10 December 2015

History of the Supermodel and Beyond

American Vogue October 1999 Photographed by Annie Leibovitz
Vogue US, October 1999
Women and glamour are two words that will always go together in the modern era - for all women, from all demographics that is what it's come to be. But think back into the 1950s when fashion was becoming more intensified and pursued in society, there was women and glamour of course, but what makes it's so much more significant is an icon that so many women would come to think off today: the cultural icon of fashion, the supermodel. 

29 October 2015

Afterthoughts for a Departure

Alber Elbaz’s depature from Lanvin, along with Raf Simons from Dior and Alexander Wang from Balenciaga mean that something is happening in the industry that could either be a hit or miss.

Understandable, designers are expected to create collections throughout the course of the year at unfathomable rates as well as having to oversee a handful of campaigns and marketing tactics to not only able to design but also to make sure they bring in profit. For Dior, Simons was at least expected to go through six collections a year (meaning he was expected to show every six weeks or so, that’s not easy.) It was probably the same case with Wang who had his personal reasons of wanting to depart with his former house.
Now, Elbaz joins them, as his reasoning of departing is due to the difference that he wanted verses what the management of Lanvin wanted. And what makes it more of a shock to the industry is that Elbaz had been at Lanvin since 2001 and he revived the house from the dust, making it respectively one of the most profitable and loved names in the industry.
(He’s also a very sweet and adorable man.)



Elbaz had previously voiced his thoughts on the industry and the way it’s moving – “We designers, we started as couturiers, with dreams, with intuition, with feeling. We became creative directors, so we have to create, but mostly direction. We have to become image-markers, creating a buzz, making sure that it looks good in the pictures.” Which is quite understandable and logical, thinking from 10 seasons ago possibly when Elbaz first began at Lanvin, times have changed – it seems like designers now make collections on a whim to impress the public rather than to curb their own creativity. They must work in an age and society where it’s all about being fast and up to date, from social media and celebrity-play, it seems the industry has lost that magical touch. They’re robots.

“Everyone in fashion just needs a little more time,” he added.

It seems like to me that all these departures (and hopefully, not more, but one can never tell) are a very powerful reflection of a destructive industry. We as consumers are constantly so dissatisfied and houses are seen as just simple labels that need to work with the trends and not retain any form of history or beauty. This isn’t, however the first time it’s happened in the industry, with regards to John Galliano’s departure from Dior.

Tom Ford had departed from Gucci in 2003 causing a mass shock and fury since everyone thought that Gucci would fall off a slope without his direction. At Nina Ricci between the courses of 2003 and 2014 there were three different creative directors who only managed to survive roughly three years each to their own (Most contracts are only three years btw).
Chloe has Phoebe Philo who is rumoured to want to leave at the height of the house’s and her success, which is confusing everyone because it was simply too unbelievable that someone would want to walk away from a job that offers so much, yet is missing out on so much. Philo has claimed that she wanted to spend more time in nature – she probably wanted just a different, less hectic life.

Which is why I can respect Elbaz’s decision to leave – the creative process for a designer is that there should be emotion and creativity, and that’s what the industry usually promises at the start. But then you see designers being made to cut out the emotion from said process to not make something from the heart but simply to fill the void in the industry’s commercial aspect of selling to make quick profit.

All one can say and truly believe is that when designers leave, whether by their own accord or not, the name of the house becomes tainted and the value is broken.


For an industry that is moulded and created for women, only houses are female-led or co-led, under the likes of Comme des Garçons, Prada, Versace, Bouchra Jarra, Valentino and Ulyana Sergeenko. (Alexander McQueen, Sacai and Kenzo are also led respectively by their female positions but are predominately occupied by men.) To say that the industry is lacking women is not an understatement at all, women in the industry are under represented with smaller positions that don’t bring much ‘huzzah’ as a position that a male counter part gets – with couture seamstresses suffering the most out of this.

Earlier in the year, the LVMH Young Designers Prize was listed and out of the 26-independent/young labels shortlisted, only five were listed to be under a female direction - that’s only 30% of womanpower.

When it comes to this gender issue though, and seeing the way it is moving, there’s only such hope that a new chapter will begin again for these houses that no longer have a current director. It’d be nice to see a woman take the lead, as Dior is a name for a woman, then should a woman take charge of what women of today want. Just that it is crucial that women are able to hold important roles in business, technology, politics or other, it’s just as crucial that women are given the respect and rights they deserve in the industry.


All of that aside though, all I can say for both Dior and Lanvin, who are awaiting their new successors, is that I hope they consider good designers with good intentions – hopefully they are women. In this industry, there is a massive gender imbalance between those who direct, creative to those who model and follow behind. And I suppose it's just moving so fast that even big names need a break to recollect themselves.

28 October 2015

Eco-friendly Runway

Time flies when you're busy, as it may seem I wasn't able to collect myself to post since I had a lot of small projects going on and school.
Last weekend I was invited to be apart of a runway that celebrates the work of sustainable and eco-friendly designers from both local and international designers, the focus is to provide consumers with trends that both eco-friendly for the environment as well as being (almost) on par with the runways of the big four cities. Think organic, from naturally dyed garments to recycled, zero-waste products that look so beautifully crafted you wouldn't even think twice about how they were produced. Their philosophy, as all the designers and staff apart of the runway was to make sustainable fashion a default that values basic human rights and the environment. Awesome.

