Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tribal flavour

African-inspired wrap dresses from So simple yet chic.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Before there was Monet's 'Haystacks' series, James McNeill Whistler painted many versions of night scenes which he dubbed 'Nocturnes'. The hazy quality captures the uncertainty of night vision and creates the impression of a dream-like inner world, which is characteristic of Symbolism. Of course, the loose, unpolished brushwork has a direct relation to Impressionist technique. I really love how Whistler portrays the velvety night sky, tinged with a multitude of shades and hues. It takes on a life of its own, drawing the viewer into its depths. Visually seductive is the word to describe it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Money Money Money

Excuse the cheesy title, but that is indeed what's on my mind. It drives me insane to be constantly so calculative with money. Everytime I pick something off the shelf at the grocery store I'm calculating how many meals I can get out of it and comparing the price to other items. I always try to buy whatever's discounted for that week. I don't even get lunch from the school cafeteria because it's pricey. Instead, I cook and pack my own lunch. And still I feel like I'm spending alot.

It's the little snacks and drinks in school that add up, plus the meals I have outside during the weekend. Why is food here so ridiculously expensive? Not to mention the art supplies I have to stock up on regularly. Now I make sure that I eat every grain of rice, finish every last sip of my drink, and have the waiter pack any leftovers I have when I eat out.

I've resolved to take biscuits to school for snacks. I'm even wondering if I should bring my own drinks. Not sure what to contain them in though. My water bottle?

Sigh. I need to learn to be more savvy with my finances. When adult life rolls around there'll be even more things to manage like investment portfolios and insurance.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lost In Translation- 'More than This'

There's nothing more than the meeting of two hearts.

Saw this photo today in a post titled 'The Design Student' on The Sartorialist and laughed because I recognized the toolbox- I have a similar one. Plus the roomy bag and cup of coffee. Doesn't that just scream 'design student'? We lug a load of art supplies to school everyday and survive on coffee to keep awake during marathon studio classes and while doing assignments.

So I just returned from my longest day of the week- a 6-hour life drawing session followed by English Literature class. Though such days are draining, they're also very fulfilling. Both are my favourite classes, and I always feel that I've achieved a lot in one day. We had a female model today called Yuko. I really do get a sense that both my gestures and long drawings are improving. For English class, we discussed two short stories- 'How I contemplated the world...' by Joyce Carol Oates and 'The Garden of Forking Paths' by Jorge Luis Borges, the latter of which I found pretty fascinating.

'The Garden of Forking Paths' derives its name from the fable of a Chinese man named Tsui Penn, governer of Yunnan, who withdrew from public duty to write a novel and construct a maze. After his death, his descendants found only a heap of seemingly contradictory drafts, and no physical maze. It took a Sinologist, Stephen Albert, many generations later to discover that the novel was in fact the maze. Unlike conventional stories in which the narrator chooses one option out of those presented and eliminates the others, Tsui Penn's novel diverges into all possible outcomes the way a maze 'forks', only that the forking exists in time, not in space. To sum it up, Tsui Penn's novel presents parallel futures that exist simultaneously.

I broke out my snuggly thick knitted cardigan today, also bought over the weekend. To enliven the grey colour, I pinned a faux jewel brooch to the 'lapel' (the collar area) and the effect worked well I think.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Power of a Good Coat

So we had a few days of freakishly windy weather here in LA last week, and not being able to stand the cold, I ran to the mall and bought a dark blue coat and a wrap cardigan with a chunky knit. Yesterday in the elevator after class, I put on the coat in anticipation of the chilly evening. Here's the reaction it elicited from one of my male classmates:

A: "Oh my god, where did you get that coat?"
Me: (slightly stunned) "Um, Forever 21? I just bought it over the weekend 'cos I was cold."
A: "I've been looking for a coat like that forever. How much was it?"
Me: "Like, 30 (USD)."
A: "Dude, I'm so getting that coat."

I guess I could see why he wants my coat. It's a classic cut, mid-thigh length, that you can button up and belt in colder weather or leave it open. It's snuggly, slightly oversized, basically everything I want in a coat. Plus, it's dark blue, one of my favourite colours.

I'm not selling that coat to him.