Archive for September, 2009

The Fabulous 80s Fashions, Catfights & Caviar and The show

Posted in Celebrity & Entertainment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2009 by Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

The 80s, an era of excesses, over the top fashions we would love to hate but just can’t look away. And there are some memorable TV shows that are known for their fashion and little else, and then there are those excruciating programmes where the fashion becomes the focal point, whether it intends to or not.

You might wonder what’s the hot new looks for fall 2009 fashion? Padded shoulders straight out of “Dynasty,” sequined tops fit for “Golden Girls” and the kind of pleated pants last seen on “The Facts of Life.”


Dynasty – The excesses of the ’80s meant big everything, from hair to shoulder pads. All that glitters: The nighttime soap “Dynasty” celebrated an era of excess, complete with shimmering fashions worn by leads including Evans and Joan Collins.)

Though designers have been flirting with the decade for several seasons, a clutch of marquee names delved into the era’s flashiest, most bombastic side for fall. The homage to the color-drenched era was, in some cases, so unapologetic you almost expected Joan Collins to stroll out in a Swarovski-encrusted Bob Mackie gown boasting shoulder pads meatier than twin rib eyes LOL!
(Golden Girls Fashion then and now)

Well, over the years as the fashion trends have progressed, so has the fashion on our favourite TV shows, and for the most part it has got a hell of a lot better. You can’t help but laugh at some of the campy looks sported 20 years ago on some of our fave programmes though, but hopefully through their style mistakes and triumphs, we have learnt a few of our own fashion lessons.

(Miami Vice – Don Johnson’s pastel color push-up sports jacket look was a big hit)

We’ve compiled a list of the best fashion savvy programmes to hit our screens over the years that influenced us and many people around the world how to dress in the golden eras of 80s

(Saved by the bell – all the neon color printed shirts & bleach jeans…. it was every high school kid’s must have items! yes I confess, I have couple of the polka dots big shirts & my rainbow color vans shoes LOL)

In the fall winter 2009 fashion shows, it was full of pleated, tapered pants and boatloads of neon, Marc Jacobs’ über-’80s show looked like a casting call for “Square Pegs.” Meanwhile, designer Christophe Decarnin of Balmain — the house that nudged fashion into the decade’s decadent side last season with pieces such as Michael Jackson-style jackets — harnessed the hard-edged party girl of the era with skin-tight minidresses and pointy, winged, padded shoulders.


(Pretty In Pink – How would the movie’s warring richie preps and New Wave outsiders fare in today’s fashion world? The big jackets and high-waisted chinos on pretty-boy Blane (Andrew McCarthy) might need an update — or can just be recycied as women’s wear — but Duckie’s (Jon Cryer) skinny jeans and Andie’s (Molly Ringwald) leggings and layers have been a part of street fashion for years. See, geeks win in the end.)

Considering the worldwide recession, it seems a curious time to be making such showy, fashion-forward clothes. Wasn’t it just a few months ago that women’s fashion magazines were espousing the virtues of “investment dressing”? What is it about the current climate that’s delivered us back to the ’80s? could it be people are tired of being worried about money and being sensible? Even though it wasn’t the carefree time everyone remembers it to be, the ’80s looks like the party we’ve not been allowing ourselves to have lately. It’s a denial of the recession.?

Come think of it, when we are in bad economies, clothes tend toward the staid, and in boom times the fantasy is to look downbeat and poor like the purposely stained, torned jeans, jackets, I even seen some handmade “couture tees” that makes you look like a homeless man! of course with a $250 price tag to achieve that look! haha!

And now that a tough economy is the reality, we want to look “Rich, over the top & fun!” Suddenly, we’re living the old adage of hemlines rising and lipstick colors getting brighter when the economy tanks “We’re in a tough economic time, and a lot of these ’80s-inspired looks give off the image of a strong woman,” said Gregg Andrews, fashion director for Nordstrom, which is betting on ’80s-style boyfriend blazers from Stella McCartney and shoulder-centric pieces from Donna Karan this fall. “It’s about a woman still being feminine, but not fragile or frail. The strong shoulder, the hardware on things — I look at it as being modern urban armor.

It’s true that there are few decades that have offered such a treasure trove of memorable (and cringe-inducing) looks. And in this era of anxiety, maybe the season’s key trend is to dress optimistic and adding a pop of bright neopn color into your daily wardrobe! don’t let the recession to drag you down!

Now grab a glass of Champagne, sit back and let’s time travel to the fabulous 80s with this Dynasty Reunion Special

(Opening)

dynasty show-1

(Episode 1)

dynasty show-2

(Episode 2)

dynasty show-3

(Episode 3)

dynasty show-4

(Episode 4)

dynasty show-5

(Episode 5)

dynasty show-6

Untill next time, Champagne wishes & Caviar dreams !!

