Re-Orienting myself with Shanghai Tang


Babylon Of The Orient, The Shanghai Restoration Project  

I'm terribly proud of my Chinese heritage. It wasn't always so; in fact I'm ashamed to say that growing up amidst the tide of cosmopolitan revolution and the movement of international assimilation being too in touch with your roots was regarded as twee and perhaps a little...old fashioned. Of course when one gets a little older and a lot wiser one realises how important tradition is, quaintness be damned. I now openly and proudly embrace my love and fascination with all things Chinese; the language, the music, the history, and the fashion.

Regarding confusion about where I'm from; I am Malaysian Chinese. Malaysian refers to my kewarganegaraan (nationality) Chinese refers to my bangsa (ethnicity). 

So when Amber invited me for an afternoon of tea (and bubbles) to experience Shanghai Tang's Imperial Tailoring Service I couldn't say no. After all their motto is 'Re-Orient Yourself'. How terribly fitting for a repentant deserter like me. 
May 25, 2013

Re-Orienting myself with Shanghai Tang

Babylon Of The Orient,  The Shanghai Restoration Project    I'm terribly proud of my Chinese heritage. It wasn't always s...

'Festival des Métiers' ; a rendezvous with the Hermès craftspeople

As an artist I am especially interested in the process and technique involved in creating a work of art. There is a science behind everything; and proper understanding and application of this science is what makes magic happen. I once read that magic is poetry and math come together. On the topic of 'art' I think that's what Hérmes' creations are. There are those who dismiss Birkins and Kellys as overinflated, overhyped handbags, that you can buy leather handbags at; I don't know, Topshop? that serve the same purpose. To that I say, either you get it or you don't. They're not just things with handles that you shove stuff in...each Hérmes creation is a thing of beauty born of hours of dexterity, respect, incredible detail at the hands of highly skilled artisans who take pride in their perfect stitching and minute paint strokes. The difference here is respect for that kind of work, and it's that level of pride that makes a leather handbag or a silk scarf a work of art.

May 24, 2013

'Festival des Métiers' ; a rendezvous with the Hermès craftspeople

As an artist I am especially interested in the process and technique involved in creating a work of art. There is a science behind everyth...

Sunday Best: Pastels at The Ivy


SUNDAY BEST (n)
definition of SUNDAY BEST:
 Clothing suitable for churchgoing; esp : one's best clothing worn on Sundays and for special occasions 
[scrubbed behind the ears and with Eton collar and bow ie proclaiming this was Sunday best — K.D.Miller]
May 19, 2013

Sunday Best: Pastels at The Ivy

SUNDAY BEST (n) definition of SUNDAY BEST:  Clothing suitable for churchgoing;  esp   :  one's best clothing worn on Sundays...

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

I can hardly blame you for thinking that it's the latter, after all Shoreditch House on a hot and sunny London day can prove distracting. 


Least of all for the sight of dozens of hipsters (or at least their more affluent counterparts) adamantly resisting any physical strain on their part, instead stretching out their coloured-socked feet, and airing their plaid shirts and ambiguous sexual orientation to bask in the sun. 


The active man is a lonely one.

I celebrated a gloriously hot and beautiful day as I typically do. By moving my computer closer to the pool. And keeping my clothes on.


If only out of polite consideration for my fellow pool-goers, to spare them what I'm certain would be the blindingly bright reflection of the sun bouncing off my winter-pale flesh. When I swim my nickname is iceberg...because I'm big, I'm white, and I float.

In hindsight, working from Shoreditch House is far less distracting and much more comfortable when you're not lying on a deck chair by a big bowl of chlorine. If you want to get any work done, move downstairs. Or compromise, settle for a cocktail and pizza in the rooftop cafe slash bar.


I brought my Macbook, my freshly drafted layouts, and sketches to work on. Voulez-vous like to know what really needs working on? That awful chocolate stain on my Anya Hindmarch tote, just to the left of the Earl's head. Lesson learnt; never eat drippy chocolate donuts with your handbag on your lap while David Khoo Hsu Yang is driving.


Mason jars everywhere. Ladies and gentlemen, we are living in a Pinterest board.


A typically hard day at the office.



The chilli and passionfruit cocktail that razed my tongue to cinders. Note to self; stick to Diet Coke during working hours.

What I'm working on at the moment. All updates to be found on Facebook and on my illustration blog.



Shoreditch House, the modern (wo)man's summer office.

xx

May 02, 2013

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

I can hardly blame you for thinking that it's the latter, after all Shoreditch House on a hot and sunny London day can prove distracti...

Pancake Party

One does not realise what a blessing 'average health' is until one becomes ghastly ill. Simply put, "you don't know what 'chu got till it's gone" or in my case, until you have norovirus. The second half of last week was a completely write-off when I caught the highly infectious norovirus (yay!) and passed it on to my housemate who then took it a step further and then developed gastroenteritis. The damned house was like The Masque Of The Red Death, with everyone spasming, shuddering, and calling out for sweet, blessed release. All I can say is...thank God we have a bathroom each to ourselves. 


Overdramatic and gory imagery aside, the moment it all cleared up I seized---with newfound appreciation for the simple joy of no longer having to sleep by the toilet---my rediscovered freedom and the car keys, and sped away to the other side of town for a wholesome little Sunday brunch. Oh, the fresh air! Oh, to travel! Oh, to be able to operate heavy machinery!




The ecstatic face of one who's finally seen the sun after 3 painful days of abject physical punishment.

I picked up my mistresses from Dalston, to share with me my newly acquired freedom...


Barnsey hitting the roof hahaha.


In lieu of a group shot I (un)skilfully photoshopped Lucy in.


