Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why people pay top money for Hermes

If you have never carried an Hermes on your arms or carressed it with srutinizing awe, you've probably only looked at it from afar, or merely from internet images. You might then be wondering why a Birkin or a Kelly is considered such a coveted item and WHHHHYY people are willing to pay so much for it. Each Birkin or Kelly runs upwards from 7,000 USD nowadays and has a 2-5 years waiting list attached to it.

Well, it's very simple really.

Hermes stands at the very top of timeless quality.

Here's quite a concise introduction of Hermes from CBCtv's Fashion File. There is a short part about the Lindy bag, a relatively new Hermes bag. And when you're done with that, you MUST view this revealing video of how Hermes bags are made.

Once you have finished viewing the Fashion File videos, I hope your question would have been sufficiently answered. But if it still isn't clear, then talk to Hermes owners. They would tell you that Hermes bags age exceptionally well, and that Hermes provides exquisite refurbishing service for your old Hermes bags, such that they become almost new. And of course, supply and demand makes it absolutely necessary for that exorbitant price on the bag.

Can't get enough? Read Washington Post on the comparison of the Kelly and Birkin and much more.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Michael Kors Private Sale

SHHhh!!! There is a private sale at Michael Kors online and in stores. Supposedly, this is an exclusive sale available till June 28th only to "insiders" and the sale opens o the public on June 29th. If you are as astute and skeptical as I am, you will realize that this is partly a marketing ploy, because about half of the items are already discounted without our link to the private sale. But there are actual items that you can't even find regularly on the website that magically appears when you use our link.

For example, the silver KORS Michael Kors Chic Strappy Flat Sandal shown here is now $112 from $215. It is also available in Blue with silver-tone hardware, and Magenta with gold-tone hardware. You won't be able to find this if you visited the Michael Kors website regularly. Same goes with a lot of other cool summer sandals. Although my skepticism doubts that these sandals will be gone by June 29th, I still can't help feeling slightly priviledged to get first dips on the sale.

By the way, the crisscross upper straps of this flat sandal keeps it comfortably fitted on your feet for however far you may wish to walk. I would know. I've been wearing a similar sandal in Gold from Orin (a Taiwan brand) everyday for the past couple of months. Mine is half the price but it's already looking older and looser. And I wish I have two brand new pairs of those sandals because they are so accommodating to my expanding summer feet. The Michael Kors sale makes its sandals oh-so-affordable and I'm pretty sure MK's sandals would hold its shape and color better than my Orin ones.

Here's an extra tidbit for those of you who bothered to read more. Michael Kors, known for its luxury sportswear, bags, and wide range of casual ready-to-wear clothes since 1981, is planning to open a "lifestyle" store in Chicago on the Mag Mile this fall. So check it out if you're in the area. Mostly because I'm curious what a "lifestyle" store is all about. Send me pictures and grory details. My curiosity will be forever grateful.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Tribute to a legend

Yves Saint Lauren passed away at 71 on June 1st. Many are mourning his death as the significant moment of the passing of old school fashion.

If you're young, you'll likely think of YSL as nothing more than a brand name with gorgeous bags, shoes, and clothes. The YSL brand you know is splattered with Uptown and Downtown bags, as well as the YSL Muse. But in fact, what you are thinking of is YSL's ready-to-wear label, Rive Gauche, which has been sold to Gucci in 1999 and designed by Tom Ford (until 2004) and Stefano Pilati (presently).

YSL Tribute pumps, mary janes, and sandals were the rage ever since last year, as if the brand YSL founded was hailing tribute to its original founder and designer.

Tribute Sandals

For those of you who are too young to know about YSL's legend, pay attention:

Who was he?

- French fashion designer
- Considered to be one of "the most consistently celebrated and influential designer" who "can be credited with both spurring the couture's rise from its Sixties ashes and with finally rendering ready-to-wear reputable" (From Couture: The Great Fashion Designers, by Caroline Rennolds Milbank, 1985)

What did he do?

- Left home at age 17 to work for the French designer Christian Dior.
- Took charge of Dior house at age 21 after Dior's sudden death in 1957, and designed his first collection there in 9 weeks flat.
- Started his own label in 1962 after Dior released him in lieu of his nervous depression from having to serve in the army.

What did he design that broke the mold?

