While everyone is away on holiday (it seems) this Easter weekend, we’re bound to our desk working like bananas so, for a lunchtime break, I thought I’d share with you one of my latest mini-obsessions: fashion policing the new FLOTPRC (First Lady of the People’s Republic of China), the glamorous Li Pengyuan, wife of China’s newly-appointed president, Xi Jinping.
To those of you who might be somewhat clued out as to what’s hot and happening here in the good ol’ PRC, here’s a little backgrounder on the new First Lady and her grace, charm and sensible yet stylish wardrobe that’s been wowing diplomatic and fashion circles:
Before her debut on the world stage this past week, Madame Li gained fame in China on her own, as a much-beloved Chinese folk singer and opera star. Every year she was a fixture in the country’s annual Chinese New Year star-studded television extravaganza (the same one which saw Celine Dion singing – in Mandarin – most recently). The First Lady has performed in Lincoln Center in New York and at the Vienna State Opera House in the past but since her husband became China’s vice president in 2007, Madame Li began scaling back her public singing appearances. In 2011, the World Health Organization appointed her as a goodwill ambassador for AIDS and tuberculosis. Madame Li and the President have one daughter, currently a student at Harvard.
As for the low-key designer – Ma Ke – who is behind Madame Li’s tastefully understated wardrobe – the Shanghaiist offers this interesting observation (post below from Shanghaiist):
– quote –
In a society that typically has more money than class, it’s surprising that such a simple and understated designer as Ma Ke should be on everyone’s lips. If the name sounds unfamiliar rest assured she’s soon to be a household name. Ma is helping turn Peng Liyuan, China’s First Lady into China’s Jackie Oh.
Interestingly anti-consumerist and slightly ironic, she is the designer behind the brands Exception de Mixmind and Wuyong. Naming her haute couture brand Wuyong, which literally means “useless”, Ma says she wants to redefine modern luxury, drawing it away from “Western Materialism”, and towards more spiritual factors, as she believes that elements such as time, water and the human spirit are timeless [Shanghaiist Ed.: *eyeroll*].
What does that actually mean? Both brands only use sustainable production, including traditional dying, weaving and embroidery techniques invented by the Dong People of southern China. The fabrics used by Wuyong are actually woven with Chinese loom technology dating back to 19th century. Furthermore, rather than going the route of ultra-elite and ostentatious, as many domestic haute couture designers have, Wuyong’s fashion shows are outside, open to the public and use a collection of modern dancers and tai-chi performers instead of models.
This ecologically and socially sustainable approach seems to have worked, as Exception just celebrated it’s 16th birthday, and Wuyong was the second ever Chinese collection to show at Paris Fashion Week. Furthermore, Exception has generated sales over one billion yuan in 60 stores in China. While many have attributed the First Lady’s coat and bag to Exception de Mixmind, industry insiders have pointed out that they actually belong to Wuyong. The brand has reportedly made over 100 outfits exclusively for Peng in the past 3 months. She will continue wearing them throughout her trip to Russia, Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo.
– end quote –
The First Lady is supporting sustainable fashion in China??? Very fashion forward of her, if I may say so, and if then… KUDOS to the FLOTPRC!
Happy spring fling, sweets!
It’s been a month since our Chinese New Year post and in that time, The Bamboo Stiletto was whisked away by Herr Hubby for a long, lovely, delicious 3 weeks of holiday. Where did we sashay off to on our vacay, duckies???
Well, to sum it all up or else we’ll be here all day: first stop was Bali, Indonesia. To meet up with The Bamboo Stiletto’s dearest gal pals from high school, all scattered now to the four corners of the earth (namely, Los Angeles, Paris, Dubai, Sydney, as well as Cebu, Boracay…and little ol’ moi, representing Chinoise) and converging on the Island of the Gods, solo or with hubby/boyfriend/partner/what evs in tow.