This was the first runway event I worked with since coming back from Korea, it brought back a lot of good memories and the adrenaline feeling. I'm starting to move away from general industry work too these days, I'm looking towards more sustainable things since my view (of things in general) has kind of shifted since being back home.




24 September 2015

New Names for New Eras


Current CD of their respective labels, Christopher Bailey, John Galliano, Miuccia Prada, Hedi Slimane, Ralph Lauren
Remember back in 2014 in October when Maison Martin Margiela announced that John Galliano would be taking over as creative director and having his debut show in London in 2015? The fashion world went into a frenzy because one, John Galliano was making a triumph return into the fashion industry and two, he was dropping the ‘Martin’ from the house’s name, making it Maison Margiela, ushering the widely known avant-garde name into a new era that would be John Galliano. 
That was considered one of the major changes in the world of fashion as the eras shifted, and while some big name houses are still grasping tightly onto the original names of their founders, sometimes when designers leave and the creative director change, so do comes a bit of a name change, for the sake of a new chapter, as it is. In celebration of Fashion Week, which is happening right now, let’s take a look at five big houses that have changed their names over time.

01 September 2015

Year of the Instagram Models


Think back to the days of MySpace and MSN where it was more about picking the right song to put as your tagline or arranging your top 4, 8, no, 10 best friends. It was also the age of waiting for your crush to get online and then signing on moments later pretending it was coincidental. 

18 August 2015

(150815) From me to You

Test shoot by Benjamin Kim










Last week I got with a friend before a client shoot we had to do and decided to have a bit of fun. I'm absolutely riveting.

I feel like this professional-ish blog is becoming more visual and personal than ever.

17 August 2015

First half of 2015, rewinded



RE: to my previous post, let the images do the speaking.

16 August 2015

Memory Play SFW15

Was sorting through some (see: many) photos to sort out my folio and I thought some gems that never seemed to make it through any other posts of mine. I ended up skimming through over a thousand or so images and videos of my four days on row working (playing?) at SFW.
I think back and I'm like, woah what a crazy and lucky experience for myself to be able to be there and capture moments. 
I still look back on pictures and remember the sounds, the lively atmosphere, the people, the seatings arrangement and view from every single show I sat at, just.. the craziness of it all. My skin is still crawling.

02 July 2015

What happens on the plane back home

This was a word-documented diary entry I did on the plane back while I was trying to cope with the reality of going home. Whether it actually makes sense to anyone or that I was just emotionally spewing out words, this is kind of a word recap of my time away from home. Of course this is something that I'll never be able to fully express how I'm feeling, only bits and pieces.

Seoul at night from the mountain/hill view.

17 June 2015

Seoul Photodump - 3

It seems that time has gone by so quickly to the point where I realised that I'm already on the final leg of my time away in Korea. I think it's insane that I've spent almost half year away from home in a country that has a different culture, cuisine, lifestyle and citizens to the point where I went from not being able to cope with the cultural shock to now being too comfortable with the way I've been able to adapt so well. I'm disappointed that I have to give up the life I've created here in this space to go back home, but at same time, I'm always telling myself that good things must come to an end.
I believe in the idea of sharing memories and pictures to anyone that I talk with - it helps to get over the post-trip blues and helps to keep fond memories alive.
Racking through hundreds of pictures I took between the last two months, I thought it'd be fun to share them (in no order) in a 500 x 500 collage of places, people, things and of course - food. Some pictures I've shared on Instagram, but most of these are considerably #unseen from my life here.
Each has a story to tell and I'm pretty sure if someone were to ask me about any image from here, I'd be able to talk about what happened at that time, who I was with or what I was doing.

09 June 2015

RE: Met Gala 2015 aka excuse to be racist

About a month or so ago, there was a red carpet event that was meant to be celebrating the opening for an exhibit dedicated to the historical art and culture of China - which is fine. However, there were so many celebrities that did me (and so many other people) so wrong when they turned up to the even wearing 'interpreted' attire for the theme of the Gala - the theme of China. (Rather, many guests took it upon themselves to just generalise it as an Asian theme event and wore, well you know, anything remotely Asian lol.)
Here is  an image of Fan Bingbing in her role as part of her drama series, 武媚娘传奇. For good reason too.

09 April 2015

Seoul Photodump - 2

Post-SFW, and I am mentally drained. As soon as the week finished, I went straight back to being a regular student and I was fine on the outside, but I was so tired, and still am, just from the rush of everything. Exams are soon and thus I'm trying to balance out socialising, because I've seemed to become a social butterfly here (good for my timid personality back home actually), for studying, budding relationships - a totally different story save for some other time and for my personal time. Which I think I can manage, it's just I feel like I never have time to actually think about it. That's why I decided spontaneously to do a dump post today to sort out a few highlights in the past few weeks and to just try to make sure I can still write properly in English (I'm beginning to lose my English speaking skills.)

