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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Erin

As I have not heard from her since Friday night I am assuming that she is still out partying on the streets of Tokyo celebrating her birthday!
(Please excuse my camera - or the shaky drunken hands of the peep that took this photo - Erin looks a little blurred in this pic in reality she is a beauty like no other!)

Partying in fine style with all the ladies of the night!

We embraced the fact that being in our 30s and still having our body parts where they should be is a mighty fine achievement! Yay to that! Who would have thought, I swear I tried my hardest in my early 20s to party my vital bits OFF!

A Month of Art and Design in Japan

Some of the biggest art and design events in Asia are happening right here in Japan this month.

This weekend is the 9th Spiral Independent Creators Festival held over four days at The Spiral building in Minami- Aoyama. The four day event is broken up into two 2 day showings. Group A and Group B each consist of a gathering of 50 selected independent creators.

Sonja de Boer, Discrete Bag and de Boer creator and Kana San of Sci Fi fame were both selected for this year's festival. Congratulations to them both.


Next weekend marks the return of GEISAI to Japan. After an extended break from Japan and making big news with global events the GEISAI event, founded by Takahashi Murakami, is back in full effect. Held at the Tokyo Big Site, GEISAI Museum 2 gives both amateur and professional artists a chance to display their work to the community. The one day event, Sunday May 11, will involve a panel of museum directors judging the displays in each booth.


In two weeks time, May 17 & 18, the biggest art event in Asia will be held at Tokyo Big Site. Design Festa Vol. 27 is almost here, it seems every one is talking about it too! While applications for space are closed there is still much anticipation about who will be showing their latest ranges, what acts will be there to delight and how many people we will bump into.

Many TOKYOMADE designers will be there on the day as booth dwellers or as aisle wanderers. This year TOKYOMADE is not going to have a booth, while we had an amazing time at Vol. 26 we dearly missed wandering around with friends and getting to learn about new creators and their mind blowing greatness. We do intend to be there for the two days from open til close, there is just SO much to see at Design Festa.


SS08: Colorblocks

Remember the AKA Dress I was obsessing over this winter? Well it seems that it is coming back to haunt me, because now I am seeing colorblocks everywhere! They are looking better and better too. Colorblocks are especially refreshing when compared to the floral and print patterns one usually sees in a spring/summer wardrobe. They are bright, sharp and bold.
The first brand that comes to mind when one thinks of colorblocks this season is Marc by Marc Jacobs. There are loads in that collection. Most memorable is probably that colorblock dress with the row of gold buttons coming down the front off center, but I showed that dress yesterday (fourth picture on the left). So here, I'm going to show this more geometric one (left) also from the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection. Orange is not my favourite color, but it works here. For something a bit more femininely styled, I like this dress from FCUK (right).
More boldly and sharply, there are these dresses from Cynthia Steffe (left) and DKNY (right). They are the definition of colorblock dresses (since you can actually SEE the color blocks really clearly as opposed to the dresses before which are more complex).
More subtly, there are these ones from J Crew (left) and FCUK (right). I love how the design of both is simple and sophisticated yet fun because of the color blocks! I love the color combo of these two (left: Mint Jodi Arnold, right: Mr. Abbott). Who knew yellow and grey would go so well together? Also the knot on the Mr. Abbott dress is cute!
Something more casual, there are these two options from Alisha Levine (left) and FCUK (right). My friend actually has the FCUK dress in black/yellow. The contrast of black/yellow is much sharper.
And if you are just looking to play around a little with colorblocks, you can try getting these fun but super versatile colorblock tees from Vince (left) and Ella Moss (right)- just to brighten up your wardrobe!

Image Source: Shopbop, Saks, J Crew, Nordstrom and FCUK

Carmen Electra Sexy Women

Carmen Electra Sexy Women
Carmen Electra Sexy Women
Carmen Electra Hot Sexy Photo
Carmen Electra Hot Sexy Photo
Carmen Electra Hollywood Celebs
Carmen Electra Hollywood Celebs

Friday, May 2, 2008

Do I Look Too Much Like a Sailor Girl?

Nautical inspired clothes (read: anything that is navy and white, and possibly red,) has been a must-have for the past few summers. A TimesOnline article suggests that the nautical look is so favoured because nautical clothes represent a highlife, (presumingly of a life that involves many luxurious holidays, yachts, beaches and seaside houses,) that most of us can't afford but do aspire for. This season, the runway collections offers the starry nautical look (see Chanel,) knit dresses and the 70's look.