Anyway, more about Bali in another post, dah-lings, and don’t worry, you’ll be getting an eyeful soon…
Second stop of our little vacay was an incredible, life-altering week at The Farm at San Benito, a wholistic wellness resort in Batangas, about a 90-minute drive from the Philippine capital of Manila. Located in the midst of 50 hectares of lush trees, flowers, a lake, a pond, a river, more coconut trees and bamboo that you can shake a stick at and populated by a charming posse of extremely communicative peacocks, ducks, chickens and a prancing billy goat or two, The Farm comes replete with luxury suites and villas, an amazing spa and an awardwinning organic vegan restaurant.
Herr Hubby and I signed up for a one-week detox cleanse, where we had nothing but fresh juices all day and a hot vegetable soup at night. Take my word for it, boy oh boy, by the time evening would roll around, those nightly hot soups tasted like the most god dang delicious gourmet concoctions on the planet! In addition, we were subjected to colon cleansing sessions, spa treatments to help detoxify and availed ourselves of The Farm’s diverse array of daily activities, such as yoga, power walks, boxing, swimming, etc.
My dear Stiletto-istas, I don’t know about you but if I’m going to suffer through my detox/cleanse, I might as well suffer in luxury…at The Farm. Ha! That was very goopster Gwyneth Paltrow of me. Hahahaaa!!!! But seriously, book the Narra Pool Villa, trust me.
Anyhooz, I thought I’d share our super-delicious “last meal” at The Farm before detox began, which is basically the vegan meal which constituted our last full meal before going on the juice and soup diet. Any preconceived notions I had of vegan food being bland and boring disappeared when I tasted the food at The Farm, where they specialize in mostly raw cuisine (85% raw, only 15% cooked). Check these out and tell me, aren’t these just HELLA SCRUMPTIOUS???
I had headaches in the afternoon of my first day into the juice diet and nausea on the evening of my second day, but after breathing exercises I learned from our yoga teacher at The Farm which, astoundingly, truly worked in relieving my headache, coupled with a good night’s sleep, by the third day, I bounced back with a noticeable uptick in energy. And my energy levels from there just took off. By the end of the week, both Herr Hubby and I had lost weight, trimmed inches off our waists and hips, and felt AH-MAY-ZING!!! Of course, we are now furiously plotting when and how we can go back…
Meantime, here we are back to reality and the REAL HARD PART: sustaining everything that we’d learned and experienced at The Farm at San Benito. We actually bought The Farm’s recipe book, appropriately called RAW! so we can try out some stuff ourselves at Casa Stiletto. Hey, we’re not turning vegan, ok, but we are making serious attempts at eating healthy. So, get the juicer and blender out of the cupboard!
For a hotelier and a writer/blogger couple such as Herr Hubby and myself, eating healthy can be a bit of a stretch, but we’re gonna have fun trying, duckies.
:-)Ha! Ain’t life a HOOT?
What are your thoughts on raw cuisine, Stiletto-istas? How about vegan cuisine, does it float your boat? Would you like to share some delicious recipes here?…oh, please do SHARE!!!
Apologies, Stiletto sweethearts! This was supposed to be a Monday Funday post, but as luck would have it, our VPN (virtual private network) conked out yesterday.
So, for the past 24 hours here in China, while VPN-less, we couldn’t access Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, even Google (couldn’t get into Gmail as well), even Yahoo was drifting in and out…and yes, no WordPress either, where this blog, The Bamboo Stiletto, resides. The only thing working was Bing (but WHO really uses Bing, anyway?) Highly frustrating but TIC (This Is China). Sigh!
We had a sneaking suspicion that all this clampdown has something to do with the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party but what’s annoying is that we have NOTHING, NADA, to do with politics, so the guardians of The Great Firewall should just leave us the heck alone!
Ok, rant over…we do think it IS interesting though that during the same period that China is experiencing a once-in-a-decade leadership transition…new Chinese President (and First Lady!) onboard very soon…the USA is also undergoing a presidential election. Interesting, doncha think, duckies????
