Friday, June 27, 2008

ONE LAST QUESTION...

MY MY>>>today has been an adventurous day!
I have a media question: Does the Mabuhay Shoppingera moonlight as PR for Embassy (now called Emba-ra-ssing?) ?

Someone sent me her blog and it seems like she is defending them till death do us close...

In a fashion situation, this would be like taking up the cause of Claude Montana shoulder pads with followers of the shrunken jacket Dior Homme....

If you are O-U-T, you're gonna have to wait for a Russian space ship to bring you back.


But what would one get out of this? Free drinks when the bar is closed?

So many questions, so many answers I'd like to hear!
Ponder it over the weekend and get back to me!

I KNEW IT!! I KNEW IT!! Sabi ko na nga ba...


JUST AS I THOUGHT----

AS SOON AS I OPENED MY MOUTH ABOUT LUXURY DELIVERY, HERE I AM<>

In one of our latest episodes, you found me criticizing the delivery practices of a quasi-luxury goods brand spelled with a C-E-L-N-A but not quite Chanel....


BUt look at me today braving the rain in Lanvin (and Giordano--high low fashion, okay??)---having to pick up a package from a luxury goods company in America (clue: only in New York, has a drop dead BEAUOOTIFUL store but no store front) who shall remain nameless because I love their stuff, they have been nothing but great and my saleperson there is da best!! Plus I am still waiting for one more thing...


ANYWAY--we have been bouncing emails back and forth over the delivery which could not be sent to a residence bec of insurance reasons then could not be delivered to an office because of documentation, could not be received by another person other than the sendee, etc. etc...
(Since I wasn't going to get my tax money back, I refused to pay NYC tax and they offered to ship for free so how could I refuse?)


BUT deep in my heart, I always knew it would work out because this is HK>


If this was anywhere else in the world, the shipment would have been lost, stolen, eaten by monkeys, worn by a gay arms-dealing dictator, etc......


SO FINALLY--we sorted it out today and I had to do a pick-up in CENTRAL...in a nice building, not a place in KOWLOON named after a swimming game....


BUT because I was so affected by the 2 week tension, I decided to bring a knife in case a) there were no supplies to rip open my package b) the package was not there so I could use the knife to threaten the people....


SO THERE I WAS in one of the world's best neighborhoods, in one of the wealthiest areas in one of the counries in the world with the lowest crime....


AND I was carrying a knife in my purse...


IF THIS WAS MANILA--(where I would indeed need the knife or some kind of dangerous weapon) ---I would never be allowed to enter any building....


BUT THIS IS HK and I finally got my package.


THIS WAS a classy operation. Not only did they give me a private room to open my package in, this room had a view, scissors, tape, even a phone (maybe for me to call my mother), a strong desk lamp AND get this--a tiny weighing scale for gemstones which I used to weigh my hair clip just for the heck of it!

What a classy operation...But I couldn't sit there all day and talk on the phone because after half an hour they would charge you 100 HKD an hour.
SO THERE YOU GO--THIS WEEKEND'S FASHION RETAIL LESSON---
Yes, luxury goods shopper, life is fair because sometimes an overpriced clam-shelled bag really does come back to bite you in your Pilates shaped butt!
(So what? Makapal ba ako? As thick ba as shagreen???)


AND ONE LAST THING..ETO PA...

Don't people realize I have a day job that transcends shallow gossip?
(yet another bulletin to discuss at Andok's over the weekend because Embassy is closed! hahaha!!)

DA WHO--has the record of working at 3 magazines in 2 years? Not Stephen Gan, okay----he's been doing it simultaneously

From Metro to Town n Country and now to Tatler....

....has accused former employers of 'using me for my connections..' among other things that involve more cheapness....

Wake Up baby doll because if you can't lift a Dior-manicured finger then of course you'll have to be 'used for your connections...' (better than being used for experiments!)

Honey, this is the media, not the academia...We've all been there and back so you ain't alone...

BUT OF COURSE--if this was Michael Bloomberg's or Rupert Murdoch's New York and you moved through 3 publications in 2 years, you deserve your own TV show!!!

Problem is, being "editor at large" in a 'small town..." still means town and (third world) country....

THAT"S IT!! NEXT WEEK NA!!!!
Have a great weekend at Andok's or wherever you decide to plunk your bubble butt in.

CLOSED CALL


There I was lying in bed today at 830 AM thinking I could have a lie-in until 10 when the window sealer (I wish it was a window dresser) would arrive when a little bird flew into my room to take refuge from the rain.
(The window sealer is coming because I have a bad feeling, with all the water coming in from the rain, that our flat is going to go the same route as the ferry that sank---out to sea)
ANYWAY---there we were having smokes and cokes (for the bird :a straw so it doesn't catch SARS from me..I know for some the powdered version of coke with a straw would be a better choice but the only white powder we have at home is cornstarch)
AND GUESS WHAT? The bird turns to me and says, "The Preview Best Dressed party is postponed to July 4. Embassy is boarded up today." (It took them 3 months to figure out what is un-chic? The slow learners have to go to Parsons remedial school)
You wouldda thunk that people would have stayed away from that joint since March 2008 when Gorrell blew his stories about the un-chic-ness of that place.
In fact, Chikatime should have gone political by doing the Government crowd then the Embassy crowd. Embassy had a surge in new guests --the wrong-er kind of course---because of the DJ scandal. The idea was like visiting Lenin's tomb. (well, not quite)
Someone even went one night to 'try to take paparazzi shots' (of who? The winner of the Miss-Information pageant who was trying to boink the bouncer thinking he was the owner??)
This person may have walked away without photos but at least walked away with a new expensive handbag which was in no way related to the bar. (because the bag is chic, okay?)
So why postpone a party to July 4 at Embassy where the only party that is for sure gonna happen will be the one at the US Embassy???
Anyway, I'm not invited to either events.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

CHIC HAPPENS IS SOLD OUT ONLINE

ATTENTION COSTCO SHOPPERS
ONLINE SALES OF CHIC HAPPENS HAVE STOPPED!!!!
OUT OF I-STOCK NA KAMI FOR ONLINE PAYPAL SALES FOR CHIC HAPPENS
Please maawa kayo sa akin, DO NOT order Chic Happens from Paypal because as it is, I can't even follow their simple set up instructions let alone communicate with them if I can't deliver!!!

