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Monday, May 21, 2007

Style In Brief


>>The long and short of it: Take your pick of longer shorts from the philosophy-Men Short Circuit collection.

Look hot in shorts no matter what the occasion.

SHORTS are cutting a stride in style this season, with a panache not seen since bicycle shorts turned the wheels of fashion fast and furious.

And not a moment too soon.

With the mercury testing new heights daily and global climate change hogging the headlines, the look is a shortcut to relief from the heat and damp.

But then again some of you guys might say you wouldn't be caught dead in shorts, It's not very flattering with flabby, skinny, knock kneed or bow-legged limbs, you protest? Or it could be that you like to look debonair and stylish and shorts are just too casual-looking, perhaps?

Well, this bow-legged writer says comfort beats out making an impression. Besides, it's all about how you carry yourself, isn't it?

What's more, if you want style and sophistication, there's quite a few designs out there. Label lovers can take their pick from designers who have gotten into the shorts thing this season.

Among local brands, look no further than philosophy-Men with their collection called Short Circuit. There's a pair for every bloke, insists the brand's co-founder Allan Chan. The collection features streamlined shapes, cut lean and low, of all lengths.

"The key to beating the scorching heat in shorts, and in style, is in the cut, colour and cloth. They come in heavyweight natural fabrics as we believe men do not want yards of light, shiny fabric flapping around their legs."

He suggests navy for smart engagements, or khaki or beige for day-to-day. For the urban smart look, pair shorts with a striped button-down shirt or light knitted vest, leather belt and soft leather shoes.

There's nothing wrong with looking casual, as long as the shorts and tees are not dirty and unkempt.

"Always buy shorts an inch too big (for waist size) and wear them looser and lower on the hip for a contemporary fit" is Chan's final tip.

Seed has also gone with the trend, with the 1980s and preppy look.

Look like a smart campus jock in a blazer and striped cotton Oxford shirt matched with denim shorts. Or go fur gym shorts that are, erm, short.

Jackets are really the way to go with shorts, this season, for a look that's more formal but yet not so uptight. You can match a denim or biker jacket with sporty cotton shorts if you really want to look casual. Or opt for shorts with a matching suit jacket and gold sneakers.

You can also go High Street. Topman has shorts in stylish finely striped cotton. Or get hip and funky in lime-green bermudas paired with a white single (a Topman one that is, not a Pagoda top) and along-sleeved mesh design with plunging V-neck.

There's also tile option for tile part-skater, part-surf look with print board shorts matched with shocking pink tee.

But you can always go for the surfer/beach look (never mind if you're stuck on urban turf ) by checking out Reef's offerings. They have twill board shorts and walking shorts in ethnic prints, destination- inspired graphics and floral prints. With the right shades you don't even need a pair of skates or a surfing board, dude. Cowabunga!

If you have the moolah, there's always the designer option. If you're young (rich goes without saying) and love to while the day away at cool cafes, then Gucci has some chic choices.

There's the turn-up pair with built-in fabric belt matched with rocker vest, Or try on for size the tight-tight teeny-weeny suede pants that you can match with just about anything and still come out looking hot.

For slightly older guys, Valentino can't be beaten. Try the grey turn-up cotton shorts with tight tank and croco-leather jacket. Or opt for the white cotton shorts - stylish yet casual - worn with a tie-dye shirt.

And yeah, we know you sophisticated guys like to hang out at the beach. One could swear the striped rainbow print on Paul Smith's drawstring shorts debuted on a shirt design seasons back. But hey, it still looks good. But to be really nautically inspired, try on his ship blueprint drawstring shorts.

To cut a long story short, pictures speak best for themselves, as you see. For sure, shorts are not just for Boy Scouts this season.



>>Smart: Seed’s matching jacket and shorts.


>>Bare essentials: Turn-up shorts with built-in fabric belt worn with rocker vest from Gucci.


>>Cool cat: Turn-up cotton shorts matched with tight tank and croco-leather jacket from Valentino.