Anyhooz, even though we’re obviously not voting, we couldn’t escape the media onslaught of the US presidential elections (we do have 2 CNN channels at home, the Asia Pacific one with all the familiar media faces in Hong Kong, as well as the US one, complete with American commercials)…so we just gave up, thinking, why escape?
Instead, we decided to make the race more interesting (for all of us) by fashion policing both the candidates’ wives!
1.) In this corner, the incumbent FLOTUS: Michelle Obama, 48 years old
(dang! girlfriend looks GOOD for her age! Wish our arms were that toned!)
2.) And in this corner, the challenger, aspiring FLOTUS: Ann Romney, 63 years old
(holy cow! does she bathe in milk? she looks AH-MAY-ZING for a lady in her ’60s…in her ’60s!!! Repeating in case you didn’t get that)
AND A FINAL LOOK!
So, Stiletto-istas, WHO has YOUR VOTE for best-dressed on the campaign trail? EXERCISE your RIGHT TO VOTE in the COMMENTS below!
The Canton Fair, the world’s biggest trade fair, which happens in Guangzhou every year for 3 weeks from mid-October until early November, finally ends today. For the past 3 weeks, we’ve tried to avoid going out as much as possible since everything, restaurants, bars, the train stations/airports, shopping malls, hotels, and indeed, traffic in the city, has been frenzied. It was ri-DON-culous trying to get a cab to go anywhere!
It was The Bamboo Stiletto’s first Canton Fair, so we were determined to experience it all for the first time and document accordingly. The Canton Fair is the mother of all bargain shopping experiences so for the benefit of those die-hard shoppingeras/shoppingeros out there, I’m sharing my experience here, in the spirit of, let’s call it, “best practices.”
How exactly do you navigate the Canton Fair? You are not an import-export wholesaler, trader or buyer. But you live in Guangzhou and rumor has it among your expat friends that shopping bargains can be had when the world’s biggest trade fair is happening at your doorstep.
The good news? The rumors are true. The bad news? The Canton Fair happens in three phases roughly spanning three weeks and individual shopping bargains can only happen on the last day of each of those phases, when traders are getting ready to pack up their goods and may be looking to offload their inventory of samples to save on shipping costs.
So, one of the first things you need to do is identify which products are being traded on which phase. For instance, home decor/furniture, gifts & toys may be traded during Phase 2 and fashion/clothing & shoes/bags may take place during Phase 3. Ask around, read the newspaper or check on websites like City Weekend Guangzhou (plug, plug:-). You absolutely have got to get the dates right for the items you like.
Once you’ve got that down, just like any elite athlete, you then have to prep big-time because the Canton Fair is like the Olympics of bargain shopping!
The next thing you need to do is obtain a Canton Fair overseas buyer’s pass. Never mind that you are a Guangzhou resident and that the only things you’ve bought lately were milk and eggs from the Corner’s Deli. Prepare to bring your passport, an ID photo, a business card and RMB 100 (about USD 16). You can apply for your pass at any of the overseas buyers’ registration counters at most five-star hotels in town.
Can’t find any of these counters? Head over to the Canton Fair venue itself, at the Pazhou Exhibition Center, and follow the clearly marked signs indicating the spacious and airy hall for “Overseas Buyers Registration.” Friendly, smiling trade fair staff, all speaking perfect English, will be on hand to efficiently assist you with forms and payment, provide you with a Canton Fair guide map and within minutes…voila! You are now an overseas buyer. The cool thing is, the pass is good for a lifetime, so if you want to return for more bargain shopping expeditions in future Canton Fairs, better keep your pass safe.
Now that you have your pass and can sling it around your neck – like all the real buyers do at the Fair – you then plan your transportation strategy. Going there is a no-brainer. You can take the Guangzhou metro, cab it or see if you can swing a ride on any of the free Canton Fair shuttle buses proliferating at any of the major five-star hotels in the city. No, going there is not a problem at all…it is your exit transportation strategythat you should be carefully planning. If you don’t have your own, preferably very spacious, vehicle, then our recommendation is that you splurge a little bit and hire a mini-van with a driver. Make sure you’ve got the driver’s mobile handy and remind him to stay alert, for when he needs to pick you up (with your vanload of purchases) at any of the exits afterwards.