CHIC HITS THE FAN IS STILL AVAILABLE. (Book 1, D'Original!)
I would be very happy to process orders for Chic Hits the Fan!!

THANK YOU VERY MUCH and I HOPE EVERYONE ENJOYED/S THE BOOKS>

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A SHINING STAR

I KNOW I SAID NO POSTS UNTIL JULY BUT....

Like many great thinkers, I get my ideas in the bath. Also, maybe today seems like a holiday because there is no work --or taxis-- due of the signal 8 typhoon in HK (equal to signal 3 in Philippines--you know HK always has to have lucky numbers including typhoon signals) ....

HEINY-WAY....

I thought I had to share something with you. I was going to save it for later (ie: my book) but I'm not a particularly good saver especially with gossip. I feel it should be spread like manure, as Barbra Streisand said about money. But then since I have no money....

As I was so rudely interrupted by 'Memories.."

A lover of luxury told me that she went to a 'private sale' for a handbag line in Forbes (upper class Manila neighborhood with no running water and no mobile phone signal) for a brand..

.Give me a C. Give me an E, give me an L, give me an N, give me and A---

It ain't Chanel, okay?

BUT the line positions itself as a luxury label as the designer and owner tells all the magazines the products are featured in--Vogue US, Town and Country PILIPINS okay, etc... In fairness, it's a great product if you haven't been to SM or Balikbayan Handicrafts and many stylish people I know have not been there including people from Bergdorf's and Barney's.

HEINOUS-way, this luxury lover buys a few bags and has it delivered to HK. BUT...get this delivery method far worse than the way I delivery my books....

It ain't UPS or DHL (since we are into spelling today)....

It was for the client to PICK UP at a hotel!!!

Okay----I have a few problems with this being from a luxury label.

It's okay if you have to pick up your mother's padala tocino from Tita Mely or whoever's farm in Tagaytay, okay???

1) pick up - one NEVER EVER picks up from a luxury label unless it's on Madison or Landmark..Or if you are a VIP or buy enough, they will always deliver

2) pick up in Kowloon - I have a problem with Kowloon because it is like saying I have to go from Manhattan to New Jersey or Brooklyn (and back!)

3) pick up in Kowloon in a hotel that is NOT the Peninsula - as you know, this is the favorite hotel of that designer but guess where the pick up was??? Let's play that swimming game--Marco.Polo. Marco. Polo. Marco Polo FREEZE!!! (then in this case, the blind opens the package!)

4) Freeze talaga because that's what I do with the tocino when I get home

AND the client REALLY FROZE because get this---inside the package were her bags... one perfect and the other in a color that she DID NOT order!!! Hmmmm???

So far not so good, innit??

Well, it gets worse!

OH MY GAS...(as Chikatime would say) Oh My GAS--hindi pa sila nag- GAS-TOS for DHL...it aint THAT much!!! AND no tax in HK....


THis is Forbes to HK not even Cebu to HK...(well, I don't know...which is nearer if you swim???)

AND HERE's the clincher of the Hermes---ay Herpes--belt!!!

5) You pick up a package in a neighborhood your dog will not even know how to find his way home from in a hotel that has so many branches you don't know which one you're hanging from THEN you get the handbag of someone else

AND the luxury company tells you..."Paki deliver mo nalang, pwede???"
(and THAT delivery wasn't so easy, either, I gotta tell you that!)

Do you think Judith Leiber would do that??? Or LV?

It only happens in a GALAXY far, far away....

DAT'S EEEEET!!!








Sunday, June 22, 2008

THE PRICE OF FAME

BEFORE WE GET INTO TODAY'S POST: I was told that Powerbooks in Greebelt or one of its branches in Makati still has Chic Happens, my second book. I have very few copies left in stock in HK--about 6--so if you live in Manila or know someone who can buy it for you, please try Powerbooks.


Yesterday, after interviewing the talented and overly-travelled designer NATHAN JENDEN who has an eponymous line (http://www.nathanjenden.com/) and is also the brilliant creative director of Diane von Furstenburg (aka DVF) , I decided to go to the ATM machine to withdraw money.

Aside from having not a single cent on me, it was also an unconscious action to check my bank account to see if I had enough money to buy Jenden's clothes in his private sale this coming week in HK--at KOU Concepts, 22flr, 19-20 Connaught Rd. (24-25 June, 3-8PM, 11-7pm) .

THEN I decided to get a sorbet at a new place called I SCREAM at the IFC.

For the first time in my life, a reader (code name: ragamuffin) approached me and maybe because it was HK or maybe because I feel that public opinion has changed towards me (thanks to the fall of the Gucci Gang to Giordano Gang and their failed diamond heist), I was not afraid to admit that I was "Kitty Go."

