"" wondermomo: November 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009


"Taihachiro of Hong Kong", as Vintage Glasses eyewear is known, didn't get its nickname haphazardly.
The vision of Paul, the mono-named founder of Schizo (a Hong Kong-based spectacles boutique with a cult following), Vintage Glasses aims to return the spi
rit of artisanship to an accessory that has been somewhat overtaken by mass production.
Channeling besp
ectacled greats (Andy Warhol, Yves Saint Laurent) & drawing on iconic dead stocks (Number (N)ine x Kurt Cobain, Number (N)ine x Taihachiro, JPG Eiffel Tower glasses, Cutler & Gross), Paul injects a dash of long-forgotten class into his designs that have as much to do with his knowledge & his craftsmen’s skills as it does with the fine materials he uses. Part of this know-how arises from the fact that Paul is himself a fervent collector of antique eyewear, a passion that directly led him to start this business in the first place (in Ueno, Tokyo, & Hong Kong, back in 2000). Paul’s vast private collection has even popped up as movie props on the set of Stephen Chow’s "Shaolin Soccer" & "Kung Fu".
If you have had issues with spectacles that typically slide down your nose, give Vintage Glasses a try. Vintage Glasses takes the business of fitting frame to face seriously, & could just be your lucky ticket to the world of eyewear comfort ;-)

Vintage Glasses in a 2006 cover story feature in Mode Optique, the leading eyewear magazine in Japan (published bi-annually).

Japanese eyewear label Taihachiro Kinsei (泰八郎謹製, i.e. "Humbly Made By Taihachiro") from which Vintage Glasses’ nickname of "Taihachiro of Hong Kong" stems, is the creation of legendary master frame maker Yamamoto Taihachiro, who, to the regret of many, has apparently recently retired.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Aidil Adha

Warm wishes to our Muslim friends as you celebrate Eid al-Adha & as many of you complete the annual Hajj.

[Image: Nayeem Kalam]

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing all our U.S. friends a peaceful, restful, & feastful Thanksgiving.

[Image via Roz Leibowitz]

Monday, November 23, 2009

TRETORN Klippor Hiking Boots

Offering hearty ankle support & the rugged style of a casual hiking boot, Tretorn's high-lacing "Klippor" caught the eye of influential men's style blogs today. Come check them out :-)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

3.1 Phillip Lim Faux-Wrap Ruffled Dress

Like small sprinkles on a cupcake, polka dots add a sweet, slightly whimsical twist to any dress.
This 3.1 Phillip Lim design receives a feminine spin with a dusting of the tiniest dots, topped off with a ruffled trim & sheer bell sleeves.
Throw a belt on top if you're feeling fancy (like models Han Jin & Rose, top left & bottom right), or take it easy & let the ruching create the shape (like A-list sweetheart Natalie Portman at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, bottom left).

Friday, November 20, 2009


We are totally psyched for these SUPER LIMITED Converse ★ John Varvatos hi-tops!
From the Bowery John Varvatos x Chuck Taylor All Star capsule collection, John Varvatos’ trademark streak of rock & roll aesthetics goes uninterrupted in these flashy yet practical new offerings.
(Top) Hi-Top with nappa leather upper & embedded metal ball-chains
(Bottom) Hi-Top with garment-dyed black python embossed Italian leather upper

Do. not. miss. them.

John Varvatos
Detroit-born John Varvatos has always embraced his inner rock geek. In addition to owning 15,000 albums (ranging from Jimi Hendrix to R.E.M.) & attending 75 concerts annually, the acclaimed designer has relentlessly integrated rock & roll into the very heart & core of his work, connecting with millions of ordinary guys who just want to look good, without being victims of fashion or trends.
In 2004, Varvatos did something “sneaky”. He took the favourite shoe of the American (universal?) male -- the Converse sneaker -- & reinterpreted it with his typical attention to detail. These unprecedented All Star collaboration sneakers were a monster hit with both the hip & the mass.
John Varvatos has twice won the industry’s ultimate accolade, Menswear Designer of the Year (2001 & 2005)

