I had to write an essay in school about 'new media' today - I basically fluffed it, but I did bring up a point or two about how easy the internet makes it for us to stumble upon new things. And thus I present to you. Atelier Kikala (please check out their facebook site here - it is more than worth it). 

It pains me to say I can't find anything on the internet (in English) about this label other than the fact that it is located in Georgia, but I think the pieces from this particular collection (they do have a few other lookbooks) speak clearly enough on the quality and creativity of their work. The laser-cut dress above easily slid into my favorites category upon the first few seconds of love at first sight, and my fingers are itching to get some designs done. Another obscure label worth keeping your eye on (that's what new media is for, folks.)

all images from Atelier Kikala's Facebook

246 - Deer Caught in Headlights

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It's a Marks and Spencer day - finally brought out these brocade pants I got (not  from the men's section - for once) during a sale for about $80. Still pricey, but the fit's pretty good. I finally had another chance to get outfit shots done in the night, so I took a gamble and did what I've been hoping to try out for quite some time: Standing in front of car headlights. So all these pictures were taken with no flash. Which also explains why, when wearing 5 inch beauties, my face is submerged in the darkness. 

I also realized, very belatedly, that it's been one year since I started this blog! That was on the 3rd of February 2012. I started the blog with a post on a few designs I doodled up in French class, while the Ann Demeulemeester and Gareth Pugh shows were stuck in my head. Do check it out here! Here's to another good year, folks!

It's Monday to-morrow.

Marks & Spencer shirt (dad's); Marks & Spencer brocade pants; Flea heels; Taiwan portfolio clutch; Philippines necklace
Arm party: Lacquar; ASOS; Taiwan; Herve Leger

245 - #followfollow

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I'm taking this easy Friday to wind down after the actual start of classes (and attending the Hello, Shibuya Tokyo reception party last night at Plaza Singapura - do go over and check out the pop-up shops sometime this weekend!), and satisfying my retail constipation by looking at more things I cannot afford. So where do I go? SSENSE. And the first thing I see is this amazing, short editorial. "I Follow Back".

High exposure, whites, and simple focus on what truly matters - the clothes and accessories. A refreshing editorial that achieves its ultimate goal of egging you on to buy something. Profit, anyone? Rad holographic high top sneakers from Raf Simons in the first photo; T by Alexander Wang goodness with a mesh (cue Spring trends) bodysuit and blue blazer combo; and Margiela's legacy summed up in their clear glitter plexi heel boots. Have a good weekend! 

244 - Clean Break


Went down to Kith Cafe on the second day of Chinese New Year for breakfast with the family. Nothing except the skirt in this outfit is new, to be quite honest. Nabbed it from the Riot Loco sale for around $20 and I've been saving it until now. Fits perfectly with the pleather top I got from thescarletroom last year, and thereby we see the immense benefits in keeping a steady style and purchasing philosophy. Somehow, sometime, everything in your closet will match up.

I was lucky enough to find such a gorgeous place to get my outfit shots done. As my brother puts it, "The easiest photo to do. Everything is symmetrical. The trees, the pathway... Just need to position the person in the middle." Perhaps we are biologically programmed to appreciate symmetry. And good food.

By mid-afternoon, my neck was aching from the accessories. 

Aetienne x Phyle blazer; Thescarletroom pleather top; Riot Loco skirt; Shito boots; Taiwan bag; Philippines necklace; Taiwan diamante necklace

243 - Keep It Gully

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A glimpse of certain design elements that have been stuck in my head recently, along with the white that can do no wrong (refer to my previous post). This just goes to show you how many different designs can be drawn up from a mere idea or key inspiration that you want to incorporate. I don't think I've found the perfect fit yet, but for a start these four represent something close. Keep It Gully - listen to it. Most exciting yet perhaps disappointing Diplo track to date. The frenzy I had when I first listened to the teaser... 