Usually, when someone asks me, "Are you Kitty Go?" I would ask, "Who wants to know?"

I'm always afraid these people have contracts out for me.

I wish I could say they were marriage contracts or a movie contract from DreamWorks but nnnhhoo....Very likely they will be contracts of the Kalashnikov or a switchblade variety. (Either that or in the case of Christina Vergel, they cry in a corner of the Mandarin bar in a gladiator outfit)

SO when Ragamuffin recognized me, I was ecstatic.

So ecstatic that I forgot to pay the 28 HKD for my lychee sorbet.

The guy had to run after me all the way to Alain Figaret where--attention boys and girls of the white shirt variety--the whole store including white shirts is on sale 30% off!

I guess I must be famous enough to be recognized but not famous enough to get a free ice cream.

And now a word from our sponsor:

This will be my last post for the month because I am drowning in work from my real job. In July we can talk more about fashion after I finish writing about fashion.

Also, Bryan Boy has so kindly recommended PayPal but I am so technologically inept that yesterday I spent HOURS setting the thing up but failed.

I completely lost track of time.

The days are very long and all I know is I came home wearing sunglasses and by the time I gave up on PayPal, the maids were turning out the lights and the dogs were ready for bed.

So I would say it took about a week for me to find out I couldn't do it.

PayPal will have to wait because I am planning to hire some Pinoy here in HK who can come and help me sometime in July.

Friday, June 20, 2008

WORLDWIDE BOOK SALES


COMMERCIAL MUNA.....
It seems like many people are having a hard time finding my books in the Philippines and online in America. I thought Divisoria.com had it but I guess not.
OKAY HERE"S WHAT I PROPOPSE:
1) drop me an email at kitty_go@hotmail.com and let me know how many books and which titles you want
2) depending on your country of residence, you will have to do a direct deposit into my HK, UK or US accounts...
3) The books cost 60 HKD=8USD=4 UKpounds=5.50 euros
4) shipping costs are as follows for ONE book:
HKD - 5
USD -5
UKP- 3
Euros-??maybe 4??
PS--I don't have many left--only about 12 copies for each title and that's IT!! Unless you get them from National or wherever....
Meanwhile, I will check with Mational what the real deal is. I won't be surprised if everything is gone.
Thanks a lot and I'm very honoured you are buying my books!!



MUSIC TO MY EARS
















I have a feeling we didn't drink very much because I forgot to put the music on.



The party may have looked good on a table but I was so disorganized I forgot the sounds!!



There I was so excited to play my CDs from Tokyo--what the Japanese call Bossa Nova Rock--then...I forgot one of the most important elements of a successful party. Musique!


My favourite is Clementine: The Paris Collection. I also love (not in photo) Sweets Bossa Rock Performed by Ideal.

I also wanted to play The Birthday CD 2003: Bangkok Lounge mixed by J. Cuunjieng not for me but for my dear friends Constance Brooke Pendleton and Muffy who celebrated their birthdays in Bangkok in 2003 as the label says.

If I got carried away with caviar, they had cake--carried in by a naked man!!!

It is one of the best and gayest CDs I have and I love it.

J. has also been invited by the gay bar Happy in Singapore where if you can't be gay, at least you can be Happy!!!

AND FINALLY BEFORE OUR DREADFUL WORK WEEK ENDS...I leave you with something to ponder at Andok's.....

A little flying fish has told me that our favourite swimmer turned swindler and his Madame turned Mrs. have to swim faster, harder and around more continents because they have made a Baracuda in the BIG TIME China Sea very unhappy.

(Jaws theme..dun.dun.dun.dun..)

Perhaps a life raft rather than a Porsche Cayenne would be in order.

Let me go fishing and I'll get back to you kids. OR better yet, read about it in my book!

Clue: It involves money. What doesn't except exchanges for store credit?? Even digging is called gold digging....

THE BIRTHDAY
















Last night, as a belated celebration of my 45th birthday, I had a fantastic all-girls caviar drinks party then dinner at Spices in Repulse Bay. I also used this party as a chance to try out the new luxury food business of my friend Boots Moyer of AMBROSIA PREMIER (bmoyer@ambrosiapremier.com; +852 9850-6839).

Look at the fabulous setting of flowers, candles and Christofle silver. To make life easy in Hell's kitchen, Boots also provides the soft and yummy blinis. You would think all this effort was for some huge luau but it was only for 200 g of caviar, that black spot at the center of the photo at left. (She can also just 'sell you the tin')

BEFORE I CLOSE THIS ENTRY, I have to let the suspicious reader in you know that--UNLIKE SOME people we KNOW!--- I PAID for this service plus the caviar and all the drinks.

I bought a case of champagne thinking we would show up at drunk for dinner (where we had MORE drinks--margaritas). But nhoo...15 people drank only 4 bottles of champs and half a bottle of white wine. How little is that?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

LOUNGE AND MUSIC




I don't want to be the fashion promoter of Damages but once again, it has proven to be a measure of what the working rich are moving into.

If you noticed, the bitch lawyer Glenn Close character is 'dressed' even in her downtime---double (or even quad)- ply structured cashmere cardigans, brooks brothers polo tees..everything just as neat and well-pressed as her clothes during the work week (not that she ever stops working!)

