The burrowing starts. Shinnpark is opening our flagshipng away 4 lucky winners with S$50 worth of juicy shopping vouchers. All you have to do is guess the exact location of “The Rabbit Hole” and post your guess in our facebook page. For more detail, do check out our facebook page.
“… maybe the best any of us can do is not quit, play the hand we’ve been dealt, and accessorize what we’ve got.”
Carrie Bradshaw, Sex And The City
I’ve always loved history of all sorts, and fashion bags were one of them.
Purses, handbags, coin pouches, pocketbooks — whatever you call them, these practical and useful sacs have been around as long as humans existed. History went as far back as the dinosaur period where bags are made out of materials such as crude fabric, straw, rough animal skin. Think function more than form.
As time passed, people’s lifestyles changed and so did their little raw-looking bags. In my favourite Mandarin serial gung-fu fighting shows, I have seen nuns and monks carrying small drawstring pouches tied to their waist for easy retrieval (pickpockets thrive during those days!) Square-shaped drawstring bags were one of the most popular bags, carried by both genders.
In other parts of the world, interesting bags called the medieval bum bag (aka shepherd’s budget) are worn by shepherds. They carried with them survival tools such as knives and other necessities. The word ‘budget’ came from the French word, bougette, which means a sack.
Image Courtesy : www.larsdatter.com
1600s — The Chatelaine
The word chatelaine comes from chastelaine, an old French word meaning ‘mistress of the house’. Although humans have long worn their favourite pouches at their waist belts, but by the 16th century, a buckle-like fitted with a series of short trinket chains appeared in mostly, well-to-do families. Interestingly, each of these chains holds a different utensil. Think of your different types of teaspoons and tablespoons strung together to form your favourite measuring tool.
Sometimes its fascinating to see how such products like these evolve overtime. I can’t really see myself carrying such ornate items (they do resemble look like Peranakan inspired pieces) even if I have carried them with blown-up lovely Victorian dresses!
Image Courtesy : www.vam.ac.uk
In the above glided chatelaine from England c1730 – 1735, it is a perfect marriage between function and frivolity. This Pinchbeck chatelaine incorporating scissors case, needle case, etui (needle-case; small case for toilet articles, etc) and two thimble cases.
“Pinchbeck, like brass, is an alloy of copper and zinc specially mixed to resemble gold. The process was invented in the 18th century by a London clockmaker, Christopher Pinchbeck.”
1800s — Neoclassical Elegance
Romance is in the air!
Its mesmerizing to see Victorian-inspired fashion women carrying such ‘ooohh-awwwwww’ exquisite bags! In this era, men and women are spending most of their leisure time chatting on lofty concepts such as romantic love, beauty, etiquette and moral values. Initially women’s dresses are made all puffed up and worn with a can can! As time moves forward, women’s clothing started to slim down and there wasn’t any space for them to place their pocket purses. This sets an new era of reticule or sabretache. A reticule can range from round or square, tasselled or plain. They are usually crocheted, beaded or even knitted! (handicrafts are in rage!)
Image Courtesy : www.morninggloryantiques.com
They are usually decorated with lovely beads or cross-stitched embroidery. Some had handles which you could carried by hand, and others have hooks made and hung around to their waist belt/band. Just like how they like to hang their cute purses around their dainty waists, some of us loved to hang our glittery mobile phones around the slender necks.
1900s — Luxury Luggage Bags
Sadly, the Victorian era has come to an end. People started to channel their savings to leisure activities. During this period, the demand for luxury luggage started to grow rapidly! Ocean liners are considered new and have since reached a new height of opulence! People started to travel with huge bags that were difficult to carry as their clothing are pretty bulky and layered. This makes traveling all the more cumbersome and heavy. Imagine lugging them around where you are wearing a hard-to-move-around layered laced dress with a can can in it! *gasp
Finally, this is my favourite part of history! Enter the Louis Vuitton Period!
