Two weeks ago, I decided to give myself a break and purchased a last minute ticket online to fly back for my annual family Christmas get together in Fort Worth, Texas (aka “The Lonestar State”)… my hometown.
As expected with most all-American (relatively) mid-sized towns like Fort Worth, everything is all spread out. In Texas we call this spread a “sprawl”, the opposite of Hong Kong density.
Texas is SPRAWLING.
Below and Above, The Kimbell Museum designed by Louis Khan.
For this brief non-Asia specific blog post, I wanted to present my photos of Texan “sprawl” as it relates to some of Fort Worth’s most unique cultural treasures, a group of world class museums which emerge lightly like an oasis on a sea of a very flat wintery beige landscape.
First off, I find the sheer existence of these museums, with their breathtaking and unique collections set… in the middle of Fort Worth’s vast flat grassland really oddly fascinating. How did these clusters of museums get built on this site… amongst the flatness, the occasional taco stand, the gas station, and some 1950’s post-war reconstruction government edifices, in the first place?!
Well thanks to Oil Money and a very philanthropic minded Oil Family (the Bass Family), all these museums stand here today. That said, I’m thankful to have had such an access to the Kimbell Art Museum’s rare permanent collections at such formative years. The Kimbell houses a highly curated and select collection of important works by old-world masters such as, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, El Greco, Velazquez, in an intimate building designed by none other than a master, Louis Kahn. It’s no surprise that I ended up following a creative career path with that kind of cultural influence in my own back yard.
As I recently walked in and around Kahn’s introverted yet timeless building most notable for its series of barrel-vaulted roofs, I was immediately transported back to all those moments when my relationship with art and architecture first bloomed right there in that very museum.
Above, the Kimbell Extension by Renzo Piano.
Other buildings I visited in the museum complex; the newly opened glass roof extension to The Kimbell, by Italian architect, Renzo Piano. Across the street, and about twice the size of the Kahn’s Kimbell, at two full stories, my other favorite; The Modern, by Japanese architect, Tadao Ando, with a collection of contemporary masterpieces.
Below, The Modern by Tadao Ando.
Both buildings by Piano and Ando, with their repetitive roof forms, also sit lightly on a generally flat site just like The Kimbell. Both designs are strongly influenced by Khan’s Kimbell planning, the Kimbell being at the core of Fort Worth’s museum complex, tying three beautiful modern buildings together.
Lucky Forth Worth.
I just want to add that before I flew to Texas, I was graciously gifted one of only 74 limited edition travel satchels… a special red and blue colored Seventy Eight Percent ”Dimitri”, designed by an amazing person, Hong Kong based- Israeli designer, Shai Levy, a creative I covered on this blog several times before.
What makes the bag special is that it is Seventy Eight Percent’s first collaborative bag ever, this one with noted New York accessories designer, Eddie Borgo, a jewellery wunderkid who is known for his luxuriously sleek-yet-punk triangular and pyramid shaped motifs. This bag’s print of “interlocking triangles” is definitely a great example of that formal obsession with the triangle…. my favorite shape.
Below, Bag by Seventy Eight Percent x Eddie Borgo, Levi’s Jeans, Club Monaco Blazer, Watch by Daniel Wellington, shirt by J.Crew, Shoes by Ralph Lauren.
The “Dimitri” Eddie Borgo bag was a perfect travel companion to the States for me. I was able to fit everything in this stress-free and stylish lightweight carry-all… my SLR camera, sunglasses, passport, travel documents, wallet, iPad, keys, diary, and smartphone. With everything that I placed inside, it was still a surprisingly light carry.
Material of the leather is vegetable tanned (great for the environment), and the canvas a Japanese cotton.
The limited edition Eddie Borgo bag is available now at Lane Crawford Hong Kong (IFC, Harbour City, Times Square Causeway Bay) and Lane Crawford online and comes in Beige and Brown. Another collaborative line is with Brooklyn-based artist, Julia Chiang, available in all Blue and Beige and Green. A portion of the proceeds of the collaborative bags go to the Changing Lives Foundation, a foundation focused on reaching out to underprivileged youngsters in Hong Kong and Mainland.