Avril Groom discusses this attitude to loungewear in "Easily the Best" in this week's FT How to Spend it magazine, the Bonus Issue (13 June 2008 which is out one Friday a month).
People want loungewear that has quality and looks good enough to go out in. Or daywear that also works as downwear.
Stella MacCartney for Adidas and Christy Turlington for Puma have done that.
Although I always hated the idea of Juicy Couture cashmere 'sweats' worn in public, I admit, they are the PIONEERS of this style.
DVF is introducing a transitional capsule wardrobe that works for all occasions and most types of weather. I can't wait!! I really admire the woman.


Lanvin, meanwhile, has made their ready-to-wear so comfortable that you could wear the silk shift you originally bought for a party, at home or at the beach!
I know, I know..what about the cost?
I have always felt that one cannot get too attached to material things.
One the other hand, I feel that if you have to take care of it like a baby (ie giving an expensive "It" Bag its own seat at a restaurant or wailing when a dress is ruined), that means you really can't afford it, can you?
Fashion is meant to be worn. Likewise, furniture is meant to be used.
If you are just going to look at it, you might as well open your own museum.
MEANWHILE---I was thinkin', music usually goes with lounging.
(see photo on left)
While waiting for my husband to get off work, I stopped by HMV on a rainy Friday to pick up Duffy's CD which was a disappointment.
I saw her on Letterman, on UK TV, read her reviews in trans continental magazines and papers, etc.
With all the publicity that she was better than Amy Winehouse, I found the CD a whiner.
What fag hag like me could resist Donna Summer?? A new record after 17 years and it sounded like a bad Cher record. And I love Cher!
I think I will stick to the long version of MacArthur Park.
OKay the Japanese one--- Arashi "Dream Alive" was an Asian top hit. Asian music doesn't do it for me but I thought maybe the Japanese will...just because they have their own planet.
JESUS N SHINTO!!! It was the worst!! It was worse than a Pinoy pop muisc CD!!
Thinking I could be hip by buying a UK alternative CD, I picked up The Ting Tings...and sure enough there was a ting about it...It made me tingk I wasted so much money on these bloody CDs I should have bought a dress at MnS!!!
Out of the six I bought on Friday night, only 2 turned out to be real winners!!
(see photo at right)
The Fratellis "Here We Stand" (Island) is a total hit! I can't tell which songs are particularly good bec the whole album just flows.
I can proudly say it was in the 'alternative' rack.
N-E-R-D "Seeing Sounds" is great--rap and blues in one--especially All the Girls Standing In Line for the Bathroom (the title says it all!) , Anti Matter (if you don't want a revolt at home, don't let your 8 yr old listen to this), Love Bomb, etc..
PS--I ain't no music expert so don't take this review seriously. I care about music as much as I do food where some one once told me that I never enjoy my food and only eat to stay alive.
WHAT's wrong with that?? You expect me to eat my cake and wear Alaia too?

PUBLIC FIGURES--or mere figurines??


I pulled out this section from a story entitled "Technology Feature: The Long Road to Justice" by PJ Punla, which I found in the infamous Brian Gorrell's blog (www.delfindjmontano.blogspot.com)
Before we get into my feelings on public figurines, I have to plug a featured short film on the same blog. "Prostituition" presented by Atty Adel Tamano and directed by Gemma dela Cruz discusses the situation in the Philippines wherein the cost of higher and better education has forced many eager learners into prostitution.
(sorry i dont know how to load youtube--i don't know how to load anything! I dont even have a site meter so I dont know if I have only one reader or none)
I think this has become an unfortunate world wide problem. It is not uncommon for women who want a Harvard education to resort to hooking. As the film says "Every cent she makes is one step closer to her goal..."
MEANWHILE--the Phil govt prefers to pay off its foreign debt instead of educating its people bec a SEEMINGLY liquid emerging economy attracts foreign investors who, as part of the deal, will of course pay 'fees' to corrupt govt officials to be able to do business in the country. The ironic part is, some of these 'fees' include entry or tuition into the best schools in the west. Howzzat boys and girls???!!!
Although surounded by neighbors like Taiwan, Korea, Japan (all of whom DO NOT have an English speaking population), unlike their neighbors, the Philippines has not learned that an educated country becomes a wealthy one.
SOME of the priveleged all over the world either a) pay to get into good or not so good schools or b) take education for granted. Of course there are numerous cases of drop-outs who do well (such as Bill Gates) but for every under-educated tycoon are thousands of students who do not have the privelege of a good education.
I personally am not a huge believer in higher education because majority of my older relatives including my dad, barely finished High School. or college They came from a world of poverty where hard work was the only opportunity and failure as basic as putting food on the table was not an option.
It is a world unknown to us today, the consumerist generation that THINKS the good things in life are a right and not a privelege...(I think this is why American Idol, being a movie star or model and reality shows have become so popular--they are shortcuts to fame which lead to money)
I have only a local Philippines university degree and my husband did not finish his university education. And yet, we both have managed careers outside our home countries.
BUT based on what I have observed and heard from friends, relatives and employers, what we did 20 yrs ago (not finishing school) cannot be done today unless we became successful entrpreneurs.
NOW ON TO THE TOPIC OF PUBLIC FIGURINES...and one of my favourite topics: LIBEL!
From PJ Punla's piece: (small fonts are mine)
Current legal definitions of libel require a statement to satisfy the following criteria in order for it to be considered “libelous”:
1. The statement should have been published.2. The statement should have enough information in order for the subject to be identified by the public.3. The statement should have malicious intent against the subject.
What interests me is this issue on 'public figures."


2. Are the subjects of the blog posts identifiable? And, sub-questions: since libel for private persons is not the same as libel for public personalities i.e. celebrities, should Montano and his family be considered as private citizens or public personalities for the sake of the libel argument?