Louis Vuitton, who did his apprenticeship with a Parisian trunk maker before getting a job as ‘special clothes packer’ to the French Empress Eugenie, wife of Emperor Napoleon III. He was extremely frustrated with the day’s awkward luggage and that triggered him to invented a flat, stackable steamer trunk (some of which were complete with drawers and fold-out desks!) so that they can be stowed away safely. The Empress loved his highly practical and innovative trunks, and that is when the brand took off as the luggage of choice for the wealthy! *Ring that cash register!
A black and white Louis Vuitton advert, seen on the bottom right of the image was one of Louis Vuitton’s first successes — the Canvas Steamer Bag! The first steamer bag (in caramel brown colour), was originally made as a laundry bag of sorts, meant to tuck into a steamer trunk or hang on the back of a steamship cabin floor where it would then be filled with soiled clothes.
Moving forward, as you can see, the famous ‘LV’ monogrammed canvas, shown above left, is fashioned into a suitcase with leather trim, was created by Louis Vuittion’s son George in an attempt to outsmart counterfeiters.
Yes, I am surprised to read about this fact! I can’t believe fake Vuitton bags existed even in those days!
(Information Source : Handbags. What Every Woman Should Know)
Whenever I see people of all ages clamoring for Hello Kitty souvenirs, I always ponder for a moment. “Why is it still popular till this day?”
I vividly remembered Singapore McDonald launched a 40-day promotional marketing in Year 2000, where Hello Kitty dolls (dressed in cute cultural costumes) are given away to thank its loyal customers. The marketing promotion backfired when fist fights, traffic jams, broken glass and people fainting (gasp!) from sheer fatigue in queues, in just over a couple of weeks. Hmm. Not exactly a pretty sight.
I was more intrigued in the making and the history of this hugely celebrated character created in Japan, 1974. Imagine the sheer excitement when I came across this exclusive interview made by Jun Takagi for TIME.com
She wasn’t the designer who invented Hello Kitty, but since 1980, she has been its driving force, applying the feline icon to countless products and creating a global fan base.
Yuko Yamaguchi will now take your questions
Did you ever imagine that Hello Kitty would be big worldwide?
Maya Castro, Miami
No, not at all. When I started I didn’t even know whether she would sell in Japan. I was told that Hello Kitty was only for children and that Westerners wouldn’t carry her around.
Why doesn’t Hello Kitty have a mouth?
Sandi Saksena, Dubai
It’s so that people who look at her can project their own feelings onto her face, because she has an expressionless face. Kitty looks happy when people are happy. She looks sad when they are sad. For this psychological reason, we thought she shouldn’t be tied to any emotion — and that’s why she doesn’t have a mouth.
Why is Hello Kitty from London and not somewhere in Japan?
Courtney Bower, Des Moines, Iowa
When Hello Kitty was created, many girls in Japan had read Alice in Wonderland and adored Britain. Also, there were other characters [created by my company Sanrio] who were supposed to have been born and raised in the U.S., so Kitty was born in London as a way of differentiating her.
How do you continue to be fresh without losing the essence of Hello Kitty?
Jo-Anne Sears, Yorktown, Va.
Trends are the key — what colors and what motifs are in. If roses are in fashion, then I think of rose designs. I have to be able to predict more or less what is coming.
Why do so many adults love Hello Kitty?
Sarah Dwider, Westfield, N.J.
People around the world often say that when they were children they couldn’t afford Hello Kitty, so they started to buy her when they earned money as adults. It’s not that they all of a sudden discovered Kitty.
Do you consider a global audience when you’re designing?
Ignacio Meza, Los Angeles
In the past, I was designing only for Japanese fans. But lately I’ve been designing for Kitty fans in general. I don’t think so much about where they come from as how delighted they’ll be if I do such and such a design.
What’s your favorite of all the designs you’ve done?
Abby Amberson, Madison, Wis.
The [1994-1996] Face series, which generated a real Kitty boom. Until then, Kitty was designed for children and I carried around Hello Kitty merchandise only as samples, because I was the designer. But I actually bought up to 20 pieces from the Face range — five for myself and the rest for my friends — because I knew that from then on nobody would be telling me that Hello Kitty was just for kids.
Is there an item that we will never see Hello Kitty on?
