Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Ever since I saw Rachel Zoe wearing a tassel bracelet, I'd been thinking about making a bracelet with a tassel for myself. But I wanted something with a bit of a contrast, and while I rummaging through my trays of raw materials, I came across these twisted black stones, and thought they'd be perfect as a bracelet, and here it is:
- my tassel bracelet with a twist!

For this necklace, I was inspired by one I saw in Isabelle Wen's shop. I just love how the gold goes so well with all the natural coloured stones. I've had these stones for ages, trying to figure out how best to use them, and now, I can't be happier with this necklace ...

I was going to make a few more pieces of jewelry, but am unfortunately having a design-block. So, this will have to be continued at a later time (hopefully soon!) when I'm "unblocked".

Sunday, August 29, 2010

East District, Taipei

I was supposed to take a pic of another local Taiwanese designer, Chloe Chen's store, but I got distracted by all the prettily decorated little stores/boutiques in the East District, and I totally forgot about it, so that'll have to be another post.

To compensate, I decided to devote a post entirely to the charming little shops in my favorite shopping area in Taipei - the East District ... I adore the entrepreneurial spirit of these shops, and only wish I could own a shop like these:

This lovely shop was located in an alley off an alley!
Stumbling upon it was like finding a little treasure!

This is one of my fav shops!
It carries mainly Korean fashion ... most of these shops sell Korean fashion, as the Taiwanese generally believe Korean quality to be superior to China-made products.

Doesn't everything look utterly gorgeous?
Sigh ...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Jamei Chen, Taipei

Recently, I took a New Yorker around Taipei for some intensive shopping. She'd requested visiting the local designers' boutiques here, hence my last few posts about Isabelle Wen. Personally, I've been rather partial to Isabelle Wen's designs as her style is very girly and feminine, with lots of embellishments ... and we all know, I like my bling :)

Despite my love for all things bright and sparkly, my general style is a lot more toned down. And that's when I'm drawn to Jamei Chen's boutique. The moment you walk into her store, you get this sense of calm and tranquility. It's like your mind unclutters as you admire the cut of her clothes and the beautiful textures of her luxurious fabrics. I'd definitely describe her style as understated elegance ... classic clothes with a twist.

Here are some of my fav pics fm her 2010 S/S collection:

I thought the detailing along the neckline was soooo beautiful ... just the perfect accent on the white "canvas" of the dress, as it were .... I'm now quite psyched about returning to her boutique to check this out. Fingers crossed that it's on sale and more affordable!

And I love the layering of white over the grey ... the overlay just softens the grey and makes the whole look more delicate and breezy ...

I've always been a fan of the colour combination of seafoam green and grey ... and the way this is teamed with the white skirt and beautiful bag ... simply lovely!

Jamei Chen 2010 A/W Collection

The use of red against the backdrop of black is simply stunning. The black jacket looks impeccably cut, the fit looks fantastic, and the red colour accent really energises the whole look. I think the scarf looks amazing!

As I get older, I find myself being drawn to colours, so it was no wonder that I was drawn to this dress below. When I was in the store, I fell in love with all her beautiful knits ... they looked gorgeously sheer and luxuriously soft to the touch. I can totally fantasize about being cocooned in this lovely purple knit dress ...

When I saw this gown, I thought it was so interesting! I was drawn to the layers of colour, and I thought the red was like a print of a rose. But while I'm looking at now, trying to picture a Hollywood celebrity who's wear this (haha), I think the red print may be "drawn" like the model's wearing a pair of red pants! How cool!

If I had the occasion and the guts to wear red fm head-to-toe, I'd definitely wear this ... I love the layering and the way the fabric drapes and falls .... sigh ....

If you'd like to see more, here's Jamei Chen's website: www.jamei-chen.com

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Isabelle Wen .... Part 2

The super persuasive salesgirl at Isabelle Wen put this I.W. magazine by the designer into my shopping bag ... I highly suspect it was a move to tempt remind me of the pieces I liked but had to forego due to my limited budget.

Anyway, her 2010 S/S collection is basically segregated into 4 "Looks":

1) Casual Formal

I really loved one of her shorts, which isn't pictured here. The cut was beautifully flattering, and again, so very comfy!

2) Contemporary Floral

I was sooooo tempted to get the lacey skirt in the 3rd outfit fm the left.
But in the end, I decided against it cos it was just too dressy for my lifestyle.
It was soooo pretty though!

