Saturday, 23 January 2010

One for the Weekend: Suzy Menkes on Fashion Blogging

On Fashionblogs from Mary Scherpe on Vimeo.

Our all time favorite fashion journalist,Suzy Menkes talks about fashion blogging and its growing influence in the society. Also, there are interviews with authors of popular fashion blogs including one of our favorite girls, Jennine of The Coveted.

To see what this video is about, click here

I have caught up on something she said about brand managers being "terrified" by bloggers. Imagine a 17 year old blogger from somewhere in the world in her pajamas, making a middle aged man in a Zegna suit tremble over what she's gonna say next to her million of friends in Twitter and Facebook about his company's latest fashion show. Hilarious, but Miss Menkes' statement is quite true.

Well why not?  Blogs especially those who have a loyal following and receive thousands of hits a day can, in its little own way, create or destroy a brand in a click of button. Blogs are not only the new phase of public relations; as what the bloggers in this video say, it is a combination of everything---marketing, PR, art direction etc. making it a powerful, effective, efficient and cost effective means of marketing that it is.

I hope that more and more companies see the power of blogs as an important tool in putting their products and services to where they should really be:  not in a billboard over a freeway where everybody is too busy driving to even look at anyway--- but right into people's homes; read and absorbed by their target audience.

I love what Suzy was saying about being excited in this whole new advancement in media.  Yes, we are not the enemy of traditional media.  On the contrary, we are an added tool complementing what's already out there and I believe blogs should be included in every company's media plan.

And oh, did I say I'm so happy to see Suzy's signature hairdo again?


Friday, 22 January 2010

Hold on to that thought

A Brilliant idea comes unexpectedly and you should never let it go. It also comes in the most inappropriate places and situations sometimes. Whether I am in middle of lunch, coffee break, sleeping or worse, in a very intimate moment with someone, I had to stop the world and record the thought in my little black book---the moleskine. The moleskine was used for the past centuries by great artist and thinkers including Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and Bruce Chatwin hence is it not just your ordinary notebook.  They call it the "legenday notebook" for a reason.

I might be traditionalist (although I prefer the word "classic") but I still love to write long hand and see my thoughts marked on a clear crisp of paper after they ran through my veins and come out at the end of a nice fountain pen. Despite the advent of technology, I still try to send handwritten letters to friends--a process that has to be carefully done so as not to make any mistake.  There is no delete keys to help you undo your thoughts or any spellcheck to hide your limitations.

This year is all about upgrades and that includes our beloved moleskine. Smythson's diary/organiser comes first with the highest standard that they are known for since 1887. Made with elegant chocolate brown crocodile, it is small enough to fit in a handbag. Selling at €264, sounds a little bit over the top but hey, you can let down a good brand.  Still, it's too much for me.


The next on the list is Hermes' Ulysse notebook selling €193, this leather agenda covers are simple, elegant and classy.  The silver snap closure holds together your refill and best for work and home use. Still a little bit pricey but always remember, buying luxury items = investing. if you don't want to change your organizer every year, then stick to something that is durable and can stand the test of time. You just have to refill the actual papers inside and voila!. Consider it "luxurious recycling" method.  Your memories might be long gone but your quality crocodile leather journal still holds them for you.

Hermes Ulysse

Spain's premiere brand in luxury leather goods, Loewe has always an array of diaries and agendas to boast about.  Their ostrich leather agenda (€310) is to die for (this will go perfectly with your Marc Jacobs' BB bag) while for men the brown agenda with zipper is a showcase of class and elegance for €270.

However if you think these little wonders still are way beyond your 2010 personal financial forecast, why not stick with the good 'ol Moleskin then eh?

They are lightweight, easy to carry, inexpensive and fun.  My favorite has to be their Moleskine City collectiion--a travel notebook for any city that you want to visit, from Amsterdam to Zurich and everything in between. I got my Paris city notebook from the book depository website (note:  Free delivery of books and everything else worldwide!) and I am loving it. It is pocket size and very handy.

“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”--Mahatma Gandhi
Pure or impure thoughts, hold on to them and don't let them slip away.  Write them. You will thank yourself for doing so.


Thursday, 21 January 2010

Lux is up North

Working most of the Holiday Season until 5pm on New Year’s Day has taken its toll on me. Right now, all I want is to escape somewhere where the last thing I can see is a sight of a computer or a mobile phone. However, there are schedules to be met, targets to be reached and goals to be accomplished hence; it’s going to be September before I can experience some “me, myself and I” time.
Positive side is I can book flights and hotels in advance which means discounts and more discounts.
Where shall I go? It’s a toss between Ibiza (again) and the North of Spain, particularly the city of San Sebastian. I have been to Ibiza two years ago and have experience the best of its beaches and infamous nightlife. Believe me, it’s one for your “Things to go to before I die” lists.Ibiza 2007.Photo:marbellastyle. 
The North of Spain however intrigues me especially San Sebastian with all it’s popularity for great food, great scenery and gorgeous (and rich) people. In fact, it is in San Sebastian where lies not one, but two 3 Michelin stars restaurants in Spain proving their gastronomic supremacy in country. And yes, what else do you do on a holiday but eat anyway (everything else is trivial) so that is in itself is reason enough for me to go there in September.Where Shall I stay? Well I should be buying a lot of lottery tickets because I want nothing but the best. This:
The Maria Cristina Hotel---San Sebastian’s most luxurious hotel and included in Condé Nast Traveller 2010´s Gold List: The World’s Best Places to Stay. This luxurious beauty was inaugurated in 1912 and sits in the centre of the city overlooking the Urumea river.
Built by French architect Charles Mewes (the same architect of The Ritz Hotel in Madrid and Paris), Maria Cristina is also the only 5 star hotel in the area and has 136 rooms , 28 of which are suites. It has been a favorite destination of A-list celebrities and stars like Gregory Peck, Julie Andrews, Robert De Niro, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Woody Allen, and Mel Gibson among others. To learn more about the opulent history of Hotel Maria Cristina, click here.
The hotel is part of The Luxury Collection by Starwood, a chain of luxurious hotels all around the world including The Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, D.C., The Westin Paris and Hotel National in Moscow.For my September dates, a night in this breathtaking hotel ranges from 480€ to 610€. Uber expensive you may say? Well, luxury comes with a price. Who knows? You might just bump with Brad Pitt on the corridor or strike a conversation with Quentin Tarantino at the bar; then you can tell yourself, “it’s all worth it.”


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