Monday, September 21, 2009

The Fabulous 80s Fashions, Catfights, Caviar & Dynasty Bitches

The 80s, an era of excesses, over the top fashions we would love to hate but just can't look away. And there are some memorable TV shows that are known for their fashion and little else, and then there are those excruciating programmes where the fashion becomes the focal point, whether it intends to or not.

You might wonder what's the hot new looks for fall 2009 fashion? Padded shoulders straight out of "Dynasty," sequined tops fit for "Golden Girls" and the kind of pleated pants last seen on "The Facts of Life."


(Dynasty - The excesses of the '80s meant big everything, from hair to shoulder pads. All that glitters: The nighttime soap "Dynasty" celebrated an era of excess, complete with shimmering fashions worn by leads including Evans and Joan Collins.)
Though designers have been flirting with the decade for several seasons, a clutch of marquee names delved into the era's flashiest, most bombastic side for fall. The homage to the color-drenched era was, in some cases, so unapologetic you almost expected Joan Collins to stroll out in a Swarovski-encrusted Bob Mackie gown boasting shoulder pads meatier than twin rib eyes LOL!


(Golden Girls Fashion then and now)

Well, over the years as the fashion trends have progressed, so has the fashion on our favourite TV shows, and for the most part it has got a hell of a lot better. You can't help but laugh at some of the campy looks sported 20 years ago on some of our fave programmes though, but hopefully through their style mistakes and triumphs, we have learnt a few of our own fashion lessons.


(Miami Vice - Don Johnson's pastel color push-up sports jacket look was a big hit)
We've chose couple of the best fashion savvy programmes to hit our screens over the years that influenced us and many people around the world how to dress in the golden eras of 80s, and for people my age, save by the bell was one of the show I look for fashion ideas when I was in high school, yes laugh all you want! admit it, you want to be as cool as Zac & Slater don't you?!


(Saved by the bell - all the neon color printed shirts & bleach jeans.... it was every high school kid's must have items! yes I confess, I have couple of the polka dots big shirts & my rainbow color vans shoes LOL)
So, in the fall winter 2009 fashion shows, it was full of pleated, tapered pants and boatloads of neon, Marc Jacobs' über-'80s show looked like a casting call for "Square Pegs." Meanwhile, designer Christophe Decarnin of Balmain - the house that nudged fashion into the decade's decadent side last season with pieces such as Michael Jackson-style jackets - harnessed the hard-edged party girl of the era with skin-tight minidresses and pointy, winged, padded shoulders.


(Pretty In Pink - How would the movie's warring richie preps and New Wave outsiders fare in today's fashion world? The big jackets and high-waisted chinos on pretty-boy Blane (Andrew McCarthy) might need an update -- or can just be recycied as women's wear -- but Duckie's (Jon Cryer) skinny jeans and Andie's (Molly Ringwald) leggings and layers have been a part of street fashion for years. See, geeks win in the end.)
Considering the worldwide recession, it seems a curious time to be making such showy, fashion-forward clothes. Wasn't it just a few months ago that most of fashion magazines were preaching the virtues of "investment dressing"? What is it about the current climate that's delivered us back to the '80s? could it be people are tired of being worried about money and being sensible? Even though it wasn't the carefree time everyone remembers it to be, the '80s looks like the party we've not been allowing ourselves to have lately. It's a denial of the recession.?



Come think of it, when we are in bad economies, clothes tend toward the staid, and in boom times the fantasy is to look downbeat and poor like the purposely stained, torned jeans, jackets, I even seen some handmade "couture tees" that makes you look like a homeless man! of course with a $250 price tag to achieve that look! haha!

And now that a tough economy is the reality, we want to look "Rich, over the top & fun!" Suddenly, we're living the old adage of hemlines rising and lipstick colors getting brighter when the economy tanks "We're in a tough economic time, and a lot of these '80s-inspired looks give off the image of a strong woman," said Gregg Andrews, fashion director for Nordstrom, which is betting on '80s-style boyfriend blazers from Stella McCartney and shoulder-centric pieces from Donna Karan this fall. "It's about a woman still being feminine, but not fragile or frail. The strong shoulder, the hardware on things -- I look at it as being modern urban armor.

It's true that there are few decades that have offered such a treasure trove of memorable (and cringe-inducing) looks. And in this era of anxiety, maybe the season's key trend is to dress optimistic and adding a pop of bright neopn color into your daily wardrobe! don't let the recession to drag you down!

