The Great Sale Season!!

June 6th, 2010 by MrLuxuryFashionGuru

It’s upon us, finally!  The two month long Great Singapore Sale (GSS) season, along with end-of-season sales worldwide.  Hope everyone has been diligently saving up and scouting out their dream purchases! 🙂

I probably need to pace myself a bit better…  in just two days my tally is currently:

Etro: 2 dress shirts and a silk sacrf
Prada:  1 structured doctor’s bag and 1 pair of perforated Oxfords

And I’m still patiently waiting for a Marc Jacob’s tote to go on sale, as well as a certain Bottega Veneta clutch.  As I was telling someone yesterday, the trick for designers/labels is to create really special things that move the customer to action – how can you not buy something you find unbelievably gorgeous, iconic and unique?

Same goes for non-clothes too.  I bought this gorgeous LED table lamp from SPACE with a significant mid-year sale discount (which makes it just about the same price as buying it direct from Europe or the US).  If you’ve ever seen the Kelvin LED from Flos, with it’s space-age looks and functionality (magic touch sensor on/off switch!!),  I’m sure you’d be seduced too!

Maybe some pictures will be forthcoming…  we’ll see.

Work is awesome, I *heart* my current project, it’s so cool!

Siem Reap was such a beautiful, delicious, inexpensive and satisfying long weekend vacation.  Everyone should go!!

Holiday good, political violence bad

May 20th, 2010 by MrLuxuryFashionGuru

Got back to Singapore on the red-eye from Seoul early on Tuesday morning this week.  That was a pretty fun trip, totally exceeded my not very high expectations.  Actually, all the elements for which I had higher expectations were disappointing, in particular the much-hyped W hotel, where the standard rooms are small and have horrendous decor (Jen’s reaction was “this looks like a cheap motel room!”). Fortunately I managed to switch to a massive suite which was more than satisfactory (the room-size, view and amenities made up for the still-mediocre interior design), and which turned out to be pretty cool, in line with my expectations of this hipster hotel chain.  And a huge plus is the impeccable service.

The other rather disappointing part of the trip was the DMZ tour, which was a little on the dull side, overall.  Don’t get me wrong – I think it is an absolute must-see, must-go for visitors, and it is very thought-provoking, sobering and surreal experience.  Nevertheless, you have to go with the expectation that visitors actually will not get to really see very much, but rather will get to learn about the history of the Korean war/conflict and be forced to ponder the lot of the 20 million North Korean lives on the other side of the border… not to mention their nuclear weapons aimed at the ultra-modern and prosperous South Korean capital city.  Very disturbing and depressing to think about.

The food was fantastic, for those who like Korean cuisine.  Yum yum!

The shopping was pretty great, both high-end and low-end had lower pricing, greater range (Goyard!  H&M! Cool local streetwear!) and better stocking (Fendi furrrr! Prada runway accessories!) than Singapore.  I ended up with loads of cool stuff, my top two highlights being a Etro/Cavalli-inspired, made-in-Italy pair of swim-shorts I found at H&M as well as a Prada perforated leather hat straight off the runway/arty short film that I have searched unsuccessfully for in the US, Europe and elsewhere in Asia.  And I got to claim back the sales tax too!

If you are looking for other worthy tourist activities, see the Nanta show (fantastic!) and also visit the Korean Folk Village at Suwon (totally fun and also pseudo-cultural-educational!).

And of course, it was lovely to see my sister.  (Veeble veeble!)


The front page of the Straits Times today showed a horrifying photo of the Central World shopping mall in central Bangkok on fire after more violent political clashes.  What a disaster for the country.

Also, I hope the North Korea-allegedy-torpedoed-South-Korean warship incident does not escalate.


My current project is so cool!  🙂

Monday, the week after Phuket

April 26th, 2010 by MrLuxuryFashionGuru

This has been a good month.

Foremost on the life-is-good list has to be the training trip I took for work to Phuket last week.  Never mind that I had to work all day on Saturday and Sunday on left-over work for my current project, the trip actually managed to exceed my expectations on many fronts.  What a fun time!

