Monday, June 30, 2008

luxury sounds for your ears

While I am anticipating the arrival of the Chanel mobile museum, another French fashion house worked on some cutting edge, unexpected marketing of their own. Louis Vuitton is working in collaboration with Soundwalk to bring to you 3 urban soundtracks designed for self-guided tours through three cities in China.

The soundtracks are an hour long, and each city is narrated by a different Chinese actress: Gong Li 鞏俐 for Beijing, Shu Qi 舒淇 for Hong Kong, and Joan Chen 陳冲 for Shanghai.

In Beijing, Gong Li re-visits the Central Academy of Drama while telling an old love story between two young students.

Shu Qi narrates the sights and sounds along the tour path starting at Luk Yu Tea House, along Stanley Street in Central, Hong Kong.

Chinese-American actress and director Joan Chen takes travelers through the quaint French Concession area in Shanghai.

Original soundtracks composed by Kubert Leung and Albert Yu. Shan Sa (”The Girl Who Played Go”) and Mei Feng (up-and-coming young Chinese author), have written these journeys much like film scripts — subtly blending reality and fiction to offer a cinematic experience in the heart of the city.

Stylish travelers can download Louis Vuitton Soundwalk for iPod, mp3 players and mobile phones on or It is available in six languages, English, French, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean. Each audio guide costs $17 and comes with a map.

While these were obviously designed to run in conjunction with the upcoming Beijing Olympics, I find this project intriguing and refreshing. Even if I can't go to Asia, to be able to listen to the soundtracks themselves sounds like a lovely blend of art, music, and travel, and because it's a product of Vuitton, there is almost a guaranteed level of sophistication in terms of the final product.

In viewing the trailers, I'm actually surprised by how well Shu Qi speaks in English; there is almost a slight British lilt in her pronunciation. Gong Li is new to English, and her voice is very harsh, so I don't know if I would enjoy listening to her. Joan Chen speaks with an American accent; no surprise there. I wonder what the other languages sound like, since the trailers are only in English; do these ladies narrate in all 6 languages?

View all three trailers below. The soundtracks sound really beautiful; I wonder if they will be available for sale outside of the Soundwalk guides?

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handbag giveaway

Karen Kooper and Trashbag Aesthetics have teamed up for a great giveaway: a Chloé Edith handbag! Check out their site for more details. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Silly Likky, Hermès are for the serious wealthy!"

Speaking of Hermès, these have got to be the most impractical but beautiful bags I have ever seen. These are silk bags that fold into a leather pouch. When you want to use one, unzip the leather pouch, pull out the silk, and voilà, an instant tote bag, with the leather parts as your bag's bottom.

my fave design is right above :)

I love the designs. They're ornate, colorful, the art is just dazzling, really. This would be a wonderful bag to carry around in Paris when we visit in September, but knowing me, I'll probably dirty them up faster than I can finish up a mug of hot chocolate at Angelina. Like I always say, when it comes to Hermès, all I can do is dream. :P

Hermès SilkyPop Bags - $960

Jen's Fab Bags...

While I'm still keen on one day of owning an Hermès Kelly in black and gold (yah, yah, I can keep dreaming), I noticed a fantastic alternative that just might not require as much $$ or as long a wait.

Jennifer Aniston has been gallivanting around the globe in not one, but two very modern and practical Hermès Massai bags. I esp. love the grey one, which looks so pretty and contemporary and clean. I have this thing where I don't like it when the straps of a bag are merely sewn on, so the fact that these handles are attached by buckles really does it for me. (Now if only the Birkin had buckles at the handles, that would make it even more perfect.)

Jennifer has always been known for her classic, clean styles, and never one to jump on trends, so the fact that she bought this style in two colors and in two different sizes shows that she sees instant longevity for this style. Anyhow, it'll be a long way before I own anything from Hermès, but it's nice to know that they have other nice designs other than the obvious "It" bags.

P.S. Notice her cute pink passport cover!


Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 found in...Spain?!?

I don't talk about this at all, but "Lost" is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. In fact, I follow the series very closely, and after each episode, I always read up on the latest theories, and it's such a cerebral show with a great cast and acting and storyline that I can't stop watching it. I guess I don't blog on it much 'cause it doesn't really allow for a lot of fawning in terms of their wardrobes or soundtrack or whatnot, as I'm not aiming to discuss Kate's hair, or you know, Sawyer's hair, for that matter, but whatev.

Anyhow, here in the US, we don't really do much to promote the show. The actors aren't rock stars by any means, the ratings have fallen, and with an end running date of 2010, fans are just counting down until the whole series is over, when all the answers have been revealed (we hope). That's why I was tickled by this promo for the show's 3rd season in Spain. It's just so cool!

