Wednesday, 7 October 2009

My fashion (non)sense 2


Dear all, alas this is another article that appeared in my column last week..  It is my take on fashion.  I am still bogged down with this and that, more this than that! *sigh!*

For someone so sartorially challenged, an assignment to cover fashion shows can be quite an ordeal.  For a start you've got to understand clothes, if not fashion and not understanding both can be a disaster.  I wear what is comfortable although that could mean a style, if you can call it such, that belongs to yesteryears' wardrobes and should just remain there. Colourwise, I am an autumn kind of person regardless of season.

So you can imagine the kind of challenges that London Fashion Week brings. An invite used to send me into a panic mode of what to wear befitting such a celebrated and much publicised event.  But looking back, I shouldn't have been so worried as apart from the eyes and cameras being trained on to the catwalks, there are many interesting and headline grabbing distractions that no one actually cares what you wear or don't wear.  If the designer is an A list designer such as Zandra Rhodes or Viviene Westwood, then you can be sure that the front row will be filled with the likes of Anna Wintour, Victoria Beckham and of course our very own Datuk Jimmy Choo.  And of course, fashion writers and editors such as Hilary Alexander who can make or break a designer with just her intro.

It was indeed the shoe Guru himself who introduced me to the London Fashion Week where supermodels such as Naomi Campbell and Jodie Kidd would wear his stilletos as they sashayed up and down the catwalk. And tailing him from show to show afforded me a glimpse of life backstage and if I was lucky, I got to be up close and personal with models and even designers. 

As LFW celebrated its 25th year and as it drew to a close last weekend, I began reflecting on the first ever fashion show I attended some ten years ago.

It was quite an eye opener to see fashion and how fashion is translated into statements on the catwalks of one of the world's fashion capitals. There are fashion concepts that remain concepts and certainly not for wearing to your local down the road or even to an evening function.  There are fashion statements that are only good for debates in the newspapers and fashion magazines and still not very wearable even to a fancy dress party.  And wearing these statements and concepts are usually models so gaunt and thin you can see their ribs sticking out.  Instead of gliding up and down the catwalks, they stomp unsmiling and not unlike Russian soldiers marching.

Indeed there was quite a furore some years back when models starved themselves to fit into size 00 and tragically died as a result!

And just when you thought you could see some decent curves and flesh back on the catwalks, a row erupted because some people were very much against size 14 models, the argument given was that size 14 models couldn't walk properly!  

I remember one year when I was allowed backstage and saw stick-ons being creatively stuck on models to cover strategic places so as not to totally offend.  And that got away as a fashion show.

Anyway, over the years, I began to look forward to attending fashion shows not so much because of the clothes on show but because of the side shows provided by fashionistas who either want to be noticed by the press or model wannabes trying to get the attention of agents. Outrageous and creative in their attires, they go from show to show and whet up the audience's appetite before the real show starts. 

Who's that girl?
This season, I wasn't disappointed.  An apparition in a spiky see through shimmering number sashayed to the front row, only stopping to pose for photographers.  The question on everybody's lips was who was the headturner with bright red lipstick and chestnut shoulder length bob that contrasted sharply with the dark healthy beard framing his face.  He took a seat near Michelle Collins of Destiny's Child and basked in the limelight before the show began.  I gathered enough courage and asked him about his curious sense of fashion.
With Andre J at Bernard Chandran's show


"I love to make people happy.  Its about joy and spreading happiness," says Andre J, a New York based party promoter, who had been on the cover of French Vogue and according to one report had worked with Sex and the City stylist, Patricia Field.

This year's event also saw the presence of another celebrity of The Big Brother fame in a shocking pink attire which made her look like a chicken. I knew I shouldn't have worried about my fashion non-sense.







My fashion photography sucks (above) ! But this  (below) is not too bad.  


                                                                                                                                                                                              

But I love this close-up of a model back stage. What do you think Steven?                


                                                                                                                      
                                         Kak Teh's other fashion (non) sense at Eric Way's show some years back


42 comments:

GUiKP said...

In Milan, it is impossible not to notice the semi naked Beckhams. They are everywhere, clad only in dreamy Armani undies and bra.

Naz said...

I used to wonder when I look at style magazines or catalogues..*who would wear such a thing? It's not practical at all! Even OTT!*
That was until I came here and see that the Nordic capital is actually populated by runway models. Tall, slim and blonde...they sashayed around in effortless chic. Everything just looks right on them.
Aghhh! NOT fair!! ;D

Pi Bani said...

Yand dok posing dengan Andre J tu fashionist mai dari mana pulak?

Ms B said...

KT,

I LOVE the dress (2nd last pic, on the runway)!!!! Who's the designer? I need to start looking soon.

Madam Tai Tai No More said...

Kak Teh, another new title to add to your list of accolades - you are now the blogland's official fashionista!!

Envy..envy! Got see Victoria Beckham or not?

D said...

Kak Teh, I thought YOU were the model!!

