Thursday, February 25, 2010

Venus Williams clawed back from brink-of-defeat to advance to semi-final

It's been a while since I wrote anything about tennis, I almost forgot this is a fashion AND tennis blog. But this is just unbelievable, in fact, Venus is the last top player whom I'll expect to pull off such a feat: coming back from 1-5 in the final set to win 7-5 and advance to the semi-final!

She ends up winning the match 4-6 6-3 7-5. To be honest, her opponent is not super threatening as a player, and Venus has never played her before, so the match being a three-setter isn't too surprising. But given Venus' recent trouble with nerves and mental toughness, it was a bit hard to envision her pulling through when she was down 5-1 in that last set.
With a ton of determination, patience, and some sort of self-imploding from her opponent, Venus survived! I think this will give her a tremendous boost in confidence in her ability to hang-in-there, which will be beneficial for the upcoming clay season where patience is a key factor, more so than booming serve and punishing groundstrokes.

And her now infamous "looks like I'm not wearing underwear" outfit is back for this tournament! Last week she opted a more demur look for the middle east tournament in Dubai. All in all, good job and hopefully she'll win this tourny to make it two in a row in two weeks!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Evan Lysacek outfits!!

These are the ones that Vera Wang made for Evan Lysacek

You can't really see here, but besides the feather, which I'm not a huge fan of, there are bands of velvet and satin across the chest that plays with contrasting texture. It's a solid number, the shoulder is exaggerated with fur details (but it's in black, so it wasn't very recognizable). You can already see that the focus is to use black to bring out an air of sleekness, and more importantly use it to outline the natural lines of Lysacek's body.

Here's a better illustration of the last one

This is the Olympic Gold winning outfit. I have to say,this was the first time I've seen him and the outfit was what caught my eyes (mostly due to how different it looks compared to others) I thought it was subdued by skating standard, but it was daring and dramatic with the sequined/crystraled 3-d snakes attached to the upper body. The placement was strategic so that it wouldn't interfere with his movement but yet frames the body very well. The snakes seemed lively and notice that the shoulder is again slightly exaggerated, this time being propped up with a crystal band on each shoulder. The color black once again showcases the other elements as if it was a piece of art, it also helps that there "arts" are anchored onto a 6'2" toned body. It's just overall sleek and sophisticated but flamboyant in a very different way.

Finally something that's not black; and this one just happens to be my favorite out of the bunch. This design again showcases dramatic embellishments around the shoulder - this one is a 3-d casing made out of black sequined strips. It was dramatically architectural and makes the skater look even taller and mightier, it has a very distinctive sci-fi warrior vibe. And then the rouging down center-front gives the outfit much needed texture. The material and color gray also comes off as luxurious and expensive. It is the simplest but most complicated look because it accomplished the most with the least elements. There must've been a lot of tailoring that went into keeping that shoulder piece in place.

All in all, this is great, Evan Lysacek expressed interest in working with Yohji Yamamoto. The folks at IMG, PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN, this will be great and it should reach a whole new aesthetic and level. I also think this whole higher fashion angle with men's figure skating might bring the focus and attention back to the sport again; or at least it'll be a good place to start. It also helps that the new golden boy is tall, dark, handsome, and gives great interview. Too bad he'll probably quit skating and turn pro in less then a year, do a bunch of photo-shoots, and then become another one of those athlete turned model-actor-tv personality-appearance type person in LA a la Sasha Cohen. Well at least he might have a shot with a gold medal to back him up.

Evan Lysacek wins GOLD wearing Vera Wang designs!!

So, I usually refrain from commenting on male figure skating costumes for two reasons. One, as much as I like to appreciate all outfits for what they are, I am just not a big fan of most figure skating costumes, there's something off about them (female and male alike). Second, the men's costumes get extremely boring when they try to shy away from looking too "gay", which is in my opinion worst than looking flamboyant.

BUT, BUT, BUT, after watching tonight's Olympic men's final, i think I have finally saw a men's costume that is sleek, artistic, sophisticated, and most importantly, modern and chic. It was special without being over-the-top. And it's all thank to Evan Lysacek and Vera Wang.

Vera Wang designed a series of costumes for Evan for this Olympic season. They are mostly solid black characterized by interesting and strategically placed embellishments in order to emphasize Evan's 6'2" lines. While the black sculpt the outline of great body lines, it also emphasized the body as a canvas to showcase different embellishments that are sculptural and architectural to say the least. Although Vera Wang cannot shy away from shimmers and rhinestones, it was handled in a way that is contained yet loud, with creativity and taste.

For so long figure skating costumes are accused of tacky, and I think Vera Wang really shoved a big fat sock into those nay-sayer's mouth with Evan's outfits. Although it might still come off as too glamorous or glitzy for an American male, I think, in figure skating terms, this is exactly what masculinity is defined within the sport and I hope to see more, it doesn't have to be all black, although it was quite sleek.

