Here’s something to add to your Christmas list. For any bride who is a fan of Princess Di or want’s a closer look at the making of her dress, A Dress for Diana is a real gift. Written by her designers, David and Elizabeth Emanuel, we can tour through that spring and summer of 1981 when the world waited for shy Di to emerge from a gilded carriage to become a real live princess.

The day Diana did emerge from that carriage swathed in tulle and taffeta, her storybook gown opened up so many new possibilities. Suddenly bridal designers and manufacturers could innovate and even break a few rules. Overnight Diana with the help of the Emanuels eclipsed the granny gown and cookie cutter bridal uniforms of the time.
David Emanuel’s first book, Style for All Seasons came out in 1983 after the wedding when the husband-wife design duo from Great Britain were the hottest thing to hit the fashion scene. Style for All Seasons showcased the work of these magnificent design talents that the world wanted to see more of. Pre Steam Punk, the Emanuels' gowns were a little bit Belle Epoch, a little bit Boho and certainly a welcome change after so many years of 1970's funk.
Courtesy of CBS NEWS

Courtesy of CBS NEWS

One look at the Emanuel's most recent release A Dress for Diana and with the click of a mouse this book was on its way from Amazon . . . I was not disappointed once I read it front to cover in one sitting. It isn't one of those tell all books. I'm a bridal designer so I wasn't all that much interested in reading about Di's lovers or the Emanuel's eventual split. No, this is a book about the design process and that special designer-client relationship. What I loved most was its colorful and visual timeline from concept to creation of Diana’s gown. It was like stepping into a time tunnel and being let in on one of the best kept secrets of the century with David and Elizabeth guiding me/us through their Brook Street atelier. There are many sketches and variations on the dress Diana finally chose; photos of the dress as a work in progress, even the flower girls weeks before the wedding. The fabric was custom woven and the designers were firm about wanting a one-of-a-kind weave that wouldn't be duplicated. The most inspiring thing about the book is the way the designers not only created a dress but a whole look for the wedding party to coordinate with the scale of this grand celebration. I really recommend this book . . . a lovely gift for sure.

My Bag Collection #41 (SOLD)

Bally Baltic Canvas Tote Bag With Beige And Blue Contrast Stripes (SOLD)
(Reveal from 'Sale Shopping Time... How Could I Miss It?')

Finally after more than 2 weeks of buying this, I am ready to show my new addition to my bag family. It does take a lot of time to take pics and edit them. 'Sigh'...I need an assistant:-)

Okay, back to the post. I was not planning to get any bags, especially from this season, since most offerings were not appealing to me at all. I was already shopping Spring Summer 2009 so all the the dark coloured and heavy looking winter bags are out of the shopping radar. But when I pop by Bally store as their sale commences, I just have to flash out my credit card. Reason? It's this beautiful nautical inspired Bally Baltic Canvas Tote Bag! I love the colour ways. The ivory white canvas with deep blue and beige signature Bally contrast stripes just shouts 'Yachting' and 'By-The-Sea vacation'! Preppy, nonchalant and lightweight, it's the perfect companion to head aboard a private yacht and sail the Baltic seas! I also adore the chunky shiny silver hardware on the bag. Bally branding is subtle as a small button on the front pockets on each side.

Perfect for the 'resort vacation' looks I am aiming for next season. This will go well with white shorts, bright coloured tops and white leather loafers. Wonderful. With Takashimaya offering a SGD$10 voucher for every $100 spent, I get 10% discount as vouchers which I can use for my next purchase. That is on top of the 6% rebate as vouchers when I use my Takashimaya Amex card to pay. Already at a 30% discount for the Bally sale plus all the rebate in vouchers, the deal just gets sweeter!

In the end, I paid SGD $694.40 for the bag which I top up to SGD $719.40 to get 7 vouchers instead of 6, in addition to the 6% rebate for Takashimaya Amex Card. Got a $25 'Aqua Stop' spray from Bally to hinder moisture and dirt on the light coloured canvas. Works for other bags and materials as well:-) Perfect.

I am waiting for next season to take this bag out to compliment my nautical, sea-faring holiday looks!

Retail price: SGD $992. Where to buy: Bally Boutique at Takashimaya

The Material Boy #193

Gucci Cruise 2009 Womens Khaki Military Shorts

Another cute pair of shorts I like. But it's from the women's collection by Gucci. Hmmm...I wonder if guys can pull this off. It looks just like what a guy's pair of military cargo shorts look like, except more refined and glamourous. The slanted pockets is really cute as does the light gold hardware and belt.

