Saturday, September 25, 2010


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove
O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle's compass come.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out ev'n to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, not no man ever loved.

William Shakespeare 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Look, ma! I'm finally getting around to posting some photos from my vacation! Granted, I'm too lazy for them to be anything other than Facebook-quality photos but there are some real gems despite the low-quality resizing ;)

First I'm just going to reiterate that it was an amazing trip. The food, the scenery, the people - everything we saw was incredibly different from my norm at home and it made such a huge impression on me in so, so many ways. You never really think about other places in the world until you visit them - of course, you think about them when there are famines and floods and they come up in the news, but is there a real connection there?

As a girl with Chinese blood, despite being several generations removed from "the motherland", there's something inexplicably magical about setting foot on the ground your ancestors lived and loved on; something unspeakably heart-clenching about being surrounded by the people who speak the language of your lineage in a place that isn't quite home but holds a strange power over you to the degree that, if you think hard enough, it could be.

an alleyway in one of the gorgeous old parts of Shanghai; due to modern construction this particular area was a block of tiny houses entirely enclaved by apartment complexes and high-rises

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Hi everyone!

So it's been a week since I returned from vacation and to be honest I'm still not quite up for blogging yet. (I know, I know - I talk about committing to a blog and five posts later I'm already tired of it or something.) But the thing is, after spending three weeks fundamentally wireless it's a little hard for my attention span to focus on writing a blog entry that can even begin to justifiably illustrate all the wonderful things that happened on my vacation! It's hard to write anything, to be honest - even emails!

So I'm giving you a headsup that I'm going to spend a few more days adjusting back to my usual (ridiculous) level of internet usage and web browsing. I'm still gearing back up with some things to talk about including my amazing list of textbooks for school and some great things I've seen lately, but at the moment (sadly... feel free to snicker) all I can bring myself to really do on the internet is watch episodes of How I Met Your Mother (which I quite enjoy - check it out if you like Friends-style sitcoms!) and half-heartedly attempt to keep up with my regular internet activities.

I honestly never thought getting back on the grid would be so exhausting.

So, pictures up soon (I promise!) and more exciting things to come as soon as I get over this hump.

much love,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I'm almost off for vacation! In only two days I'm going to be off on a plane completely to the other side of the world. Our itinerary is Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei, preceded by a one-day stopover in Shanghai. I've been counting down for days and bouncing on the pads of my feet in anticipation for months but now that it's finally here reality has been crashing down - I still have to finish packing and get school business settled for the moment before we leave! All things considered, August isn't the most convenient travel month considering that we arrive back in Vancouver only a week and a half before I start school at UBC, but at the moment all I'm preoccupied with is thinking of the fantastic deals I'm hoping to find in one of Asia's hugest city centers for shopping! (Materialistic? Perhaps. But I have spent a hack of a lot of time looking up fun things to do and try - I'm especially anticipating a trip to one of those fabled fish foot spas where tiny fish nibble at the dead skin on your feet. Sounds disgusting but like such a cool experience!)

Now if only I had gorgeous luggage to go with my exciting trip... I'm sharing one of those standard massive canvas luggage bags with my sisters and though it's convenient I can't help but wish I had some of the lovely, brightly-coloured vintage luggage that I've been seeing around lately... some of the below maybe?


Gorgeous, aren't they? The tennis racquet compartment on the very first bag is just adorable - too bad I don't actually play tennis (and have failed all attempts at learning... going from a badminton racquet to a much heavier and much wider tennis racquet is havoc on my brain!). The stickers and lucite handle on the yellow traincase are such a cool touch and I especially love the kid's hat box to the left and those lovely brightly-coloured luggage sets! I found all of these on Etsy and the listings are linked to the photos. I'm actually hoping to find a carryon bag similar to the light tan one above for school when it starts in September - but I suppose we'll see! I will hopefully squeeze in another entry before I leave so I will see you in a couple of days!

much love,

Saturday, July 31, 2010

WHAT IS LOVE don't hurt me:


I'm just kidding about the above. Sort of.

I just wanted to reflect because I've been mentally involved in a heck of a lot of things lately (that's just a fancy way to say "I've been watching Pushing Daisies all day for the past three days and got my mind blown by Inception on Wednesday", the former of which definitely requires a fashion post due to Chuck's cherry-pie-sweet 50s/60s ensembles, and also to say "tomorrow is Vancouver's Pride Parade which certainly raises its own contemplations) and, very much, these many multiple things have me thinking about that infamous four letter word, love.

It's such a massive thing to even try and wrap our tiny human minds around so it's kind of surprising actually how often we do it in music, TV, literature. Funny that so much of our time and devotion to life is dedicated to a complicated thing that nobody ever quite understands. But I think it is understandable that so many of us spend time chasing this complicated thing, because after all, complicated things are the ones most often worth chasing.

Still, therein lies the problem: we spend so much time chasing love, as if it's some tricky butterfly we can somehow maneuver around to catch in a cleaned-out peanut butter jar. Magazines are plastered with headlines on how to catch happiness through finding your one true love, and (though I hate to always pin things on that very vague and stereotypically ominous "the media") the movies we watch and commercials we try to ignore extoll the virtues of finding love (often, in the second case, through the use of new aftershave or the purchase of a very expensive piece of jewellery). And there is no problem with wanting to feel loved. There is certainly no problem in wishing that the romance of The Notebook will seep from its pages into our own lives, though it certainly is incredibly unlikely. We script the movies and novels that motor our idea of love; people who need love like any other person are the ones who create that which we draw from.

Here are my love-related thoughts of the day (I say of the day because you can probably expect more on this topic: I always have thoughts on it, for the very reason that, as I said, it is incredibly complicated to talk about).