This is the global training trip for third years’ and is generally considered to be a fun, five-day reward trip (as opposed to serious training).  It was great to meet loads of new people from across the global system who are all at the same career and life stage, generally.  I had a great team of 6+trainer.  The fun times were /almost/ comparable to college.  I’m excited to see everyone’s photos.

My favorite group were the Russians.  So cool!

I really want to get to do a transfer somewhere outside the region.

Makes me think about my Economics professors…

March 28th, 2010 by MrLuxuryFashionGuru

After last year’s desultory reading log, I’m continuing to do much better this year, which makes me happy.

I’m about to finish reading The Predator State, by James K Galbraith, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in economics, trade, social policy, political economy, economic development or markets at all.  It’s the kind of paradigm-shifting social science work that I’ve always loved, with both a sweeping perspective across many decades and many countries and yet also a profoundly intimate concern with individuals and communities.

I will admit that I liked the book partly for the fact that Galbraith confirmed my existing intuitions about the world: that the arguments for “free markets” are riddled with theoretical work-arounds, real-world counter-evidence and also fundamentally philosophical and ethical implications that mean society should be far more thoughtful and downright wary of “market solutions”, “free trade” and Libertarianism (particularly for essential and social goods like healthcare, education, utilities, transportation, housing).  Moreover, “The Predator State” also explicitly calls out the problematic nature of big business (i.e., it’s too big and powerful, and being only concerned with short-term profits are almost inevitably predatory and criminal) contrasted against not-big-enough government.

What I especially liked was Galbraith’s insight into the forces that shape the economic world through time and space, like explaining what led to Japan and Germany’s economic strength in export-manufacturing through the 1970s and 1980s and what macroeconomic conditions precipitated the Internet/IT boom in the US through the 1990s.  In an oblique fashion, the sense that larger forces are behind the success of individual companies and countries matches the point of view of The Halo Effect by Phil Rosenzweig (which I finished reading last month), where the “principles of success” of individual companies as studied by the popular business press are downplayed or debunked in light of larger forces including macroeconomic policies (i.e., the effect of “luck” or “right place at the right time” as opposed to effective management strategy).

Can’t wait to read more, and maybe re-read parts so I properly understand Galbriath’s argument against the obsession with US trade, current account and budget deficits.

It’s men’s fashion week in Milan! FW 10!!

January 18th, 2010 by MrLuxuryFashionGuru
FW10 menswear looks are being shown in Milan… and the big news is many of the shows are streaming live from the runway!  Burberry Prorsum (looks ho-hum at first glance, but I do love a good military-inspired collection), Prada, Dolce & Gabbana  and others all have live (and on-demand) streams of their entire runway shows on their websites.  What a treat!  Instant gratification!!  Except we can’t try on or buy these clothes for about nine more months!!!
Prada FW 10 featured beautiful cropped knits like this...  (Source: and this!  (Source:

 I *heart* <3 the cropped sweaters at Prada – can’t wait to try them on in just nine months or so!

That is, if I can get over my annoyance at noticing that despite a massive cast of some 50 male and female models at the show, Prada didn’t seem to have cast a single non-white model.  Not one black or Asian model that I could see, and I did look.  Very disappointing, given all the attention the industry has given to diversity on the runway and the progress that seems to have been made (especially in editorial and campaign work, in my estimation). 

Doubly disappointing given that for years Prada has been notoriously lacking in diversity on the runway but after several years of increasingly bad press the house had very visibly cast a couple of black and Asian models these past few seasons.  This feels like a terrible regression. 

I can understand, accept and even welcome tokenism, so for a cast of 50 to not have a single non-white model is really difficult to accept, especially given that the show had no discernible theme that demanded an all-white cast (and in any case even the “we had to fit with the designer’s inspiration” argument has it’s limits, with the visually poignant counter-argument in John Galliano’s FW 09 show which was inspired by “frozen Ukrainian brides” yet featured not just icy-blonde and blue-eyed Eastern European-types who made up almost the entire cast of 31, but also Chanel Iman–half black and half Korean–looking stunning…  dressed as a frozen Ukrainian bride).  And never mind that Asian consumers in Japan, China and elsewhere are probably Prada’s largest and most profitable customer base.

