Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Newbury Diaries morphing into Likky Likey

I have finally come back after a hiatus of 5 months, and am starting anew with a new blog, Likky Likey. Hope that you all will come and read my new writings! Thank you. :)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hello Kitty for kids only, please

As global commerce becomes more competitive, and brand loyalty demands an astute consumer who won't flinch at the latest products but buy at their every whim, it is without fanfare that I bring to you a collaboration between Sanrio and Rebecca Minkoff for a line of luxury leather bags and accessories.

Let me say this. I love Hello Kitty. Actually, my first love was for My Melody, but I slowly gravitated to the flagship star in my teens, when Angel Hello Kitty was created. I didn't love HK's original red overalls, but put her in a lacey sky blue gown, and I was sold. (An ex's friend's gf happily referred to her as Dead Kitty, but I'm sure that the Sanrio execs didn't care what you called her, as long as the $$ came rolling in.) I bought tons of those bean bag kitties, dressed in all kinds of different outfits. It got so out of hand, especially when friends started buying them for me for my birthday and holidays, that I told them the madness must stop. Then, you know, I grew up. I stopped buying Hello Kitty. The dream fantasy was no longer relevant, and the cast of characters who sat so vigilantly in my room were packed and put away. But Sanrio, the aggressive force they are, saw all these HK enthusiasts fade away from their realm. So in comes products aimed towards adults. And this is where I REALLY think they have their strategy all wrong.

I was slightly apalled when Kimora Lee Simmons came out with a line of Helly Kitty diamond jewelry. In my mind, it was an unnecessary brand extension that reaches out to the super rich, which seemed to defy what HK was all about: a cute, universal brand designed for the masses, but due to their unique merchandising plan to release new designs every month, the owner was always unique because there were so many choices. A grown woman wearing a diamond Hello Kitty pendant teetered on the tacky, as if to say that this child-woman isn't able to let go of her youth even as her income level has risen. What message is being sent? Confidence, chastity, or victim of the brand?

At least, with the KLS jewelry, they were passably pretty. I am non-plussed by the total lack of design and effort that went into these bags. They are functional, surely, but NOT stylish! Where is the Hello Kitty anthem in these bags? If I wanted a black leather bag, there are SO many QUALITY bags to choose from in the world. Why would I fork out $650 bucks for a boring black bag that is lined with the most uninspired Hello Kitty pattern ever? What genius sat around and decided that this is quality branding? Very, very disappointing.

Anyhow, maybe if you REALLY love HK, you will buy this, but you can't even pay me to carry this bag. They are just hideously, hideously boring. You're better off carrying a Rebecca Minkoff original.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

for my amusement

After many nights of bleary-eyed exhaustion from watching the Sox WIN BIG at the World Series, I can finally enjoy my other past-times: music, movies, and books! I don't have anything new or exciting to announce, but wanted to share with you my recent purchases.

Wal-mart has a Blu-ray bundle deal right now to get 2 DVDs for only $25, which is pretty cheap! My brother bought me "Chicago," but there were two more that I wanted, so I ordered them yesterday.

I can barely remember what actually happened in either "Casanova" or "King Arthur," but I do recall liking them, so I don't mind forking out a little money to see them in all their full digital glory. At the end of the day, one is a comedic love story, the other an action-packed love story, so I must be in a sappy mood. Who doesn't love a love story, especially when the people are all so pretty to watch?

I'd mentioned in one of my entries that I'm slightly obsessed with Matthew MacFadyen (Mr. Darcy!!!). I'm such a huge fan I even went off to London to see him in a play (courtesy of my honey, who took me there for my bday over the summer), and had my pic taken with him, as well as get my copy of the play signed! Anyhow, I haven't bought much of his work, save for the first 3 seasons of BBC's "Spooks" ("MI-5" in the US) and of course, "Pride & Prejudice," but I always intended to collect his work. I finally caved and bought some random stuff from Amazon UK, items I can't get in the US.

I guess some years ago, before MM started to do films, he, along with some other Brits, worked on a project where they read famous poems, which you can watch on DVD or listen to on CD. Yes, sounds mindlessly boring, but for me, one of the reasons I'm a fan is his voice! He has this deep, booming voice, which is just so sexy, and perfect for narrating. So what do I buy? Both the DVD, the CD, and even an audio book narrated by MM. Yes, I'm a little crazy. But at least with the CDs, I can listen to them during my very long commute to work.

I also bought Naoki Honjo's "Small Planet" book. I couldn't see his London exhibit, but at least I can enjoy the book.

Yes, the nesting period is beginning, so all of this will keep me quite busy and amused.

