My glass is always half full. And yours?
PHOTOGRAPHER ONIN LORENTE AND STYLIST SOAP KE TEAMED UP FOR AN EXCLUSIVE FASHION EDITORIAL FOR DESIGN SCENE, A POPULAR FASHION SITE BASED IN LONDON. SHOT IN PHNOM PENH, IT INCLUDED SOME PIECES FROM OUR DON PROTASIO SPRING/SUMMER 2012 COLLECTION ALONG WITH OTHER CAMBODIA BASED LABELS. CHECK OUT THE ENTIRE PORTFOLIO HERE.
I've always liked oversized clothing for its ease and comfort. Living in Cambodia I have come to rely on some great pieces that are generous in its fabric and sizing. Even in my designs I like it a bit shapeless and enveloping. There is something quite dramatic about ample fabrics that trail, drape and cocoon the body. I think it takes a bit of strong personality to pull off a shapeless frock. All the people I know who have similar taste in clothing as I am are not afraid to stand out.
I keep thinking of what message such style of dressing conveys. Is it a negation of the natural body shape? Is it a reaction towards preconceived notion of sexiness? Is it an abstraction of form and function?
Rei Kawakubo's work for Comme des Garcons has always been in the forefront of challenging the way we think of clothing. The piece above from the tricot Comme des Garcons line doesn't seem to represent those ideals nor make you question fashion in an intellectual way. It's basically a t-shirt dress that renders the body shapeless like a piece of log draped in black fabric. Am I overthinking and looking for something that is not there?
Then I realized the magnitude of how Comme des Garcons has come to represent the avant-grade for me. It has become the embodiment of the avant-garde not solely in it's constant experimentation and questioning of the politics of dressing. It had transcended beyond that and come to represent everything avant-garde even to the point of me questioning the intention of a simple t-shirt dress. I crave to know the concept and the vision behind the piece. Yes, I am looking for something that is practically not tangible but comes with every CdG piece. To make you question, that is the genius of Rei Kawakubo.
top - tricot Comme des Garcons
bottom - DP drop crotch pants
shoes - Converse
bag - ArtBerg
Almost a Reaper, Julius was back in town. He came with his friend from the Philippines. Too bad it was just a very brief visit.
Oak was also in town for a few hours for business and dashed back to Phnom Penh, immediately. Good thing he stiil had time to have breakfast with me.
At least once a month I visit Amansara to check on my stuff there.
Despite her busy schedule Faith always have time to chat and drink coffee with me.
I love iced cafe latte and Amansara has the best one I've tasted here in Siem Reap.
Black, the color I drape my existence. I can wear black everyday. In Khmer it's called poh khmao. My friend Onin gave me these two black pieces and I'm loving it.
The black top above from Cloak & Dagger has an interesting closure that overlaps the front panel and is secured by a single button on the collar.
He also gave me this classic suit jacket from e-Shop but with a trimmed lapel and slimmer cut.
Both pieces are wonderful additions to my clothing options.
One bright color I can't do without is red. It's one of the few colors I've really embraced in my wardrobe. I do like acid yellow and fuchsia pink (hence my Fuchsiaboy name) but not so much as wear it all the time. I associate fuchsia to punk, really, although it's more to do with the punk inspiration that Helmut Lang used in his work. Red was also another color Helmut used as a punctuation in many of his collections.
This piece from HL's spring/summer 95 collection is something I always remember for it's use of splashes of red. Another collection from f/w 96, where you can see touches of red mixed with olive green, is an eternal inspiration for me. See the video here.
I think I'll be collecting more red pieces to include in my wardrobe.
top - Ouki tee + The Alchemists vest
bottom - Izzue pants
shoes - Muji
bag - Zucca.
I spent a day thrifting in Phnom Penh the last time I was there. The previous times before that I never really got the chance to have a leisurely time browsing through mounds of stuff because I was with my friends who can only take thrifting in small doses. That's why it's really ideal for me to thrift alone so I can spend as much time as I want and go to as many places until there's no more energy left on me.
I was happy to get this Plantation blazer because it's oversized and the style is very me. Most of the stuff being sold in the thrift shops I go to came from the 80's. Look how the jacket still looks so relevant and modern for today.
Another find is this K.M.K. draped top. I don't know aything about this label but it's totally my style. I used to collect every random designer bits and labels I find but I've been more discerning in my purchases lately and veered towards my preference of dark colors, draped, tailored, and minimal pieces.
I had a similar M by MJ bag before but Bo asked it from me. Now I found a replacement for it.
I bought this cute Tsumori Chisato pouch for my sister who is equally a bag lover like me. I don't know how many pieces of bags I gave to her already.
I was really tempted to buy this Undercover slides but I don't think my mom or my sister will like it. It's probably brand new. I wonder from what collection was it from. I hope somebody cool would buy it eventually.
I always end up eating at Blue Pumpkin at Monument Bookstore whenever I'm in Phnom Penh even though we have Blue Pumpkin in Siem Reap. They have Mille Feuille that's really yummy and although it's really a diet killer I still can't help myself but eat one.
At Monument they are selling this hilarious joke of a magazine called Couture. Yes, THAT, and it's priced at a whopping $15 per copy. It's even more expensive than American Vogue!
I had dinner with Nod and Franco at Parkway and I saw grilled frogs being sold.
I went thrifting and got some clothes plus this magazine called Lumiere, one of my fave Japanese magazines. It features a lifestyle that is organic, natural, muted and very 'Japanese'.
I attended the opening of ARTillery and Onin Lorente of Style Anywhere had an exhibition of his photographs. He included some frames taken from the photoshoot he did of my s/s 2012 collection. You can view his street style blog here.
