25 September 2007

the swmsuit edition

so i walk out of my apartment on sunday and get a shock - the streets are closed and there are a million people out on the road.

it's a street fair/flea market!! i had no idea that was happening!! i was wondering why there were some shouting and all going on downstairs, but didn't know it was because there were SO many people out there. i love fairs like that and spent two hours looking at everything, only to regret later cos i had so much to do and should not have been at any fairs!!

it's been a crazy two weeks
and i haven't been having much sleep. i woke up late yesterday and had a major panic attack. i mean, it's ok if i was late for class - that's just a "late" on my record - but i think because all this stress has been building up, i really had a weird panic thing going on and my heart was POUNDING.

god i'm stressed and i really need a massage and some time to go out and have fun.

so anyway, i thought i'd share with you guys what i've been up to the last couple of weeks. as part of my never-ending pile of homework, we've been doing swimsuit designs.

(did the title make you feel a bit playboy-ish?)

we started off with creating a mood board. a mood board is basically a concept board with pictures or words or sketches, that help convey the overall feel of the project. doing one helps to keep one's focus, by keeping all the images of inspiration together. our objective was to choose two icons, and bring them to two different places, and get our inspiration from there.

my inspirations were "napoleon goes to tokyo"

and "betty boop and the harajuku girls drink vodka in moscow".

then we did sketches and drew many different swimsuits, then picked five that we liked the best as our collection. while i was doing it, there were times where i just felt stumped and felt like i had zero creativity juices, but after everything was painted and i looked through it, i felt this odd surge of inspiration, like light bulbs were going off everywhere (you know how they do it in cartoons) and came out with so many more ideas.

i haven't finished it yet, but here's roughly how it is going. from next week on we'll be moving into designing dresses, which i am REALLY excited about cos i love dresses. i mean, the last time i wore a swimsuit was perhaps 10 years ago so i was really dying the last few days. it was also hard for me because i like over-the-top things and wanted to add on a million complicated details, but my teacher kept telling us not to make it too costume-y. this project killed me.

i find that because i'm not that fluid and confident with my sketching and drawing, it is really hard for me to convey all my ideas that are in my head and transfer them to paper. for those of you who love art and design as well, do you have similar problems? how do you work your way around it? i'm really lost and it's so frustrating.

anyway, here is my little incomplete collection.

well, i thought i wanted to share with you guys what i've been doing. it also seems that all my creative energy is being channeled into schoolwork right now and although i wanna blog more and i have some articles that i have lined up to write, it would be great if you could let me know if there's anything you want me to write about too.

i need to design more cover-ups for the skimpy swimsuits, and perhaps i'll post them when they are more presentable. what do you guys think? all constructive criticism and comments are welcomed. :)

23 September 2007

i wish i could...


i spent all day at home today. i woke up early to do a whole lot of stuff all scribbled on my to-do list, but it was raining and everything had to be shelved.

so i stayed home and did my homework, and watched tv. and for the first time in my life, i watched "so you think you can dance".

it was amazing. spectacular. it was a back-to-back rerun of season 3, and i've just been glued to it all day. all of the dancers were just brilliant and to do a different dance routine each week and make it their own, it was hair-raising just watching them. i literally had shivers down my spine, and some of the dances were just sooo beautiful and touching, i almost cried.

i've always wished i had a special talent.
i wish i could be more creative. i wish i could be a great designer. i wish i could draw better. but i think secretly, deep down inside, i really wish i could sing and dance.

i've always loved music and i've always enjoyed singing and dancing. not that i'm good at all, but i just love it. (hmm...i guess i'm only good enough for when i'm singing in the shower, or at karaoke with some friends.) i've always loved watching all those teen flicks where the kids dance so well. and today, as i watched "so you think you can dance", i thought again to myself how i wish i could dance like them. it's great watching how they move their bodies. there were so many different genres, but everyone was so talented, and cool and super sexy. i especially loved it when lacey and kameron danced their first contemporary number at the start of the competition. they killed it! it was so beautiful. i could feel the story through their dance and i could feel their pain and their agony.

i loved it. it's inspiring, and just watching them made me feel good about myself, so i can only imagine how it must be to be them - inspiring others and making others feeling good about themselves, and in turn feeling even better.

i think because i love and wish i could sing and dance myself, i get extremely attracted to men who can sing and dance. very, very sexy. add in a great personality and a gorgeous face, aka takuya... very, very sexy. he's sex on legs, thank you very much.