The usual, nautical-inspired look is basically a striped top with jeans/ shorts.
A question that's been nagging me every time I see a nautical-looking item is this: Would it make me look like I'm dressed in a sailor costume? I don't mind looking a bit cutsy or too navy and white, but I really don't want to look like I'm some fashion victim who's literally dressed like a sailor.
Take this sailor-like outfit Blair is wearing: Leighton looks great in it, and Blair can totally pull it off, but that's because she's a tv character with a strong sense of style. I'm not sure it would translate well in real life.
Take these two tops from Top Shop. The top on the right is just too sailor-looking for me. And I've actually tried on the top on the left, but it kind of made me look like a 12 year old. I might be aiming to look young, but I am not aiming to look like a kid.
When I first saw this dress I thought it was cute but was way too sailor-looking and kiddy for me. But the more I stare at it, the more I want it! It's so cute and I love the details -the collar and the buttons. Alas, now that I want to buy is, it's sold out on I totally regret not ordering it when I first saw it now!
As usual, Urban Outfitters provides some ideas on how to wear the nautical look in a young and stylish way: The key is to wear one nautical item, and the rest should be a bit plainer, or a add a splash of colourful to make it look like a chic and modern outfit. Match them with 'in' accessories, like long, charm necklaces (-no anchor charms though!) or sandals (-love the tan-coloured ones on the right).
So question: Is this APC sailor dress too sailor-looking? And is it too kiddy looking? It looks cute on the model, but then everything looks ok in catalogues. Would it look really boring?

Image credits:,,,,

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tom Colicchio and the Illusory Pint of Beer

We're shocked, possums, shocked.

We had always thought Tom Colicchio a man of his word, but, much to our chagrin and disillusionment (sniff sniff), it seems that is not the case.

At the end of last night's episode, Colicchio, in reassuring Mark Simmons that he did not dislike the deadpan New Zealander, promised, "I'm sure we'll catch up after this and share a beer. Or a pint, as you guys say."

However, as Mark told our pals at Grub Street, thus far, nothing:

So you don’t feel like you were wronged in any way.
No, I don’t think I was wronged at all there. The only thing I feel wronged is Tom said he was going to buy me a beer after the chopping block. I’m still waiting for my invite.

For shame, we say, for shame. The chap just got married, Tom; the least you can do is buy him a lousy beer.

Hobbit Finally Finds the Ring

Well, possums, Mark Simmons may feel that Tom Colicchio doesn't like him, but, fortunately for him, it seems that he finally has found someone who does. In his interview with BuddyTV, Mark announces that he got married almost a week ago.

It's a shame he couldn't have waited for the "Wedding Wars" episode, but our congratulations go out to Mark and the missus. Andrew "Fatboy Slim" D'Ambrosi attended the wedding, perhaps in defiance of the constant vigilance of Big Bravoer (because, apparently, cheftestants are not supposed to have contact with each other between their departure and the finale). No word on whether fellow mermaid Spike Mendelsohn was a guest. Which reminds us: Just a word of caution, Mark, possum; marriage (to a woman) means you can no longer take champagne bubble baths with men.

Making Pine Needle Baskets

a big thanks goes out to Bela for teaching us this fine craft ;-)

Book of the Month, May 2008: Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Now, I must say that in my prepubescent stage of literature knowledge I am certain there are thousands upon thousands of people more qualified to talk about literature in an engaging way than I could ever hope. My degree is in Literature, so I have four years of digging through weighty tomes and literary theory under my belt (postmodernism being the one I am well versed in), but I am not much of a writer, and I fear that writing about such literary giants is out of my league. I am only 26 and have evolved from The Hardy Boys to John Grisham and James Patterson to Ernest Hemingway and Elmore Leonard to Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman to Martin Amis and Ian McEwan. All are books that I look at through different lenses, and in now way am I saying that one is better than the other (although I guess I am, since this evolution of literary tastes is shown in an order that can be easily deconstructed as “what I liked when I was too young to know better” to “what I know is good right now”), but I am hoping to highlight some books each month that showcase some of my favorite authors and what it is that they do so well. I will mostly be able to convey how the novel affected me emotionally and the obvious elements of why I think it is a great book, not just based on its technical accomplishments, but also its readability. I hope that comes through as I do these but we’ll see…let’s give it a go shall we?