Dorothy Ho, Seattle
Knives. The knife-killing rampage in Tokyo in June made me feel even more certain that we are right about not producing knives.
What will Hello Kitty be doing in 10 years?
Catherine G. Pilie, Covington, La.
In 10 years’ time, everybody around the world will know her. Also, the number of male and female fans will be the same. Men who are still reluctant to be seen with Kitty in public today might be wearing Hello Kitty boxers. But they will eventually stop being shy and will show off Kitty proudly.
What advice would you give to young artists?
Phil Fung, Miami
Be interested in different things and see and listen to everything. A person who does not have multiple interests is only drawing, not designing. They become somebody who just draws and gets stuck. To design, you need to be open to all kinds of information and ideas.
Read extra questions for Yuko Yamaguchi here.
Ever stare at your own room and ramble on how extremely small the space is? Singapore’s residential space is, seemingly getting smaller (gasp!) but who would have thought that being small could make you think more? If you think your living space is small, think again. This Uroko house was built in some loft somewhere in Japan. Guys from Point Architects make a very nice work redesigning it.
This is definitely not your everyday, ordinary and easy do-it-yourself bookshelf you can find at Ikea or your nearby furniture mall. This is the true beauty of how great DIY thinking, and careful precise cuts is planned and obviously was well worth the effort. The result? A space-saving combination bookshelf-and-bedroom that provides ultimate privacy but also uses functional walls with an additional purpose.
What a cool idea to place that Pinko Flamingo on the top of the bookshelf! It will brighten up anyone’s day!
As any good DIY fan should know to do, these creative construction specialists documented the process from essentially the same angle so you can see the structure being built – quite literally from the ground up.
Feast your eyes! with their entire renovation process in their original flickr set.
One of the favourite memories during my childhood days is filling the white spaces with supercharged colours in those colour-it-yourself books!
Did you ever wish that you could colour your own dress and make it truly your own masterpiece? Now you can with this ‘Colour-In Dress’ by Berber Soepboer.
It’s a brilliant piece as it still is as charming as with/without colours. I would love to have it plain white and uncoloured! Wonder if the colours are washable? If it is, won’t it be sheer fun to have it coloured everytime before the party starts? I am sure there would be days that I would have it rainbow-coloured!
I greatly appreciate the designer’s meticulous commitment to craftsmanship, seen on the graphical collar flap and its flattering waistline. Add character to your overalls with cleverly coordinated coloured leggings and artfully presented marker necklace!
The ‘Colour-In’ Dress (with Textile markers included) will be ready in end June 2009 and available for 238 Euro (S$470+).
Would you buy and flaunt it?
Sometimes, the fondest memories are from those Round-The-World trips! While clearing the clutter in the room today, I was horrified to see that one of the old photos turned all moldy and stuck at the corner of an old photo album. Feeling an overwhelming loss, I was determined to catalog these old photos and turn them into digital formats so that they can be preserved forever! Wohooo.
While scanning them(*yawns), I spotted a typical sightseeing ‘touristy’ photo dated in 1987, China. What caught my eye was this oversized Parisian-inspired Egyptian printed top that my mum was wearing! I guess this could be one of those numerous photos that I wish I have brought to my design classes for sources of inspiration.
I am sure most of you will have loads of beautiful photos to share but sadly, old photos are always seen piling up in those old dusty boxes. Worst, especially in this digital era, they are always seemingly stored in a small fragment of your hard disk. Every photo tells a story and it shows the time, era and fashion! In years to come, you will learn to appreciate these memories more! Looking back at these photos now, I’m so glad that my dad was an avid photographer!
While writing this, I got a sweet tweet on this gorgeous ‘Round-The-World Bag’ (I would call it, lol) RedCamper, a site belonging to a talented designer, created this ingenious handbag made out of charming vintage slides! What fascinated me, was how the bag is being made. As mentioned on her site, every RedCamper bag is handsewn with a 1928 shoe making Singer sewing machine! Featured below is U.S.A. * Florida * Souvenir Slides 1970′s and its Hawaiian Dreams in a MidWestern Reality – 1950′s.
