Bite Me Butt

Last month, Hong Kong based Bite Me magazine launched at Kapok on Sun Street (where else), one the city’s long time cultural anchors, to great fanfare. In attendance of course is the founders, editorial team, Katrina Tran, the Chief Editor, and Jason Schlabach, the Art Director, to host friends, guests, and fans at a pre-Art Basel soiree.

Bite Me magazine, is an “independently published art magazine”, with a “not-so-serious, cheeky perspective of Cultural Phenomena”, according to their website. The Bi-Annual magazine, filled with content from various accomplished contributors from different creatives fields such as graphic design, photography, art, illustration, and literature; have already made its big jump beyond the city into the global arena with stockists located in New York City’s MoMA PS1 Store and Printed Matter, LA’s Creatures of Comfort, London’s Serpentine Gallery, Tate Modern, and White Cube, Paris’ Colette, and Sydney’s Incu… just to name a few. 

The opening, which quickly turned into a block party, drew a huge crowd of over 300 guests, including fashion editor, Grace Lam, graphic designer, Danielle Huthart and RONWAN, branding expert, Marc Brulhart, photographer, Jason Capobianco, accessories designer, Michelle Lai, illustrator / jeweller, Kate Barnett, and Kapok’s founder, Arnault Castel, of course. 

We chat briefly with the Bite Me team about the concept for Bite Me and what they plan to do with this ultimately successful project from here on out.

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theWanderlister+: Tell me where did the idea for Bite Me Magazine come from?

BITE ME: After years of coming up with magazine ideas, the reason that this one finally made it to the printer and into a finished product is that it was the perfect combination of a cheeky idea and a serious dedication to quality. What started as an offhand joke about removing the identity and ego from modelling in fashion magazines by only showing butts, turned into a months long creative journey to make a cultural magazine with the very best of high- and low-brow contributions. While the first issue is all about butts (every page of it), we wanted to create an attitude that can be applied to other themes as we work on the second issue.

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theW+: Speaking of Cheeky. The first issue, as you said, is definitely all about “butts”. What’s the best butt in the history of visual culture, and whose butt is trending now?

BM: Well, it has definitely opened our eyes to all the butts that paved the way for a Kim Kardashian or Jen Selter rear selfie to get hundreds of thousands of ‘likes’. One of the first big impacts in mainstream culture was Sarah Baartman in early 19th century London, covered in an essay on objectification and embracing real butts written by Christian McQueen for the magazine. Best butt has to go to Michelangelo’s David, inspiring butt envy for 500 years!

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theW+: I totally agree with you guys on David, it made your cover after all! You guys have only been on newsstands several weeks and already you’ve received quite a positive reception! Why do you think this is? And what have you heard in terms of feedback? Is it something the world needs right now?

BM: The reception has been really encouraging, first with the contributors who were so generous with their talents and then with the readers. I think a big reason has to do with the theme of the first issue. People are responding to the obvious fun we had making the magazine and a much-needed sense of humour in our cultural observations.

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theW+: Tell us about your the two-person team that makes up the editorial staff of the magazine… What’s the process like? And how many of these can we expect a year?

BM: The big creative decisions are all joint, from the contributors list to the flow of the content. But when it comes to producing the magazine, our roles don’t overlap much which is one of the key to us working well together. We review the work constantly, but when it comes to sitting down and making it happen, we do so separately and that keeps our two perspectives from merging too much. We want to maintain our distinct points of view as we work together. We’re aiming to publish BITE ME bi-annually.

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theW: Lastly, what are the magazines from Hong Kong that you guys absolutely love, and what are your thoughts on the publishing offerings here in the city? And how could you see contributing to the bigger picture within the city or the world?

BM: We’re proud to have made this in Hong Kong. Our contributors, such as Kate Barnett, Ron Wan, Ada Hung, Hakan Celebi and others, and printing partner, Asia One, have made it a great experience. There is a lot of creativity emerging in the city and the cultural potential is enormous.