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the Pug

Peter Som – An All American Designer !

Posted in Peter Som with tags , , , , , , on September 21, 2009 by Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

I have known Peter Som for 13 years since we were both back in Parsons School of Design, NY. Peter’s designs has always been praised by the professors and admired by fellow classmates. His clean, subtle luxe & all American chic style has set him apart from most of us both back in design college, Parsons and now in the design world. Besides his undeniable talent and taste for fashion, he is also a person with a lot of wit, humor, easy going and simply a great person to be calling a friend.

I’ve seen Peter’s very first collection starting back in year 2001, besides his undeniable talent, he has also worked very hard and able to stay focus on his vision for each collections. Year after year, you can always count on Peter to give us the kinda uptown chic – downtown cool, effortless chic designer clothes you can actually wears in the modern daily lives! People often compare him to be “The next Michael Kors”, but to me, he has his own very own unique taste and look that no one has!

As we all know, to achieve what Peter does, become a house hold name as a young designer that has all the fashion magazine editors such as the Queen of American fashion – Chief Editor of Vogue Magazine Anna Wintour who loves Peter’s most recent Spring Summer 2012 collection and having the A-List Celebrities wanting to wear his creations is very tall order to achieve! But Peter has done it with persistence, drive & believing in his vision.


(Photos by Chiun-Kai Shih – FABRIC magazine )

An amazing moments when young, uber-talented designer Peter Som, suddenly realized that the final word in NY fashion, Anna Wintour, actually loves his collection. A picture is worth a 1000 words. This photo is a courtesy of FABRIC magazine .

(Photos by Chiun-Kai Shih – FABRIC magazine )


(Photos by Chiun-Kai Shih – FABRIC magazine )

Fashion is like the show business in Hollywood, both are selling “Dreams” & “Fantasies”. Each season, designers dazzle us with their creative visions and beautiful collections all over the world, but when the reality of the world wide economy downturn sets in, every designers are effected by it and it has impacted Peter Some starting early 2009. Peter has had a bumpy ride over the years including losing financial backing. But his Spring/Summer 2010 collection, is reinstating his place as an accomplished and talented designer.

(Peter Som – Sprint Summer 2012 Collection)

He showed his collection at MAC & Milk Studios this year as an installation show, where those with invitations were allowed to come in and peruse the collection as you would in an art gallery. The models stood on a runway broken into three parts and posed for photos as guests sipped cocktails and water, chatted with Som as he strolled through the crowd and talked about the amazing collection.

(Fall-Winter 2008 Collection)

Peter took his inspirations—Lartigue’s iconic photos of twenties-era Deauville, Hokusai’s woodcuts, classic cruisewear—and wove them together with a sort of madcap thread. The mixture of colour and textures sets Peter Som’s collection apart from many others. mixing stripey tweeds with all manner of prints and off-kilter fabrics, like a turquoise leopard jacquard. He kept his silhouettes soigné but found ways to give his classic uptown standards a whimsical tweak.. For Som it was all about “season less dressing” and each piece is a very special by itself, to me, it’s a very smart move because each piece is a “Must Have” piece that you can add to and mix with pieces you already have in your closet. I think that this thinking could be the way forward especially in these recession times. Peter Som is definitely one to watch. As they say what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

(Fall-Winter 2009 Collection)

Even with the troubling year, It did not seem like Peter Som held back on quality even though it was all out of pocket. Most designers rely on a certain financial backing in regards to releasing a line each season- Which can include up to 4 collections each year… but Peter Som still offers up a collection that was a collective of Mix Matched texture and color in Undeniable Som style.

(Fall-Winter 2006 Collection)

While Peter may have left his past with legendary American fashion house Bill Blass behind him, but with the many opportunities such as possibily be the head designer for Tommy Hilfiger & his new jewelry collections in the horizon, we’ll see more of him & his creations in the future.

jewelry-1jewelry-2

All I have to say is his Spring-Summer 2010 collection was a breath of fresh air and should turn even the most jaded, black-loving urbanite fashionistas into an optimistic pattern mixing master in the coming spring!

(Spring-Summer 2006 Collection)

As the year of 2009 is marching to the end ( yes 3 more months till the holiday season, the “happiest time of the year” haha) with the bright, colorful, sparkly collections Peter just shown in NYC, we hope all the bad news are behind you Peter! and we’re all rooting for you! Keep dazzel us with your beautiful designs!

Untill next time, go shopping! support our fashion industry & designers! If you like to check out Peter Som’s fabulous collections, you can find it at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom and many other stores (Click here to see the list of stores that carry Peter’s collection).

Click on the media player below to see a behind the scene of his Fall-Winter 2008 Collection, how the models come for fittings, make-up & hair all the fun stuff of the exciting New York Fashion Week!

Peter Media-player

Come back to check out our blog again and see what “Must Have” & “Fabulous” item & things we found!

