Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tennis: Men's semi-final decided - sans Federer!

So a day after a pretty shocking women's quarterfinal, the men's quarterfinal do not disappoint as well. A couple big matches went down and the result does not fall short of being jaw-dropping.

First of all you have Mr. Federer falling yet again in the quarters of a Grand Slam, this time losing to Tomas Berdych from Czech Replubic. The moment he lost, you can almost hear all the commentator and player thinking out loud: Is this it? Is this the beginning of the steady descend of a champion? And are we ready to start the count-down of Federer's last hurrah before retirement? Two consecutive early loses at Grand Slam (early according to Federer's standard), is a pretty strong signal of something's wrong with Fed's game, especially when he's losing not because he's playing badly, but he was just simply out-played at times. There's one more Grand Slam left in the season, it's really important for Federer to have a strong summer hardcourt swing to restore his confidence, I do not think he can continue to go into the slams and expect to do well and pull a Williams sister; Federer is more the kind of player who needs a good momentum going into slams.

Other Wimbledon Men's quarter final results:

Rafael Nadal def. Robin Soderling 3-6 6-3 7-6 (4) 6-1
Novak Djokovic def. Y. S. Lu 6-3 6-2 6-2
Andy Murray def. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-7 (5) 7-6(5) 6-2 6-2

Men's Semi Prediction:
This one is harder to call than the women, there's just so much more potential and unpredictability in the men's
Djokovic over Berdych in 5 sets - I originally picked Berdych, but as I was writing why so, I was more convinced that Berdych's lack of mental strength at the bigger moments will finally get to him in the semi, especially after such an emotional high defeating Federer the round before. And Djokovic is playing some sick tennis this tournament and I don't see Djokovic letting this one go. This could be a turning point for his year and once again set him on track back to the world's best.
Andy Murray over Rafael Nadal in 5 sets - I think we're in for a battle. The crowd is going to be solely on Murray's side as he once again advances to the semi-final of his home tournament. Nadal has been less than impressive this whole tournament although he's been able to get out of trouble in the early rounds. Murray has beaten Nadal before and has enough game to to do it again, and once we get to the 5th set, I expect the crowd to carry Murray through to his first-ever Wimbledon Final.
Final Prediction:
Unlike the women's, there no one here who's an outright winner, so I'm going to wait till the semi-final is played out.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tennis: Wimbledon Women's Semi-final decided

Not the most perfect tennis morning for me as Venus Williams embarrassingly lose to 82nd ranked Pironkova 6-2 6-2 (seemingly unable to put any short balls in play) and Kim Clijster not being able to find a way to come back in her 3-set loss to Vera Zvonareva of Russia.

Good thing Serena won, but to do that she had to beat my favorite player, Li Na. So definitely a morning of mixed feelings. Hopefully the guys tomorrow will provide better quality tennis.

Women's Semi-final line-up:
Serena Williams vs. Kaia Kanepi
Tsvetana Pironkova vs. Vera Zvonareva

Women's Finals Prediciton:
Serena Williams vs. TSetana Pironkova

Women's Winner Predction:
Serena Williams

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tennis: Serena edges Maria Sharapova 7-6 6-4 in Wimbledon round of 16

In a battle between the two biggest and most fashionable stars on the WTA tour, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, Serena edged out a win with superb serving and a few lucky moments.

Sharapova became famous when she surprisingly beat Serena Williams in the final of Wimbledon back in 2004 and since then their matches have been tense, heated, and well contested. That was until two years ago when Serena consecutively start to handily beat a self-doubting and injured Sharapova, often only losing 2 to 3 games the whole match.

Many have thought that it'll be the end of the once intense rivalry, but even though today the victor was once again Williams, Sharapova has shown signs of a recovery to the best that she once was. Today's match was once again hotly contested with both players serving ferociously (something Sharapova hadn't been able to do since coming back from shoulder surgeries), and both players were trading some seriously powerful ground strokes. So even though Maria lost today, there are signs of this rivalry being reignited, we'll just have to wait until their next match up.

