The bizarre and beautifully ugly.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Throughout my adult years I’ve pride in having an abnormally strong immune system. Headaches come only 2-3 times a year, I have no recollection of the last time I had fever and neither do I have a medicine cabinet – in fact I haven’t even had chickenpox which frightening given the dangerous affects it has on adults. But today reckoning came and brought my feet down on earth as my inflated claim of benevolence has been punctured by the illness I’m currently battling. An intense cold or a mild flu I contracted last week reached its peak today, forcing me to send a mass cancelation text for a meeting that was scheduled. Rarely do I let ill-being hinder my day to day life but this time I had to surrender myself to the misfortunes of human life.
Coming to terms with the despair, I have hospitalised myself in the bedroom and nursed myself with four cups of ginger/lime tea to ease drowsiness and jolt me with energy. More bored than homeschooled infant, the menace inside me has pushed me into pursuing the prospect of becoming quad-lingual. As a speaker of English, German and Swedish the new language adventure doesn’t stem from the Germanic language tree and neither did I image myself ever growing curiosity for it. It’s the language of the country where mouse you’re using to scroll this page with is made from – it’s Chinese. For the sake of correctness the language is Mandarin, the official language of China, as opposed to Cantonese which is the second most spoken language in the country. The language is perplexing and an exercise in stretching the capabilities of your lungs and mouth muscles in ways I will need a year to get accustom to. Mockery should not be made of Mandarin though because it’s the official language of 1.3 billion people. Shockingly, only a futile two readers are accessing this blog from China– a baffling reality which I attribute to the internet censorship imposed by the Chinese government. Neither resentment nor criticism is boiling inside me because acceptance of the contradictory is in my nature.



The extra terrestrial aspects of life can be intriguing, and at times quite humours, like a young lad I encountered wearing an orange jumpsuit and bizarrely a pair a glasses over another pair. Good mannerism tell that one shouldn’t laugh out loud at other people but the outburst that was building up inside me was impossible to contain, and exploded the moment the daring gentleman was out of sight. I do however applaud his efforts in breaking the fixed London template of main style: Navy blue suit, brogues, white shirt, quilted jacket and a Range Rover for transportation. Fashion is brightest and most interesting when it doesn’t follow logic. Italy is probably the piloting country on this front. Roberto Cavalli, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Versace and Armani are all based in Milan but share few similarities in design language and execution -- unlike designers in other countries which conform to a comparable outlook on what fashion is. Italian designers are masters of variety and surprises.

Passion and emotions are at the heart of style and logical isn’t a part of the formula. Right and wrong does not always apply, thus the concept of perfection is an illusion. Subjectivity cannot ignore because fashion is not a universal language. Even in city like London, fashion comes in many distinct dialects. Musicians in Shoreditch don’t dress alike socialites in Fulham and neither do they aspire to do so. Strangely the most beautiful objects in life are those that split a room into two opposing sides, and those objects tend to have an element of unattractiveness. Think of them as imperfect angels. Because self-satisfaction triumphs over public acceptance one should be unafraid of adding and abstract piece of clothing to their wardrobe. Even something small as a winter scarf with a mystic pattern can breathe excitement into repetitive and monotonous choices of attire.

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Braun Series 3-390cc time saving shaver.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Shaving can be 15min chore in front of the bathroom mirror or it can be a quick task with the cutting-edge Braun Series 3-390cc shaver.

Precision and performance are key strength thanks to a trio of independent shaving elements which leave the skin smooth as peace skin while keeping skin irritation to a minimum. After shaving, just slot the 3-390cc into the bundled dock and the self-cleaning feature will disinfect the shaver in a lemon-scented alcohol based solution. Now available at a promotional offer of £79.99(down from £159.99) until the 30th December 2009 at select retailers.