If you follow me on instagram (@rednotion) you'll get a few outfit shots now and then again when a) I'm too lazy to bring a camera out; or b) The outfit isn't 'exciting' enough to bring a camera out for. Or once in a while you'll get outfit shots straight from my DSLR that I tend to put off posting for a week or two. Oops.

Top left: Threadless men's t-shirt; Taobao blazer; What Women Want necklace; H&M Men's sweatpants; Taiwan bag; Mango nude suede heels
Top right: Lacquar paneled long-sleeve shirt; Taiwan diamante necklace; H&M Men's sweatpants; H&M silver sandals
Bottom left: H&M pink blazer; Editor's shirt; Soeurs.co silver shorts; Taiwan bag and boots
Bottom right: BYSI blazer; C.O. by Cotton On active top; Editor's pleather shorts; Taiwan portfolio; Nike Free Runs 

242 - No Wrong With White

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I have a saying that keeps repeating in my head now, and it goes "It's like you can do no wrong with white." I suspect this will only last a season or two, but let me seize the expression while it still maintains true in my head. In some sense, white is infinitely better than black because if you're a layering-obsessed (I will not label myself a freak) individual like myself, then it becomes much easier to see because of the shadows, instead of dealing with the mighty black.

Three shows that instantly spoke to me, and carried a great deal of do-no-wrong-with-white looks: LacosteDiesel Black Gold and Calvin Klein; all of which have become fast favorites every season because of the generally clean and easy looks they put out. Above, sporty is the thing (like we needed to know that) with Lacoste, and I love the translucent coat - something I've been hunting for months but to no avail. And the best part is, they brought back the translucent coats for their AW2013 collection as well. Score. 

Second up - Diesel Black Gold, with luscious white fabrics, generally uptown girl look, and some avant garde thrown into the mix if you squint hard enough. The second look is one of my favorites - the essentially casual vibe with the loose pants that is managed by the well tailored white biker jacket that is fundamentally impractical in any closet, yet is equally proportional to how much we desire it. 

I'm not a declared fan of the big buttons and the denim jacket look, despite the less than humble fabric (which I very much approve of), but the layering is perfection, and the rope shoes could probably be DIY-ed if you spent a substantial amount of time thinking about how to get around it and finding the right materials. Perhaps I'll find some time to do it.

Last and definitely not least, Calvin Klein, which easily makes it to the 'favorites' list of Spring 2013 shows, and just picking out the all white bits of it don't do it enough justice. It has such sublime deconstructed tailored detail to it it's ironically genius. They didn't send down totally white looks, because everything was hinted by a line or two of black which was resourcefully brilliant in giving everything an artificial and graphic dimension to it. 

I could honestly do with the first blazer anytime, and the pairing of the off-kilter sleeves and the all-white portfolio clutch with a dash of fierce gold hardware killed it in the second photo. I'll be ignoring the two-fifths of my closet that is black this season, and hopefully building up on the other spectrum of the monochrome scale.

all images from Vogue.com

241 - Year of the Snake


""You haven't removed your clutch from it's packaging yet?!" cried a few of her relatives. They didn't understand the clutch-ception, Elizabeth thought sadly." 
- Excerpts from Untitled Package of Memories

Happy Chinese New Year fools! It's a new year indeed, because I'm finally not wearing black for Chinese New Year, and I can't remember for the life of me when was the last time I did that. These amazing 5-inch boots ready for military conscription (unlike my stamina) arrived in time for the New Year, so I ushered in the slithering snake with hues of green. About the clutch, father joked that I was expecting so many red packets I had to bring two bags. That is my only wish, my only wish. 

This also marks one of the few times I have ever done anything with my hair other than throw a cap on - because that is so much easier, I don't actually have to wait for my hair to dry. I'd like to think of this as a subtler, lazier, and girlier version of victory rolls which I can never pull off. I hope you guys have eaten way more pineapple tarts and kueh lapis and everything else good than I have! (I have a 'STOP AT TWO' policy, immensely diplomatic)

Oh, pineapple tarts.

