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Friday, September 19, 2008

Top Shop A/W08 Lookbook

Top Shop's A/W08 Lookbook is out! While you may not be able to actually shop at Top Shop, you should definitely check the looks out. They're really great streetwear inspiration (albeit a bit too well-styled). The Wonderland collection is a bit too Miu Miu SS08-esque and the Punk Couture collection looks like they just piled all the plaid clothes into a group, but the Bandstand and Boudoir collections are definitely worth looking.
My favourite is the Boudoir collection -Casual, luxurious looks in a cute way.
These two looks are equally cute in a darker, edgier way.
Image Credit:

The Beat That My Hoot Skipped

A tattooist submission! This is awesome, Bart Bingham!

Food-Porn Friday: “Tampopo”

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mail Bombs: Celebrity Looks for Less

It's Friday and we have a ton of Mail Bombs to solve:
Let's not delay!
First, T from Tennessee says, "Loving this look on Beyonce.."
"...It's classy…its sexy…its young but still office ready….please tell me more!! "
Aramide found that Beyonce is wearing this $2,065 RM by Rouland Mouret Pigalle Wool Dress...
Get a similar look for much less with these:
1. ASOS V Backless Pencil Dress, $70. 2. Arden B Belted Pencil Dress, $128. 3. Magaschoni Wool Crepe Dress, $220.
Jasmine says, "I was wondering if you can help me find an outfit like Brandy's in the photo...."
"...I'm really loving the look of those jeans."
Aramide and I collabo'd to find the following look:
1.Reyna Tee, $78. 2. Arden B Off the Shoulder Blouse, $39. 3. American Apparel Faux Denim High Waisted Legging, $42. 4. ASOS Indigo Denim Leggings, $46.50.
Ms. Nelson says, "Where can I find this bag..."
"...Solange wore to a recent event?"
Solange is wearing a red trimmed Louis Vuitton, a style debuted on the Fall 2007 Ready to Wear runway:
Get yours at Louis Vuitton Stores (
In a Male Mail Bomb, Kayvin from Ohio says, "I love the shirt that Bow Wow is wearing..."
"...He is like mini T.I. these days so credit who you will with the style... Anyway, can you help me find something similar?"
Get a Bow Wow like shirt with these:
1. Morphine Generation Traditional Button Up Military, $184. 2. Triple Five Soul Drill Military Shirt, $50. 3. Apolis Military Woven in Olive, $68.
Now for a few wardrobe queries:
Lauren says, "I am looking for a fashionable medium to large sized tote bag to use for school. As a broke graduate student, my budget is limited, but I would like something fashionable that will work with a lot of different outfits."
If your budget is limited, I'd say go for a nylon or faux leather tote. Try these under $150 options in colors that are neutral or bold enough to go with anything:

1. French Connection City Quilt Bag, $118. 2. Marc by Marc Jacobs So Real Faser Tote, $98. 3. Nine West Patent Leather Large Tote, $150. 4. Melie Bianco Drawstring Bag, $90. 5. BCBG Max Azria Poem Print Canvas Tote, $88.
Lastly, Anissa says, " I'm going to an awards show in Vegas. Here is the dress and the shoes..."
"...I need your help picking accessories!"
Since your outfit is so plain, you have lots of room to add your own sparkle!
I'd say go with a simple necklace that accents your decolletage, then pile on blinged out and silver bangles with a cocktail ring. Finish it all off with a clutch that incorporates the color of your silver shoes:
1. Juicy Couture Sterling Silver Heart, $150. 2. Jumbo Cocktail Rings, $18 for set of 6. 3. Sterling Silver Chevron Necklace, $50. 4. Tri Colored Envelope Clutch, $30. 5. Crislu Cubic Zirconia Bangle, $125. 6. Calanna Clutch, $25.
We still have so many to catch up on, but that does it for today.
Have wonderful weekends! Soak up the sun before fall starts in earnest!

Black Models at London Fashion Week + House of Dereon Obama T

*NY Fashion Week is done, but it was only the beginning of Fashion Week fury! Some of our favorite models are now stomping across the pond in London:
Check Jourdan Dunn in Issa, Vivienne Westwood, and Aquascatum...
Our girl Chanel in House of Holland, Nathan Jenden, and Aquascatum...
...and other models in shows like Fashion Fringe, Peter Pilotto, and Meadham Kirchhoff..
Thanks to Bethann for raising the 'Black Model' issue and holding all designers accountable. Now, as an aside...don't the London shows look kind've dope...and refreshing??? I think the next stop for the Fashion Bomb might have to be international coverage...[]
*In the spirit of celebs jumping on the Obama Bandwagon, House of Dereon just released its own Obama T:
Get your t-shirt in navy, red, or white for $60 at the official Barack Obama store.
*If you want Cassie like YSL Tribal Sandals...
...but don't have $940 to spend, go to for affordable alternatives. These Lacey and Garvin heels ...
...give off a similar look--minus the feathers. And at around $300, they're a relative steal.