Meanwhile, as Wimbledon come to a close, big matches are starting to take place and tomorrow will be the women's quarterfinal. Serena Williams will play Li Na while Venus Williams will take on Pironkova as both sisters march forward to the highly anticipated All-Williams Wimbledon Final.

Fashion: Bottega Veneta 2011 Spring Men's

I was going to wait and do an overall review of the Milan men's shows, but as I was going through the pictures I stumbled upon Bottega Veneta's earthy, utilitarian collection, and the item that stood out was surprisingly the t-shirts. I've been trying to find a show/brand that I can see myself actually wearing and not just appreciating, and I think this collection is very wearable. It was basics but has intricate details. Designer Tomas Maier has created a collection that belongs to a traveler and explorer and he has injected his signature of finding the perfect blend of casualness and design; and it's most evident in this collection's perfect t-shirts. They look interesting and at the same time casual and are made of athletic cotton jersey. It's the perfect summer t-shirt that offers plenty of fashion and design while keeping the wearer cool, calm, and collected. Here are my favorite looks from the BV Spring 2011 runway show.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fashion: The beginning of my Portfolio - June 2010 @ Los Angeles

Here they are! Some of you might have heard, but one of my recent goal/dream is to style a photo shoot. I wanted to put my skills to test as well as start building a styling portfolio for myself. The shoot finally happened a week ago with the help of my friends, Mary and Phoebe, the model and photographer respectively. With their participation, I was able to finally put the images and ideas in my head to reality.

This was truthfully a great learning experience from prepping for the shoot to all the things that take place during it. For starters we didn't have any water or snacks, which was a BIG mistake; and our model's more edgy/serious look might have been a direct result of her being starved...haha, sorry Mary. But overall, the shoot was great with a visit from a surprise guest (check out the last photo to see who it was). Even though this is my first time and it was sort of an experiment, I still wanted to have a theme, and I think the best message from these looks is that none of them are expensive and most even came from thrift stores. It is the idea that clothes can be recycled and reinvented in surprising ways; and the same piece can be taken from day to night with the right accessories and bit of creativity.

To check out other images from the extremely talented photographer, Phoebe Chuason, click here.

Jacket: 50's vintage from Good Will Store
Scarf/Sunglasses: Stylist's own
Legging: H&M

Shirt: Forever 21
Lace Top: Buffalo Exchange store
Legging: H&M
Ring: Good Will Store / Ankle bootie: Charles David/Belt: Stylist's own

Silk Top: Vintage from Good Will Store
Necklace: Stylist's own

Hat: Stylist's own
T-shirt: Fruit of the Loom
Suspenders: Vintage from Good Will Store
Jeans Legging: Uniqlo
Shoes: Ankle bootie from Charles David

Sweater/legging: both from H&M
Black top/belt: stylist's own
Shoes: Charles David

Top: Vintage from Good Will Store
Shorts: Uniqlo from Good Will Store
Shoes/Necklace: Stylist's own

Sweater/legging: both from H&M
Black top/belt/clutch: stylist's own
Shoes: Charles David

Shirt: Forever 21
Lace Top: Buffalo Exchange store
Legging: H&M
Leather bracelet/Hat: Stylist's own

Sweater: H&M
White Tee: Stylist's own
Jeans shorts: Diesel from Good Will Store
Necklaces: Buffalo's exchange/stylist's own

Shirt: Forever 21
Lace Top: Buffalo Exchange store
Legging: H&M
Leather bracelet/Hat: Stylist's own

Jacket: 50's vintage from Good Will Store
Scarf: Stylist's own
Legging: H&M

Sweater: H&M
Horse: Friendly passerby

P.S: And a special shout-out to my sister, Stephenie, for being the awesome assistant that she was. Without her, this shoot would've been 100 times more difficult and it was a lot of fun to have her on set!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Milan & Paris Men's Fashion Week - the eternal trend - Leather Jacket (Updated)