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the pug 🙂

Gloria Swanson An Amazing Actress in Sunset Boulevard – A dark comedy, deeply moving tragedy, fabulous film

Posted in Celebrity & Entertainment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2009 by Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

I’ve been a huge fan of the Movie & Broadway show “Sunset Boulevard” ! So naturally I’ve been mesmerized by the actress Gloria Swanson’s glamourous looks, unique acting skills & her life story.


Gloria Swanson was born in Chicago on March 27th, 1897. Her real name is Gloria Josephine Mae Swenson. She began her career 1913 at Chicago’s Essanay Studios. Back then she was known as Gloria Mae. In 1916, she married Wallace Beery, another Essanay player, and the newlywed couple moved to Hollywood. He was to be the first of six husbands. She then shifted back-and-forth between two studios, Triangle and Paramount, where she appeared in roles that captured audiences hearts, making her a major box-office draw of the silent era. Her first lead role was in Cecil B. DeMille’s Don’t Change Your Husband (1919). DeMille would direct her in six of her box-office triumphs.

In 1925, after returning from France where she filmed Madame Sans-Gene and married her third husband, Marquis Henri de la Falaise, she teamed up with Joseph P. Kennedy, patriarch of the political clan, and began producing her own films. The two had a extra-marital affair, which was effectively hidden from her fans. Her first production effort went over budget and was not successful; but her second, Sadie Thompson (1928), was a commercial and critical success. It was daring for its time: She played a prostitute who was reformed then raped by a religious fanatic. For that role, she received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

The following year was a tumultuous one for Swanson’s professional career. Although she received her second Academy Award nomination for her role in The Trespasser, her production company also embarked on the ambitious project Queen Kelly, directed by Erich Von Stroheim. Von Stroheim created a financial mess, with numerous reshoots and the injection of erotic and perverse touches into the film. Although he was subsequently fired, the damage had been done. Although given a few screenings in Europe, the film was never shown in the United States. It marked the end of Von Stroheim’s directing career.

She retired in 1934, but attempted several comebacks. Her most successful was her critically lauded star turn in Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, where she played a role with many parallels to her own life.

What they don’t realize is how close “Sunset Boulevard” cuts to the bone. Not just in terms of the fickle system of Hollywood fame, and the ephemeral and illusory nature of Hollywood glamour, but to its specific references to the people involved. Audiences in 1950 would have been able to recognize Gloria Swanson as an ex-silent film star. When she goes to a backlot to visit Cecil B. DeMille, DeMille plays himself, and is actually working on his real film “Samson & Deliliah” (1949). Seeing as “Sunset Boulevard” takes place in flashback, this would have been exactly the film DeMille would have been working on. We’re asked to watch an old silent film of Norma’s at one point, and it is actually “Queen Kelly” (1929) starring Gloria Swanson.

Gloria plays Norma Desmond brilliantly! She is also infected by love. Love of romantic, abstract things. Things like “the spotlight”, “the little people”, “the cheers”, and most of all “the fame”. As a teenager, Norma Desmond was taken under the wing of Cecil B. DeMille. She was a lovely doe. Ready to display her beauty and charm to audiences the world over. Her films were hits, and she became very, very rich. But, as happens so often with teenage stars (from Judy Garland to Britney Spears), the fame went to her head. When she began to fall out of the public eye (due to dwindling roles and the inevitable onset of age), she as no prepared to live life a rung down. She went mad. In her mind, the fame never faded, and the world still wants her, needs, her, adores her, awaits with baited breath her great comeback.

One of her famous line in the movie was : “I am big!” She insists in all seriousness. “It’s the pictures that got small.” ( Dont’ we all have that bitchy diva in al of us? haha )

After a long career in Hollywood, she received her third Academy Award nomination for that film. Her final film appearance was in 1974’s Airport 1975, where she played herself. She died on April 4th, 1983. What an amazing actress and the life she had lived! After watching the “Sunset Blvd” again, I can’t help it to think….. and I am sure all of you agrees with me that Hollywood advertises itself as the Place Where Dreams Come True. The city where streets are paved with gold, and all it takes is a single famous director to recognize you, and you are instantly transported into a world of luxury, adoration, large mansions, swimming pools, and endless money. Not in any ad copy, mind you; it’s just the grand illusion of the place.

Countless young writers and actors have moved to Los Angeles over the decades in the hopes of cashing in on this dream. The joke goes that, to this day, you can go into a restaurant in Hollywood, and ask any given waiter or waitress for their resume and 8×10 glossy, and they may have it for you. Just convince them that you are a legit producer first. It is kinda sad but a reality in LA.

