Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
"You are such a brilliant writer,fashion icon and tounge-in-chic who could write about global economy,fashion,gossip and still watch Entourage and Master Showman at the same time.
He also advised hick and rifle-toting Republican vice-presidential nominee on travel and foreign policy since she has only been abroad for the first time, to two countries in the last year: Eye-Raq and the Kuwaiti border. And no, I don't think she passed by Duty Free or Villa Moda.
Unfortunately his plans for Africa never came REMOTELY close to the thriving businesses developed by China with African locals. "MATE! Doncha know that you don't give a man fish but teach him how to fish (ask Sarah Palin about bear hunting) . Bribing government officials along the way helps, too.
So my question is: Would you rather have money or fame?
(Raissa Molina --RM-MR of the Star (it rhymes!)--- would never think of such an intelligent question)
I know my answer: MONEY
Monday, September 22, 2008
The Fleecing of America by Roger Cohen
Today's IHT has the above editorial that questions the silence of foreign economies amidst the collapse of large financial institutions in the last two weeks. I have highlighted some noteworthy paragraphs below but as much as the author thinks the new powers should help,what he did not bring up is the point that these same economies have propped up the American economy long enough (DECADES!!) not only with private investments but also investments in the US Treasury.
Okay here's the Hollywood version for you power lunchers at the Ivy:
You are Marky Mark pre-Entourage or Ed Burns pre-The Wire. You put in all your ideas and pitches and invest heavily on production for say, Universal or Paramount. But meanwhile, you do Entourage and the Wire for TV on the side with some people from school or the neighborhood.
Paramount or Universal meanwhile, has not released a single hit but Brad Grey keeps putting out 'blockbusters' (where the only thing that goes bust is the studio) with lots of publicity and expenses but very little income.
But Paramount being Paramount, you keep an office on the lot for the prestige and the hope that one day you will benefit from this alliance.
BUT THEN Entourage and the Wire become big hits on TV without Paramount's help.
Meanwhile, Brad Grey and Paramount are having tough times and have difficulty funding new films.
You---aka Ed Burns and Marky Mark--- have done really well with your TV shows.
Will you help finance a movie with Paramount knowing you have all these hits on TV?
Now we know why Steven Spielberg and Sylvester Stallone are looking to India.
'Cuz in India, even after Rambo 17 dies STILL in 'Nam, he can be reincarnated. It's part of their religion!
(Now for the real story...)
.......Yes, folks, the cash is elsewhere. Asians have been saving rather than spending. Their consumers are in better shape. Their banks are in better shape. The China Investment Corp. (CIC), a sovereign wealth fund, is sitting on $200 billion (and a 9.9 percent stake in Morgan Stanley) while China's central bank is managing another $1.8 trillion in reserves.
And what have we heard from the new centers of wealth and power - China, India, Brazil, Russia, the Gulf states - about America's financial agony over the past week? Zilch. Well, not quite. When asked about the crisis, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the Brazilian president, said: "What crisis? Go ask Bush."......
.......The world has changed in the past decade. There's been a steady transfer of wealth away from the United States in a shift most Americans have not yet grasped. But there has been no accompanying transfer of responsibility. New powers are free-riding as if it were still the American century.......
But toxic mortgage-backed securities were pedaled by plenty of foreign banks. And the decision to pour $85 billion of U.S. taxpayers' money into the rescue of American International Group (AIG), the insurance giant, followed appeals from foreign finance ministers to Henry Paulson, the Treasury secretary, to save a global company. Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told me: "Paulson said he was getting calls from finance ministers all around the world saying, you have to save AIG. Well, they should have been asked to contribute to the pot."
Sunday, September 21, 2008
As a fashion reporter in Hong Kong who spends most of her week visiting with luxury good houses including watches and jewellery, (I hate to say that it but) I am finding it harder and harder to say "WOW!" until last week when I attended the trunk show of Kolkata-based jewellery RAJ MAHTANI. http://www.rajmahtani.com/
The very forward thinking Mahtani comes from generations of Indian court jewellers who started their business in the 1800s. His designs, which range from 3000 USD to 3 million USD (his most expensive piece to date), is not for the faint of heart in style or pocket book.