To begin with, they serve as great ice-breakers for the meet-new-friends sessions. No more awkward moments. With the right colour combination and flavorful slides, they are great for flaunting your laid-back beach trips! What is really unique about each bag is that all of them are journeys made by the person and its one of its kind in the entire world. Such beautiful memories are after all, priceless. Check out the online store at RedCamper for more.
Slide projectors were common in the 1950s and 1960s as a form of entertainment; family members and friends would gather to view slide shows. Everyone would gathered around the slide projector during end-year parties and everyone would ‘ooohh’ and ‘awww’ over every single slide. Such form of activities are great for building relationships and share knowledge on places of cultural interest.
Where is your favourite journey?
Ever wonder why you are always running late for work or school in the morning? Not because your pet sneaked in the night and made a huge mess, but probably not having an organized environment for you to get a quick fix!
For an intimate room with so much traffic and so many trappings, a bathroom is often poorly equipped. Here are tips which will most probably help you to create a cool, calm space where you can feel collected.
Toss Your Expired Products
I know it’s difficult whereby you realised that you have not even open some of these products yet! You won’t want to use expired products as they have become less effective overtime or worst, they may damaged your skin. Open them and if they smell or look awfully weird, its definitely going straight to the bin. Some of the products may have a “period after opening” label, a number followed by the letter M (see below). It is an indication of how many months the item is effective after opening.
In general (correct me if I’m wrong), eye make-up is good for only 6 months, foundation for 1 year and lipsticks for 2 years. Always check with the sales person whenever you purchase preservative-free product as they typically degrade faster than others. *gasp!
Use A Sticker Method
For an easy way of tracking how long you’ve used a product, write the month and year when you first opened them on plain stickers (or clear tape/masking tape) and have them affixed to the top or bottom of the jar/bottle.
Take Inspiration From Our Cute Childhood Trays
Some of the most simple things that we have experienced during our childhood days could be one of the best inspirations for today’s usage in keeping things organized! Remember those days that you tuck in to these lovingly prepared lunch trays? At the first glance, you will see everything on the tray. Instead of digging through a makeup pouch for your daily makeup, place all of them into a simple tray like this. Remember to separate them by categories, such as lipsticks, eye shadows and blushers.
This method encourages you to use them frequently. No more expired unopened bottles!
Show The Disposables In Clear Bottles
Sometimes we always run out of the daily supplies because they are probably put away in the drawers. Placing your frequently used supplies into these clear affordable jars (with covers, please) will make allow you to know when it’s time to stock up. Placing your daily makeup brushes upright and accessible in a tumbler allows them to air properly too.
Show The Toilet Rolls
There was once where I was at a friend’s toilet room and unfortunately, there wasn’t any pathetic piece of paper left. I tried to search for one but to no avail! Thankfully, my mobile was with me and making that call for help is the next glamorous way I can make do with in that awkward situation. Imagining calling some stranger at the door for help? Shriek!
Make it hassle and embarrassment-free when you keep ample rolls (at least 3 rolls, please) in the cabinets or in a basket. Let’s hope your friends will read this too!
Do you have other simple tips that could help you to stay organized? Please drop a comment below to share!
Flowers always seem to make the day seems a little sunnier, a room look more inviting and a meal more delicious!
They definitely have the same effect when it comes to getting dressed. The sweetest part is that these lovely buds won’t wilt within a week.
Here are a few foolproof ways to wear florals, in my opinion.
Try pairing a floral print with complementary solid shade is your safest style bet! Just bought an extra-vibrant top? They simply work best against neutrals such has khaki, beige, white and black.
When pairing a floral with another pattern, pairing them up with small geometric design such as stripes of gingham could distinctively create a more unique dressing! You could pair them off with striped vest, cardigans or blazers over these organic floral prints.
Feeling the bumps around your hips or tummy? Hitting the gym might not be able to hide them in the shortest time! Slip in a vibrant flora print dress helps to camouflage the usual troubled areas such as the bum and the tummy. In this case, a flowery dress will conceal the midsection better than a plain solid shade.
If you have other tips/pictures on pairing that floral prints, do drop a comment below!