Now grab a glass of Champagne, sit back and let's time travel to the fabulous 80s with this Dynasty Reunion Special


(Opening)


(Episode 1)



(Episode 2)



(Episode 3)



(Episode 4)



(Episode 5)


Untill next time, Champagne wishes & Caviar dreams !!


XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the Pug

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gloria Swanson an amazing actress in Sunset Boulevard - A dark comedy, deeply moving tragedy, fabulous film

I've been a huge fan of the Movie & Broadway show "Sunset Boulevard" ! So naturally I've been mesmerized by the actress Gloria Swanson's glamourous looks, unique acting skills & her life story.



Gloria Swanson was born in Chicago on March 27th, 1897. Her real name is Gloria Josephine Mae Swenson. She began her career 1913 at Chicago's Essanay Studios. Back then she was known as Gloria Mae. In 1916, she married Wallace Beery, another Essanay player, and the newlywed couple moved to Hollywood. He was to be the first of six husbands. She then shifted back-and-forth between two studios, Triangle and Paramount, where she appeared in roles that captured audiences hearts, making her a major box-office draw of the silent era. Her first lead role was in Cecil B. DeMille's Don't Change Your Husband (1919). DeMille would direct her in six of her box-office triumphs.



In 1925, after returning from France where she filmed Madame Sans-Gene and married her third husband, Marquis Henri de la Falaise, she teamed up with Joseph P. Kennedy, patriarch of the political clan, and began producing her own films. The two had a extra-marital affair, which was effectively hidden from her fans. Her first production effort went over budget and was not successful; but her second, Sadie Thompson (1928), was a commercial and critical success. It was daring for its time: She played a prostitute who was reformed then raped by a religious fanatic. For that role, she received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.



The following year was a tumultuous one for Swanson's professional career. Although she received her second Academy Award nomination for her role in The Trespasser, her production company also embarked on the ambitious project Queen Kelly, directed by Erich Von Stroheim. Von Stroheim created a financial mess, with numerous reshoots and the injection of erotic and perverse touches into the film. Although he was subsequently fired, the damage had been done. Although given a few screenings in Europe, the film was never shown in the United States. It marked the end of Von Stroheim's directing career.

She retired in 1934, but attempted several comebacks. Her most successful was her critically lauded star turn in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard, where she played a role with many parallels to her own life.



What they don’t realize is how close "Sunset Boulevard" cuts to the bone. Not just in terms of the fickle system of Hollywood fame, and the ephemeral and illusory nature of Hollywood glamour, but to its specific references to the people involved. Audiences in 1950 would have been able to recognize Gloria Swanson as an ex-silent film star. When she goes to a backlot to visit Cecil B. DeMille, DeMille plays himself, and is actually working on his real film "Samson & Deliliah" (1949). Seeing as "Sunset Boulevard" takes place in flashback, this would have been exactly the film DeMille would have been working on. We’re asked to watch an old silent film of Norma’s at one point, and it is actually "Queen Kelly" (1929) starring Gloria Swanson.



Gloria plays Norma Desmond brilliantly! She is also infected by love. Love of romantic, abstract things. Things like "the spotlight", "the little people", "the cheers", and most of all "the fame". As a teenager, Norma Desmond was taken under the wing of Cecil B. DeMille. She was a lovely doe. Ready to display her beauty and charm to audiences the world over. Her films were hits, and she became very, very rich. But, as happens so often with teenage stars (from Judy Garland to Britney Spears), the fame went to her head. When she began to fall out of the public eye (due to dwindling roles and the inevitable onset of age), she as no prepared to live life a rung down. She went mad. In her mind, the fame never faded, and the world still wants her, needs, her, adores her, awaits with baited breath her great comeback.

One of her famous line in the movie was : "I am big!" She insists in all seriousness. "It's the pictures that got small." ( Dont' we all have that bitchy diva in al of us? haha )



After a long career in Hollywood, she received her third Academy Award nomination for that film. Her final film appearance was in 1974's Airport 1975, where she played herself. She died on April 4th, 1983. What an amazing actress and the life she had lived!

After watching the "Sunset Blvd" again, I can't help it to think..... and I am sure all of you agrees with me that Hollywood advertises itself as the Place Where Dreams Come True. The city where streets are paved with gold, and all it takes is a single famous director to recognize you, and you are instantly transported into a world of luxury, adoration, large mansions, swimming pools, and endless money. Not in any ad copy, mind you; it's just the grand illusion of the place.



