26 December 2007

christmas and purple eyeshadow

it was a really, reeeeally long flight back to singapore. after a month of trying to get a seat onboard any flight heading back home, getting a direct flight proved to be fruitless and i had to settle for a seat on a NYC>FRANKFURT>SIN plane.

it was such a drama. first of all, my dad decided to order himself some stuuuuupidly huge industrial-sized waffle-making machine, and of course, i had to cart it back for him!!! when the box first arrived, i was so mad because it was ginormous. i called home screaming, "are you opening some cafe!!"

fast forward to december 21st. school was finally over and i had been stressed out; my skin was in trouble and i had broken out in serious zits. i went out with some friends and spent the entire evening and the rest of the night sleeping. on the 22nd, i went around doing last minute shopping and not much else. then on the morning of my flight, on the 23rd, i started packing my suitcases. first thing i did was to take that waffle machine out of its box and try to see if it could fit into either of my two suitcases.

no such luck. it was too long for my smaller suitcase, and too wide for my regular one. i was so mad that it wouldn't go in, i tried squishing it in though i knew it wouldn't work!! it was also quite badly packaged, so i had to go out to buy some tape and tape the whole thing, to make sure it didn't jiggle about and break. then i taped up the whole box and bought some string to tie up the box as well. when i finally finished packing both the box and my clothes in my suitcases, i was exhausted.

it had also started to rain really heavily, and there i was with a huge suitcase, another huge and difficult to carry box, and an equally heavy bag over my shoulder containing my 14x17 inch croquis book and my macbook. i thought my shoulder would break. i was quite drenched by the time i managed to get a taxi, and spent the half-hour in the cab praying i wouldn't be too late to get an aisle seat in the plane. (i hadn't been able to get it online)

when i reached the airport, the rain had ceased to a drizzle, but the winds were still howling. i got out of the back seat and reached back into the cab to pull out my bag and the waffle machine. and just as i straightened my back, the winds blew the door shut and the first thing the door hit, was my left eye, just at my eyebrow where the bone is.


but! no time to think about it. i tried to hurry in to check-in, only to discover that i had in fact, been too late, and of all the worse seats to have, i got myself a middle seat on an overbooked flight, which was nothing to look forward to.

by the time i boarded the flight, my eye had swollen up pretty bad and i had a throbbing headache. i thought i'd get some ice from the stewardess once the flight took off, but i was out of luck. they turned off all the lights and had all of us strapped to our seats, then announced that there were 50 planes ahead of us and we had to wait for our turn on the tarmac.

it was two hours before we finally took off, and two hours for my bump to grow even bigger.

by then, i was also famished as i hadn't had anything to eat all day and it was already 11pm. "serve me food! serve me food!" i thought, as the stewardesses came around first with some drinks, the moment the seatbelt signs came off.

as i sipped on some orange juice, the plane started jolting and the seatbelt signs came on again. "ladies and gentlemen, due to the weather, we will be experiencing rather rough turbulence and will thus be suspending cabin services."

the plane rocked pretty hard and i held my juice in my hands as it shook involuntarily, and tried to gulp down every last drop before it spilled all over me. i somehow managed to drink it all up but also had some traces all over my mouth!

22 hours of flight time, and 26 hours after i left my apartment in new york, i was finally in singapore and it was hot hot hot on the morning of christmas. after some local grub for breakfast and a very i-feel-good kind of shower, i climbed into bed and refused to wake up till it was 5pm and time to get ready for dinner. we all went to my aunt's house, and had a very non-traditional dinner. my aunt had prepared popiah, a very singaporean dish, kinda like a wrap. it was a very diy kind of thing so we all hung around the table, dumping whatever we wanted inside our own popiahs onto a thin skin, drizzled some sauces then wrapped it up. i hadn't had the chance to eat it in years so although it wasn't very christmassy at all, it didn't matter and i had 3 whole rolls.

yum. haha!