 

Does the world of high-paid acting really offer more than money? Does it truly offer that ineffable thing we call glamour? Well, to a degree, yes it does. In the minds of the people who still want the dream, and to those who have bought into it, it still lives on. But it’s easy to see that “Fame” and “Glamour” are fleeting things at best, and completely false at worst. Hollywood does not care for you, it only cares for who is most bankable at any given moment. The movie biz is where ineffable things like dreams, glories, and art, mix the most closely with the callous world of high-profit business.

It’s easy to take the glamour seriously. It’s comforting and plush and beautiful. The smart ones prepare for when the paychecks begin to whither. The rest either sink into lower tiers of fame, or they go mad. Going mad is, I think, more common than we assume.

Here is the most famous scene of the movie, the grand finale…… Mr. DeMille, I am ready for my close-up !!! Click on the media player below to see the clip.

I don’t want “Sunset Boulevard” to sound like a depressing resignation of personal tragedy though. Despite the tragic elements, “Sunset Boulevard” is refreshingly alive. We may feel the emptiness in Norma’s soul, but Swanson is able to take the role of this strange woman and make her into a full realized character who is interesting to watch. All the fabulous clothings, the sets & the over the top melodrama, made this dark comedy, a deeply moving tragedy, and a hugely satisfying film experience.

I was so fortunate to received this original Gloria Swanson autographed photo as a farewell gift from my co-workers when I left my at Carmen Marc Valvo as an associated designer in that company. I now hang this beautiful framed photo in my office so I can see it everyday!

I have seen the Sunset Boulevard Broadway Shows 3 times with all four different leading actresses: Glenn Close, Betty Buckley & Patti Lupone! Here is a video of Glenn Close’s performance, simply amazing !

In conclusion of this blog about the movie Sunset Blvd & Gloria Swanson, what an amazing movie! and an amazing actress! Here is a video paying tribute to this fabulous woman Gloria Swanson!

Untill next time, put on your “Gloria Face” and be ready for your “Close-Up” at any time, ’cause you never know who are you gonna meet ! haha

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the pug 🙂

Larger Than Life Is Just The Right Size ! – CHANEL Giant Size Carousel Fashion Show

Posted in Chanel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2009 by Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

Ok girls! I LOVE everything Chanel! and this is no joke! this is HUGE…. LOL … hmmm i wish i have one like this at home, where i can put all my life in ha ha
Vogue Paris August 2008

A Chanel carousel fitted out with giant quilted bags, camellias, pearls, boaters, and bows faced the audience as it poured into the Grand Palais for the Fall Ready-to-wear show. It was a fitting metaphor for the timeless turning of the house classics, and for the unstoppable machine fashion has become these days.

Lagerfeld didn’t miss a trick, from fragile, frothy, high-necked blouses to spidery knits, peplum jackets, and an intelligent exploration of how longer lengths might be worked into a winter wardrobe.

And what of austerity chic, the subject du jour? Lagerfeld’s witty take was an updated retread of Coco Chanel’s “poverty de luxe,” so that the tweed suits came with worn-through elbows or scatterings of faux-darned patches. Nothing too heavy, of course, because Lagerfeld is not one to take passing fashion issues, even recession, too seriously. But in its relative restraint, reserved color, and holding back on accessory overload, this collection was a smart way to prove that whatever goes around comes around, and ends up looking just as Chanel as ever.

OMG! this Chanel merry-go0round carousel runway stage is my wet dream comes true!!! I can just ride on those over size Chanel goodies on the carousel over and over haha….

Don’t you wish you can have one of this giant Chanel bags in your living room?

Click on the video player below to see the fashion show

Chanel-video

All I can say is J’adore CHANEL !! Karl Lagerfield is a Genius!

XOXO

Ala + Mei-Mei the pug

Great Tragedy & Lost for the world of fashion – House of Christian Lacroix filed bankruptcy

Posted in Christian Lacroix with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2009 by Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

One of the world’s most famous and fabulous couture house Christian Lacroix has gone to the wall, filing for voluntary bankruptcy in order to protect the company from creditors in Paris this summer. It was a sad day for all of us who loves fashions and to me, I felt the sadness personally (I will explain why in this blog later on)

In 1987 after Bernard Arnault, of global luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which is the owner of Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, asked Christian Lacroix to create a bespoke couture house for his luxury goods giant. At that time Lacroix had just received a Council of Fashion Designers of America award for his creations at Jean Patou and the majority of experts foretold him the brightest future of the next big star after Yves Saint Laurent.

Lacroix draws most of his inspirations from his roots – the south of France, mediterranean. In early childhood, Lacroix attended bullfighting events and enjoyed Gypsy and Provencal traditions as well. Some time afterwards his family moved to Arles, a city in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department. It was the city of southern culture, with breathtaking views and expansive tempers. There was a yearly carnival during Easter, when people and women especially put on their brightest, best clothes, which combined old vintage dresses with laces, modern high heels and hats. Maybe that’s was the source and inspiration of the Lacroix’s fashion vision.

