Friday, July 30, 2010

Mary Katrantzou Fall 2010 RTW

Aren't these just the most beautiful ever? I am completely turned on by her neo-baroque sensibility - so rock chic, olde worlde, and just plain genius-gorgeous.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

The MAYA & RUHI Madame X Collection

“Madame X”. The sex appeal of sweet ambivalence. The exploration of art’s subjectivity. The duality in society’s say that holds every artist, to an extent, prisoner.

I picked John Singer Sargent’s “Madame X” for this collection because I was bowled over, not entirely for its art, but for its story. The young-It-girl-by-celebrity-portraitist formula seemed fool-proof at the Salon of 1884. But judges and critics alike dished out scathing remarks and derogatory comments, in between gasps of disgust and politically-correct affirmations-of-the-moment.

You see, in 1884, Paris was in the midst of a sea-change...

"Rendezvous by Day"

"Rendezvous by Night"

The “Belle Epoque”, or Age of Beauty, was a glorious age in Paris. During this time, Paris enjoyed an unprecedented economic boom brought about from a well-meaning and efficient government.
And with economic boom comes retail therapy. The concept of the department store was borne. Yes, the French invented Shopping. And although everything was “prim and proper”, this was also the age of clandestine affairs and widespread infidelity. Parisians were feeling pretty invincible.

"The Affair"

"The Garden at Midnight"


By 1884, the “Belle Epoque” was shutting down. And who would feel it most would be the rich and the cultured. The nonchalance, the pride, the self-satisfied notions were wearing down with economic and social decline.

"Salon 1884"


And this was when “Madame X”, unfortunately, presented to the public. Needless to say, it took the brunt of society’s bad mood. All of a sudden, the dress was too skimpy (when nudes had been exhibited with success), her skin was too sickly (when a paler-than-pale complexion had been The Look), and the composition and technique of a reigning master questioned inside out, because Parisians were losing their patience with expatriates.

"En Rouge"

With all the dastardly brouhaha, both John Singer Sargent and his muse, Madame Gautreau, withdrew from society. He escaped to England where her recouped with fellow artists, before returning to America to continue his successful career. Madame Gautreau, on the other hand, tried to step back into the limelight after it had all died down.

But famed cannot be sustainable where there is no real talent. By then, younger and fresher faces had appeared on the socialite scene. Madame Gautreau never really got her groove back, and lived out her life pretty much a recluse.

"Papillon", in black and pink
(also available in blue and lavender)

As such, I marvel at how much art can be at the mercy of social and economic climates. Fair enough, as far as one is part of a society, there is bound to be boundaries and norms. But the tearing down of “Madame X” was pretty much overnight, which left both artist and subject reeling in shock. Madame Gautreau because she had worked so hard at being the “it” girl, and Sargent because he is known to have said, “I do not judge. I only chronicle.”

Unfortunately, at the Salon of 1884, he, his muse, and his work, were judged. And judged based on a “norm” that changed while the painting was being painted.


From the (clockwise from top left) "Belle", "Amelie" and "Cherie" series

The MAYA & RUHI Madame X Collection is now available in KL. To find out exactly when, where and how, Rachel is your go-to woman. To see the entire Collection, click here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sunrise From My Window

It has been raining much. So much so that the usually super-efficient Singapore drainage system can't cope, and we're suffering the "embarassment" of flash floods. So much so that nowsadays, sunrise looks like this when I hang out the laundry. Only to have to take it in again in a couple of hours, still wet. I do so hate laundry drama. :S

Pretty skies, though. :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ruhi's Dream Report

Ruhi emerges from her bedroom this morning, all sleepy-eyed, and tells me this:

Ruhi and her "Third Eye"

"You know, Mum, I was dreaming of eating pasta. And as I was eating more and more, I was thinking, "Hmm, this pasta is so parmesan-y". And when I woke up I was chewing on Maya's blanket! O_O"

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sneak Peek at The Madame X Collection

The MAYA & RUHI Madame X Collection is based on John Singer Sargent's "Madame X", and the socio-politics that shrouded the portrait of Virginie Amelie Gautreau, which led to the downfall of both the artist and the socialite. Fascinating stuff, I assure you. Of which I shall elaborate in a later post. For now, there is paperwork to be done, and lunch to be prepared, and laundry to be folded...

(The MAYA & RUHI Madame X Collection will be available soon, in KL only. For details, Rachel is your woman. If you're nowhere near KL, let me know, I'll see what I can do. :))

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's Good To Yoga To Know

I am a yoga-er (I don't say yogi, because then people think I am some kind of expert).

And when people hear that I yoga on a regular basis, they immediately think I can twist myself into a pretzel. Some go as far as to ask me to demonstrate putting my leg over the back of my neck.

Fact is: I can't. "Strange, but true".

Fact is: I like yoga because it likes you the way you are. The only pressure, if there is, comes from the Self. No where in yoga does it say, that if you can't throw your leg over the back of your neck, you're not healthy enough.

Thing is: yoga learned me how to explore my limitations. And that is just as important as exploring your potential. In fact, it's sort of the same thing, don't you think?

So for today, I shall be doing 8 sun salutations: 2 regular ones, and 6 variated ones, with side twists, triangles, seated warriors, 3-legged downward dogs and chaturongas thrown in here and there.

My sun salutations are super slow, so this should take me about an hour. And then I'll have a Becks. Sounds like a plan. :)

(pic from nataliedee)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Keeping At It

"Madame X", 1884, John Singer Sargent

So what else is new? I am working feverishly on the latest collection, due in KL very soon. I shall tell you now, that the collection is based on John Singer Sargent's "Madame X", but I am not quite organised enough yet to offer a sneak peek.

For what it is worth, you can expect something completely different from the last collection that was in tribute to the great Frida Kahlo and her work.

And now, I shall head back to the worktable, and get on with it. :)

Nicole Kidman channeling Madame X in a Vogue 1999 publication

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gratuitous fabulous jewelry pic

Crystal Brass Knuckles (I am going to realign your chakras motherf*****), 2009
by Debra Baxter
Quartz crystals, sterling silver

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July Giveaway Result

Ruhi's finally back from school to do the honours...

And the winner is...

Congratulations, crazy dog lover! Please email me your mailing address, and your prize will be on its way! :)

Thank you so much everyone for playing! It has been really good fun. Hope to see you around the blog AND at next month's Giveaway!