my sis, cousin, and a friend, alex, and his girlfriend, all went for drinks after that. a japanese friend of mine who lives in new york was also in town for some business, so we decided to meet up. i'd never seen a quieter singapore. there was like, absolutely nobody in sight, and the streets were so quiet we could have walked on the roads. the bars and clubs started closing at 1, and we decided to go to wine bar at zouk, thinking it's one of the nicer places that open till late. we were wrong!! it was closed!! it was kinda embarrassing with a foreign guest in town. plus, he had been to singapore many times for short business trips, but was used to only having drinks at his hotel or somewhere near his office. so when we decided we could only go to the balcony at heeren, the only place my sister knew was open 24 hours, i thought i might die of embarrassment. i'd never been there myself, and it was filled with kids and we aren't that young.

my friend insisted it was his treat, and proceeded to point out his order of champagne to the waiter. when i flipped to the page on the menu that he was pointing at, my eyes popped a little. he had ordered dom perignon. at $380, it wasn't that expensive since it was a cheap place, but still, it's not something i would have ordered for myself.

two bottles later, my friend was pretty drunk and was doing a drunk dance. it was kinda funny since he couldn't keep still and was spinning all over the place. another two shots of tequila later, i was pretty high myself. when we got the bill, my friend had to sign 4 times before his signature was even legible.

we sent him back to his hotel, thinking he was completely drunk. but it was hilarious because even though his head was like rocking to-and-fro, and his eyes were closed and he definitely could not walk nor sit up straight, he could still tell us his room number, and could navigate through the passageways towards his room.

he's what i like to call, an intelligent drunk.
not the drunk and irritating type. pffft!!!

so although i had a really unconventional christmas, i had a superb time. there was good food, great alcohol, and i spent it laughing with friends and family. who could ask for more?

when i woke up this morning and looked into the mirror, my eye was still a little swollen with a bump, but the bruise was starting to show. "oh no!!! i look like permanent purple eyeshadow!!!"

my brother, who heard me screaming from my room, decided it was quite funny and started laughing. i, however, was not impressed. i've got a small spot right under my eyebrow from where the impact was, and my entire eye area is a light green with a purple shade at the outer corners. when my eye is opened, it looks like i have a... black tear.

stila's eye concealer has been a godsend. perhaps tomorrow i'll try going out with green eyeshadow and a very smudged, black-kohl-panda-effect-kind-of.... errr..... maybe not.

the saga continues.....

psst: i wonder if there is an eyeshadow or liner out there called "bruised", that is actually of a great purplish-black color. it sounds pretty cool... but i guess looking bruised isn't a great idea!! hee hee~!

23 December 2007

today's get-up 22dec2007

it was my last day here in new york before i go back to singapore for the winter holidays. i had thought all the while that i would be spending my first christmas here in new york... in new york.

but i guess, things worked out differently and instead of having a possibly white christmas (although it really isn't all that cold yet), i'd be spending my christmas this year back home, hot and sweaty at 30 degrees celcius (about... 80 fahrenheit i guess?)

just as well. i haven't been home for christmas for the past 4 years. although my sister has come up to tokyo to visit me almost every winter since then, i guess nothing beats being back home. i also don't know what my plans would be for summer and if i can go back home at all, because i might stay in new york for summer school, so i thought it would be a good chance for me to just get on back to singapore even though it's on the other side of the globe!!!

the sadder truth is also that even though i've been here 3 months, i've been so busy with school, trying to catch up on school work,and tiring myself out, then trying to catch up on sleep, that i really haven't made all that many friends yet. most of my classmates have all gone home for the holidays, and i don't really wanna be stuck here in this cold ass place myself.

school ended on friday, 21st dec, and so after sleeping the day off, i finally got off my butt to do some last minute shopping and errands for my sis and friends back home. unfortunately, it got dark pretty early...... and then the most terrible thing happened....


oh my god. i could hardly walk. i wanted to stretch my arms out in front of me and push them all away. unfortunately most of them had already stretched their arms out and pushed me away. and i'm not trying to make any racist comments here, being chinese myself (although i will highlight that i am singaporean before i am chinese), but i hate them dammit. and all those korean aunties with curly hair too. one chinese woman kept banging her friggin' baby pram onto the back of my heels from behind, (you know, the most painful part that people call achilles heel), and she continued doing it despite the fact that i turned around to glare at her a few times. then i just couldn't take it and turned around and told her to fuck off. of course, to make my point clear, i said it in both english and repeated it in chinese. bloody hell. which if you think about it, it ain't racist at all, cos i would have said it to any asshole who kept ramming anything into the back of my heels.