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Gekko return to the screen in Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Wall Street 2, Money Never Sleep, Michael Douglas, Shia Labeouf, dress, fashion, wardrobeThe great depression of year 2009 is officially over as billions of dollars worth of bailouts and quantitative easing yields the ultimate dividend – carrying the world’s largest economy, the United States, out of recession with a 3.5% growth in GDP between July and September. Italians, Frenchmen, Germans and Japanese citizens have reasons to smile too. Their economies have enjoyed positive growth since mid 2009 leaving the lonely Island of Great Britain as only G7 sinking deeper into recession. Although the signs for 2010 are good, the world economy won’t be healthy until major government debts have been cleared and unemployment reduced – and that can take years, if not a few decades. In the mean time we’ll entertain ourselves with the unexpected but much welcomes sequel to the 1987 classic, Wall Street movie.
Throughout October photographical evidence have emerged confirming the production of the sequel. Officially named 'Wall Street: Money never sleeps', the film is set 20 years from where prequel left off, in the not too past 2007. Like any successful cult movie Wall Street had a very memorable character, Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas who earned himself an Oscar for his provocative performance. Gekko is at the height on the pyramid of diabolical stock market personalities; Old, wise, egocentric and at the peak of his career but in pursuit of success beyond his own dreams and imagination – sort of like the Ponzi scheme extraordinaire Bernard Maddof or Kenneth Lay, who cooked the books at Enron until they boiled over and subsequently brought company of 22,000 employees to a bafflingly epic demise that deeply shook the Dow Jones and Nasdaq stock exchange. Both fraudsters, now serving jail time, have left permanent scars reminding us all that the stock market is a remorseless and cold hearted business.
The professional life of a boardroom baron keen on bending the laws of justice is incomplete without accomplice of a grounded and well mannered protégé. Charlie Sheen acted the role of Bud Fox who saw his innocence and law abiding persona get absorbed by the poisonous greed of Gekko and Wall Street’s short-term money making culture. Very fitting, Bud Fox’s father was played by Martin Sheen who is also Charlie Sheen’s father in real life. Directed by Oliver Stone, the movie delivered sublime dynamic between the actors and painted a glamorous portrait of life in the financial sector. The script was excellent with intriguing dialogues well delivered by Michael Douglas and co-actors. To the satisfaction of Wall Street fans Oliver Stone is in charge of directing the anticipated Wall Street 2:Money never sleeps which has impressive roster of actors by the name of Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Carey Mulligan, Frank Langella and Josh Brolin. Much better actors for a movie in the drama genre are hard to find.
Excluding Carey Mulligan, the average age of the actors stated above is very close to 50. These are actors that are irrelevant to lucrative audience of 15-20 year olds accustom to internet piracy and cannot recall ever recording broadcast on a VHS tape, let alone bought a movie on VHS. Given the pressures of movie to smash box office records, popular actors are instrumental to the financial success of motion pictures. To compliment the top class but rather aged actors there is a need for someone young and contemporary to lead the film – a bit of ying in the yang or wise versa. Disappointing for some, Shia Labeouf has been lined up for the lead role in the successor to the sequel to one of the best films of the 80s. As a rising star, Labeouf has yet to act in a movie remotely close to collecting an Oscar for the performance of its actors. Hollywood is grooming him into an action star to replace the financially demanding Tom Cruise and Will Smith who are past their peaks of stardom. Labeouf’s most recent movie appearances have been in money-spinning but highly animated movies such as Transformers and Indiana Jones which are dominated by fast moving scenes and heart pumping story lines. He has yet to feature a ‘serious’ movie in which the central focus is on his acting, but is now being given the chance in Money never sleeps which will be a platform for the 23 year old to assert himself as a multi-sided actor against some well renowned veterans.
Wall Street 2, Money Never Sleep, Michael Douglas, Shia Labeouf, dress, fashion, wardrobe, gucciFashion-wise it is evident in the photographs that the 80s a long gone. The characteristic power dressing advocated by Gekko in the first movie is today only celebrated by baby boomers and private banking advisors in Geneva. Suspenders and blue shirts with white collars have been successes by contemporary slim cut suits and European fashion. Inescapable to any fashion conscious reader is the stylish £325 Gucci loafers fronted by a silver horse-bit and the easily recognisable red/green Gucci stripe. Most of the outfits published so far reflect the man of today who has a strong style consciousness and is unafraid of admitting vanity. Money never sleeps will be one of the few movies capitalising on the disaster of the now recovering financial meltdown that unfolded in Europe and North American in fall 2008. We hate when disaster strikes us but harbour a fascination for reading and finding out about it. Every year cinemas host movies about murder, injustice and apocalyptic natural disasters. Neglected is the deep and dark tragedy of man. Visit the business section in any book shop and you’ll be greeted by an abundance of books about success promoted by their author printed proudly on the front cover with crossed arms and a smug facial express.
Wall Street 2, Money Never Sleep, Michael Douglas, Shia Labeouf, dress, fashion, wardrobe, gucciMale life is very glorified with high social expectations pushing men into making it on Forbes top 200 richest list, winning an Oscar, a Formula One Championship, becoming a prime minister or mastering science. For many, coping with such career demands is challenging and pushes some into breaking the laws. The recession has shed the lives of some undeserving people. A few traders who lost all their wealth or were about to, decided to take their lives as well as those of their wives and kids because they couldn’t stand the shame of failure. This is a suppressed back alley of stock market aspirations which also include ex-investment bankers sitting behind bars for insider trading. Slated for a April 2010 cinematic release, Money never sleep is likely to teach a few hard lessons on last year’s financial crash but will hopefully paint a lee heroic picture of white collar criminals than its 1987 predecessor did.

