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




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Worldwide Photo Exhibit
Endorsement Value
World Cup KFC commercial
Controversial but Most-Watched Episode
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Monday, May 9, 2016

The New Seed Bag for Men Review - Be Aware of the Side Zipper and Sling Cap (Updated)



I can smell a rain coming.

No, that's not the reason you should go get a bag when the rain is coming. But my need for a new bag cropped up soon after my few attempts to fix the blady zipper on my faux leather HM bag failed. I've tried everything! Being easy when zipping and unzipping. Learned to apply some zipper tinking skills from Youtube. Sent to some specialty shops to get the price on the new zipper. Apparently, it costs like RM100 just to replace the whole damn rail of zip. So I stopped and think. With this amount of money, I could get myself a new bag. I really need a pedestrian bag for me to maneuver through the dirty streets of the city. I cannot simply tote an expensive bag around. I remembered the last time I went to a Padini store and they have a nice selection of men's bag on display. Now, that must be 10 years ago!

The very first thing a man would look for in a bag is the SIZE. Yes, I cannot tote a small bag - it looks too much like a purse. Either I tote a big one or none at all. And I usually tote the biggest one there is. Interestingly, it's actually very hard and rare to find a big bag for men. I went to Calvin Klein's shop and they've got this huge sports bag. But something about the design ticked me off. (the collar of the bag was stoo high) Then I remembered Seed, a sub brand from Padini that features this type of big bag that I liked. They only have 1 design for a season (3 months). And it just so happened that this month, a new design just came in. Yes, novelty plays an important decision here. Nobody wants to buy last season's bag for the same retail price. I brought my old HM bag to compare the width, height and length of this bag - and it measures almost the same.

People shops because of the excitement they get from the packaging. And being a big bag this was, the shopping bag they gave me was the biggest they got. I even got the nerve to ask them for a bigger bag. I like the cotton slip for protecting the bag when they placed it in the paper bag. It feels just so precious when you tote around the shopping mall with that giant shopping bag - telling the world you got something expensive. Unlike most people, I don't tear the plastic that covers the zippers and handles of the bag soon after I take it out from the shopping bag. I just let it stays there for protection reasons. I know some people are conscious of what others may think if they saw the unwrapped plastic around the handles or zippers of their brand new bags. As for me, who gives a fuck? In fact, I feel having that unwrapped plastic around further accentuates its novelty value - telling everyone I have something new and you don't. See?

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For me, pricing for a pedestrian bag should falls under RM200 or less. Of course, the salesperson must be friendly and nice to me when being approached. It's the whole customer experience I'm looking for and not just the price. This one ticks all the boxes with a reasonable price of RM149. The Padini salesperson at Sunway Putra Mall also talks to me very nicely and not in any condescending manner unlike the ones at Zara at KLCC (also the price there is blady expensive). His friendly and soft nature only heightens my interest in purchasing the bag. Yes, hires only soft or transgender people for your sales force. They make the customer looks bigger and boost customers' ego too in some strange sexual way, especially if that customer is a man.

The first impression I got for the bag was the amount of zippers there is. I know zippers are expensive to incorporate in any fashion, so the value is there. But one needs also to be careful and mindful too that the fabric inside the bag does not get clogged at the rail of the zipper, in which this bag failed horribly! The first time I tote it out, the zipper got stuck at the side pocket area! I have to try very hard to unzip my bag, without damaging the new fabric. It got too horrible for me, because I actually sweated, and my sweat began to absorb into the fabric of the bag. Everything seems to go downhill from there. I pulled the zipper to the left, and fabric inside got clogged more. I tried pulling it to the right, and it just won't move! I just don't have the heart to yank the zip hard in any direction....period. This is a new bag after all! For anyone in this situation, take your time to fix it. Better yet, if you're near to a Padini store - ask anyone there to fix it for you. Sometimes, I just don't trust my own strength at yanking anything out. I can be too strong and yank out more than the zipper.

Here comes the next point. This is actually a fabric bag, and it absorbs liquid easily. So if your hands are dirty, you need to wash them BEFORE you touch your bag so that it remains at its pristine form. It can become a hassle for anyone who handles their bag daily or even on an hourly basis like I do. Eventually, if your hands are always dirty - your bag will be the same! To avoid that, then you would need to get gloves. Get a Gucci or Hermes leather glove. If you're lucky and the colour of your bag is dark, it can hide any smudges or dirt. Seed is smart in that way for that partiular bag design, they have the khaki and black color. I suggest you take the khaki one because it has at least some semblance of color when the light hits on the fabric, versus the black one which is all the same. Worst, black makes your bag invisible and the same as other bags. You want to at least stand out in some way, right?

The main zipper of the bag, in which I mean the ones you need to always zip and unzip in order to open your bag has one unique design feature. I noticed when I fully zipped the bag - there's one opening gap from both ends! I was expecting it to be fully enclosed from bottom to end. Soon, I wondered if this is a design feature or failure. It can be unsightly and even an opportunity for thief to dip their fingers into your bag to slip away your purse! But one has to make use of this kind of "design feature", if you can even call it that. I listened to music a lot during commute, and this opening gap seems ideal for me to slip my earphones out. That way, my tablet is safely inside with the bag "fully" zipped up.

