Friday, August 30, 2013

TRAVEL | see you soon shoreditch


I love Shoreditch. I'm looking forward to living in this neighborhood in next week. Known as the artistic hub of London, you can't turn a corner without running into a colourful piece of graffiti, a tiny vintage shop or a hipster art gallery. Since I stayed in North London on my last visit, it'll be interesting to see how East Londoners live. 

However, there's still much planning to be done. I count myself as being a wiz at packing (flying four times a year can do that to you) but even I'm having some trouble packing for my two month trip. Knowing that I'll be on the road and knowing that I will have to pack and repack every several days makes it clear that I only have room for the basic essentials so as not to weigh the suitcase down with unnecessary items--I learned my lesson in Paris last year, trudging my suitcase up 5 flights of stairs was no easy feat. Not to mention, there's a ton of knickknacks I'll have to bring, which can take up more space than you know, including: chargers, makeup bag, a padlock, an umbrella, outlet convertor etc. I won't even be bringing a thick coat for the cold. It'll probably be easier to buy a coat over there when the temperature drops and the cold becomes unbearable.

It's been pretty stressful, but this Eurotrip has been a long time coming--I started saving paycheck by paycheck since November and started planning early February. This trip will be the hardest I've ever traveled--I'll be (physically) pushing myself harder than I ever have before, it'll be the longest I've been away from home, and ultimately this is really my first big solo voyage (classic rite-of-passage amirite?). Am I scared out of my wits? Totally!!! But I've also never looked more forward to anything in my life!

T minus 3 days!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DIY | boxy leather jacket

Jamie: Boxy jacket - Selfmade // Top - Asos // Jeans - Cheap Monday // Boots - H&M
Kelly: Boxy jacket - Selfmade // White Tee - Gap // Jeans - Hollister // Dr. Martens

001_2 yards of faux leather
002_needle & thread

This jacket was 100% hand sewn

There's always something really rewarding when making DIY projects. Even if it saves you hours of trial and error and multiple needle pricks to just go out and buy whatever it is you're making, you still do it because being crafty is just so much more fun. That, and I've had a lot of free time to myself this past week so I wanted to challenge myself by working on the ultimate DIY: A faux leather jacket.

First problem I encountered was the fact that I know absolutely nothing about making clothes. I don't own a sewing machine and I can barely understand clothing patterns. I thought I'd find something useful on { Pinterest } or { Google } at least, but to no avail--and some where so complicated it made my head spin. So my only option was to take old tee I found in my closet during my closet cleanse and undo the seams to see how it all works. See, before that I had no idea how sleeves of a shirt looked unraveled. It's a good thing I did too because I would've started cutting out a completely wrong shape.

Once I deconstructed the shirt, the rest was quite simple: I traced the front and back portion of the tee on the faux leather, adding an extra inch on each edge for a larger fit and seam allowance. For the sleeves I measured the length of my arm and drew a shape using the sleeve taken from the tee. The rest was a matter of sewing together all the pieces inside out. Simple. Longest part really was measuring out the shape to make sure it fit alright. Faux leather isn't as elastic as other types of fabric so it was crucial to get the sizing right--I must've drawn at least 2-3 rough cuts of the front and back panels.

Cut down the middle of the front panel to create a jacket. Sew on a zipper if you like--I left mine without just to keep the minimal look. Or forego the cutting and wear it as a jumper/sweater.

Inspired by vintage cropped moto jackets
Thanks { Kelly } for the photos

Friday, August 23, 2013

INSPIRATION | sou fujimoto x serpentine pavillion

"The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2013 is designed by multi award-winning Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. 

He is the thirteenth and, at 41, youngest architect to accept the invitation to design a temporary structure for the Serpentine Gallery. The most ambitious architectural programme of its kind worldwide, the Serpentine's annual Pavilion commission is one of the most anticipated events on the cultural calendar. Past Pavilions have included designs by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei (2012), Frank Gehry (2008), the late Oscar Niemeyer (2003) and Zaha Hadid, who designed the inaugural structure in 2000. 

Widely acknowledged as one of the most important architects coming to prominence worldwide, Sou Fujimoto is the leading light of an exciting generation of artists who are re-inventing our relationship with the built environment. Inspired by organic structures, such as the forest, the nest and the cave, Fujimoto's signature buildings inhabit a space between nature and artificiality. Fujimoto has completed the majority of his buildings in Japan, with commissions ranging from the domestic, such as Final Wooden House, T House and House N, to the institutional, such as the Musashino Art Museum and Library at Musashino Art University. 

Occupying some 350 square-metres of lawn in front of the Serpentine Gallery, Sou Fujimoto's delicate, latticed structure of 20mm steel poles will have a lightweight and semi-transparent appearance that will allow it to blend, cloud-like, into the landscape and against the classical backdrop of the Gallery's colonnaded East wing. Designed as a flexible, multi-purpose social space - with a café sited inside - visitors will be encouraged to enter and interact with the Pavilion in different ways throughout its four-month tenure in London's Kensington Gardens."