Wall Street 2, Money Never Sleep, Michael Douglas, Shia Labeouf, dress, fashion, wardrobe, gucci

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Buy your darling the gift of daily planning organizing.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

The most uplifting gifts are those that come unexpectedly and positively disrupt the predictable daily patterns. In 2009 the pre-Christmas gift for your beloved counterpart comes in the form of a fashionably correct organiser from Filofax.
Graced with a colourful but yet sober Fresco design, the Filofax is a part of £40 giftbox. Inside the box is a trio of vouchers which entitles the gift receiver to either a free photographic shoot, haircut or a beauty treatment. Further assist the life of a busy career woman the organiser intelligently houses a mirror for discrete facial checks during meetings. Most intelligent is the bundled professional pen that has a refillable perfume canister concealed at the top for the convenience of freshening up while on the move. Available with free delivery at filofax.co.uk.

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Tom Ford set sight on the bigger picture -- the Tom Ford empire.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

What can you do with £30,000,000? It’s enough money for an early retirement supporting a jet set gigolo life of glitz, parties, and ostentation for a good three of four decades. Wise savers would exchange the 30 million for roughly 25,500 shares in Apple, and see their investment yield a prosperous annual increase of 25%. Why not spend the money on an ocean front house in Monecito California, complete with a tennis court and backyard the size of a two football fields, or an epic journey to the international space station? For Tom Ford however, capital of that size would be spent on building a women’s brand if the reports are to be true that the Texas born 48 year old is in the process of securing thirty million pounds for his next venture.
Genius ideas stem from great minds. That is why employees should have their profile put forward as a company’s’ most valuable assets as opposed to tangible assets listed on balance sheets such as Xerox photo copiers, filing cabinets and company cars. Characteristic to creative industries, success can in most cases be traced back to one single man sitting up until 02:00am on weekends the polishing rough edges of new ideas. During the early 90s the pivotal individual who changed Gucci was Tom Ford. His injection of quirky use of materials, invigorating designs and provocative advertising campaigns lifted Gucci from financial misery to popularity and global sales success. It’s a success story that mirror that of Apple’s CEO, Steve jobs, who has single handily steered Apple to rise as one of the fastest growing consumer electronics manufacturers. Jobs was one of the founders of Apple but left the company in 1985 to make a comeback 11 years later, in 1996, and subsequently got reinstated as CEO a year after. The direction of the Californian based IT company has been lead under scrutinising detail of Jobs who’s style of corporate rule is not too dissimilar to Tom’s way of dictation. However, the latter did not enjoy the same creative freedom at Gucci as Jobs did at Apple. In 2004 Tom Ford resigned from his post as creative director at the Gucci group due to creative differences and increasing tension with his superiors. Rarely does strong leader last long working for someone else, especially perfectionist who executes everything with utter most diligence.
Maybe it’s the attention to detail that has enable Tom to enjoy early success working the latest occupation added to his CV. Acceptance levels of celebrities migrating from one industry to another tend to be very low and scepticism very high. The entertainment industry is a prism of three corners; fashion, music and film. In today world of globalisation and ease of communication it has become standard practises for stars to capitalise on their names by lending it to any industry willing to sign big checks up from – singers are most notorious for this. Rarely does anyone manage to replicate success across different industries but Tom Ford is one of the most current exceptions. He bravely took on the directing job for film adaptation of the novel “A Single Man” by Christopher Isherwood. Furthermore he fully immersed himself in film making Tom assisting in production as well as writing the script for the movie.
It takes a highly self-aware individual with a high understanding and appreciation for arts from an audience point of view to prevail as a director – it’s an exhaustively challenging task of planning every single frame of a movie. Premiered at the International Venice Filmfestival on the 11th September this year, the film featuring Colin Firth famous for his appearance in Bridget Jones and Love Actually, received standing ovations from both journalists and film critics. The positive reviews even extended to Firth receiving “Best actor” award at the film festival. Such unexpected success is bound to induce Tom into seeking more projects in the world of motion pictures – but not derail him from his more evident ambitions of building a fashion empire.
Sales figures for his highly pricey £3,500/suit men’s label of label are reported to be above expectations while his lines of prescription and sunglasses are now sold worldwide. Tom Ford fragrances have been rigorously promoted through Tom’s global visits to major retailers fortunate to have him signing autographs for his customers. Despite good progression of the current Tom Ford divisions; fragrances, Glasses and men’s wear – there is a vital women’s line missing. Female fashion is a billion dollar industry and all aspiring designer brands want their share of it. Industry sources are indicating that Tom shall have his women’s line ready for 2011 fall debut, and excellence is continued to be pursued Tom Ford might be a legendary American icon in the making with the potential of becoming large as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. Tom Ford is a man, fashion designer, visionary and entrepreneur worth his weight in gold.