The most irritating thing about social climbers like Gorrell mentions (see an example in left hand photo above) is that these people LOVE JUST ABSOLTULEY GET WET OVER getting thier photos in society pages of newspapers and magazines.

THEY LIVE for thatMOMENT when the FLASH HITS THEIR EYES!! They spend their entire waking hours either doing coke or dressing up...

BUT---when scandals arise, they are the first to plead to leading simple lives!!

Publicity for me is like marriage. It is a 24/7 commitment to the public. That is why I have no sympathy for movie stars and celebrities who plead for a private life.

WHO ASKED THEM to go into acting? They could have kept thier jobs as waiters at the Ivy!!!

Socialites who throw themselves at cameras to be famous for being famous are the same. If you angle for a photo everytime you have a dress on, then why would you complain if a blog talks about your business malpractice, your drug habit, your extra marital affairs, etc.

Again, WHO ASKED THEM to be photographed??

Sometimes there is a need to be photographed aside from the requirement to be in your school yearbook so people can laugh at you later or in case you become a serial killer or beauty queen, people can see your before photo.

The only times you need your photograph to be publicly circulated are:

1) when you want to announce anything like company annual results

2) when you are trying to sell something

3) when you need to be the image of a business, a brand or a product--being paid makes it even better

4) when you are trying to raise money for charity (in some cases, people have their homes photographed when they want to sell them but that, too, is gauche)

SOCIAL CLIMBERS as we know them definitely do NOT fulfill any of the above criteria. (Well, okay maybe Tiny Tim and Skinny Celine with their ads...)

3. Are Gorrell’s statements intended to be malicious or not?With the Internet now a contentious arena where national and international laws are being contested, the outcome of this matter – and, indeed, its very conduct – seem to be enough reason for the international, online, and legal communities to keep a close watch on this blog, its owner, and the matters outlined therein.

Yes, I have always wondered what the boundaries are between truth and malice.

Sometimes when you tell the truth it merely comes out malicious...Remember the saying "The truth hurts??"

Well, they come from the same school as Gossip Girl.

Meanwhile, maliciousness is plain fun. Remember "If you have nothing good to say about anyone come sit next to me??

" Well, they come from the same bitch!

BTW--I haven't addressed the photo on the right--it's the beautiful arrangement Ghey Bryan Boy (http://www.bryanboy.com/) sent me for my 45th cougar birthday!! Thank you Bryan Boy!!

-Does that mean these flowers are now public figures??? Maybe we should ask the woman in the left hand photo....What happened to her FREE HOTEL GYM membership??? Which I feel I paid for because I paid for mine!!! All that --see, again--for showing up at a pool party!! TWICE!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

FABULOUS POLITICIAN OR POLITICAL FABULIST???

Don't you girls just lurve the surge of fab women in politics? Fat Hilary ankles and wide Cherie hips have been replaced by the Park Avenue princess blondeness of Cindy McCain, the corporate chic-ness of Michelle Obama, the total chicness of Carla Bruni Sarkozy (but I HATED the beret and Tod's flats--being French, she should have worn Roger Vivier they are from the same company anyway...), the established style of fashion executive Mrs David Cameron, creative director of Smythson's....

AND NOW...France's justice minister Rachida Dati---I saw some of her pictures and she looks GREAT!!! Get a load of parts of the copy which I 'bolded" (the important parts! hahaha!!)

Sorry no picture--but you can google images her...

FROM THE FINANCIAL TIMES 7/8 June 2008:


Woman in the News: Rachida Dati
By Ben Hall
It is tough being a symbol, especially in a country where symbols are forensically analysed. Rachida Dati, France’s justice minister, found that out this week.