>>Colourful: Board shorts from Reef.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Train-Spotting


Well-executed:
Brocade and songket from the Noor Arfa label made a splash.

At the the annual Malaysian Official Designers' Association show, S.S. YOGA discovered some gems - and some discards.

ARE you a fan of trains? And by that, I don't mean moving carriages. Trains, in this instance, refer to that long piece of cloth that trails a gown.

At the recent Malaysian Official Designers' Association (MODA) 2007 show, dubbed Fashion Gateway, trains ruled the night. And what's a Malaysian fashion show without lots of chiffon, sequins and embellishments? There was also plenty of metallic shine.

Designers Michael Ong, Orson Liyu, Carven Ong and Amanda Brown, among others, came up with their own variations of the train. Some chose to create unusual versions.

Dominique Chan, last year's debutant, showed off a voluminous gown but thankfully, departed from his usual bride in white. His creations were satin chocolate brown with white motifs that stood out.

Orson Liyu's train and his pure black creations were stunning. It clearly illustrated that good fashion sense lies in the cut and structure, and one doesn't need excessive detailing to win over the buyer. He also incorporated draping and wrap styles in his capes.

That was another technique used by quite a few of the designers in the show. Amanda Brown continued her flirtation with denim, while Bon Zainal took his inspiration from James Bond and came up with debonair suits for men and women.

For a moment, it seemed that the Looi sisters had made a pact and fused some of their signature looks into each other's designs. Beatrice's glamorous gowns, all in black, had touches of embroidered details that were more Melinda-like while Melinda's usual Gothic, earthy ethereal look was somewhat toned down and more commercial. Many of the designers favoured black or white, or dashes of both in their designs. Jonathan Cheng's creations were all white with a dash of black. They were playful and very 50s. Lester Wong opted for ochre coloured creations with metallic bits thrown in for that extra sparkle. Michael Ong, on the other hand, painted the town red with his dramatic chiffon numbers.

Since Datuk Tom Abang Saufi has gone British just like fellow Datuk, Bernard Chandran, she no longer banks on her trademark pua motifs. Her designs were more urban contemporary, and her mostly black and white outfits were very current and wearable.

Daniel Cho got the crowd roaring especially with his male model in a skimpy pair of trunks but that's Cho - always the showman. And talking about showmanship, the night belonged to Richard Tsen who adopted the avant-garde approach with his take on the flapper look with what appeared like huge curled wood shavings. Accompanied by a singer, it certainly won the crowd over with a sporting Tsen doing a jig at the end. If this were Designer Idol, he would definitely be safe for the next round.

We've had some hideous and yucky creations from a "cyber" designer before so perhaps Cherman Woon wanted to show him a thing or two with his version of futuristic wear.

Anita Sarawak probably inspired Bill Keith, so if you think you have a bit of "Anita" in you, you know what to wear. This is not some small-time local awards show so you would think that designers should know that they are not designing for some minor starlet.

Last year, a particular designer brought out clothes that seemed more at home in the pasar malam (night market). Although his creations looked a little better this year, they weren't anything to shout about.

Some of our local designers appear to be stuck in a rut. Rather than using the same formula all the time, they should think out of the box if they hope to take things to the next level.

An interesting capsule collection by Heidi Koh, last year's winner of the Malaysian Young Designers' Competition (MYDC), kicked off the night's events and this was followed by a single creation from this year's 12 finalists. Yee Kar Juen's edgy yet very wearable raw knit creation won the award. He also took home the total look prize.

Thirty designers were involved in the showcase. A showing by eight brands was held before the main event. This showcase put some of the individual designers' efforts to shame. It was good that each designer only exhibited three to four outfits. Otherwise, it would have been excruciating.

Jarumas did pretty well, demonstrating that there are stylish and elegant options for modern Muslim women. The traditional baju from Noor Arfa, which had songket and brocade put to good use, produced lovely results.