And because it’s red and blue, it was THE perfect travel accessory for a trip to the U.S.of.A! It was good to be back, albeit briefly.
SHOP Seventy Eight Percent x Eddie Borgo . Seventy Eight Percent x Julia Chiang / WEAR Seventy Eight Percent / WEAR Eddie Borgo / FOLLOW Julia Chiang Artist / VISIT Kimbell Art Museum / VISIT The Modern Fort Worth / CHARITY INFORMATION Changing Lives Foundation in Hong Kong
Style Photography Courtesy of Travis Guba Los Angeles
Shanghai is so glamorous these days. I don’t live there. I don’t wish to live there, but like Singapore… it’s fun to visit… for a weekend. And like Singapore, it’s glam, but the kind that Hong Kong is glam in the way it’s defined as a luxury brands destination multiplied by 100. Whereas Singapore is glam in a bigger-is-better and a there’s-so-much-green-space-and-fresh-air kind of way… which Shanghai is not.
In my last business trip to Shanghai in October I was able to check out this Esprit DIOR cocktail, previewing a special pop-up exhibition of Dior archived dresses and sketches at the MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai thanks to my pal Katrina. Actually it was a really unique week since most of us Hong Kongers were in Shanghai for our respective jobs and it just so happened to coincide with Shanghai Fashion Week, which culminated at the DIOR MOCA Cocktail and later on for the opening of the new 150,000 sq.ft. (4/5?) story tall Lane Crawford at the Shanghai Times Square. Even ZARA at the Shanghai Time Square had a cocktail party… I mean, ZARA? They never do any marketing of any sort. Who knows how much DIOR and Lane Crawford paid for such glam events, however if you’re a fashion brand, and you don’t Go Big or Go Broke in Shanghai, then you’re probably missing out on Shanghai’s consumer renaissance.
Apologies for these really poor photographs. My early flight made me forget two of my blogging cameras and had to rely on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 to capture the “glam”. Enjoy the photos!
+ ESPRIT DIOR / MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai
I’ve never been to the MOCA in Shanghai, however as part of the museum’s desire “to promote artistic and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world”, they were glad to host the House of Dior for three month exhibition to display their archives. The cocktail evening for guests and clients of DIOR was nice, and the sheer amount of dresses (100 in total) and sketches on display was quite special. I was shocked to learn that the exhibition was not free, especially since it’s essentially a marketing exhibition for fashion brand. However the standard rate at 30 Yuan is really not that expensive, and i’m sure it separates only serious patrons vs the masses. Plenty of photographs by iconic stylists and photographers, like Patrick Demarchelier, and beautiful collaborative works of art made for this exhibit by some of China’s top current artists curated by Florence Muller.
Video work by Qiu Zhijie lined the entrance ramp, and several paintings of Mr. Dior by Zhang Huan, Yan Peiming, and Zheng Fanzhi, were situated around the path amongst iconic dresses laid out in thematic sections like, Pink and Red, Versailles, Paris, and Garden (all Raf Simons.) I really enjoyed the presence of an actual beading practitioner from the French atelier. It was beautiful to see these pieces go from sketch, to application, to finished works of art. We had a great time.
VISIT Esprit DIOR . MOCA - People’s Park, 231 Naning West Road, Shanghai 200003, China . 13 SEP 2013 - 20 NOV 2013
+ LANE CRAWFORD SHANGHAI / Times Square in Xin Tian Di
After leaving the Esprit DIOR cocktail, the gang then went on to Time Square Shanghai at Xin Tian Di to meet up with a larger Hong Kong crew who just so happened to be in the city that night or who were collaborating the Lane Crawford Department Store for their grand opening… 7 years after it closed it’s last shop here. And “Grand Opening” was an understatement as our car pulled up to a red carpet which was complete with strobe lights on all sides. For a moment there I thought this was not a usual LC launch like you see in Hong Kong… this was a Lane Crawford Movie Premier!
It was surprising to see just how many from Hong Kong were there that night. People I saw (and i’m sure there were more I didn’t see since I was only there for an hour) included; Alex Daye and Ellis Kreuger, tailors of Moustache manning their themed bar, bag designer Michelle Lai of MISCHA (they carry her bags there), Tangram designer Paola Sinisterra, jewellery and accessories designer Kate Barnett, my blogger pals Denise Lai and Jason Lam (who are actually based in Shanghai now), style editor and blogger Diviah Harilela, online editor Avery Booker, photographer Laurent Segretier, and of course my buddies, Louise, Katrina, and Hammer & Needle’s designer Jason Reason.