In Lacroix’s very first fashion show in 1987, he designed a puffball skirt “Le Pouf”, was an instant fashion classic. A taffeta or satin balloon of fabric that fell like a parachute from the waist and gathered at the hem, it reinvented the ballgown for the late 20th century. “I always love to do scrapbooks and collages,” he explains. “I was alone in a hotel in Florence, cutting up some old fashion engravings from the 1880s with bustles, and I was playing around and I had the idea to cut the skirt like a mini-skirt and to put some modern legs underneath.” Would he be happy to be remembered for inventing the pouf? “Why not?” he laughs. “When I’m on the phone I’ll sketch silhouettes, and very often it’s still a pouf that I draw.

While it is for sure that Lacroix has been affected by reduced spending amid the economic crisis,the roots fo its troubles lay much deeper. According to Patricia Pao, executive of Pao Principle, a retail New York-based consultant group, “Lacroix, while beautiful, has long struggled to find an audience.” she said. The major problem of Lacroix has always been that he could never really come to realization how to make his gourgeous pieces work for the modern working woman. The problem was, and still remains, that the designer kept creating clothes in a style of a Spanish matador, for example, with gypsy fringing, splashes of 18th century corsets and neon psychedelia (more often all in the same piece), which were never practical for wardrobes of working women. And what is even more, the items were not cheap, either.

The major luxury groups such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, and Hermès are now mostly prospering due to the diversity of their holdings. In spite of the recession and crisis, perfume sales, for example, are holding up relatively well. According to MHLV, sales in its fashion and leather accessoires sector went up by 11 per cent to 2.1 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2009.

Haute couture, the basis of Christian Lacroix’s operation, will never be able to make the kind of profit that perfume, accessories and ready-to-wear fashion make, and this turns out to be a major reason for the label’s demise. While prices for dresses haute coutute often climb up to $10,000 to $250,00, in reality there are very few pieces that are actually being sold. Unlike Chanel, christian Dior and Armani, which have a long ago created their bestselling perfumes and accessories, but even tho how much I love Christian Lacroix I hate to say he has still continued to rely on its gorgeous, but very expensive dresses.

In summer 2009, Lacroix’s company owner, Florida-based Falic Group, has been involved in serious discussions with a group of investors from Switzerland since late last year. In a letter to his 125 staff, Lacroix wrote that he will give “200 percent” to keep the 22-year-old couture house in one piece, to “preserve the know-how, without which the lungs and the heart of the house couldn’t exist.” Lacroix is renowned for lavish and colourful couture shows, and is one of the main drawcards at Paris couture week each season. The reality is that couture customers are few…. Don’t you wish the world is still like those movies back in the 50s and 60s everyone went through the whole 9 yards to dressed up and looking fabulous, well, as much as we like them to be, it’s still a fantasy and I really hate to see my hero, mentor, who inspired me to be a fashion designer. and here is the story why I was deeply sadden to see Huose of Lacroix filing bankrupt.

Since I was little, I’ve always love to draw, sketch beautiful dresses. I’ve always LOVE bright colors, beadings & embroideries embellishments. When I was in sophomore in high school, I started to think which college I want to attend and told my father I wanted to be a fashion designer. Of course as being the oldest son in the family and from a traditional Chinese family, my father was not happy about it, infact we’ve been fighting ever since daily after I’ve told him I wanted to choose fashion design as my career. So one day I mustered up some courage and called the French embassy to get a list of address of the fashion houses in Paris then I mailed them my amateur design sketches to ask them what they think of my designs and if I have what it takes to be a fashion designer and which university to go.

2 months went by, I’ve received no reply of course but one day I received an handmade envelope that’s from France, I was so excited and opened the letter, there it was, an hand written 2 pages letter from Monsieur Lacroix. He told me that I should attended Parson School of Design in NYC and encourage me to study fashion as my major and career. I showed the letter to my dad, because of this letter, it has changed my father’s view on the path I wanted to choose and it changed my life then I went to Parsons School of Design in NYC in year of 1992. Every season I will mail monsieur lacroix some sketches so he can give me some critiques, and lasted from 1990 ~ 1995. Here is a photo of the letters I’ve received from Monsieur lacroix.

Here is a Christmas card I’ve received in 1992 from monsieur Lacroix, wishing me good luck in my first year at Parsons School of Design in NYC

Here are just a few of my designs when I had my own collection (2001 ~ 2003) after I graduated from Parsons School of Design. Can you tell where I got my love of bright & cheerful colors inspirations from? haha

(South Beach Shirt Dress w/ Swarovski Crystals)

(Swarovski & sequin beaded trouser – InStyle magazine 2002)

(Siren Gown – Spring Summer 2002)

(Cashmere one shoulder tube-top w/ Silk organza lace flower & swarovski shoulder jewel)

(Golden Goddess Gown)

Now I’ve graduated from Parsons for 12 years, even tho I’ve never made it big in the fashion industry, but I still thankful that I am able to do what I love for living – designing ! and all of this wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t because of the very 1st letter I’ve received from monsieur Lacroix & his encouragements. So now seeing his company went bankrupt, all I can say is we’ve lost a great talent in the fashion industry!