25 March 2015

SFW FW 2015

It's been a few days since SFW ended, and it's taken me a while to recover from the excitement and thrill of just being there - let alone being invited as an international guest to back-to-back shows that I've only managing to try recalling everything now in a mildly detailed post now. Of course I can't promise that I can talk about everything because I actually can't remember much - the days were long but they went so fast, starting from 9am till 8pm with half an hour in between each show.
Before starting to scroll through this post, I recommend playing this song in the background for a 'fashion environment ambient'. It was a song that I had heard during a show, and instantly fell in love with.
SongKiasmos (Ólafur Arnalds & Janus Rasmussen) 
Because everyone has to take a picture of the mural right?

I will try my best to make this an interesting post to sift through! Warning, picture heavy! A mix of both DSLR and iPhone, so mind the change in quality constantly. Without further ado....

05 March 2015

Seoul Photodump - 1

The past week in Korea have been exceptionally wonderful for personal growth, culture shock and lots of eating. It still feels surreal to be here and sometimes I wake up going, "oh my god, I'm not at home, I'm away for studying."
Classes have been really good too, even for orientation. Sometimes I felt a bit out of place because I would be singled out as an international student and have lots of eyes on me but I've kind of grown to like it, with people coming up slowly to say hi to me in English. It's really cute actually, I've noticed that the students here are incredibly good at English but are just shy about conversing. Just like me with Korean, they're too worried about their pronunciation and if they'll make mistakes, as I'd be with my Korean so we just don't talk at all.
I've made lots of good friends too so I'm thankful for this chance to really expand my network of international friends.
I'm still kind of in a massive loop of school/ going around vlogging (very dedicated for the time being) and meeting people, so I haven't really had the time to sit down and properly blog about anything that would be fashion related and/to Korea either, so for now just have fun looking at a picture heavy post - one picture can be worth a thousand words~

04 March 2015

OVERGROWN PARK

Gentlemonster Quantum Project x Overgrown Park
Installation Exhibition in conjunction with Park Sohee

28 February 2015

Saigon to Seoul 2015

Words cannot describe how crazy the last few days has been. I went from being in Melbourne, to being in Vietnam then going to Korea all within a week. I've been vlogging too, so if you're interested in watching me mumble a bit and running around, the links are here: one, two, three!

26 February 2015

Vietnam

Happy belated lunar New Year, or as in Vietnamese, Chúc Mừng Năm Mới! I made my en route
from Melbourne to Saigon on the 20th to spend some time with family that I haven’t seen in ages and to celebrate the ending of Tết and just to explore Saigon (HCMC) for a few days. The last time I was in Vietnam was about 6-7 years ago when I just started highschool, so it's been a long time, so everything and anything was fun to take pictures off (so thankyou to my uncle who was nice enough to wait for me everytime he saw me take my phone out.)
TL;DR, this post is just a general (personal?) photo dump mainly from my phone so I'm not sure how to classify this post. Enjoy the pictures, scroll through, etc.
*For some people, who were curious about why I call the city Saigon instead of HCMC, it's upbringing of family who have their political and personal history with Vietnam. There is no written rule of whether it should be called HCMC or Saigon though.


19 February 2015

Updated skin-care routine

The last time I posted anything about my skin-care routine was back in 2013 (it's not like I had posted that much anyway) and since it's 2015, I thought about sharing what I use now, I feel like maybe a few things have changed, but the outcome of the products are still the same and thankfully so, because I still have my dry-sensitive skin. 
+ On the side note that I leave to go overseas on the 20th and the climate changes dramatically, so this is essentially everything I would have to bring with me...
FYI this is how my skin has been looking these days and I have to admit, lots of good food, water and sleep is good for the soul, mind and skin. Cheerzzz xo


17 February 2015

WHATS IN YOUR BAG?

(150216) Anonymous asked: Hey Chau! Would you ever do a what's-in-my-bag post? I'd love to see what are your holy grail accessories!
Ah, you ask and it shall be answered. In good time too since I'm in the middle of packing so this was a good way to help me sort out what to bring with me while I'll be away, so let us get started? (I didn't really think through how I was going to do this so bare with the crummy pictures, please and thankyou) 

16 February 2015

Why Paris was, is, and always will be the Fashion Capital.

Somewhere along the days, weeks and months of my last post I just got sidetracked with the Christmas, New Year, my birthday, my job, finding out I'd be going away for a few months, spending the remaining days in the country with my best friend and celebrating Valentines etc, etc, etc and lost the mojo to seriously post. I'd rather not post for months on end and then post something worth reading rather than be posting unrefined things that capture my attention.
I was going to leave my blog to linger for a bit more until I went away but someone asked me, between Paris and London, which is the true capital city of #fashion. I was going to give a really half-assed answer but then I realised there really is a lot to it and it'd be nice to write (since I haven't written in ages) and to get in-depth about it would be fun, for anyone who's interested really. (Rather I'm writing this for my own purpose to boost my brain's working ability before I start school again.)