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Memories of last week: Burberry Prorsum Women's SS2010

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Burberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxury
It’s said that there is no place like home, and for Burberry Prorsum that is certainly true as the fashion house received a big welcome during their comeback to the London Fashion Week this month. During the days leading up to fashion week, anticipation was building up to eventually be satisfied by a climatic and costly fashion show on the 22nd of September.
Though a part of LFW, Burberry Prorsum Women’s SS10 runway show was a startling event by itself with a impressive guest list that many designers wouldn’t dare dream of. From the Secretary of State Lord Mandleson and editor in chief of US vogue Anna Wintour to Gwenth Patrow and even Mathew Williamson, Burberry managed to secure attendance of the country’s most prominent celebrities.
Burberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxuryThe guest of honour was undoubtedly Burberry’s current campaign face, Emma Watson, who stole the thunder from the ambiguous clouds looming above Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground where Burberry held the show inside a 1,600 man tent. Watson stunned the handsomely dressed crowd amongst which dark and sober colours dominated. The contrasting golden confetti tailored to fit immaculately on Watson’s body, made her look antagonistically breathtaking as no other dress could have possibly have replicated the same spectacular looks. Fellow guests enjoying complimentary elder flower soda couldn’t stop themselves from passionately admiring the magnetic beauty before their eyes.
Burberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxury, women's, Burberry, Christopher Bailey, AngelaFashionable ladies swayed by the sparkling confetti dressed need to look no further than the Spring Summer 2010 collection itself which comprise of compelling pieces highly alike the golden mini dress worn by the Harry Potter star on the magical evening of September the 22nd. Draped chiffon hugging the thighs and hips of the models with amazingly slender legs paves the way for a summer of sexiness and aesthetic confidence. Burberry is one of the few heritage brands in the UK that have gone to great efforts in making their product offerings relevant in present time epochs. Burberry’s astounding headquarter on Horseferry road, just three blocks away from the Parliament in Westminster, is a principal statement of the company’s evolution in reigning as one of the world’s most innovative fashion brands. Liquid metal pastel colours gracing the signature trench coat featuring curled shoulders is an original and vibrant edition of a classic accented by crafty amulet belts.
Burberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxury, Women'sBurberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxuryBurberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxury
The collection signals attitude and summer romance not seen in the men’s collection which is also dominated by soft shades of yellow, green, blue and purple. Nevertheless, Burberry’s homecoming to London Fashion Week received overwhelming support from invited guests who pledged their allegiance arriving in Burberry Prorsum clothing from both contemporary and past seasons. It was an electric atmosphere inside the tent -- alike a Chelsea FC home game attended by devoted fans wearing the colour of their favourite team. Lindsey’ Buckingham’s acoustic version of ‘Big Love’ was an upbeat soundtrack that kept the audience nodding their heads in excitement while enjoying the multitude of edgy outfits showcased on the runway. Much of the exhilaration was carried over to the after party held at the headquarters on Horseferry road where press mingled with Sir. Philip Green, Victoria Beckham, Liv Tyler, Carine Roitfeld, Dev Patel, Freida Pinto and Mario Testino.
Burberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxury
Although Burberry’s annual revenue trump the combined one of fellow LFW designer, exhibiting their latest collection in the home country has proved to be majorly successful. Previously the Milan Fashion Week has been the preferred venue because Gucci, Prada, Versace, Missoni and Dolce & Gabbana are all powerful brand of the same statue. It’s understandable choice, but should be reconsidered after last week’s success and most notable because of the increasing prestige of brand such as Viviane Westwood and Mathew Williamson who have contributed well in bringing attention and glamour to the London fashion scene.
Burberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxuryBurberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxury, Women's

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IAA 2009: The Frankfurt Auto show.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Never mind the London fashion week which opened up its guest lists and runway shows to the media this week, but the news dominating the media the first half of this week come from the IAA 2009 Frankfurt auto show. Several thousands of horse power all under the same roof to satisfy the human hunger for petrol, pistons, stitched leather and carbon fiber.