Countless young writers and actors have moved to Los Angeles over the decades in the hopes of cashing in on this dream. The joke goes that, to this day, you can go into a restaurant in Hollywood, and ask any given waiter or waitress for their resume and 8×10 glossy, and they may have it for you. Just convince them that you are a legit producer first. It is kinda sad but a reality in LA.



Does the world of high-paid acting really offer more than money? Does it truly offer that ineffable thing we call glamour? Well, to a degree, yes it does. In the minds of the people who still want the dream, and to those who have bought into it, it still lives on. But it’s easy to see that "Fame" and "Glamour" are fleeting things at best, and completely false at worst. Hollywood does not care for you, it only cares for who is most bankable at any given moment. The movie biz is where ineffable things like dreams, glories, and art, mix the most closely with the callous world of high-profit business.



It’s easy to take the glamour seriously. It's comforting and plush and beautiful. The smart ones prepare for when the paychecks begin to whither. The rest either sink into lower tiers of fame, or they go mad. Going mad is, I think, more common than we assume.

Here is the most famous scene of the movie, the grand finale...... Mr. DeMille, I am ready for my close-up !!! Click on the media player below to see the clip.



I don't want "Sunset Boulevard" to sound like a depressing resignation of personal tragedy though. Despite the tragic elements, "Sunset Boulevard" is refreshingly alive. We may feel the emptiness in Norma's soul, but Swanson is able to take the role of this strange woman and make her into a full realized character who is interesting to watch. All the fabulous clothings, the sets & the over the top melodrama, made this dark comedy, a deeply moving tragedy, and a hugely satisfying film experience.

I was so fortunate to received this original Gloria Swanson autographed photo as a farewell gift from my co-workers when I left my at Carmen Marc Valvo as an associated designer in that company. I now hang this beautiful framed photo in my office so I can see it everyday!



I have seen the Sunset Boulevard Broadway Shows 3 times with all four different leading actresses: Glenn Close, Betty Buckley & Patti Lupone! Here is a video of Glenn Close's performance, simply amazing !



In conclusion of this blog about the movie Sunset Blvd & Gloria Swanson, what an amazing movie! and an amazing actress! Here is a video paying tribute to this fabulous woman Gloria Swanson!




Untill next time, put on your "Gloria Face" and be ready for your "Close-Up" at any time, 'cause you never know who are you gonna meet ! haha


XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the pug :-)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Larger Than Life Is Just The Right Size ! - CHANEL Giant Size Carousel Fashion Show

Ok girls! I LOVE everything Chanel! and this is no joke! this is HUGE.... LOL ... hmmm i wish i have one like this at home, where i can put all my life in ha ha
Vogue Paris August 2008


A Chanel carousel fitted out with giant quilted bags, camellias, pearls, boaters, and bows faced the audience as it poured into the Grand Palais for the Fall Ready-to-wear show. It was a fitting metaphor for the timeless turning of the house classics, and for the unstoppable machine fashion has become these days.


Lagerfeld didn't miss a trick, from fragile, frothy, high-necked blouses to spidery knits, peplum jackets, and an intelligent exploration of how longer lengths might be worked into a winter wardrobe.


And what of austerity chic, the subject du jour? Lagerfeld's witty take was an updated retread of Coco Chanel's "poverty de luxe," so that the tweed suits came with worn-through elbows or scatterings of faux-darned patches. Nothing too heavy, of course, because Lagerfeld is not one to take passing fashion issues, even recession, too seriously. But in its relative restraint, reserved color, and holding back on accessory overload, this collection was a smart way to prove that whatever goes around comes around, and ends up looking just as Chanel as ever.


OMG! this Chanel merry-go0round carousel runway stage is my wet dream comes true!!! I can just ride on those over size Chanel goodies on the carousel over and over haha....

Don't you wish you can have one of this giant Chanel bags in your living room?


Click on the video player below to see the fashion show



All I can say is J'adore CHANEL !! Karl Lagerfield is a Genius!
XOXO
Ala + Mei-Mei the pug

PRADA - Daino Large Tote : A perfect white color bag is hard to find! Untill now !

As you might agree with me, finding a perfect white color bag is hard! It needs to have the right details, hardware and shape so it won't look cheap & tacky! With this fabulous off-white PRADA tote bag, you can never go wrong! I can just imagine myself carrying this bag vacationing at Côte d'Azur in the Riviera or going to some fabulous spas in Bali. Such a perfect summer bag but works perfect with your winter white outfits,too!