anyway, i do love how cold the air is, i really do love winter. but it truely is rather depressing when there isn't someone special in your life. the scary thing is, although it gets lonely sometimes, i'm almost comfortable being alone. besides i'm so darn busy with school, i can't imagine even devoting my time to anyone else. we started off with 18 people in our class - 3 have either dropped out of school or changed majors, 2 are going to change majors next semester, and 3 more are contemplating the same move. out of those who are still in fashion, 2 have broken up with their boyfriends.

can i just repeat for emphasis how busy and exhausted we are!! one of my friends, who will drop fashion next semester, told my teacher, "this is not what i consider enjoying life."

to which my teacher said, "oh i have seen many a break-up."

boy, that sure is comforting.

i think it was a little sad when i went back to school to get some stuff from that design teacher of mine, and since her design concept class (which is the bane of all our anguish and sorrows) had ended on tuesday, i had finally gotten some sleep and was a little well-rested, and perhaps for the first time in a long time i wore some make-up to meet her. (well, i usually stay up all night before her class and go to school looking like one crappy old hag.)

she said, "oh you look so bright today! you're just... twinkling!"

i'm like...,"i slept. and i have blush."


this is the "somewhat" editorial wannabe pose

this is the "do-it-wrong-and-you-look-constipated" pose. if you're thinking of applying to america's next top model, keep this in mind. (by the way i think tyra banks is insane.)

whatever. i'm no model.

i've been lining my eyes recently when i do bother with make up, to sorta go along with my darker hair. it's weird cos i had pink hair before this, and i bought a diy color kit which was black. however, it went over my hair and the parts that weren't bleached before is now a brown-ish black, and the parts that were once pink, is now blue.

i think this is what they mean by "kill two birds with one stone".

uh.... and if i request for christmas presents, i guess i'd want a teeth whitening gift voucher! eeks!!! too much coke ain't good for those pearlies, kids! it's true what your mother tells you!!

ps: ok i'm like retarded with the computer. i used to think i was quite an average techie, but i proved myself wrong. i've been trying to figure out wordpress and moving to my own domain. however, after reading through all those help pages and forums, i decided that they all look like russian symbols to me. so hopefully i can find a copy of "wordpress for dummies" (wordpress = the system i wanna use for my blog, dummy = me) before i board the plane tomorrow, so i can read it over the 20-too-long-hours flight. or can i exchange technical help for a cupcake? any takers? no? shucks.

new york illumination

i was running around town trying to get some last minute shopping done and also a shopping list provided by my sis and some friends, and ventured into 5th avenue, which might have been a big mistake. there were just sooo many people, and i wanted to just get out of the crowd. (read about my "ordeal"!!) but i forced myself to stick around and take some pictures, because i'll be going back home to singapore for christmas, and decided that the next time i'll see such a scene would be a year from now.

i somehow made my way to the famous rockefeller center with the famous ice-skating rink and christmas tree.

uhh... ok. i honestly didn't think it was that spectacular. i took this from quite a distance, and only because i realised there were security around who made sure people "flowed" only in one direction and i couldn't enter in from where i was, as it was the exit!!!

this is the walkway up to rockefeller, the tall building in the background.

what i did find spectacular, was the crazy number of people who actually bothered to go around the block to enter in from the "correct" entrance, and fight with everyone just to get their perfect shot. crazy crazy!!

across the street from the rockefeller center is saks fifth avenue, who had pretty cute window displays. i had to shove through people to get to them. not the most pleasant way to pass a gorgeous evening like this. heh heh.

super cute ehh?
for those of you who can watch videos on your computer, i made a little movie thing. i'm not an expert ok!! this is the first time i'm opening up that imovie program! i had to look at the help file! hahaha!

