Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Male Muse: Roger Radcliffe

I watched 101 Dalmations (1961) last night, and this Disney classic has left me in a nostalgic coma. It's funny, watching something like this after  a decade and a half. I don't remember it being this upsetting while watching this as a kid, oh, but cry I did last night.
Also. I can't believe it has taken me all this time to realise how much of a cartoon babe Roger Radcliffe is. He's a bachelor music composer. He's funny. He's romantic. He loves dogs. He's kind. He's incredibly charming. He's tall (lean, long limbs!). He has nice hair (subjective). And he really rocks skinny slacks and sweater vests (not easy). I can't believe I've overlooked this insanely attractive songwriting hipster gentleman!
He's made me want to meet my future husband when our clever dogs' leashes tangle together in a park.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What you learn as a fashion intern

1. Your job description includes assembling IKEA shelves, scrubbing the bathtub, scooping cat poop, counting size pips for 9 hours, and keeping a straight face while standing in front of a male model and pulling up his pants. 

2. Fashion bosses (e.i. head designers, head of departments, editor-in-chiefs, creative directors, head buyers, etc) can get away with a level of eccentricity that cannot be fathomed. At one place I interned, my boss always had to have fresh flowers in her hair. Freshly-picked, every morning.

3. You'd be naive to think you'll be paid, and go home on time. And because you so badly want to make it that you don't say no. You just want to keep your head down and work. You're so enthralled to be in the presence of these people and you want them to remember you, and you don't say no because then you'll be blackballed. That's just how the industry has operated for a really long time.

4. If your boss is a total Devil Wears Prada, don't take it personally. Just do your job and then vent to all your friends (or tumblr) about it.

5. Everybody looks fabulous and has fresh, flawless skin. HOW DO THEY DO IT?! It must be a secret I have yet to learn.

6. Somebody in your intern group will be flamboyantly gay. Or have a coke problem. Or is a Satan-worshipper. Or is a total bossy-boot and act like they're the one in charge.

7. Steaming and ironing is an art form only few can master.

8. Be 10 steps ahead of your boss, otherwise you suck as an intern.

9. You cannot be starstruck. It's not cool. Feigning indifference is key. Elle McPherson is in the office? Big deal. Miranda Kerr? Miranda who? Sending dress out to Nikki Minaj? Okay, whatever.

10. Everyday is a holiday. Begin all emails with "Happy ________!!!"

11. Everything needs to be done IMMEDIATELY or the world will come to an end.

12. Everybody will hate you if you bring any fried food into the office. One time, I brought some hot chips (i.e. french fries) and gosh, did I get some serious high fashion side-eye.

13. Fashion people don't like timid people. So don't be nervous. I self-hypnotise that I am emotionally bulletproof.

14. You will make mistakes. You will make a hundred mistakes. You will get yelled at for said mistakes. You will get yelled at a hundred times. Don't quit, or you'll look weak.

15. If you don't want to waste time/energy/emotional stress, get coffee orders right the first go. If she says "steaming hot", make sure it is actually too hot to touch, and use a cup-holder to carry it.  If she says "four ice", she means "four ice cubes that are still cubes and floating, even if you have to walk a few blocks in the heat wave to deliver her non-fat iced latte."

16. People are going to gossip. Don't gossip back.

17. You need good friends that aren't necessarily in the industry that you really trust to keep you sane. Sometimes the experience is so outrageous, the kind of things interns couldn't tell their personal circles about. It's very belittling.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Symptoms of an unhealthy relationship with your cat

There won't be much of a middle ground. People will totally get it, or think I'm craycray. I'm aware, I might be CRAZYABOUTCATSOHEMGEEWHYSOCUTECRAZYCATLADY.

You worry about your cats' feelings:
I truly believe all animals have feelings. There'll be days I look at my cat Lulu and can just tell she's not in a good mood. Like, just kind of, sad, really. Maybe because last night I shrieked at her for bringing in a dead mouse which she intended as a gift, and I refused to let her in. I bet her feelings are hurt about that. And there was that time I accidentally kicked her face and she was in so much shock. I felt like crap for hours! I mean, I don't know, maybe though, right? Which makes you think that...