(okay i know i went totally out of point.
but isn't he just so delicious?)

i feel that some things can be learned and trained, but things like singing and dancing, you need real talent to be good. and it's something i have always wished for.

have any of you ever felt like that before?

20 September 2007

sex and my city

i just had to drop a quick note to scream, "YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!! hoorayyyyyy!!!!!"

cos whatever ayumi told me a couple of days ago, was totally true!! (i mean, she should know, she's worked for pat field for 14 years.)

sex and the city is in productions! filming has begun!! i'm thrilled beyond words and may (the month the movie's supposed to be released) cannot come soon enough!! i think every girl who has watched the movie would agree with me, that everyone just wants to be in love. there's no better feeling in the world and we can dream about that while watching sex and the city. the way mr big looks at carrie, the way smith loves samantha... i always bawl myself silly every single time i watch the last episode of season six. when smith jumps up and cheers samantha at the cancer event, when mr big tells carrie's best friends that if they think she's happy in paris, he will disappear and never appear in her life again.
i love it love it love it!!

and it's happening all right here in new york city!!! woohooo!!!! i'm crossing all fingers, toes and limbs praying that i'll run across one of the filmings on the streets of manhattan.


you can get carrie's super cute and unique eiffel tower bag from patricia field now!! it's impractical and totally cute!! hee hee!

19 September 2007

gouache newbie

i've worked with watercolors before (well, i started using it 2 years ago for the first time) and was pretty confident with it, cos i knew how to manipulate the paint and colors to get an effect that i like. so when i found out that here in parsons, we had to use gouache (pronounced gwash), i thought i could handle it.

boy was i wrong. it's so difficult!!

i got so frustrated today when i was doing my homework.

it was a nice, bright and sunny day today so i decided to move out into the balcony to do my work. but all that good weather didn't put me in a good mood at all. i was going, "UGHHHHHHH." every 5 seconds cos i couldn't get the paints to do what i wanted it to do.

sitting out in my pajamas. it was kinda cold!!

my extremely messy table. i didn't even have a water container and used
a take-out sushi bento cover. how disgusting. i'm disgusting.

we were supposed to get pictures from a magazine or online, and use it to practice our figure drawing and painting skills. the drawing was okay for me but seriously i'm hating the gouache. i took forever to mix the skin color and i still could not get a color that i liked. i repainted (like redrew and then repainted!!) the whole thing twice but hated both pieces. i ended up with a really muddy color which no real person could probably have. well i've never met such a person anyway. i hate that i didn't know how to work the paints and blend them into each other properly. like i tried to paint in the shadows but ended up with super ugly blocks of color. yuck. i hate it.

we're doing swimsuits in class now, so i also did like 50 croquis, which nearly killed me or at least took away 26 of my 27 lives. these are also colored with gouache. it is not a pretty sight. i'll upload some of those when i've finished outlining them, so that you can agree with me.

are you a gouache expert? PLEASE give me some tips!!!! i'm on my knees!

the tv is on now as i'm typing this, and they're talking about a pickle festival that happened on sunday in the lower east side. shucks!! i was THERE in the lower east side that day, and my friend and i decided go take a look after hearing about it. but we stopped on the way to see so many other things, by the time we reached the place, it was closed!! i was so disappointed.

all that was left was this booth selling pickle pizza, which did not look appetizing at ALL, but my "i'm always hungry" friend ate a slice. ewwww.

