Friday, March 18

Workplace conversations

The powerful subtext of superficial fashion chitchat with a not so close colleague

Hey your hair looks different today. Did you cut it?
Hey your hair looks different today. This is very obvious to me because when I bumped into you yesterday, your usual dark eyed, inquisitive expression did not remind me of a Bichon Frise. But I'm not judging you by any means, that's something best left to the experts like the Crufts judging panel.

Is that a picture of your son/daughter? Cute kid!
Is that a picture of your son/daughter? They look nothing like you. Well conceived!

You always wear such pretty stuff.
Please, I beg you. Stop dressing like your mental age.

That colour really suits you.
That colour should only really be worn by a modern day court jester, or failing that, a Eurovision contestant. Which when you think about both things, mean entirely the same thing.

Are those new shoes?
I can tell that those are new shoes because I can see the blood seeping out from between your toes and there doesn't appear to be any skin left in your heel section. Ouch, your workday must be like an extended DVD version of The Passion of the Christ.

Wow, you're engaged! What a whopper of a diamond!
There, I have said these words that you so desperately wanted to hear. Now please let me get back to work. I cannot see the computer screen because your hand is still splayed across it. Furthermore your dirty yellow fisheye diamond seems to be sucking the life out of the fluorescent lighting in this office.

All dressed up today. Do you have a special occasion to go to after work?
Will you be going to your second job this evening, the one at the Panty Pantry nightclub where the patrons know you as Misty? Please don't stand so close to me. People might think I'm trying to solicit you.

That look is very popular right now.
Well, well, well. Another one with the ugg boots and a poncho. Excuse me while I throw up in my coffee mug.

Have you been busy? You look quite tired today.
Bitch. I hate you. How is it that you still look so fabulous at the end of a long day?

Thursday, March 17

Hot Careers 2005 Redux

Ever since I wrote about the thriving baby modelling industry, I have been besieged by parents in mainland China wanting a piece of the action. Unfortunately the market for child models isn't quite as developed as the market for Goliath models. Consequently the unemployment rate in this age group is high, demonstrated by the scores of children sitting idly in baskets and waiting to be discovered by Anne Geddes.

Up until recently, the most glamourous career that a Chinese child could hope for was an internship at a fake Gucci or LV sweatshop. Then the ballroom dance revival came along and swept up all the young talent. It doesn't take much investment to develop a child's dancing career. Just pirated copies of classic dance movies, preferably with entertaining romantic subplot, and a big cane.

As with any other career, except one which involves daily and most certainly nightly contact with Keanu Reeves, job satisfaction may be entirely non-existent.

This boy may be looking remarkably pissed off for any number of reasons associated with his job including:
1. having to hold a girl's hand
2. having to wear an Elvis outfit without sporting any sideburns
3. having a partner who is a wee version of Falkor the Luck Dragon

It doesn't get much better for the girls either:
Wearing a choke collar and revealing nearly all in her 1920s-style cabaret dress, a heavily made-up Yu Ying, eight, was all business as she strutted onto the dance floor in gold pumps and pushed her hips out suggestively.

They ought to be disqualified from the competition solely by virtue of that heinosity she is wearing. Where are their parents? Are they standing proudly on the sidelines telling anyone who will listen, that's my precious little ray of sunshine right there, sexing it up on the dance floor. I mean, really. There's pimping your child out and then there's PIMPING your child out.

Wednesday, March 16

True royalty

The media gushfest over the stylishness of Princesses Mary-Marie-Mette-Marit-Letizia-Victoria-Fugpunzel-Maxima is really quite disconcerting. I don't know what the fuss is about. It's not that hard to brush your hair, tie it back and pop on an Oscar de la Renta gown. Sleek elegance has never been so bland.

In my day it took real chutzpah (or bulimia) to be part of the female royalty. It wasn't enough to just feel the pea right through the twenty mattresses and the twenty eider-down beds. Back then, duchesses, not bizarro pop stars were called Fergie. One had to work at creating an appropriately regal look. The current lot seem like just a bunch of amateurs when compared to the Fergie of yesteryear, a true royal who:

mixed colours, and mixed them well and good

handled errant gusts of wind with aplomb

empathised with the sick children in hospitals she visited by wearing a frockful of measles

wore raccoon tails long before Jennifer Lopez lined her ponchos with them to spite PETA

knew that the first step to becoming a published children's author was dressing like Olivia the Pig

quit smoking by exclusively wearing flammable rayon acetate nightgowns for an extended period of time

took it upon herself to go looking for her sheep when they went missing

came prepared at public functions with an inflatable raft in case of water emergencies

attended fancy dress parties where the invite said "come dress as your favourite kiosk snack"

Tuesday, March 15

Just Out Shoes

I must admit that I let my home relapse into a slovenly dump during the time that Martha Stewart was in jail. There just wasn't anyone around who could make me feel ashamed about wallowing around in my own squalor. But with all the fanfare over Martha's release, I felt compelled to do a bit of dusting and fluffing of pillows.