Love is not loud. It doesn't always shout or jump up and down in front of you; it is not so noticeable that you need run after it. Often, you find it in the least predictable places, and no number of teen magazines advising you on your love life and analyzing your horoscope will find you those places. Maybe you won't have to dust off your magnifying glass and start rooting around for love at all, because it will have been with you from the start. Love will not always make you happy; it will, very often, make you angry. But that doesn't mean it isn't love. And, well, you're right - love is forever. Just not always in one person.

And who is to say that you have to place all your bets on one kind of person? Love isn't a non-transferable bus ticket. Love (very much like an infectious airborne disease) is everywhere and (once you get near the end of the pandemic) in everyone.

But I think that's nearing an entirely different discussion.

much love (oh, the irony of my usual signature really aches with this post),

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real. It doesn't happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.

The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."
Margery Williams

Friday, July 23, 2010


The other day I was perusing various books on Amazon and came across Lanvin by Dean L. Merceron. This is the wonder of the internet, that I can stumble across something and develop an interest I can immediately bring into real life by requesting it through my local library! MAGIC.

Anyhow, I picked it up from the library on Sunday and have since been feasting on a visual cornucopia.

I am following somewhat of a policy of honesty on this blog so here is a note: I have yet to completely read the book, in a manner of speaking. It's divided into several sections like Clientele (which is itself divided into things like Bride and Debutante), Inspiration & Symbolism (Familial, Catholic), and Lanvin Craftsmanship. The text is small and crammed with verbose descriptions of workmanship, history, and direction. Although very detailed and very interesting, I couldn't help but skim.

Because this is the equivalent of a drool-worthy grown-up picture book.

The book concentrates on the life and inspiration of Jeanne Lanvin herself, the mastermind and founder behind Maison Lanvin. It chronicles her journey from millinery in the early 1900s through to children's clothing and then women's couture by the 1920s. I was surprised at how little I knew about an amazing woman dedicated to the finest details of her craft. Considering my undying love for Alber Elbaz and his work, I was blown away by everything mentioned about Lanvin and her life that I didn't know a thing about.

The greatest understanding Merceron was able to convey to me was Lanvin's place in the world she lived in. She was designing at the same time as Chanel and Vionnet; in the 20s women embraced their empowerment through dress. Coco Chanel may be the most well-known story of those times today (think about it - how many Chanel quotes do you find on girls' blogs and Facebook pages?). But Lanvin was in a category all her own.

Although Jean Patou and Gabrielle Chanel introduced a new sportswear sensibility to high fashion that came to characterize the century, Lanvin, unlike the designers who preceded her or were her true contemporaries (both Patou and Chanel were over a decade younger than Lanvin), was able to present not only a convincing alternative to the industrial modernism of her younger colleagues with her emphatic but rarely cloying romanticism ... a paradoxical mix of sophistication and charm. It was a potent combination that a woman might desire for herself. Even at her sleekest, the Lanvin woman never conveyed the hard chic of Chanel. The air of prettiness created in the Lanvin ateliers of tailleur and flou reflected a gentler ideal of elegance.

from introduction by Harold Koda

Is it any wonder that I want to be a Lanvin girl? Full of glossy photos, this book kills me with detail shots and dress sketches from the ateliers of Lanvin's empire. And while I also have a certain perpetual longing to be a Chanel girl, anyone can admit that the brand Chanel brings up images of prim tweed suits, the woman with direction and very high heels. Lanvin, on the other hand, designed for French women who wanted empowerment and who lived for the elegance of someone who knows who they are, but brought in an element of feminine beauty like a tiny breeze from foreign places. Lanvin actually also covers interesting thoughts on her foreign influences - she was a woman of travel and loved Asia and the Middle East. Combined with a nostalgic sweetness borrowed heavily from styles of the 1700s, sewn together with painstaking hand-stitched embroidery and beading, every piece photographed is a marvel. The author himself gives wonderful insight into the details shown. It really is too bad that I was so distracted by the gorgeous visuals!

The above dress may be one of my favourites shown in the book, and its clean lines but decorated detail are a perfect example of the Lanvin aesthetic: pretty, frothy, but sleek and modern enough for the new post-20s woman. Um, not to mention that it is RIDICULOUSLY GORGEOUS. Just saying.

I'm also very much drawn to Lanvin's creations due to the motifs that Merceron discusses - including, of course, the beloved Lanvin bow. He writes some very, very interesting commentary on a wedding dress Lanvin designed that featured pomegranate embroidery as a metaphor - now that is what I adore about fashion and couture as art.

As I said before, I have undying love for Alber Elbaz, so I was very pleased with his foreword and the part written by Merceron about his own contribution to making the Lanvin label what it is now after decades of dormancy. There's a good chunk of the book dedicated to Lanvin under Elbaz, in the form of several full-spread photographs from the runway and from photoshoots with his work. It's also very pretty, though after several hundred pages of vintage attention to detail, detail shots of the overt modern simplicity of his design do disappoint a little bit. The best part of the Elbaz section, hands-down, are his sketches - some might call them abstractions of the female form, I say that his sketches are reminiscent of a child's but that just makes me adore him even more!


all images from Lanvin by Dean L. Merceron. Further credits for individual photos can be found in the book itself.

Here are my parting words regarding Lanvin. If you like fashion and even if you "just like art", you need to pick it up and take a read. If you have money, buy it on Amazon. If you don't (like me), go to the library and see if you can find it. It's beautiful and informative and just so lovely and inspiring that I don't have the words. You don't see anything quite like vintage couture in the world today.

much love,