In fact, he says to me matter of factly, "How can people think I am like Gem Palace when they do mostly small pieces?"
He brings a rock and roll sensibility to traditional Mughal design by using oversized colored stones and diamonds mostly cut in table-cut style which may have been an ancient style of diamond cutting probably from the 1700s in Europe when diamonds were first used to adorn royalty and aristocracy.
There are several things that make Raj Mahtani's jewellery collection fabulous and so perfect for contemporary lifestyle. First it is so original no one else will have what you have so you don't stand a chance of seeing 'the right thing on the wrong person."
Second, despite how huge the jewels are, if I had one of his bib neckalces, I'd wear it during the day with jeans and a tee shirt and no one will even begin to estimate how much it is. (Sometimes because big is unbe-fuckin-lievable, it becomes perfect for everyday wear. I once tried on a 56 carat diamond and thought I could walk out of Sotheby's and no one would rob me. Likewise with the Van Cleef piece made of 20 carats of diamonds on a mink choker. Who would know? They were so huge they looked costume!).
Third, Raj Mahtani is a destination: Kolkata. Not exactly on the tourist trail so it is hard to get to. Either you go there or you wait for him to show up in your 'hood--Singapore, London, Hong Kong, Moscow. Next year he plans to open shops in London and Moscow.
(New York jewellers Verdura and Seaman Schepps have the same strategy. Verdura does not even have a street level boutique)
And finally, he uses precious stones in an irreverent yet very stylish way. Don't you find it so outdated to see someone wearing diamonds in a manner so precious (usually at weddings) looking like she spent all her money on her diamond choker while her dress (usually in cheap chiffon) comes from some local made to order designer? Or off the rack bridge?
Or carrying a Birkin but wearing a knock-off Marc Jacobs dress from the stalls in Causeway Bay?
And shoes from Admiralty? Don't even get me started!
I HATE THAT LOOK.
Nothing screams 'Third World fashion'/office girl look more than that.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
As you can see, this little book of less than 200 pages could easily get lost among the other more exciting books. But then something happened on my way to pull out my Lanvin coat in the guest bedroom....
This is one of DA BEST books that I have ever read. The story of a husband being gay is not unusual but the time (the Fifties) and the race (black) of the main characters make the story most unusual. But there's MORE.....Don't you already love it???
This quote from the book jacket (unlike Alicia Santos-Daniels, I QUOTE, not plagiarize) summarizes the journey of this great read that kept me up till 3AM last night:
"......It is written in prose that makes you want to slow the book down and read passages over agian, but it also has a plot that makes you want to race ahead and stay up all night until you know what happens in the end.' -Colm Toibin, author of The Master
I don't think I will ever be able to write as sharply as Andrew Sean Greer.
The book itself did not make me cry.
But it did made me think and my thoughts made me cry.
For anyone who ever wondered "Why did he/she do it?" (and haven't we all? Especially me the social detective!!!) , I highly recommend this book. (of course, the book doesn't answer the question but explores why these things can't be answered)
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
The premiere was sometime last week around the corner from my hotel but since I wasn't invited, I watched the interviews and red carpet footage live ...from my hotel room!!! Mr Madonna seems like a really nice guy! He doesn't even 'own' a car, preferring to get around by bike.
I LOVE THIS FILM---it's stylish (especially the lighting and opening credits), snappy, snide and simply swell because it is rude about everything from immigrants to homosexuals, no one is spared!
I usually watch Guy Ritchie movies on DVD with subtitles because I can never understand what they are saying (Cockney, the language of da British 'hood)
But this time, since I was seeing the film in an English-speaking country, I had to see it without subtitles but I guess I didn't really miss anything since everything started and ended in "fuck."
These days I find it hard to see a film on an uncluttered screen. You kids should go to the opera in HK--there are so many subtitles that the libretto is not projected on top of the stage but on the side in English, Chinese and Italian. It's like attending an auction where worldwide currencies come on the monitor.
