Attention, Kate Beckinsale’s character from the Underworld movies, if you ever need a serious weapon to take out those pesky werewolves, girlfriend, it’s time to ditch the silver bullets and buy yourself THIS!

We had thought our ride yesterday in Guangzhou wasn’t too shabby, folks. Herr Hubby and I were hanging with a couple of expat bosses from BMW and cruising around in their 5 series sedan (fantasizing that it was ours, haha!) WHEN we all spotted this sexy little silver chrome Mercedes Benz sitting pretty in a side street while its 20-something Chinese owner (who didn’t look at all like the Silver Surfer or anything liquid metal out of a James Cameron movie) nonchalantly sipped espressos with his Lambo-owning pals at a sidewalk cafe.

The car was such an astounding sight that we all gasped, gawked and grabbed our various iPhones to take instant shots. Yes, even the BMW guys!

This is one silver medal we wouldn’t mind getting our hands on…

Ah, TIC (This Is China). Indeed!

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The Far-Off Philippines — Dream Escapes

 

The Philippines as interior design Inspiration – from Apartment Therapy. Bamboo Stiletto hearts!

 

GASP! The Bamboo Stiletto’s favourite time sink – Apartment Therapy – has Filipino roots! Who knew? It was an absolutely delish surprise to see this post about design inspiration from the Philippines in our blog reader inbox this morning. We’re avid fans ourselves of the capiz shell pendant lamp and of course, the rattan “Voyage” bed by Kenneth Cobonpue, a super-talented young furniture designer from Cebu. Here’s a shout-out of pride for Kenneth and our hometown, y’all. Yay!!!

 

2012 Olympics Eye Candy: Opening Ceremony Outfits We “Heart”!

We tried our darndest to stay up to watch the live broadcast of the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony in London on TV. Epic fail…we dozed off at 2am and instead, woke up at 7:30am.

Seeing as the live broadcast started at 4am, we initially missed the entire thing but thankfully, China still has vestiges of an Olympics hang-over after hosting it in 2008 so CCTV (state-owned national TV) is currently providing wall-to-wall coverage. They replayed the entire Opening Ceremony which made for a convenient and fun Saturday morning while I simultaneously stayed in bed and ordered a room service  breakfast (Herr Hubby and I are still making the Four Seasons Guangzhou our temporary home).

The Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing was a tough act to follow…I still remember getting goosebumps from that show, a truly amazing feat by Chinese film director Zhang Yimou. Well, in opening this London Olympics, I think British film director Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”, “The Beach”, “Trainspotting”) did a stupendous job; to quote the BBC’s most over-used words this morning, the Opening Ceremony was indeed “remarkable” and “extraordinary”.  Although, personally, I would have been happy with a little bit more of David Beckham. I mean, this is the Olympics – we love seeing successful, stylish, impeccably groomed godlike athletes in tight, shiny suits, don’t we?

One thing which has become sort of a delicious Bamboo Stiletto ritual during the Games’ opening is watching the Parade of Athletes to check out the various teams’ outfits. For us, this segment of the Opening is like an international fashion show of multi-cultural style, modeled by a global assortment of eye candy, all in glistening peak physical condition. What’s not to “heart”? So….let the Games begin!

Here’s our Top 5 Picks for Most Stylish Teams (in no particular order or ranking):
1.) Denmark

One of the few teams that did separate but beautifully coordinating outfits for ladies and gentlemen, I especially loved how Team Denmark made their female athletes look so feminine. Beside the ladies, the gentlemen looked even more dashing and masculine in their navy blue-grey suits.

2.) Serbia

Team Serbia also had separate yet coordinating his and hers outfits, which they kept casual chic and cool. Dontcha love the girls’ perky blazer & shorts combo???Tennis champ and Serbian flag bearer, Novak Djokovic, wore his shirt carelessly untucked underneath his red pullover and, coupled with a rebellious stubble, was a statement in studied nonchalance.

3.) Netherlands

oh, how the Dutch and I swear only the Dutch can pull off wearing orange trousers. Not only does Team Netherlands pull off the orange pants but when paired with their cobalt blue trench-style blazers and preppy white tennis cardigans, they looked downright poppin’! As an aside, I remember that this team was also on my most stylish list during the 2008 Olympics. Pale dove grey blazers and trousers paired with the most adorable orange ties, again which only the Dutch can pull off…

Get a load of the Dutch when they unveiled their Olympic uniforms a few weeks ago – won’t you love a bite of that orange trench? This is stuff that we actually do want to wear!

