Sunday, May 31, 2009

Loren: Hunkering down with my shoes

Disclaimer: This is kind of Personal, and the stuff I say would probably not be approved by most - but the general public have had the pleasure of a normal family. Mine is not normal, not just by what I have written here, but much beyond that. So, an abnormal family tends to beget abnormalities. And of course, I am one as such.

This bit of information may or may not have been gleaned out of me in the previous posts, but here it goes.

I am half malay, half chinese. My father is a Muslim, which means that being the fruit of his loins (mild eww), I am automatically a Muslim. Allegedly. Personally, despite religious education and many years of living as a good Muslim girl - I don't believe in any of it, and I never have. Perhaps someday in the future, the Faith gene will hit me, but until then, I have pretty much strayed the path of all things Muslim.

I drink, I dye my hair, I wear 'inappropriate clothing' (anything below the neck, above wrist and above ankle is inappropriate), I wear make up, I don't pray, I pluck my eyebrows and shave my legs, I have le sex, and I eat bacon. Oink.

I suppose things wouldn't be so awful, if my father isn't a religious maniac. I use the word mildly, but he is in the very essence of the word. Till this day my father mutters under his breath about my uncovered hair when I step out of the house. He frowns upon the jeans I wear because they show that, err, I have legs. 

Which is why I am so happy, to be in a whole other country away from my family. I wish to say here, "Believe me when I say that I love my family, BUT...", however aside from my sister, my family tends to propel me away from them rather than towards them. Again, maybe the Filial Piety gene will activate when I'm older, but for many understandable occurrences and experiences in the past, I am not a candidate for Happy Family. I am happier away from them, in a country which judges me for who I am, not whose daughter I am, or the religion that is printed out on my identification card. And thanks to the general ignorance of australians here, and my chinese blood, I hardly look malay. I look like a strange chinese, but still classified as 'chinese' in the eyes of strangers.

The point of this little information session, is to show a little of my background, so the underlying dread in next sentence I type out, will be felt and understood - slightly.

In two hours, my parents will be touching down upon Melbourne soil.

When they are here, I experience what my life would be like if I were with my parents in any country.

1. Back to praying five times a day. Scheduling meals, travel, work, meetings - all around the prayer times.
2. Back to wearing stuff that overs everything. (thankfully, its winter, so covering up is easy to do.)
3. No eating chicken/beef/lamb in restaurants unless the place is marked Halal. Even then, order what my father orders.
4. Curfew.
5. Having scary pop quizzes like, "What prayer do you recite before you eat?!"
6. No make up.
7. No lounging and looking unproductive.
8. Only grocery shop at halal places.
9. Hiding my books, shoes, clothes.
10. And a new one, no playing of music louder than an audible decibel. I'm pretty certain my father only deems listening to prayer music as the only acceptable form of music.

And that's just my father.
My mother, the chinese, brings down her neuroses, her paranoia, her moodiness, her emotional outbursts, her nosiness, her stinginess - into full force. As a charming bonus, she's getting older, and her memory is failing her. So rein in your temper and chew on a rubber strap, because you will play, "Ten Thousand Questions" repetitively. Expect every drawer, box, closet, sheet of paper, to be pawed through by her. Express irritation and she roars back with the infallible chinese logic, "I AM YOUR PARENT, YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE ANY SECRETS FROM ME/I CAN DO ANYTHING TO YOU THAT I WANT!"

The only good thing about this is that I tend to see this all as training to Becoming A Better Person. To hone the following abilities:
To remain calm in the face of an emotional raving lunatic, 
to use logic and not emotion to settle a situation,
to not retaliate when violence is doled out, 
to smile through my unhappiness, 
to put others before myself, 
to find compassion for difficult people, 
to put on a mask for all situations , 
to be extremely diplomatic, 
to suppress everything,
to dig for the smallest bit of good in any situation,
to be sneaky and manipulative.

It goes without saying that my parents test the ropes of my patience by weaving it into a trampoline and bouncing up and down on it happily. As a result, my patience on a general scale is, I would say, industrial strength. (I dont know if Tilly would agree though.) Its a tad trickier this time as well, because volatile Brother Dick is here....and everything is more difficult with him involved. If my mother coddles me,  or if I mildly defend her, or ask him to be patient with her, he immediately feels "Loren is being a Suck Up". Which I suppose, I am, because despite everything, I would like my mother to be happy. 

