Monday, September 26, 2011

What is like ice but burns like fire?

I have been watching Puccini's last opera "Turandot" on youtube and it's great fun! This particular production was filmed in the Forbidden City in Beijing and was stage directed by Zhang Yimou, probably the most famous director in China. 

The story is about a cold and clever Chinese princess named Turandot who has decreed that she will marry no man but one who can answer her three riddles. If they fail, off with their heads. Of course, there's a prince who wants to win her and a maidservant who loves the prince, who sacrifices herself so he can be with Turandot. The princess herself is not even in the first half of the opera (other than for one imperious flick of a hand) but the pageantry and cruelty surrounding her makes me wonder about her character. Obviously she's supposed to be this inscrutable, villainous bitch, but why would she create such a terrible trial for her suitors? Maybe she just really doesn't want to get married.

I was also reminded of Antonio Marras' Fall/Winter 2006 collection for Kenzo, one of my favorites in terms of how I'd like to dress myself on a daily basis. Marras was inspired by "Turandot" and the clothes are so tactile and richly colored and lush. I actually tried on a sweater with that rose print at the Kenzo store in Paris and it was the coziest, softest thing. 

Can I just... put my face in that velvet?

I just want everything here. Everything.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011


This is a great video introducing the work of Isabelle de Borchgrave, the Belgian artist transforms white sheets of paper into unbelievably detailed recreations of clothing and costumes from famous paintings and various times in history. I wish I could've seen her Pulp Fashion exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco but alas, it came down in June.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

September 12th was the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival, a traditional Chinese holiday that must be celebrated by the eating of delicious mooncakes! I'm a fan of any reason to eat sweet pastries, so of course I had to pick up a box to enjoy with some tea.

They are filled with lotus seed paste and salted duck egg yolks - definitely has the sweet and savory mix going on that I love. It's a perfect companion to green tea; the richness of the mooncake flavors becomes mellowed and rounded out by the light grassy taste of the green tea.

Legend has it that messages were hidden inside mooncakes by Han Chinese rebels who wanted to overturn Mongolian rule in 14th century China.

Of course, one can't celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival without telling the story of Chang'e, the lady in the moon. She was married to an expert archer named Hou Yi, who shot down nine of the ten suns baking the world to a crisp. As a reward, he was granted a special pill that would confer immortality onto whoever swallowed it. As time passed, Hou Yi became a huge tyrant. So instead of letting him become immortal and ruling the land forever with his despotic ways, Chang'e secretly swallowed the magic pill herself. She flew to the moon with her favorite pet rabbit and there she lives now, watching over the world.   

I've loved this story ever since I was a kid, but always wondered why Hou Yi didn't take the pill right away? I suppose immortality is something one must choose very carefully...  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Heavy Metals

Seattle Magazine's September issue features my Fig pendant necklace in the Heavy Metals section of their cover story on local fashion, accessories and gifts! I'm so proud to be included with such creative and talented  designers. I love that wheat cuff by River Song Jewelry and the Defenced bracelet by Zuzko Jewelry. My only nitpick is that the back of my pendant was photographed instead of the front.

So here's the front!