C.O. by Cotton On drop shoulder coat; Mango green t-shirt; Giordano shorts; C-Label boots; Philippines shell necklace; thescarletroom acrylic box clutch; Taiwan traditional chinese print clutch

240 - Running Dry

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I've been suffering from a drought of inspiration, and I thought to just collect a few images to pump my brain a bit. Sigrid Agren; asian models; the new Proenza-meets-Katrantzou PS bag; and the ridiculously, slightly offense-provoking, androgynous campaign for Alexander Wang's S/S 2013 collection. 

Also, if you have time, do visit the Hermès Éditeur "Couleurs de L'Ombre" exhibition by Hiroshi Sugimoto (who recently showcased at ArtStage a few weekends back) at the Singapore Tyler Print. Check out the Facebook event listing here.

239 - Does He Have Pants?

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Let it be made known that my family has a knack for not making plans known clearly to every member of the family, so when we went down to a restaurant on a Saturday night to 'celebrate good results' (we take so many excuses to celebrate we could be the family version of Community) my brother ended up walking in wearing bermudas. The lady at the counter asked us, "Does he have pants?"

The issue of dress codes it perhaps one of the most vexatious things about having to dress up. A year or two ago I would have vehemently argued that a blazer shorts combo is considered smart casual (a small, but significant percentage of me still does so, however). On this occasion, nuances aside, I personally thought that some of the patrons of the restaurant weren't dressed up to par with "smart casual" - would you count 'jeans' as smart casual? The restaurant's take on the simple, often misinterpreted title of "smart casual" was exceedingly basic yet ignorant: they just wanted the men to cover their legs.

I would have burst out laughing (irregardless of any etiquette to be followed) at the turn of events that followed had I not been silently sore about the whole issue. They lent him a pair of pants: it was a ghastly brown-green color, more like a moss that lost it's chlorophyll; it was probably 2 or 3 sizes too big, and running down the sides it had a ribbon with the restaurant's logo printed on it. Granted, it was perhaps a kind gesture on the part of the staff to allow us to enjoy the meal since we made a trip all the way down, but I failed to see how a pair of revoltingly ill-fitted (we are not even on the same page as 'margiela oversize' appeal, which is already subjectively controversial in its own right) pants worn over a pair of neat, well cut berms would fit the 'polished' profile of the establishment more.

Is "smart casual" a simple issue of ticking off basic requirements in a mental checklist, or is it a sartorial attitude you embody that should be lent to more leniency? Truthfully, I'm in favor of the latter, given the generally lack of concrete definition for this pervasive dress code.

Illustration by Ruth Leong

238 - Free Runners

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These are a few of my favorite things outfits and shots ever. Dropped by SPR MRKT on a Saturday morning to have brunch with my brothers, and I went all sporty and chic like that. (I also attended the Fashfix event after that with Lenne, Charlene, and Claris) Nike Free Runs that weren't the top of my lust list when I bought them, but I've come to love them, even the imperfect neon orange-pink highlights that disturb the harmony of monochrome glory. In the middle, spam on the silver" Silver top, silver shorts, silver necklaces. How could I ever have been obsessed with gold?

There is reward in waiting. I almost bought this drop shoulder blazer from Cotton On online at $70, but resisted on the account of having spent too much money already, but a week later there was a 70% sale and I honestly cannot resist a $20 blazer. Major tipping point. In fact, I ordered 3 items, and they were all different sizes, but luckily all fit me just the way I'd like them to. Sartorial Luck. Patent that. 

The absolutely right decision for my feet on a day where I had to be out for over 10 hours on them. 

C.O. by Cotton On drop shoulder blazer; DIY silver pleather shirt; Soeurs.co silver shorts; Nike Free Runs; Editor's metal fringe naklce; Taiwan diamante necklace; Taiwan pleather cap; Taobao panda bag

237 - Flight Curve

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(The quality here is terrible, but feel free to drag and drop, or click here to play it larger!)