On the other side, if I defend my brother, my mother would feel betrayed and then automatically go out to become the most sulky 50 something year old woman-child you have ever seen. The kind that makes it her duty to drag everyone's moods down with her, until we're all dragging our feet with thunder clouds over our heads......and then she smiles in delight.

Is there anything I am looking forward to with them?
The answer clicks in my brain without trouble.

Their departure. 

Kinda of an exfoliation for my feelings in Melbourne. After they have been here, and left again, I will be filled with a renewed appreciation and love for Melbourne.

As mentioned in the very beginning, I am not a religious person, but please God, or whatever Entity that is doling out favors, please let these seven days pass smoothly without trouble, or heart pain. If I go by the Bible, He created the world in seven days, dont let my parents destroy mine in the same seven.

(And if I could just get those Ann D boots as a reward for not slitting my throat with a paper clip, that would be a super bonus.)


Saturday, May 30, 2009

tilly: minipicpost

I don't know if I have mentioned it before on this blog but I am very lucky to be working for a certain very well-known Japanese photographic company.  I say lucky because alot of fashion bloggers I read use a variety of camera gear.  And guess what?  I get to purchase these wonderful camera gear at *ahem* staff price.

However, I am neither a fashion blogger nor a fashionista, nor a camera-ista.  I take awful photos as Loren will attest to.  And judging from the posts that goes on around here, my contribution to the fashion stakes is limited to shoes?

I try though.  Really.  Heh!

I guess this will be the first post that involves someone real in my life.  In OUR LIVES.  No, there won't be a picture of me.  Just people surrounding me.  Loren is  not included.

The first two pictures are of my colleague - Monique.  She goes by Mon in my little tight-knit team.  She is a super health-freak.  Eats everything gluten-free.  Makes the nicest smelling Pad Thai that I know.  And somestimes does the silliest things.  She tends to hum songs AFTER I start singing.  She loves the sun sun sun.  She cannot understand how I love the cold so much.  She was on the phone at the time whilst filing her nails.  She's also blonde.  Heh, so I tried to take a picture of your typical receptionist with bubble-pink lippie, manning the switchboards and filing her nails at the same time.  It's also apparent that she caught me.  Sigh.  This is taken with the IXUS 80is.

I put this in because it was the best looking picture out of ALL the DSLR pictures that I took.  No, I don't own a DSLR.  I am allowed to loan it from my company.  And so far, I have loaned the 1000D , 450D, EFS18-55is lens and the premium EFS18-200is lens.  OOOH, I feel soooo lucky!!!  This is taken with the 1000D + EFS18-55is lens.  The spuds were delish btw.  It was described as double-cooked spuds.  Yummy!!!

I am hoping one day, Loren and I will be wandering the streets of *insertcity* with our camera and wonderful lens.  Totally problem-free and cash-rich.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Loren: In your face, I'll eat your face.

I have recurring nightmares about zombies. 

It doesn't matter what I could be doing in the dream, once the zombies turn up (or stagger up), I immediately know that I am in a nightmare. Zombie dreams are never funny, though not always scary, its usually heart pumpingly exciting. Its a bit of a love-hate scenario. I hate when they surprise me in the dream (like appearing in your toilet window while you're brushing you teeth), but I love when I get to go all Ramborina (thats the female version of Rambo, fyi) on their decomposing asses, making them eat bullets and tossing home concocted Molotov cocktails at them. Heart pumping indeed.

Which was why the feeling I got when looking at the new campaign for Givenchy's Fall 2009, was so.....familiar

(human speak: I want to eat your brains.)
Okay, it was a toss up between zombies and Marilyn Manson.

Yeah, they look like they share the same family tree.

After getting past the first photo of Adriana Lima, who continues to change her image from sweet Victoria's Secret model to whatever that is not Victoria's Secret, I calmed my heartbeat down enough to check out the remaining photos. The rest of the photos were not zombie in nature, but upon closer inspection, more like the zombie hunters. Badass and staring you in the face, waiting to receive orders.