A mere one hour and ten minutes south east, Frankfurt Am Main is conveniently close to London leaving I Luw Fashion with no legitimate reason not to attend the fair. After all, 70 minutes in economy class is not tedious to the level that one’s legs begin to contract from lack legroom. Neither was it a mission getting to and from the airport in Frankfurt. Whisked away in a taxi, the journey from the impressively large to the city center was no more than a quarter of an hour. Logistically the Frankfurt is well planned with the airport, train station, fair and head quarters of major German banks like Deutsche Bank all within very close proximity of one another. Greeted by gusty showers we bought umbrellas and undertook some light sightseeing and an unsuccessful search of an out of print book which we only managed to find in German and not English. Down town, street performers were playing harmonising classical songs using harps, violins, percussions and chimes that reminded us that we were in the home country of Mozart, Handel and Bach. Impressed by the sound waves that hit our eardrums we purchased two CDs off a group of young performers, and fell asleep to the music as we recharged our batteries for the autoshow.
With the first press conference scheduled at 08:30am on Tuesday morning, waking up at the crack of dawn was mandatory. Armies of journalists, people from press and others working in the auto industry had invaded Frankfurt for the press day that took place on Tuesday the 15th of September. The sheer size of the fair is daunting. Thankfully cars from various manufacturers had kindly been organised to shuttle people between halls – some halls were a tiresome 20-30min walking distance apart. Several exciting launches were lined up for the show such as the Ferrari 458, Mercedes SLS, Bentley Mulsanne, Rolls-Royce Ghost, Audi R8 V10 convertible, Lamborghini Reventon Roadster, BMW X1, Aston Martin Rapide, Jaguar XJ and the facelifted Porsche 911 Turbo. As car enthusiasts there were little else to ask for, the line-up was impressive. Present as well were some of the most influential and powerful heads of the auto industry.
Most powerful at the event was Ferdinand Piech who is one of the largest shareholders of Porsche with a 13% stake. Furthermore, he is the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche who is the founding father of the legendary VW Beetle and subsequently the Porsche 911. Seated down on the front row at the Porsche press conference he and his wife received the treatment of a royalty with press photographer taking endless number of photos. The paparazzi session continued on for 10 minutes as other senior figures from Porsche and VW arrived. One of them notably the newly appointed CEO of Porsche -- Michael Macht -- who replaced Wendelin Wiedeking in July 2009.
Similar to a snake attempting to swallow a cow, Porsche failed to successfully takeover VW and have had to settle for a 51% stake. The proprietor behind the genius but volatile takeover that got hampered by the bank crisis last year was Wiedeking. He turned around the fortunes at Porsche during the late 80s at a time when the company was on the brink of bankruptcy but ironically did a full 360 degree turn back to square one. Loans financed the acquisition of VW shares but the steep decline in car sales strangled Porsche’s ability to repay their astronomical debts. The financial worries were quickly resolved in August this year when Porsche received a multi billion euro injection of fund from Qatar. Judging by the mighty display of affluence at IAA, Porsche is proceeding unharmed by the recession. At the press conference, Porsche branded notepads and pens were given to journalists who at lunchtime enjoyed majestic hospitality at the Porsche stand. Wine, champagne, coffee, tea, juice, hot food and desert were served a temporary restaurant/bar to specifically serve everyone visiting the Porsche stand. All was fine cuisine with Porsche branding on even the smallest things like sugar bags. Accommodating approximately 200 people, the Porsche stand and restaurant can be deemed a success further reinforcing the prestige of the iconic brand.
Elsewhere at the auto show were beautiful promotional girls who had been excavated from all around Germany to work at the auto show. They represented a tiny fraction of the colossal population at the show and not alike the average visitor who was a male above the age of 40. The auto industry is a man’s world. It clearly emerged that cars are for boys as the number of female visitors encountered could be counted on one hand. Ranks and position speak louder than words as inflated male egos filled the halls to the roof. Handshakes were formal and the black chauffeur driven cars were provided for the upper most senior personal that showed no concern for the visiting press. The voices they listen to are those of the market, everything is meaningless vapour.
Individuals under the age of twenty five represented a dreary percentage. Me and my comrade found ourselves mingling with individuals who could well be our fathers. But all was positive since most power figures present were wise and influential men. One of them was Adrian Van Hooydonk who is the newly appointed head of design at BMW. He’s a well spoken industrial designer with an alternative view on what an automobile should represent. Wearing a slim tailored suit he did not conform to the norm of his peers who were dressed not to impress but to demonstrate corporate authority.

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