Lastly, before you actually enter the hallowed halls of the Pazhou Exhibition Center, do a mental checklist of your clothing and equipment. You must have your Canton Fair buyer’s pass and guide map in hand. Wear the most comfortable walking shoes you own. Don’t tote one of your heavy designer handbags; this is not the day for showing off your latest “It bag” purchase to your girlfriends. Carry cash – lots of it, if you can. Don’t forget your mobile – essential for communicating with lost friends and the aforementioned exit strategy driver. And bring a large suitcase or large shopping trolley – with wheels.
You are now ready to go shopping!
Once inside the Fair, give yourself a couple of minutes to get your bearings and simply gawk. The sheer vastness of the trade halls, the mass and diversity of people from all over the world are overwhelming to the senses. Yet everything is well-organized, with clearly marked signs for directions. Cafes and restaurants offer refreshments and meals, courier companies vie for packing and shipping services and bathrooms everywhere are well-stocked and clean. To get from one trade hall to another, there are covered walkways, with carpeted “sidewalks” for those on foot and “lanes” for those riding in comfort on little electric trams that shuttle back and forth in between trade halls. Try not to get run over by an over-eager shuttle and stay safely on the “sidewalk” instead.
Study the map, figure out which trade hall you want to hit, then attack.
In the beginning, you will probably browse slowly among the stalls because you will be so overwhelmed. The quality of most products at the Canton Fair is simply superb, truly export-worthy and world-class and the sheer number of gorgeous items all in one vast place is visually staggering.
Some traders cannot be bothered to sell to individual shoppers and some of these traders already have makeshift signs posted outside their stalls, saying: “No sale.” This means that unless you’re willing to buy in volume quantities, don’t even bother them. Some traders who are willing to sell, have signs saying so, “Sale” or “Stock sale”. However, not everyone willing to sell posts signs, so, if you do see anything you fancy really badly, it is still best to ask. Simply walk into the shop, quickly point at the stuff you want and say outright:“Mai, bu mai?” (buy, cannot buy?) After a while, you will be amazed at how swiftly you can do this at so many shops and how much ground you’re able to cover in minutes.
Keep a watchful eye open for stalls whose staff are already busy clearing the stall and packing their items into wooden crates as they will usually be more amenable to giving items away at hefty discounts, or if you’re especially lucky, for free. This usually happens in early afternoon, right after lunchtime.
By early afternoon, after two or three hours at the Fair, you might find that even your large suitcase or shopping trolley will not be adequate for your purchases and you’re wondering how on earth you’re going to transport everything outside the trade hall to the exit gate. Make sure first, at the last stall where you’ve made big-ticket purchases (like, a piece of furniture) that you are issued a gate pass so that you can exit the trade hall with all of your purchases without being questioned by security.
Just as the Fair slowly winds down, you will notice an army of ayis (literally, aunties, in China, to mean, older ladies or maids) pulling flat wooden trolleys with rope, wandering the halls. Hail one of these ayis and negotiate in your best Chinese for her and her friend to load up their trolley with your items and take you to the nearest exit gate, in exchange for a small fee.
Once at the gate, it’s a simple matter of calling your driver to pick you up and load up all your new goodies in the car.
And, duckies, you must be wondering what on earth got our stilettos into a twist at the Fair…here’s a peek at what we picked up (after 2 hours of shopping – we were too dizzy to continue any further):
Blue Tray (free)
Red tray (free)
Red Eames Chair (RMB 120, approx. USD 20)
Metallic Chinoiserie Stool Inspiration Scenario: Lobby, W Hotel Singapore
Metallic Chinoiserie Stool (RMB 400, approx. USD 66) & Lime-Green Tray (free) Actual Scenario: Casa Stiletto
Congratulations to moi…we’ve successfully navigated our first Canton Fair!!! Now, life in Guangzhou can, hopefully, get back to normal.