15 September 2007

i heart patricia field

i haven't put much pictures of myself up recently, so you might not have noticed, but my hair has been taking a break - it's been a dark shade of purple for the past 3 weeks or so.

i got sick of that though, so today, i made my way to patricia field. yes, the patricia field, famous stylist to the stars. you might know her as the fabulous lady who styled the clothes on set for sex and the city, and the devil wears prada. let me just say now that i watched the devil wears prada, like 4 times. and i do not know how many times i've watched sex and the city. i watched seasons one to four about 5 times each, and i must have watched the last two seasons like ten times! i'm swear! there was a time when it was all i watched!

so anyway, patricia has a fabulous shop in the lower east side, filled with gorgeous things that i have to stop myself from buying.

there is also a little hair salon in the corner of the basement of patricia field's, and since i wanted to get my hair all bright, where better to get it done, than at pat field's?? it's a place filled with energy and individuality, which i love.

i went for my appointment today with hair guru, ayumi. she's a japanese girl who moved to new york 15 years ago and from what she told me, she seems to be doing really well there!! she's worked in the shop for 14 years! wow!!

i told her i wanted to put back the bold pink streaks into my hair, so she bleached it and then convinced me to put some purple below the pink, so that the pink blends and graduates into the purple color.


it's a little hard to take pictures of, but i hope you can see it. ayumi was really nice and i had such a great time chit-chatting with her.

and yes, i am forgetting a little of my japanese. i can still speak it pretty fluently, but i stumbled on one or two words and boy, i was not happy about that.

just as my hair was almost done, guess who walks in and sits down on the chair behind me?
patricia field, the lady herself.

i'm telling you, i've met my fair share of stars. i've gone up close and personal with my favorite men on earth, smap, and many other major famousness, and i've always managed to keep my cool.

but for some stupid reason today, i met patricia with her two white toy poodles, and i go dumb. like i literally could not talk. i was smiling and wanting to say something, but all that came out my mouth was, "hello~. oh i love your glasses!"

how fucking stupid is that?!!?!?

i wanted to slap myself!

patricia just smiled back, and that was that.

stupid stupid STUPID!!! it was such an opportunity for me to introduce myself and to say that i am a design student and that i really admire and look up to her.

but what do i say? i love your turquoise glasses!??!

patricia had her hair colored by ayumi right after me. ayumi was laughing that i'm making her boss wait ten minutes. for a split second i was like, "oh my god will she get angry!?!?"

and ayumi goes, "of course not!"


i stole a shot which made me feel like a sneaky thief, but all i got was the back of her red head. shucks.

new korea

i've been here a month now, and i'm telling you, i have yet to meet a real new yorker. or rather, manhattaner. i haven't! not one.

instead, i've met canadians, mexicans, indians, italians, french, english, chinese, and mostly, koreans.

if you go to korea now, you'd probably get a shock to realise that there isn't anyone there. at all. south korea is a deserted country.


cos they all moved here.

new york is full of koreans. parsons is full of koreans. i hear more korean than english sometimes. in fact, i walked into a japanese restaurant for lunch today, only to realise that all the staff were korean too.

new yorkers don't exist. they never did. they are a species that have never existed and were a fairytale cooked up by the government. new york, really should be renamed new korea. don't get me wrong, i love all my korean friends. they are the nicest people! but if there are gonna be so many of them, they should make themselves more useful and have more korean restaurants to feed my love for korean food.

the weather has finally gotten a little cooler and the last few days have just been perfect. so i was walking around yesterday and wandered around 5th avenue and central park. it was breezy and i was feeling good and there were horses all around, and it was all so romantic.

it would have been even more perfect if the whole place didn't smell of horse shit. that is sooo not romantic.

on a brighter note, however, my macbook pro has finally arrived!!! whoopee!!! i spent all day setting things up. the down side? i've always been a pc user and i'm totally LOST. i have to start learning asap though, because i have more than a gazilion homework to do and a lot of it requires research online, on all sorts of major fashion websites and blogs. now i wish i were a real fashion blogger. shucks.

i do subscribe to a lot of sites, but give me the links to all your favorite fashion sites and blogs, people!! hee hee! :)

check out this uber cool styrofoam layer that wrapped around my macbook! i think it's gorgeous. i had a super cool idea for a print just from it.

also, i've been window-shopping around for small things to dress my room up. it's kinda bare and boring right now and it needs some life. i wanted to put up some photos for you guys to see, but it's too ugly now to share. i do have a pretty picture though.

