Saturday, October 23

You Like, You Buy Vol 10

ODM (which stands for original, dynamic, minimal) is a watch brand that aims to design fashion watches that reflect those 3 adjectives. Their promotion strategies appear to be targeting the youth market but you don't have to be a disaffected teenager pulsing with caffeine and sugar to appreciate their interesting designs.

The watch collections are grouped in 3 main series - original, dynamic and minimal - but within those series, there is an extensive range to browse through. As you will see they really went to town with the thesaurus, naming their collections after words that are often used to describe ideal partners either in romance novels or highly desperate personal ads:
Original series
uncompromising, ingenious, sensitive+, vigourous, visionary
Dynamic series
out+, shine, vivid, unerring, precise, vigourous lite, ingenious lite
Minimal series
allegro, unequivocal, unobstrusive, unpretentious, adventurous, assertive, perceptive, simple, harmonious

Their most popular watches come from the Mysterious collection, the latest model being the Mysterious V. With their chunky plastic cases and brightly coloured silicone straps, they put the fun in "omg dat iz liek 2 funky OoOo i relly wunt dat lolol". When the watch isn't in use, the face reverts to a trite scrolling message like "tough times never last" which you can show to a beggar instead of giving him/her money. If you look closer at the design specifications, you will find that the colours represent a living thing, each with their own scrolling message:
White - pigeon - World Peace No War!!
Pink - flamingo - Love and Peace (as portrayed on the short-lived Flamingo Road)
Orange - coral - Save the ocean
Bee - yellow - Save the forest (to preserve the hordes of killer bees)
Blue - dolphin - Peace on earth
Black - whale - Save the earth (changed from "Sue the bastards" in light of recent legal developments)

Another feature of the Mysterious V is the shake mechanism which operates in place of buttons. Want to remove the scrolling message and see the time? Shake it like a Polaroid Picture! Want to check the date? Shake it, sh-shake it hey ya! The wrist-shaking detector is supposed to be quite sensitive so this is not a watch for the seizure prone.

While the ODM designs are generally sleek and uncluttered, I did see a smattering of bling in some of the special edition watches. However they were but mere flecks of dust compared to this craptacular bauble of pimpery.

Friday, October 22

Corporate attire

At last, we seem to have come full circle in the saga of workplace dress codes. Thanks to the employees who have insisted on interpreting smart casual as smut casual, many companies have returned to the business suit regime. Even at events like the MTV Video Awards in Latin America, which traditionally have attitudes to dressing that are so laidback that they are almost horizontal, attendees are choosing to turn up in formal trouser suits.

Don't despair ladies because whatever the dress code is, the right clothing and accessories will propel you up the corporate ladder and straight through what I like to call the G-ceiling. Originally it was known as the glass ceiling but nowadays opinions are divided as to whether it really exists. Many people, especially males have never found it and think that it's just a myth conjured up by females to explain their inability to reach career peaks. On the other hand many people, especially females believe that it is very real and the lucky few who have managed to push through it experienced immense glass-shattering pleasure in doing so.

High IQ suit
For a limited time, UWN (the Hong Kong equivalent of the Banana Republic fashion chain) is offering High IQ Suits With LYCRA®. The suit's IQ combined with your IQ should be enough to get you into Mensa. Lycra is smart because it keeps up with the fast-paced cut & thrust of the business world and makes the transition from day to night without losing its razor-sharp smartness. It is definitely more intelligent than, say, lame' which is embarrassingly loud and ditzy or corduroy which is dense and simple. However it is debatable whether lycra is smarter than plaid, the latter due to its remarkable stealth and camouflage abilities being a favourite among tiny ninjas.

Adjustable height shoe

When Eve gave the forbidden apple to Adam, God didn't just punish her and the rest of womankind with childbirth pains. He also made sure that during their lifetimes, all women will be tempted by beautiful shoes but the beauty of the shoes would be directly proportional to the pain of wearing them. To hobble to and from work in devastatingly gorgeous 4-inch stilettos that gradually fill up with blood during the day. Such is a woman's lot. To accept defeat and wear clunky sneakers for the commute, exposing us for the frumpy slaves to fashion that God intended us to be. Oh, woe is us!

All is not lost because the scientists has risen to taunt religion once again, by developing adjustable height shoes to suit all kinds of terrain. Coupled with a Wonderbra, this versatile tool will give you the extra boost for those tough boardroom negotiations. There is, however, the small problem of the colour. Out of the 7 million colours distinguishable to the human eye, the brilliant inventors selected the one particular shade that doesn't match anything else. Well played, God.