In part, I call this the result of a joinder between lack of concrete inspiration, and the sporty vibe that's been seeping into my sartorial senses ever since I got myself a Nike Free Runs for school (and for outfits otherwise). Featuring: curved paneling, feather prints, perforated fabrics, piping, and a whole lot of white. Instead of putting it as 'I got casual', I reckon it sounds better as 'I got comfortable', because spending a whole day out has never felt so good, save the fact that my blazer was choking all the sweat out of me.

I stumbled across this amazing bird feather print while browsing deviantart, and after a few tweaks of colors I was left with a stunning graphic I wanted to incorporate. (P.s. you have no idea what terror panelling can be, I had 2 or 3 versions of some pieces just to decide which looked best) With a bit of free time on my hands, which I will attempt to treasure before the real hell called JC life starts, I made it into a dress-up game just for kicks. It's honestly not the most coordinate-able or pair-able collection I've ever made, but I guess you just get to play around with a few combinations. I find that the perforated pullover is the best layering piece. ^u^

(this is why you should follow me on instagram @rednotion.)

I'm still not satisfied with the quality of my designs, but it's a start to getting my inspiration and lightbulb-ideas-in-the-shower to come back. I've highlighted some of the more interesting pieces you won't understand just by looking at a 2D drawing, so do take a read below:

1: Short-sleeved body-con dress with print and perforated panels
2: White zipped culottes (unzip the top skirt layer to get 'shorts)
3: White shorts with white knee-length tights
4: White long-sleeved shirt with piped sleeves, perforated panels, and adjustable length function (the two strings down the torso can be pulled up and tied, so the shirt can change in length)
5: White knee-length pencil skirt with piping, layering and perforated panels
6: White perforated sleeveless top with pipings by the side
7: Paneled coat with perforated fabric and feather print
8: Perforated long-sleeve pullover
9: Sleeveless body-con dress with feather print and perforated panels
10: Short-sleeved shirt with feather print and perforated panels
11: Round-neck blazer with piping, layering and perforated panels
12: Piped, long-sleeve tunic/dress with adjustable length function
13: Multi-strapped wedge sandals with perforated fabric wrapped all over
14: White ankle strap kitten heels with perforated toe-cap and tied string
15: Feather print ankle strap kitten heels with tied string
16: Diamante necklace

236 - Eudon Choi S/S 2013

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all images from Vogue.com

I don't know if I'm too late on this Spring review thing, but two days of complete rest from anything remotely intellectual on my mind, too many outfit posts, and too little substantiated content has generated a need to review something. Eudon Choi is one of those designers I am so glad to have picked out among the hundreds of messy names and labels each season, and be immensely rewarded in return. I've put him on the back-burner for some time, but each occasion I go back to see the runway photos I am struck by how sublimely perfect it is. 

The first thing that struck me about the collection was how organic it seemed, even though as you progress through the looks, it isn't. The silhouettes are long and slim, A-lined and not too constricting, light yet intense enough to make a statement. Drawing his inspiration from 2001: A Space Odyssey, there's a slight futurism in the designs, evident through his unique mix of textures and fabrics. Perforated, absolutely ubiquitous this spring; a mix of emboss, oil sheen and plastic fur; holographic fabrics and orange dots, and a nice, futuristic take on the perforated trend by using holographic silver as the background. 

The only thing that left a slight bitter taste in my metaphorical mouth was the way he used a certain satin-like silver fabric (see the right most look in the first image). It projects a certain image that is too laid-back and perhaps ill-fitted - I can't stop the image of over sized boxing shorts surfacing in my mind. The seeming monochrome of the collection at the beginning is well-balanced by the end with a neon coral and blue (a seemingly popular color this season), which worked well with the patent fabrics and paneling that was omnipresent through the entire collection.

After launching is AW 2012-2013 collection exclusively at Selfridges, this is another step ahead for Eudon Choi, who I am happily looking out during the upcming fall 2013-2014 shows.