OK, maybe no one really wants to see the tail end of a plane that appears to have crashed, but the setting looks really great, even if there's not much context there if you know nothing about the show. Just for reference, the whole scenario behind the series is that this plane crashed onto an island, and the survivors have to figure out how to get off the island and go home. From there, mayhem ensues! This is why seeing this tail here is so significant to the show.

Set in the Atocha train station in Madrid, the fictional Oceanic Airlines plane was built by 20 people in 600 hours. Plopped into the garden area of the station, which with all of its tropical greenery, this setting really evokes the feeling of a jungle.

I won't be heading to Spain anytime soon, but if you're a fan of the show, and you'll be there through the summer, go check it out, as I believe it will be exhibited there until September.

You can watch a video of how the plane was put together and installed at Bungalow25's website, which is the agency behind this promotion.

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kawaii! white tiger babies...!

This is just too cute. Rare triplet white tiger cubs were born in Japan just a month ago, and they are now the star attraction. White tigers are almost extinct in the wild, so it's great that there is more awareness of these animals, and that they are procreating in captivity, but I also think it's sad that there's no way to reverse this pattern so that they can live in the wild as they were meant to.

There is no narration to this video; just enjoy their cute little faces! ;)

sad and ironic state for literature...

I read this and it was just so sad!

A German fighter ace has just learned that one of his 28 wartime 'kills' was his favourite author.

Messerschmidt pilot Horst Rippert, 88, said he would have held his fire if he had known the man flying the Lightning fighter was renowned French novelist Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

The fliers clashed in the skies over southern France in July 1944.

"He was below me," said Rippert. "I saw his markings, manoeuvred myself behind him and shot him down.

"If I had known it was Saint-Exupery, I would never have shot him down. I loved his books.

"I knew he was a French pilot, but he was probably my favourite author at the time."

Saint-Exupery published eight books before his death, including The Little Prince, which has been translated into more than 50 languages.

Rippert gunned down 28 Allied planes during the war and found out about Saint-Exupery only from a historian who is writing the author's biography.

"I am shocked and sorry," the ex-Luftwaffe pilot said yesterday. "Who knows what other great books he would have gone on to write?"

While I have to admit that I have read only snippets of "The Little Prince," this story resides in my mind as one of those universal tales that do not die with time. For a children's book, it was mature in terms of the themes in the story, where it provided so many philosophical observations that try to dissect human nature that children's stories these days just seem dumbed down.

It is tragic that one of the author's fans shot him down, but sometimes the human world works in mystical ways. Would Saint-Exupery have found humor in this story? I think he would have smiled at the irony.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monogramoufugly Part 2

I have to reiterate from an earlier post, but this is one of the most nauseating designs from Louis Vuitton in a long time. And to think, this is from Murakami, who I have been an avid fan of for the last few years!

Rihanna was carrying this Speedy with the new camouflage pattern. While the bag goes with her sharp, edgy look, as a bag on its own, it's just plain fug. It's beyond hideous. The mix of that pattern and the logos, none of it melded well, and it's all so, so wrong.

I hope this style goes away quickly and quietly, as I certainly don't forsee any legs for this trend. I mean, this is certainly one way to kill the brand.


Totes for a Cause #5

If you love Marc Jacobs or Andy Warhol, and want to declare it to the world, Marc has put his Interview magazine cover (where he posed as Warhol) on a limited canvas bag, sold only in his stores, where 100% of the proceeds benefit the Andy Warhol Museum of Pittsburgh.

While the bag does nothing for me (I actually find the imagery a tad on the creepy side), as this bag is cheap for MJ, is for a good cause, and a trendier alternative than some other "go green" bags, I find no faults with this bag, which will certainly make a great stocking stuffer (shop now for Christmas!). :P

Marc Jacobs Special Interview Magazine Tote - $15 - only at Marc Jacobs Stores


Chanel Mobile Art Museum

I absolutely can't wait to see this exhibit. Chanel has created a Mobile Art Museum, in other words, a moving museum, that will be traveling the world. Having already exhibited in Hong Kong and currently in Tokyo, it will make its way to New York, London, Moscow, and finally ending in Paris. In a nutshell, the entire project is described succinctly below:

The ingenious aspect of this project is that not only will the objets d'art in the museum be traveling, but so will this entire structure, the building (or pavilion) that was designed to be installed and uninstalled from city to city. You can view the structure being put together on their website.

Since different artists have contributed to this show, I'm not sure how relevant these pieces below are, as some of them come from their actual retail line. However, since they appeared on their site, I thought it was worth showing as well.