We love independent publishing, such as Ha Wan Pao. That being said, we strive for a global perspective and don’t consider BITE ME to be a Hong Kong focused magazine. We didn’t see anything with this blend of content and attitude in Hong Kong and that further inspired us to make the magazine. If our contribution to the scene would simply be to make people think more broadly about what is possible in this city, we’d be really proud of that.

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Congratulations guys! You’ve done well! I can’t wait to read the next issue! :)

READ Bite Me Magazine ONLINE / READ Bite Me Magazine

JJ.

theWanderlister+ turned 3 today!
Happy Birthday To Us indeed!
Thanks so much for reading this blog. I can’t believe it’s been three whole years already! Initially when I started this hobby, (i’m an architectural and interior designer full time)… the whole point was to try to bring all the sub-cultural cool stuff about Hong Kong, China, and Southeast Asia (basically wherever I travel), to a palatable and more visible level. I also started the blog to force myself to really go out there and appreciate all that living and being in Hong Kong and Asia can offer.
In the three years i’ve worked building this website, Hong Kong has changed so much. I think I just started this blog at the right time when the cultural momentum was only revving up in the city. Now I can hardly keep up! There’s so more stuff going on than the amount I can possibly write about, while still doing all of this part time when I’m free to sit on my iMac and blog.
Anyway, it’s all been fun, and continues to be fun. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me and Wanderlister.com! Hope you can continue to join the journey with me as well.
And this month… it’s Art Basel for the second time in Hong Kong. I’m very excited to say the least.
JJ.

theWanderlister+ turned 3 today!

Happy Birthday To Us indeed!

Thanks so much for reading this blog. I can’t believe it’s been three whole years already! Initially when I started this hobby, (i’m an architectural and interior designer full time)… the whole point was to try to bring all the sub-cultural cool stuff about Hong Kong, China, and Southeast Asia (basically wherever I travel), to a palatable and more visible level. I also started the blog to force myself to really go out there and appreciate all that living and being in Hong Kong and Asia can offer.

In the three years i’ve worked building this website, Hong Kong has changed so much. I think I just started this blog at the right time when the cultural momentum was only revving up in the city. Now I can hardly keep up! There’s so more stuff going on than the amount I can possibly write about, while still doing all of this part time when I’m free to sit on my iMac and blog.

Anyway, it’s all been fun, and continues to be fun. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me and Wanderlister.com! Hope you can continue to join the journey with me as well.

And this month… it’s Art Basel for the second time in Hong Kong. I’m very excited to say the least.

JJ.

#theWanderlist: Lane Crawford Home Unveils Glam New Interiors

Check out Lane Crawford Home & Lifestyle’s airy new digs at the IFC Mall. The new Home concept store devotes 12,000 square meters of space displaying the best in international design brands. Their collection of fine furniture, stylish home decor, lifestyle accessories, and luxury travel essentials is dispersed amongst different re-conceptualized rooms. For example, The Courtyard, a glass enclosed room, will be a specially designated curated space, showcasing inspiring objects from around the world.

Other things to watch out for are furnishing designs that range from colonial era classics to Bauhaus style minimalist pieces. A purple room with a white cloud holds a selection of gifts, home accessories, and gadgets, to outfit your home and the ones  you love. Can’t wait to shop at this fabulous new store. Also watch out for The Glasshouse, a new conceptual restaurant to open here this weekend.

SHOP Lane Crawford Home at the Hong Kong IFC . 4th Floor, Podium 3, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong . T: +852-21183388

JJ.

Have Books, Will Travel. Discover New Cities in 2014 With These Top Travel Guides

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From Left to right; it’s a Mexican Cathedral in Panay Philippines, Villa Savoye in Poissy by Le Corbusier, The Gates in Central Park by artists, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, a Harajuku Girl in Tokyo, and lastly the Santa Maria Dela Pace, my favorite church in Rome.

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There’s just something about traveling. I LOVE TO TRAVEL. My blog was almost called “The Wanderluster” or “The Wanderlust” if it wasn’t for it being such a popular if not albeit appropriately cliche and overused word to label almost any travel/style based blog and/or Pinterest mood board these days. IE. The URL was already taken. So, I turned the “u” with an “i” on the title, and as they say… the rest was social media history! 

