Monday, January 31, 2011

Celebrate Year of the Rabbit Chinese Lunar New Year 2011 in Style & New Year’s Sweet Treat Recipe


The Chinese Lunar New Year is just around the corner, and as an Chinese American, I am also very excited about the new year’s arrival. Many of you must have also noticed for the past couple season, Chinese style & far east themes has inspired many fashion labels & designers. From CHANEL’s last year’s China chic pre-fall collection, Givenchy/s all Asian models cast of their Spring 2011 Haute Couture show just shown last week, to Marc Jacobs Asian inspired spring 2011 show for Louis Vuitton, the “China Fever” has influence the fashion world by storm.

Louis Vuitton Spring 2011 Collection





Givenchy Spring 2011 Haute Couture Collection




CHANEL 2010 Pre-Fall Collection



Vera Wang 2011 Ad Campaign


So as the Year of Rabbit approaching, we would like to share with you a very traditional Chinese sweets dessert “Tang-Yuan 湯圓” recipe for you to try when you invite your Chinese friends over for dinner during the Chinese New Year moth, I am sure it will give them a pleasant surprise & make them feel just like home!


Tang yuan is a traditional Chinese dessert which is well loved by all generations. They’re basically glutinous rice balls (either filled or unfilled) that are served in a sweet broth. They’re most popular during the winter solstice, Chinese weddings & Chinese New year! Because of the word “Yuan 圓” is synonym to the word “Perfect ion圓滿 & Reunion團圓”; it is considered good luck and symbolize everything in you life will be as perfect as you wish it would be and reunited with your friends, family & love ones. The “Tang-Yuan” can be cook with various sweet broth, some in red bean soup, but my favorite sweet broth is with ginger & brown sugar. And there is another version of “Tang-Yuan” that’s filled with sesame paste or sweet peanut paste, and that type of “Tang-Yuan” is specially popular in the Lantern Festival, the 15th day after Chinese New Year, which also mark the end of the Chinese New Year celebration. So we will give you these super simple recipe to try.


Tang Yuan (Plain)

- 2 Cups glutinous rice flour
- 1 Tbsp caster sugar
- 200 ml water
- Pink color food coloring (so you will have some white & some pink color Tang Yuan)

1. Mix glutinous rice flour with sugar in a large bowl.

2. Add the water, and slowly knead until it forms a soft paste that does not stick to your hands. (The mixture is very gloopy and sticky at first, but the more you knead it, the less sticky it gets)

3. If you wish to have colourful tang yuans, divide the dough into portions, and add a few drops of food colouring to each portion. Knead the dough until the food colouring is evenly distributed throughout the dough.

4. Shape the dough into 1-2cm balls.

5. Drop the balls into a pot of boiling water. The tang yuan will float to the surface of the water once they are cooked. Once this happens, transfer the tang yuan to the sugar broth. (The reason for boiling the tang yuan in a separate pot is so that they won’t “cloud” up your sweet broth. It’s not a compulsory step though, and on my lazy days I do just cook the tang yuan in the sweet broth to make washing up easier.)


Tang Yuan with black sesame paste filling

- 230g (just under 1 cup) glutinous rice flour
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup black sesame seeds, toasted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar

1. Grind the black sesame seeds until they form a fine powder (I used my mini food processor).

2. Heat a small pan over medium high heat, and transfer the ground sesame seeds into this pan. Add the softened butter and sugar to the mixture and stir until it forms a smooth paste.

3. Set aside to cool in the fridge.

4. Whilst the black sesame filling is cooling in the fridge, prepare the glutinous rice balls. The method for this are similar to that described above.

5. Divide the tang yuan dough into 20 balls.

6. Flatten each ball in your palm, and place a pinch of black sesame paste in the middle of each flattened disc. Fold up the edges (towards the centre of the disc), and press to seal. Once you have done this, lightly roll it into a ball. Take care to not get too excited with the rolling, or you may end up with a burst tang yuan and lots of sesame paste in your hands!

7. Cook the tang yuan as above, in the boiling hot water


Sweet Broth

- 4-5 cups water (how much water you use depends on how much broth you want)
- 2 pandan (screwpine) leaves, knotted
- 1/2 cup rock sugar/brown sugar/caster sugar
- 2 inches of ginger

1. Boil the water in a pot until it starts to bubble.

2. Add the pandan leaves and ginger, and boil for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, turn the heat down, and simmer for 15-20minutes.

Voilà! There is the supper yummy "Tang Yuan湯圓" ! Of course we are not going to just leave you in the kitchen cooking, after all this is the FASHIONISTAS blog! Haha, so to end this special Chinese New Year article, we will show you the 4 popular & simple make-up looks that you can try and wear it to your friend’s Chinese New Year Party!



