Saturday, July 31

Mobile makeover

Is your mobile phone in urgent need of a makeover? Do other mobile phones shun it at social gatherings because it just isn't fashionable enough? Or perhaps you have all the latest phone straps, wallpapers, screensavers, cases and ringtones but you're still wallowing in mobile ennui. Well depending on your style, there are some pretty screwed up things you can do to your phone. All in the name of fashion of course.


Nicholas Roope makes Pokias by wiring up bulky old style headsets to your tiny mobile phone. You can get the headsets on that scary place called Ebay or you might even be able to make one yourself if you have soldering skillz. Apparently it's also a great way to get other people's numbers. Even if you remain a social outcast for other reasons (like halitosis, a bad hairpiece etc) you can still use the headset to conk annoying people on the head, especially those imbeciles on public transport who feel the need to play every ring tone in their directory aloud.


Despite the weird flower-thing between its legs, the words "Awww! How cute!" just spilled out when I saw Pinkie the Talking Toonie Bear (trust me, at least 9 out of 10 females will have a similar reaction). At last, I no longer have to participate in one-sided conversations with my teddy bear. It better be stocked in Hong Kong by Christmas or heads will roll.

Bling Bling

As seen on Sex and the City! As seen right next to Lindsay Lohan's remarkable bust! This one will suit all the tasteless tai-tais who insist on wearing sequinned outfits in the daytime. NYC Peach will smother your phone in Swarovski crystals and inject some glitter (of the non Mariah Carey kind) in your life.

Fashion Roadkill of the Day: Vol 2

She wore a boysenberry beret, the kind you find in a secondhand store. I choose to believe that this outfit was not intentionally put together but that the wearer suffers from colour blindness. It's enough to make doves cry.

Friday, July 30

Vote 1 Nordic milkman for president

The Kerry daughters have hit back in the fashion arena with a photo spread in September's Harper's Bazaar. Wearing Calvin Klein and Narciso Rodriguez is almost enough to compensate for having to be interviewed by the world's unsexiest Democrat supporter, Ben Affleck. Describing the sisters as "absurdly beautiful, well-spoken and intelligent" and in particular Vanessa Kerry "with her flaxen hair, almost like a Nordic milkman's child", Ben seems to be on a mission to outgush even the most sycophantic fashion journalists. Or maybe he just wants to get in their pants.

Another one bites the fairy dust

Just as one celebrity leaves rehab for a shiny and new beginning, another one takes their place. Goodbye Mary-Kate Olsen, hello Donatella Versace who is being treated for her cocaine addiction. No wonder the Versace & Versus ads always resemble drug-fuelled orgies.
I have it on good authority that you can also get Versace Barbie (pictured above) and Versus Barbie with a matching designer razor, mirror and straw. However like Mary-Kate, Donatella will still have a twin to remain in the public spotlight. The torch passes to Victoria Gotti (yes, that Gotti) to carry on the leathery bleached blonde look.

Thursday, July 29

Geisha Grrl

Zhang Ziyi's feeling pretty good about herself now that she's been chosen to be the lead in the Hollywood adaptation of Memoirs of a Geisha. That's still no excuse for showing up to the Japanese premiere of House of the Flying Daggers (inexplicably renamed "Lovers" in Japan) in cutesy combat boots.

She may have wanted to show that she can work a girly gown but she's also about Raw Punk! Attitude! Danger Danger!. However she looks like she went out for a spot of gardening and got caught in a barbwire fence that was meant to keep out rabid soft toys. If Tyra Banks were there, she would be declaring "you are so not edgy, girl". Please go join Franka Potente and Cybil Shepherd in footwear purgatory.

Wednesday, July 28

Beware of the genuine article

The only good thing about news reports that go on about counterfeit luxury goods in China is that they often tell you where these goods can be found. This information is useful for tourists and others who don't know the secret handshakes for finding fake designer items.

What the counterfeiters really need is a map like the Marauder's Map in Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. At first glance, it looks like a blank parchment but when the user says "I solemnly swear I need a fake bag", a map of all the fake bag sellers appear. If the authorities find the map and try to reveal its secrets, then an insulting message will appear like "Your mother wears fishnet stockings with rubber sandals".

Furthermore, fashion brands shouldn't place the blame entirely on the counterfeiters. I know a lot of people with cash to burn (especially in Hong Kong) will buy anything with a brand name on it but perhaps they should put a little bit more creativity in their designs and make them harder to copy.

Louis Vuitton Damier Canvas

As you can see, a highly intricate geometric design that is extremely difficult to duplicate.

Gucci Monogram

Ugh, more ugly brown. If you do a google search for "grandma's wallpaper" you can download that pattern for free.