But we don’t wanna end this blog in a sad note…. so here is a clip from the hit show “Absolutely Fabulous” that feature Lacroix haha. As we all know “Eddy” idolize Lacroix like “GOD” so of course in the very last episode of “Ab Fab The Last Shout” when her daughter “Saffy” is getting marry & in need a wedding gown, who did she called? of course Christian Lacroix ! Click on the photo below to view the video!

Christian Lacroix, Forever !!

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

Fabulous Zen Tea Garden In The Middle of West Hollywood

Posted in Fabulous Locations & Stores, Spiritual Enlightenment with tags , , , , , , on September 7, 2009 by Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

I am a Tea FREAK!! I love the aroma, taste & the soothing effect of a nice cup of tea! The Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium is one of my favorite place to be in West Hollywood, CA. It’s so charming to have this Asian theme tea garden in the middle of this crazy city Los Angeles (Aka The Lala Land!)

 

This beautiful tea garden is founded by Mark Ukra known as “Dr. Tea” & located at 8612 Melrose Ave. (formerly known as Elixir). The Tea Garden offers its trademark premium teas, high end tonics; an expert staffed Chinese Herb bar, a tranquil bamboo garden, airy veranda, Empress Room and an exclusive VIP Sanctuary. Perfect place to just relax under the bamboos, leave the stress & negative energies of the big city outside of the door & enjoy a nice chinese herbal tonics. Some people even meditates there!

 

Mark Ukra’s family has been in the tea business for over 200 years. For nearly two decades, Dr. Tea has traveled the world to pursue his studies of tea and is considered to be a leading authority on the subject.


Being a connoisseur of fine foods, wines, tobacco and most of all, teas, Ukra began to purchase rare teas at auctions and meet with fellow enthusiasts during his world travels. As his passion grew, he began looking to establish a place for teaching and learning about teas in Los Angeles.

Ukra purchased the Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium nearly two years ago. The Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium was founded in 1988 to provide the world with the finest quality of Asian herbs and it is dedicated to the teachings of guidance towards the integration of the Body, Mind and Soul. Recently, new owners, Julie Jackson Ukra and Mark “Dr. Tea” Ukra, along with Executive Director Ann Patton, have greatly improved and expanded the Tea Garden’s line of products and services. Of critical note is the upgrade to the finest quality Superior Chinese Herbs and a Tea menu that has been recognized as the finest in the United States.

Professionally trained and educated herbalists, who have graduated from some of the most renowned Chinese Medical colleges, staff the Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium. The experienced herbalists have been with the Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium for many years and are available for consultations, by phone or in person. Their goal is to help clients select the correct herbs to meet personal good health standards for well-being. Additionally, the staff includes experts who provide specialized services and classes on Meditation, Feng Shui, Numerology, Self Esteem, Psychiatry, Massage and Tai Chi/Personal Training.

Most of people must wonder what’s the difference & benifits of teas? here are 3 major tea catagories:

Green Tea – Boosts the immune system, lowers blood sugar, helps prevent cavities and tooth decay, slows aging process, reduces risk of cancer,lowers cholesterol, aids in weight loss by burning calories, reduces high blood pressure, helps prevent arthritis, reduces risk of heart disease, reduces risk of stroke, and lowers risk of blood clots.

Black Tea – Promotes blood flow to the brain, sharpens mental focus and concentration, serves as a soothing anti-inflammatory effects on digestive tract, strengthens tooth enamel, helps prevent tooth decay, lowers cholesterol levels, improves circulation, and relieves diarrhea.

Oolong Tea – lowers cholesterol, reduces heart disease, aids digestion, lowers risk of cancer, contains large amounts of anti-oxidants, beneficial for immune system. White tea is the highest tea in anti-oxidant value, retards growth of bacteria, naturally rejuvenates collagen in skin, firms the skin, and reduces risk of colon, stomach and prostate cancer.

Here is the address of this fabulous Zen tea garden, It’s a must visit place next time you’re in LA!

The Tea Garden & Herbal Emporium
8612 Melrose Ave.West Hollywood, CA 90069
Website: http://www.teagarden.com/

Store Hours10am to 8pm, Every Day

I am gonna go make myself a nice cup of Ooolong tea now, untill next time, go buy some teas and experience the magic & aroma of tea!

XOXO

Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

 

Gorgeous men are dime a dozen ….. But ! ! A perfect tote bag is one in a million !