3) New Age Romantic

4) Art of Fashion

I guess my style falls mainly in this category
- see my skirt in the 1st outfit fm the left on the bottom row?
I also fell in love with the yellowish/mustard dress (3rd outfit fm left on top row).
The assymetrical detailing is what got me.
Without the accessories, it just looked like a really classic dress with a twist.
But did I really need another dress? No ....

And here are some close-ups of the items I mentioned above ...
.... my drapey/puffy skirt ... style in a more casual way ...

The lovely lacey skirt ... it has an exposed zipper in the back which lends it a touch of edginess that makes it so much more modern ...

And the assymetrical dress ...

Fifi's Market (Isabelle Wen), Taipei

This post is dedicated to my friend D over on the other side of the world! Cos ... it was solely entirely (albeit indirectly) her fault (well, ok ... I assume some blame due to my lack of willpower as well ...) that I learnt about Fifi's Market.

Fifi's Market is a total/lifestyle concept store by Taiwanese designer Isabelle Wen, wherein she has a boutique which carries fashionable clothing of her own designs, a charming cafe (Khaki Cafe) on the ground floor, a tea lounge on the second floor, and even a bar (W Bar) on the third floor. I went there on a little scouting expedition, and ended up with this!

Consider this fair warning for all those who step into the boutique at Fifi's Market: the salesgirl here is HIGHLY persuasive! I hadn't intended to purchase anything, but ended up walking away with this lovely sequined top (which, although heavily sequined, was, in my opinion, very subtly done).

AND I also got a drapey/puffy skirt to go with the top above, or to be worn with tops fm my existing wardrobe ...

Ok ... so it's time to come clean: When I first stepped into Isabelle Wen's boutique, I saw the above outfit on a mannequin, and it was pretty much love at first sight. However, I didn't ask to try it on, cos I figured with all the detailing, it'd be way over my budget. But the extremely persuasive salesgirl informed me it was 50% off, and when I tried them on, they looked great, and felt soooooo comfy! I think it's cos Isabelle Wen designs for the average woman (as opposed to those super slim girls I see in Taiwan)... a fact for which I am extremely grateful!

Furthermore, I loved these 2 pieces cos I could dress them up or down. Like I could wear the top with a pair of shorts and flat sandals for a more casual look. And I could team the skirt with a tank top or T-shirt to dress it down. I love versatility in my clothes, esp when I'm paying a pretty penny for them!

And after all that rationalising, when the super persuasive salesgirl informed me that these were very signature Isabelle Wen items, and that Isabelle Wen herself had worn this very same outfit, I was completely sold!

(Separately, the fact that another customer in the store, who was fm Hong Kong, had picked out around 10 items to try, served as some sort of after-sales assurance that I'd made some good mad buys :))

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dazzling Cafe, Taipei

Ever since a friend had recommended that we try Dazzling Cafe for their desserts, I had been wanting to visit the cafe, especially after stumbling upon it while shopping in one of my fav areas in Taipei - the East District.

The cafe was completely full when we walked in at around 9.30pm! They were doing roaring business, and we waited a good half an hour (at least!). But after our dessert, Hubby (who normally isn't into desserts) declared it was totally worth the wait! I think that is true testament as to how good Dazzling Cafe's desserts were!

Apparently Dazzling Cafe has a sister shop which sells jewelry, hence the "diamond" ring door knobs/handles ... how charming!

Dazzling Cafe's specialty desserts ... Honey Toast!

The crowd at 9.30pm!

I really love the teas in Taipei ... this one is pomelo tea with mixed fruits ...

... camomile tea with lychees and mixed fruits ... so refreshing!

The highlight of my day! "Party In Your Mouth" Honey Toast!

The mystery of the interior unveiled!

It's basically a loaf of bread which has its middle section cut out and sliced then sugar coated and toasted till deliciously crispy. These sugar-coated toasted slices are then placed back into the shell of the loaf of bread, together with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (in our choice of flavour), a rose-flavored macaroon with a chocolate middle, some custard, strawberries, and raspberries. All this is served with a side of honey for us to dip the bread in. Are you drooling yet? :)

This is sooooo good! I definitely foresee another visit to Dazzling Cafe in the near future!

Chili House Restaurant (Szechuan Food), Taipei

I've always been a fan of Szechuan food, especially the dishes that are mouth-numbingly spicy. So, we decided to try this restaurant that we'd heard was pretty good: Chili House Restaurant.

Our appetiser: Smoked Fish

Dumplings in chili oil n vinegar ...

Spicy noodles ... this was really quite fabulous!

Chinese style buns to be eaten with the dish below ...

Pork Ribs ...

Loofah with bamboo pith and gingko nuts and wolfberries ... delish!