It is hard to fathom the genius of Salman Rushdie. I have never encountered anything like him before; and that goes for any medium, be it film, art, music, or whatever. He is the Quentin Tarantino of literature (even though some would argue that is Elmore Leonard, but bear with me here) a genius who writes grandiose novels with oddball characters and situations that deal with supernatural and irreverent to the seriously political and historic. He dabbles in postcolonialism, feminism, postmodernism, and an uncanny ability of bringing India to life. He is extremely referential, conjuring up images of pop culture and Bollywood to make a serious point by implementing elements of the artificial and absurd. He is a cinematic writer, everything you read you feel as if you could see it unfolding in front of you as if he were showing the storyboards to his latest film project. He is postmodern to the core, yet he is not, as many anti-postmodern literature lovers would say, irresponsible. His postmodern elements exist for a reason. They always add to the story and heighten the emotion, they are never the story (say like a Dave Eggers novel) and they exist only as unconventional rebuttals to an all too serious worldly debate.

That debate is usually about the calling into question of politics and love and religion and history; which in postmodern terms are what Jean-Francois Lyotard called ‘the grand narrative.’ Rushdie wrestles with ‘the grand narrative’ in a lot of his novels, mostly by using the fantastical to make his points. In Midnight’s Children, his second novel, he tackles the heavily emotional and tumultuous theme of postcolonial India in the moments before, leading up to, and during her independence. Rushdie likes to undercut a lot of the uber serious themes that plague the front pages of our daily news, but again, he is not childish or irresponsible, but rather by tackling these elements of ‘the grand narrative’, he is allowing the reader to enter a world where flying carpets are normal and invites the reader to cross that threshold which allows them to put on a different lens and see what things look like through cracked and smudged glasses.

I don’t know if I will ever read a novel as brilliant as Midnight’s Children. There is a reason is won the “booker of booker’s” (the best novel in the last 25 years, essentially) as it is a novel that revolves around the most formidable time in India’s history all told by one unreliable narrator Saleem Sinai. Saleem is like most postmodern narrators, the relayer of information for us not in the know, he is a narrator who forgets facts is unsure of exact moments in time, and as we come to see, isn’t even really who he says he is (which is a brilliant touch by Rushdie, because when this information is sprung upon the reader it forces them to re-imagine how the previous 300 or so pages went). Always morphing like the snakes that Saleem references throughout, the novel is a beautiful allegory for life with one simple truth: life has its ups and downs. Saleem plays a game called Snakes and Ladders and the metaphor is clear: for every up there is a down, and for every down there must be an up. Never before have I been touched by a novel in so many different ways.

I googled Midnight’s Children so that I could put a good plot synopsis up here, and I found a really good example from Mac Fenwick of Trent University from the Literary Encyclopedia webpage. In no way did I write any of what is below (I always have problems summarizing things which I explain in my post for “Snow Angels”):

Midnight’s Children has been compared in its scope and execution to works such as James Joyce’s Ulysses, Günter Grass’s The Tin Drum and Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy. Like them, Rushdie’s novel presents an encyclopaedic exploration of an entire society through the story of a single person. It is able to do this, in part, by merging with the novel form a number of non-Western texts such as the Sanskrit epics, The Ramayana, The Mahabharata and, most consciously (and not unproblematically) The 1,001 Nights. The narrative takes the form of fictional autobiography as Saleem Sinai, born at the precise moment of Indian Independence at midnight on 15th August 1947, reflects upon his life and the history of his “twin”, the newly formed nation of India. In order to do this he constructs a narrative that is a heterogeneous mixture of the different traditions from which it takes its inspiration. Throughout the story, Saleem seeks to uncover or discover the connections between the personal and the national, the individual and the societal, as he strives to “give meaning” to his life and, somewhat more problematically, to the history of India from the period between World War I and the Indian Emergency (1975-1977) when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi suspended the Constitution and democracy all but collapsed in the country. This connection between Saleem and his national “twin” is a difficult one, and from the outset of the narrative Saleem feels that he has been “handcuffed to history” rather than liberated.