As you can see at the photo collage above, when I travel, I always look out for Architecture old and new, fashion trends I see on the street, and unique exhibitions, both indoor and outdoor. Traveling allows me to break with life’s daily monotony, and I always rely on Traveling to remind me that life is lived in different ways by different people, and their cultures and societal norms can help inform a new perspective, which is definitely something I can utilize in my design work and lifestyle choices.

One of my biggest 2014 resolutions, is to attempt to visit new places i’ve never been in Asia, as well as continue to discover the new in my city, Hong Kong, and in the surrounding Pearl River Delta region. To help me with this resolution, I’ve narrowed down four books to help me with this whole discovery.

Not only are these books really beautiful graphically and to the touch (which totally speaks to my design-oriented sensibilities), the four titles also allow me to plan travel itineraries via 4 unique time scales; lifestyle pampering for just a moment, day long architectural walks in my city, 2-day regional jaunts, and long weekend adventures throughout Asia. By the end of the year, i’ll let you know how it all turned out i’m sure. 

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+ 0-6HOURS / Wallpaper* City Guides Hong Kong 2014

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To be honest in the age of the internet, I almost completely forgot about Wallpaper* City Guides. While there was a time that I relied on these guides solely to help me anchor my urban trips, I’ve found them less useful over the years, especially when there are blogs (like mine) that tell you what’s the cool in a city that continually evolves as much as Hong Kong does. 

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theW+ Guide To 7 Design Events in 7 Days for ‘Design Week 2013’ in Hong Kong

It’s Design Week in Hong Kong and it starts today, Wednesday, November 27th 2013. There’s no official design week in the city, not yet anyway/or not really one worth paying attention for, but if there was any kind of “Design Week”, the next 7 Days will pretty much fill your Design-starved well. Here are the Top 7 Design Things to do for the next 7 Days in Hong Kong.

+ TANGRAM x G.O.D & THE POP UP SHOP / Wednesday 13 NOV 27  and Monday 13 DEC 02 . G.O.D and The Space Hollywood Road . SOHO District

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It’s all about HK’s amazing independent fashion tonight, Wednesday, and next Monday and Tuesday, all taking place on Hollywood Road in Hong Kong’s very cool SOHO District. Tangram will be launching their capsule collection with G.O.D.  and fashion accessories brands M.I.S.C.H.A. and NIIN spearheads an amazing collection selection of labels, including Seventy Eight Percent, Cecilia Ma Couture, Mary Ching, Cordelia Bradley Millinery, J.J. Threads, and Daydream Nation, OR, Marijoli, Le Petite Caravane, and THYVANE (phew did we forget anyone?) for this one night shopping event at The Pop Up Shop at The Space. And don’t confuse this with another fashion event next Monday and Tuesday hosted by the Fashion Collective, a two day pop-up also at The Space with brands such as ABNS A Boy Named Sue, 15 Squarestreet, NIIN, THYVANE, Mime Vintage, plus vintage furniture by Casa Capriz, and flowers by Gemma Hayden Blest.

RSVP for TANGRAM x G.O.D. / RSVP for The Pop Up Shop / RSVP for Fashion Collective Store

+ JOAO VASCO PAIVA / Thursday 13 NOV 28 . Edouard Malingue Gallery . Queens Road Central . CENTRAL District

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Joao Vasco Paiva, a multi-layered, multi-media artist who walks a fine line between art and design expressions, is opening his latest solo show in town this Thursday night, hosted by the Edouard Malingue Gallery in Central. Always using Hong Kong as his muse, this particular show for the HK-based, Portuguese native artist, looks further into revealing the collective unconscious layer created by the city dweller. The show will have video, 2D, and 3D sculptural works. 

RSVP for Joao Vasco Paiva  

+ DETOUR 2013: CURATING THE CITY / Friday 29 NOV 2013 . Hong Kong Island Various Locations

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Launching Friday night, 29th November 2012, Detour 2013 will focus on bringing HK’s design exhibits beyond one location (as in previous years) to 5 locations around town; The Central Oasis Gallery, The Police Married Quarters (PMQ) in SOHO, The Henessy in Wanchai, Oi! in North Point, and finally the Shau Kei Wan Tram Terminus. This year’s organizers with Ambassadors of Design Hong Kong, are focused on bringing guests out to Hong Kong via special Detour Trams to discuss urbanism and design via workshops on trams and off. To see the complete programme schedule click on the link below or click on this Facebook Link.