You wonder if your cat is being bullied, and if so, what to do about it:
Bullying is a serious problem, people! I know I saw the neighbour's cat give my cat Lily the stink eye from his balcony. I know that cat is definitely communicating some hateful and jealous stuff about Lily. It all starts with the parents! It's time for me, as Lily's aunt, and them to sit down and have a talk, as far as I'm concerned.

Your cat throws up, and you panic:
Cats throw up furballs almost all the time. But when your cat throws up, and makes that awful noise, it's like oh no oh no oh no what is happening here? Please, don't die on me! And within minutes, she's hopping around like Bambi, and taking shots of wheat grass from the pot plants.

You're jealous when your cat sleeps with other people:
Because of all the cute things they do with you at night, like cuddle up under your armpits, then crawl up and sleep on your neck, you can't help but be a little (okay, majorly) jel.

You get separation anxiety:
Sure you can go to dinner with friends, go to parties, even holidays for a week. You're having a great time, but deep inside... you're like I MISS THEM SO MUCH I WISH THEY COULD TEXT ME =(

You 'gram your cats all the time:

You realise you've been talking about your cats for 10 minutes non-stop to a stranger:
I could go on and on and on...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

On being nocturnal

Uberfacts on twitter tweeted "People who stay up later at night are likely to be more intelligent than those who go to bed early." Thus, empowering(?) me to write this post about being nocturnal, and the persecutions that come with not being a jolly morning person.

In theory, I get it. I get the whole "daylight is the time we get our stuff done". But to the famous white man in a curly white wig who centuries ago came up with, "The early bird gets the worm", I have to say "Nay good sir, the early bird doesn't get to lay in bed, play with his iPhone, listen to music, check his email, and sip coffee. The phrase sucks!" This is why the lives of night owls like myself are open for public shaming. I can rise and shine. Just not at the same time. Aside from having "hating-life"-mornings to deal with when between the hours of 6 and 10 a.m., I’m just trying to get my bearings in a world that is at least 3 shades too bright and won’t stop making loud, unfriendly noises.

Then there always a Miss/Ms/Mr/Mrs. I-go-jogging-at-six-every-morning who will be like, "Geez, long night last night?" Um, well. All of my nights are long, morning people. Not because I was out clubbing, but my brain seems to be over-active at the hours between 11pm and 3am. It's the time I want to talk, to read, to blog about the meaning of life, to jump on the bed, to make tea, to catch up on Downton Abbey, to eat pistachio nuts, to keep track of  #GoslingWatch on twitter, to play with my cats (also nocturnal animals), and to cry over The Pianist soundtrack. (Not to mention the 25 other things that keep me up at night.) That doesn't mean that I'm trying intentionally to stay up past my bedtime, it means I'm a prisoner to my own internal clock.

Yes, I have accepted that society demands of me a relatively early start time. And yes, I have given myself over to the idea that I will be running on society's schedule, and not my own. All I ask is that morning people, be kind to night owls. We're not usually this grumpy. (We might just be a bit more intelligent than you.)

I should marry Bruce Wayne. He's definitely a night person.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Confessions: The Turning Twenty-four Edition

