You cannot deconstruct unless you know how to construct. - Alexander McQueen

archive for January, 2007

Paradise Kiss

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

Living in Atlanta for three years helped to dispel many myths (no, the Tara Plantation has never been real and no, there aren’t any peach trees to be found in Atlanta) and reinforce a few stereotypes (yes, southern folk are hospitable and yes, it’s called the Dirty South for a reason). I miss the humid summer nights, live oaks, the curious ability of kudzu to engulf anything within a couple of weeks if not tamed and the steady stream of pleasant surprises. Coming across Oxford Comics was one of those pleasant surprises, and it still has my vote for best comic book shop. Through the owner’s well-organized, comprehensive inventory I stumbled onto many wonderful finds, like the fashion manga, Paradise Kiss.

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Ai Yazawa’s Paradise Kiss Volume 4, Los Angeles, Tokyo: Tokyopop, 2003. The cast of characters from left: Arashi, George, Isabella and Miwako - caged is “the heroine”, Yukari


Designer To Dealer: The Transition From Boutique to House of Ill Repute

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

The “Dior Addict” marketing campaign for cosmetics and perfume (weren’t there the shirts as well?) launched a few years ago, peddling luxury goods and the accompanying addiction. Christian Dior doesn’t use the “Admit It” tagline anymore, but that’s just as well. Don’t admit it. In fact, don’t even have a paper trail of the purchase. Shivani Vora’s “Money Doesn’t Talk” is an article in the New York Times about the growing trend of paying cash for luxury goods among women in order to avoid justifying purchases to husbands, boyfriends or parents. Women are doing this, Vora says, even when it’s their own money that they are spending. Of all the reasons cited for the increase in cash payments at luxury boutiques, hiding an addiction is conspicuously absent.

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attacked by a perfume craving on her way to the local needle exchange: Liberty Ross for Christian Dior, circa 2002


The Shanghai Gesture

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m a big fan of designs coming out of Australia and the surrounding area because of their wearability. The s/s 2006/7 collection from New Zealand designer Kate Sylvester is a good example of this fine-tuned practicality. Inspired by the fusion of East meets West in Shanghai and Hong Kong, Sylvester’s “Young Ideas Go West” collection draws in part from the Shanghai Moderne culture of the 20s and 30s, complete with variations on the cheongsam.

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Kate Sylvester’s “Jade Dress”, s/s 2006/7