Saturday, January 29, 2011

Early Morning Thrifting

I went thrifting early this morning after our 5:30am prayer time. I was sleepy after breakfast but nothing can stop me from having my fix, hahaha! It was in the market near the river going to my house. I saw an Issey Miyake shirt but it was too simple for my taste. I also found an Andrew Mckenzie jeans but I really don't need another pair. There's also a Giorgio Armani shirt in this gorgeous tan but...

What I got instead:

Katharine Hamnett button down shirt. I love the hand finishing and shell buttons. Amazing quality!

And Muji denim jacket. Minimal and utilitarian. In black denim, of course.

Have you been thrifting lately?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Red Eairth

Top: black H&M tee under an Eairth waistcoat with hammered brass safety pin

Bottom: Eairth drawstring pants

Accessories: Muji patent sneakers and American Apparel bag

Black and red reminds me of my friend Elizabeth. Her personality somehow feels as bold as red and black. It's a very graphic and strong color combo. Full of energy. I always feel energized when I wear red. I think only a strong personality can wear red all over. You can't be a wallflower in red. Everyone notices you when you wear it. I think it's avant-garde to wear red. It's so festive. The color of war and blood, too. There's a lot of things you can associate with red. The last time I was in Manila I got the Eairth vest and pants combo. It's always fun to go to their workshop and get something. Everyone there is so nice.

The Move So Far

The other day I moved some of the stuff that my friends Blady and Cielo gave me for my new place. I feel so grown-up, lol! Also, for the past days I've brought a bag or two of the many stuff I have just to ease slowly into the transition of moving. Honestly, moving always overwhelms me. Maybe because I don't do it often.

Today I was also in my place supervising the installation of curtain rods for all the windows. Tomorrow we will start with making the curtains. I'm like a freakshow without the curtains. Everyone can see me! And we don't want that, lol!

I've been addicted to Indian food lately. I especially like The Indian here in Siem Reap. Some of my new faves are Fish Beryani, Fish Masala (the curry on the right), Fish Curry and Lemon Rice (the yellow rice on the left). I usually drink it with Masala Chai, which is so spicy good. It was Chef Mawa of Raffles de Angkor who suggested I order the Lemon Rice. The rice has cumin seeds, chili, parsley and lemon in it. The combined ingredients tickles the palate with an aroma that is mildly spicy with a lemony kick. It was the perfect foil for the Fish Masala or the Fish Beryani.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Place

After three years of living with my best friends, I'm finally going to live on my own here in Cambodia. Admittedly, it's not very far from their house, about 5 minutes walk. No big reason for the move except I feel it's perfect time to be on my own. I'm renting this aquarium-like, 2 storey building overlooking Siem Reap river with views of mature trees. It's about 10 minutes car ride to the center town. That way I'm not far from my store and I can walk going there. The upper floor (pictured), will be my living spaces and the ground floor my working studio. I used to live alone when I was in Iloilo but there will be minor adjustments to how I operate daily given I've grown used to the perks of living with my friends like having helpers around. I need to buy my own cooking tools and prepare my own food. I love cooking if you don't know. My friends love my seafood angelhair pasta! It'Il be fun to entertain and have friends come over for food and drinks. I will probably hire a helper to help me clean up the place like a once-a-week set-up. I can be lazy and I know I'm a slob so that solves that dilemma. This morning I bought cotton fabrics in a lovely pale gray, almost white, actually, for curtains because, thankfully, I'm not ready to live Big Brother style. I don't want to subject people a mortifying view of me doing my personal effects. But I'm pretty much keen on the idea of letting as much light and views of nature all around me. Saves me electricity on the lighting! I'm scheduled to transfer by February so I'm occupied in checking the installations of aircons, heater and those kinds of stuff. Tomorrow, I have to transfer curtain rods, bed foams and cabinets just to slowly ease my move. Mostly, I'm dreading the packing, again! It was only December last year when we all moved to our current house now. Good thing I haven't unpacked most of my stuff yet. It will be a lot of work but I'm super excited for this new venture.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