This is something I've noticed, no matter the year, no matter the season, and no matter the location, a trend that seems everlasting is the leather jacket. Men just love a good, well fitted leather jacket. It can make the most dull looking outfit instantly interesting. It goes with a shirt and slacks or a white t-shirt and jeans. It's the symbolism of modern masculinity, it travels well, and it can both be sophisticated and rugged.
I've always been a bit apprehensive about leather jacket fearing that I'm not old enough or mature enough to not come off as a poser wearing one, but ever since buying my very first one from Uniqlo a year ago, I can't see myself not owning more down the road. It just adds an air of self-confidence to the wearer.
This season on the runways of Milan and Paris, we once again see exquisitely made leather jacket marching down the runway in a vairety of styles. So far designers such as Rick Owen, Balmain, Louis Vuitton, Junya Watanabe, Burberry, Neil Barrett...etc have all features different type of leather jackets with standouts from Balmain and Neil Barrett, just to name a couple (Pictures below) (Update: I'm adding Burberry Prosum to that list, Christopher Bailey made a couple insanely awesome leather jackets, nothing too artsy, just very chic British style)
Burberry Prosum Spring 2011

Neil Barrett Spring 2011

Balmain Spring 2011

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fashion: The Sartorialist

I'm continually inspired by the images on the sartorialist blog. To see that style can come from all over the world and originate from the people themselves rather than coming from some glossy magazine, is truly inspriational.

This should inspire us to create our own style, and let style be another way to express who we are rather than style alone defining it, always strive to be more.

Tennis: The Queen visits Wimbledon

The Queen Elizabeth II visited Wimbledon for the 1st time in 33 years since her Jubilee year in 1977. She arrived at Wimbledon wearing a torquoise blue summer coat with matching color hat. The Queen must own quite an exquisite collection of hats that is worthy of museum exhibition one day. Since this is an 80 year old lady, it's quite a fitting outfit, elegant and polished. My only problem with this look is probably the black shoes, a pair of nice white ones would've been nice and really striking on the grass. Maybe that's why she's asking for a raise, she needs some new shoes.
And by the way, she only ended up staying for one match, Andy Murray's, and then she left. The organizers scheduled three matches featuring players from three European Monarchy just in case, Andy Murray from England, Caroline Wozniaki from Denmark, and Rafael Nadal from Spain. Some argue that Serena Williams should've been put on Centre Court instead of Caroline, but oh well, too bad we don't have a King here in America.

Fashion: Milan Men's Fashion Week - Dsquare - the banana hammock

The green and white banana hammock, coming soon to you in all the European beaches

When Tennis meets Fashion: Venus the Flapper Girl and Serena with her Stawberries and Cream

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tennis: Longest match in tennis history suspended due to darkness, resumes tomorrow 6/24

Over 9 hours. Combined 185 aces and counting. Longest match in history already. Suspended twice. Darkness brought a halt but it will be resumed tomorrow. PUT IT ON CENTRE COURT AND LET THE QUEEN WATCH IT!

Tomorrow's a big day, the completion of the longest match ever as well as the return of the Queen of England to Wimbledon after 33 years of absence. Big day tomorrow indeed.

Tennis: History still in the making, who is John Isner??

John Isner, a Georgia alumni who has successfully transitioned into the pro circuit, is in the middle of the LONGEST TENNIS MATCH IN HISTORY right now in Wimbledon. Good luck John!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

When Tennis meets Fashion: Maria Sharapova @ Wimbledon 2010

Maria Sharapova went au natural at this year's Wimbledon with a simpler design. The design is pretty generic, or more so a combination of generic components - tiered ruffles, straps, criss-cross...etc. The result is pretty, nothing remarkably fashion-y, which is refreshing to see on Maria, it matches the state of her game and ranking, which are both not at its peak. I think for a while she was trying to be really fashion forward on the court, which I think she still is, but for Wimbledon she's more demure this year. And she won her first match 6-0 6-1, very impressive.

Another shot with the jacket.