Dutch treat!

4.) Sweden

Team Sweden’s ebullient candy-striped sweaters just spelled adorable. Especially when paired with the ladies’ pleated minis. Very United Colours of Benetton. Note the colour coordinated kicks & laces…how Scandi-cute is that?

5.) South Korea

Natty nautical-inspired outfits from sportswear giant FILA who was responsible for South Korea’s look (four on the left were Opening Ceremony ensembles). Too bad we have no actual photo during the Opening Ceremony…Team SK looked so dang cute!!!

Special Mentions – for looking extra-stylin’ and/or festive as befitting the Olympics (again, in no particular order or ranking):

1.) France

aah, the French never fail to live up to our style expectations. I mean, how GOOD do these athletes look? We especially have a weakness for their tennis players. And spot the cute little red ballet flats on the ladies? We HEART!

Btw, Team France really set the bar high for Olympic uniforms, unveiling these minimally stylish threads by Adidas a few weeks ago:

Voulez vous…?

2.) USA

I thought Team USA worked it! Yes, yes, I know we’re not quite sure if the beret works…the French can carry a beret with requisite elan but Americans seem a bit ambivalent about it. Also, yes, we’re aware of the huge hoo-ha in the US upon realizing that these Ralph Lauren outfits were actually made in China. But hey, weren’t the Ralph Lauren uniforms back in Olympics 2008 – which also looked super stylin’, btw – also made in China? Where was the hoo-ha back then??? oh Americans & the drama 🙂

When Team USA unveiled their uniforms, the Ralph Lauren/”Gossip Girl” Manhattan Upper East prep chic look is pitch perfect:

Team USA’s controversial Olympics uniforms, by Ralph Lauren. Regardless of where it’s produced, in my mind, what makes it look vaguely non-American are the French-style berets, with the red, white & blue stripe on the side. I have a Lacoste beret exactly like this, with the little alligator on the side in red, white & blue stripes! Perhaps a “newsie” cap would have been more American, more New York anyhow…

Bass. Chuck Bass.

3.) Germany

What a delightful festive surprise, Team Germany! Keeping flag colours to a minimum (accents only on trilbys) & instead rocking pastel pinks and cornflower blues, with darling matching scarves, was so un-German & so unexpected…we LOVED it. Btw, this team seemed to be one of the rowdiest & most boisterous (one girl clambered on top of a guy’s shoulders) that for a second I thought the Australians had paraded again! haha!

4.) Brazil

There’s something about the Brazilians that just make us smile and chortle. They’re just yummy-delicious! Team Brazil wore their colours in exuberant combinations, with ladies in mini-skirts showing off tanned athletic legs (and why NOT?), matching scarves loose around their necks…meowrrrr! What is it about these people, they just look so friggin’ SEKSI?!?!

5.) Paraguay

and speaking of SEKSI…like the Netherlands, Team Paraguay also came up with outfits that we would love to get our Stilettos in. Check out this va-va-voom wrap & tie fire engine-red dress! The gentlemen in their bright blue blazers, snowy white trousers & crimson ties looked natty too.

Expected More Stylin’ From:
Italy

Admittedly, my expectations for Team Italy were MASSIVE, to begin with…I mean, their uniforms are designed by The Master himself, Giorgio Armani. Even the lowly deckhand staff working on this guy’s personal yacht are nattily attired, as featured once in Vogue (or was that Vanity Fair?). Anyway, these were the uniforms he unveiled for Team Italy a few weeks ago…ok, very Armani. Very understated. But what are they wearing for the Opening?

…and here’s Team Italy during the Opening Ceremony. Again, very understated. Stylish, yes. But VERY subdued. It’s not terrible, of course not, you can see even from just a TV screen’s perspective, these are exceptionally cut, extremely well-tailored suits. Just slightly underwhelming in terms of overall presentation. These are Italians, for goodness sakes, they’re supposed to rule with cool! I just expected a bit more Lapo Elkann dash and flair, not the constipated investment banker look. Fashion critics everywhere are raving about Team Italy’s look though.