I had breakfast at The Shop in 240, my ritual on mornings when I go back to Siem Reap. I usually take the lunch bus so I still have the morning free and there's nothing much nicer than to spend it having a long breakfast.
Onin was returning to Singapore that day, too, so we had time to catch up with Christine before our respective travel departures. They did a photoshoot the day before and I can't wait for the final edits to come out.
Random thoughts about the clothes I wear:
I never liked wearing gray before and only learned to love the color when I came here in Cambodia.
Top - K2 jacket + Seven Heaven tee, bottom - Hill House, shoes - DM's, bag - ArtBerg.
I've been getting a few pieces from this label called Made In The Earth that really suits my style. The slouchy tee I'm wearing is from that brand. I also have an oversized tank and a vest, too. The leather bag is made in Argentina and artisan made. I got it from the thriftshop but you can tell it has good quality. It's huge and can be a weekend bag. It's only a few years back that I've learned to appreciate the beauty of a good bag. Before I'm just contented with pleather and shody construction. My conversion came when I started travelling and realized the practicality of well-made bags and luggages. You don't want to experience the embarassment and hassle of a faulty handcarry and check-in like what happened to my friend. His luggage 'exploded' all the secret it stored and my friend had to pick dirty underwear and his other stuff on the conveyor belt of the airport. Scrimp on other stuff but not your luggage.
Top - Made In The Earth tee, bottom - DP harem pants, shoes - Converse, bag - from Argentina, necklace - OS 'Birdskull'.
There are days when I get tired of my drapey style and wanted to look pulled together and structured. I want to feel the snug fit of a tailored piece like a sheath of armor. This Burberry jacket fits my frame so well. I really can't do the whole dapper/dandy style so I always inject something rugged whenever I wear something I consider 'formal', hence, the DM's, jeans and tee.
Top - Burberry jacket + Another Place tee, bottom - Uniqlo jeans, shoes - DM's, bag - ArtBerg.
You really can't see the detail here but the vest I'm wearing is the one below.
I got this vest from one of my fave Thai labels, The Alchemists. It is designed by Seksarit Thanaprasittikul, a former intern of Ann Demeulemeester, so definitely you can see similarities in vibe. This piece is from 2011 collection and I love it's multi-belted design! Actually, it's the only Thai brand I collect obsessively.
Top - The Alchemists vest + SHIPS tee, bottom - Marcus camo pants, shoes - DM's, bag ArtBerg, bracelet - Marc by Marc Jacobs.
This vest is from my first collection (spring/summer 2008) when I transferred here in Siem Reap. The fabric I used is a traditional woven cotton with diamond pattern from Takeo. My intention when I designed this piece was to utilize a local material in my urban style.
Top - DP Takeo Weave vest + Another Place tee, bottom - Muji pants, shoes - Converse.
Kansai Yamamoto is one designer whose work I obsessively collect because I really respect his vision and I value how important his contribution to fashion. He is one of the leaders in contemporary Japanese fashion during the 70's and 80's. I also like how he's a bit obscure to many so-called fashion enthusiasts and vintage re-sellers because there's little demand for his wares. And I think it's really difficult to come across his pieces now. Luckily for me, I have a thrift store that sells stuff from Japan and I grab whatever I can get my hands to. I'm wearing a Kansai Yamamoto knit biker jacket in midnight blue, a rather sedate piece, compared to his more exuberant style, which he is known for.
Top - Kansai Yamamoto jacket + Calvin Klein tee, bottom - DP pants, shoes - Vans, bag - ArtBerg.
Another Japanese designer I love collecting is Takeo Kikuchi. He was also popular during the 80's and influenced a style movement globally. I'm wearing a velvet jacket of his.
Top - Takeo Kikuchi jacket + Another Place tee, bottom - Levi's 501 jeans, shoes - Kangol, bag - ArtBerg.
Another designer you don't often read on fashion blogs is Ozwald Boateng, a British fashion designer of Ghanaian descent. He is known for his witty and often twisted take on classic British tailoring. The jacket I'm wearing is another one of my thrifted finds. When I found the Ozwald Boateng jacket it came with a Jean Paul Gaultier pocket square.
Top - Ozwald Boateng jacket + Jean Paul Gaultier pocket square + Another Place tee, bottom - Kapital Jeans, shoes - Muji, bag - American Apparel.
One shirt I often wear is this Jenny Mark piece with tie dye detail. It's just so easy to wear and the cut really fulfills my criteria for tops I wear: comfy, a bit oversized and interesting. I don't know how many times it has appeared in my fashion diary, already.
Top - Jenny Mark tee + PAID vest, bottom - EDITED, shoes - Converse, bracelet - Christian Shinohara.
The usual pieces in my wardrobe but styled differently.
If you notice I always wear an Another Place tee. It's a Thai brand and I wear their shirt all the time. I buy only one style but in different muted colors.
Top - The Alchemists vest + Another Place tee, bottom - Muji pants, shoes - Converse, bag - ArtBerg.
I've been liking wearing a sleeveless suit, lately. I got this blazer in the thriftshop, chopped it's sleeve and had it's edges folded in. It's much more suitable for the climate here in Cambodia.
Top - Vivienne Westwood Man draped top + sleeveless blazer, bottom - Kapital jeans, shoes - Vans, bag - ArtBerg.
The striped shirt I'm wearing is GOMME, a Japanese label designed by Hiroshige Maki. He was a design assistant by Yohji Yamamoto for 10 years. The curved and uneven hem (longer at the back) makes this tee a little bit interesting for me.
Top - GOMME shirt, bottom - Gap jeans, shoes - DM's, bag - Peter Pilotto x Kipling, bracelets - Marc Jacobs, Robotang, DP, Mango.