Ah.. fashion shows with super-skiny-but-sometimes-drop-dead-gorgeous girls! You know what they say, 'kalau dah lawa, pakai guni beras pun lawa jugak...'. hehe! :)

Zendra said...

Fashion shows as I understand, are where designers show off their clothes. But I tend to look at the models instead be they male or female, whenever the fashion channel happens to be on. Ah well, will never be able to afford the clothes anyway - and where to wear them to even.

3yearshousewife said...

Size 14 caused a furore? Wah, mmg sah lah tak leh jadi model. Model dapur kat rumah je lah.

Lyana Mauseth said...

dear kak teh,

here in msia, i see in KL (last year i was there), the fashion started to be out of place...once we were at mamak in bangsar..a malay girl was sitting in front of our table...giggling with her friends and tanpa menyedari yg half of her a** is out of her super duper tight jeans!! i nak mkn pun x lalu..kalau ye pun nak mengikut britney atau christina punya style, xkan la ke mamak pun nak dress maut mcm tu kan...so geli la...

kat norway pulak, the girls are sooo desperate to be in with fashion..i see my stepsons friends, pakaian dah tah apa2 and that makes them look older than their actual age...and their mothers on the other hand, dress up mcm teenagers...confuse sekejap i tgk haha....the teenagers want to be adults and adults want to be teenagers again...

and as for me...errr what is fashion??? i dah tak tau apa nak kata...org sibuk pakai baju raya latest design, i masih terkapai2 haha

tireless mom said...

Hi Kak Teh,

Not bad for someone who understands the fashion from the yesteryears. Andre J ni Miss J kat Tyra Banks show tu kan.

D.N.A.S said...

Kak Teh, I pun fashion unconscious. Still wearing scarves and blouses from the 1990s....

Size 14 and above don't have to be on the runway lah, coz most of us are busy running the country. Betul tak? Hehehehe.

And Alhamdulillah there's Marks and Spencer, Debenham and Ms Read stores here in Malaysia, otherwise I mesti kena pakai guni beras ke ofis.

Kak Teh said...

GUiKP, i darent imagine semi naked beckhams. mrs beckham is all skin and bones, no?

Naz, the norwegians must be better dressed then the Brits, sini depa selekeh sangat, esp when compared to Parisians.

The fashion shows that I attended luckily had some very wearable ones, not just concepts. ...but bukanlah bermakna kak teh boleh pakai, kan? nak masuk sebelah lengan pun tak boleh!

Kak Teh said...

Pi Bani, yang dengan Andre j tu model tambahan - sebagai gantai kalau jadi apa-apa kat model yang macam lidi tu! Macam understudy lah, hehe!

Ms B, that one is Ashley Isham's. You are in luck as he is based here. hmmmm, yes, start looking and I bet it is going to be exciting. Bagi tahu awal-awal so that I can get my labuciiied kebaya ready.

Kak Teh said...

MTTNM, no, i didnt see Mrs beckham. she goes to those shows where you have to book way in advance and I am not that keen anymore.

D, kak teh nak model juga - tapi yang saiz 18! takut semua lari pulak. Ada model saiz 14 pun ramai dah mogok.

Kak Teh said...

zendra, kita boleh tengok saja laaa. For me, kalau tak kena pergi, i tak akan pergi, In fact, this year, i didnt apply for any passes. dah tak ada excitement lagi dah. Lagi-lagilah bila tengok baju-baju yang dalam seribu tahun pun tak boleh pakai.

3yrshousewife, kak teh pun tumpang jadi model ceruk dapor! gliding anmd sashaying up and down in my baju kelawar!

Kak Teh said...

lyana, kak teh pun tak faham pesyen-pesyen la ni. jeans koyak pun mahai! lagi banyak koyak rabak, lagi mahai. Kak teh pun pakai baju kebaya zaman dulu. selalu bila balik malaysia, orang kata ketinggalan zaman - sebab masih suka pakai baju lama. Tak pa laa asalkan bahagia.

TM, TM, TM! thanks for reminding me- I knew he/she looked so familiar - and I must have seen ms j ni in Tyra banks' show. But dalam wikipedia tak sebut pun.

Kak Teh said...

DNAS, my sister kata kak teh pakai tudung macam nak pi pasar! padahal balik beli bermacam2 tudung - munawarahlah, ekinlah, arianilah..tapi pakai masih macam nak ke pasar - that is my fashion (non)sense!

Kak Teh said...

Tireless Mum, I have checked - Andre J is not Miss J from Tyra Banks show - Miss J is alexander J - two different people.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Kak Teh,
Nasib baik saya kucing. Tak payah pakai baju...or is that a fashion statement too?
We've been seeing too many fashion victims here. Urgh....I guess since we're so far away from Europe, the fashion is at least a season old. No, more like, a decade old. meow!

Kak Teh said...

Cats-in-Sydney, nasib baik kak teh ada lima kucing. depa tak gaduh nak baju baru. Yang empat anak tu yang kacau - ada yang hantu kasut, ada yang hantu beg dan ada yang hantu seluar koyak.

mamasita said...

