Sunday, August 31, 2008


Many people have come in and out of my life and I’ve gotten a lot of music out of these passing “moments”. As brief as the interpersonal relationships may be, my relationship with their music is forever. Funny that my Ipod and cd cases have become audio-photo albums, maybe even more profound than that, they’ve become autobiographical. I’m trying hard not to channel John Cusak’s character from High Fidelity right now- it after all, is one of my favorite movies of all time. Top five for sure. There I go, channeling.

1. Mariah Carey’s “Someday”, first best friend in the 1st grade. We used to hum this while playing on Astroturf. Actually, she would hum, I would do the Roger Rabbit.

2. Kris Kross “Jump”, heavy influence from the older cousins who going through their gangster days of junior high were rocking big hooped earrings, matte brown lipstick, flannel, and backwards pants.

3. 4 Non Blondes “What’s Going On”, when my dad’s friend hooked up the black box aka illegal cable for us, I had my first glimpse of MTV and my first visual of a dykey singer. Yes, and I mean Linda Perry. I swear I thought it was Val Kilmer in drag.

4. Aerosmith “Crazy”, shortly thereafter, my dad and I caught this video on TV and he immediately said “isn’t that Mick Jagger? What’s wrong with his hair?” in Mandarin of course…

5. Simon and Garfunkel “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, piano lesson with the mum- she has great taste in music, very surprising for a fobby Chinese lady with big curly hair.

6. Green Day “When I Come Around”, a cute boy in my class liked this song and instead of saying “earth” he said “uth”.

7. Proclaimers “I Would Walk 500 Miles”, same boy. Benny & Joon was big back then. Even though I caught him picking his nose, I still liked him. I wrote his name on my shoe.

8. Pink Floyd “The Wall”, Beatles “Hide Your Love Away”, Procol Harum “Whiter Shade of Pale”, Ben E. King “Stand By Me”, Eagles “Hotel California”…(list goes on), thanks Jeff, my guitar instructor from 6th grade – 8th grade who I totally did not appreciate at the time, who played with the Stones, who was anemic, who opened my world to classic rock and soul that I would have never even known, who I’ve lost touch with and who I miss dearly.

9. Mary J. Blige “Not Gon’ Cry”, a boy who hurt my feelings by asking out my friend at the fair. This song was on repeat for weeks.

10. Nsync “Tearin’ Up My Heart”, four very special ladies, two of who are still in my life. I didn’t want to bring this one up but we’ve all had our moments, don’t we?

11. Tupac “I Get Around”, a boy who I thought I loved. He was a little bit of thug, a little bit of a Romeo.

12. Random trance songs that I don’t remember and that all sound the same to me, same boy. He started raving and I was in student council and the stars weren’t aligned.

13. The Gossip “Swing Low”, not so much a person or even a living, breathing organism. But Napster was more than a friend; Napster was the gatekeeper to music that a former suburbanite like me would never know. Remember The Hives’ “Black Mask”? Definitely didn’t make sense with the whole Applebee’s strip mall thing. Remember waiting a day to download one song?

14. Dr. Dre “Next Episode”, A boy. His friends. The “Up In Smoke Tour” dvd. Coronas. C-walking. Wow- was this really my first year of college?

15. Death Cab for Cutie “Photobooth”, while suffering through a breakup with said boy, I realized that my Mary J. Blige cd was scratched so I had to find a substitution.

16. Craig David/Linkin Park JAMS, this is an all-time low. While the two bands definitely did not end up on my Winamp (remember Winamp, kids?), the boy (a new one) whom I had nothing in common with loved them. So I suffered through the cacophony. I call it “finding myself” or my “blue” period.

17. Wutang Clan “Killer Bees”, my dear friend Drew who I’ve shared many fun times with especially SAT prep class, would RAP to the instrumental of this song. Sorry to call you out Drew- but it’s way more acceptable than your now defunct electric scooter.

18. MIA’s “Arular”-Diplo remix, the beginning of the “Paul”-years, some of the happiest years I have had (still have), and to think it all began with a bootlegged remix.

19 through 451, a continuum of life before and life after Paul.

452. The Gossip remix of “Are You That Somebody”, if you can sing this on your car out loud with a gal pal, you know you guys are thicker than thighs that touch. Especially if she’s singing with you.

453. Jodeci “Talk to Me”, if you’re reading- thanks for reinstating 90’s R/B in my life again. If that’s all our friendship comes down to, then I’m glad we’re friends.

454. Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Maps”, I always thought I was just good at playing this song on Rock Band, but who knew I could sing too? Even if only in my mind…

455. Neil Young “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”, a song that that’s sort of been there for you through both euphoric and traumatic moments. And when you can share it with people you trust, the music and melody are amplified and you feel like you’re hearing it for the first time. I love that- the feeling that a song that’s been played to death gets a chance to live again. But importantly, if we’re friends and you don’t like this song, consider yourself one friend less.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Magic Cloth

“Ikat, or Ikkat, is a style of weaving that uses a resist dyeing process similar to tie-dye on either the warp or weft before the threads are woven to create a pattern or design. A Double Ikat is when both the warp and the weft are tie-dyed before weaving.”