Feeling fed up with the zipper, I took the bag for exchange the next day. I'm not picky at the nitty gritty detail, but the zipper really is a legitimate problem! What can I do when I can't even zip it up easily and have to check for inside fabric not to derail the zipper is a hassle. For me, it's better the hassle to exchange now rather than later, for guess what, the color khaki was sold out at the time I request for exchange! I asked the soft salesperson about the number of stock for the day I purchase and he said there was only 2 at that time. And he got the nerve to ask me where I lived immediately after. Now, I would have to go Pavillion to get my same bag there. Upon checking my new exchanged bag, the saleslady there told me the problem with the zipper persists with this bag too! Meaning all the bags will present a zipper problem. The day when the zipper problem occurred, I went to her before to ask her to help to unzip. She needed another person to hold the fabric while she unzips! It really is that problematic. After getting my new exchanged bag, I took all my stuff and placed it in immediately at the exchange counter. I took my "heavy" tablet and placed it at the side pocket where the problematic zipper was, and let gravity do its job. Hopefully with the pulling down due to the weight of the tablet, the inside fabric will be straightened down and leaves no bunching up for the zipper to get caught in.

After using it, the sling cap where I carry the bag on my shoulder - finally snapped! It doesn't hold well on too much weight. So if you're purhasing this bag, be sure not to carry too much stuff in it for the sling cap will break.

For more articles about FASHION/ART, click below:
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





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Worldwide Photo Exhibit
Endorsement Value
World Cup KFC commercial
Controversial but Most-Watched Episode
The Golden Shorts Fame





Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Best Fall Winter Fashion Shows 2016

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Fashion is hard work. Pure hard work.

A lot of people downgrade the fashion industry as some "thing" frivolous and shallow. But honestly, I can vouch that to be real fashion - it's all pure hard work and collaboration. Success is never easy and there's mo such thing as an overnight success. It takes planning, consistency in effort and lots of failures. People mistaken fame with success, just like my Malaysian Idol fame. But even that particular performance took so much planning and courage on my part. Until this day, I still don't think I'm successful yet. So I know what success is made of, and in my opin├Čon, these fashion shows are the best and most successful.

The democratization of fashion has enabled many of us to watch (and escape) through the many fashion shows being showcased in Youtube. And it's further evidence that great fashion is indeed a huge collaboration effort on many people from different levels. If you're the sort that's cynical about people in the fashion industry, please watch the videos I have selected for you, and take note at the incredible detail and hardwork in place to produce these shows for everyone's spectacular enjoyment (click on links to watch the show):


Who could ever thought that retro could represent the future? I would deduce this is the future of sportswear or athleisure wear. The use of emojis and character icons from video games like Space Invaders are apparent in the rounded-shoulder coats. The presentation of the this show was spectacular and totally "interactive". It started with a question "Do computers dream when they sleep?" and immediately it struck an interesting array of answers that eventually showcased in the large tile background lit up with the game of pong. The play of pixels and how the one ball stopped to lead the opening of the show really brings continuity to the next level. It goes beyond just the clothes, this is a SHOW! The first time I watched this show, I was afraid for the models walking on the huge floor space where one of the cubes would trail down on the path. The music was simply inspiring, painting the future not as bleak but as bright and optimistic as it should be - and the clothes speak the same. Indeed, computers do dream in their sleep - and the dream was this retro future fashion show by Anya Hindmarch.



Perfection is over-rated. In this show, you get to experience how imperfection is fashion! Huge geeky glasses, shoulder-exposing jackets and over-sized bags are the trends to watch out for this year. The deconstructed shirt dress with its untugged sloppiness was simply perfect for a world that worships perfection too much. The opening part of the show featured all black and grey ensemble coats, skirts and pants - one would imagine this girl to be some geeky secretary or a banker, but with a strangely bloated sides that suggests she could be pregnant! Suddenly on the second part, we are bombarded by a huge V-open-necked jackets with the Balenciaga branding nicely emblazoned at the top corner of the collar.  The collars are opened, almost tearing apart it seems to the breast area. Who says you need to be so uptight when wearing a jacket and can just leave it opened all the way down, revealing the shoulders? So sloppy but oh-so-sexy.



Think deep and breathe. Because this gothic spiritualism will either blow your mind away or calm all stormy weathers. Notice the Tibetan tinkling sound that accompanied the show, so sparse and bare - leaving so much space for the mind to be filled in with the gothic glory of Marc Jacob's creations. The models seem to almost slipped on the floor with their high-platform shoes, I was hoping to see one of them to actually fall. There's hardly any color for this collection - majority all black, grey and other shades of darkness. But the top part of all the clothes are embroidered with shining jewel designs or the coats and skirts (or petticoats) are made to look like plastic. There's a bit of 20s show girl, Cruella De Ville and Maleficent feel to the girls portrayed.  Whoever could think that these clothes could touch the heavens (or hell) of Goth's pearly black gates?



In conclusion, this year's Fall Winter girl is for everyone imaginable - Retro Futuristic, Geeky Chic and Goth Spiritualist. If you're the bright and cheery sort, Anya Hindmarch lovely rounded-shoulder coat is for you.  If you're career-minded but obsessed with details like a geek, Balenciaga's deconstructed sloppy shirt dress is not a bad choice after all. Finally, if you want to look like a Goth royalty that possessed that other-worldly powers of seduction, Marc Jacobs dark imperial wardrobe must certainly be part of your closet this season.

For more articles about FASHION/ART, click below:
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