Archive for the ‘fashion’ Category

dilemma of craft vs. cheap

Monday, January 4th, 2010


When I was at mall last week in search for an inexpensive dress for New Years, I saw a very familiar knit ‘hat’ in one of the teeny-bopper stores. It was the EXACT SAME style, hand-knit hat that I had bought just last year around Christmas time from Volang, during my (seemingly annual) trip to Union Square, NYC.

Of course, this mass produced product, selling at the mall was less than one-third the price of hat from Volang where, at the Christmas stall, I was able to chat with the craftswoman who made the very hat I wear during these cold months. I suppose this goes hand-in-hand with knock-off and counterfeit luxury brand items. But, at what point does one go for quality and personal touch over price? People want to be fashionable, yet purchase items that are affordable. And even if items are affordable and supporting independent artists and designers, they’re hard to locate. There are very few outlets other than Etsy, which has been saturated with “junk” where people can purchase or browse independent designs. You could try checking out Supermarket, but the best part of experiencing the craftsmanship is actually getting to touch and feel the products! Oh the dilemma…! end rant.

On a side note, the reason I really enjoy shopping so much when traveling is because it allows me to explore new (or old) cities, while hunting for specialty items.. (outside of touristy areas, of course!) Can’t wait for the new adventures that 2010 hold 🙂 Stay tuned!

ABC (Already Been Chewed) Cookie Cutters and Uniqueness

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010


Hoping that everyone had a great holiday season and a wonderful new year!

I was itching to make this post earlier, but couldn’t give away the gift I used for my family Secret Santa. So, here it is -adorable holiday cookie cutters by WorldwideFred that were found during holiday shopping in NYC. Oddly (or not so oddly), I found them at Henri Bendel, located at 712 5th Avenue.

Initially, I would have never expected such a quirky gift from a prestigious fashion retailer, but after being delighted to have found a unique gift, I made the connection –uniqueness. Retailers are constantly on the search to differentiate themselves and be trend setters. They need to offer clients and customers a reason to come back. Is that reason pure product quality? Affordability? Luxury? Variety? It’s a combination of a many differentiators which range from the convenience of a one-stop-shop or being a specialty store to selling the customer service experience. Regardless the exact strategy at Henri Bendel, I was happily surprised and excited to have found WorldWideFred products there and would certainly go back to find that ‘special’ gift. It seems like a mission accomplished for both retailer and gift-hunter.

just for fun: Swings

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Who doesn’t like swings? They were always my favorite at the playground!

This project is a study into different ways of bringing play back into public space. It focuses on ways of incorporating incidental play in the public realm by not so much as having separate play equipment that dictates the users but by using existing furniture and architectural elements that indicate playful behaviour for all.

via DesignVerb (more…)

NYC weekend recap: shopping

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Shopping finds at the Union Square Holiday Market:


#1 Hand knitted hats from Volang.


#2 Buddy Scarves from Bearhands


#3 Swarovski jewelry by Marv Graff (no website yet), but definitely gorgeous. Image via iiivko.

Color + Play (at the ICA!)

Thursday, December 4th, 2008


I bought my ticket last night to attend the Design + Play talk, as part of the ICA/AIGA design series at the ICA Boston on Thursday, December 11. And this morning, a Core77 post about the overload of Pantone Color Swatch products got me thinking… and noticing…


Is this a Pantone thing? or something Apple started..?


Too Late watch via YankoDesign


F22 iPhone sleeve by FREITAG via SwissMiss

[Edit: Nope, it’s a Teague thing, learn more about color from Wired via Core77]

TopShop USA

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

TopShop now has a US site to shop at online! If you don’t know TopShop, the best way to describe it would be the H+M of the UK. Love it! (oh how I miss London…)

But wait! TopShopNYC is coming this fall… a good reason for a roadtrip 😛


DIY: 30-second skirt

Friday, May 2nd, 2008


via CuteCircuit

trendy food goes green

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Last night my chef-cousin, took me out for a belated birthday at a new restaurant called Achilles-Project/Persephone. The concept is quite interesting, trendy food and atmosphere that’s eco-conscious combined with a retail environment. Who would have thought? Plus video games. What more does one need? Food. Fun. Shopping.


Above image: sliding concept- tables push together or separate to accommodate small and large parties. This sliding concept carries through other aspects: clothes racks slide on ceiling tracks to make room for video game playing and sliding chalk board covers the window between the kitchen and dining room. Subtle and well thought out.

Now, onto the food. Great, simple presentation. Elegant. On the other hand, I was not blown away by the food itself. Lumiere in Newton (run by the same chef) was much better.
Weird food: I love trying. Below is the “beef bone-marrow”. I’ve only ever had it before in Chinese soup. This time around was not expected- too much salt and butter with the consistency of bone-marrow (which is like mushy-fat…yum) was not too yum, as it felt like we were actually eating fat.



Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh. We did have a good experience and I would certainly go back for the interesting cocktails and atmosphere rather than for the pure food experience.

high art meets high fashion

Monday, March 10th, 2008

natick_dress.jpg natick_dress2.jpg

I was shopping at the Natick Collection this weekend and was surprised by an art display right in the middle of the mall. The venue of The Dress Project is an interesting choice. The first thing that came to my mind was the mall environment, which brings attention to the commercialization of fashion meeting the expression of art through fashion. More interesting is the artist’s inspiration, drive, and thought provoking message of femininity within today’s society with the medium of found materials. On the other hand, these dresses were just awesome to see.