“Like any craft or art form, ikats vary widely from country to country and region to region. Designs may have symbolic of ritual meaning or have been developed for export trade. Ikats are often symbols of status, wealth, power and prestige. Perhaps because of the difficulty and time required to make ikats, some cultures believe the cloth is imbued with magical powers.”

Thanks Wikipedia!

whatta man

My affinity for menswear is a result of-

1. My mum, whose OG-unisex-preference definitely had an affect on me. While other girls were donning their frilly Quinceanera dresses in 3rd grade, I was on a tomboy tip that had me in Osh Kosh overalls and plaid shirts. Of course I was super jealous of other girls at the time because you know, frilly-dress-girls always got put in the front of class pictures. Like I said- OG.

2. My boyfriend, who has the best taste in everything of any guy I know. He’s got a good eye for design and is still always putting me on to new brands/designers that end up being “blog-worthy” months later. Because of him, I’ve been secretly wishing I could pull off Nom de Guerre head to toe without looking butch.

3. HUGE magazine. ‘Nuff said.

Here are some of my favorites for the fast-approaching fall/winter season- Is it jacket time already?

Nom de Guerre

Henrik Vibskov


And last but not least...Comme des Garcons wallet in ANOTHER new design

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

H.Lang Frame of Mind

Black has been "the new black" for the last few seasons it seems. In the publishing world, black is always in. It's kind of an initiation you succumb to when you become an editor- how many black pieces can your closet handle? Usually the answer is "infinite", at least it's been that way for me in the last year, strangely, because I live my life in technicolor. And when I think of designers who inspire my dour aesthetic, I think of Helmut Lang, who despite the occasional misses (ahem-women's resort 08), is always a hit in my book. I love the brand for its minimalist designs and even through all the early tug-of-wars between the it's founder and former proprietor Prada, a temporary production hiatus, and a relaunch in 2006, the brand still retains the look it was born into. Sure, sometimes designs appear like elevated Calvin Klein stock but when I actually get a piece in my hands, I'm always reassured that it's not by the thick, lush fabric and the strong and clean lines. Plus- Helmut Lang is the original chic goth and no one can ever take that away from him. Not even you, Phillip Lim.

Women/Men Fall/Winter 2008, Spring/Summer 2009

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I can't even lie. I am obsessed with "stuff" right now. Pretty things, obscene things, grotesque things even. Many of these coveted things aren't necessarily tangible but I'd like to report on a current obsession that is tangible (in theory) but only if my wallet allows for small miracles to happen.

Feast your eyes on the Kanazu Sen-i Corporation's eco-friendly bags. Made from plant-based poly-lactic acid fabrics, the bags are bio-degradable and are meant to be crumpled up and stuffed away when not in use. With all the farmer's market shopping I've been doing, this is a much cuter way to lug peaches and fresh ricotta back home. And as much as I hate pleated things (see ISSEY MIYAKE's PLEATS PLEASE collection), I actually really these pleated bags.

Here is my dilemma- only available in the US through the Smithsonian store, I can't seem to track it down in the webshop. I also fear international shipping costs. What to do!?

Friday, August 22, 2008

wall to wall

Kowloon Walled City was a partitioned piece of Hong Kong that historically straddled both the British and Chinese mandates but never formally operated under either. It was the size of “a single building covering only 0.026 km² and at its peak apparently having a population as high as 50,000 people”, according to Ministry of Type . That’s not a lot of space for a whole lot of city dwellers! I’m almost humbled by the images of the former city within and it’s narrow corridors and frighteningly stale infrastructure. This whole time, I’ve been complaining about how small my room is. It’s palatial compared to the Walled City. And according to Wikipedia, it was “notorious for its excess of brothels, casinos, opium dens, cocaine parlours, food courts serving dog meat, and secret factories”. Sounds friggin shady if you ask me–pun intended!



via Ministry of Type

1, 2, 3... pixelate!

While doing some online sleuthing (for work of course), I stumbled upon a new post from one of our illustrators Christoph Niemann, whose work appears every month in our magazine, in the New York Times blog . And I am floored!

Backstory: Christoph and his wife decided to revamp the bathroom of their Berlin home. I his words, “ I took this opportunity to realize one of my artistic dreams: Designing the bathrooms with pixel drawings made of classic 4-by-4 inch colored tiles.” The article takes you through the seemingly laborious (but fun) process of picking the perfect artwork, pixelating it, and then deciding whether or not it’d be compatible with soapsuds. And this is what the Niemanns came up with.