To Lose It

A horrifying feeling descended upon me when I realized I lost my Ricoh camera yesterday. I couldn't remember how and when exactly I lost it. Probably Monday it's already gone and I just didn't notice it. Anyway, my friend and I looked at all possible places where I could have left it but to no avail. Thing is I'm not ready to buy a new camera. Also, more than the camera I hate the feeling that I misplaced it. Maybe because I rarely lose things so it's kinda hard for me to accept that reality. I hate that my ineptitude cost me an unnecessary loss. Oh, well, that is what it is.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Them Finds

'Goodbye minimalism!',"declared my friend Loven after I went thrifting for 3 consecutive days. LOL! What can I say? Although I've consciously lessened the amount I bought, it's really hard to resist not hoarding when you can buy thrift clothes for 500 riels (roughly 5 pesos a piece) and bags for $2.00. Very, very, very cheap! Before I really thought Iloilo ukay is the best but I'm beginning to change my mind because I have been finding lots of cool stuff here in Siem Reap, lately. And there's not a lot of competition (walang re-sellers, hahahaha!) Here's 3 pieces I'm very happy to find:

I gasped a little when I pulled this out and saw the numbered label. I wonder from what season? Bagay for my 'minimalist' state of mind, lol!

My suki offered a new sack to open for us and this was lying on top. One of my CDG collecting friends would love this.

And this Raf Simons will go directly to my archive of contemporary designer pieces.

I learned from Hapsical that this Black Palms collection was for spring/summer 1998. The palm graphic was created by designer Franky Claeys and was also used for a Coca-Cola fashion edition can in 2003. Rave culture and Belgian New Beat music partly inspired the collection. It's probably one of the oldest Raf Simons piece I have in my collection.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Went Thrifting Again

Encouraged by my Margiela find the other day I went thrifting again at Phsar Krolayn. I went with my friend Faith and we bumped into Andy who I told about thrifting there. He didn't ask about the going rate of the prices so he was somehow ripped off at $1 each for his finds. Somehow if you're a barang (foreigner), especially westerners, the prices are jacked up. He could have gotten his finds for 500 riels to 1000 riels, maximum. Well, we showed him the other sellers whose pieces go for only 300 riels, about 3 cents only.

I went back to where I found the Margiela hoping to score another fabulous find. I guess that was really it because I got only two pieces, a Moschino kids denim jacket for Freedom (Faith's 5 year old son) and a Levi's 501 jeans. I decided to check out the other stalls and there I got lucky. I found this embroidered tee from 10 Corso Como x Comme des Garcons. I also got a tank top from Calvin Klein, a skirt from Vivienne Tam and other non branded stuff that I can deconstruct and use the materials for my designs.

Not yet tired, we checked out the other stalls we usually don't buy because of their higher prices. In our suki, we usually get our pieces not higher than 500 riels. The other stalls sell their thrift clothes at 1000 riels. I was able to find a Michiko Koshino kids tailored jacket for Freedom and a Plantation Issey Miyake black woven jacket with an interesting ruching at the back.

We were kinda spent after that one but on the way out we spied more stalls sellling bags. Of course, we have to check it out. There were about 6 more stalls we haven't seen before and some of them just sells bags and bed covers. Some bags are priced at $6 which I think is a bit steep. On the last stall though was where I found my lucky find! It was a prestine Prada backpack from the 90's with brown nylon and leather straps, signature Tessuto nylon body and pewter metal hardware. Very Clueless, very 90's chic. I got it for $2 and has become my default day bag now. That's actually the 3rd thrifted Prada backpack I found here in Cambodia.

I went to Battambang yesterday with some friends to visit the art school there and my eyes lighted up because in the local map there's a place indicated for secondhand clothing. Alas, we didn't have time to discover the place but it's something I want to explore when I go back there again. Who knows what treasure I could find, non?