I am really excited to put pictures of what Vera Wang designed for Evan, it's so hard to put all these words into perspective without seeing what the end product is; but it's super late at night right now and I really need to sleep, so I'll do it as soon as I can tomorrow.

By the way, did anyone know that Vera Wang used to be a competitive figure skater??

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Weekend outfit: San Francisco

So after living in San Francisco for half my life, I've picked up a couple tricks/guidelines to keep my weekend outfit practical yet stylish and effortless. The trick is to layer, but keep the volumn down. Layering with thin pieces allows you to play with more elements (color, prints, pattern...etc) and this way you won't look you haven't yet shed those extra "holiday-pounds". Mixing prints and patterns might sound daunting, but it's might rewarding at the same time; it's mostly about trial and error.

I find that the easiest way to look both put-together and young is to keep it tamed but interesting at the same time. A crisp white collared shirt layered with a bright solid v-neck sweater will do. The v-neck and the open collar of the white shirts frame your face nicely while the contrast between the white and the color of the sweater keeps the look fun-loving. To keep yourself warm, throw on a thicker outerwear (by keeping the other layers thinner, you now have the liberty to actually wear a thick jacket without looking like it's the 10 millionth layer on you; my go-to item is a stiff-collar black pea coat from H&M). Make sure the coat is around knee-length to keep the proportion in balance, nothing says elegance more so than a mid-length coat.

Throw on a pair of jeans or slim-cut khaki along with your favorite pair of sneaker and you're SF weekend ready.

Friday, February 12, 2010

NY Fashion week!!

Can't believe I didn't catch fashion week on time, there's going to be a lot of catching up to do, especially since it's men's and women's all at a same time.

Shows to look forward to:

Women's: Phllip Lim, Alexander Herchovitch, Marc Jacobs, Vena Cava, Proenza Schouler, Yigal Azrouel, Jasmin Shokrian, Altuzarra, Balmain...and many many others...

Men's: Yigal Azrouel, Band of Outsiders, Bespoken, Rag and Bone, Calvin Klein Collection, John Barlett....

Friday, February 5, 2010

Louis Vuitton tests its loyal customer's sanity with Trash bag

LV has pushed out a new style called the "Raindrop Besace", a waterproof hangbag shaped like a trashbag completed with a thick, plastic-looking drawstring at the top; while the ones you can find at a supermarket cost $5 for 30, this one, just one, cost $1960.

Clearly LV, or more so Marc Jacob himself, is trying to test the sanity of this luxury brand's cult following. These customers' impulsiveness to own anything exclusive from this brand is unmatched by any other group of consumers.

Usually I would go ahead and guess how well this bag will sell for, but I rather not, for the sake of my own sanity as a logical consumer

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - the full tutorial for coolness

This website not only provides pictures for inspiration, but it has a dummy-proof picture tutorial on how to achieve a certain look or vibe.

You can just find the look you like and see what the individual pieces of clothing/accessories are. There's no more need to scratch your head and guess what is that thing so and so is wearing because at nerdboyfriend, they break it down for you. Too bad they can't teach you how to get the coolness of those individuals in the picture also, that part is solely up to you.

Meet Clare Vivier

Handbag designer - found her, again, randomly on the internet. But check out one of her messenger tote, it's a perfect representation of classic-chic, the shape and utilitarianism scream lasting classic while the thicker strap and zipper seem effortlessly chic.

Although the shape is simple, but the clean lines increases its mix & match potential and the size, after having 20+ years of experience listening to my mom complaining about bag size, the size of this bag is quite perfect; it can go from a Saturday shopping spree to a day to the office, to a dinner with friends, or even travel.

And for $220, it's not a bad deal, give it two weeks and your investment in this bag will be fully returned.

Check out her website here.

By the way, it's almost 2 am and it's the third night in a row that I stayed up this late for no particular reason. I know this is supposed to be my favorite pastime, but maybe I need to past my time at a better hour, the only pastime I should be loving at this moment is sleep, and sleep only.

Sharapova blatantly shouting/swearing at spectators

Stumbled upon this clip..

tennis-wise, it was not a very memorable match b/c the quality was sub-par; fashion-wise, this is the first grand slam that Maria debuted her Tiffany collaboration earrings, and the dress is one of her best; drama-wise, there's only one result from this highly entertaining yet disastrous combination: Sharapova's grunting + grueling clay court tennis + super tight scoreline + rowdy French crowd = Maria Sharapova shouting "up your f***ing a**" at the spectators

Monday, February 1, 2010

Goodbye Australian Open

Now that it's over, the tennis circuit won't have much to buzz about for another month or two until tennis's own version of March Madness. Instead of month long college basketball, we'll see two of the biggest US hardcourt tournaments occupying the calendar: BNP Paribas at Indian Wells in Cali, and Sony Ericsson Open out in Miami.

Until then...good thing the women's ready-to-wear shows are coming up in a week or two, and there will be a bunch of award shows left