Until next time, Be well & Look Fabulous and….


Happy Chinese New Year中國新年快樂 !

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the Pug

Sunday, January 30, 2011

All American Designer Charles Nolan Dies At Age 53 In NYC & The Legacy He Left Behind

Charles Nolan, a native New Yorker, Charles Nolan’s subtle luxury, attention to details with touch of the All Americana Hamptons Chic, has put him on the map of the American fashion world.


After apprenticing with Bill Blass and Christian Dior, among others, Nolan joined Ellen Tracy in 1990, becoming its chief designer and taking it from a well regarded clothing manufacturer to a significantly more successful fashion label. By the time he left in 2001, Ellen Tracy had been number one in its market for six years. Recognizing his talent, the parent of Anne Klein, about to enter bankruptcy, hired Nolan to rejuvenate its line & saved Anne Klein from bankruptcy.

Charles Nolan Spring 2009 Collection





Charles Nolan Spring 2008 Collection




Charles Nolan Resort 2008 Collection


Charles Nolan Resort 2007 Collection


Charles Nolan Spring 2006 Collection




Nolan debut his own collection back in September 2004 and opened Charles Nolan Boutique in Manhattan’s trendy meatpacking district in December. 30 Gansevoort Street, New York




In January 30, 2011 morning; the super talented designer Charles Nolan passed away by the cause of liver cancer. He was only 53 years old. Charles has known to be a down to earth & happy person, and we all wish wherever he is at now, he is always happy as usual & creating beautiful dresses! May he rest in peace.


Please visit Nolan’s official website Charles Nolan.com

Until next time, be well and look fabulous

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the Pug

CHANEL Haute Joaillerie Jewelry Collection - Celestial Illuminations with Parisian Charm


I just love anything that sparkles! And as Marilyn Monroe sings “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!” CHANEL’s Haute Joaillerie is definitely being admired by fashionistas all over the world!

Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel’s love of diamonds has began since 1932 when she started her first collection of the Haute Joaillerie . The collection was presented in a show name “Bijoux de Diamants” and feathers are the theme. It was also the time of great depression in Europe, so when Madame Chanel chose such a special time to debut her Haute Joaillerie collection It had attracted a lot of attentions. All the diamonds in this collection have used the inlaid with platinum, which was unique at the time.



The main attraction is the long diamond-set feather brooch that is cleverly engineered with flexible articulations, was first shown on a wax model and worn as a head band. None of the original pieces survive as they were later taken apart! So in Chanel’s latest Haute Joaillerie collection, they pays homage to the 932 collection and like the originals, each jewels begins with a water colour sketch, then create a wax cast. After the gold model has been cast, the stones are set in the mounts that have all been polished by hand with tread to ensure maximum luminosity to the diamonds. The process is entirely artisan requiring months of work in the Chanel atelier; just as how Coco Chanel would have wanted to be, unique & handmade with the best craftsmanship.



Also another collection name Comète , using Comet as the inspiration for the theme of the series, because Chanel once said: “Meteor is beyond time and space, and long-lasting modern.” Star is fleeting, but it has diamonds and fine jewelry Stars pay tribute to the series, but also on behalf of the futuristic and timeless classic forever.

“I chose diamond, because it contains the greatest value with the smallest size.”






I just can’t take my eyes off these beautiful pieces of art jewelries, here is a video of the step by step creation of the new diamond feather necklace.



Ok, let’s all go buy some lottery & pray to the Goddess of Fabulousness to help us wining the jackpot so we can all run to the Chanel boutique to buy one of these super fabulous Haute Joaillerie jewelry!

Until next time, be well and look fabulous!

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the Pug

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Valentino Spring 2011 Haute Couture – A Parade of Ethereal Goddess Fabulousness


The house of Valentino by Maria Grazia Chiuri & Pier Paolo Piccioli have wow us again with their spring 2011 Couture show. This time, they wanted to break away any pas restraints of what should or should not be a ladylike couture show and did it their way. “We just wanted to remove all heaviness, the idea is that the dress are so light, they almost become part of the woman herself” said by Piccioli & Chiuri.


The whole collection is so soft, delicate with hand pressed pleating on the ruffles, butterfly chokers around the neck, soft ribbon details… the whole collection is like watching ethereal Goddesses, magical fairies parade down the runway! I just love it how ladylike they looked but with tons of sensuality,too!

Here is the video of this beautiful show



Here are some of the best look we’ve picked from the show






















Until next time, be well and look fabulous!

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the Pug

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