Sarawakian label, Von Jolly, saw imaginative use of colour and the Renaissance-inspired gown was a knockout with its many shades and elaborate embroidery. It was also good to see Jendela Batik showing off two non-batik outfits from their men's wear line, proving they're not just all about batik.

Zang Toi ended the night with a set of classy lilac numbers.



Gothic:
Design by Beatrice Looi.(left)
Inspired: Orson Liyu come up with one of the best night.


Go with the flow:
Dominique Chan makes another impressive statement.


Chic:
Daniel Chong's suede creation.


Minimalist approach:
You can always count on designer Daniel Choo to make the audience go 'whoa'.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Turning 10 In Star Studded Fasion

Celebrity models show off MNG's latest collection during anniversary celebration

CAMERAS flashed and heads turned as the crowd marveiled at the models, including Amber Chia, sashaying down the catwalk all decked, out in clothes and accessories from MNG’s spring/Summer 2007 Collection.

MNG (also known as Mango), the well-known Spanish fashion label for young, urban women, recently held its 1Oth anniversary celebration at Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, which featured a fashion show of its latest collection.

The hotel's grand ballroom was turned into a fashion catwalk for the night, complete with stylish backdrop and upbeat music, as emcee Serena C gave an introduction to what MNG's Spring/Summer 2007 Collection had to offer.

The collection includes eight key trends - Style Council, Sporty Deluxe, Jane Birkin, Basquiat, Bauhaus, Sweetness of Life, The Artist Muse and Minimal Ethnic - each with its own inspiration, colour palette and fabrics.

Style Council takes its inspiration from the 60s updated in a sophisticated urban look, with flared mini-dresses as the key element.

Clothes from The Artist Muse are likened to blank canvases decorated with strong brush strokes with a vaguely 50s silhouette, while Sporty Deluxe's fashionwear take references from 80s sportswear, mixed with the pure lines of the 60s.

The urban, minimalist look of Minimal Ethnic is inspired by trips to Africa, where linen and cotton clothes are enriched with abstract animal prints or subtle ethnic patterns.

Sweetness of Life provides a breath of flesh air in the heat of summer, with naive prints in shades of apple green combined with garments in white and cocoa.

Basquiat derives its style by fusing together influences like New Wave, hip hop and early 80s art scene, as well as the trend towards sportswear, as shown at the New York catwalk shows for spring/summer 2007.

Russian constructivism and the Bauhaus movement (an influential element in Modernist architecture) have been used as a source of inspiration for the Bauhaus trend, which has a mix of masculine and feminine looks.

Jane Birkin is a collection named after Jane Birkin, a style icon and muse of the 60s and 70s. The main colour option for this trend are flame red and white, while crochet adds a hippy edge to the more structured 60s look.

The celebration also featured several celebrities modelling clothes and accessories from MNG, including Marion Caunter, Celina Khor, Daphne lking, Elaine Daly, Jojo Struys, Carmen Soo, Jaclyn Victor, Miss Malaysia/World 2006 Adeline Choo and Miss Malaysia/World 2005 Emmeline Ng.

More information about Adeline Choo

"Hitting the 10th-year mark is an achievement for any retail brand in today's competitive scene, but to stay on top of our peers as well as to remain the trendsetter is an amazing feat," said MNG division denior vice president for Asia, Australia and Oceania Ivy Lee.

"We are also happy to announce that this is also a year of celebration for the Mango brand worldwide as we hit our 1,000th store mark two months ago.

"We see every step as a challenge to set higher goals and that's the reason we are still keeping with the aggressive rhythm of opening more than 120 stores every year."


Star-studded: MNG division senior vice-president for Asia, Australia and Oceania Ivy Lee (sixth from right) with the celebrity models and event's emcee, who are all decked out in MNG clothes and accessories. The celebrities are (from right) Marion Caunter, Celina Khor, Daphne Iking, Adeline Choo, Amber Chia, Emmeline Ng, Jaclyn Victor, Carmen Soo, Jojo Struys, Elaine Daly and Serena C.


