saw so far was the flower details behind a jacket (items on sale only) and some bamboo and leave motif which were very light and doesn't stand out that much. During shopping, one must always remember that what looks great on a model or mannequin does NOT mean it will look good on YOU! That's because the model or mannequin is tall and slim unlike us! That's why I always go for jackets or coats because it covers my limitations. Until recently, my body got some nice shoulders that I shop for tank tops. So our perception must be align with reality.

The shopping bag from Topman is made from hard cardboard material with a simple Topman name across the white background. It's shopping bag that reminded me of Philosophy's which is now nowhere to be seen. I value better shopping bag designs so I can carry them around with pride. I have to give credit to Padini for the better shopping bag design - have you seen their latest golden Hari Raya shopping bag? So eye-catching.


Great shoe range
Zara
For price range, Zara comes in second highest in the fast fashion category. It also has the widest network of franchise stores. I noticed they also have a wide selection of coats, shoes, ties and jackets. Do watch out for the upcoming winter's season of jacket for it's certainly graphic with stiched-in logos! These are simply too good and expensive for purchase. But if one has the money, why not? It's a rare gem of a jacket but not for an ordinary folk who reisdes in hot weather! Unless you work in an air-conditioned office all day long. But who wants to work in an office, anyway? Yuck!

Jackets and coats - similar with HM but
higher prices
For their sales period, the ones on sale are just plain colours like red, blue and grey without any striking graphic embellishments. Fortunately, I was in love with their footwear range - especially those fancy ones in gold and red (but I did not purchase that one). One needs to be careful of the shoe size for it's completely different size from my sneakers size! Not one size fits all, it seems. I find their T-shirts range are made from a heavier side cotton material. But the graphics on it were more beautiful than Topman. Maybe that's why the heavier material to absorb the graphic colors?

For their shopping bag, it's the dullest one I've ever seen - just a plain grey plastic bag without any handles. Also, stay away from their busiest store like the one at Pavilion for it's pure chaos there! Try their lesser traffic stores to get some peace of mind during their sales period. You also need the space to figure out your purchase and try which size fits you. Like me for example, I went to their Pavillion outlet for the first time, and tried on their shoes. The salesperson just dumped the various shoe sizes at me and went off to serve other customers. Once I tried them on and got my size, I decided not to purchase the shoes from that outlet because everything was so chaotic and disorganised! What if I bought a used shoe there?


Deals, not Sales
HM
If you're looking for the lowest price range in the fast fashion category, this is for you. T-shirts start from RM39.90, which is lower than Topman and Zara! During their Deals season (they don't call it "Sales"), I spotted a striking neon pink tank top at only RM10 at their Quills outlet! It was the last piece on the rack and I quickly snapped it up right before the guy next to me manage to. If you have a rare taste for one-of-the-kind fashionable items (they do carry them but on rare occasions only), you have to move fast for they can be gone in an instant. But they also have the widest chain of stores - so when it comes to their Deals period, if one has the time, one simply must visit all their stores for each may promise an item unlike the other stores. Their tank tops for men have the widest range in terms of color and design (and also cheaper) compares to Zara or Topman which are very limited and more expensive. I think it has to do with the country where it was made from, which is Bangladesh that hires extremely cheap labor - compares to Spain for Zara and Turkey for Topman. For more info, watch the documentary "The True Cost".

MISS: Pasar malam basket case?
Accessories wise, they do have its ups and downs so I would try not to buy their accessories due to some taste issues. They are actually selling those pasar malam baskets made to look like handbags (yuck!) worn by my old aunties. The first batch of their weekend bags collection for men looked great with its leather material. But their second batch, it was made from black sack cloth - which is the poorest material imaginable! Also watch out for the zippers for it can derail after much use. For jackets and coats, their price range is the most competitive and actually shares many similar designs with Topman. Of course, Topman's trench coat is more expensive (RM359) even though the material and design were exactly the same as HM (RM199)!

HIT: Weekend bag at RM99!
For their shopping bag, it's the most recognisable and most seen anywhere! Right in your face brand name in blood red just screams glamor - at everyday prices? Wait, this brand seems more in line with Tesco or Carrefour. But honestly, HM knows branding well and immediately captures the shoppers lonesome addiction for something cheap and fashionable. That's arguable considering some of my Penang friends label HM as too "high class" and beyond their price range. What? Well, I know I'm poor, but I do not want to dress like one.