22 December 2007

please update your links

hello my darlings.

going on from my previous post, most of you know by now that my google account was previously hacked and hijacked by some b*stards whose necks i wanna wring.

something else very unfortunate has happened since then:
for reasons unknown to myself, google has disabled my account, so i can no longer access this blog from my original log-in id.

i originally thought that this blog was lost forever, but by the grace of god, i had meddled around with this account after it got hacked, and had added another blog author to it, so i could use another google id to log in!

you have no idea how ecstatic i am at this moment, because ever since google disabled my original account a few days ago, i thought this blog was seriously lost forever!!!!


i will officially be moving my blog away from this blogspot address. it's very depressing and a long process, but i just hope you guys bear with me in the meantime. so please update your bookmarks and links to


at the moment it is just a forwarding url that forwards to blogspot, but within the next couple of weeks i will be figuring all that out and starting my blog afresh on that url.

psst: i'm going back to singapore on sunday, 23rd dec!!! i'm super excited. then before i come back to new york, i'll be stopping over for a few days in tokyo!!! yahoooooooo!!! more on that later. in the meantime, have a merry merry christmas! hug everyone in sight!! take care everyone!!

11 December 2007

4 days of hell

some of you already know what happened, but here's a quick rundown of the nightmare i had experienced the past 4 days.

all was well and i was living life as usual, but early saturday morning at about 2 am new york time, i got a few calls from my parents and a friend, saying that they have received an email from "me", saying that i was stranded in africa and had no more money, and to please send some over immediately.

what the real situation was, that i had been so tired from all my final projects that i had knocked out and was asleep in my apartment in manhattan!!

while i was sleeping, someone from africa/nigeria/benin/wherever, had hacked into my computer and then to my email account which is linked also to my blog, and then to my bank account.

so cut the long story short, i just went to hell and back and it wasn't a fun ride at all.

this guy had emailed every single person that i have ever emailed before, which includes all friends and strangers, impersonating me and asking them for money. some were pissed off with "me", thinking that i, the real gilda, was trying to extort money from them. some were really worried for me and perhaps almost fell into the traps of those identity thieves.

they had also hacked into my paypal and online bank account. i hurried to the police precinct to make a report, and tried all sorts of ways to contact google but for 3 to 4 days, i was left stranded by myself, and trust me, i might have been joking all about it but i was a total wreck.

not only was i worried that they might wipe out my entire bank account, i was worried one of my friends might actually transfer money over to them before i found a way to warn them, and i was worried they might find more personal information about me and god knows what they could do with that. identity theft is really scary.

(i was also worried i might lose this blog, and that's like months of thoughts, lost forever!!!)

i just managed to get back control of my account, and in the meantime i have reformatted and reinstalled everything on my macbook.

add all that to the stress of my final projects, and i was ready to explode. you know how you get so anxious sometimes, you can't even breathe?

that was me.

anyway, it's 5 am and i've been up trying to contact and explain the situation to as many people as possible since i got back access to my account about an hour ago, and what i really should be doing is my work that i'm supposed to hand in tomorrow!

thank you, all of you, who were so worried for me the last few days. some were worried that i was really trapped in africa and needed money, some were worried that i was getting too stressed over the whole situation. whatever it was, thank you, and i'll only get better from now.

well, back to more sketches i guess!! more updates and a proper post on what happened in a couple of days. in the meantime, take care, of yourself and of your computer and of your identity!!

learn from my mistakes, people, and make sure your computer is a secure as it can be.

07 December 2007

today's get-up 05dec2007

it's getting colder by the day. i love it. heh heh! i just finished knitting this huge ass scarf that's really long, and a stranger in the subway asked me where i bought it.

"hi miss, where did you get that scarf?"
"oh i knitted it."
"you, made that?"
"great! now i can't go and buy it! well i like it."
"ooh thanks!!"

that kinda made my day.