Posted in Balenciaga, Burberry, Fendi, Gucci, Hermes, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Tod's, YSL with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2009 by Alan + Mei-Mei the pug

Recently I’ve been in shopping for couple of new designer tote bags for the new season. There are seas of bags out there in the market, but to find the right look, material & price of the tote bag that’s perfect for you it’s not as easy. So let the fun begin! Here are some of the designer tote bags I have spotted and thinks it’s super fabulous!

Balenciaga Covered Weekender – $2245

super soft vintage crafted lambskin with leather covered metal hardware. I just love how big this bag is! perfect for both women or men to use! 21” x 9” x 15” made in Italy. Click on the photo below to see more details.

(Available at Balenciaga.com)

Here to show you the proportion of the bag. Photo courtesy from one of my favorite fashion accessories blog (http://www.luxuryobsessed.com/) it’s a must read blog if you are obsessed about designer bags!

Modern women & men nowdays all have very busy lifestyles and are always in a search of a bag in which they can bring along everything they need wherever they go. When your suitcase is too large or your purse is too small, a designer tote bag always makes the right choice.

Balenciaga Classic Square Tote/Messenger Bag – $1895

I am crazy about this bag! it could be both a tote or messenger bag. Tons of extra compartments to keep all of your “Junk” haha and totally unisex style makes it a perfect gift for a man or woman! or treat yourself! you deserve it! Click on the photo below to see more details.

(Available at Barneys.com)


 
FENDI “Peek-A-Boo” Zucca Tote – $2380

Dark brown/gold degrade leather, Goldtone and silvertone hardware. Removable shoulder strap. Zucca-print brown leather lining peeking through if you unlock the top of the bag and just let it drape like shown in the photo for that extra pop of color and design detail! so fabulous! Inside; one zip and one open pocket. Made in Italy. Click on the photo below to see more details.

(Available at NeimanMarcus.com)

Here is a photo to show you the porportion of this bag. Roomy yet still has that elegant “Kelly/Birkin Bag” feels to it.

Also available in other color combos! Click on the photo below to see more details of these FENDI bags. I got one of this all black one, it’s big enough for a man to carry and great for going to work in style! Click on the photo below to see more details.

FENDI “Peek-a-boo” Tote – Black
(Available from Nordstrom.com)

If you like the feel of suede, then this one is a must have for you! also the charm of this bag is if you un-hook the top, the red lining peeks out for that pop of color!! so fabulous! Click on the photo below to see more details.

FENDI “Peek-a-boo” Tote Brown Suede
(Available at NeimanMarcus.com)

For me, a fabulous tote bag can perfectly boosting your self-confidence (yes, I am a little shallow….. I will meditate on that tonight…OM..) and showing your style & taste in fashion! They are the perfect items to accessorize your looks from Uptown Luxe, Hamptons casual chic to urban downtown edgy looks or just wanna go over the top to impress & “offend” others to make you stand out in a crowd! haha.

Tod’s – Yacht Club Shopping Bag – $1265

If you are looking for a pure luxury subtle understated style bags, Tod’s is the brand for you! This bag is so “Old -Money Chic” it’s a must have for any man or woman as a basic tote bag! 16″H x 14″W x 7″D. Made in Italy. Click on photo below to see more details.

(Available at NeimanMarcus.com Men’s Dept)
Tods

We know a lot of our readers are very stylish men who seeks pure luxury items that goes with their busy daily lives, so continue with “Subtle Understate Chic” theme from the previous bag here is this totally fabulous

Yves Saint Laurent – Large Embossed Logo Tote – $995

Large YSL logo tote bag in soft leather features contrasting logo patch, interior pockets and nickel hardware. Can be hand carried or worn on the shoulder. 15H x 13W x 5D. Made in Italy. Click on the photo to see more details

(Available at YSL.com)
YSL Large logo tote

How can we talk about “Subtle Understate Chic” without mentioning Polo Ralph Lauren? I adore this bag! super soft leather, perfect size for everyday use or going to work and no screaming “Logo” says look at me I spend a lot of money on my bag! haha!

Polo Ralph Lauren – Deerfield Leather Tote Bag $1195

A timeworn vintage quality pervades our handsome leather tote bag, exquisitely crafted in Italy from soft, supple leather for a rugged finish. Two canvas handles at the top are accented with antiqued metal stud hardware and leather reinforcement panels. “Ralph Lauren”-embossed leather proprietor patch accents the front for vintage appeal. 17″ L x 6″ W x 16″ H. Click on photo to see more details.

(Available at RalphLauren.com)

Polo Ralph Lauren – Handle Portfolio Briefcase $350

Sturdy two-handle construction with reinforced bottom. Top-zip closure with pony-embossed side tabs and leather pull. Accompanied by a leather luggage tag with plastic front, adjustable leather strap and our tonal embossed Big Pony at the back. Cotton twill-lined interior with single zip pocket and our signature leather logo tab. Elegantly presented in our signature pouch.
15½” L x 2½” W x 11½” H. Click on photo to see more details

(Available at RalphLauren.com)

Ok we don’t want you to fall asleep from over-dose on “Subtle Chic” haha, now back to Logos and dramas for you Logo loving fashionistas!