Wow, you don't even have to duplicate a pattern for this one. Just get an old seatbelt and stick on a piece of metal with the word Dior (which you can use a free alphabet stencil to do) on it.

Burberry Novacheck

Classic my ass. Give a monkey a couple of minutes with Photoshop and he'll get it right. Hell, it won't even need Photoshop - Microsoft Paint will do.

Kate Spade

Whoa Kate, you must have thought long and hard about how you wanted this bag to be. US$225 you say? And nylon too. So that would make those little white words "Kate Spade New York" worth about $220.

Although there are many more uninspiring handbag designs out there, I think I've had enough for today because browsing through them is the fashion equivalent of watching paint dry. There's a certain schaedenfreude when hacks, I mean designers, who rip off the public with unimaginative designs or ugly monograms get ripped off themselves by counterfeiters.

Tuesday, July 27

Smart clothing (in a non fashion sense)

I generally don't get too excited about consumer clothing made from intelligent textiles, maybe due to bad memories of the Hypercolour t-shirt. All that stuff about the new lifestyle jacket with built-in MP3 and bluetooth technology sounds nice but that's what pockets are for and I see that this jacket has several. It doesn't free up pocket space but creates extra pocket space to hold another new gadget. Even though the mp3blue is a men's jacket, all the publicity pictures have a female model swimming in it, making it look very ill-fitting.

According to the Rosner spokesman, the jacket is aimed at "technologically progressive, fashion conscious men". Well I can tell you now that: (a) the technologically progressive men are going to be rolling their eyes at the 128MB memory; and (b) the fashion conscious men are going to baulk at paying US$700 for something so unexciting. All the layering genius in the world could not save its blandness.

Knife-resistant clothing that doesn't pretend to be stylish interests me though. However they're only making it for schoolkids in Japan at the moment, which sounds fair enough, because I've watched Kill Bill: Vol 1 and know how vicious those morningstar-wielding Japanese schoolgirls can get.

Sunday, July 25

Something rotten in the house of Chanel

The haughty haute house of Chanel is being sued by one of their most "avid" and "excellent" customers (as opposed to all their "indifferent" and "poor" customers out there) in Chicago.  Ms Kaplan plonked down US$55,000 for 2 custom-made black wool suits and a pair of shoes but they were so ill-fitting and low quality that not even her pet poodle would crap on them.

In 2003, at her personal shopper's urgings, Ms Kaplan attended an invite-only Chanel fashion show in Paris which cost only US$8,500 (excluding airfare) to enter. There are a couple of things wrong with that sentence. Firstly, what kind of a place invites you to their exclusive event and sticks on a huge cover charge. They better be serving some damn good cocktails and finger food.  Ah, but it is the dying art of haute couture, none of that cheap-ass ready to wear stuff.  Secondly, that personal shopper must be getting some sweet kickbacks for doing such a good job in pimping out Chanel.

Chicagoan Barbara Kaplan has dropped $10,000 on Jackie O cultured pearl, ruby and sapphire earclips and is known in fashion circles for stepping out in Ocimar Versolato, Versace and Chanel. 

I don't care how expensive they are but those clip-ons must hurt like hell.  If you like ear-rings so much just get your ears pierced, woman!  Who is this Ocimar anyway? If you're going to name-drop, then at least make them nameworthy. 

One of her attorneys, Lisa Bevilacqua, said Chanel offered to invite her to the 2003 fall fashion show to reorder clothing, but the invitation never came.   

I have to side with Ms Kaplan on this one.  You'd think that there were more stupidly wealthy people out there but in reality there are only a few hundred customers of haute couture in the entire world (and every year a few die off from botox overdoses or bouffant hair accidents) so it can't be too hard to keep track of your client base.    

In addition, Kaplan said she returned but was never refunded $105,625 she paid for Chanel sweaters, pants, blouses, purses and one $35,000 flower watch she bought at the same "Chanel Haute Couture" fashion show in Paris.

I wonder how she brought all that stuff back with her to Chicago.  Did it have to travel in a separate plane and did she then have to hire a truck to dump it all on the front doorstep of her nearest Chanel boutique?  Ms Kaplan also needs to get a clue about watch brands and check out Patek Philippe instead of spending $35,000 on a mere fashion watch.

Kaplan, described as an "avid'' and "excellent'' customer at the 935 N. Michigan Chanel, wants $161,000 refunded plus $22,000 in "incidental expenses'' involved in flying to New York for fittings that went awry. 

This one is a no-brainer.  As anyone who has watched the Simpsons episode where Marge buys a Chanel gown to impress her country club friends will know, Chanel never gives a refund for returned goods - only store credit.  Besides, the money's already been spent to buy more Ipods for Karl