Kak Teh..after reading your entry,I salute you..you boleh buat macam2..so versatile..covering a fashion show where your attire is so very opposite to what thats sashayed is an incredible feat! And you buat semacam with your own style and chic..well done sifu!!

Kak Teh said...

mamasita, the interesting thing abt fashion shows is that there are many people in very strange costumes and outfits, so i didnt feel quite out of place. I am very plain in my baju's and tudung. But I did get a "assalamualaikum" from one in the audience. masa events tu - bulan puasa pulak. so tengah-tengah fashion show baru boleh buka puasa!

Pat Ong said...

Kak Teh, you have such a glam job! Can we swap places?!...hehehe ;)*going green with envy*

Kak Teh said...

Pat Ong, no need to go green with envy laaa! Am too old to be running around fashion shows. The last few years I used to see an old Chinese or perhaps Japanese lady on the circuit. Now, she is no where to be seen. May be she has retired and many fashion show journalists are young ones....argggggggghhhh!

come, lets swap places, especially if you have one of those executive chair and table where I can rest my feet.

NanaDJ said...

Kak Teh,
I used to be quite keen on fashion shows - at one time it was the in thing in KL to have luncheon shows - but now I find them such a bore. Dah tua kot!
Good for you, today fashion show tomorrow warships perhaps - all rounderlah Kak Teh ni. Tak lakulah my children...

Kak Teh said...

nanaDJ, i pun rasa tua dah nak buat kerja2 macam ni - the buzz is no longer there. I spoke to a friend i met at the fashion show circuit, he feels the same. Like, been there done that. seen it all.

pasai pulak anak you tak laku?, hehe..that's a cryptic line.

svllee said...

Nice backstage shot of the face..a bit blurry but hey..its the atmosphere you create right? Nice write-up ! And thanks for the link also.

Kak Teh said...

Steven, at last someone noticed the face! and it has got to be you...are you back? Love your pix too - must learn more abt photography but NOT fashion photography. They are too fast for me....the models.

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hello Kak Teh, can u imagine a kampung boy like Tommy transformed from a backwater Malaysian Apek to an impeccable English gentleman (term is - DisORIENTATed…hehehe) after getting modelled up by the tailors of Savile Row like Hardy Amies & Nutters??? Neither can I, it'll be macam itu story of ugly duckling la!

Cheerio,

Tommy
P/S - Luv ur hubby's book GUIT

Kak Teh said...

Tommy YF, h, at last you found the way to my blog! I share your sentiment - A mak cik can be around the fashion circuit a hundred times, but she will still be a mak cik - macam nak pi pasar!

Oh so, you read GUiT? thanks - some more royalty for catfood!

Pak Zawi said...

Kak Teh,
Came in earlier but there were not so many photos.
Next time if Steven won't photograph for you, Pak Zawi will be your photographer. I will fly all the way to London just to shoot for you.
Yes, Like Steven I too love that facial shot at backstage.

Kak Teh said...

Pak Zawi , you can be my photographer anytime!!

actually, steven has been most helpful and had shared his beautiul pictures with me. We attended one show and gatecrashed another..hehe! Malaysian style.

Andrea Wh@tever said...

Kak Teh: I happen to have an identical pink dress like that lady in the pic, somewhere in an old trunk in the garage of my ex-husband's house in Chelsea. *chuckles* Am going to get him to take it out and have it sent over.. high fashion now, yo!

Kak Teh said...

Andrea, I'll go over to Chelsea and get it for you! hehe! wouldnt i like to see you in it. or we can be a pair of chicks and walk down sloane square.

Kitchen Guardian said...

kak teh,

andre j ni pompuan ka lelaki?

bestnya dapat pi such functions...am not a fashion person at all, i can wear whatever i like selagi dia tak koyak...and the same goes with hangbags and shoes, and hey kita share same colour liking... autum. i beli instyle mag almost every month and i notice we can't go wrong with our colours all time evergreen be it autum winter or summer!

Kak Teh said...

KG, Andre ni lelaki - tengok dekat-dekat sikit --dia ada janggut.

Kak teh pun mana ada fashion sense -ikut saja apa yang dan. kekadang tudung pun tak kena colour. tak palah asalkan bahagia!

masterwordsmith said...

Lovely post...you are so blessed and gifted too! Take care and have a great week!

Salam

MY HOMESTAY said...

Salam Kak Teh..greeting from Deen in Golden Sand (Pasir Mas). I am amateur artist and Kama bought one of my painting ~ Buah Seto Tok Ma~ Have nice day and welcome to my gallery Heritage Art Gallery in Pasis Mas. Seronok ye tinggal kat UK..

Deen

Kak Teh said...

Paula, thanks for kind words. I am so busy right now that I dont have time to update. There's so much to write about yet.....sigh!

Kak Teh said...

Deen, I have seen your work of art and indeed I love the painting that Puteri kama bought. Insyaallah when we do go back again in the near future, we will try to visit your studio.Thanks for the visit to my blog.

MY HOMESTAY said...

Kak Teh..thanks for your support. My gallery is not far from Rantau Panjang..thanks..u're welcome

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