it's the view from my room. pretty cool huh? i'm on the 18th floor so i do get a leeeetle bit of manhattan's skyline. it's weird though - because of all the pollution and lights, from where i am, it's bright even at night. i'm in midtown now, which is pretty near to school so i'm loving the short distance. eventually though, by the end of the year or so, i hope to live in the east village. it's a gorgeous quaint place and i really like it. in the meantime, i'm here in midtown with my redhead roommate and her super cute and fat pomeranian, bijou, who yaps yaps yaps then licks my leg with her extremely small tongue, rolls over on her back and sticks her 4 short legs, and round tummy, up in the air. she's so cute.

14 September 2007

today's get-up 12sep2007

i haven't done this for so long eh?
  • red and navy striped knit dress by mercibeaucoup;
  • black leggings
  • black enamel pumps
and here are some close-ups uploaded for l3antha! badly taken photographs, but you can see how the knit material is draped. simple genius-ness.

my fashion drawing teacher, was quite fascinated with this dress. (well, i am too.) he's the nicest thing ever and i feel that i'm learning so much from him. school has only been going on for 2 weeks now, but i've had so much work and i'm pretty much just really tired. like the moment i take a break to catch my breath, i end up panicking cos i can't get the next homework done in time.

it's crazy.

i do hope to get a grip of things so that i can post more though. i do love blogging. bear with me in the meantime, 'kay?

09 September 2007

gluttony is a terrible sin

dear alex just boarded the bus about an hour ago, and is on his way back to boston right now. i saw him off, then bought some food from the roadside pushcarts, and brought it home to eat. it's so yummy but loaded with mayonnaise.


it's so sinful but it tastes soooo goooood....

ps: yes everyone, it is chicken and 4 tonnes of mayo.

08 September 2007

alex was here

well he still is.

my childhood buddy and one of my best friends, has been living in boston for the last 4 years now. he left for boston just a few months after i went off to tokyo. and it really sucked because our holidays back home to singapore, never really coincided. by the time i got back, he'd have been back for months already, and we'd have probably just a week to meet and catch up.

while he's back and i'm still in tokyo, he usually meets up with bib, my sis, and stella (my sister's friend who became a friend too and is equally bitchy as me hohoho *double winks to you, stella*)

i've known alex since i was about 9 and he was 10, so we almost grew up together. i won't say we know each other inside out, but yeah we know us pretty well.

anyway his neighbor, hilton club member, had a free week's stay at the hilton club hotel on 6th avenue, over the labor day weekend. but they could only stay a couple of days, and told alex he could stay there the remainder of it.

so alex took the hilton bus from boston to manhattan, and i moved into the hotel with him on the 4th. woohoo. no commute!! always a good thing.

the first night, he took me to this yakitori place called yakitori totto [251 west 55th street, between broadway and 8th avenue; 212.245.4555]. now i've been totally missing japanese food and i love love love yakitori, so i was so pleased to have found this place. it's pricey - twice the cost compared to what i pay in japan - but hell i was diggin' in.

on wednesday the 5th, the fucking cab drivers in new york city decided they all wanted to go on a strike to oppose getting the gps system installed in their cabs. so after going to the art supplies store and buying a ton of stuff that's just impossible to carry, i decide to take a cab back to the hotel after a long day at school. it's just 15 blocks back to the hotel and the cab driver says that because of the strike, they charge by zones - and i'll have to pay $15. *gasp*

and he only told me that when we were approaching the hotel.

all that was swimming inside of my head were swear words and various curses in different languages. yes, i can swear in english, mandarin, japanese, malay and korean. i like to think of myself as multi-lingual.

we went to another great place the next day: a pizza place called lombardi's [32 spring street, at the corner of mott street; 212.941.7994]. the pizza was excellent. the small one gave us 6 slices. i was full after one, and expanded my tummy on the 2nd slice. for the quality and service, it wasn't expensive either!! i'll definitely be going back there.