*secret gloat*

i bought those raybans on ebay for like... 20 bucks. i love them and have been using it everyday since i got it!! aviators are the best. my old pair got squashed when a friend sat on them, which broke my heart but this pair is much better. i feel so mean in them.

and with my darling junya boots, i'm the pimp, y'all!!

but never mind that, someone tell me what happened to this nypd car parked outside my apartment.

holy crap!!! i just realise as i'm writing this, that i didn't take any picture with my coat and new scarf!! now that's as silly as it gets. and i really need a new camera.

06 December 2007

can someone please tell heidi klum to...

stick to modeling and hosting project runway, and keep her mouth closed?

did any of you watch the victoria's secret fashion show? it was fantabulous. if i were a male or a lesbian, i would have orgasmed and died or something. everyone was so damn gorgeous. long and lean bodies galore!! let's not forget tight butts and big boobs. they are too perfect.

jealous jealous. i hate them angels.

BUT. thanks to heidi, who decided to come on stage with hubby, seal, and sing a duet with him, now we can all be happy and content that she ain't that perfect after all!! YAY!!!!!!!

she appeared and sang some background notes, mostly "and it's all...for you..."s and "ooh ooh ahh ahh"s. but while just reading that might seem like harmless lyrics to you, my darling reader, watching her do it was not very pleasant.

i swear i had maaaaaaajor goosebumps!!! i made a terrible face... and kept it for the entire song.

seriously, it was just bad. like ewwwww bad. the cheesiest thing i had to witness in months. singing all the "ooh ooh ahh ahh"s together, holding hands and swaying to the music together, looking into each other's eyes, and to top it off like all classic cheesy endings, a liplock to say "happily ever after". ooh, let's not forget heidi "popping" her foot while kissing.

yes people, this was part of the victoria's secret fashion show.

honestly, victoria, whoever you are, just because heidi's done the show for 10 years doesn't mean you should have given her free reign to ruin a perfect show, and completely embarrass herself.

so yeah, i feel better about myself after watching her on the show. i mean, i would still kill for her body. but at least i know i have common sense. HAHAHAHAHA.

dammit, who am i kidding. i think the score's still heidi 1 - gilda big fat zero.

04 December 2007

jara jara japan

how excited was i when i found out that we all had to submit an entry to a japanese contest? pretty excited.

how excited was i when i found out i had no time to really put a lot of effort into it? not that excited.

it was a contest to design clothing for teenagers aged 13-19, and there were so many restrictions, it was a little difficult to keep myself in check. for starters, we could only use 3 different kinds of fabrics, and we had to create swatches of those fabrics on the computer too. for a photoshop virgin like me, not good news. and we could only design 3 outfits!!! too little. i also drew something that my teacher thought was "too costume-y" (seriously i hate that bloody word now. it's poison.), so i trashed that and redrew the whole thing.

i wanted something fun and casual, but still a little quirky like how i like it. unfortunately, we were all so busy with regular schoolwork, some of my friends drew normal tshirts and jeans and that was it. i looked back at my old sketchbooks and wanted to revive one of my favorite girls and outfit, so i drew her here in the middle and changed it a little.

my 3 fabrics were a washed denim in white, a silk jersey also in white, and a knit, one in pink with polkadots and one in blue with cloud embroidery.

so here are my girls in my jara jara japan (jingle jangle japan!!) collection!

seriously, i've drawn these stockings with black hearts in so many of my designs. i love it and keep going back to it. i wonder if there are already a pair of stockings out there that look like it. if not, no one better steal this idea (i'll come after ya)!! if i ever get my own line out there i'll definitely produce these. love it!

02 December 2007

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

it's like 6:40 am, and i was just done doing some work. the room was getting too hot and stuffy even though i hadn't turned the heat on, so i thought i'd open the window to let some cool air in. i looked out and saw this:

do you see what i see??

it's snowing!!!!!!!!!!!!

obviously it's never snowed in singapore, but i've seen snow many times before in japan. and i get excited everytime!! i feel like a kid looking forward to christmas. this is my first snow in new york, and it's just kinda exciting.

sorry for the lousy photos, i was in my pajamas and couldn't be bothered to put on shoes and a robe to go out in my balcony to take some photos.

can you believe it's already snowing????
it never snowed this early in tokyo. i mean, it's the start of december! then again, it's new york and the friggin' temperature is like -6 degrees celcius! whoah!

i'm going to bed now and i hope the city's totally white when i wake up in the morning. i'd love that!



it snowed on for a while all morning, but the snowfall came to only about an inch or so. apparently there were like major snow stormish things around other parts of america and a really really bad accident where some people died.

you can see here how foggy the skies were.

when it gets really cold and my cheeks are freezing, i feel sometimes like my ears and my teeth might freeze over and drop off. seriously, if i talk and open my mouth, my teeth get cold. am i the only one here...