1. It's the job of every twenty-somethings to feel old.
2. I'd still rather eat anything saturated with sugar for breakfast.
3. I'd trade partying with a cup of tea and a book. (Just typing that sentence made me feel so old, I swear my fingers started to feel arthritic around the words "cup of tea".)
4. I still get pimples.
5. Sometimes my body aches. Like for no apparent reason.
6. I am still looking for friends.
7. I understand more jokes. Like when I watched The Lion King recently, I got all the jokes, and the deep stuff, that I never remembered seeing.
8. I still cry. Way more.
9. People appreciate the things that make me different.
10. I realise it's all about who you know not what you know.
11. I lick my fingers to turn the pages of a book. I used to think it was gross. Now it comes naturally.
12. It's now illegal for me to drive without contacts or glasses.
13. I wake up looking like my driver's license photo. Eww.
14. I'm still completely delighted by Starbucks Christmas cups every year.
15. I have daily moments of nostalgia. Almost anything can trigger it. And it kills me.
16. I'm sad I have not taken enough risks with my youth.
17. That taut young body I once took for granted in high school is disintegrating before my eyes.
18. I've learnt that the definition of bravery is having diarrhoea and chancing a fart
19. I complain about "kids these days blah.. tween these days blah blah" (By all account, I'm not that old, but that doesn't stop me from complaining about teenagers.)
20. I've perfected the Irish goodbye. It's a move you pull when you're at a gathering/party/bar/event/etc and because you're a tired (physically & psychologically) old soul, you slink away into the corner, then RUN out the door when nobody's looking. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Signs you seriously need more sleep

This week, I'm paying off my sleep debt, while going through painful, painful, painful caffeine withdrawals, and recovering from my consecutive all-nighters. And being a OCL (that's obsessive compulsive list-maker), I've come up with this -"Signs you seriously need more sleep". Because it was the story of my life.
1. Your under-eye dark circles luckily mistaken for a sexy, new make-up choice.
2. You confuse things with what happened in dreams two months ago.
3. Your skin feels dryer than a camel's hoof, your hair is a bird's nest, and smells like dry shampoo.
4. You eyelids feel like they're being pulled down by weights, like in cartoons.
5. You day dream that people will one day evolve from away from sleep.
6. You cry over small things, like missing the train, because you're so exhausted and frustrated.
7. Your pillow hasn't had a head-sized dent in weeks.
8. Your vision gets blurry, like Monet paintings.
9. Your brain is caffeine and sugar sodden.
10. Your nastiest guilty fantasy involves fluffy pillows, soundproof room, and passing out for uninterrupted days.
11. You think that you might just slip into a coma.
12. You're on some kind of high at 4am, and find yourself ROTFLMAO-ing at your friend's ex's friend's wedding photos on Facebook. (I swear I'm not usually that terrible of a person!)
13. You feel slightly comforted when you ask fellow students in your degree "Do you sleep?" and they respond with a quizzical frown, "Sleep? What is sleep?" #Godblessourcreativesouls 
Tweet me if this is you @K_NaomiLee

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Confessions: the late 2012 vers.

1. When you believe that there's no such thing as coincidences... can't help but realise God really is good.

2. The sound of sharp scissors cutting fabric turns me on.

3. I finally get dubstep. Why did my Dre beats ear plugs have to break?!

4. Snaggle fangs/tooth and asymmetrical eyes are very attractive on a boy. Gives him character, and character is sexy.

5. I entered a competition to go on a date with Shinee.

6. Just in case I win, I'm teaching myself to beatbox, to impress them.

7. I finally understand why Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada is so cold. Heck, I might be even starting to understand Anna Wintour. I'm afraid I'm becoming aloof too. #defencemechanism

8. I've been asked out by lesbians. Truly sadly, that's one way I lose friends these days... when they ask me out.

9. When my model bailed on me and I had to desperately seek someone from my personal circle, I was slightly disappointed by the lack of tall males I know.

10. I'm bipolar. These posts should've given it away.

11. I cried with a bunch of freshmen (first year design students) in the bathroom while trying to comfort them about "not being able to see their friends for 6 months", "my friends are offended when I don't have the time". I told them it gets worse. By third year, you're a myth! I cried out of pity (for them) and my hurt because people/friends will never understand the demands. It's just the norm that people fall off the face of the earth when they get a gf/bf, or when they do a design/architecture/fashion degree.