In conclusion, if you love shoes - go for Zara. If you care for easy and breezy material on your T-shirt, Topman is for you. But if you're someone on the budget but still wants to look "in" then HM. Since this is the sales season, one must be quick and fast to grab the one-of-a-kind garment one likes. If you leave the sales period to prolong too long before you go, you might get the leftovers. I'm talking about fashion pieces, NOT those ordinary T-shirts, pants or shorts. Those you can take your time and procrastinate in your purchase. But not many men are able to identify which are the fashionable pieces - so most would just take their sweet time. But for those with a discerning eye, be swift or this sales period would leave you empty handed.

At least an empty hand with your money unspent, that's still good.

For more articles about FASHION/ART, click below:
Summer Window Display 2016
Fashion as a Tool that Unlocks the Subconscious
Seed Bag for Men Review
Best Fall Winter Fashion Show 2016 (Women)
Jetsetter's Fashionable Guide
HM Fashion Review (Coats Special)
The Ultimate 7 Point Guide to Winning Project Runway
Messenger Bags Special
Tips for Buying Shoes (Sneakers)
Stuff Magazine 9th Anniversary Party
Myanmar Art Review
Student Art Fair





THANK YOU! If you enjoy my blog, kindly click "Join this site" button on the left side of this page AND 

*Click Like on my Official Facebook

*For enquiry about my coaching and requests to write and feature your product/services here in my blog, kindly click Email

CREDENTIALS:
* BMW Film Awards Best Actor
* Jury Duty
Worldwide Photo Exhibit
Endorsement Value
World Cup KFC commercial
Controversial but Most-Watched Episode
The Golden Shorts Fame





Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer Window Display 2016 - Signs of Change for the Poorer



This year proves to be most difficult year for everyone. With prices taken a flight, it gets even more vital for our imagination to take flight too. If you're a newly poor urbanite, the money you're going to spend for clothes take even more precedence and calculated consideration. If you're poor, you don't want to dress poorly. Let your imagination take flight by pondering and looking at these rich window displays to help guide your next precious fashion purchase or perhaps even not buying anything.

By far, the best window display to let your imagination take flight. All the richness captured in those postcard canvass paintings - with such colors to commemorate summertime. Escapism is the theme for this summer for Dolce and Gabbana.


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Looks like Louis Vuitton is leaving Earth. And going to outer space. The window display for summer is really unusual. Earth no longer looks habitable (since cost of living went up and salaries stagnate). Or perhaps its a way to inform the rest of us urban poor that prices for their luxury goods are beyond our grasps? Indeed, their prices are astronomically high.


Now, only luxury retail stores survive in this increasing cost of living and the other mom-and-pops shops and retailers at the lower price range either suffers or went bust. The destruction of the BB Plaza was meant to make way for the upcoming MRT rail in Bukit Bintang. Witness the glorious destruction. It's a legitimate window display by itself.



The most literal translation for summer can be seen at Fahrenheit - with balloons mock-ups of a giraffe. There aere other animals like zebras and monkeys - but this concourse piece reeks with childish imagination that doesn't suit adults with a discerning taste. Except that adult comes with children. Perhaps now adults spends less and the exception being their children, the parents would spend slightly more? Hence, the children is the more profitable target. Parents are dressing up less for the sake of keeping their children happy.





Hari Raya coincides with this year's summer theme. All around you see green or yellow. Pavillion centre piece clings to its wide staircase space to imbue the celebratory feeling of Hari Raya with its glittery gate. But the elements are not that much different with its nature theme.




KLCC too is playing safe with its tradtional house for the centre piece. Seems like nobody is trying anything new this year and simplying recycling what's the same. Perhaps KLCC is limiting its budget this year for a more austere display? The props seen were exactly the same as last year's. Yet, if you take a good look at the type of retailers in KLCC - most have changed its location. Nothing new or exciting for this year's summer theme. Most are just rehashing some old ideas or remaining the same theme and colour scheme that doesn't shout anything new or noteworthy.

Again, I am haunted by the closure signs and divider tapes seen littering across business premises that went bust around KL today. The mere square lines are identical to the square shaped traditional houses. What's meant to be traditional and celebratory can be a haunting reminder that nothing lasts forever.




Have we become too engrossed in attaining the developed nation status that we forsake quality of life for the everyday folks? Are we more concerned about collecting luxurious labels rather than the ability to sustain a good quality of life that does not focus on capitalism and greed?