Whether you’re an old China hand or a greenie fresh off the plane, their magazines and website are indispensable, telling you all the events & doo-da in your city, crammed full of directory listings on everything from hospitals to hotels (with telephone numbers and helpful bi-lingual addresses), classifieds to help you in your search for the perfect apartment or ayi.
What our new gig basically entails is we get a chance to posh nosh in restaurants around town, hang out in hotels, swan around in spas and be besties with all the PR chicks and guys. Then, we head back to our home office in Casa Stiletto and write about all the divalicious antics we’ve been up to! Tough life but hey, someone’s gotta do it!
We opted for Robata’s “Sake Experience” – a sake-pairing set menu, but minus the sake. Regretfully. We were sorely tempted but it was lunchtime on a schoolday after all. We would have passed out, snoring, for the entire afternoon! Here’s a quick look at our posh nosh.
Parilla-Grilled Australian Angus Beef with Duck Fat Fries
Did you watch the 2012 Emmys, from whichever corner of the world you’re sitting in? Network primetime in New York City means afternoon in Los Angeles, California…which means TOO GODDAM early in the morning for us here in Asia. But anyhooz, fuelled by cups of caffeine, The Bamboo Stiletto was up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, for yummy breakfast coverage of 2012 Emmy Awards red carpet fashions.
Here’s our top 5 picks of loveliest dresses on the red carpet – along with their runway equivalents: (all images courtesy of the Press Room -64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards and Red Carpet Fashion Awards)
Claire Danes in Lanvin
Ginnifer Goodwin in Monique Lhuiller
Jessica Pare in Jason Wu
Jena Malone in J. Mendel
Julie Bowen in Monique Lhuiller
Special Honourable Mention – Jessica Lange in J. Mendel
That wraps up The Bamboo Stiletto’s fab fashion report for the 2012 Emmy Awards, ducks!
What about you, who did you pick for best-dressed on the red carpet? Did we pick the same hot babes? Or, did you have other choices? Thoughts…objections??? Discuss in the Comments below!
And our happy Monday Fundays return, Stiletto-istas – welcome back!
A quick recap of our last edition: if you recall, we had asked you to guess which young, successful country/pop music sweetheart romancing a Kennedy scion this summer had just bought a divine beach house next to his family compound in Hyannisport, Cape Cod, Massachusetts? Several of you guessed it correctly…yup, it’s Taylor Swift!(to read that previous Monday Funday edition, click here)
Moving on to today’s Monday Funday…let’s begin with a little Bamboo Stiletto “origins story”, as they say in film industry lingo.
It was the summer of 1999. I had just moved from Hong Kong to New York City where that fall, I was due to attend graduate classes in business at Fordham University’s Manhattan campus in Lincoln Centre.
I was waiting for the number 1 train heading downtown at the subway station nearest my Upper West Side apartment. Next to me, also waiting for the train, was a lone, slim, well-dressed woman, blonde hair scooped neatly into a ponytail. For the life of me, I can’t remember now what she was wearing but what vividly transfixed me were her shoes. They were, by far, the most beautiful shoes I had ever seen in my life. In a gorgeous teal colour, ideal for summer. Showcasing her perfectly pedicured toes most adorably.
At this stage in my life, my love affair with shoes had already begun in earnest. Remember, I had lived in Hong Kong in the 1990s. Manolo Blahnik already had a popular shop in Hong Kong (back then, hordes of Japanese tourists could be seen queueing outside the shop; these days, the queueing hordes are all from mainland China). Blahnik and Jimmy Choo were already available at Lane Crawford. But this woman’s shoes…I did not recognize.
For a few seconds, I argued with myself. Should I act like a tourist in New York and simply ask a complete stranger, who did her shoes? Or, should I simply suffer in silent admiration? In the end, I couldn’t stand it…inquiring minds had to know! Before the train came roaring in, I mustered my thick-skinned courage, smiled at the unknown lady, paid my compliments regarding her shoes and asked, whose and what were they?