Animal and patterns: Models striking a pose in garments from MNG's Minimal Ethnic collection.


1.Striking: Amber Chia sashaying down the catwalk in a dress and bag from MNG's Sporty Deluxe collection.
2.Shine out among the crowed: There is nothing monotonous about these grey, silver and white combinations from MNG's Spring/Summer 07 Collection.




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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

In Love With Linen

WHAT kind of fabric should you wear on a hot day? Malaysian weather requires us to wear lightweight fabric that has a soft texture of natural fibres to remain cool and comfortable.

There's one material that is right for our weatherlinen.

Linen is a comfortable fabric that conducts heat to provide a cool feeling on the skin.

It is suitable for the outdoors and helps you stay comfortable in the hot weather.

Head to Vivid at Bangsar Village 2 for a wide range of linen clothing.

Vivid is a boutique specialising in linen wear created for men and women, with sizes ranging from XS to XXXXL.

Vivid's linen wear collection is trendy and has subtle earth tones to brilliant colours, hence its name.

You can even match the different colours according to your mood.

Whether you are meeting friends at the beach, dining outdoors, cruising or even shopping in the afternoon, linen is made for any occasion.

All the linen at Vivid are pre-washed and of high quality. The folds are double stitched for durability and can be dry cleaned or hand washed. Do you know that linen naturally tend to feel softer over time? So, the more you wear, the more comfortable it becomes.

Men will find linen wear perfect during a day out on the golf course or even when driving a convertible with its top down.

Linen is highly absorbent and will quickly remove perspiration from the skin as it gains up to 20% moisture without feeling damp. Linen is less likely to cling to the skin and when there's a breeze, linen dries quickly.

Needless to say everyone needs to have linen wear in their wardrobe, especially with Malaysia's hot and humid weather.

Vivid successfully transforms linen wear that jazzes up your wardrobe. Choose from an array of colourful, comfortable and stylish selection of clothes.


Linen Selection: Vivid has a variety of stylish tops and bottoms to choose from

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Personal Touch

TAKE time to sit along the aisle of all the fashion runways in Paris, Milan, London and New York, and you will notice one similarity - models wearing a lot of accessorises.

From the olden days of the ancient Chinese civilisation where beautiful maiden girls wore dangly jade headpieces and necklaces, to the centuries old Mayan tribes where skeletons and animal bones were strewn together as trophy frills worn by warriors, accessories have always remain an element that enhances a person's appearance and charisma.

With gradual evolvement and advancement of the human culture, accessorising has become a way of life.

Be It If one were to go for a stroll at the mall, or a trip to a fancy restaurant or even a close friend's wedding dinner, girls (and women) take necklaces, bracelets and other dazzling trimmings seriously.

Females nowadays want to feel special, they don't want to be spotted wearing the same dress (analogous to what you see among celebrities in gossip magazines), and neither do they want to be

seen wearing the same necklace or bracelet worn by another fashion compatriot.

Hence, accessories are now converging towards unique, one-and-only handcrafted designs that won't hurt the purse too much. Throw in the element of customisation and personalisation to the wearer's preference - and girls just love it!

Say hi to Beadazzle & Co – a business that is committed to giving fashion-conscious accessories like no other.

From the zany colours of bright saffron to the deep soulful tones of midnight ash, Beadazzle &. Co's designs are eye-catching and avant-garde. With strong emphasis on the use of semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls and swarovski crystals, their designs are the epitome of practical beauty.

With most pieces giving the wearer a versatile look - for the right occasion, mixing and matching with various outfits is easier than ever.

"For example, a chic necklace worn to work can easily be converted to an alluring piece fit for a gala event later in the evening – by attaching an 'add-on' pendant drop," said Margaret Choy, resident Creative Director of Beadazzle & Co.

Beadazzle &, Co also carries a limited edition interchangeable bracelet-necklace range. Depending on one's mood, the bracelet can alternatively be worn as a necklace.

They also design and conduct bead jewellery designing courses for beading enthusiasts.

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