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s appointment of Ms Dati last year had been seen as a brilliant symbolic move. After appealing to far-right voters by promising to crack down on immigration, he made Ms Dati the first figure of Muslim origin to hold senior ministerial office in a country that has more than 5m Muslims but not a single Muslim MP. She is young, female and of North African origin, with striking good looks, and her promotion sent a message of unity. She is also a kindred spirit – like him, an offspring of immigrants with an authoritarian streak, irreverent style and a taste for the high life (including an endless line in chic Dior dresses). -we love her already!!!
However, the symbolism of her Muslim heritage clashed with political substance this week as Ms Dati found herself at the centre of a political storm over a bizarre legal case involving a marriage between a Muslim couple that was annulled because the woman had lied about being a virgin. The ruling triggered a furore because religion is supposed to have no place in the French state and because it raised sensitive questions about whether a secular tradition was bending to pressure from France’s Muslim community.
Rather than join the chorus of condemnation, Ms Dati’s first reaction was to defend the decision, only later to order an appeal under pressure from Mr Sarkozy. Her abrupt U-turn turned a row over secularism into one about her competence. Yet the case also highlighted an unusually personal back-story: Ms Dati herself had a semi- arranged marriage in 1992 an­nulled, although she has revealed little about the circumstances.
Charged with incompetence by opposition Socialists, Ms Dati returned fire, accusing them of keeping Muslims in poor estates while pretending to help. “I escaped from your policy failures,” she told them.
Ms Dati grew up in a housing estate in eastern France. She was born in 1965 in Burgundy into a poor family, the second of 12 children of a strict Moroccan father, a bricklayer, and an illiterate Algerian mother. Educated at a Catholic school and a state lycée, she used a series of part-time jobs – selling cosmetics door-to-door, working in a supermarket and as a hospital nurse – to fund her way through school and university, culminating in the prestigious HEC business school. After meeting Albin Chalandon, a former justice minister and executive who became her first mentor, at a party in 1987 she worked for
Elf Aquitaine, then his family’s oil business. She switched to law, becoming a junior magistrate and assistant prosecutor.
In 2002, Mr Sarkozy, then interior minister, brought her into his team of advisers. Ms Dati was one of his closest confidantes and spokeswoman for his presidential campaign, becoming close to Cécilia, then Mr Sarkozy’s wife, who encouraged her promotion. Ms Dati stood by her during the opprobrium of the divorce.
Even so, rumours about her intimacy with the president have been fuelled this week with the publication of a book about Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the president’s new wife. It reports that when Mrs Sarkozy showed Ms Dati around a private apartment in the Elysée palace she paused in front of a double bed and said: “You would have really liked to have been in it, wouldn’t you?”- when I first laid eyes on Ms Dati, I thought the VERY THING!!!!
Ms Dati has started to forge a career as an elected politician, not just an appointee. In March she was elected mayor of the chic and very white 7th arrondissement in Paris, with help from Mr Sarkozy. However, although he rushed to her defence this week, saying she had become a victim of a “lynching”, there had been signs of him putting distance between them. He excluded her from his recently created inner cabinet of seven trusted ministers.
Indeed, after only a year in office, Ms Dati has made a lot of enemies. Some of the criticism is chauvinism towards an ambitious female, yet it also represents the hauteur towards an aspiring child of immigrants obsessed with her own image (a criticism Mr Sarkozy has himself faced). Ms Dati is said to go on prison visits wearing her finest designer dresses, many reportedly commandeered from Paris fashion houses.(well, she IS FRENCH---and that's what Congresswoman Emily Lopez used to wear but only Escada when she went to Camiguin, the poorest province of the Phils) She has annoyed parliamentarians by walking into the chamber of deputies with a mobile phone clamped to her ear and carrying a copy of Paris Match, a celebrity magazine in which she has appeared posing in black stiletto boots and confessing a taste for Chanel, Dior and cheap T-shirts from Monoprix. At her first Paris city council meeting she was caught on camera filing her nails. André Vallini, a socialist deputy, says she has “unbearable lightness”. -doesn't she remind you of the fabulous Alexis Carrington-Colby??
More substantively, she has acquired a reputation within her ministry for impossible rudeness and arrogance. Eleven members of her cabinet, or team of advisers, have left since she arrived in the ministry, prompting The Nouvel Observateur to mock her as the “Iron Lady”. She has alienated conservatives in the legal profession, partly from her efforts to overhaul France’s network of courts, unchanged for 50 years. Some colleagues view her as a weak parliamentary speaker – when it came to defending a wide-ranging constitutional reform package last month, its author, Edouard Balladur, the former prime minister, pleaded with the Elysée: “Don’t put her up, she’s useless.”
Ms Dati has also faced criticism from France’s North African community, accusing her of erasing her origins and shunning Muslims, preferring to see herself as foremost “a child of France”. Azouz Begag, a former junior minister for equalities in the centre-right government and son of Algerian immigrants, paid tribute to her success: “She is what a lot of the kids on the estates want. The boys want to be Zinédine Zidane and all the girls want to be Rachida Dati. But it is totally misleading.”
However, he argues, she has left her Muslim origins too far behind. “Her message is: I’m like you. I am one of you. I like power. I like luxury. It works because the majority of French people simply want to be wealthy and she embodies that aspiration. As long as the political classes use tokens, who are appointed rather than elected, who are conformist rather than independent-minded personalities, there will not be elected politicians from ethnic minorities.”
Ms Dati will have to prove she is more than a symbol if she is really to represent a new France.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

Saturday, June 7, 2008

CLOTHING DAMAGES

CAREER DRESSING AT ITS BEST

There are several reasons why I am loving the law drama-thriller series "Damages' (2007) with Glenn Close, Rose Bryne, Noah Bean, Ted Danson and some guy with a Slavic name...

1) the story (of course)-- which is of that genre of ' everyone has a reason, read: no real bad guys' like The Wire and Devil Wears Prada. The Dvd jacket cover says it is the Soprano and Devil Wears Prada for lawyers. Although Glenn Close's character may not have the fashion edge over Meryl Streep's Miranda Priestley, her character makes Priestley's look like a school nurse. Truthfully, the only great clothing in DWP were the furs.

2) I love the idea that they are always drinking and smoking. Even at work! Mostly drinking--white and red, bourbon, beer, expensive scotch. No one makes movies like that anymore!! No drugs....yet! For that, you go to The Wire or Gucci Gang videos.

3) But what I love most about this series is the FASHION. As in costumes! Although it is not in the historical costume arena of Dangerous Liaisons or in the fashion victim parade of Devil Wears Prada and Sex in the City (which I never liked and based on photos from the movie, will dislike even more..) --

Damages is a lesson on dressing for success in the corporate world. It is clearly a show for winners about winners. Sadly, I wouldn't say the same for the set design--but Ted Danson has a great pool.

Being in fashion and media, I wouldn't dress like any of the characters but I highly recommend bankers, lawyers and others in conservative and corporate careers to consider these looks.

I wanna know who did the styling and costuming because the clothes really illustrate the meaning of Power Dressing today where one's clothing (without logos or iconic looks) conveys status before you even say anything.

Clearly it qualifies the premise that at the top echelons of society (celebrities and 'fashionistas' NOT included) stealth wealth is where it's at and has always been. In that rarefied circle, you only want the 'right people' to recognize what you are wearing and you want to use fashion as a statement of style, position and power and not simply a show of wealth (because THAT is relative!)

