Tuesday, April 19, 2011


HONG KONG-I thought it would be a good time to mention 3Fs --fashion, (non) fiction and face.

(NON) FICTION - "The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It" by Tilar Mazzeo is short, chatty but factual considering how little material the author had to go on concerning women entrepreneurs in Napoleonic and post-N France. In it we find out that Marie-Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin was also a Ruinart, THE original champagne making family with links to the legendary Dom Pierre Perignon (and everything we know is really legend because champagne was funny enough, developed in England). She was to blaze the trail for other female producers of bubbly we know and love---such as Lily Bollinger and Mathilde-Emile Laurent-Perrier. Before The Donald there was 'The Veuve' (widow) Cliquot who is known to be the first celebrity businesswoman and marketer par excellence---she created her own bottles to the shape we know today, 'branded' and physically labelled her products for distinction but it was her immediate successor who chose the bright colour, that of yolks from the eggs of Bresse chickens, that we know and love today.

Another book I highly recommend but have not finished (I have 95 more nights to go) is the one below. The title is self-explanatory and because of the tiny size of my brain, I am reading one item every night while I am here in HK. It is amazing how in retrospect we really can sort of 'predict' what will happen by referring to history and yet history 'repeats itself' (not quite) because WE NEVER LEARN when all the answers have been thawed after the last Ice Age but I leave David Attenborough and National Geographic to tell you about that....

FASHION: SUPER A MARKET located behind Issey Miyake in Tokyo's most fashionable area, Minami-Aoyama (read: home to the Prada beehive igloo, Comme and Yohji). Super A is not a shop, it is an experience. The ground floor is laid out and edited like the dressing room of a chic European with casual style. You will find masstige labels like YSL, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs chosen with a great eye and merchandised together with fashion insider favourites with limited distribution like Thom Brown, Viktor and Rolf, John Smedley, Dries van Noten and Jean Paul Knott (whose clothes I dreamt about--and regretted not buying decades ago at Linda Dresner (now closed) in New York--- before I encountered this fabulous find of a shop)

If the ground floor is European, the second level is rich Californian hippie. Think Malibu,. Laurel Canyon and an attitude more Fred Segal than Fred Segal, Melrose and Sta Monica combined which only the Japanese can do. American vintage clothing and Rag and Bone, Acne, James Perse are laid out and styled more stylishly and more casually American that only, yes, the Japanese can do.

Super A Market (affiliated with Tomorrowland, www.tomorrowland.jp)
3-18-9 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku 107-0062

FACE: In my search for the best foundation, I must have at least 10 foundations of varying shades, textures and formula in every place I live. On top of them (literally) are the sponges and applicators ready for mold and amoeba experiments. But since discovering this miniscule tube (25 g, not enough for some people's coke habits) of CLE DE PEAU CREAM FOUNDATION, my next task is to bring myself to throw out every other foundation I own. (I apply it with a new slanted brush from Shiseido but I think any foundation brush will work just as well) I have also never used a loose powder finer and with a better texture than that of Cle de Peau. You only need to powder your face once (at the start after the foundation and before spackling on anything else) when you do your make-up. Years ago, I bought a top of the line Kanebo from Japan and thought that was the best but I guess the best was yet to come----last month at the fabulous Fukuya (more on that later plus the photo of this product--thanks to my technical ineptness).

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