(Me again) This theme of being ‘handcuffed to history’ is throughout Midnight’s Children, and even though it may sound like it is too daunting of a task to read this book, I implore you to not be turned off by the historical data. In no way is Rushdie’s account of India’s history banal, but rather (surprisingly for me since I am not a history buff) by placing this unreliable narrator smack in the middle of India’s most crucial moments, Rushdie actually heightens the interest one might not normally have in such historical information. The reader becomes somewhat of a detective themselves, trying to piece together the truths and non-truths of Saleem’s story, as he mentions that he is ‘literally’ falling apart. He has cracks all over his body and his limbs are close to falling off. This coincides with another major postmodern theme: fragmentation. All through the novel there are characters seeing things through slits or holes or just certain body parts, and of course, the obvious example just mentioned, Saleem’s cracks on his skin. This all leads to the one moment where Saleem, handcuffed to history and cracking and breaking apart will be trampled to dust…he will become one with history and embedded into the dirt of Bombay. Like Whitman who told the reader to look under their boot to find him because he was in the ground and all around (that’s a paraphrase, hehe) so too does Rushdie invoke this kind of imagery, because since Saleem is the child of India, then it is only appropriate that he literally become a part of India.

Midnight’s Children is a book that is all at once spiritual, philosophical, absurd, grotesque, vulgar, metaphysical, magical, and just plain perfect. Rushdie slides these themes in place like he’s Tom Cruise solving a case in "Minority Report." At any given moment the novel can make you laugh out loud with its absurdest postmodern elements, or make you cringe with its graphic details of a society brutalized by colonialism. It also has wonderfully comic and sweet moments between the women and the men which shed humorous light upon its more serious postmodern feminist theories. Midnight’s Children is a book that is 100% satisfying to the intellect and is also 100% emotionally satisfying. The novel is heavy in theme (and weight, the book is 560 pages) and 75 pages should be your daily limit, but that is not to say that the novel is not a great entertainment. There are many moments where you will want to keep reading, no matter what time of night it is, and there are others where you will feel so weighed down by the sheer force of Rushdie’s brilliance (not to mention all of the information about India he throws at you) that you must simply take a break from the memorization of dates, figureheads, and character names.

You don’t have to be as enamored with the literary theory as I am to enjoy this book. It works on both levels and there is a reason why it is my inaugural Book of the Month selection. The novel is insanely popular with both casual readers and literary nerds such as me, and I really hope you run out and give it a shot. I am reading it for the second time right now, and am enjoying it even more the second time around. It has taken me awhile to revisit the novel because of how emotional the ending of the book is. It’s a novel that contains magic carpets and stark realism, children born at midnight with extraordinary powers like telepathy and mind reading to documentary like dealings of a postcolonial India. For all of the great literary devices Rushdie uses and for all of the postmodern, postcolonial, and feminist theories one can excavate from the novel, the only thing I can think of to describe this book to new readers is something so cliché that it works because this novel puts me at a loss for words: it’s a page turner.

May Style Explosion

The Bla Bla Hospital head nurse is back from the laboratory with a new range of fashion remedies. She has reworked her previous range and launched a new series of funky, fat ties. Each with their own unique medicinal qualities all have been handmade in Japan using hospital grade materials and the Bla Bla Hospital methods of fashion revival.

Sasa of lo-fi-me fame is a new face on TOKYOMADE but already making a mammoth impact. His one-of-a-kind bangles are a combination of illustration and images giving new, stylish life to recycled tape rolls. Good for the Earth and your daily fashion mix.


Suzi Q

Padma Lakshmi Grateful No Hot Guys on “Top Chef,” Lest She Be Unable to Control Herself

Though it may hurt self-avowed metrosexual and pretty-boy Ryan Scott to hear it, that is indeed what we learned, possums, from Padma Lakshmi's appearance yesterday on the execrable Morning Show with Mike and Juliet. 'Twas a doozy, it was.

It begins with Padma doing shilling so shameless that it hasn't been seen since, well, Top Chef. On the pretext that the blonde hostess has "allergies" (to what? intelligent conversation? self-respect? good clothes?), Padma presents her with a glass of orange juice, which she accompanies with this no-doubt entirely sincere and genuine statement:

These are these new juices from Tropicana, and they’re amazing. They’re like the whole burst of sunshine in your mouth. Aren’t they good? I mean, we’ve all grown up with Tropicana.

Then, as Padma rushes to make "Mexican" cornbread (with that most typical of Mexican ingredients, dill), the most interesting exchange takes places between Padma and hostess Juliet Huddy. Possums, it's all about the mens, and, as with so many of our straight-girl friends, the model of choice seems to be tall and forgettable:

JH: Where are all the hot guys this year?

PL: I don’t know. I don’t know. It’s just as well, ‘cuz I’m not supposed to fraternize with the contestants at all.

JH: Last year, though, that big tall guy…

PL: I know, you have a little crush on Sam. I could tell the last time we were here.

JH: Oh well…But no, there was a big tall guy. What was his name?

PL: Sam.