Biggest “Huh?” Moment:

Great Britain

We expected a LOT from the host; Great Britain after all is the home of great,innovative, edgy designers, e.g. Stella McCartney, Christopher Bailey, Sarah Burton, to name a few. So when Team GB strolled out, we were like: “Huh?” Stella McCartney’s PR people were quick to tweet during the Opening Ceremony that these white & gold tracksuits are NOT hers – she only designed the athletes’ performance kits & village wear. Ouch! Apparently, these were done by British apparel retailer Next. Why in the world didn’t they get Christopher Bailey to do the Opening Ceremony outfits? What’s more cool Britannia than Burberry???

So, Stiletto-istas, that’s a wrap for our coverage of Olympics Opening Ceremony fashion. Hope you enjoyed  it as much as we did! In closing, we leave you with a parting shot of the Olympic torch as carried by the tall cool drink of water that’s David Beckham, who we think was woefully under-utilized by Danny Boyle:

THIS is how Team GB should have rocked, y’all!

Did YOU watch the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics in YOUR corner of the world? Which teams landed in YOUR Best Dressed and Worst Dressed List? Just some lighthearted fun this weekend, Stiletto-istas, let’s hear it from YOU!!!

– our Cantonese Phrase for the Week: “Delicious!” or literally, “very good taste”. These were probably the very first words I learned in Cantonese! Which gives you a very good idea about Guangzhou…at the end of the day, this city is really all about food.

Very appropriate considering as it feels like we’ve literally been eating our way through Guangzhou these past couple of weeks. With Cantonese cuisine reigning as one of the four legendary regional Chinese cuisines – and with our penchant for “yumcha” (Cantonese dimsum) on weekends – we’re constantly surrounded by food that’s all “hou hou” (very good) but not very flattering for one’s waistline.

It’s time to apply some much-needed self-discipline and just say “Ngaw bau laa” (I’m full) to all that delicious food and get up early during these summer mornings and exercise. Ouch. But what’s a girl to do? LET’S JUST DO IT!!!

Jonesing for Jute Rugs

jute rugs work for every room

Lately at The Bamboo Stiletto, our home decorating has been so focused on our walls, framing prints, paintings and photos and preoccupied with the business of hanging them, that we’ve almost forgotten about our floors. Isn’t it easy for all of us to forget about our floors? We seldom let our gaze linger downwards when we’re home…

Yet, a lot of us may not realize that it is what we put (or do not put) on our floors that anchor and define the spaces we call our own, for living, dining, sleeping, playing, relaxing.

And speaking of floors – I’ve just been jonesing for jute rugs. Such a tropical touch! And a perfect accessory for bringing summer right into our homes – without breaking the bank. The golden brown colour and rough-hewn texture would be ideal with the smooth wooden floors of our living room  at home as well as with the dark brown slatted wood floors of our balcony. For the living room, I’d layer a massive jute rug underneath our smaller soft, shaggy, grey-brown carpet  (so that the carpet is framed by the rug) while letting the rug go solo to define a dining space in the balcony.

I played around with muzy.com this morning to create this photo collage to show how jute rugs can work in just about every room in your home! Isn’t it fun???

For more photos and tips on how to enhance decorating with jute rugs, visit Tuvalu Home, a coastal-inspired decorating blog we were delighted to discover recently. Photo collage images courtesy of Tuvalu Home.

What about you – have you got the jones for jute rugs too?

gorgeous limited edition long scarves on 100% silk chiffon, personally designed by VAL…perfect for inflight travel style or for just spicing up that summer outfit!

The Bamboo Stiletto was in a state of excitement when we received a personal note from a multi-talented good friend and former “rat race” colleague, VAL, about the recent launch of “Celebration”, an original collection of gorgeous long scarves on 100% silk chiffon personally designed by VAL herself. The scarves’ launch coincided with the debut of VAL’s own blog about the creativity and inspirations behind her designs – check out Expressions by VAL (including how to order her scarves) here!

You must know that The Bamboo Stiletto is infatuated with accessories; we believe that it completely makes or breaks an outfit. For the lucky ducks out there who are travelling to fabulous summer destinations, these “art to wear” scarves would make the perfect stylish inflight travel accessory. Think about it, won’t you love snuggling up in the cozy warmth of your own soft long VAL scarf instead of those scratchy airline blankets on long flights? Or, if you’re not travelling and simply staying put, a colourful VAL scarf is just perfect for jazzing up any summer outfit. Scarves & stilettos…what’s not to love?