And speaking of treasures, here's an inspiring story that happened to someone I know. This guy went thrifting one day in their local thrift store. Out of the corner of his eyes he spied a painting with its paper wrapper partially torn and revealing an image of what he thought was a Filipina. He didn't mind at first but his instinct keeps nagging him to check out the whole painting, and he did. It was indeed a painting of a Filipina selling fruits with a Japanese soldier bearing a Japanese flag on the background. It was a scene during the Second World War in the Philippines during the Japanese occupation. He bought the painting for $75 and sold it for $1.8 million pesos. The painting was a Fernando Amorsolo.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Busy Is Good

It's always crazy before the holidays, during it and after the whole shebang happens. This is not another sorry excuse for my non-posts to my three (wait, is it two?) loyal readers. Rather, it's one of those once-in-a-blue-moon rant I come up with just so I can say I updated this blog. No picture overload for this one. I just remembered I started this blog January 2006 and I'm quite surprised I'm still at it after all these years. It's sorta a belated happy birthday, non?

Today I went thrifting with my friend Rathana at Phsar Krolayn market. It's this market here in Siem Reap where it's mostly locals who go there. I like thrifting there because I always find really good designer clothing. Last time I thrifted I found a black Issey Miyake pleated top to go with my thrifted black Issey Miyake pleated pants. The top cost me 300 riels which is like 5 cents. I also found a paper-like Robert Carey Williams button down top at the same price. That's why I'm addicted. Okay, even before coming here in Siem Reap I'm already addicted to thrifting. Anyway, today I was blessed with a wonderful Martin Margiela white cotton tee. It looks like terry cloth material but a bit lighter. I also found several more pieces from Miu Miu, Beams and Vivienne Tam. The damage for my retail therapy is $1.00.

Over the holidays I was at Pattaya in Thailand. A friend of ours at church invited us to visit them. I really had a great time although I didn't touch the pool nor the famed beach of the place. It was more like malling, movie watching and McDonalds for me and my friends. I know, totally so lame but then it's the price you pay for living in Siem Reap. No big malls, cinema or McDonalds. I gorged myself with a lot of Filet-O-Fish and Mcdo french fries until it's coming out of my nostrils. We did eat a lot of Thai food, too, especially somtam, a spicy papaya salad, and sticky rice with mango. Our suki taxi driver, Mr. Tee, drove us to this special place where they sell sticky rice that's colored yellow, pink, lavender and brown. He said that the restaurant is famous in Thailand for winning the best sticky rice with mango in the whole country. The colors are done naturally through the use of certain flowers, herbs and organic food dye. It was indeed very delicious and beautiful to look.

I'm loving all thing gray marl jersey nowadays. It started last season when I got all these gray jersey pieces from Frapbois, Seven Heaven, Norman Noriega, Bo Parcon, etc. Next thing I know my closet started looking gray instead of black. In Pattaya I got a perfect Converse low cut in gray jersey! Yay! So happy. Also, the BLESS x Longchamp bag I got arrived and it's sorta colored greige. So everything is gray for me. Too bad I wasn't able to get anything from Cecile's second Heather Miss Grey collection for Bleach Catastrophe. A piece from there would be perfect for all these gray obsession I'm having. Oh, and the most amazing discovery, albeit too late, that I discovered when I was googling Longchamp. They collaborated with Gap and Colette and came up with a Le Pliage in gray marl jersey! Waaaaahhhhhhhh! Totally my kind of bag! I already bugged my friend Daniel if they still have it in some hidden archives somewhere.

Oh, the busy part. Yeah, I've started production for DP spring/summer 2011. That's juggling the demands of the shop inventory, too. And there might be another Poetry, more edgy and art oriented in terms of vision, that might crop up soon. I'm dreaming of a stand alone DP shop though, just a very small one and we shall see if it happens this year.

So basically it's thrifting, sewing, designing and boring stuff for me all these past weeks. That's the lame rant I can muster here.

Happy new year!