JH: No, the other guy.

PL: Oh, CJ, CJ, CJ.

JH: So many I can’t keep up.

PL: I know, I know.

And somewhere in the Midwest, CJ Jacobson feels as though he's been kicked in the ball.

Padma then refuses to tell Juliet the outcome of Top Chef, but does drop this hint: "Well, the women are really strong this year, that’s all I can tell you. "

Thanks, Padma.

Then, and only then, are we made privy to Padma's messianic accomplishment as regards this great nation of ours:

Well, I’m happy because I feel like I’ve taught the country what an amuse-bouche is, you know. I go, and I wait for a taxi on the corner, and people say, “Amuse-bouche.” “Amuse-bouche, too, to you, too.”

Quick, someone get her her own quarter coin and a commemorative stamp.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oh My, Antonia: Kid-Tested, MILF-Approved, Wins Both Challenges

Buh-Bye Black Sheep: Mark Simmons Confirms That the Kiwi Is Indeed a Flightless Bird

SS08: Marc by Marc Jacobs

For the last few seasons (ever since they got into the "grunge" look), I have not been too impressed with the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection. This season though I am delightfully surprised! The collection is preppy and retro-chic. My style but with a refreshing twist!
This collection makes me WANT to buy something orange, and that is a difficult feat. I absolutely detest orange. But I am willing to break the rules for these two dresses. I just LOVE the orange dress with the fancy bow tie (though I cannot quite imagine what occasion that would be appropriate for) and the shirt dress is casual and chic.
I don't even mind being obviously Marc by Marc Jacobs. Many would recognize this very distinct geometric shirt dress (left) as Marc by MJ by now (along with the orange bow-tie dress above) but I still like it. I am really impressed that the color seems so "old" and yet, the whole look is still so young!
At first glance I thought this blue printed dress (right) was really cute. But if you look closer, can you tell that it actually has Marc Jacobs written all over it? I thought it was pretty cool that I couldn't tell at first. But now that I can, I think that kind of ruins the dress. Shame.
The definition of retro chic. I love how they mixed the flirty print and color with such a "proper" design. It is both refreshing and stunning. Though it is a bit too much for me. I prefer the more subtle purple dress (right). I absolutely absolutely adore this dress. It is simple, vibrant, youthful and fun. I've tried it on actually, but the fit of the bodice is a bit off. Maybe if I got it tailored.........
More fun casual dresses. I love the block print (right). Its so off and cute at the same time. And the cut of the heart leaf pinafore dress is just adorable!
The neckline and the prints are awesome. I especially love the neckline of the blue shirt (left: it is very ladylike, but the print makes it fun!) and the subtle pinstripes on the yellow shirt (right).
These two are my favourites of the collection, because I think they are great investments. I'm a great believer in outerwear and these two cardigans are perfect to carry around with you this summer- just in case of freezing a/c temperatures! I waaaaant the white one (right)! It is very Chanel-esque with a youthful touch.
A cute jacket is ALWAYS a good buy. You get the most mileage out of them cause you can just throw it over any outfit- and this one is so chic and stylish! (Though it may be a bit too heavy for the summer). And this pinstripe shirt with the ruffles is just darling!

Now if only I can win a free shopping trip for Marc by Marc Jacobs this season!

Image Source: Net-A-Porter

Kylie's Look

I love my inbox it is always full of surprises. One of today's surprises was from friend and photographer Martine of Frangipani blog fame. She always knows exactly what I need and want. This morning's link to The Sun article Steal Kylie's high-tech style was the perfect morning make up tutorial.

Searching for the perfect colors now!

Amuse-Biatch Answers Possum Query #2

Another possum wrote in to ask, "Where did Miss XaXa get her name?"

And here are Eartha Kitt & Bronski Beat to answer the question.

Amuse-Biatch Answers Possum Query #1

Possums, let's face it, shall we? The most recent episode was dull, dull, dull--for, oddly enough, the participants appeared to enjoy themselves more than we in the audience did.

This generally violates the rules of reality television, and left us, as you no doubt have noted, very little to work with. We are therefore turning to answer your queries and questions, possums, insofar as we are able.

Without further ado, then, let us turn to Possum Query #1: Is Stephanie Izard a lesbian?

Judging by the number of you who have inquired, the question has been weighing on your minds. Miss XaXa comes down firmly on the side of "nope, straight girl." We, on the other hand, are not so sure. Needless to say, we don't know, but all we can say is, Look at the evidence and decide.

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