Letters of Life

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Style is my second love next to words and language. Colour also. But that deserves a blog of its own!

If the Shoe Fits, Wear it, Baby

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23:04, Tuesday, 11 March, 2014

There is an element of seduction in shoes that doesn’t exist for men. A woman can be sexy, charming, witty or shy with her shoes. Christian Louboutin, French footwear designer I call these my high-heel runners. I love the idea that this electric-blue shoe with the fluorescent heel is such a beautiful oxymoron. I think… Read More ›

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Every week, The Daily Post from WordPress issues writing and photography challenges. They are fun and I thought this particular theme profound. To take part, I should share a photo that says INSIDE. The word INSIDE recalled to mind an old hit called “Inside” by blind American country singer Ronnie Milsap. She tries for the… Read More ›

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French Blue

* This Hilton McConnico installation is made up of coloured leather patches from Hermès, both on bird and cat.

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Time Suspended

Something that I saw back when . . . Look closely at the time.  It’s somewhere between eleven and twelve o’clock, but such a placement of hands never was seen on an ordinary watch. This fantasy hour is created by the artist who had the glass removed and twirled the hands.  You could say it’s… Read More ›

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A Gem of an Idea: Christmas 2012 Palette

On short notice, I suddenly found myself supervising the colour scheme for the coupons to be used during my church’s upcoming Christmas Bazaar. Small job yes, but these coupons will have a high visibility from the time they are sold (a month from now) right up to the day itself, when it will be the… Read More ›

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A Georg Jensen Watch For Cambodia

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. — John Keats. The Vivianna bangle watch by Georg Jensen is a thing of beauty. Designed in the early 1960s, this open-bangle watch remains a work of iconic watch design; the cool stainless steel encircles the wrist magically without a clasp, and the dial reflects light as… Read More ›

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Yellow

Part Ten in a series on Colour.  Yellow is the colour now in the Northern Hemisphere as spring skips into summer. Here in the tropics, yellow is always with us and sometimes taken for granted. Yellow is warmth without the burn, light without the glare, is resolute in the biblical charge to rejoice. If things… Read More ›

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Gold

  Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf, So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day Nothing gold can stay. Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay This beautiful poem, when heard with Stevie Wonder’s… Read More ›

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White

The second in a 12-part series on colour. Each post will feature a colour poem.  White is black’s perfect counterpart, is everything black pretends not to be. It is clean and serene, calming too, and optimistic. Unlike sand or beige, white is not a neutral, for this colour of all colours always makes a statement…. Read More ›

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Beauty Is Evocative of Something Else

“Beauty is nothing other than the promise of happiness.” — Stendhal, French 19th century writer  

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The Revolutionary Fashionista

There once was a fashionista Who fancied herself quite a fashist (you heard me) She actually thought (now that’s quite a lot) That “fashionista” was wrought From a revolution fought in Central America. It was ’80s Costa Rica Or rather, Nicaragua Where a leftist party toppled Somoza, And picked a fight with the US-backed Contras;… Read More ›

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Facing The Truth

It has come to this, that I am advancing toward a slippery slope. In like manner does life mimic a playground. In a playground, the slide is one of the most popular playthings, and in life, it can be a joyride, a sleighride, or a beginning in which there is no end. The slippery slope was… Read More ›

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H-Hour

By all accounts, today has been a good day. Early this morning, I forced myself, and was successfully in the forcing, to change into running gear and head towards the park for a ‘slow run.’ I discovered that the 30-minute run was good for my cough; it vanished in all that time. Then I stopped… Read More ›

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Top 10 Things To Do This Summer

This is a quintessential June day in the tropics–soft sunlight, clear blue skies thanks to devilish rain over the weekend, the breeze cool on my skin–which is precisely why I am thinking of the season of summer. Summer is June, July and August. A year ago today, it was summer in Tokyo, a day much… Read More ›

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What’s Cool: Dries Van Noten

Quite by accident, I walked into the Dries Van Noten store at the Hilton. I was killing time before my swanky dinner with a girlfriend, and I read a book in which a character who loves vintage clothes raved about a Dries Van Noten suit a boyfriend had once given her. Dries Van Noten (1958)… Read More ›

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The Deal on Creating A Look Book

Creating anything, even if it’s merely on an online cgi-engineered app, (like Polyvore) takes an awful lot of time, energy, effort, and lest we take it for granted, inspiration. When I decide to do it for a friend, the amount of the elements listed above is not miniscule nor on a molecular level. Creating a… Read More ›

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Why There’s A Wolf At My Door

In one word, Polyvore. When I should be writing in this space, I am instead “playing at paper dolls” online, as The New Yorker magazine describes what users do on this style site, cutting and pasting and being fashion editor when I should just be—an editor. Polyvore, created by three men with little or no… Read More ›