London S/S 09: Luella

I'm the first to admit, London fashion week is too fashion forward most of the time for me to understand. Luella is the exception. Mostly because she is quirky in a preppy way, which I can appreciate. Her runway gives me ideas on how I can twist and tweak the preppy pieces I already own to become more quirky and "new". This season, she doesn't disappoint.
I absolutely detest orange. But somehow Luella makes it work by clashing it with hot pink and a vibrant blue on the runway. The outfits actually look cute and girly, instead of pumpkin-esque! Hmm...maybe I'll get something orange next season. I already have a pair of black plastic rimmed glasses!

The other innovation on the runway was the asymmetrical tiered skirt. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that yet, I've always been a fan of symmetry. But it is definitely quirky and different, it could even be cute and fun (there is an even more asymmetrical skirt than the one shown here on the runway- this is the less adventurous version). And of course, there was the usual Luella floral prints all over the runway- I love how she somehow makes it appear edgy instead of old fashioned.
Another thing I love about the Luella show is how she mix and matches prints. That soft pink floral top totally works with the bold pink stripe pants! And that lavender floral dress is just adorable. In fact, the poofy skirt and the tulles even gives it a prom-like quality (not that you would not look completely darling and perfect wearing this to a more sophisticated occasion!). Anyone need an updated prom dress?

Image Source:

Quickie from Campus

Hui Bah (bundles of fire) and Papa Hemingway


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The biscuits or fried dough or even plait pastry in the photo are called Hui Bah in Foochow (Fuzhou dialect) and according to my grandmother it is called so by the Foochows because it looks like a bundle of fire starter. Whenever the Foochows ,during the pioneering days and even until the 1950's ,needed to light a wood fire they had to twist some twigs or dried grass together to make a fire starter.

To me this biscuit does look like a bundle of twisted twines or twigs.

It is made from a very simple flour and egg dough. The baker would roll out two long pieces of dough and then cut them into smaller pieces. He would then twist two small pieces together and deep fry them . Finally he would roll them in icing sugar or crystalised sugar syrup. The shop made ones last a long time actually because they are fried until very brittle. Home made ones are less hard or brittle especially if butter and more eggs are added to the dough. Today they are packed in small plastic bags and sold at a fairly good price of RM2.00. In olden days our parents would buy them from the shops in big quantities and then keep them in biscuit tins so that they did not become soft.

We bought quite a lot in the olden days and we usually had them when we did our homework at night. Perhaps this was because chewing the hard biscuits helped us to keep awake. On the other hand the sugar coating was sweet and in the days when chocolates and good sweets were not so readily available,these hui bah were the closest to sweets and desserts. It was also a very good exercise in chewing and biting.

Recently I chewed a few bundles of fire when I re-read Hemingway and like in the olden days, I did not fall asleep while reading. Brought back the good old days when we enjoyed doing our homework.

I* was sure on fire for good literature.

A Recipe for Hui Bah or something similar called Plait biscuits (this you can make at home)

Source :

Ingredients for the plaits:

300 gm. plain flour
2 Tbsp. rice flour
50 gm. cornoil
140 gm. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. Instant yeast
1/2 tsp. baking powder
20 gm. sesame seeds

Sugar syrup:

120 gm. coarse sugar
85 gm. water
20 gm. plain flour


(1) Mix all the ingredients for the plaits together and rest for 20 mins.
(2) Roll into long rope and then twist it into plaits.
(3) Fry the twisted plaits in oil until golden brown. Dish out and set aside.
(4) Cook the sugar and water till thick and then pour in the fried plaits.
(5) Fry till sugar almost crystalise and then sieve plain flour onto the plaits and fry till sugar crystalised.
(6) Dish up, leave to cool and keep in air tight containers.

Please tell me if it works for you!!

or you can just go down to the nearest supermarket and buy a packet.

Cool Online Find: Rockett Mansion

Hey Fashion Bombers!
Today I wanted to put you on to a new line of vintage and original clothing called Rockett Mansion...
Launched just this past May by 2006 Howard University Graduate Melanie Lyke...
...the line consists of supremely well edited shoes, dress, and accessories, all plucked from second hand stores, then remixed with buttons, tailoring, or pleats...
Melanie says her inspirations are, "Postmodern Global Beauty. I love to draw simple, minimalist items from different cultures. They can be glitzy, ornate, doesn't matter as long they are beautiful..."
The Fashion Merchandising student started the Rockett Mansion line because, "I wanted to do my own thing, and didn't want to work for a big fashion house. I was sick of working for places that just didn't 'get it' or understand my aesthetic..."
She continues, "The line is the sum of my love for vintage and living a minimalist lifestyle... I adore the idea of finding beautifully made, well preserved items and mixing them with everyday pieces. Most people see vintage as over-the-top costumes that can't be applied to a daily wardrobe or simply as the attire of hip, starving artists- I beg to differ. Any good stylist knows the key to great personal style is the mixing of old and new as well as expensive and inexpensive. It gives a look dimension and makes it seem effortless."
In addition to being chic, vintage cuts down on waste. "We can easily recycle and use what we already have on this earth because as we all know, polyester isn't going anywhere. It's retail therapy with no buyers remorse."
And you can cut down on spending as well: every Rockett Mansion item is under $50. Perfect for this economic climate!
Check out Rockett Mansion's one of a kind items here. Tell 'em I sent ya!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