She smiled at the compliment, did not seem surprised (and, in fact, seemed to take it for granted that her beautiful shoes were certainly worthy of a stranger’s admiration) and then, she said: ” They’re by Christian Louboutin.”
It was the first time I had ever heard of Christian Louboutin. It was also, indeed, a case of lust at first sight.
Alas, it was a case of wanting what I couldn’t have. At least not while I was in grad school and didn’t have a bean in the world. It wasn’t until years later, while in the Beijing rat race, during a Lane Crawford warehouse sale, that I was able to buy my first ever pair of Louboutins.
Since then, I’ve only managed to buy two more pairs – and only when massively discounted by Lane Crawford at its Hong Kong and Beijing stores. Never bought them at full price; I mean, I AM a self-confessed shoe whore, but just CANNOT justify that kind of money. Here’s a look at The Bamboo Stiletto’s Louboutin stilettos – to date:
Of course, by now, Louboutins have become so famous that Jennifer Lopez has sung about them; they’re mentioned by rappers alongside other bling accoutrements as Cristal champagne and G6 private jets. Even “Sex & the City” character, Carrie Bradshaw, and her well-known Manolo Blahnik fetish, ended up choosing Louboutins for her wedding to Mr. Big. Over the years, my infatuation with Louboutin began to lose its lustre.
I was, however, reminded of my past love affair when the Wall Street Journal magazine recently ran a feature on the designer himself and his amazing shoe archive, housed in one of his homes. Mr. Louboutin has five residences: in the United States (Los Angeles, California), in Egypt and Portugal, an apartment in Paris and a lovely 13th-century chateau in the French countryside region of Vendee. It is here, in a restored oak barn, that Mr. Louboutin keeps an archive of more than 8,000 pairs of shoes, culled from his 20 years in the industry. He has room for 14,000 and is presently looking to hire a curator to manage the archive.
Uh, DING DONG! Monsieur Louboutin, where do I sign up to apply??? Who do we have to kill to get that job? Hahahaaa! Stiletto-istas, here’s a glimpse of Mr. Louboutin’s French country home (all images courtesy of the Wall Street Journal magazine’s September issue):
Anyhooz – we were fascinated to learn that Mr. Louboutin’s shoes have fans whose obsessions are of such magnitude that they can start their own Louboutin archive. Imelda Marcos supposedly had 3,ooo pairs of shoes?…phooey shoemey, girlfriend has NOTHING on these Louboutin shoe-crazed women!
One fan, in particular, is so fanatical that she currently owns more than 6,000 pairs of Louboutins. She is known to walk into a Louboutin shop in Paris or New York and buy between 60 to 80 pairs…right on the spot! Can you imagine the fabulousity??? Good thing this glamorous Louboutin fan is loaded in her own right and can afford her indulgences; known as “The Queen of Romance” for being one of the world’s bestselling romance novelists, she rakes in millions each year on royalties alone.
Who can be more Imeldific than Imelda Marcos? WHO is she? C’mon and ‘fess up, Stiletto-istas, you may have even read one of her books. It’s Monday Funday y’all, give me your Best Guess in the Comments below and have a beautiful week ahead!
Up until today, we’d ventured to all kinds of wholesale markets in Guangzhou, from the pet fish market to the bling-bling market… but we’d actually never been to a clothes market. Duh! It was high time to rectify the situation so, with two girlfriends whom I’d bamboozled into showing me the way, off we went.
Our destination was the wholesale clothing market district of Sanyuanli. My girlfriends had forewarned me that because of the overwhelming sheer volume of clothes for sale, it was best to tackle the shopping by going one market or building at a time. So, baby steps, dear Stiletto-istas, baby steps…
I thought I was used to shopping in markets by now, in Beijing & Shanghai, in Bangkok & Manila, but when we got there, I swear to God, I was still overwhelmed. Absolutely gobsmacked. This market had five storeys and there were sooooooo many shops, selling soooooo many clothes, from women’s, men’s, children’s clothes, you name it, they had it all. Piles upon bundles, plastic bags upon sacks, it was insane! Some shops had prices quoting by the kilogramme! Some shops didn’t bother about any sort of display at all; clothes were simply strewn about, spilling out of plastic bags that looked suspiciously like the black plastic garbage bags you see only in kitchens. Walk into these shops and you feel like an unwitting extra in that horrifyingly addictive reality TV show, “Hoarders.”
