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.
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.
+ 0-6HOURS / Wallpaper* City Guides Hong Kong 2014
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.
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
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.
+ JOAO VASCO PAIVA / Thursday 13 NOV 28 . Edouard Malingue Gallery . Queens Road Central . CENTRAL District
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
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
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
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.
+ BUSINESS OF DESIGN WEEK BODW / Monday 02 DEC 2013 . HKCEC . WANCHAI District
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
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…
RSVP for CLOCKENFLAP
Intense. I guess Hong Kong is not a “Cultural Desert” anymore.
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
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.)
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
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
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
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
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
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.
#theWanderlist: Imelda’s Modernist Edifice Complex in Manila, Top 4 Retro-Architecture Projects To Visit
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.
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
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!
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.
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.