What do you guys think? Does this look like a 'skirt' or can be passed off as a guy's shorts? I should be able to fit into the biggest size in the women's range. Hopefully the zippers is where it should be...in the front!:-P

Beautiful things comes at a price. Even more crazy than Dsquared2, this costs US $1150. Yikes!

Retail price: US $1150. Where to buy: www.gucci.com

The Material Boy #192

DSquared2 White Checkered Tailored Shorts

My hunt for the perfect pair of shorts has begun. Dsquared2 seems to offer chic options despite the brand having 80% tacky and cheap looking things in their line. Somehow, if Dean and Dan wants to be sophisticated, they can do it!

This pair of cute DSquared2 White Checkered Tailored Shorts is perfect for summer. In a way, the fine checkered lines, more like 'window pane pattern' made the white less stark and also adds a sense of relaxed elegance to the casual piece. DSquared2's cut also makes a man feel sexy. Dean and Dan knows how to cut at the right places and enhances certain important assets for a guy (If you know what I mean). That is why their jeans are selling like hot cakes when Club 21 stocks them.

Hopefully the new Dsquared2 dedicated boutique we will be getting in Ion, Shopping Mall will open soon and stock this. I know it is ridiculously priced but if the cut is perfect for me, I will not mind. I see lots of wears for this shorts and it will be worth any price.

Retail price: US $525. Where to buy: www.eluxury.com

My MANy Bags Trendspotting #15

Contrast Grey Stripe Shirt And Grey Tailored Shorts

Ooooooh...I must find myself a pair of Grey Tailored Shorts, in a fabric usually used in making of trousers. I love the look of the guy in the pic (Right). His shirt is like my new D&G acquisition,except short sleeves. I like his cloth batch and tie as well. The look works well with dark rim plastic glasses. I need to get mine fitted with lens now! I need those shorts, I need those legs and I need that tan! Inspiration, inspiration!

Yup. This is my kinda look for Spring Summer 2009.

Anyone into this style as well?

Source: www.manofcloth.blogspot.com

The Material Boy #191

Gucci Cruise 2009 Beige Ebony GG Plus Canvas Bags With Light Brown Leather Trim

Sorry I have to babble about Gucci bags again. I have to stress that I am in no way related to Gucci and will not get any 'benefits' out of blogging about this brand:-) I just happened to find material to blog about from Gucci and their new cruise collections are resonating to me in many ways.

During my express shopping stop at Gucci Paragon today, I spotted the new range of Gucci Cruise 2009 Beige Ebony GG Plus Canvas Bags. Although Willis (Gucci SA and friend) have shown me the 2 totes in small and big size while I was shopping in the Takashimaya store last Saturday, I was not very impressed with the designs.

Upon a second look today, the bags are starting to grow on me. The light brown leather trim and beige/Ebony GG canvas are a very sophisticated colour combination. Easy to match lotas of outfits and the light gold hardware (Namely studs and zippers) adds a certain amount of glamour to these otherwise 'basic entry level' Gucci bags. I also love the size of these bags... the large tote and duffel being my favourites.

I tried on the duffel bag today and it is definitely a worthy piece of luggage to tote around looking chic at airports and airplanes. I feel this range of Gucci bags can withstand the rigours of air travel and security checks. What's more, the pricing being so affordable, you can put your mind to rest if it ever gets some knocks and bumps.

For those of you looking to get designer bags at a good price, this range may be for you. The red and green web ribbon on the bags will ensure your 'investment' gets recognition and attention as it shouts Gucci from 'malls' away!

Happy shopping!

Source: Pics from www.gucci.com

Retail price:
1) Gucci Cruise 2009 Beige Ebony GG Plus Large Tote: SGD $670

2) Gucci Cruise 2009 Beige Ebony GG Plus Small Tote: SGD $640

3) Gucci Cruise 2009 Beige Ebony GG Plus Duffel: US $695 (Need to check SGD prices)

Where to buy: Gucci Boutique at Paragon


Wrapping up glamour week I’ve saved the best for last. Feast if you will on pieces of this delicious eye candy from a few modern designers. Using the inspiration of Hollywood and bits of costume glamour, satins, crepes and charmeuse are just a few fabrics used to support those special touches like dramatic sweeps of train, floral necklines and metallic trims.