RSVP for DETOUR 2013

+ HONG KONG INDESIGN / Saturday 13 NOV 30 . Hong Kong Island Various Locations 

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Over 200 brands in 20 Showroom locations, Hong Kong Indesign is Hong Kong’s first ever Architecture and Interior Design oriented showrooms open house. Which means for one day, visitors can experience special project installations, lunches, events, talks, workshops from showroom to showroom over wine and canapes. No one will be walking because several shuttle buses are ready to transport guests from various show spaces from SOHO, to Wanchai, the Eastern area of Hong Kong. Brands and galleries participating and exhibiting include; Dedon, BW, Steelcase, ViA Poltrona Frau, ViA Poliforn Varenna, and much more. Events start at 9AM and end around 6PM.

RSVP for Hong Kong INDESIGN

+ IN BED WITH DESIGNERS + DESIGN TALK / Saturday 30 NOV 2013 & Sunday 01 DEC 2013 . Mini Hotel . CAUSEWAY BAY District

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Join us this Saturday 6:15PM at the Mini Hotel in Causeway Bay when we discuss all things design, in bed of course, with other like minded fellows in Hong Kong like industrial designer, Michael Young, HKDC’s William To, KAPOK’s proprietor, Arnault Castel, writer Daniel Kong, and ourselves plus many more. The Design Talk is part of a larger initiative called In Bed With Designers, where for two days, 50 Designers will take over 3 floors in the hotel to display and sell their wares.  This event is organized by design e-commerce site buymedesign in association with Maison & Objet Asia.

RSVP for In Bed With Designers, Hosted by Buy Me Design

+ BUSINESS OF DESIGN WEEK BODW / Monday 02 DEC 2013 . HKCEC . WANCHAI District

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BODW Business of Design Week is Asia’s leading annual event on Design, Innovation, and Branding… as it relates to Business. Now in it’s 9th year, the latest BODW will focus on works by this year’s partner country, Belgium. For 1 week, industry visitors and design fanatics will get a chance to visit 11 Major Programmes, listen to 100 international speakers, and visit a variety of booths and exhibits. Special guests this year include Sou Fujimoto, Toyo Ito, William Lim, Six Lee, Joyce Wang, and Codelfy.

RSVP for BODW

+ MARC & CHANTAL x CLOCKENFLAP MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL / Fri 28 NOV - Sun 01 DEC 2013 . West Kowloon Cultural District

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Okay not really a “Design” event per se, but this three day music festival in Kowloon, Clockenflap, is really one of a kind. There will be design and art installations throughout, including an amazing series of interactive light installations all around by Marc & Chantal who are celebrating their 20th year anniversary. Here’s a little series of previews of the “light drawings” that guests will be able to play with…

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RSVP for CLOCKENFLAP

Intense. I guess Hong Kong is not a “Cultural Desert” anymore.

JJ.

Seen&Scene: From The Vault Shanghai, DIOR and Lane Crawford Go Big or Go Broke

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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

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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.

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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

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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

JJ.

theW+ Top 5 Bands To Watch at Clockenflap 2013 (From My Personal Opinion)

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Clockenflap, Hong Kong’s Biggest and longest running Music & Arts festival is just getting bigger and bigger each year, now that it has moved out of its Cyberport site, and upgraded unto the super scenic West Kowloon Cultural District. I mean really… How many people get to enjoy a view of Victoria Harbour, like this while seeing act after act? (Check out my post on last year’s Festival!… I mean seriously, seeing Azealia Banks in front of the Hong Kong skyline just blew my mind.)