26 November 2007

thank you for loving me

it was the week of thanksgiving here in the states. i have been having a few days off from school, and have spent them sleeping!!! i went out a couple of times (hallelujah for some free time finally!!), and basically spent my entire week sleeping my ass off!!!

love it.

a childhood friend of mine, gerry, came down from new haven twice for day trips. we were great friends when we were in primary (elementary) school, but we lost touch after graduating and going our separate days. i guess when you're 12, you don't know the importance of keeping in touch.

so we haven't seen each other in like 12 years!!! crazy huh? we got in touch with each other again through the wonders of the internet, but she was in london and i was in tokyo. we finally had the chance to meet up when she moved to new haven, and i, to new york! it was crazy. she looked exactly the same! ahahahaha!! we went shopping and to have some japanese food. i think i've changed quite a bit since i was 12. i was such a tomboy. i think i still am, in many ways, but yeah i really looked like a little boy back then.

thanksgiving day rolled along and i wanted to go see the macy's thanksgiving day parade. it starts around 75th street and central park west, goes around columbus circle, then down broadway, towards the macy's departmental store. i thought i wanted to go have a look since i loved parades, and plus, it was really near my house.

but when i woke up, looked out of the balcony, and saw the crowd, i kinda changed my mind. toooo many people. but i stayed on the freezing balcony for a while to watch some of the ginormous balloons go by.

unfortunately they moved so slowly... like s o... s l o w l y ...

i watched ronald mcdonald go past. which i guess we all have to give thanks for, because c'mon, we all owe a lot to mr mcdonald's.

then i spotted snoopy behind ronald and wanted pictures... and somehow i timed it so nicely that i went to lie down for 20 minutes and when i went out to the balcony again, my timing was perfect!

(so my conclusion is, it was kinda cool to watch part of the parade while in my robe and pajamas, but it was freezing and i was glad to be home!!!)

on a more serious note, i have been watching fresh prince of bel-air reruns that have been airing on tv. i used to love fresh prince and watched just about every episode when i was a kid. watching it again, i still laugh at the same jokes and it still cracks me up, but there was one episode that i watched yesterday that i had never seen before.

it was the episode when will's father on the show, lou smith, appears for the first time, 14 years after abandoning him and his mom. lou explains to will that he left because he felt trapped. they go out and have a good time, and lou promises to take will on his truck with him.

for once, will thinks he'll get to spend the summer with his dad. will's uncle phillip gets really angry and tells will that he can't go with lou, because he doesn't trust that lou really does care for will. they get into a huge argument when phillip says "no", but will said he doesn't care because "you're not my father!!!"

phillip gets really hurt and upset because he's always treated will as his own son, but he apologises and tells will he loves him, and wishes him all the best.

will packs his whole bag and gets really excited, and even buys his dad a present. vivian and phil wait for lou to turn up, and when he shows up late, he says he just got a huge new job, and won't have any more space on his truck for will. vivian tells lou, "if you walk out of will's life now, don't you ever come back."

lou is a coward and wants vivian and phillip to tell will that he's leaving, but when phillip says he won't do his dirty work, lou decides to leave without saying anything. but will walks in at that moment, and lou tells him, "you know how it is", and promises to call.

will pretends he's ok, but phillip tells him "it's alright to be angry". will says he's alright, "at least he said goodbye this time. it ain't like i'm still 5 years old, sitting up every night asking my mom when's daddy coming home." he learnt to play basketball without his dad, went on his first date without his dad, learnt how to drive without his dad, went through 14 birthdays without his dad, and he doesn't need him. "i didn't need him then and i don't need him now." he's gonna graduate from college without his dad, meet some honey and have kids and take care of them like a good father, nothing like his dad ever was, because there's nothing his dad could ever teach him about how to be a good father.

but then will finally breaks down and says, "how come he don't want me?"

the show ends with the camera zooming in on the present that will had bought for his father, which was a small figurine of a father embracing a child.

it broke my heart.

today, i'm giving thanks for all my friends and family. because when it boils down to what's important, it's love.

oh... love and chocolate. hee hee.