Of course we are now absolutely besotted with getting our hands on a VAL scarf of our own. For our Shanghai Stiletto-istas, did you know that you can buy a VAL scarf at Simply Life – our fave lifestyle store in trendy Xintiandi, The Bamboo Stiletto’s old neighborhood? As for the rest of us, thank goodness for the internet because now we can all buy a VAL scarf without travelling to Shanghai! We’re debating between these 2 designs: “A Fishy Tale” or “Summer Sun”?

Hmmm…why don’t you check out VAL’s designs for yourself and tell us which one is your favourite???

Welcome to Monday Funday, 4th Edition!

It’s time for Monday Funday, Stiletto-istas, when The Bamboo Stiletto combines her obsessions about home beach houses/decor and celebrities/movies/TV all into a single fun post!

So, who are the lucky ducks who managed to guess the answer to last week’s Monday Funday pop quiz, about a rom-com starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson as a sparring odd couple inadvertently thrown together – and eventually falling in love – in her Hamptons beach house? A couple of you wrote in with the correct answer and it is, “Something’s Gotta Give”, of course! We love that movie and yes, we LOVE that beach house probably even more, hahaaa!

pop this DVD in, grab a bucket of popcorn and call me…maybe?

So for this week’s pop quiz…are you Stiletto-istas ready???

This Monday Funday is especially dedicated to the fashionistas out there: this world-renowned fashion designer has made his fame and fortune by making us all hanker for his all-American, now iconic preppy designs. Back when I was in high school, all I wanted to own was one of his polo shirts with its sought after logo on the upper left hand side of the chest. It was considered the epitome of preppy cool…(sigh! chuckle)…and all these years later, astoundingly, it still is!

From clothes, shoes and bags, perfumes and sportswear, his global fashion brand empire now includes bed and bath linens, home decor and accessories, all designed to inspire the all-American spirit and lifestyle. What’s made his success all the more remarkable is how, in spite of his fame, the spectacular homes around the world and his billions, this designer has remained very much a devoted family man, husband and father, still married to the same woman for 40 years and having raised three extremely goodlooking, well-adjusted and highly successful (in their own right) children, one of whom now works in his company. Are you starting to guess now who this designer could be?

Check out this designer’s spectacular beach house on the Caribbean island of Jamaica below – all images courtesy of Architectural Digest – and you may recognize some of his home fashion accessories in these photos:

touches of chinoiserie give the beach house an exotic Asian feel

high ceilings, an antique mirror & chandelier gives grandeur to this living room but the reading nook in the corner does make it warm & cozy

a closer look at the reading nook…sigh! makes you want to slip off those shoes & just curl up on thos pink & turquoise cushions, huh?

I have an ongoing obsession with directors’ chairs (I have 2 at home that I picked up at a New York flea market & which I love) and the ones in white canvas on this patio are just so beachy-chic!

just adore how tropical this bedroom looks, with the bamboo & wicker furnishings, white linens & mosquito net…according to the magazine, the floor matting is made of banana (!). reminds me of jute actually…

genius idea…of course a beach house has to have a screening room!!! the rich polished mahogany is gorgeous & will only look more beautiful with age…

Isn’t this beach house just to die for? What I’ve shown you here are interior shots of the main house of this designer’s beach holiday home compound…this family compound in Jamaica also has a stunning guest cottage, the interiors of which I’ll show you when we reveal the identity of this fashion designer.

TELL ME – can you guess who it is??? Let’s play Monday Funday, y’all!!!

filled with hope, ideas & energy, with which to start our week

Happy Monday, Guangzhou!
We hope that all of you managed to escape from the unrelenting heat and had a restful summer weekend.

It’s another day, another week for us here at The Bamboo Stiletto and we are besotted with this simple quote from Sparkpeople.com which perfectly encapsulates how we feel right now:

Full of gratitude
(our site has reached a milestone, at over 1,200+ views & counting…)

Full of hope, ideas & energy to do more and
BE MORE

What else can we say? Put it like this: we’re inspired by YOU.

Snuggle Up: 8 Cozy Cottage Bedrooms to Inspire You

summer lovin’…

Buenos dias, Stiletto-istas! I absolutely love lazy summer weekend mornings, waking up to the sound of birds chirping, soft breeze and gentle morning sunlight caressing the trees outside, cup of coffee in hand and having all the time in the world to browse through the latest on my blog’s Reader (which aggregates posts from blogs that I follow). This morning, this is what caught my eye…

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