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And as of four days ago, the line up just keeps getting bigger and better. With more Artists from across Asia, Europe, and the Americas signed on to converge on this epic three day musical feast. Check out my Top 5 Acts i’m totally excited about:

+ TFVSJS / Hong Kong

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Hong Kong’s freshmen band is already making a name a name for themselves playing in various gigs around the city for independent shows and even some fashion labels like Converse. Their unique eclectic sounds are “intricately-formulated and cross-rhythmic” according to Time Out HK’s Mark Tjhung. The mysterious name, tfvsjs, is a Cantonese acronym for “decadence versus vitality”. I think they bring both to the table.

WATCH tfvsjs @ Clockenflap / Sunday, 13.Dec.01

+ FOUR TET / United Kingdom

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UK Musician, Four Tet (aka Kieran Hebden), headlines opening night with Two Door Cinema Club and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. What tfvsjs is able to achieve with real instruments, Hebden interweaves sounds samples from various sources, to create new electro sounds that are great for the dancefloor, but even better with your earphones in bed at home. It will be interesting to see Four Tet in a festival environment for sure. The king of “folktronica” with a generally mid-tempo, yet melodically angelic beats is definitely a great way to start a 3-Day party weekend.

WATCH Four Tet @ Clockenflap / Friday 13.Nov.29

+ THE 1975 / United Kingdom

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The 1975, another Manchester-based band, makes its debut with radio ready beats fusing contemporary rock sounds with electro R’n’B in the mix. The four person group consists of Matthew Healy on Vocals, Adam Hann on guitar, George Daniel on Drums, and Ross MacDonald on the bass. Their first EP was released in 2012, and full self-titled debut album released last month. Their most recent claim to fame, headlining for the Rolling Stones this past summer. If they keep it up, they may be the next Coldplay or Maroon 5, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with creative longevity that pays.

WATCH The 1975 @ Clockenflap / Saturday 13.Nov.30

+ METRIC / Canada

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These last two bands are my favorite. The first time I saw Metric’s front woman, Emily Haines, she was performing with Toronto based super-band, Broken Social Scene in Ithaca. Since then, i’ve never seen her live again, except I did see her band perform… in a Maggie Cheung hipster-movie titled, Clean, directed by Olivier Assayas, where Emily and the band sing a few of their songs and have a bit of plot dialogue in the story. I was hooked. Ever since then i’ve purchased all the albums of this pretty cool New Wave band. My favorites are probably, Grow Up and Blow Away (2007), and their monster themed soundtrack, Fantasies (2009).

WATCH Metric @ Clockenflap / Saturday 13.Dec.01

+ TEGAN AND SARA / Canada

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Calgary based band, Tegan and Sara, are having plenty of fun, and come off as way more slick and professional than they were years ago in when they started their band in the late 90’s… I mean check their website, they’ve totally got their act together. The duo is made up of twin sisters (both openly gay), Tegan Rain Quin and Sara Keirsten, and they’re singer songwriters who sing a lot about relationships. My favorite album being their mostly acoustic and minimal electro album, So Jealous (2004), that’s as edible as a pack of really good M&M’s and Pop Rocks. With Heartthrob (2013) they go super radio friendly pop without going too overboard a-la Liz Phair’s latest fails… the difference is, the songwriting is still spot on and not lazy, and the pop is really a fun retro homage to the 80’s — in a new way, and actually non-regressive.

WATCH Tegan & Sara @ Clockenflap / Saturday 13.Dec.01

BUY Clockenflap Tickets Here On the Cheap. Hello Early Bird Gets The Worm.

JJ.

#theWanderlist: Imelda’s Modernist Edifice Complex in Manila, Top 4 Retro-Architecture Projects To Visit

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Plenty has been said (and in singer/songwriter David Byrne’s case, sung) about history’s most famously fierce modern day first lady, the Iron Butterfly herself, Imelda Marcos. For those who do not know, Imelda is the crazy other half of ex-Philippine President (and some call dictator), Ferdinand Marcos who was in office from 1965 until they were exiled by a nationwide coup d’etat in 1986 to Hawaii. 