FENDI – Zucca Chain-Handle Tote $1180

Iconic ZUCCA print canvas, Chain top handles with woven leather with Enameled Zucca clasp and the Inverted pleat details on center front. 11″H x 18″W x 5″D Made in Italy. Click on photo to see more details.

(Available at NeimanMarcus.com)

I LOVE how tihs bag looks! mixing the uptown preppy plaid chic with downtown edgy look with the golden barbed wire chain. Admit it guys & gals, we all have a little “Duo-personality” once a while haha just kidding 😛

Burberry – Barbed Wire Check Tote $1695

Signature Burberry plaid in dark brown, Inverted pleat on center front. Inside, zip compartment with three open pockets & on top of the bag opening a decorative gold tone barbed wired chain. 17 1/8″H x 22″W x 5 7/8″D Made in Italy. Click on the photo to see more info.

(Available at NeimanMarcus.com)

For all your stylish multi-tasking ladies or moms out there, this multi compartment tote bag is a must have for you!

Prada – Vitello Daino Tote $1595

Black pebbled calf leather. Top handles. Removable shoulder strap. Side pockets. Luggage tag. Made in Italy. Click on photo below to see more details

(Available at NeimanMarcus.com)


I almost screamed ( yes a little miss drama haha) when I saw this men’s (well it’s pretty unisex) tote bag from Gucci! classic logo print coated canvas with the metail chain and leather braded strap drape down on one side with the key holder at the end to add that downtown edgy looks to this classic shaped tote. It’s a must have!! click on the photo below to see more info

GUCCI – GG Coated Fabric Tote – $1360
 
Medium tote with double handles, gucci crest trademark, push lock chain with key case and braided detail, studs, and inside zip, cell phone and PDA pockets. 17 1/2″L x 8 7/10″W x 19 3/10″H. Made in Italy.

(Available at GUCCI.com)

This bag is a perfect work bag for any men who is always on the run and need something that’s classy yet still has that designer touch to it.

Salvatore Ferragamo – Manhattan Briefcase $1900

Choose hickory or nero (black) calfskin. Silvertone hardware. Top handles with square rings. Zip top. Front zip pocket. “Manhattan 1” is imported. Click on the photo below to see more details.

(Available at NeimanMarcus.com Men’s Dept)

This bag screams “Sex and the city ” to me! classic shape with over the top beading on the front side of the tote. Don’t be shy to use this bag during the day,too! because we all needs sparkles in our lives day and night!

PRADA – Tessuto Ricamo Tote $3695
Black nylon with sequin and floral-embroidered detail. Goldtone hardware. Double handles with rings; detachable shoulder strap. Zip top. Inside zip pocket. 16 1/2″H x 15″W x 7″D. Made in Italy. Click on the photo below to see more details.

(Available at NeimanMarcus.com)

As you might agree with me, finding a perfect white color bag is hard! It needs to have the right details, hardware and shape so it won’t look cheap & tacky! With this fabulous off-white PRADA tote bag, you can never go wrong! I can just imagine myself carrying this bag vacationing at Côte d’Azur in the Riviera or going to some fabulous spas in Bali. Such a perfect summer bag but works perfect with your winter white outfits,too!

PRADA – Daino Large Tote $1220

Soft leather tote with magnetic snap closure, rolled leather handles and removable shoulder strap. Prada jacquard fabric lined interior with leather-trimmed zipper pocket. 14″ x 18″ x 5″. 6″ handle drop. Available in White. Made in Italy.

(Available at Barneys.com)

Of course how can we talking about tote bags without mentioning the ultimate luxury totes “HERMES“? The Birkin & Kelly bag from Hermes is the most sough after bags in the world! Most of the time there will be 2 years waiting list for each bag! since it’s all handmade in limited editions! So most of us can just dream about owning one of these trully fabulous Hermes bag. Here is the newest version of the Birkin bag, the size 50cm Haut à Courroies.

This lucky boy at Soho, NYC is sporting the smaller version of the Hermes 40cm Birkin

Here is a video to show you why the Hermes Birkin bag is so expensive and so hard to get (Even Oprah needs wait in line for it!)

 hermes tv

We hope you had as much fun reading this fall 2009 designer tote bag review and inspired you to go out and find the perfect tote bag for yourself! remember…..

Gorgeous men are dime a dozen, But a perfect tote bag is one in a million ! haha

untill next time, be well and come back to visit us again to see what other fabulous items we’ve found!

xoxo

Alan + Mei-Mei the pug