Saturday, January 15

You Like, You Buy Vol 20

In ad campaigns for many Hong Kong fashion brands, there is nary an Asian face to be seen. On a scale of 1 to 10 about things that are quaint to a foreign visitor in Hong Kong (10 being the quaintest), this phenomenon rates about a 6.5. The freakiest example I can think of is Bossini (, makers of basic casualwear. Their clothes are terribly unexciting but are inexpensive and great for pottering about at home (if wearing pyjamas all day feels entirely too decadent) and running short errands around the neighbourhood that aren't at the instigation of the local crime boss. Really, nobody hotwires a car or whacks somebody while wearing Bossini.

Despite having the motto of "Colour Our World" and no stores outside of East Asia, I see only blonde preppy Tommy Ralph Nautica Lauren Hilfiger types on the Bossini site.





Brother, can you spare a brunette? Well of course not, because there aren't any left after these Von Trapp children decided not to climb every mountain choosing instead to remain in the wilderness and propagate the master race.

Western models are extremely popular in Hong Kong partly because we Chinese like admiring beautiful foreigners with their flaxen hair, high-bridged noses and most of all their deep set eyes that allow for easy eyeshadow application. The epicanthal fold does not make for good advertising.

I myself have long harboured secret desires to have Caucasian features so that I can be more easily recognisable to others. I know of at least 2 foreign expat acquaintances who wouldn't be able to pick me from a police lineup otherwise composed of old Chinese men who polish shoes in Theater Lane. And they're Lawyers too. Professionals with their legally trained eyes that don't miss aberrant paragraph spacing and fontage and with their impressive mental faculties as honed by expensive law school educations. I can't fault them though. Sometimes, I take my mother out shopping and when I get home I find that I've brought the wrong lady back. It happens to the best of us.

Blog of the day: Karma to Burn is nominated as Best Victorian Blog and Best New Australian Blog in the 2005 Australian Blog Awards.


At 2:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that 2 thin strips of scotch tape will solve all your problems.
A peace that we, in our bloodless, blotchy, greyish pallor will never know.
-Haole Girl

At 9:09 AM, Blogger silvermyst said...

is it evil of me to say that those people don't even look good? and isn't it bennetton that has the theme of "colour our world"? or maybe I'm wrong.

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Mallrat said...

two thin strips of scotch tape? sounds scary...

At 11:58 AM, Blogger JumpingPuddles said...

I have this thing about failing to recognise people when i'm in HK too...

i went up to this girl waving an item of clothing in the air, muttering "look amy, its so nice... its so nice" for about 5 mins b4 the real "Amy" came from behind me cracking up. The fake 'amy', was wearing a completely different coloured top and had different hair from the real "amy".

Maybe its all those bargains which create delusion in people like us...

At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or MAYBE, Bossini, and the local media in general, operate on the assumption that putting their "terribly unexciting but inexpensive and great for pottering about at home" products on foreign devils will give their no-frills frump-wear some exotic panache. Like, it's not just a generic twin set, it's FRENCH!

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Henry said...

asian features don't make good advertising?..cobblers!

tell that to the designers who are falling over themselves for asian models on their catwalks.

as for the pictures..scary!..they look like something out of a 1980's mail order catalogue in the UK

At 5:00 PM, Blogger Spirit Fingers said...

Someone tried the scotch tape thing on me before. They sell these flesh coloured eyelid shaped scotch things that you stick under one of your eyefolds and lift it, thereby creating the illusion of larger eyes and more defined lids. It was fun looking permanently startled for about 5 minutes.

At 9:57 PM, Blogger zhi yang said...

And May Day and Vivian Hsu have been Singapore's Hang Ten endorsers for as long as I can remember. And ya come to think of it, all Bossini uses are foreign models. I much rather buy a May Day t-shirt than a shirt which only looks nice on foreign models anyday.


At 2:34 PM, Blogger Mariposa said...

My god you make me laugh so hard.
Have you lived in Hong Kong your whole life? I know somewhere in here it must explain your whole profile, but I am retarded.

At 10:48 PM, Blogger Spirit Fingers said...

I've lived in Australia for most of my life then moved to Hong Kong when I ran out of places to go shopping.

At 5:34 AM, Blogger m_carl said...

I now have become a fan of this website. It is consistently well written and only slightly mean.
I lived in Asia for a long time and I was constantly surprised to hear Western classical music being played by youthful Asian prodigies emanating from the halls of the large apartment complexes where I used to teach. In the library of a prestigious Asian college there were reproductions of ONLY western paintings.
What of Asian music? What of Asain art? Not only do Asians value Caucasian facial features over the Asian as your post suggests, but also the culture as well.
Is it because Japan lost the war? Penance for the failure of Maoist communism? Do you really believe that Western classical music is superior to Asian classical music? Do you really believe that Westerners are more attractive than Asians? Where does this inferiority complex come from?

At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHA....youre the best - as asian in a Nordic country - I love your witty remarks and sharp tounge. Ohmigad...this is preciuos.

Shoe my day away


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