Some great, new phrases I learned that DO NOT include the word FUCK:
sausages and beans (men's private parts)-apparently this is an old term accdg to my husband who studied Latin
a week in the snow - a week's worth of cocaine. I think Celine would have learned that here in London
Virginia killer sticks - this is the BEST! (for the under 25s, this is from Virginia Slims which was a cigarette brand marketed to women in the 70s--NOT in THEIR 70s!)
The bonus: Ari Gold from Entourage is in it as a rocker's manager, Stringer Bell (from the Wire) plays a thief--what else? and Super Hands (from UK's Peep Show) plays a drug dealer because he looks like one to begin with.
Although there is NO REAL story and it seemed like Guy Ritchie had to end the film fast before Madonna got home, it is a joy to watch because of the script, relationships (Thandie Newton's accountant character married to a gay lawyer) and characters (Roman Abromovich, anyone? and Russian goons).
Oh and I highly recommend career girls to see this and observe Thandie Newton's YSL-ish wardrobe so you girls can get inspiration and get some power dressing tips and STOP looking like oficinistas in P(l)ains and Prints.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Now ain't Papa Brian DA MAN??? He really da man to break da baby momma story.
There's LOTS more where that came from, kids...ay--boys and girls..ay gheys...ay babies..ay mali!!!
Now a little about me and the baby momma's assertion that I am unhappy because I have no children unlike my more (re)productive relatives.
Unfortunately since da baby momma ain't in my inner circle, she does not know that I NEVER EVER WANTED TO HAVE CHILDREN. Just sex. Lots of it.
I disliked children from the time I was able to walk.
And unfortunately for da baby momma, she also had sex (perhaps a little too early and too suddenly not to think about birth control) and had a baby she probably (just MAY-BE) did not want to keep. I'm telling ya..being swept off your feet and into the bed only results in something you wanna sweep UNDER the bed.
At least I KEEP ALL MY DOGS in a manner only humans can be accustomed to!
I have to mention before the baby momma does, that I also had deer, owls, canaries, parakeets, a myna, a duck and an eagle in a past life.
YEP! My life is a real ZOO!
On a more continental European note, I was in Paris for the day and boy was it DIRTY!! If ever I go, I ain't evah getting down from the car!! Lanvin, Maria Luisa and Isabel Marant, come to (baby) momma....
Don't get me wrong. Paris is absolutely beautiful. I realized that Paris is truly feminine and London is its masculine counterpart. Just don't get out of votre voiture in Paris. Rome is merely an aging uncle that is starting to smell...
The Gard du Nord looked like a prison. When I held my ticket, I was expecting my name to be called next for the guillotine. Instead my name was called for a dry tuna sandwich at AutoGrill--gross!!!
So you can imagine how I LOVED the newly remodelled St Pancras station (see photo above) in Boris Johnson's London (ka-boarding eskwela of my husband). It looks like a mall/hotel and get this---the Eurostar arrivals had wood floors. They have Pain au Quotidien, the Belgian rustic restaurant chain sweeping Europe (there is a very charming outlet with a garden in West Hollywood).
I've been seeing such great improvements in London in the last two years ---T5, John Lewis and the Connaught now have airconditioning, the Savoy is getting a beautiful face lift and now this....
The former colonies are great, too--HK is always fab and Sydney has a drop dead beautiful Marc Newson first class lounge and Qantas is looking very spiffy down to their toilet kit with Korner beauty products and designer uniforms.
Okay--Cathay's free stuff are HORRIBLE!! The first class bag is from Ipanema looks like an African school project but the contents are Darphin (v good). The Business Class bag is nice--agnes b. with Murad or Dermalogica depending on the route (inbound or outbound--or rebound)
Don't get me started on the Shanghai Tang pajamas because I think CX does not know that Mao has already left the building with Elvis, Dodi and Diana and John Lennon.
O--shia--I better get going and start gathering all the news not fit to print....
And why was Mo Twister bullied by the Gucci Gang (uso pa ba ang Gucci dapat mag-Vanessa Bruno or Comptoir des Cotonniers na kayo, ha...Cheaper pa! ?)??? Don't they do enough bullying online?
Yan lang pow....