For more articles about FASHION/ART, click below:
Fashion as a Tool that Unlocks the Subconscious
Seed Bag for Men Review
Best Fall Winter Fashion Show 2016 (Women)
Jetsetter's Fashionable Guide
HM Fashion Review (Coats Special)
The Ultimate 7 Point Guide to Winning Project Runway
Messenger Bags Special
Tips for Buying Shoes (Sneakers)
Stuff Magazine 9th Anniversary Party
Myanmar Art Review
Student Art Fair

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Fashion as a Tool that Unlocks the Subconscious



How can a piece of fashion clothing raised so many questions?

Indeed, fashion can be appealing even to the boring intellectuals. It helps to unlock the hidden perceived answers lying deep in our dormant subconscious. One question often leads to another. That's why one needs to be have an open mind and be adventurous enough to take on a journey with a piece of clothing that doesn't seem to make any sense! Firstly, it looks like a robe, coat or outerwear made by Yohji Yamamoto or Anya Hindmarch. But it feels just too light and simple to qualify as a coat. Then you have the unconventional aspect to this piece - it just doesn't fit in anyway that would allows one to stroll on a street unnoticed. You walk around the street today and everyone seems to be wearing the same thing and conforming to the same idea of casual wear. T-shirt. Jeans. Tight dress. Tank tops. I mean, it's fine for me. I love the basics, because they do serve a function. It's easy to put on and take off. And it fulfills the need to conform to society, though not everyone could come to terms with that. Suddenly, this puzling piece of clothing doesn't sound that awkward anymore and can actually be the stand-out piece I've always dreamed of.

The future is bright
But what sets one apart from the rest? It all started when I get tired seeing the same old jeans. That's why I love shorts. People may look at me and feel puzzled. Or perhaps even stoke fire to embers of old memories in their heads. Yes, I was famous in my yellow shorts when I first started in the entertainment industry. But the shorts I wear serves a very perfunctory objective - it's simply more cooling in shorts when you have to move around a lot. That makes perfect sense right? Yet, why so many men still wear jeans and long pants in hot weather? So move around I did, and stumbled upon a place with displays of pieces of expensive clothing that's discounted. It must be the lighting in the showroom. All clothes seems to pop out and looked amazing! And one piece of clothing on the rack simply screamed expensive to me. And now it's off 50%. There's only 2 left, each with different sizes - M and S. So I quickly took both and headed for the changing room.


Fashionable Enough on a Fantasy Scale?
My first impression of the clothing was it fits the label of a fashionable raining coat. It looked simply too big to be a coat to be worn casually. My mind suddenly found a good reason to purchase because it looked fashionable. It's the raining season anyway, and I've never gotten myself a raining coat before. I could very well get a cheap one from a convenience store, but this piece looked simply too epic to be just a boring, perfunctory raining coat. It could doubles up as a fantasy statement piece too! First off is the happy cheerful colour - bright summery white, if you could even call it a colour. It looked almost like white, but due to the lighting in the changing room - it really "shines". Then my doubts began to creep in - what if there was a stain? So I quickly checked the fabrics to find out any label to describe it. It's a kind of nylon. There's no double layer inside the coat like a trench coat, so it's actually one layer. This could mean I can wear it outside in a hot weather and still feel pretty airy because of it being oversized. It's actually lighter than a trench coat.

I tried on both sizes the S and M. Of course both fits me, but in a strange oversized way. I know I am in my best body shape now, due to my swimming regiment. First the S size doesn't looked small to me at all. There's still fabric bunching at the sleeves and the shoulder looked loose. When I straightened the sleeves, what can be seen at the end is half of all my fingers. When I tried on the M size, it was just the same. But then in my head, I got the perception that this was a raining coat. So it's fine. I looked down, and there's a zipper that could zip all the way up to the face area. At the top is the hoody. With a hoody that closed up to hide almost half of the face, this coat can do wonders for disguise! I can just camouflage my whole self into the white wall.

My right brain began to process the pros and cons. Firstly, it's on sale. Secondly, it's fashionable on a fantasy scale. Lastly, I can use it to disguise or hide myself from the public. Yes, disguise is the word. If you're someone known in the media, you want to cover yourself up as much as possible from the prying public. I gave kudos to those women who wears the hijab - they know the power and mystery of disguise. With everything enclosed or rather zipped from top to bottom, the wearer is free to wear anything he/she wants on the inside. Or wear nothing at all....tsk, tsk. This is perfect! I could be practically be naked on the street, just wearing this mysterious jacket right now. I got a little confused whether to call this a coat or jacket, because there is a difference. Like a dress, I checked the "hemline". Now, I'm certain this piece of clothing is meant for adult men for it was displayed on the men's floor. I know I can also hide little men inside this giant shirtdress if I want to.