(totally irrelevant, but i just realised now,
that my camera is still set on tokyo date and time! shit!)

as we walk around soho, we went past the adidas store and i spotted the cutest pairs of shoes.

i totally love them. i love checks and i love polka-dots and i wish i could get them all but i can't so since i saw them i've been thinking and thinking about which one to get!!! what do you think?? i hope they have a red and white polka-dot... whee!!

alex had been yelping (and calling and messaging his girlfriend) practically nonstop on his stupid blackberry, there were times i wanted to snatch it and stomp on it. especially when we both had this huge craving for chinese dumplings and he spent the whole afternoon finding a place for us to go, only to lead us to this major dodgy, filthy and not at all yummy place in chinatown. eeks!!! we originally wanted to go to this other place called dumpling house [118a eldridge street, near broome street; 212.625.8008]. but when we got there, it was so crowded and there wasn't anywhere to sit. we should have known that crowded=good. the prices were dirt cheap too. but we turned around and went to option number two, that should really have been option number zero. fried dumpling was a complete letdown. it might have been cheap but the only way i'd say the food was any good was if i was completely starving.

after that terrible dinner where i ate just 3 dumplings and basically dumped the rest, pun intended, we wandered around and found ourselves in little italy. damn that stupid fried dumpling; why the hell didn't we eat anywhere else in little italy?? the place looked fantastic and i actually felt like i was in italy!! (although i've never been there before so it was just make-believe.)

every single restaurant was packed and looked so good. hell, even the parking meters and fire hydrants were so cute, painted in green, white and red! i loved it. we decided to go to a cafe and console our stomachs with some great dessert but the chocolate cake i had, called fuzzy wuzzy, contained 4 zillion calories.

this picture just doesn't do little italy any justice.
i need a better camera!!

on our way back to the hilton, we walk past radio city. fashion week has started here in new york, and at radio city was the fashion rocks event. amongst other artistes, aerosmith was performing. what i'd give to get a ticket!! when am i gonna be famous enough! bah.

on friday the 7th, the day started off in times square. i went to school in the morning, and alex went to get us tickets to see a musical show on broadway. we also had to check out of the hilton. bye bye to comfy sheets, a huge bed and room service. i think the best thing about staying in a hotel is going out and coming back to a super neat and clean room.

we moved into my new place!! i've found a place, finally, that suits my budget and is overall, pretty nice and decent. it's an apartment share and my room is actually pretty big and there's decent wardrobe space, and space for me to get a work table as well. the lady i'm renting from seems pretty nice and fun, and she has a super cute pomeranian, the smallest thing ever with a real fat tummy.

we went downtown to the east village after that, where i did some cheap shopping and found a fabulous belt. and we also found these 2 brilliant japanese drinking bars on st. marks place called izakayas!! the first was called kenka, which translate into 'fight' in japanese. haha! but it also says "delicious! cheap! fast!" on it's sign, which is what most japanese izakayas would say, but it looked SO japan!

just a few doors down was another place serving yakitori! it is called yakitori taisho, which turned out to be a branch of a chain that my friends and i actually used to frequent when i was staying in tokyo. i was soooo stoked!!! i didn't think i'd find it here in new york! i thought i'd died and gone to heaven. i have to email all my friends and send them this picture! it even has the same tattered and torn "taisho" lantern!!! i definitely have to come back here asap. it's quite up there in my to-do list!

later that night, we went off to broadway. it was alex's first musical and my third. avenue q wasn't what i expected it to be. the guy at the ticket booth did say that "it's sesame street, but for adults." but i honestly did not expect muppets to appear. it was an amazing 2 hours and i think every last penny was well spent!! i think it was one of the funniest things i've watched in a while. it touches on many taboo subjects, like racism, sex, drinking, porn, and hmm, even politics. we were definitely glad to have gone to see it, and if you're in new york i definitely recommend it!! the cast that night was amazing and it was wonderful being in the presence of people with such talent.

after the show, we took a cab to la bonne soupe [48 west 55th street, between 5th and 6th avenues; 212.586.7650], a cosy french restaurant. it was fantastic. we ordered the set and i had the french onion soup, rib eye steak and chocolate mousse.