What’s been mostly said about the now 83 year old Imelda is her glamorific (some say “Imeldific”) collection of 3,000 pairs of shoes (all looted by her friends when she escaped) and her equally lavish collection of modern architecture projects… most of which are still standing now all over Manila and other parts of the Philippines. Without Imelda’s “edifice complex” (literally referring to all her buildings located on Roxas Boulevard in Old Manila’s Reclaimed Land), the Philippines may never have been able to foster an adequate modern architectural history and help mentor it’s own homegrown architects who have used this as a platform for their careers. As her husband, Ferdinand, was focused on Nation Building, Imelda, an ex-professional beauty pageant contestant, was more focused on nation building via an architectural and cultural framework… no matter what the cost. Bless that woman, in a poverty stricken third world, and at the time, mostly agrarian country with still very heavy colonialist-scars… Imelda rush-built most of these buildings via minimal resources (some stolen, some donated), but with a kind of obsessive building gusto that has never been seen again in the region, until the last 8 years in China!

Some of these structure are still in amazing condition, like the Cultural Center of the Philippines (ex-Theatre of Performing Arts) and the Philippine International Convention Center, which are both still open to tourists and visitors. Some other buildings are in okay condition, like the Coconut Palace, home of the Vice-President, and is open to the public for tours, but with reservations made one week in advance. And other buildings, like the allegedly haunted, Manila Film Center, is in very bad shape, and plays host to the “Amazing Show”, a transgender variety show. 

If you’re keen and in Manila, travel back in time and check out these “Imeldific” 70’s and 80’s structures. In today’s post, I #Wanderlist four of the buildings I’ve visited with my architect friend who went to visit the city for the first time. I dare you to relive the glam, and actually wear one of those iconic butterfly-sleeved dresses that Imelda made famous, while reliving the glory days.

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Hong Kong’s First ZARA HOME in October 2013

Those who follow me on my Twitter account will note that yesterday I posted a tweet of a signage I spotted at Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui. The very fresh Zara Home brand just got a boost when it was reported exactly one year ago that this home brand with a "Downton Abby-esque" bent, launched an American debut via their e-commerce site, www.zarahome.com.

Now People in Hong Kong will be able to bypass online shopping and go straight to an actual flagship store on Canton Road, with an entrance almost right across the new Apple Store in The Toy House Building. hkharbourcity tweeted back saying that the Zara Home store has an estimated launch of mid-end of October.

Check out the collection below from their Fall-Winter 2013 online catalog.

So when are we getting Pottery Barn / Crate & Barrell / Restoration Hardware and everything else?

SHOP Zara Home . Hong Kong Harbour City, Canton Road, Kowloon, TST, Hong Kong

JJ.

AlunaGeorge

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I don’t really blog about “entertainment”, “Music”, or “movies”… as someone who works in Digital PR would say… that’s just not my “Vertical”.

That said the last time I was excited about a music artist was Yuna last year around this time. Even though Yuna’s from Indonesia and got some producing help from Pharrell, she never made it to Hong Kong which is a shame.

I heard on the grapevine however that my new music obsession, the pop rock duo, AlunaGeorge, may make it here to our fragrant harbour!

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AlunaGeorge is Aluna Francis and George Reid, and just like all of us these days, these two met online. When George remixed Aluna’s song, ‘Sweetheart’, that track was an instant hit on Radio 1.

(via DROWNEDINSOUND / photo by Gary Wolstenholme)

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Their first commercial single, ‘Your Drums, Your Love’, was released late last year and debuted top fifty on the UK Singles Chart. They just debuted their album, Body Music, recently this year. You can listen to the whole album on SPOTIFY here or purchase it on iTunes here.

With her “childlike voice” and his minimalist R&B beats, their sound is familiar, but at the same time new and refreshing. George Reid looks to the The Neptunes and Lil’ Wayne as his inspirations, and Aluna Francis’ lyrics and style reflects 90s divas like Mariah Carey, Coco Rosie, Aaliyah, PJ Harvey, and Destiny’s Child.

Enjoy my three favorite videos!

+ Your Drums, Your Love by AlunaGeorge

+ You Know You Like It by AlunaGeorge

+ Attracting Flies by AlunaGeorge

It’s weird, I feel like i’m back in the nineties again, listening to Tricky and Sneakerpimps for the first time.

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LISTEN AlunaGeorge

JJ.