TopShop Delays Store Opening + Throwback Viddy

*WWD reports that British superstore Top Shop will be delayed yet again in coming to US Shores:
WWD says, "TopShop postponed its entrance into the U.S. market until March because of construction delays at the store.” Honestly, before my trip to London, I didn't care at all about TopShop. After my trip, I must tell you: TOPSHOP is the ISH!!! Shoes, Accessories, Dresses,'s a fashionista's dream! You want it in the US. Will keep you posted on the story. [WWD]
*Here's a throwback viddy for my East Coast Headz:

Moi Soung Cafe

Photo by Wong Meng Lei - home made Foochow meatballs served as soup to accompany the Kam Pua in Moi Soong Coffee Shop.

(Photo by Sarawakiana) The old shop sign board and an old clock. Need to read from right to left.

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(Photo by Sarawakiana) The sign board at the front of the shop along Channel Road.

Three things I would associate with Moi Soung Cafe.

It was the earliest Coffee Shop of Sibu and has been there since the 1900's. It belonged to a Wong family which prospered over the years. The family has contributed towards the social development of Sibu.

The propretor of the coffee shop was indeed very kind to several five foot way vendors - the tangerine seller who came with two baskets on a bian dan (bamboo pole) over his shoulders and then plied his fruits and daching (hand scale) right at the fet corner of the coffee shop. In other places in the world this would not have been tolerated for even a single day. But the tangerine seller was soon recognised even a part of the shop. I used to buy fruits from him and asked "Are the tangerines sweet?""Where do they come from?" He must have been fed up with me. I have always been a nosey customer,asking too many perhaps obvious questions! He would shoo me off when he wrapped his fruits in the paper bags. (These paper bags were special then,during the era before plastic bags - You will read a posting on this soon)

At another corner there was a lady who sold her chickens and eggs. Many people would buy from her because she would ply her product with the comforting announcement : "These chickens are fed by me - very fleshy and still young and untainted. These eggs are from my own hens. Look at them they are the biggest you can find in Sibu." This lady was the forerunner of an organic chicken farmer and Grade A egg sellers. At that time I could see that she was a very honest trader and breeder.

At the rear end of the coffee shop was the vendor who sold soya bean milk and two or three different kuihs. He was a quiet man and operated alone like the other two. He sat on his wooden stool and waited for his customers who would pass by. Life was slow but I am sure he enjoyed watching life passing by him.

In the evenings Moi Soung Cafe had a night life. The Sibu Traditional foochow Orchestra would come alive. Five or six men who gather together with the proprietor to play their musical instruments like er hu,drums,etc. I often think that it is a pity that no one had made a CD or a video of their performance. Perhaps I am wrong there and I have not asked the right person.

This corner coffee shop has been meaningful to many travellers who went up and down the Rejang River. And visiting it recently I could still feel that any moment my grandmother would step on to the pontoon from the wooden motor launch called "Sing Hai Huong" which would arrive right on the dot at eight. I miss the sirens from the launches as they arrived. They would also blare the loud sirens to tell travellers that they were leaving for the afternoon trip home,downriver. I miss the Foochow cries " Kay mang Li Loh! Sung ai kian loh!" (Quick, hurry up,the boat is leaving!)

The sounds and sights are slowly disappearing from Old Sibu. Even the archaic Foochow (e.g. kay mang or kay kay li) is disappearing as the younger generation speak more Mandarin and other languages.

I can already see that the old coffee shop lifestyle is being phased out slowly and new fish and chips,KFC and Sugar Bun outlets are taking over like aliens intruding into a provincial town. Rural Italy or France would rise up in arms if an alien outlet would jar the milieu of the landscape. But perhaps I am too irrelevant or unrealistic here.People's tastes have changed over the last ten years or so. So that's it I suppose. No reason for nostalgia.

Style File Throwback: Pam Grier

So today, Adriana hits us with a Style File throwback on super sultry actress Pam Grier:
We might've covered a lot of the silver screen's current sirens, but we still may have a bit to learn from the old school.
With the return of Halston and flare legs, among other things, '70s fashion has come back and it's a trend that's going to march right on through Fall 2008. Who else embodies that decade's tough, sexy style more than Ms. Foxy Brown herself, Pam Grier?

Known for her roles in Coffy and the now-legendary Foxy Brown, Ms. Grier's film fashions (and swagger) have inspired legions of designers, models, and fashionistas. Halter-top jumpsuits, tall boots, leather, filmy silk, and what another writer terms "fierce-fitting polyester" are all touchstones of Ms. Grier's trendsetting wardrobe.
Confident and sensual, with a touch of Afro-centric--loves it. And what has Ms. Grier said of her status as a fashion icon? "Me, sexy? I'm just plain ol' beans and rice." We would strongly beg to differ.
Channel Pam Grier's style with these pieces:
Top Row Left to Right: Michael Kors Penelope Boots, $159; Leather Trench Coat, $80; Solid Petal Necklace, $120; Halter Ruched Fitted Jumpsuit, $69.
Bottom Row:
Kimono Sleeve Minidress, $209.
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