i swear, i have never ever had french onion soup that good. it was rich in flavor and you could actually taste the onions - a far cry to the watered down clear soup with 3 stringy onion slices that i'm used to. the steak was also perfect, not overcooked, and was tender too. then came the chocolate mousse.

i am a (self-proclaimed) chocoholic and if i could eat chocolate for a living, i would. the chocolate mousse i had there was ab.so.lute.ly fabulous!!! i was so full after the steak, i thought i wouldn't be able to finish it, but no, i cleaned it up and licked my spoon in 2 minutes flat.

it was a great meal and all for just $24!!! super value for money!! definitely worth heaps more, but dear monsieur picot, please don't ever raise the prices!!

after spending all saturday morning cursing at paypal and amazon.com while i ordered my school textbooks, i joined alex in soho, where he had been shopping. my cab went by the armani exchange store and i told the driver to let me off there. there was a huge crowd outside, but what caught my eye were the models in the window.

there was a new underwear launch but i don't think anyone was buying underwear. i think everyone was snapping pictures, licking their lips and thinking how tight those white things were. by everyone, i mean women, gays, and jealous men.

there was more eye-candy inside the store, and too many turned-on people ogling at the male models. the security guard kept trying to get people to clear the doorway and was shouting, "you're either in, or out!! in or out! in, out, in, out!!"

then this woman shouted back, "give me some of that in-and-out!!"

i totally burst out laughing.

now, don't get me wrong, i really behaved myself, unlike several women and two gays, who couldn't stop shrieking, and went up to the models countless of times to take photos together, and to take close-ups. one woman pointed her camera at a model's you-know-what, another couldn't stop touching this model's pecs, and one gay man just stood in the corner, smiling and salivating.

besides, i had a new assignment for school and we have to do a shopping report on underwear and swim suits. so hello, this was totally not my idea to snap like 10 photographs. it was all for the sake of research!!!

saturday was also art parade day in soho. i missed part of it but did manage to see some glorious things.

as the parade trickled off, alex and i were both sweating buckets in this stupid heat, and decided to escape into any cafe that had bloody cold a/c. across the street, however, i notice this guy in a fabulous hat and even better hotpants. or is that just underwear. i love how he catwalked down the street but i wish he was wearing nicer shoes. i wanted to walk over to ask for a picture but he just hurried on too fast.

psst. i seem to be seeing a lot of close-to-naked people today. must be my lucky day.

inside the cafe, i also notice these 2 guys, who dressed and looked exactly the same!! they spent the whole time standing up and talking to their two friends, i couldn't interrupt and ask for a photo either. i couldn't figure out if they were twins, or if they were a couple, taking the couple-look to new extremes. it's not a good paparazzi shot but they had the same hair, the same white glasses, the same red scarf tied around their necks, the same white shirt and pants!! it was amazing!! they looked amazing! i was very amazed!

later, we walked towards bleeker street and guess what i found???

a gilda radner way! how cool is that!!! i wish i could climb up the street sign and scratch the "radner" out, but i was pretty stoked with it.

it was alex's and my last dinner together in the island of manhattan, and guess where we decided to go?? yep, we loved la bonne soupe so much, we headed back there. haha!! we ordered the cream of vegetable soup, ham, egg and cheese crepe, and smoked salmon with cream cheese crepe. it was gorgeous. you can tell i'm totally hooked and plan on making myself a regular.

alex leaves for boston tomorrow. i'm a little sad, although i know i'll be seeing him soon again. but i'm also a little relieved, because i have 2 million assignments due in a couple of days and i need to get rid of him! hahahah! just kidding alex, you know i love you.

i end this post with something i found scribbled in one of my notebooks. that nincompoop must have written it when i wasn't looking. it's something he used to do: sign his stupid name all over my books, back when we were kids having classes together. every page i turned, i'd see a "alex was here" sign. so i did a "tsk" just like i always used to do, whenever i found one of those scribbles.

boys will always be boys.

but it seems that years apart from good friends, can make them just slightly wiser. his "alex was here" scribbles have upgraded to a version 2.0.