I’m kind of peeved, but wish I could pick Miuccia Prada’s mind about this.

PS:  The Prada runway show probably could have benefited from more flattering lighting – as in the photos above, all the models looked harshly lit and kind of sickly.

Chanel Iman at John Galliano FW 09 (Source:

 In case the make-up, clothes and styling don’t seem particularly flattering on Chanel in the above picture, go see the pictures or YouTube videos of the full show and you’ll see that she looked just as good as the other models and fit right in.

Around the corner… to another holiday!

January 3rd, 2010 by MrLuxuryFashionGuru

The big Christmas to New Year’s holiday season is barely over and marketing has already shifted gears to focus on the next big date: Feb 14.  Of course, this year that’s both Valentine’s Day and also the first day of the lunar new year, so it’s big.

Today at 10pm, after an entire day of almost no food, I speed-walked a good mile to the nearest not-so-nearby McDonald’s and ordered a Mega Prosperity Burger upsized meal (and various other things, but we can leave that aside for now).  It’s a giant, double-beef-patty long sandwich with black pepper sauce and fresh onions, but that’s not the point.  The point is that it’s a Chinese/Lunar New Year offering that’s been launched even as Starbucks is still serving special holiday treats and I saw maintenance workers just starting to take down the boughs of faux holly in the mall.

And then yesterday I bought my first Louis Vuitton trinket of 2010, an adorable and probably utterly impractical coin purse/clutch shaped like a chicken!!  It’s part of the new Animaux collection that’s apparently meant to commemorate Valentine’s Day… and the collection was launched worldwide on 1 Jan 2010.


Isn’t it fantastic??  I *heart* hens!  Actually, there’s a more attractive “songbird” version in a lovely blue colour, but I had to get the chicken… of course!!  The LV website hilariously tries to justify this piece of frivolousness (after all, it’s based on toy animals that the Vuitton family used to make, supposedly) based on it’s practicality.  First of all, it’s called a “Bird Clutch”, as if it has any possibility of serving as an evening clutch bag – this is an item that would be hard pressed to hold a box of tic tacs, no joke…

From the LV website:

Inspired by the wooden toys from the 1950s found in our archives, the Bird Clutch is a playful design in glossy Monogram Vernis leather. A delightful gift idea as either a coin purse or a bag charm.

Size: 4.9″ x 4.5″ x 0.4″

-Large capacity for coins
-Room for several credit cards
-Golden brass chain to hook the coin purse to a D-ring
-Foam under patent leather for extra softness



Let me state for the record that I just tried, and not even one single standard sized credit card will fit in this “clutch”…  but I still love it!  And I guess many other people agree with me, because the hen is already out of stock online (on Jan 3), while the songbird is still available.


In the past three days I’ve just about finished three books, so we’re off to a good start, at least.  And in three totally different genres too – a light-hearted breezy read about the world of fashion by a fashion journalist (The Meaning of Sunglasses), a pensive/sombre novella by Kazuo Ishiguro (A Pale View of Hills), and hopefully tonight I will wrap on the thoughtful critique of Harvard by former Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis ’68 (Excellence Without a Soul).

Reading the latter has really made me yearn anew for years past.  Or perhaps it’s just the comfortably fuzzy embrace of rosy nostalgia.

Happy 2010!

January 1st, 2010 by MrLuxuryFashionGuru

First lesson of the new year – don’t leave bottles of champagne in the freezer.  Whoops, I’m rather embarrassed I didn’t know that.

Other disappointment – I read just 11 books last year…  less than one every month!   There’s a ready-made resolution.

Marina Bay fireworks as seen over the Esplanade from the Padang (1 Jan 2010)

Between Christmas and New Year’s…

December 27th, 2009 by MrLuxuryFashionGuru

…I’ll be in Bangkok, enjoying the pool, the gym, the spa, the tailor and the mall.