On the run up to it, everyone was on the same crazy whatsapp thread trying to find a place to meet up before the event and after. We all ended up meeting around the Moustache bar on a section of the 4th Floor. Place all of us in a Lane Crawford party in Central IFC and we’d take up the whole party, but our group was only about 5% of who was there, since there was a guest list of about 4,000 people. As our buddy, PR Guru, Nick Cakebread of BBDO who ran the DIOR event said, they must have collated every guest list there was in town. Anyone in Shanghai who possibly went to events were all there that night.
In the age of online e-commerce, it’s interesting to see such investment in brick and mortars like Lane Crawford Shanghai plus the newly opened 10 Corso Como there, and re-opened Galeries Lafayette in Beijing. After all we still need shops like this to help educate “style”, “Taste”, “feel”, and “fit”, in the ever growing luxuries market there… something that’s hard to transcend via a computer screen.
SHOP Lane Crawford Shanghai . Time Square, 99 Huai Hai Zhong Road, Shanghai, China . T: 400-1201483 . H: 10am to 10pm M-SUN
Check it out. This week, Lane Crawford’s collaborative arm, BLITZ, just received a whole shipment of the lastest and hottest selection of Men’s and Women’s Slippers (of the Prince Albert variety), from preppy American shoe brand, Stubbs & Wootton. Founded 20 years ago by Percy Steinhart, the brand is now getting revved up for quite a global presence, even though the shoe has only been available in the brand’s own stores in New York City and Palm Beach, as well as a few select online outlets like Mr. Porter and J.Crew.
In these past few days, Hong Kong’s weather has finally gotten down to the teens (I know… gasp) and now this city’s fashion-obsessed believers, and there are many, will finally get to wear outerwear, layers, and winter garb without looking dreadfully silly while doing it. Personally as a guy who spent many years in upstate New York and then New York City before moving to Hong Kong, I’m in love with Winter, and always associate these months with the cold. It’s just not right without it.
As part of our brand partnership with Club Monaco, we get to report their latest offering in winterwear, and a good thing too, because for this year there’s a bit something extra for Menswear shoppers in Hong Kong only, and that is the offering of a Limited Edition selection of Cashmere fashions only available in Lane Crawford stores throughout the city.
With the help of Stylist/Photographer, Olivia Tsang, Club Monaco was able to capture the these winter garbs on this season’s tastemakers from three different walks of life… Jonathan Yee, Fashion Editor of MANIFESTO (left), musician, Jun Kung (right) and us!
Jonathan wears the Cashmere Cable knit cardigan and Jun is sporting the cashmere hoodie in Navy and Orange.
We’re wearing the Cashmere V-Neck in electric blue looking snuggly underneath a McQueen baseball jacket.
Besides the v-neck i’m wearing above, my four other picks definitely include the cable knit cardigan Jonathan is wearing.
If I wasn’t wearing the McQueen baseball jacket, i’d try this cashmere version on for size…
For something a bit more neutral and subdued, i’d go for this Moss Stitch Cashmere Crewneck. The moss stich is quite elegant and makes a nice and refined shape for the sweater. Definitely it’s a sweater that keeps its form and doesn’t slouch like the others.
But my top pick would have to be this Textured Stripe Cashmere Crewneck in Blue. The design has all the touches of Aaron Levine (CM’s VP of Menswear)… it’s rugged, looks a bit vintage, has that “inside-out” effect, but meticulously crafted and put together. Not to mention super comfortable.
"Every piece in the men’s collection is special," says Levine, "The quality of the Italian cashmere is spectacular and the silhouettes we chose are sophisticated and elegant. We’ve been playing with twisting the yarns and keeping things interesting with a larger range of colors." Levine adds that plenty of inspiration from the collection come from iconic pieces like hoodies and baseball jackets. Its menswear you can slack around at home in, then walk straight out to a casual dinner after.