We arrived safely---why shouldn't we?---at Carlisle Mansions just in time for a light brunch, drinks, and  chatter.









Nick hard at work in the kitchen, making his famous pancakes. A man who can cook knows his way into a woman's heart.


Pancakes!

After half a week of surviving eating only medication and Vitacoco, these carbs were a welcome sight. Nutella, syrup, whipped cream, blueberries and strawberries...oh blessed day.



Any relation to you, Lady Butterworth



With Nick, who's so tall I have to stand on my tippy toes just so both our heads would fit in the picture.

I love wholesome, chilled out Sunday house parties, it's all incredibly laid-back, with none of the usual posturing and attempted one-uppance that comes with the territory of Friday nights at the club. Live simply and without stress, I find myself thinking now that I'm a bit older and much more mellow.

Oh, and pancakes are to be involved at all house parties. Of course.

xx
April 29, 2013

Pancake Party

One does not realise what a blessing 'average health' is until one becomes ghastly ill. Simply put, "you don't know what ...

Sunday Wise

I spend Sunday at the Ivy Club, at the very kind invitation and hospitality of Hamish. T'was a nice change from having a lie-in (read---hangover) and feeling serious religious guilt about missing church service, as I usually do. It was of course Sunday Wise, a monthly event at The Club at The Ivy, "for those who like to think while they drink" with "an exclusive line up of speakers, innovators and artists on the last Sunday of every month". Oh dear, I copied and pasted that from Sunday Wise's Twitter, but like i explained to Amber about the popularity of Tumblr and Pinterest quotes "They succinctly and eloquently sum up what I'm trying to say, kind of like carrying this handbag to express my personality". Oh god, did I liken fashion to quotes and to Twitter blurbs? Brain, how do you make these leaps? 


Being a good friend, I asked The Right Dishonourable Max Clarke (a courtesy he sometimes inadvertently fails to extend in kind *glares*) to join us for an afternoon of talks, networking, and Sunday lunch.


Typically caustic, all day he mocked me and called me a hipster. And for that I suitably punished him all day by punching the massive taxi-wound bruise on the back of his leg. Until he threatened to sneeze all over my glorious hair, from which point I was sure to administer damage to his bruise from a safe distance.


I had the last word, singing (screaming) along to Taylor Swift on the ride home. Trouble-trouble-trouble-oh-oh-OH! Michiekins, aren't you glad you're no longer my daily torture toy? 


The Ivy Club greets us with their iconic glass elevator and stunning orchid displays my mother would kill for. To say nothing of the tiny, sun-drenched courtyard filled with green that lifted my spirits and matched the clothes I wore.






Hamish and the ever elusive Viktor, Chancellor of The Last Tuesday Society whose shop of the same name is responsible for the curious and morbid artefacts that decorate my apartment. I've lost count of the people who've tried to steal my taxidermied crow and tiger cub skull...


Steve Nallon shows us why he's the best Baroness Thatcher impersonator there is; not only is his impression of her voice frighteningly and hilariously accurate but the resemblance (in drag) is uncanny.

I nearly split a seam laughing at his impression of The Dowager Countess of Grantham at lunch, "What is a weekend?" Oh, I was transported back to the good old days when Downton Abbey was still a happy place and everyone was still alive. Sybil! Matthew! *sobs*



Mr. Nallon doing what he does best.



Max Wallis treated us to a reading of his poetry, from his poetry film with Harper's Bazaar about the fashion world. Only he can wax lyrical about fabrics and buttons and make it sound so emotive. 


Amber Atherton talks about the impact and popularity of inspirational and motivational quotes. Many of the examples she presented I've spotted, pinned, and reblogged on Tumblr and Pinterest. Oh quotes! They are the accessory for the thinker, just as your shoes speak about your person, the inspirational quotes you reblog express the change you wish to see in yourself. I for one would prefer to be judged not by my threads but by the things I post on my Tumblr...oh wait...maybe not...it used to be chockfull of darkness and nihilism. 


Viktor tells us a macabre little bedtime story, from the Brother's Grimm, in his imitable way. His singing about the boy who was killed, eaten, and turned into a bird will haunt me..."My mother she killed me, my father he ate me, my sister she buried me..." And they all lived happily ever after! According to medieval standards, that is.



The hilarious and incredibly inappropriate comedian Vikki Stone  titillated us with dirty ditties, filthy songs, and singled out Max for a song about, um, *whispers* manhood size.


To roaring applause, she sang a rousing rendition of the Jurassic Park song which will now be stuck in my head all week until I watch the movie at least 3 times to exorcise it.

  Danana! Dananana, danananaaaa----!   


In between the talks and comedy we sat down to a very civilised late lunch. Civilised as opposed to what, one asks? That, we do not speak of.




Making a first impression with my business cards, which went down a treat with feminists everywhere. The illustrations are from my Meat series, which is all about turning male chauvinism around and treating men as trophies based on their good looks. 

Beautiful little appetisers which I was mocked for taking photos of. I AM NOT A HIPSTER, but then again a hipster would say that wouldn't they? And now we're going to steal your flute sound bite!




Pretty little parcels of food, perfect for lighter summer meals.


I enjoyed the crispy pork belly.


Out of focus photo of crab, because I am bad at being a hipster.


Chocolate souffle and popcorn ice-cream. Popcorn is my new favourite flavour, and definitely deserving of being a food group on its own.


Ending with a blurry photo of Viktor and I.

Loved Sunday Wise, I'll be back for more.

xx
April 22, 2013

Sunday Wise

I spend Sunday at the Ivy Club, at the very kind invitation and hospitality of Hamish . T'was a nice change from having a lie-in (rea...