Magic Cone

Dear sisters, due to the victorious struggles of heroines before us, we have gained entry into previously male-only arenas like the pub and the stock exchange. Now it's time to claim one of the final remaining male bastions, the male toilets. You've heard in snatches of hushed conversation about all the secret men's business that goes on in there. It is over the urinal where promotions, raises and opportunities are discussed, and unwashed hands are shaken over lucrative side-deals. In short, if you want to be treated like a man, you need to pee like a man. And now dear sisters, by handing you the secret of the powerful Magic Cone, I am also handing you the golden key to the executive washroom. The tutorial is fuss-free and incredibly easy to follow, no need to shake it off or tuck it back in your pants!

Thursday, October 21

Models with ball skills

Until recently, I had never heard of the Madrid Masters tennis tournament. Then again, I'm only familiar with tournaments that have the word "Open" in them or are associated with pointy-nosed furry creatures who overground, underground go wombling free.

Suddenly the Madrid Masters was all over the news just because they decided to use female models instead of the usual ballboys. In addition to getting paid about $1,110 the models also received 2 weeks training on how to pick up and throw a tennis ball and hand towels to people. Originally only 1 week of training was planned but it had to be extended another week when the models kept running up to the white lines of the court and trying to inhale them.

It's quite heartening to see that big organisations are doing something to help the 0.00000000001% of the world's population that is born with perfect genes find gainful employment outside of the catwalk and catalogues, and teach them practical skills.

Unfortunately, the media decided to bombard Andre Agassi for his opinions about the whole issue - he wasn't too sure about the whole thing but thought the skirts could be shorter. Can we really take the opinion of a man who dated Barbra Streisand seriously? He's always been a bit of a clown, that one, even in the early days when he could outmane an entire pride. His crazy clowning ways were what attracted Brooke Shields to him in the first place, and since they split she's still been looking for someone to fill that void.

In case you were wondering, this is what the other tennis players had to say about the controversy:

Andy Roddick: Not a good idea. I'm boycotting this event. Everybody is supposed to be looking at me! This was why I dumped Mandy Moore in the first place. Nobody is allowed to be cuter than me. Pout.

Tim Henman: This doesn't make a difference to me. I won't be in the tournament long enough to appreciate them.

Lleyton Hewitt: Come on!!! Models! Yesssss!! *pumps fist* Wooo!! I'm not playing?? AAAARGGGHH!! What??? Come on!!!

Marat Safin: Are you sure they are models? I thought one of them was Anna Kournikova.

Anna Kournikova: Bitch, are you blind? Do you see any of them wearing Adidas, Berlei or Omega? You think I would just display myself like that for everyone to see?

Now, if only corporate sponsors would adopt similar practices for other sports like golf. I'm sure underneath all that walking and more walking it's really quite a nice game but I might be able to summon up more interest in the game if for example, models were parading the latest fashions along the fairway. It would give the golfers' wives/girlfriends something to think about spending their partner's trophy money on, and at the same time help the single golfers find suitable girlfriends without having to prowl the nanny circuit.

Wednesday, October 20

Save the puppies

What is wrong with the picture above?
(a) the dog is wearing coloured contact lenses to match Charlize Theron's eyes
(b) the dog thinks it is next to Ashley Judd
(c) the posing is suspiciously similar to that used for the Sweet November poster except that the dog has more expression than Keanu
(d) For god's sake, it's a PETA ad. Where is the (tasteful) nudity???

Most of you were thinking (c) but the answer is actually (d). This is an organisation which managed to get a whole lot of people to disrobe for their campaigns such as I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur. Despite having Charlize Theron, one of the most gorgeous actresses in Hollywood today, at their disposal, they produce the most underwhelming ad which looks like it's promoting knitted scarves for dog lovers.

No double entendres, not even a little bit of roleplaying. Hmmm maybe Miss I have an Oscar now has decided to be more selective on where and when she will expose herself. Well excuse me Charlize, if you didn't mind auditioning for the lead in Showgirls, you can get the goods out for a PETA ad.

Before all the animal activists start going into a frenzy and cause my domestic helper to pass out from the thinner fumes when I make her clean up the red paint outside my home, I would like to point out that I am not a fan of real fur. Not only because of the cruelty aspect which is well documented on the PETA website but also because:
1. it is scary, as in alien life form exploding out of chest scary.
2. it is often seen on washed up celebrities who used to be married to Sly Stallone and now appear on reality tv shows
3. it is impractical - you can try and wear it like a life jacket but when the unsinkable ship hits the iceberg, you are most definitely not going to float. And your frozen body gliding in the icy waters will be mistaken for a napping otter.