CLUB MONACO is a BRAND PARTNER of theWanderlister+ and BrewandPost.
Fantastical Taiwanese-American illustrator/artist, James Jean, was in town recently to promote his new line of Women’s jewelry and accessories, OVM.
JJ (James Jean) x JJ at Library Cafe, October 25th, 2012. I was trying to show him how to sketch over our picture on my new Samsung Galaxy Note 2. (via theW+ Instagram)
For comic book geek fans out, James began his career at DC Comics illustrating almost 100 covers for the acclaimed graphic series, Fables, a comic based on the dysfunctional lives of our beloved Fairy Tale characters from Disney who has since grown up as adults living in New York City. Of course, I’m a big comic book geek myself so i’m an extremely huge fan.
No so little Red Riding Hood. (via SCENE360)
Lane Crawford’s BLITZ is exclusively carrying the OVM line online and in-store. But the Lane Crawford location in Harbour City has something extra special… it’s got the James Jean touch.
Made especially as a special project for the store, James spent a few days illustrating a new concept about a fairy nymph named, Wellym (Velum) who has spent many lifetimes trying to make a home out of a glass box in the forest. This glass box is the quintessential BLITZ gallery space in the middle of the store, and the character is depicted in white brush strokes encasing the box.
In true James Jean fashion, the composition of the works reflects his constant use of a layering of characters over multiple backdrops. BLITZ’s glass box was a perfect canvas for lines and text float freely over scarves, gifts, transparent plastic bags, and jewelry.
A few product shots… The Bone Necklace in Blue.
The Butterfly Bangle.
Butterfly Pierce Earrings.
The Mother and Child Pierce.
Check out the video here.
So this is my TOMS Collection.
Well not quite (although my own collection isn’t THAT far off).
This is actually the display of the store in Manila I used to visit just so I can choose a good pair of TOMS from an almost complete collection. Even Blake Mycoskie, the owner and founder of TOMS knows well the Filipino obsession for the shoes since it’s practically one of the first markets in Asia to embrace the alpargata, the name of the Argentinian shoes TOMS are modeled after. Actually I first wore TOMS in Boracay, where they were sold in a little fashion boutique shop. It makes sense really since TOMS are more akin to flip flops, usually worn in more relaxed tropical climates, than they they are to bespoke leather footware that us city folk use on a day to day business.
Well folks. Since Boracay… I find myself wearing TOMS on an almost day to day basis. Even to work.
When not in Manila, I’ve almost had to venture as far as San Fransisco to grab myself a pair.
Not anymore, this past month, the folks at PEDDER and Lane Crawford have begun selling what seems like the full collection online.
Before the launch, I was delivered a book written by Blake, titled, Start Something That Matters (2011), summarizing the whole start up story of the TOMS brand in the first chapter, and spends the next 7 chapters bullet pointing key concepts for would-be entrepreneurs who want to do something beneficial for society via their business.
In a nutshell Blake keeps it simple by summarizing the TOMS idea (fifth startup business for him), and then telling readers to find their story, face their fears, how to be resourceful, keeping ideas simple, building trust, and learning how to “give” as a general rule.
The book is very interesting, straightforward, and an honest to-the-point account of how the TOMS “empire” came about. In a nutshell, TOMS is the first business model of its kind… you buy a pair, they give a pair to kids in need of shoes. Yes, TOMS are modeled after the alpargata, but was completely redesigned by Blake in Argentina for Western needs and urban lifestyles, taking into account comfort, style, and long lasting durability. No, TOMS is not the name of the owner, it stands for “Tomorrow’s Shoes”. And yes, they’ve kept their word, and to this day still distribute shoes globally and one to one via Giving Partners.
Interestingly enough for the social entrepreneurs out there, TOMS was Blake’s fifth business venture… I guess there are just people out there who aren’t born to be paper pushers. Basically according to the book, with the right determination, right simple idea, right story, right product, and right social cause… you’ve got something that people would really like to invest in. In this day and age with so many products bombarding for our attention, a product with a social benefit attached to it will most likely be a brand’s point of difference.
Below, TOMS owned by Danielle of WHITESPACE HK (left), Denise of SUPERWOWOMG (top), LC Blitz’s Marika (right), and my own.