PRADA - Daino Large Tote $1220

Soft leather tote with magnetic snap closure, rolled leather handles and removable shoulder strap. Prada jacquard fabric lined interior with leather-trimmed zipper pocket. 14" x 18" x 5". 6" handle drop. Available in White. Made in Italy.

(Available at Barneys.com)

Dont miss out this fabulously perfect off white tote bag! It will also be super chic to go with your winter white cashmere sweaters!! It is just a perfect all year around tote!

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

Hermes Birkin 50cm Haut à Courroies - Experience The Magic Of Hermes !

The Birkin & Kelly bag from Hermes is the most sough after bags in the world! Most of the time there will be 2 years waiting list for each bag! since it's all handmade in limited editions! So most of us can just dream about owning one of these trully fabulous Hermes bag. Here is the newest version of the Birkin bag, the size 50cm Haut à Courroies.



This lucky boy at Soho, NYC is sporting the smaller version of the Hermes 40cm Birkin



Here is a video to show you why the Hermes Birkin bag is so expensive and so hard to get (Even Oprah needs wait in line for it!)



I know usually there is a 2 year wait for these fabulous Hermes bags, but it's totally worth the wait! after you watch the video above, then you understand why Hermes has became the untimate luxury handbag!

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

Friday, September 11, 2009

Givenchy Sacca Grained Yoke Sac

For a nice looking bag, no matter how plain the design is, it will uplift your look! and sometimes less is more! I can't believe I am saying this! as you all may knwo I always believe in "More is More" like Christian Lacroix's Designs! haha but this Givenchy Sacca Grained Yoke Sac is simple but has tons of personality.



I saw this bag at Barneys New York and it is a perfectly designed structured tote/hobo. It is made of textured leather adding a small dose of rugged looking. The tassel fringe brings out the femininity. For a bag that you carrying around all the time, I prefer a magnetic snap closure bag, it’s easy to access. Over all this bag is sleek and stylish! If you are looking for a simplistic chic with a downtown look, this is a perfect must have bag for you!




Details:

* Textured leather w/ Canvas lining

* Magnetic snap closure

* Flat leather handles; 8″ drop

* Tassel fringe detail

* 2 organizational interior pockets

* Size: 13.5" x 15" x 4"

* Price: $2,075

* Available at Barneys New York

Untill next time, go shopping! find some fabulous bags for this fall/winter !

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

Prada Vitello Daino Tote - A Must Have Bag for Multi-Tasking Busy Women

For all your stylish multi-tasking ladies or moms out there, this multi compartment tote bag is a must have for you!

Prada - Vitello Daino Tote $1595

Black pebbled calf leather. Top handles. Removable shoulder strap. Side pockets. Luggage tag. Made in Italy. Click on photo below to see more details

(Available at NeimanMarcus.com)



Those 2 awesome size compartment/pocket on the bag made me think that this bag might also be a super chic baby bag! if you are a stylish mom!

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

FENDI - Zucca Chain-Handle Tote - Uptown Chic Meets Everyday Practical Needs

I Love this bag! with Fendi's famous "FF" Logos all over in a updated shape, with inverted pleats at center, it's a perfect example of uptown chic meets everyday pratical needs of every stylish women!

FENDI - Zucca Chain-Handle Tote $1180

Iconic ZUCCA print canvas, Chain top handles with woven leather with Enameled Zucca clasp and the Inverted pleat details on center front. 11"H x 18"W x 5"D Made in Italy. Click on photo to see more details.

(Available at NeimanMarcus.com)


Chck out this bag at Fendi flagship stores or NeimanMarcus.com ! it's a fabulous bag!

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

Perfect Bags for Stylish Men

Yves Saint Laurent - Large Embossed Logo Tote - $995

Large YSL logo tote bag in soft leather features contrasting logo patch, interior pockets and nickel hardware. Can be hand carried or worn on the shoulder. 15H x 13W x 5D. Made in Italy. Click on the photo to see more details

(Available at YSL.com)
YSL Large logo tote

How can we talk about "Subtle Understate Chic" without mentioning Polo Ralph Lauren? I adore this bag! super soft leather, perfect size for everyday use or going to work and no screaming "Logo" says look at me I spend a lot of money on my bag! haha!