I am beyond excited to see this installation in person when I'm in London. I absolutely love love love minimalistic, graphic look. Not the mention, all the three dimensional negative space makes for a very interesting piece to look at in all angles. I think I'll be visiting this installation twice: once during the day, and once during sunset for some light and shadow drama! I also love modern architecture against natural backdrops--the juxtaposition between sharp whites and soft greens really helps with the visual aesthetics. The white makes the green more beautiful and vice versa. Less is more.

Designed by { Sou Fujimoto }
Words by { Serpentine Gallery }

OUTFIT | cashmere jumper

grey cashmere jumper - thrifted // gold bracelet - H&M

For the sake of my upcoming Europe trip and my move out of the country in January, I decided to clear out my closet of a few old things I never/hardly ever wear. I didn't realize how much stuff I had lying around until the end--when I was stuffing 5 bags worth of old clothes into my car. I was successful in selling some (while the rest will probably be donated to the local goodwill) and earned about $50 in the process, so I look a quick look around the store and came across this gem of a jumper! After living in California for the last 8 years and hailing from the subtropics before that gives me little to no reason to buy warm shirts, knits, or jackets. Cashmere isn't hard to come by but has always been a little out of my budget, especially since I never need to wear any more than a light jacket even in winter here in the States. So when I found this jumper--and in incredible condition as well--for a measly $20 (they usually go for $150-$300), I snatched it up straight away. I remember how freezing cold it was in Paris last year in October, but this time this knit under a nice wool coat is how I plan to be spending my early winter days overseas!

Monday, August 19, 2013

PERSONAL | little corona

Kelly and I stopped by Little Corona this afternoon for several hours of quality beach time. We strolled along the shore, poked around the little tide pools, and enjoyed a snack whist admiring the view. Since there's only two more weeks (one for some people) before the school season begins, the usually empty Little Corona was packed to the brim with kids, teens, and their families, trying to soak up as much sun as they can before they have to hit the books again. 

On this particular day, the salty air and slight overcast really brought me back to my childhood back in Hong Kong, when my parents would take me and Kelly to { Tai Long Wanfor our weekly picnics.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

ACCESSORIES | margiela x h&m key ring bracelet

I try my best not to splurge on clothes but sometimes there's that one item you can't say "no" to. I was browsing on ebay (digital flea market!!) the other night and came across a seller who was selling the sold out Margiela x H&M oversized key ring bracelet ($34). It's a little loud and more than a little avant-garde, but I love it! My current wardrobe is nothing more than basics anyways, so a little accessory that makes me look like I just recently escaped from a elaborate bank heist gone wrong is just the statement piece I need.

Anyways, I did eventually do a little research on the whole collection (Autumn/Winter 2012). Turns out the collection showcased some reissued pieces drawn from the older Margiela archives. The collaboration incorporated a lot of the boxy silhouettes and oversized garments for which the House is famous for. Full collection on { Vouge }

I'm so happy to own a little something from Marigela, even if it is just a collaboration piece. It's small, but definitely not subtle. It's perfect!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

INSPIRATION | maison martin margiela invites

001_Winter 2012 Menswear // 002_Autumn-Winter 2013 Menswear // 003_Spring-Summer 2013 Menswear // 004_Spring-Summer 2014 Menswear

"Ever since launching in 1989, Maison Martin Margiela has created unconventional invitations to match the equally unexpected presentations. Ranging from metro tickets to cigarette paper to flashlights, the Maison's fashion show invitations have taken various forms over the years, reinterpreting classic objects giving them new life.

So inspired by Maison Martin Margiela's collection of invitations to their fashion shows. It's brilliant how they add a slight Margiela twist to mundane, every day objects. Some other favorites of mine includes the toy television, the flashlight keychain, and the telegram.

Check out Maison Martin Margiela’s { Pinterest } for more invitations

Photos courtesy of {Maison Martin Margiela}

Thursday, August 1, 2013

TRAVEL | europe route

In the end of this month I'll be packing my bags and flying off on my two month long European Adventure!

It was a little tough trying to hit all the cities I wanted to go to. Last time I was overseas I only visited London and Paris. If I had the means and time, I would've liked to tour Europe until next year rolls around, but unfortunately my 'grown up' responsibilities are starting to creep up on me. My gap year is soon coming to an end and this will be the ultimate send-off party!

I will be starting my trip up in Edinburgh then moving down to London. Before I leave for Paris I'll be taking a day to visit Bristol (can anyone say SKINS??!!). Then I'll be in staying Paris for a week and after that is when all the hard traveling will begin. I'll be bussing it from each location: starting from Paris to Bruges, then from Bruges to Amsterdam and so on. I'll be packing and unpacking every three or four days until I reach the end of my loop in Nice (not a bad place to end at all!). Then from Nice I'll be flying back to Paris for a couple days and then heading back to London for two weeks before I finally fly back home to California.

And speaking of London, Kelly spontaneously booked a plane ticket today to meet me in there for a week in November! For months now I've been wishing we could somehow visit London together and today, when I was wishing out loud yet again, Kelly mentioned she actually had enough saved in the bank from this past year for a roundtrip ticket. We did some quick calculations and found out she even had leftovers for a hostel. We booked her ticket together right after and the rest is history!

Two and a half months, 16 different cities, 10 different counties. I can't wait!

Looks like its time to read up on some { Nomadic Matt } travel tips.