Casanova and King Arthur DVDs - $25 (special Blu-ray bundle)

Essential Poem (To Fall In Love With) With Daisy Goodwin DVD- £8.98

Essential Poem (To Fall In Love With) With Daisy Goodwin Audio CD- £12.99

Stories We Could Tell, by Tony Parson Audio CD - £7.33

Naoki Honjo: Small Planet, by Masahiko Sato - £21.50

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

a bag for your bubbly

While I have not been very impressed with Alice Temperley's line at Target, she maintains her luxury status by continuing to collaborate with other high-end brands, and at least this time, the creation is both functional and whimsical. In Temperley's second collaboration with Moët & Chandon (she designed a limited-edition tiara for M&C last year), this time around, she has designed a bespoke bag specifically for the champagne company.

As Moët & Chandon is a part of the LVMH world, it only makes sense that for this weekend/picnic bag, Temperley was inspired by "the grand wardrobes and bespoke travel trunks created by the master malletier Louis Vuitton during the second half of the nineteenth century" to get this look. I'm not sure I buy that. Can you feel any of LV's heritage in this bag at all? The metallic canvas borders on cheapola ghetto-fabulous, and the pyramid studs are SO yesterday. If anything, the most adorable thing going for the bag is the detachable champagne carrier. Of course, when I travel, I MUST be able to tote my bubbly with me. It's the gospel! What, don't believe me? Alas, I don't know if this is ingenious or ridiculous.

Anyhow, if you see something exquisite in this bag that I just don't see, and you're in London, head to any of AT's stores to get your own weekend bubbly toter. Yup, the bag is only available in London.

Alice Temperley Bespoke Bag - £950 - available at Temperley London stores since Sep. 1

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Buy for the Environment

More and more, everywhere around us, we are reminded how precious and unpredictable the weather and climates can be, all because of the damage we have done as mankind to the environment. Between the wildfires in California, the book that I'm currently reading, which talks about how quickly nature would reclaim the land if humans just disappeared one day, and my absolute decision to purchase a Toyota Prius as my next vehicle (nope, no Honda CR-V after all!), I know that suddenly, anything we can do to help the environment is not just something trendy to do, but something that ABSOLUTELY must be done.

If you're not a hands-on kind of person, and maybe you don't feel green just yet, but don't mind exploring ways to help without getting your hands dirty, there is ~still~ a way to help. Buy something! While Confucius would say "if you want to save the planet, stop buying more stuff, you are creating more pollution and crap that will take forever to biodegrade," the corporations like to gloss over that minor note and have you focus on the big picture, which means releasing one-of-a-kind items on eBay, and making sure proceeds from the auctions go towards the environment. Not fundamentally the savviest or logical way to do, but I suppose it's better than nothing, especially if they're already in the midst of producing these items anyhow.
Club 21 has chosen to support the protection of the environment — a global and urgent issue — in commemorating its 35th anniversary. Proceeds from the auctions will benefit charities supporting this cause in nine countries where Club 21 has a presence: Wildlife Warriors Worldwide (Australia), Friends of the Earth (Hong Kong), Kehati (Indonesia), The Malaysian Nature Society (Malaysia), The Singapore Environment Council (Singapore), The Homemaker’s Union and Foundation (Taiwan), The Thailand Environment Foundation (Thailand), Fields in Trust (United Kingdom), Rainforest Foundation (United States), and Planet A|X formed by Armani Exchange (United States).
Club 21 is a luxury retailer originally based out of Singapore, and while I have never heard of them, I'm sure that as a marketing move, this will give them very good global exposure. While the items currently posted on eBay are nice, they don't seem stellar enough to garner some of the bids that people have put up, but I suppose if it's for a good cause, there shouldn't be any guilt, right?

I like this Calvin Klein ostrich duffel, but something about it also makes zero sense to me, 'cause if I truly needed to use a duffel, it's almost guaranteed that that bag will be abused and tossed around, and I don't think ostrich skin was designed for that. Perhaps this was designed for a classier jet-setter than I.

This latex bag from Marni is also super cute. It has both a raw sexiness and a subtle femininity to the design. This item seems to be the most popular, as it currently has the highest bid in terms of dollars.

And while the clothes up for sale aren't really wowing me, I dare say, if I had the cash, I would love this black glass vase from Armani. Pure sophistication. Who doesn't love a glossy black orb on display in their living room, and signed by Mr. Armani himself?

This auction is only phase I. There will be a phase II on Nov. 4th. So if nothing entices you now, just save your pennies for the next round. After all, it's for the environment. You're a hero if you buy! :)

ck Calvin Klein Ostrich Skin Duffel Bag - currently at $710

Marni Leather and Latex Handbag - currently at $1,225

Armani/Casa Timbuktu Glass Vase - currently at $810

Club 21 Auction Catalog - Auction 1 starting Oct. 18, Auction 2 starting Nov. 4

Club 21 eBay Store

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sporty Fashionista...