12. I want a husband who understands.

13. My verbal skills have become subpar to ESL students because of how less talkative and expressive I've become.

14. Some people explode, I implode. 

15. I do a "head, shoulders, knees, toes - swag check" before I walk out of the house.

16. I want to run away and live with Beast. I'll have a private library in a castle, funny talking furniture, cabinetry and cutleries that'll make food for me all hours of the night while I read by the fireplace and snuggle up to the furry Beast. Plus, I've totally always related myself to Belle.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A short note on Idealism

I suffer from an overdose of idealism. It's hard. I can't help but feel that my idealism is my character flaw. It kills every deal. It's my stumbling block. It's caused me so much heartache and bitterness, and a lonely self-perception, that I utilise fantasy as a form of escapism, and to interrupt painful thoughts, or unhappy reality. It's really no wonder idealism and depression go hand in hand. (Scratch off idealism, and underneath is a person who loathes oneself, and the next moment loves oneself.)

It's exhausting. It's the enemy of the good. Which is why I believe idealists and perfectionists have a hard time receiving love. They aren't good enough to receive love. Or, the love they are receiving isn't good enough for them. Either way, idealism is a hard way to live out your humanity. Explains why I have reality avoidance issues right now, and only the imaginary ideal beckons me.

"I have met many people who were once idealists. When they lose their fantasies, 
they often retreat into depression or attack whatever damaged their illusions." - Musa Kramny

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Valentino Menswear campaign '12

I've never really been in love with Valentino's menswear collections, but this campaign is really nice, in fact, it's rather beautiful. So simple and so much space and visibility given to the detail and shape of the garments, and hence how it opts for black and white. I also really love how the model gives off a clean, tamed and polished Steve McQueen vibe. This works because it's not trying painfully hard to be anything contrived or edgy or theatrical. Instead, it's simple and assured.

source: fashion gone rogue

Friday, August 3, 2012

Male Muse: for the next three months

Since July, I've been desperately seeking a new male muse - a man with a unique style to emulate and be inspired by, for the We rob banks SS13 ranges. I can't wait to play around and design with witty colours and prints, like polka dots, for menswear, thanks to my muse.

Et voila! Il est a là Surry Hills boy with a carefree but chic approach to dressing. An individual who is looking for something different and new, with interesting details. Yet still, he believes the ultimate sartorial solution is a button-up shirt and to master "the art of the pants roll". He likes to stand out to a certain extent without looking like victim.

He is somewhat inspired by a Spanish surreal artist, and lesser-known style icon with the wacky mustache, Salvador Dali, who was a dandy through and through. Hence, his wardrobe is part indie hipster, part sharp dandy, and all effortless, starting out with thrift store finds, then developing a taste for impressive vintage-inspired designs when his career as an artist/illustrator took off.

His bicycle is his daily commute. Oscar Wilde, and Bruce Wayne are his heroes. His favourite pastime is rocking the guitar, photography, drinking black coffee, and sniffing old books. He is a romantic at heart, has Peter Pan complex, and delights in eclectic prints in menswear, and old-school checks and plaids.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

National Geographic

I recently stumbled across an amazing tumblr of National Geographic scans from the late 50's to the early 70's. The beautiful grainy pictures with their warm light and saturated colours seem to represent a life so pure and unaffected. First published in 1888, National Geographic was a window to the world in a time when travel was only possible for those who could afford it and many cultures still remained mysterious and exciting discoveries.
Kraho boy of Brasil with armadillos, March, 1959
Brilliant chandeliers light an underground palace in Moscow’s subway, December, 1959
Goats in the Olympic Highlands, America, February 1974
Nakoda rider at Cascade Mountain, Wisconsin, 1960
Prince of Bhutan and his bride, 1952
Oranges traveling by horse cart from a cooperative orchard to El Asnam, Algeria. August, 1973

Friday, July 13, 2012

The mystic power of lipsticks

Nothing says "functional adult female" like a swipe of lipstick - be it red, mulberry, fuchsia or tangerine. I used to think watch my mama apply her lipstick at the vanity mirror and hoped to quickly grow up to be a woman. 
Lipstick helps you get away with a lazy face of make up if you've slept in and all you have time for is the base and lips. It's also the best way to look sassy and cute for a night out - and you can leave it on someone's cheek. And I swear, lipstick just makes you look marginally more expensive.
sources: google image search, glamour.com, fashionone2012.com, 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mixtape: Period playlist