- At Dior, he made the Trapeze dress with narrow shoulders and wide swinging skirt.
- In 1960, he came up with the Parisian Beatnik Look.
- His ready-to-wear label, Rive Gauche (left side of the bank), is meant to make the less fasionable side of things fashionable, then bring it to the mainstream.
- Adapted male wardrobe for women by creating Le smoking tuxedo suit in 1966.
- In 1976, he did the Rich Peasant Look by using rich material on peasant-inspired clothing.
- He also popularized the Safari jacket, tight pants and tall, thigh-high boots, the sheath dress, leopard prints, and the black leather jacket.

What does his death signify?

- The end of an era in Haute Couture

Where do I read more?


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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

VITALSPA [comfort zone] - Body strategist

It's summer... The sun is bright, weather is good, and I bet many of you are planning to hit the beach... However, one problem arise... the insecurity of bathing suits... What to do... Exercise would help, of course, and a good diet... And if you want to see results faster, a little help from spa treatment would definitely help.

There have been many companies that make products for body shaping. Clarins is one that most have heard with proven results. The "Total Body Lift" is their best selling product that has shown great results for many. Duty-Free shops in airports across the world carry the "Total Body Lift" at discount prices and in gifts sets that makes this product even more attractive.

Another product, VitalSpa's Body Strategist, has also been catching the attention of consumers looking for an easy way to have a better shaped body. Various Taiwan forums have been recommending this product with fascinating results after one month of usage. Here are some posts about the product:

我是買全系列的特惠組美體精華10ml x 8+美體幫浦200ml+皮拉提斯緊緻美體霜200ml 4000塊錢

There was even one person who wanted to reduce her bust size and used this product on her bust, which surprisingly also works!! Of course, results may vary depending on diet and exercise habits... but from what I've read, this product does help... For those looking for additional help in shaping the body, this product might be for you... And lastly...... a note for the lawyers... I'm simply recommending this product.. don't ask me to refund your money if this doesn't work.. =P

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Shiseido for Men

To most, a proper skincare including face wash and moisturizing lotion comes as a second nature. However, to many men out there these simple steps for skincare are omitted from their daily hygiene routine only to take notice when blemish, acne or
other skin problem arise.

Over the years I have used various over the counter face wash such as UNO, BIORE for Men, and Neutrogena for men with mixed result. Most leaves the face dry and uncomfortable however they do the job of cleaning the face. My first jump into major branded skincare was when my colleges bought me Biotherm's facial cleanser, exfoliation and Anti-fatigue moisturizing lotion. The difference between over the counter and branded skincare is that the face wash doesn't leave the face uncomfortably dry, and lotions are less thick and more refreshing. That is why when my Biotherm skincare was close to depletion, I choose to purchase another branded skincare. This time it was Shiseido Men skincare.... the whole set.....

Shiseido Men's skincare includes the cleansing foam, deep cleansing scrub, toning lotion, moisturizing emulsion, and eye soother. I was surprised I'd actually buy this much since although I believed that proper skincare is important... for women... I thought face wash and lotion should be enough and that toning lotion and eye cream are for girls. But after using these products for almost a month i've noticed they do actually improve the shine and smoothness of the skin. Cleansing scrub must be used once a week to insure smoothness and efficiency of the skincare. The Shiseido is more thick than the Biotherm lotion which needs a little getting use to however it is by no means oily. In fact it actually helps control oil secretion making the face feel more fresh.

So if your looking for a father's day present or a gift for your better half. Can always consider getting this skincare set.... girls love skincare.. why can't guys!~ =P

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Win $500 Urban Outfitters Gift Card

Grand Prize (1 Winner) - $500 UO Gift Card
First Prize (1 Winner) - $100 UO Gift Card
Second Prize (3 Winner) - $50 UO Gift Card

"Wanna Win? Score one of five UO gift cards - all you have to do is enter between 5/12/08 & 6/6/08, and you could walk away with something for nothing. Why? Because we like you."

I can't help it. I love Urban Outfitters. Along with H&M, Century21 and Forever21, UO was one of the stores I frequented when I was a poor graduate student prowling the dirty streets of New York. Since I felt and looked utterly unglamorous due to the stress of writing papers and the lack of sleep, UO was the cheap chic I could carry off. In fact, I just bought two dresses online in May as a graduation gift for my dear friend who graduated from Pratt. To be able to give your friend a small gift while you are thousands of miles away geographically was what UO allowed me to do!!! I know the chances are low, and first and second prize really isn't a lot, but hey...a girl can dream...