John Varvatos Bowery NYC
315 Bowery is the address which formerly belonged to punk-rock cradle CBGB OMFUG (Country, Blue Grass and Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers). The was founded in 1973 & quickly forsook its namesake musical styles to become a forum for rock & punk legends like Blondie, Talking Heads, The Ramones, & Green Day. The club closed in October 2006 with a final show performed by Patti Smith.
(John Varvatos’ first trip to the Big Apple was in fact to see the Ramones perform at CBGB, in 1977.)
When John Varvatos took over the lease & opened John Varvatos Bowery NYC in Spring 2008, detractors protested & picketed. But Varvatos has worked hard to keep a piece of history. In addition to all of the designer's lines, the shop sells vinyl records, along with vintage-seventies hi-fi equipment, & it even retains many of the space's iconic features. The graffiti- & flyer-covered walls remain as they were, & there's even a new small stage for free concerts by up-&-coming musicians. Some doubters have since admitted that, of all the possible new tenants (apparently the space easily could have been a deli or Bank of America), Varvatos seemed to have built the one shrine that would convert the cynics.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ALICE + OLIVIA Leather Insert Shift Dress

Leather dresses, a big trend for autumn, always give you an instant high fashion look. This Alice + Olivia piece features an edgy centre leather panel on the front, but the real scene-stealing element is the tantalising lace-up back. Welcome to va-va-voom!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

LaROK "Ice Breaker" Dress

With a sweetheart neckline, frayed overlay at the bodice & on-seam hip pockets, this plaid strapless babydoll number by LaROK is indeed like an ice-breaker. It’ll be easy to make contact with people because they will be fascinated by how adorable this dress is. People will ask about your charming taste in fashion. You will enjoy more conversations. Just try it & you'll see :-)
Get creative & pair it with ballet flats, studded platforms, heels, tights, or even jeans!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

LESS THAN HUMAN - Eyewear from Japan

Brand concept: “Silly, erotic, & anarchist.”
When it comes to Less Than Human, always expect the unexpected. From the brand’s 2002 inception to its meteoric rise to the top of the eyeglasses realm, Less Than Human has made a name for itself as the witty optical interpreters of Japanese non-conformity -- with nostalgia-fueled ingenuity, convincing quality, & wild collaborations (including a limited edition, the “OkaOde ダlaiラO”, featuring the Dalai Lama!).
Less Than Human founding creative team: Wataru Nishio (formerly of Alain Mikli Atelier in Paris), Yasuhiro Imai (the main man, also oversees Tse Tse, another Japanese eyewear brand), & Jun Kouga (who’s done work for Oliver Peoples, Paul Smith & Eyevan).
The trio regards eyewear not only as an instrument to remedy a person’s eyesight, but also as an important element which makes powerful visual impressions & tells the personality. Through glasses, wearers gain a new face, an accessorised face, a face-for-others… sometimes, perhaps, even a less than human face?

Frequent features in leading magazines prove that Less Than Human eyewear have become must-have fashion items.

Japan has been going through an eyewear craze for the past few years & glasses have become important accessories amongst both fashionistas & the hoi polloi.
That’s Beyonce, in Less Than Human, at the recent 2009 F1 Night Race in Singapore.
One advantage of Less Than Human glasses is that they are more suited to the Asian face shape -– wider or more rectangular eye frames, with a slighter nose bridge.
Another plus: the designs are distinct from the Fendis & the Pradas & the Oakleys that most folks wear ;-)

Monday, November 9, 2009

ALEXANDER WANG Max Fanny Pack (Unisex)

What’s the hottest international designer brand right now? According to a seasonal survey of Japanese retailers published by the Senken newspaper & being circulated at the recent Paris shows, it's Alexander Wang (who scored double the votes of runner-up Givenchy).
Only just 25, the golden boy designer also scooped the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award last year, as well as the much-coveted Swarovski Aw
ard for Emerging Talent in Womenswear Design this past June.
Growing up in San Francisco, with Chinese-American family heritage, Alexander Wang taught himself to sew in his early teens after his mum bought him a sewing machine. He staged his first fashion show aged 15 at his brother's wedding. He did a course at Central Saint Martins College "just after 8th grade", & when he finished high school at 18 he moved to New York to study at Parsons before dropping out to catapult into fashion's It arena.
Wang’s signature is to take what appear to be ‘golden oldies’, such as jeans, T-shirts, or knits, & reinvent them as catwalk smash-hits. This disheveled yet street-smart M.O.D. (model off-duty) style has won him legions of fans. Where Alexander Wang goes, you can bet hip girls & guys will follow.
Made of super-soft leather with the look of denim, this washed le
ather unisex fanny pack offers an abundance of "Wang" factor: Savage cool, kinda rocker chic, but still totally wearable for a regular gal as well.
As seen on Chrstina Aguilera.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