Monday, June 21, 2010

When Tennis meets Fashion: Venus Williams Wimbledon outfit: Lace and Fringes??

Remember Venus Williams' "Can-can, fru-fru, lace, optical illusion" French Open dress? I bet you do, and did you think that was eye-catching, outrageous, or whatever you thought of it, guess what, Ms. Williams is promising something even And just a reminder, I was a fan of Venus' French Open ensemble, though the reviews were definitely mixed.

According to Venus, she is channeling Ms.Tina Turner, lace and fringes, A LOT of fringes. A white dress with a lot of we sure know that it'll have great movement, I'm going to remain unbiased and wait till I see it tomorrow.

I have faith, and screw unbiased, haha. I'm going to be optimistic and predict that it'll be a classy rendition of what Venus sort of described, here's to a great Wimbledon fashion moment! Starting tomorrow I'll be putting pictures of players in their tennis whites, Wimbledon style.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fashion: Menswear Spring 2011 offically starts!

After a couple months of hibernation, the fashion show circus has officially started this week. Starting in Florence, the menswear kicks off a new season of fashion shows, from there we go to Milan, Paris, New York, and then the women will come in somewhere with couture, the already launched resort collection, then move on to ready-to-wear in early September in NY, then off to London, Milan, and end in Paris for the ladies.

Here's to another round of runways shots flipping on, back with more pictures from the shows.

Oh and Wimbledon starts tomorrow!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

When Tennis meets Fashion: More pictures from the Pre-Wimbledon Party

The tennis stars all dressed up:

Starting from my favroite of the night: Anne Keothavong from Great Britain, looking stunning and graceful in this strapless, flowy print gown with golden leaves embroideries. It fits her perfectly, and the hair, the whole thing is a new-age flower-chid.

Maria was a close second for me, the style is quite popular on the mall retail scene, but on the red-cartpet or high fashion circuit, it's not as popular. The neckline nowadays is much more complicated and usually either wider or super intricate. Maria's is interesting and it looks great on her, she's glowing and it's a very appropriate party dress, and awesome heels too.
Update: Venus wearing Ralph Lauren. Oh Venus, very nice and elegant again. The knit tank dress is very appropriate for her image and body shape, and the gold tone accessories is a nice touch with the multi-tiered necklace breaking up the visual of the neckline, thus creating volume and layers, nicely done.
Jelena Jankovic kept the crazies to a minimum and actually looked really good here. She's known for gawky designer clothes and this time it's chic, it's interesting, and it's contained. Thumbs up from me!
Serena Williams did not impress me this time. I know she's going for the "look at my shoes!" approach with the simple black dress lending all the attention to her crystal covered peeptoe boot. But the look is underwhelming for me. The look isn't bad, but not as good as I know Serena can do. She once said, "I'm not a tennis superstar, I AM a superstar", well superstar, you gotta start serving it like a super star too. Better luck next time!
39 years old tennis player Kimiko Date Krumm looked simple and very Japanese indeed. Not glamorous, but presentable; and just look at her face, she looks more fresh than some of these girls in their mid 20s.
Nice heels, bad dress, bad hair, oh man. Everyone says she's the bombshell on the women's tour, I don't know man, I don't see it. This is a mess, the snooki poof is just ludacris, and the strapless style is definitely not a good fit for her. Sigh.
Italian player Flavia Penetta (R) wearing two piece, the pants a bit too long, I wish she'd worn her jacket, or maybe choose a more stylized trench coat, that would add some dimensions to the look and some design value.
Oh man, this is....(trying to be nice)....funny. Example of tennis player who looks like they're still 16. The one on the left, the hair looks like something they'd help you do at Claire's, the dress is alright, but looks out of place with her yellow-ish blond hair. And then there's the one on the right side, sigh, the dress is nice, the hair is fine, but all efforts are lost when you look down at those sparkly, broadway-ish lace-ups. Oh man, why? Seriusly, it's vegas, magic-show, costume party all at once.