"Yes? We look slightly androgynous, but make no mistake, we have killer curves under these sharp tailoring and slick hairstyles...."

"We will go at any lengths to fulfill our mission orders. Sacrifices are not uncommon to us..."

"We're the muscle of the Operation. So tough we can even go shirtless when against man eating zombies..."

"We can go undercover as gentlemen of high society...or as bouncers of a club..."

Photographed by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott instead of his usual Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Martin (say it nine time fast.), this heavily french accented campaign is a stark change from his usual black and white studio shots, although they still do the dead-on stare out of the photographs. “It’s a new step,” the designer for Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci said. “I wanted to give this feeling of going from a studio to reality. It’s important to give reality to women.”

While luxury isn't exactly the reality of the common woman, I would much prefer that flow of thought, rather than the idea of bringing zombies from my dreamscape into the real world....even if I got to hunt them in Givenchy outfits.

Loren: Choochoo-aaah thoughts.

So while I am in this head space, *spins finger against temple*, I tend to speculate whether there is something else in life that I would be more suited to do, say - a surgeon, since I would be quite humdickitydoodah pleased to slice and poke at people with a scalpel, or - a designer, just because because. Well, okay to state the obvious, it would kill three birds with one sewing machine. It would keep my hands and mind busy, looking at pretty things would give me a happy and....less money spent on clothes when I can make a variation to suit (haha. I have the designer lingo down.) myself.

When I think about designing, and the nitty gritty details that go into a garment, my brain invariably wanders over to the well-known television show, Project Runway. It might just be me, but I wonder whether any of the designers feel a tad miffed every now and then at the challenges that they have to accomplish and the criticism that they get for a garment that they had to design, make with very little resources and even less time. No wonder Santino (second season) blows up at the judges every now and then.

Santino: If Van Gogh had had my personality, he wouldn't have had to cut off his ear.

Ah. heh. I would say that if Van Gogh had my personality, he wouldn't have stopped at cutting off his ear.


Anyway, so from unforgettable Project Runway moments, you invariably think about Heidi Klum's "Auf Weidersehen." to every contestant that they boot off the show. To be honest, when I first started watching the show, I was super clueless to what she was saying. "Erfwethesheern? What is that? Some fashion voodoo curse?!" Yeah, German falls more on Tilly's side than mine. Hein? (Is that german?)

I miss Heidi Klum from her original Victoria's Secret Days, pre-Seal-preggers-Days. All right, so its sweet to see her with Seal and kids, but you have to admit that she ain't as hot as she used to be. Which was why it was a pleasant surprise to see her in Germany's (argh! German again!) Vogue June issue, looking....fabulously glamourous. Yes, double adjectives. 

Who knew that she could still bring it?

(Photographed by Claudia Knoepfel & Stefan Indlekofer for Vogue Germany, June 2009. Photos from
I don't remember where I read it from, but I do believe the theme for this shoot was sort of a 'Day in the Life of a Celebrity', getting hounded by paparazzi, gawked at by tourists and people in the street, etc. Were those real tourists taking actual photographs? Cos what's amusing to note is that pictures of the photo shoot was leaked on the internet weeks before the issue was published, so...everyone already knew what it was going to look like, but it still looks awesome to me. I do wish that there has been a better shot of those crazy 12 inch Alexander McQueen thigh high boots, but thanks to the bystanders, here's a real photo of Heidi posing in those boots.

They must make darn good leg weights, but probably not good getaway shoes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Loren: Shut up, hand me cash and get out of the way.

Generally speaking, I would say that despite my arrogance and self-preoccupation, that I am a person of placid disposition. Generally.

Which is why, when hate and anger entwine their limbs around each other to kapoundkapoundkapound through my veins and in my head....its scary. Especially when I don't know why I am suddenly angry and hateful. Perhaps its all those times when I should have been angry or detesting something, but I shrug it off. Maybe instead of shrugging it off, I just suppress it, and so now......hiissssssss....through my blood like sulphur.

And because I think I need to say it, for the sake of saying it.

I am so,  angry.

I really am. I want to unleash it upon someone, to screamroarkickscratchsnarlbite, but I know that:

1. No one really deserves the full brunt of my suppressed-accumulated-anger.
2. No one can withstand it.
3. I'd probably feel guilty about it when I'm deflated again.