22 November 2007

bitten and smitten

i just wanted to drop a quick note to say how excited i was when sarah jessica parker appeared on episode two of project runway. holy guacamole!!! and i was sooooo touched when chris started tearing. it was so touching! i had mixed feelings about sjp asking the designers to design something for her line, bitten. i wish they could have designed something for her to wear on the red carpet instead, but i was really proud of her when she said that fashion is not a luxury, it's a right.


psst: am i the only one who thinks elisa is whack? i love crazy things too but when she actually SPIT on the fabric, my jaw dropped.... what do you think?

how embarrassing! i just rewatched this and what she really said was, "fashion shouldn't be a luxury and quality shouldn't be a privilege". well, close enough! ;)

20 November 2007

choosing a great coat for fall 2007

coming from a tropical country where the four seasons are inexistent, all i had to contend with was summer and the monsoon season where it gets only slightly cooler. my favorite holidays have always been those when we went to countries with cold weather, and after living in japan i realize i really loved the cold seasons. "the colder the better" is my mantra, and i love walking in the cold; although i forget sometimes that i am not the strongest in terms of health and fall sick often due to not dressing warm enough.

layering is something I love doing and coats are definitely a favorite part of my wardrobe. i know people who only have one great coat - and that's it. for me, i love looking at coats and cannot get enough. the more unique it is, the better, because i also fail to understand when people have ten black coats that all look the same.

although i have my own sense of style, i still try to pay attention to what the trends are, and not only spend thousands on fashion magazines, i also scour shops and departmental stores often, and devour everything that goes down the runway.

this season, although each designer was significantly different and there were a variety of influences, i felt that most of the coats were either tight at the waist, or with lots of volume. there were many different shapes, both at the hemline and at the sleeves, like the trapeze and bell shapes. most were very tailored, and constructed. there was definitely also many coats with big tucks and even gathers at the waist to give big volume in the skirt, and the big important accessory – a belt, to cinch in and define the waist, giving it a gorgeous hourglass shape. besides the obvious wool, i saw a lot of luxurious and soft fur, metallics, patent, shiny, distressed, and matt leather, some jacquard, and a lot of shine, through satin/silk-like fabrics and sequins. there were even some plastics – pvc.

i felt that some major influences were definitely the classic trench coat, played and interpreted in different ways by the different designers. the military look was still very strong, and i felt that this trickled down into less expensive shops as well, and balenciaga's fall 2007 look was definitely copied everywhere. many were a-line swing coats, and some had a very distinctive cocoon shape and there were big sleeves and even bigger collars and lapels. i also spotted some coats that were actually anorak coats, and also coats that were padded and quilted.

with my aesthetic and "warped" point of view, i tend to look out for more avant-garde and unique items that are somewhat different from mainstream ideas. but i'll try to keep my insane self in check, and list some trends for you to take note of and hopefully, might help you when you go shopping for a coat! of course, not all of us can afford all those designer labels. (and if you can, i hate you. unless you buy me one too.) but trust me, if they've appeared on the catwalks, they'll be manufactured for the normal woman's buyable brands too, so you'll definitely be able to find them if you go shopping.

of course, this is my own guide, and not necessarily the best trend guide out there, but hopefully i can be a bit of help! so here you go ladies, here are the key words for coats this year!