The second thing that is wrong with the PETA ad is the part which says "If you wouldn't wear your dog", as if it's something that's just not done. Don't these PETA people keep up with the trends, what's hot and what's not? Wearing your dog is de rigeur among the fashionable set and some style gurus have been known to wear fur and dog together like Kelly Osbourne. Frankly speaking the cats don't mind the lack of attention at all because they don't have to deal with the screech nasally voice of Nanny Fine all day long, be forced to do a fruit bat impersonation in front of millions or have to turn their little head away and cringe in embarrassment as their mistress makes sex tape after sex tape.

These poor little dogs need rescuing from their lives of misery and their plight should be brought to PETA's attention. To further this cause, I've made some improvements to Charlize's ad so that it makes more sense.

Tuesday, October 19

Miss International

Congratulations to Ms Fu Sze Sze for representing Hong Kong at the Miss International Beauty Pageant and winning the Miss Friendship title. The judges recognised that when the going gets tough, she's the girl you can pop out the back with to have a smoke and a massive bitching session about the other girls.

Sze Sze was actually second runner up in the Miss Hong Kong contest, which means that she gets to represent Hong Kong at all the menial pageants that the real Miss Hong Kong and the first runner up can't be bothered to attend. In terms of pageant prestige, the Miss International Beauty Pageant seems to be a kind of low-rent Miss World, which in turn is a low-rent Miss Universe.

A couple of things leads us to this conclusion: (a) every second word on the website seems to be in inverted commas (b) there is a Miss Hawaii in addition to a Miss USA (it's like 1959 never happened!); and (c) the crown, oh god the crown. Not only is it encased in the red velvet and white fur trim that we thankfully only see once a year on a rotund bearded old man, but it comes attached with gigantic ribbon straps. Does she look like she is suffering from toothache or head trauma, I'll let you decide. And why is she holding up that spittoon in triumph?

Kudos to the Chinese organisers for showing that it doesn't matter what race you are or that you look good in a bikini, everybody needs to ordered about, screamed at, treated like a piece of meat and made to use dodgy toilets. Maybe that explains what the trophy is for, it's a portable urinal.

Next year, let's try to improve Miss Hong Kong's standing by designing her a national costume to make her stand out. This year's one was much too conservative when compared with the likes of these outfits which managed to be even more garish than the carpet they are paraded on:

Miss Brazil

In an impressive feat of showwomanship, Miss Brazil incorporates a grand total of three soccer balls in her outfit, one for each of her past boyfriends - Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Rico from the Copacabana.

Miss France

This costume indicates none of the elegant chic we have come to associate with French ladies. Rather it has the look of a horrific accident at the Moulin Rouge caused by some rascal shooting a chicken out a cannon into the burlesque performers on stage. Then when the authorities arrived on the scene, they immediately cordoned off each dancer with yellow and black striped police tape.

Miss Philippines

You love your grandma very much and want to make her proud don't you Miss Philippines? This is why you decided to wear ONLY her favourite long-fringed shawl to this pageant and somehow ensconced the sweet yeast bread that she so lovingly baked for you into the sleeves. What a pity Grandma won't be able to see you because the background and you have become one.

Miss Puerto Rico

Can you not see what deforestation is doing to the beautiful rainforests of Puerto Rico? This nubile wood nymph is dying, not from the lack of trees but from the embarrassment of wearing this outfit and knowing that if she makes one wrong move, she could experience a deforestation of her own.

Miss Turkey

Is the economy really so bad that they have to send her out in turquoise foil, matching crepe and a golden star bow, after these items had been used to decorate a high school prom (with an Enchantment under the Black Sea theme).

Miss Ukraine

It may look unusual but this sort of costume is often worn by one of Ukraine's foremost dance troupes. The gravity-defying leaps and spins, the flips and those mazurka steps....expect all this and more from Cossacks on Crack.

Monday, October 18

Blogging bracelets

Many times I have sat on the train and thought, could the person sitting next to me, the one who just burped out loud and is vigorously picking their nose have a blog? Could they, while happily examining their excavation results, be wondering whether I have a blog? I think it would be a great idea if bloggers could have some method of identifying each other. Even if we don't strike up conversation, we could nod and acknowledge to each other that yes we are out and about and not sitting in front of our computers. After carefully considering Calvin-type underwear with words on the waistband, I decided instead to go with a bracelet.

First we need to pick a colour. Red is definitely out of the question because of the Kabbalah factor. If you've been living under a rock for the past year, Kabbalah is a branch of Jewish mysticism that has been single-handedly popularised by Esther (the artist formerly known as Madonna) and is now the religion of choice for celebrities with marginal or no talent. Followers of Kabbalah often wear red string bracelets (bendel) to ward off the Evil Eye.