I just hope nothing irritates me in the next few days. Even though its often used, but the smallest thing, just might set me off - in an explosion with consequences too messy to clean up after. I desperately want retail therapy. And yes, I know, I know, I am an emotional shopper. But I've been so good this whole year. No emotional shopping (or shopping, for the matter), which for a (former?) shopaholic like myself, is a massive achievement. Heck, I think my last shopping trip was in August. Last year

It was the Yeojin Bae dress.

I have been told that emotional shopping is bad, because you tend to buy for the sake of buying, so you often end up with foolish purchases instead of wise investments. Oh, and because when you come off the temporary high, the low that comes at you is even more severe than it was previously. And yes, I have been there, so it is true.


After doing the excess shopping and regretting my purchases, my shopping skills have been honed. Honestly. I know what are classic, good buys that I will wear ten thousand times over and never sell even when I'm forty. I don't follow trends, so I won't buy something that will be "out" one week later. And there is a promise that comes, when you buy stuff that you really love, and love the way you look in them. The promise that you will pull yourself out of this shitty mess, so that you can give the item the life it deserves. That you will become a better person, a person that you want to become, by wearing it on your person and making it part of your character. With that promise, any thoughts of just shovelling your face with fat and not washing your face or brushing your hair, wearing daggy trackpants all day and watching Jerry Springer and living a pathetic existence - is tossed out of the window. 

You must become worthy of the new clothes. The new you.

Do I sound cuckoo? I suppose I must, for all those who read this and think, "Jeez, I could never place shopping for clothes on such an important/deep level as she does.". But the basic truth is, buying new clothes makes all of us happy. Doesn't matter whether its an emotional crutch for you, or just something that you actually need. It gives us a sense of satisfaction of having fulfilled our "mission", and knowing that we look good in a new way is the cherry on top of a sundae. You just don't want to admit it.

Humans, or more accurately, 21st Century Humans, have their lives centered around their "Wants" rather than "Needs". We've past the Need stage, which was pretty far down the chain, and we've been chugging along the Want track for most of our lives. It is politically wrong, but socially accepted. So, please, don't try and deny it. You might feel a trifle guilty the next time you go shopping, but its not as if you'll take the money that you were planning to spend on a Want and give it to someone who has a Need. Its okay. I will not judge you.

Back on Planet Loren, if I do not go shopping soon, I just might take it out on someone. Someone like Aidan, who is pissing me off by feeding giant sized portions of fuel to my paranoia.

Help me, before I destroy myself.

Or, maybe thats what he wants.... .....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Loren: A giggle crawled out

“Fashion is ze lifesavingest of all ze sciences. NOT 1 suicide bomber has ever blown zemselves up vearing Marc Jacobs. U do ze mathematischer." - Twitter post by Brüno of Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Loren: "An excerpt"

Just when I was sitting around, goes through my daily list of questions, the one that always gives me pause resurfaced.

"Will I suit working in the fashion industry?"

Do I have the guts?
Do I have the knack?
Do I have the grit?
Do I have the ability to be two-faced?
Do I have the drive?

And the new factor.
Will I be able to be remain polite even when beheading someone else in the rat race?

Then I read this little excerpt written by Karl Lagerfeld's ex-assistant Arnaud Maillard in his tell-all book, Merci Karl:

"...But he (Karl L.) can also be merciless. I've seen him simply stop talking to people, stop acknowledging their existence. In the fashion industry, nobody raises their voice; they say the worst things in a very polite tone."

My mind jumped to a snip of conversation I had with Tilly just a few hours prior.

"...By the way, you're kind of crazy right now, aren't you? I'm just wondering. Its cause I know when you're being pretentious, and when you are, its usually because you're crazy and its your way of showing it."

All said in an apathetic, phlegmatic tone.

Hmm, like pieces of a velcro jigsaw puzzle, the fashion industry and I.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

tilly: Carmen Kass

I am taking this entire post from Miss at la Playa.  She scanned pictures of my ulitmate favourite model - Carmen Kass.  I know Carmen is not famous but I love how her jawline falls and forms the most sexiest pout I know.