I love how Karl Lagerfeld continues to excite and dramatize the brand, but through very unconventional avenues, and not through obvious marketing ploys. Unlike the Murakami introspective, which thrived to profit through their art exhibits by selling as many limited Louis Vuittons as possible (no, that is not contempt you are hearing...or is it?!), not only are these Chanel-inspired art pieces not for sale, the admission to go in the museum (as I'm checking the Tokyo listing) is free of charge. Absolute Chanel heaven!

The exhibit will be in New York in October of this year, so I will definitely make a trip to check it out.

Chanel Mobile Art Museum - exhibiting around the world until February 2010 - check for city nearest you

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

looking hot in Chanel

I don't know this Japanese artist, Nao Matsushita, at all, but I came across these photos of her in Chanel, and just loved how she was able to carry all the different styles of the label so well. I esp. loved the outfit up top; so clean, modern, edgy, and feminine all at the same time.

I def. wouldn't mind owning a wardrobe like this!


What's sexy for Gossip Girl guy Dan?

"Gossip Girl" star Penn Badgely talks about what's sexy to him. I always find the topic of someone trying to describe "sexy" unsexy, 'cause sexiness is a mystique, a chemistry, a feeling that one gets. I don't think it's a very tangible idea, much like how one would try to describe attraction, or even lust.

Anyhow, this is eye candy for any fan of Penn, although I found the incessant list of sexy things he had to list a little ad nauseum, but those who love him will enjoy this very much. And he's my fave guy on the show, so can't complain too much. :P

The Chinese Go Green

Chinese actress Zhou Xun 周迅 is featured on the cover of Elle HK for their July issue. (Not loving that weird 'fro on her head, but she's still very pretty.) It's very interesting to me that they are doing a "Green Issue," as both Hong Kong and China are notorious for their smog issues, but at least there is awareness now to counter those issues, among other eco-friendly prerogatives.

Here Zhou Xun talks about the issue below. I actually enjoyed this clip a lot. For those not in the know, she is a huge star in China (although she hasn't made the leap to international stardom just yet), so for her to lead this initiative is akin to a Cameron Diaz or Charlize Theron showing you how cool it is to live green. I like how they talk about not owning too much clothing (this ties in a lot to that long blurb I wrote last week), or too much of anything, so that with less consumerism, comes less harm to the environment. I also like her story about Jackie Chan traveling to 5 different countries, and although he's mega rich, he carried one bar of soap with him so that he isn't wasteful. That's dedication!

You can also click here to see some behind-the-scenes footage from Elle HK.

The same issue also features actor Takeshi Kaneshiro 金城武; he's so yummy!

Incidentally, both he and Zhou Xun starred in a musical called "Perhaps Love," which I haven't seen yet, but have been dying to. You can see a romantic singing sequence between the two of them here. So cute together!


Scarlett trying to fulfill her dream (aren't we all?)

Scarlett Johansson is the current cover girl of Nylon mag, and despite the fact that this is a MUSIC issue, and that I think her singing is horrendous, her photos are, of course, gorgeous.

She talks candidly about loving music, and while I don't doubt her passion for the art, I think she has to either choose some better songs, or really polish up on the vocals. (Stage fright should be the least of her concerns...) She is just lucky that she is famous enough for someone to want to indulge her on her passion; many really great performers would die for this opportunity that she has.

Also, in case you were curious about what's on her iPod, you can hear snippets of it below.


Monday, June 23, 2008

from reality-scripted to acting...!

15-minute-famers rejoice, you CAN live on in infamy (or at least, cash out while your minutes are still hot), as Lauren "LC" Conrad and Brody Jenner can attest. Don't get me wrong, I love "The Hills" for all the wrong reasons, but even I can admit that they don't really deserve the amount of coverage that they get. Regardless, I thought that this ad was cheeky and totally plays into the "are they or aren't they?" faux-relationship between the two stars from the show, so what else can I do but to share this little video with you?

The ad is actually for AT&T's LG Shine cell phone, and the way they market the phone is pretty smart, considering their target market.

Will try to find a better quality version when it's available. For now, enjoy...

Shanghai Film Festival Red Carpet

Now that the 11th Annual Shanghai International Film Festival has come to an end, a quick review of the beautiful fashions on the red carpet. A lot of celebrities were on hand at the event, showing their support for Sichuan, China, which had been devastated by the earthquake, with red hearts that they signed.

I thought a lot of the stars looked very pretty. They wore all the big names in European designs. Some of my fave looks include:

Zhang Ziyi 章子怡 in Chanel

Ruby Lin 林心如 in a dreamy cream frock

Charlie Yeung 楊采妮 in Gucci

Fan Bingbing 范冰冰 in Valentino

Gigi Leung 梁詠琪 in Valentino

Zhou Xun 周迅 in Gucci

A more casual look here:

Zhou Xun 周迅 in Maison Martin Margiela

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