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Back in Stock - Jill Stuart Part 2

Was back in SOGO to check out if they had the Jill Stuart Compact Blush back in stock. Guess what?? They did!!~ Along with the Limited Edition Eye Shadow launched on June 1st. Seizing the moment and being attracted by all things shiny... I quickly picked out the Compact Blush No.6 and the LE Eye Shadow. Definitely the right choice... totally love the brush that is attached to the compact with a removable chain. There is also a pink crystal on the brush making it even more dreamy.

Although the quality of Jill Stuarts comes on par with other brands such as NARS, Givenchy, MAC, and other department store name brands, it has quickly become one of my favorite gift buying boutiques. The price range is decently affordable, unlike Chanel or Armani, while the casing of the cosmetics will surely catch people's eyes. So next time you're in the mood to buy some cosmetics, you can definitely drop by Jill Stuart and see if it too catches your heart.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

My first attempt on PolyVore

PolyVore is spreading like wildfire across hyperspace because you can now do what you've always depended on your imagination to do - mix and match different items to put together an outfit. Well, I tried my hand at it yesterday and liked the site for its acceptable speed and ease of use, as well as the cornucopia of outstanding outfit sets other users have put together.

Don't laugh, but here's my first attempt of putting together a "set". Please comment if you are so inclined.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Unbelievable, it's mine!!!

Congratulations to our friend who took to the store decisively and procured her new Miu Miu coffer bag (~38,000NT after a generous discount). From the 2007 Matelasse (quilted-like) leather collection, this bag has a tiny little key to lock the golden lock closure in the front. Although the key is probably useless and impractical, the idea of locking up a bag triggers youthful memories of using diaries with flimsy locks on the side.

The woman in the store who sold the bag to my friend claims that this bag will be a classic and stay in fashion for at least the next few years because coffer bags will continue to be manufactured in the upcoming years. So for those of you who are hestitant, don't be. The braided shoulder strap and quilts make this bag a contemporary throwback to ancient Grecoglamor.

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Borrowing Bags = Faking it?

To borrow or not to borrow, that is the question...

Like transportation and shelter, bags can be rented instead of bought. Bag Borrow or Steal, a bag-renting site based in Seattle, welcomes people to their site with the caption "show off. send back. (repeat as your mood changes.) Welcome to the fun of borrowing designer handbags and jewelry."

Bag Borrow or Steal, sometimes called Netflix for bags, has everything from vintage bags to hot clutches and bags of current seasons. They are also celebrating their "role" in Sex and the City by having a one week complimentary promotion. What was the "role", you say? Well, Louise (played by Jennifer Hudson), the assistant to Carrie Bradshaw in the new Sex and the City movie, turns to Bag Borrow or Steal to feed her bag urges. Of course, Bag Borrow or Steal is smart enough to ride on the Sex and the City wave. They gave out prizes and trips to the premiere of the movie, and they singled out items with SATC flair. What could be better publicity? Personally, I think the link should be obvious. It's long established that Carrie Bradshaw could never afford her wardrobe on her sex columnist salary, so there's no reason she wouldn't rent bags off Bag Borrow or Steal to fake it. Faking it, after all, is not an alien concept in SATC.

There are some who would turn their noses down towards people who fake it. They may find the motives of bag borrowers reeking of vanity. If you don't have the mula to purchase designer bags, then don't! Get cheap bags for your everyday use. Why rent designer bags for the sake of showing off?

But for people who could well afford designer bags yet decide that the bag they love is only a fad or an obsession that can be flushed out of the system, bag borrowing might be an extremely down-to-earth manner of dealing with their bag craze. Occassionally, it's a spouse's bag craze that needs to be dealt with. And then there are occassions where you decide to travel light and did not pack for the must-attend black-tie event in another country. Sure you can buy a new bag!~ Yet, if you're like me, you may need to go back and forth and research for weeks before you can settle on the next bag conquest. Sometimes, you just need an economical, eco-friendly, bag-borrowing service to serve your needs.

That said, I agree that borrowing designer bags in an effort to show off the different arsenal of bags you have is simply disgusting. We should all stay within the bounds of sound financial practice and realistic materialism. If that makes any sense at all. By the way, if you are in Taiwan and find a sudden and temporary need for a designer bag, try this bag lender on Taiwan's Yahoo, who has been profiled on the local news before. Though reliability is good for this lender, I can find few delectable bags on the site. I guess this is due to the distasteful love for monogram LV and Gucci bags in Taiwan. (yuck).

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