Note things such as-----

- the varying qualities (depending on rank) of impeccably styled suits and luxurious fabrications all throughout the show. Clothing is so important to the Glenn Close character that she sends new associate Rose Byrne to her personal shopper at Bergdorf's to get kitted out (so you KNOW the job is going to kill her!!!)

-I don't know where Close got her suits (Jil? Brooks? Thom B? Margiela? quiet Chanel? Loro P? Please don't say Armani...) but the fit and quality of all of them are perfect. Not a crease even at 11 PM when she's STILL at the office. Make-up and hair always perfect in a Park Avenue Princess way even when she walks her dog. Her work bags are functional and stylish without having a Birkin in sight!

She may have a uniform of button down shirt and suit but the costuming clearly illustrates how someone in the corporate world can still dress in the most overused fashion phrase--- classics with a twist. Pink tweed, mini-checked shirt with striped jacket, etc.

In episode 10, look at her 5c (??) marquis engagement ring--what a winner!!

-Because Close is MILES away in seniority to Byrne, she dresses more conservatively but obviously more expensively compared to Byrne's suits with quirky blouses that look like they are from Philip Lim, Edun, Noir and others of that mid-range price point.

PERHAPS it's just MY BIAS---but even the shoes are covered---
-junior associate Rose Byrne wears Louboutin with blazing red soles while bossy bitch lawyer that takes Manhattan seems to wear stealth-wealthy Manolo Blahniks even to visit her son on a farm (Please don't tell me they are Jimmy Choos but the might be)

- Ted Danson who plays the billionaire dressed-down most of the time. Based on my many interviews with CEOs and MDs, today's power lies in the one who cares least about his clothes. And YET....
-for public functions he wears a great dark suit with two-tone stripes so subtle you need a closeup to see the detail. AND...
-when Danson's character goes into deposition, he wears the same suit and tries in vain to tie a Windsor knot, which he says , "The knot of rich people which I as a billionaire can't do.." And who helps him? His dandy of a Southern lawyer who wears...
-light colored suits in the darkest power suited town of New York City and looks great even if he isn't a looker himself!

Everything was well-thought out that even the lady chef and stalker with minor roles do great casual looks.

And the other supporting office people and simple folk? Well, they DID dress like office people and Dress Barn.

So PERFECT!


Friday, June 6, 2008

DA WEEKEND RAP




SOMETHING TO DISCUSS OVER YOUR FAMILY DINNER AT ANDOK'S

I saw the adulteress in the recent Philippine Fashion Week, that was the Tuesday night show. She was seated at the 3rd row seat tho'. I guess she's a D-LISTER now.

Tsk tsk... Talaga naman si Yawza yawza yawza haaa...

HOKAY--I NEVER said she was a D-Lister.
Why would I put anyone on a pedestal like that?
BUT THEN...my my....after some shallow thought....I have two bullet points to end your work week. (Only for those of us who REALLY work, okay?? The swindlers can go into Gorrell's blog)

ONE-- 'Philippine Fashion Week" is certainly an oxymoron. A bigger ox than India Fashion Week or Moscow Fashion Week because it least kung baduy at chaka sila they have money and are bona fide emerging markets (another oxymoron!).

TWO---third row at a Fashion Week in a market whose only GAP is that of rich and poor known for a skinny, malnourished majority rather than skinny jeans?? Hmmm..don't need to have graduated with Galliano from St Martin's to figure THAT out!! Or with James Rubin at Harvard...
Buti pa si Bryan Boy naka-Australian Fashion Week pa!! Complete with mucho gift bags.

(With no Dior, no Chanel, no Fendi, no Hermes--market ba talaga yan?? Baka wet market!)
Buti pa si Karl and Silvia--they came, saw and conquered the newest market that will save fashion's waxed and moisturized ass....
Have a GREAT WEEKEND!!
Probably no posts until Tuesday because Monday is a che-kua holiday.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

CASES OTHER THAN LV TRAVEL CASES

I left you (hopefully not hanging) yesterday with the news that there may be more than one divorce or LV case depending on how you look at it, for a Gucci Gang member ...WHELL girls and gheys, I found out that in HK, you CAN SUE separately for divorce and adultery.

But the adultery case will be hard to prove even if there are public photos. To win a case hands down, the 'injured party' will have to show photos of the 'adulteress' in the sexual act with her yoga partner (ay---este sexual partner).

Speaking of, a HK Hooker told me yesterday that she saw the sexual partner (ay este --yoga teacher) outside Landmark. My two guesses which could BOTH BE WRONG: a) he might be coming back to HK to teach again (ay este--look up friends) which is a very good gig and he was a really good teacher OR b) he might be here to face a case...or maybe look for a lost suitcase or a lawsuit. Case.

In any case, I will do a little sleuthing. Just in case I find out more information...

HK BOOK SALES




FOR HONG KONG BOOK SALES:
Please email me directly at : kitty_go@hotmail.com for inquiries, delivery/pick-up in HONG KONG CENTRAL, REPULSE BAY or ADMIRALTY ONLY. I can also send by post because HK mail is reliable unlike OTHER countries...(I meant like Africa) No Kowloon, no China, no Wanchai, no Mongkok, no Shenzen and other triadic territories....Price is: HKD 60, CASH ONLY. Unless I gave you a different price, we will go with the lower quote. I never remember what I tell people because of disorganization. As you can see, I do not run an organized crime ring but a DISorganized crime ring (from de Beers of course!).