Shirtdress? Coat? Jacket?
I would love if the hemline is just by the knee area or higher. People said if the economy is good, hemlines are always higher. But in this economy? It should be down to the ground! But of course, the hemline for this mystery either-coat-or-jacket piece of clothing falls right just below my kneecap. Knowing this, I wished I was taller. I suspect this clothing is meant for someone taller, but if this was the case, then why is it sold in this region? If fashion can indicate or mirror the current economic climate - then this jacket's hemline is way too long. All men here have medium heights, just like me. Or probably most men nowadays have grown much, much taller than me. Bummer...how the world of men have changed.

Secretly, most creative souls love to dress differently. Having this piece of mystery fashion, it could be safely called a new term - man dress. The shoulders part definitely looked masculine. And then it is covered up to the kneecap to give the appearance of demure. Compare this to its opposite - the tight and naval revealing tank top, this man dress doesn't seem that far fetch or outrageous. I have jealous acquiantances who chastised me for me being too revealing in my clothing - seeing this, now they can finally shut up. In fact, it's quite conventional. The amount of fabric for this piece is a lot, and fashion people know it costs more to have more yardage. So I wonder what will happen if I do wear this man dress out in the public - will I wear the fashion or let the fashion wears me? I don't mind looking a bit different once in a while.


Pockets to replace my bag?
I'm just too tired of seeing pedestrian clothing day in day out. As I explore further, I discover there's 2 sets of strings that pulls at the waist and hoody base. It all feels very summery, which is ideal for a weather condition like Malaysia. The slight problem for me was the waist area, which I hope could have something stronger than just the string to cinch it. I wonder if a belt could do that. Then there were 2 huge pockets, large enough to fit in my 2 10-inch tablets. There'no zippers for the huge pockets but only buttons to held it closed. So I thought, if I choose not to bring my bag along (which I never do), these huge pockets can replace the purpose of a bag. Or if I'm feeling evil, I could slip in a surprise and present it to a friend in a cunning way.

Disguise or perish
This is the interesting thing about fashion that raised questions. When one questions a piece of mystery clothing, the questioning began to transform it into many other forms that have the potential to be other types of clothing. Now, this mandress could become a robe of some sort. I have some grafitti artists friends who loves to create some art on the blank surface. Suddenly, this could become something like Joseph's colorful robe from the Bible, except it's all in grafitti color. It's just a matter of who do I want to become. Or I can become a modern day king from some far off mystical land. All I have to do is just put on a crown. But the truth is more sinister  - my heart is black and needs a white robe.

The last critical factor to buy this mandress-robe-jacket (whatever it is) was simply because it's on the rack. What's on can be off the rack....real soon, too. I'll swallow my disappointment later if I made the wrong purchase. Being an urban poor, doesn't mean I have to look poor! With those huge pockets, maybe I can do some shoplifting with it? And I was right, by the next day - that piece of puzzling fashion was gone, off the rack. So what if the "mandress" is over sized? Balenciaga did it for their Fall Winter line. That line raised many questions. And crossed many lines of conventions. Again, it's the questions that drive us. It's the question that gets us moving forward. It's about not having a set of truths set in stone, but an array of unknown possibilities (and questions again) that could happen. That to me, is fashion. There are no answers. Only pleasure.

The pleasure of imagining what's possible next.

For more articles about FASHION/ART, click below:
Seed Bag for Men Review
Best Fall Winter Fashion Show 2016 (Women)
Jetsetter's Fashionable Guide
HM Fashion Review (Coats Special)
The Ultimate 7 Point Guide to Winning Project Runway
Messenger Bags Special
Tips for Buying Shoes (Sneakers)
Stuff Magazine 9th Anniversary Party
Myanmar Art Review
Student Art Fair




THANK YOU! If you enjoy my blog, kindly click "Join this site" button on the left side of this page AND 

*Click Like on my Official Facebook

*For enquiry about my coaching and requests to write and feature your product/services here in my blog, kindly click Email

CREDENTIALS:
* BMW Film Awards Best Actor
* Jury Duty
Worldwide Photo Exhibit
Endorsement Value
World Cup KFC commercial
Controversial but Most-Watched Episode
The Golden Shorts Fame