Just got back from my first massage of the trip, less than three hours after landing in the city 🙂  I found myself searching several 7-11s for Yakult before I suddenly realised this hunt was based on an misfiled palimpsest memory from Shanghai rather than Bangkok.  So Betagen or Meiji it is then.

I should do a little shopping post.  As I was telling confessing to Terence, I tend to shop in spurts, a little like binge eating.  Given the relative dearth of new purchases in October and November (is that even factual?  Need to check), December was rather a new high (or low, depending on your point of view).  I’m not sure I even dare to number the bags I bought…

1 x Etro zip tote in structured wool (50%+5% off! And I had $60 in vouchers)
2x YSL oversized muse tote in dark brown and, er, darker brown  (definitely don’t need two, one of these needs to go in the next few months)
1x Chanel navy lambskin tote (vintage)
1x Bottega Veneta woven purse (I’m thinking this will work as a clutch)
1x Mulberry maxi-sized Roxanne in coated canvas (60%+10% off! Plus I had a $50 voucher)
1x Prada portfolio document holder in black saffiano leather

That’s not too bad, right…  seven?  And one’s a repeat that will be liquidated shortly so it doesn’t really count, so six for the moment.  I do have my eye on a few others though, and there were definitely a few that very painfully got away.  I have however also purged four older bags (Gucci x2, Chanel x1, Fendi x1), so it’s really only a nett addition of two.  And two of the items are barely even bags (a clutch and a document holder) so…  🙂

Then there were the shoes.  I got black lace-up ankle boots from Prada (50% off!) and another really fabulous pair from Mr Hare (irresistible at 40% off and free international shipping from!).  Plus there was a random but pretty pair from Zara in soft grey leather.  In my defence, I’ve just gone through my shoe collection, and the only thing I really don’t need more of are brown suede ankle boots (or tan suede dessert boots, or khaki suede chukkas, you get the idea).

Can’t wait to go to the mall tomorrow.  Maybe after a quick run at the gym.


Edit: While in Bangkok I bought (via online channels)  another large Gucci travel bag and a pair of Burberry Prorsum shoes…  whoops.

Where has the time gone…??

November 30th, 2009 by MrLuxuryFashionGuru

I note with great shock that my last post was all the way back in August…!  I can only say I’ve definitely thought about blogging at least every other week since then.

I promise that at some point I’ll do a round-up post because this year definitely deserves that – it feels like it’s been an unusually eventful year.  Maybe it’s time of my life, but my peers and I are passing through a series of milestones – weddings, babies, first promotions, first retrenchments, lots of firsts, both very welcome and not so welcome.  As I said, its been an eventful year.

Since August, I lost a rooster (to illness), made a big road trip from Texas to Boston, worked on three more cases and most importantly hopefully gained lots in wisdom–something none of us can have too much of… which reminds me a little of handbags! 🙂

And bags I’ve certainly accumulated more of… some from the usual suspects, like Prada, LV and Tods, and a few less expected, like VBH and Dormeuil.  Yay bags!

Maybe I’ll post some pictures next time.


August 7th, 2009 by MrLuxuryFashionGuru

Haven’t been blogging in a while, wish I had.  Also haven’t been to the gym much, definitely wish I had.

Just revisited Facebook properly for the first time in a while, and caught up on months of news from friends…  and realised how disconnected I feel from the life I once had, three years ago, two years ago, four months ago.  A lot has happened – happened to make me forget who I was, happened to change my plans, happened with my friends (new engagements, school acceptances, career moves).  I’ve watched some people become more of who they want to be (CG, BT and E, I’m thinking of you), other people start to want things they never wanted before (DT, that’s you), and some people settling for the best available option.

What do I want?  I want to reconnect.  I want the as-yet-unknown but keenly-sensed and likely-impending amazing development to drop into my lap, unfold rapidly and blossom fully (yes, that’s many mixed metaphors).  I want to want time to pass slowly again. 

It’s seems ungrateful and tragic to want time to go by faster.

At some point I should probably start airing my views on the nonsensical, illogical nature of the “market” and economic analysis.  V-shaped recovery in the offing?  Really?  Based on what fundamentals?  And why is this so totally different from the consensus view from two months ago?  I have an answer…