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

THE FROG PRINCESS


It's Hump Day: TIME (FOR) BOMB OF DA WEEK
Before I get to the point of my existence, I have to apologize for the state of this blog. The pictures, layout and background are diabolical. I still have a day job as a busy body so I have yet to find the time and knowledge to fix it. Sadly, I can't promise this will ever happen because as it is, I have yet to complete the task of doing the photo albums from my first marriage. The marriage has come undone and the album has not even been done yet! That makes the wait on my visual creativity longer than the wait for a Birkin.
So as Jeff Goldblum in The Fly quiveringly said, "Heeelllppp mmeee..." Any help will be appreciated. Girls and Gheys, I never promised you People magazine. Hopefully it's worth a read!
Ah of course, yes...back on course...about this week's magic trick of turning white powder into white diamonds. This beats the wedding at Cana (where Jesus turned water into wine) by a (diamond) minefield. But throw gold into it, too because it's now what-- 900-1000 USD an ounce???
A few things we should ask about M. Le V Froggie and how this may affect Christina Lopez (este..Vergel) and her potential to drip in diamonds. ...(I hope this doesn't end in tears or another kind of Coke induced drip)
Remember class, this is a THINKING blog, okay? I encourage you to analyze the news, discuss among yourselves (Globe and Smart have to thank me for encouraging SMS and calls) and of course, report back to me!!
When there is a 'situation" as they say in media, the subjects usually give two answers: a) maybe , b) no comment or c) both. *In each case, the reporter COULD assume the answer COULD really be a 'Ja." Please choose the correct answer to the questions below.
1) Could Legs Diamond possibly be married before or perhaps still?
2) Could The Girl's Best Friend be separated with children?
--Five points: One last bonus question lang: Da Who is the quiepo in the photo on Chikatime?? Tanong lang pow.
*This comes from the William Morris Showbiz Crisis Management brief that gives this example: Variety reports Britney going into hospital for food poisoning= drug overdose because she saw her thighs in the mirror.
How could people possibly be so negative towards the idea of 'true love??" I myself am a believer in true love but consider the divorce laws SOME people--such as diamond and gold miners--- may have to face:
1) Hong Kong divorce - the rule has changed in the last few months to be like a Hollywood divorce (50-50) meaning 50% to the wife and 50% to the husband and company whether male or female or a combination. Sometimes this may include pets.
2) UK divorce - wife must prove that the husband has to support her in the style she has grown accustomed to. Wife and shark lawyer show credit card bills, club memberships, rent, beauty salon bills, haute couture bills, etc. This is from the Ivana School of Divorce which is "Don't get mad, get even.." The pound is now 1 pound to 1.8 USD (sometimes 2!)
3) France divorce - This I don't know but we can ask M. le President Sarkozy since he and his former wife personally have had a lot of experience between them. The Euro is now 1 Euro to 1.6 USD
So you see kids, diamonds may be forever but some marriages don't. Look at Tom and Nicole, Ron Pereleman and Ellen Barkin, Sean Penn and Madonna, Whitney and Bobbie Brown, my own marriage!!! ...I rest my case.
AY speaking of cases which may also be court cases, I have to find out whether one of the Gucci Gang who never really wears Gucci but has a single LV bag...really has a court case in HK aside from a divorce case. A little Peach told me! (Oy--Good luck sign yan for the Chinese, ha...)
HOKAY! I think I am done for the day. Perhaps even the week unless the highly unlikely event of little birds flying through my windows happens. It's raining you see, so the birds are not out.
But the snakes tend to come indoors!

Monday, June 2, 2008

(Domestic) HELP is on the way!!

JJ Mckay has left a new comment on your post "Gucci joins LV":
Yup, I saw the girl and the white guy at ARTHK 08 a few weeks ago in Hong Kong. At first I thought it was some random white guy and a domestic helper. But then I recognized who they were... it's easy to make these mistakes in Wanchai.
(You're right! Sometimes I even disguise myself as my helper!!)

while rightly so.....

Brian Brotarlo has left a new comment on your post "Gucci joins LV":
jj mckay. Ease up on the domestic helper comparison. These domestic workers are more useful than the parasites that fancy themselves the elite.

BUT SPEAKING OF.....mistaken DH identities....

Few months ago, I saw this woman carrying a beige double-C Chanel quilted tote outside LV in Landmark. Okay---those with double C quilted Chanel bags may have to put theirs away for a few years because don't you hate seeing the right things on the wrong people???
ANYWAY...I was with a friend and we see this woman. She's lookin' at us and I'm lookin' at her but not in a bad way because she looked familiar and HONEST TO GAWD..I thought she was a maid in our building! That's why I was trying not to stare in a bad way!! But I also thought perhaps she didn't like my outfit or my friend's outfit!
TURNS OUT..she was..taaaah--daahh--the wife (aka madame turned Mrs) of swimmer turned beauty shop swindler.
HOW DID I KNOW? The friend who was with me saw the swimming swindler checking in at Mandarin Oriental and put two and two plus 50 million or so and a Porsche 4x4 together.....Oh and don't forget the Chanel bag!

WHEN CHIC HITS THE FAN
and
CHIC HAPPENS
are available at
NATIONAL bookstore
http://www.divisoria.com/ (or net??)
The 'other' Opus Dei-owned bookstore does not carry them so don't even pray you'll find them there!
HK sales--kitty_go@hotmail.com - maybe we can arrange a sale but dapat CENTRAL or ADMIRALTY lang, ok because I ain't going to Kowloon or China!