Anyway enough text. Lets look at products and pretty pictures of TOMS pairs on display. #iWant all of them.
Blake came to inaugurate the full collection in Hong Kong at Lane Crawford IFC.
In attendance were Danielle and CLOT’s Kevin Poon.
Blake with artist Charles Munka who designed a shoe for auction.
Blake with artists PRODIP and Jin Meyerson, both also created a special TOMS shoe for Auction.
Shoes by ANOTHERMOUNTAINMAN.
And James Jean, who is in town this week to promote a new line of accessories for Line Crawford BLITZ.
My friends, Mimi and Martin, who are establishing a Fashion / Social Entrepreneurship Business in Hong Kong, in part because they read Blake’s book and were inspired.
Hong Kong Island Magazine’s Coco and Hajime, TOMS head of International Sales and a “Dude-Guy-Brah” according to his business card.
Blake with Christing C.
Blake with Auntie Susan of XPOSURE
The usual suspects with Vogue China’s Grace
Just met the lovely Luisa Fietta, GM at Pedder Red. (This pic styled by Grace hehe)
Dude fight. Jason Capobianco versus Blake.
Hello. The conversation was all about Texas, where we both grew up.
Thanks for the book!
AND the autograph.
In the end of the day it’s a business model which benefits both consumers and non consumers equally. Name me any other fashion brand who works on a one-for-one business model. And they look great… with almost everything. (Well in my opinion.)
Anyway, my work life is less stressful when I wear these that’s for sure. (Well NOT the strawberry one below…. but you get what I mean.)
One of the biggest challenges in general may have to be working with kids.
A bigger challenge than working with kids is probably working with kids a day after a major party, ie. our Brew&Post launch. But since proceeds of the sales from mama kid’s collaboration with BLITZ Lane Crawford goes to the Hong Kong chapter of the Ronald McDonald House… and the fact that I actually get to build paper airplanes (instead of buildings ala my day job), I was excited about being invited at all to work with kids for a day to teach them how to fold these seemingly easy paper plane designs.
(Okay they were easy… but one wrong fold and then you’re dead meat.)
mama kid is a lifestyle boutique for children in Central Hong Kong with fashion and accessories targeted at newborns to kids 8 years of age. The store is a quirky Kapok-style shop for so-called “fashion savvy” kids. Although I doubt that kids have anything to do with their own “fashion savvy-ness” (that’s a hipster parent’s job), that said, the pop-up at BLITZ sold items I myself would have bought for me at this and any age.
I mean check out this cool paper boat. So neat.
Things I would have bought for myself… this book titled, All My Friends Are Dead, by Avery Monsen and Jory John, which is a funny/poignant lesson on life’s positives and negatives. A few days later I went back to look for it, but it was sold out.
I’m always up for knick-knacks buried deep within candy jars…
Love these Je T’aime New York Totes.
I dig these mini SUPERGA’s.
I would have bought everything.
Anyway, now time for Saturday Morning, Avions de Papier.
BLITZ asked to see if I wanted to teach a class on folding paper airplanes since I practice as an architect… I really wished folding paper airplanes all day equated to the work I did because if that really was the case, I would be feeling ZEN the whole week. (Actually I DONT wish that was the case considering the grim reality of architecture in other parts of the world.)
The book has loads of planes, but due to Children’s attention spans, we only folded three plane types. We were given a stack of cheat sheets with color coded lines so me and the kids could be on the “same page”.
Besides some minor freak outs…
It was a fun way to spend the morning as it turns out.
Polly Lam also taught the kids to YOYO LIKE A PRO
Everyone was inspired.
The value of sharing and giving back to the community is imparted to children via an activity-filled day organized for kids aged 2 to 8 years old. Volunteer professionals and enthusiasts shared how-to’s and tips through fun workshops such as yo-yo, scoubidou, story-telling and origami amongst others on it’s launch date. All children invited included children from the Ronald McDonald House. A portion of all sale proceeds will also be donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Participants included theWanderlister+, Art Space, Polly Lam, Matt Abergel, Li Ting, Sean MacFarlane, Peter Yule, the Kid’s Gallery.
The mama kid pop up with BLITZ is available at Lane Crawford Canton Road for a Limited Period of Time.