And to think this was just in a single building…this entire district had streets upon streets, with buildings upon buildings, all devoted to clothing. For instance, a quick peek at the building next door revealed an entire barrio crammed with shops all selling jeans.
Anyhooz, I was busy walking around wide-eyed with mouth agape, that I completely forgot to take photos of the market for you guys. I do apologize for that but – worry not! – our morning wasn’t completely wasted.
In order not to go completely batshit-crazy in the market, I’d decided to concentrate on hunting for very specific clothing items. Clothes which I know I can always use here in Guangzhou or Hong Kong, with sub-tropical climates, are always handy in tropical countries like the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and can always be counted on as summer staples.
Stylish white cotton tops and/or dresses: this was my mission. It took a couple of hours of combing through that market but I’m happy to report…mission successfully accomplished! When I got home, I then had fun playing amateur stylist and putting together outfits and accessories to go with my newly purchased whites. Here are the results!
Let me share a secret with you, seeing as we’re all besties here and all: I actually already had a similar top to that top above sitting in my closet at home, the exact same cut, style, fabric & sequins, but in silver, not in white. Except that my old silver top was purchased at Calvin Klein and had cost me an absolute BOMB (this was when The Bamboo Stiletto was still a corporate rat racer and was earning accordingly, having no time then to bargain-hunt in markets). You will absolutely die when I tell you how much the white Calvin look-alike above actually cost me. 🙂
Speaking of corporate rat racers, here’s a stylish look for the office. Working girl, you can go from business meetings to a working dinner with this ensemble:
And, lastly, here’s a sweet look that’s ideal for a surprise lunch date with the boyfriend or the hubby. Especially if it’s a special lunch date, y’ know, like meeting his Mom for the first time (wanna make a good, demure ladylike impression, right, babes?) :
So, those were the results of our morning hunt for alles weiss at Sanyuanli. Not bad, eh? And NOW, apres le shopping, you nosy Stiletto-istas may be asking, what was la damage? Let’s see, you can see that we bought a total of 5 tops & 1 dress, correct? Our total cost for this entire loot came to RMB 415 (approximately USD 70). Less than a hundred bucks, can you believe it? The Calvin look-alike sequinned top? That was the best bargain of the lot, costing me RMB 35 (about USD 6!!!). The dress was the most expensive, with a cost of RMB 120 (about USD 20).
My girlfriends reminded me that actually, the cost per item was still rather high because I had only bought one piece of each item and seeing as we were in a wholesale market, the prices could still have gone lower if I had bought multiple pieces. Gaaaah! Whaaaa…??? How on earth do these people make any profit? The mind boggles!
So now that we’ve successfully completed our baby steps-shopping at Sanyuanli, we look forward to sharing our future, more confident shopping forays with y’all. Excited, Stiletto-istas? Because we sure are! 🙂
How to get there: Very simple. Take the Guangzhou metro to Sanyuanli station, take exit D and the market is right on top. No need to even get out onto the street. Another, more comfy option, is to cab it & ask the driver to drop you at Sanyuanli ditie (metro station), walk down into the station and look for exit D. Make sure to bring cash only, plastic not welcome in most places in this market. Happy shopping!
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):
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!
5.) South Korea
Special Mentions – for looking extra-stylin’ and/or festive as befitting the Olympics (again, in no particular order or ranking):
Btw, Team France really set the bar high for Olympic uniforms, unveiling these minimally stylish threads by Adidas a few weeks ago:
When Team USA unveiled their uniforms, the Ralph Lauren/”Gossip Girl” Manhattan Upper East prep chic look is pitch perfect:
Expected More Stylin’ From:
Biggest “Huh?” Moment:
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:
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!!!
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???