The Kabbalah clique is not to be missed with because when Target started to sell imitation bendel, they soon found themselves under the evil eye. Amidst complaints of crass commercialism and corporate exploitation, Target withdrew these products from sale. That'll show them, real bracelets can only be bought from the source at US$26 and while you're at it why don't you check out the book section which has the English Roses and Mr Peabody's Apples for the special price of US$19.95 each. Hurry, while stocks last.

What about yellow? When it's not a Coldplay song, it's quite tolerable. But wouldn't that be an uncharitable attempt to steal the limelight away from the rubber Livestrong bracelets worn to support cancer research? The bracelets are currently out of stock (causing bottom-feeders on Ebay to resell the US$1 bracelets for over US$10) but several million more have been ordered to cope with the demand. Therefore yellow has joined the Tour de France (and possibly this man on the right) in the stable known as Lance Armstrong's bitches.

I don't mind pink but not only is it already associated with the far more worthy cause of breast cancer awareness, but pink is also a very polarising colour. At one end there are those who subscribe to the Barbara Cartland school of thought and at the other there are those who go into anaphylactic shock when asked to "think pink".

I guess we will just have to go with trusty old black, a colour that never goes out of style and is slimming for the wrist too. Well think again because according to (the URL alone probably makes it not safe for work), black = sexual intercourse. Um, I have been described on the odd occasion as somewhat friendly to strangers but never that friendly.

Every other colour seems to be accounted for in this lewd coding system (I will never look at silver bracelets the same way again), with possible alternate meanings depending on one's locality. Imagine wearing a certain colour bracelet to expect a hug but receiving something very different which can only be described as uncomfortable. Forget about trying to achieve unity on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we need to agree on the colours of sex bracelets first! The site also advises us to ask wearers in our local area to avoid doubt. Now who would the resident sex bracelet expert in Hong Kong be? Ohhhh suddenly it all makes sense! is tempted to dismiss the whole thing as urban legend but I'm not taking any chances, especially after reading this cautionary tale by Jennifer in Delaware:
I was at this club that had just opened up and I meant this guy in their named Tykee and he noticed that I had on a bracelet that they called sex bracelets. So any way the one I had on was the clear one. Let you be reminded that I didn't know what these bracelets meant. Tykee came up to me and told me if I am willing to what he want I wanted him to do then lets go in the back and you give me head. I looked at him like excuse me and he then pointed at the bracelet and ripped it off of my wrist. I looked at him and turned the other direction. But later on that night he told me he was sorry and that he thought that I knew what he was talking about. So we got together a couple of times and that following week I ended up giving him head. My advice to you who don't believe in sex bracelets don't wear them because they do come true.

If that wasn't unsettling enough, pro-eating disorder websites are still selling solidarity bracelets - red for anorexia, purple for bulimia and black for self-injury. Any optimism I had left in me wilted away right on the spot.

\o/ This is me throwing up my arms in surrender now that there aren't any more colours to choose from. Suggestions please. Chartreuse? Burnt sienna? Puce?

Spirit Fingers is nominated the Best Asian Newcomer 2004 and Funniest Blog categories of the Asia Blog Awards (voting is only allowed once per day). Vote Spirit Fingers no matter what your favourite colour is.

Sunday, October 17

Fashion Roadkill of the Day: Vol 12

This fall and winter season, animal prints are poised to make an even bigger than Cat Stevens, Duran Duran and the Backstreet Boys put together.

I am roadkill hear me ROAR!!! This shirt gave me such a fright that I almost started thwacking it with a microphone but then I remembered that I wasn't in Las Vegas. Currently, the tiger skin trade is illegal in Asia and it is hoped that in the near future, the tiger t shirt trade will also be given the same treatment. Obviously the wearer of the shirt feels that he shares many behavioural traits with tigers - very solitary (no friends), strongly territorial (hogs the remote control) and above all, a voracious carnivore. Oh to have made it to the top of food chain but still be a paramecium in the all-important fashion chain.

Did you know that the brown tiger is so rare that it has never been photographed, and the last sighting was in Central India several decades ago. Even rarer is the electric blue leopard which was last sighted during the 80s on a Miami yacht hunting for drug dealers with Crockett & Tubbs. Fortunately these 2 elusive and fierce members of the cat family have never come across each other because if they did, they would surely clash in the most fearsome way like the clothing on this woman.

Hakuna Bloody Matata! In between the prancing reindeer featured on wrapping paper from last Christmas, the thick zebra belt wisely separated by a denim sea from the cheetah leggings and the deranged hyena flats, I don't think I ever need to visit the zoo again. The finishing touch is provided by an oversized gold vinyl bag, thereby completing the circle of suck.