Hope you haven't missed me much (hah!), because I haven't posted in a while, but since I started this blog to discuss items I've bought or want to buy, and I haven't desired anything in the last few days, there wasn't much to write about. As I'm in the midst of job hunting, I do believe I will reward myself with a very nice gift once I find that special job with (hopefully) a larger salary. For now, even pining for something is not really optional.

Anyhow, if you're in Boston like I am, we're all obsessed with more important things these days, such as sports. Yes!, yesterday was really a big day for us, what with the big wins by the Pats and the Sox going to the World Series!!! I can't rattle off stats or really tell the players apart, except for hunky Brady (melt), but I can appreciate a good game when I see one, so it made for an exciting Sunday to have all the guys come through for us, keeping me company on the tube while I wafted through the mess that is my room, and trying to organize between touchdowns and homeruns.

The really great thing I love about sports in our little city is the camaraderie and team spirit that oozes out unconditionally. And there is no other way to support your fave teams than to wear the team colors, or even better, actually sport the official gear.

It's been a long time coming that female fans actually had something special designed for them, instead of wearing their bf's oversized jerseys or having to cut apart t-shirts just to look a little cuter. There are now many choices for the stylish sport connoiseur, although there are some that I frankly have to question. I am NOT about the items that just have logos slapped on them. The product really needs to be about the design, team colors, and style that is unique to the person wearing it.

My only rule is NO pink! I myself am guilty of owning a pink, baby blue, even a coral baseball cap for these two teams, but I think if you're going to show up and watch the game in person, there is NO reason you can't wear the team's colors. The NE Patriots are blue, silver, and if you'd like, red. The Sox are plainly red, and if you'd like, navy blue. That's it. I seriously don't know where the pink came from, except that someone in marketing thought that this would be a REALLY good idea to fill that female niche sorely needed from clothing revenue. I think it was a good intro., but now there are really quality designs for the woman, so ladies, PLEASE steer clear of the pink if you are going to the game. Wear the team colors. You'll look like an actual fan~!

These are my top picks for the coolest Pats and Sox pieces for the woman with style.

New England Patriots:

I love this jacket only because I think it's so appropriate for the weather out here. Rain or snow, esp. since football season heads right through winter, this is an essential piece that will keep you warm and looking hot.

Underneath the jacket, only a cute little t-shirt will do. I think this is such a cute design based on the official jersey. If only they can create this shirt with your fave players' name and number on it. I think that would make it even more perfect.

To cap it all off (please excuse the pun), is this very feminine, but color appropriate satin cap. It's a little on the blinging side, but surprisingly, I like it! It's a great look worn with the coat when it's converted to a vest (for those warmer days). I like that with this red, you can even wear it to a Sox game! (I'm all for the mantra that one item can come with many uses.)

While the NFL has some really cute pieces, you definitely can't deny that the MLB also saw potential in designing for the ladies. They not only saw an opportunity there, they had Alyssa Milano design and model the stuff. I can't disagree that if she really did design these pieces, she did good. My top picks below.

Boston Red Sox:

This is such a cute sweater. Very sexy, too, but the team spirit is undeniable here!

I love this red top. It's another sexy piece, but can be layered under the argyle sweater above, or worn alone. Adorable, and it looks comfy, too!

This is another cute piece. I think it would look great to have all three of these pieces layered together, frankly. And if you need a cap, really, wear the red Pats satin cap. Until the Sox have their own red satin cap, I don't see this as a faux pas.

I might have some shopping to do after all...

New England Patriots Ladies 4-in-1 Coat - $89.95

New England Patriots Ladies VF Active Roster Shirt - $44.95

New England Patriots Ladies Satin Cap-Red - $19.95

Boston Red Sox Women's Argyle Top "touch"™ by Alyssa Milano - $39.99

Boston Red Sox Women's Burnout V-Neck Tie Top "touch"™ by Alyssa Milano - $54.99

Boston Red Sox Women's Ruffle Full Zip Hoody "touch"™ by Alyssa Milano - $59.99

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

UPDATE: Murakami Exhibit in LA's MOCA

More info. has been leaking out about the bags. I first spotted this bag on this blog, but it's now confirmed that this will be one of the pieces sold at Murakami's exhibit.

Also, according to November's Elle magazine, the character on the diary is called Chibi Kinoko, which means "little mushroom."

A girlfriend and I are attending a bachelorette party in Vegas in early Jan., so we're ~thinking~ of making a pit stop to LA right after for a couple of days, so ~maybe~ I will get a chance to see the exhibit and get my hands on these goodies. What do you think? Is it worth the plane ticket?!?