The result...

via NYT

Friday, August 8, 2008

do you BELIEVE?

The July/August 08 edition of Believer Magazine (also known as their "Music Issue")

PROS: I kind of love that hipster-worship-worthy Haruki Murakami breaks down some of his Jazz favz in the only way he knows how- by drawing out surreal visuals and metaphors in the music and (briefly) the lives of artists Billie Holiday, Stan Getz, and Theloniuous Monk. At one point, Murakami says, "Getz's life may have been, the sweet magic that filled his music like the beating of angel wings never wavered." Woah.

CONS: The "Bite Me: A Brief History of Dentistry and Music" article = YAWN. And the interview with Ian Mackaye from which I expected fireworks, was lackluster and contrived. The whole thing felt like a boring documentary about no-name bands that might have been good if it wasn't transcribed into 5-pages worth of text. But that also leads me to...

PROS: Within the interview, there's a pretty awesome list titled "Songs About Gender Confusion". While the immediate response to certain listed bands/songs is "duh, I knew that", I was also in denial that one of my favorite Beatles' tracks,"Get Back", was a discussion on transgenderism. Then I read the lyrics. Got it.

CONS: Annoying write-up called the "Grizzind" in which author Davy Rothbart praises street-peddled rap cds. I initially found it amusing and then found myself irritated that another hipster music geek thinks that badly produced hip hop is genius because it's ironic to think this way.

FINALLY, PROS: A free CD! Well, it's not free because the cost is covered in the steep price of this issue.


CD enclosed with the July/August 2008 print issue

1. Tartit, “Ansari”
2. Animal Collective, “Winters Love”
3. Sholi, “Hejrat”
4. Googoosh, “Makhloogh”
5. Gang Gang Dance, “Nicoman”
6. Beat Konducta, “Dancing Girls Theme”
7. Think Of One, “Antwaarpse ShaĆ¢bi”
8. Aceyalone, “Sound Gun”
9. Busy Signal, “Knocking At Your Door”
10. Dirty Projectors, “Finches’ Song At Oceanic Parking Lot”
11. Ensemble Pirin, “Di-Li-Do”
12. Skeletons and the Kings of All Cities, “What They Said (Barnburner Mix)”
13. Mahmoud Ahmed, “Abbay Mado”
14. High Places, “Golden”
15. Ya Bounma, “Jing Riang Me Lun”
16. Lucky Dragons, “Complement Song”

Overall, this magazine was good, somewhat ho-hum, but good.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

it's too intricate

Recently, I wrote a blurb about Intricate Machines (my new favorite band) for the Nylon Website . The best part is, two of the five talented band members are my roommates.

Peep the write-up and if you dare, check out their myspace for some goodies for your ears!

tiger food

I’m a total sucker for sweets (har har, nevermind) and can never seem to pass up dessert as long as it is available and dripping with icing. As a tot, I’d frequently pass on dinners just so I could conserve stomach space for post-meal sugary indulgences.

Sweet Tooth of the Tiger , a “renegade bake sale project” out in New York, peddles sweets and treats at different events, setting up shop with a spread that includes cupcake assortments, lemon sandwich cookies, rice krispy treats, and more. They’ll hop from one event to another and if you’re curious about their stops, simply access the “where we are” page and an itinerary will be available. The best part is, if Sweet Tooth comes to your event, the team will bring its own table sand supplies. All you have to do is pay and eat.

Check out information about their new online zine for which they are currently accepting submissions of food-related recipes/stories/images.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

if I had $3,000 to spare

I'd spend it on something silly.

Here's my $3,000 outfit that I'm sure I can easily obtain for $30. God, I hate that I love clothes!

Monday, August 4, 2008

yesterday's sandwich would be an awesome band name

Available at Phaidon

Phaidon is releasing a compilation of Ukrainian artist/photographer Boris Mikhailov’s “Yesterday’s Sandwich” collection. And I cannot wait for the shopping cart access on website.

(from the “Yesterday’s Sandwich” collection courtesy of Shugo Arts )

(courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery

(images courtesy of the Bereznitsky Gallery

Many moons ago when I was a wide-eyed art slut exploring Amsterdam’s visual offerings, I stumbled upon Mr. Mikhailov’s work at the Stedelijk museum. From then on, I became kind of a groupie, stalking him online, attempting to track down exhibitions that I could physically get to. Considering his last solo show was in Berlin at the Bereznitsky Gallery in 06, I haven’t been very lucky.

His photographs are thoughtful. The subject matter doesn’t change much; marginalized social sectors of former Soviet states are studied through different extremes from being laughable to cringe-worthy. Then there’s that whimsical quality about all the people he photographs. It’s almost unnerving how the subjects he chooses to shoot–despite their circumstances–bear expressions that I find relatable.