Adam: I understand what's going on. You're all on the same cycle. This is very exciting. Your uterine walls will be shedding for the next three to five days. 
Shira: Nice memorization. Did you Google that? 
Adam: I may have. Because you're all women. And I think that's a beautiful thing. Oh... (takes out a CD and gives to Emma) I also made you this. To help soothe your womb.
When TOM comes over, all I want to do is crawl into bed, and eat cookies and cheesecake like a baby dinosaur, and spend the next three to four days in a foetal position. But why not a different approach besides Panadol Osteo and hot water bottles? 
In No Strings Attached, Ashton Kutcher's endearing character Adam, makes miserable and menstruating Emma and her flatmates a period mix with homemade soup and cupcakes. What a creepy cute idea! 
But nobody's made me a period mix to make me feel better, so hey, I made my own! Let the music heal the pain, with Ryan Gosling's voice crooning in the first track! (And I can't decide whether to laugh or cry to Leona Lewis' "I keep bleeding, I keep keep bleeding love...")

001 MY BODY'S A ZOMBIE FOR YOU :: Dead Man's Bones
002 BLEED IT OUT :: Linkin park
004 RIVER FLOWS IN YOU :: Yiruma
005 HUG :: TVXQ
006 DROPLETS :: Colbie Caillat, Jason Reeves
007 EMOTION :: Destiny's Child
008 SO SICK :: Neyo
009 I'VE GOT THE WORLD ON A STRING :: Michael Buble
010 JUST A GIRL :: No Doubt
011 BLEEDING LOVE :: Leona Lewis
013 THE TIDE IS HIGH :: Blondie
014 MISERY :: Maroon 5
015 RED RED ROSE :: The Weepies
017 RED RED WINE :: Bob Marley
019 SLEEP ALL DAY :: Jason Mraz
020 BLOOD :: My Chemical Romance
021 HURT SO BAD :: Alicia Keyes
022 SAME BLOOD :: The Academy is...
024 BLOOD BANK :: Bon Iver

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Complicated post for complicated feelings

Oh my goodness, I have so many feelings. Too many and complex to even identify. And they keep coming in like waves. I sing. I sulk. I awe. I panic. I happy sigh. I sad sigh. I laugh (at your Facebook photos. And your friends' photos. And their wedding photos. Only because I'm high on energy drinks around 2 in the afternoon, and I don't realise what a meanie-poo-face I'm being). I've been really juvenile and selfish as of late.

This post probably won't even make any common sense to you. I just feel overwhelmed with dread and weariness about life deadlines, school deadlines, email replies, personal commitments, important decisions to be made, courageous conversations to be had, judgements to brush off, lecturers to prove wrong, kilo's to lose, clothes to model, presentations to present, macbook to fix, stereotypes to break, a doctor's appointment, plus eight million other things. It’s pretty amazing how incapacitated you can get. What are you supposed to do? But what ends up happening in times like these is ironically, nothing. Like, when you’re overwhelmed and your attention is taxed, you try and run in 17 directions at once, and as is to be expected, don’t move far in any of them. So you sit and throw a tantrum, and then get distracted by Ryan Gosling's flawlessness or a sudden urge to commute to the airpot and eat eggs benedict, buy a milk steamer, and get a new piercing, only to take it out after a couple of months because "it's gets in my way". And probably get a new complicated hairstyle for complicated feelings.

It's like one moment I'm having an anxiety attack, (do you remember in Sex and the City season 4, they had to rip apart Carrie's wedding dress because she was having a panic attack and she was hyperventilating and her body suddenly erupted in rashes? It was just like that. But in a public toilet and not a wedding dress) and the next moment my eyes light up about my favourite things, and seeing The Sound of Music and Captain Von Trapp in the holidays. I love that film more than raindrops on roses, (but not more than whiskers on kittens)! Often, I heart-breakingly grieve for my loss of innocence and child-like wonder (I don't know if this is normal or it's the Peter Pan complex), then I'm eerily at peace. Followed by eye-of-the-tiger-confidence, head-butting into what I must do in life. Hence, in my moment of feeling something between glee and anticipation, I've compiled a list of books/films I have to see/read to run away from reality to read during my 3 week winter break with Bearemy.