ALICE + OLIVIA 'Francesca' Feather Trim Dress

Make sure your evening wear is chic, glamorous, & camera-ready with this gorgeous slim-fitting jersey dress from Alice + Olivia.
The haute hem of feathers adds a dramatically flounced effect -- perfect for dancing the night away!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

3.1 PHILLIP LIM Leopard Overprint Ruffle Dress

This 3.1 Phillip Lim dress is done in tier upon tier of smooth silk-blend ruffles which creates gorgeous texture. The leopard overprint is unexpected, adding a subtly wild approach to the feminine design.
Try it with a belt
for a runway to real life look (like red-hot Russian model Diana Farkhullina, above left). Or pair it with black pantyhose & ankle boots for a more modern & dramatic take. Or hey, even bold red shoes would look fantastic with this dress if it had a clean & architectural line.
Also fabulous as a longer tunic with jeans!

Friday, November 6, 2009


One look at Sultan & Europa & you'll think, these stunners really need to be mine now!!!
Oozing vintage-inspired desirability, these dresses by UK-based All Saints Spitalfields are like good investment pieces that will appreciate in value for your party/red carpet requirements.
You'll love how the frocks brace your figure like the classic silhouettes of yesteryear. At the same time, the designs, just about as fresh & self-confident as they get, spurn the "one season and it’s over" convention.
Balance the soft feminine lines with fierce heels for a new evening equation.

Top: All Saints Spitalfields Sultan Dress
Bottom: All Saints Spitalfields Europa Corset Dress

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

LaROK Electro Clash Dress

Part strapless, part goddess, part one-shoulder. So current yet still unique, all the seasonal trends come together in this “sexy kitten” dress by LaROK.

Monday, November 2, 2009


What do all four of the Kates (Beckinsale, Holmes, Walsh, & Hudson) have in common, you ask yourself? Well, they were all among the first to realise the appeal of the Oliver Peoples “Sofiane” sunnies.
In 1986, ophthalmologist Larry Leight & his brother Dennis happened on an auction for an assortment of rare eyewear from the 20s and 30s, including thousands of beautifully filigreed rimless & metal frames produced by iconic American companies (e.g. Bausch & Lomb, American Optical). The frames were unworn, in mint condition, in their original packaging. The brothers snapped up the entire lot, which included a receipt signed with the name “Oliver Peoples”, who they reasoned was the original owner or distributor. When the brothers opened their first eyewear shop on Sunset Plaza (West Hollywood, California), a stylish, gallery-like boutique, it seemed only fitting to use that name for th
e store.
Larry Leight’s own collection, inspired by the vintage frames from that estate sale & naturally also named Oliver Peoples, debuted at Vision Expo East as wholesale in 1987. Although the unveiling
was a departure from the futuristic styles & geometric shapes dominant in the late 80s, it was fortuitously timed, as runway fashion was moving in a vintage-inspired direction.
Leight’s designs hit a goldmine & gained him instant international exposure. Oliver Peoples became an optical phenomenon, literally changing the course & perception of eyewear in the 20th century.
In 2006, Leight sold the company (with the exception of his original boutique) to Oakley, itself acquired by Luxottica in 2007.
Finely crafted using quality materials, Oliver Peoples glasses were (& still are) manufactured in limited quantity, with deliberate anti-logo labeling so that only people “in the know” would recognise them. In an interview last year, Leight stated that the new Oliver Peoples
Suspended Metal series was his favourite. As the debut style of this series, Sofiane features a hand-laid metal wire encased in two layers of hand-sculpted plastic, a technology that took several years to develop. This labour of love has clearly been worthwhile, as Sofiane has become the design of choice for many fashion forward individuals & Hollywood elite.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

ALICE + OLIVIA Cutout Sleeves Dress

Looks like Alice + Olivia definitely got the memo on the cutout trend.
Hot on the heels of the intricate layered cutout dress, comes the super sultry body-con dress with cutout sleeves. This is the kind of dress that makes the guys fall all over themselves ;-)
Wear it with statement ankle boots & a hard-hitting clutch to lend your look an even higher-voltage edge.