It's great to see Martha back in action doing what she's does best, inspiring home decoration as well as fashion trends. There is an uplifting moment in the Shawshank Redemption where the main character stands in the rain after crawling his way to freedom through several hundred yards of crap. Martha had a similar moment when she stood smiling for the cameras in her handmade poncho before boarding her private jet.

There are several sites already offering copycat patterns but this site is offering to donate 10% of profits to the prisoner who made the original poncho. I don't know how that would work in practice. Perhaps the funds are wired to a special account which is held in trust for the prisoner. Perhaps Martha herself is the trustee. Perhaps the trustee has wide powers to invest the trust funds, in things like biotechnology shares.

However it's a basic tenet of style that ponchos and electronic ankle bracelets, both ungainly in their own ways, were not born to mix (like how me and people of a higher social standing were not born to mix). To solve this distasteful matter, Just Out brand of shoes boasts "the only line of shoes made especially for women looking to conceal their unsightly house arrest bracelets". The stunning (yes, I was stunned for several seconds) range is here and makes liberal use of the powerful concealing effects of crochet:

High-heeled party slides

Office pumps

Something part boot part moccasin that I spent too much time speculating about it

This trend is poised to take off even faster and higher than the grey-white poncho, and possibly come crashing to the ground in flames in an even more spectacular manner. People are already rushing out to buy ankle bracelets, or demanding to be put under house arrest to give their entire look more authenticity. Yes it's true what they say about the struggle to reintegrate into the society after a lengthy rehabilitation process. The hardest thing is trying to remember what can and can't be worn out of the house.

Monday, March 14

A Piece of Ireland

Time to kick off the St Patrick's Day celebrations with Duffy the Vampire Slayer who drove all the undead away from Ireland. It's a shame that many people tend to shy away from wearing green on any other day because it's an extremely underrated colour. A splash of green can chase the breakup blues away, making one look drunkenly desperate instead of desperately drunk:

Admittedly green tends to be the shade of choice for those wanting to make an impact on the red carpet:

Even if that impact is much like a stream of vomit hitting the ground:

But green's not just for the showponies. It can also be used as a subtle way of blending in:

In Hong Kong, St Patrick's Day tends to be quite a lively affair, what with the drinking of the beer and the overly greasy Cantonese meals at the Shamrock Seafood Restaurant. Heck, we don't even have to dye our own waters the way that other cities do.

If you're like me and choose to celebrate special days by buying stuff, then by all means go out and buy a piece of Ireland. The country that is, not the former Sports Illustrated model. For US$49.99 you get 1 square foot of rural Irish land. Enough space to dance a little jig on. If you all quickly buy up the plots, we could own most of County Roscommon by the end of this week! It'd be like regrouping Boyzone, Westlife AND B*witched and putting them in charge of the World Bank but oh, the fun we could have!

Sunday, March 13

You Like, You Buy Vol 24

Adreani Jewelry ( isn't a local brand but it's popular enough to warrant several sales counters in Hong Kong. It's also worth checking out Fiorella Adreani's profile on the website only because it seems to be written by a lesser version of the almighty Manolo:

It is true that Fiorella Adreani knows how to let arise the best of Perspex but Perspex itself is able to let arise the best from Fiorella Adreani....
Fiorella Adreani is of course this and much more, because she is able to melt the strength of the thinking with the one of the hands....
The most fitting definition it might be the “tailoress of perspex” Because she is the unique who know how to cut and needle it with an endless love...

There are many reasons for this brand's popularity in Hong Kong.
1. For one thing, the designs (unlike amateur cocktail makers) don't skimp on the ice.

2. Their multicoloured rings make fetching self-defence knuckles.

3. There are handy chains for doing Ghost of Christmas Past impressions at parties.

4. The perspex pieces can double up as clothes hangers when not in use.

5. Most importantly, Adreani manages to fill a void in the Hong Kong underwear market.

What can I say, sometimes we like our gaudiness imported rather than homemade.

Images removed at the request of Ms Adreani who said that if I didn't do otherwise, someone called "Google" would remove the post.