1. balenciaga, baby!
if there's one word you really need to remember, it's "balenciaga", and that's all you need to know. full stop. the show was a big mix of many different ethnicities, but more importantly, it highlighted a huge part of fashion i love: menswear. haha. but this collection is something that everyone can wear, and come away looking chic, smart, hip, and (maybe only to me) super sexy. and you know a collection is successful, when it is copied everywhere and anywhere!

and don't even get me started on those lego heels. i love them more than any shoes i've ever owned and i need 4000 bucks to buy them!

look out for great quality wool in a solid color or perhaps something with stripes, with some trim in a contrasting shade or something super colorful.

1.5. military and menswear. now that's sexy.
i just can't get enough! (just ignore the ghostly make up!) it's just such a strong look and i love strong looking women.

2. love the volume and love the belts
cinching in the waist creates an hourglass figure that i think is just so very lovely. experiment with belts! the fabrics don't even have to match. many designers are using huge obi belts and i think that's really gorgeous. or forget about a traditional belt, try a great scarf!

3. shapes: a-line, trapeze, bell, cocoon etc
it's all about shapes this season, and tucks and gathers that is used to create them. if you don't wanna experiment too much, try adding shape to just your sleeves! or if you're adventurous enough, add them to both your sleeves and hemline. ooh!

4. plaid love
and i mean it when i say "love". i have so many plaid items, it's almost shocking. well not really. anyway, plaid is a little tricky if you don't know what you're doing. there's the size of the check to consider, and also the color! i've seen people wearing some tartan check coats that have colors that don't even match! let these babies inspire you.

5. feathers and fur (but faux please!!!)
it's all about luxury, honey. (and how much you can fake some luxury.) but yes, let's try to be animal friendly and get faux fur and feathers please! they are just as great. i don't wanna lie and tell you they're just as soft... but just try. if you don't wanna pay so much for an entire fur coat, try trims!! a fur or a feather trim around the neck or on the hem or the cuff of the sleeves, would work just as brilliantly. you might even be able to find places that just sell a fur collar or cuff, that you can attach on to a coat you already have!

6. shine, baby, shine
some metallics and a little bling-bling (sequins, or if you can afford it, diamonds!??!) will never hurt anyone, honey. i also like a metallic plum. ooh yeah. just remember that although fit is important, it is extremely important with shiny materials cos you don't wanna end up looking like one fat tart.

7. the burberry trench
if you wanna invest in something that will never go out of style, invest in one good trench coat. find something with a very warm, double lining that you can remove in warmer weather, and attach on when you're freezing. get something that fits well, and really, it will never ever fail.
8. half or 3-quarter big sleeves
shorter sleeves are really in right now, and i think it will still be trendy for quite a while. try them in all sorts of different shapes too!! i like 3-quarter sleeves. if it's really cold, layer with longer sleeved items underneath, but i love it with bare hands, or with long, leather gloves. or a really super long arm warmer. and i don't mean that you wear it all the way up to your armpits. hohoho.

9. pop and neon colors
bright colors are so big right now, but i've always loved them. why wear dull when you can wear bright! i do have my i-just-wanna-wear-black-and-be-a-rockstar-and-stomp-all-over-with-black-eyeliner days, but i do love them colors.

10. be different
in a world where the majority of the people are in black coats, things can really get a bit drab. so i wanna talk about one of my all-time favorite brands, comme des garcons. not only is rei kawakubo a genius, she is also an architect and she knows the construction of clothing so well, that she is one of the handful of designers who are able to take clothing apart, deconstruct everything, and come up with clothing that is like an art sculpture. she also has vision, and has rigorously trained some of japan's most finest and unique young designers who have left her nest and now have successful brands of their own, like my idol, junya watanabe. most people call rei kawakubo crazy, and claim that her collections are unwearable, unthinkable, and unrealistic. those people obviously have never been to a place like tokyo, where her fans camp outside her shops when limited edition pieces are released, and go "just to have a look" every other day, in case something special crops up. crazy as she seems, she definitely has a strong following and the respect of fashion forward people with an open mind.

so there you have it! my little guide for what to look out for when you go shopping for a winter coat. when you have a great coat, all you need is..... a great pair of shoes, some tights or stockings, and perhaps silk knickers. hahaha!

psst: can't get enough, you little fashion addict? hop over to style.com and die in heaven.