My Shopping Conquest #39

Agnès B Gunmetal Star Shape Bag Charm With Blue Rhinestones Studs

Agnès B is having a 10% discount promotion at all their outlets. And DBS Cards will allow you an extra 5% discount. So on hearing this piece of retail news, I knew I had to rush down to Agnès B to get my hands on a bag charm I have been eyeing for the past weeks. I was again cheapo and waiting for a promotion of some sort to get that. I needed the charm to hang on my beloved Izzue Gunmetal Coated Canvas Duffel.

So yesterday my wish came true. I got the Agnès B Gunmetal Star Bag Charm With Blue Rhinestones Studs:-P At just approx. SGD $72 from the usual price of SGD $85, I am happy I picked up something I truly want at a discount. Feels good not to pay full price:-P

Now the charm hangs on my Izzue Duffel, so matching and with a bit of 'disco bling' from the blue rhinestone studs. Cool eh? Love it.!

(BTW, I cannot seem to locate this star shape bag charm anywhere besides the Isetan Scotts outlet. So if you guys want to get this as well, you know where!)

Retail price: SGD $85. Where to buy: Agnès B Shop at Isetan Scotts

Monica Bellucci Satoshi Saikusa Photoshoot

Monica Bellucci gets very sensual and mystic in a Satoshi Saikusa photoshoot. She is one of my favorite actress because it doesn’t matter how many wrinkles hides that make-up and photoshop she still is the most beautiful, sensual and turn-on star ever.
The fact that she’s 44 can only come in her advantage. She still has that amazing body and her posture radiates with intelligence and experience. Monica was never intimidated by her $exuality and never been afraid to show it.


When Hollywood designers are mentioned two stand head and shoulders above all others: Adrian and Edith Head. Head of course had flair and that remarkable staying power. In a highly competitive arena, she outlasted just about every designer for two generations in Hollywood(or was it 3?). Then there was Adrian. He just had magnificent talent. Born Adrian Adolph Greenberg, he was head of costume at MGM from 1928-1942 in a time that would mark his fourteen-year reign one of the most innovative in Hollywood. His inventive, often shocking designs are still state-of-the art today and evoke glamour always. He dressed Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer and was instrumental in helping make them beautiful for the camera, so they would eventually go on to become icons. He borrowed from everywhere and everything using his free reign as a costumer to flow over into fashion. Seventh Avenue had particular interest in Joan Crawford’s screen wardrobe and the MGM publicity machine made sure pieces from her 'movie wardrobe' were in stores in time for the release of her pictures. Adrian’s famous Letty Lynton dress you see here in white organdy is an example; Macy’s in New York sold half a million copies of it (not bad for 1933 when most of the world was feeling hard hit by economic depression).

Joan Crawford in Letty Lynton 1932

Joan Crawford in Letty Lynton

Joan Crawford in Letty Lynton

Adrian also had a unique flair for hats and exotic headpieces. Above is a jeweled turban that would go on to become a late thirties-forties trend in fashion. The net bow below would make a dynamite bridal headpiece in any era.
Joan Crawford in When Ladies Meet 1941

Though the pieces directly above and below would still be considered radical even these days, they are great examples of Adrian's inventiveness as a designer. Check out the hooded crepe veil below incorporating veil and dress all in one.

Joan Crawford in When Ladies Meet 1941

Adrian and the public saw Crawford as a fashion plate despite her rather wonky body for showing off clothes. If you look at her in swimsuit photos, her legs are stumpy and short and she has ultra-broad shoulders and a long, thick waist. A real designer's challenge, Adrian helped Crawford become the most fashionable woman in Hollywood, surprisingly not by covering all her flaws but accenting them. The Letty Lynton dress with big, puffy shoulders is a case in point. So is the dress below from Dancing Lady. Later, Adrian went on to design the man-tailored suits with broad shoulders known today as 'The Crawford Look'.
Joan Crawford in Dancing Lady 1933

Jean Harlow was gorgeous. The first to go platinum and braless, Adrian accentuated her hair and breasts by dressing her in clingy, slinky, bias-cut satins that, in those days, resembled sexy nightgowns. Adrian also played up these body-hugging, boudoir chic silhouettes by sometimes adding feathers and fur.

Jean Harlow

Look at the magnificent bias-cut beauty above. Wouldn't it rock as a gown for an evening or beach wedding?