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If I Had My Own TV Show

My television show would be a reflection of this blog, Dont Dream Its Over. It would be a three-dimensional, real-world version of the virtual setting of my mind, and of what flits about in there. Like the blog, it would have a structure, a template, from which I work my ideas around. An introduction (hopefully… Read More ›

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On Design: Mixing The Past with The Present

A home is built on the two pillars of knowledge: Thought and memory, and furniture speaks volumes on both subjects. Memory is more important than Thought, for Memory comprises old Thought and information that give rise to new Thought. That’s why I’ve always loved antiques and old things, because I’m intrigued by history. What went… Read More ›

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A Paean to the Peony

The bridesmaid’s posy was one of peonies. Big white powder puffs which, as the evening aged, gracefully unfurled their tissue-thin petals like the petticoats worn by a shepherdess. Did you know that the peony is named after Paeon (also spelled Paean), a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing? According to Greek… Read More ›

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What Makes A Good Photo

At first glance, this picture looks simple. An Indian man reading the daily news in a quiet corner of a coffee shop. The tables spill out on the five-foot-way, Singapore’s answer to people-watching as customers sip coffee with condensed milk or drink Guiness after a hard day’s work. Look again. The vibrant colour tones, the… Read More ›

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Responding with Style #2: What to Look For in a Man’s Dress Shirt

00:23 In the days of the aérogramme and the Filofax, the men’s department in stores of yesteryear would have made today’s young adult male cry. Dour, safe offerings in white, off white, baby blue. The most daring thing would be pin stripes. Of course there were checks, but these would be of the rustic, Howdy-Doody genre. Today,… Read More ›

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The Lure of Tiffany’s

In between flashes of epiphany, I have decided to delight a little in Tiffany’s. My first Tiffany piece was the kidney bean sterling silver pendant, designed by Elsa Peretti. It is so simple and understated that in all honesty, I didn’t get a kick out of wearing it day in day out because it was… Read More ›

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Low Maintenance

Fact: I took less than 30 minutes to empty a bookcase. Fact: It took three hours to empty all the contents in and on my dressing table into a packing box. Sorting the contents of a bookcase is easy-peasy. Either I think the book is worth keeping (here it comes, the trashy titles), or it’s… Read More ›

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On Style

Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening. — Coco Chanel I like what current designer at the house of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, says about his collections: “Chanel is composed of only a… Read More ›

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Clothes Quotes

You know I am caught up in stuff when I put quotes in here. When you can’t do something truly useful, you tend to vent the pent up energy in something useless but available, like snappy dressing. ~Lois McMaster Bujold Most definitely I do the above. They don’t call it retail therapy for nothin’. Just… Read More ›

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Grey

When the mind is empty, fill it with something pretty. It’s a grey dreamy day, the kind of day one can luxuriate in and enfold oneself in delectable silks and cashmeres. This floaty skirt is charcoal silk satin overlaid with gunmetal silk chiffon. Over the skirt goes a cashmere cardy the colour of pale seaglass,… Read More ›

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A Beautiful Mess. I mean, Dress.

The title, just so you know, is a pun on the Jason Mraz ballad, A Beautiful Mess. Also, unless you 1) like beautiful things or 2) are female, you might not find this post very interesting at all. You might even find it shallow to the max. That’s the good thing about blogs: They’re downright… Read More ›

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Lash Bash

So doing the lash extensions was just a lark. Except I’ve realized, 12 days into looking doll-eyed, that such vanity exacts a high price. The price is that I’ve become the thing I dreaded the most: High maintenance. Since when did a pair of nylon bristles exact such a high price? Anything semi-permanent holds the… Read More ›

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In Praise of Pansies

Like a few things in my life lately, I discovered the beauty of the pansy and the peony only seven years ago. It was my first Vancouver spring, when all the flower shops were putting out the immensely saleable daffodils and tulips. Pansies were sold in little pots, and peonies were serendipitous finds that took… Read More ›

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Lashing Out

Still enamored by the Tokyo Look, I decided to get myself some extensions. Lash extensions. It’s not obvious–this is an iPhone shot–but trust me, this model’s lashes are dramatic extensions and enhanced by all that kohl. This wasn’t going to take a trip to the nearest Watson’s to get them. I wanted them done “professionally.”… Read More ›

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Red

Accuse me of being superficial, but here goes my first posting on — clothes. I’ve resisted, I think, previously, out of deference to what people think of me–a geek princess who nowadays has the nerve to pose as an Ah Lian. My latest acquisition is this perfectly delightful little red dress. Here’s why I am… Read More ›

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