Polo Ralph Lauren - Deerfield Leather Tote Bag $1195

A timeworn vintage quality pervades our handsome leather tote bag, exquisitely crafted in Italy from soft, supple leather for a rugged finish. Two canvas handles at the top are accented with antiqued metal stud hardware and leather reinforcement panels. "Ralph Lauren"-embossed leather proprietor patch accents the front for vintage appeal. 17" L x 6" W x 16" H. Click on photo to see more details.

(Available at RalphLauren.com)


Polo Ralph Lauren - Handle Portfolio Briefcase $350

Sturdy two-handle construction with reinforced bottom. Top-zip closure with pony-embossed side tabs and leather pull. Accompanied by a leather luggage tag with plastic front, adjustable leather strap and our tonal embossed Big Pony at the back. Cotton twill-lined interior with single zip pocket and our signature leather logo tab. Elegantly presented in our signature pouch.
15½" L x 2½" W x 11½" H. Click on photo to see more details

(Available at RalphLauren.com)


Don't think that only stylish women carrys fabulous bags! for us guys, sometimes all it takes is the right accessories to complete your look to make you look sharp and ready to take on the world!

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

FENDI Peek-A-Boo Zucca Tote - A Must Have Bag for this Fall / Winter 2009



For me, a fabulous tote bag can perfectly boosting your self-confidence (yes, I am a little shallow..... I will meditate on that tonight...OM..) and showing your style & taste in fashion! They are the perfect items to accessorize your looks from Uptown Luxe, Hamptons casual chic to urban downtown edgy looks or just wanna go over the top to impress & "offend" others to make you stand out in a crowd! haha.


Dark brown/gold degrade leather, Goldtone and silvertone hardware. Removable shoulder strap. Zucca-print brown leather lining peeking through if you unlock the top of the bag and just let it drape like shown in the photo for that extra pop of color and design detail! so fabulous! Inside; one zip and one open pocket. Made in Italy. (Available at NeimanMarcus.com)

FENDI "Peek-A-Boo" Zucca Tote - $2380

Limited Edition Beaded Zucca Fendi Logo Pee-A-Boo $3940
(Available at Luxe-Gifts.com)


fabulous beaded lining is sparkly yet subtle ! so it's very chic
Patent Leather w/ Gold emboridary lining, very uptown chic!


Here is a photo to show you the porportion of this bag.



Roomy yet still has that elegant "Kelly/Birkin Bag" feels to it. Also available in other color combos! Click on the photo below to see more details of these FENDI bags. I got one of this all black one, it's big enough for a man to carry and great for going to work in style!

FENDI "Peek-a-boo" Tote - Black (Available at Nordstrom.com)



If you like the feel of suede, then this one is a must have for you! also the charm of this bag is if you un-hook the top, the red lining peeks out for that pop of color!! so fabulous!

FENDI "Peek-a-boo" Tote Brown Suede (Available at NeimanMarcus.com)


Here is Fendi Fall/Winter 2009 Runway Show, Enjoy!



Rush to the store and check out these fabulous bags !!

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fabulous Louis Vuitton Monogram Eclipse Collection

Louis Vuitton Monogram Eclipse AlmaMake a shining impression with the Alma Monogram Eclipse. Its iconic canvas is embroidered with beautiful light-reflecting sequins to create an unmissable effectHotel room key inspired zip puller, comfortable flat leather handle with handmade leather knots and graphic eyelets, double flat pocket, bottom studs to protect the bag, calfskin leather trim. Size: 11" x 8.3" x 5.5" $2,470.00

Available at LouisVuitton.com



Louis Vuitton Monogram Eclipse SpeedyNot only is the Speedy a supremely practical bag but its reflecting sequins – embroidered against a backdrop of iconic Monogram Eclipse canvas – also give it a scintillating, seductive sheenHotel room key inspired zip puller, comfortable flat leather handle with handmade leather knots and graphic eyelets, double flat pocket, bottom studs to protect the bag, calfskin leather trim. $2,160
Available at : LouisVuitton.com
Louis Vuitton Monogram Eclipse Pochette AccessoiresThe Pochette Accessoires looks suitably stylish re-interpreted in striking Monogram Eclipse. Embroidered with gorgeous sequins, it creates the ultimate effectHotel room key inspired zip puller, removable hook on the bag handle, one interior flat pocket, calfskin leather trim. $2,160
Available at: LouisVuitton.com

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