George's Marvellous medicine, Roald Dahl
James and the Giant peach, Roald Dahl
The Perks of being a wallflower, Stephan Chbosky
The Magicians, Lev Grossman
The Stepford wives, Ira Levin
The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
Secret Window, 2004
Big Fish, 2003
Lost in translation, 2003
Up in the air, 2009
Spirited away, 2001
Zodiac, 2007
Annie Hall, 1977
Big, 1988
The English Patient, 1996
The Phantom of the Opera, 19-I-don't-know-which-Broadway-version
The Sound of Music, 1965

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Winter break '12

It's just over a week until it's officially winter. Here is my approach to winter 2012.
How I will be starting off my winter break:
Hibernating with Bearemy for 2 days, to catch up on my Z's.
Physiotherapy - mouse hand RSI, neck and shoulders.
Reading 'James and the Giant Peach' by Roald Dahl.
Dropping off my CV at Marcs.

What I will be wearing this winter (default winter outfit):
Italian wool duffle coat (Cue, $549) with leather patches and gunmetal toggles and buttons. This classic outerwear taps into childhood nostalgia, and really reminds me of Carey Mulligan in 'An Education' - in other words, quintessentially British.
Black opaque tights. Black leather aviator jacket. Faux fur.
What I am looking forward to this winter:
Staying in and enjoying the comfort of music, knitting and baking. Blowing mist out of my mouth. Visits to the local library. Catching up on Mad Men. Not falling asleep 'til early morning (no, not insomnia. It's called internet connection).

What I am not looking forward to:
Cold feet. Preparing for the next semester of study. Stuffy rooms and commute (cars, buses, trains) from heater. Dry skin. Probably, longer work shifts.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

10 Confessions

It's been awhile since my last list of "confessions". Here's one for 2012:
  1. Every once in a while, I actually consider ditching everything and travel the world-Eat, Pray, Love-style. But with my savings account, and a lack of funding, I held off.
  2. These days I smell winter in the icy breeze, and am overwhelmed by nostalgia, which takes me back to the snowcopalypse months I went through in New York. I yearn it more so because it was an amazing journey where I matured, and God literally had me in His hands the whole time. So thankful to be reminded of His faithfulness, and how He takes you on great adventures.
  3. I've only very recently prepared myself to accept that maybe everybody is only just believably special. Maybe "unicorns" don't exist but only in my rose-coloured world. (Unicorns = unbelievably, breathtakingly, fascinating, amazing people.)
  4. I often take lengthy walks in the rain to "find myself", but end up crying, usually to melancholic Coldplay (The Scientist, Warning signs, In my place, Fix you, Trouble).
  5. Time Machine (back up external drive by Mac) is my life-saver.
  6. It has occurred to me that very few people have the ability to make me truly angry, so, if anything, it's a compliment to those people if I get angry at them. Shows that I care.
  7. "The Notebook" is a classic, and will never get old on me.
  8. I really want a new hairdo, or new piercing, or new something, only because it's new or because it's a change. I love change. I love new-ness.
  9. I am grateful for realist people in my life who yank my hair to come down from the clouds. Thanks mama.
  10. I was just thinking... if luxury labels brought out crew neck sweaters with their logo/name-written-in-block-letters emblazoned on the front, they would make an absolute killing. Everybody loves those 80's Chanel, Kenzo, YSL sweaters. They should re-release them!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Male Muse: Young Michael Caine

Most young people think of Alfred the butler, but he made a bigger impression on me in his 1966 film 'Alfie'. Sir Michael Caine was one of the sharpest dressers in 1960's London. He eschewed the era's style in favour of the kind of restrained but energetic tailoring that's entirely relevant today. See him demonstrating the effect of a good suit on beautiful women.

I am 23, going on 13

This has almost nothing to do with the Sound of Music. Let me just say that apparently I’m 30 going on 13. I don’t know what happened bu...