Buying presents for people is a fairly stressful endeavor for me, because I’m a poor judge of identifying an individual’s desires and needs. Christmas and birthdays are not my forte, but I’ve managed to reconcile this issue by sticking to one solution: buying personalized or one-of-a-kind gifts. This way, I minimize the chances of a) having the gift re-gifted, and b) giving someone a gift they’ve already received from someone else. True story: two different people once bought me the same DVD box set of World War II documentaries. I guess it’s nice that my interests make it easy for other people to buy stuff for me, but not so fun if I get the same gift twice.
Anyway, here’s a list of gift ideas that you can pick up when you’ve hit the gift-giving idea wall:
For the Work Colleague: Commissioned Sketch Portrait
During the grand launch of Maison Lancôme at LOTTE Shopping Avenue, guests walked away with sketch portraits done on the spot by Bandung-based illustrator Diani Apasari. Commissioned sketch portraits are probably the most truly authentic “one-of-a-kind” gift, because, well there’s only one copy of every person (unless you work with twins, obviously). I enjoyed my sketch so much that I’ve made it into my avatar for all my social media accounts!
British retailer Karen Millen has rolled out its the Spring 2014 collection, aptly titled The New Reality. The collection is a celebration of the paradoxes in women’s fashion (always a personal favorite trope of mine in fashion), aiming to go for a look that perpetuates the idea of the woman as “confident by smiling, strong but easy.” Where most spring collections tend to go a little crazy with the floral motifs and pastels shades, it was nice to see very little hints of either in this set.
It’s a diverse mix of casual-formal dresses and separates steeped in bright neons, china blues, and basic blacks. As with all Karen Millen collections, the cuts and silhouettes are consistently strong. Each piece has been designed to be solution pieces that will eventually become building blocks of a modern wardrobe.
Check out this blip from the collection’s press release:
Effortless ease also comes in the form of looser silhouettes with a luxury sports vibe: bomber jackets, drawstring waists, sweatshirts and t-shirt dresses are worked in mesh, laser punched textures, and sheer and opaque fabrics with a technical twist. This is our modern Karen Millen woman, in her wrap skirt and slim-slouch jumper, she encapsulates how we feel about everything that is sophisticated yet cool about London.
But our modern muse is nothing if not sensual. Empowered yet feminine, she wants her clothes to reflect this. Inspired by a vintage Victorian cape, our design team reproduced its exquisite three-dimensional surface on slim, simple dresses, curvy skirts, a mini-jacket and devore t-shirts. Cut in red, black and white, the effect is graphically strong yet pretty.
Check out the looks for yourself below!
Karen Millen is available at Plaza Indonesia, Plaza Senayan, and Pondok Indah Mall in Indonesia.
Just last week, I told you that one of the perks of being an editor is the opportunity to sift through press releases for the latest trends in fashion and beauty. For instance, just check out these fashionable beauties from labels that can be found at locally-brewed retailer of all things city-chic, Urban Icon:
See those two braided blinged-up pavé beauties? That’s the Glam Camille Holiday 2013 collection by Michael Kors. Meanwhile, the colorful bags are from New York label, IIIBeca: the woman behind IIIBeca is Joy Gryson, a New Yorker who founded the brand as her way of helping out her community (a percentage of proceeds go to September 11 support group charities). In addition to IIIBeca, she has an eponymous label, as well as the brand targeted towards mobile urbanites, Olivia Harris.
I got the opportunity to become familiar with these brands — and many more that fly their banner at Urban Icon — at a special bloggers’ gathering at the Urban Icon store at Senayan City some moons ago. We invited some friends from the Female Daily forum to participate in the celebrations, and I think everyone — not even us! — could have expected the magnitude of success that it turned out to be.
The night started with a word of welcome from Urban Icon’s General Manager-Fashion, the very affable Matthew Mendelsohn. He explained Urban Icon’s expansion from a store known for its high-quality timepieces, to a one-stop lifestyle shop. He also elaborated on the philosophy behind the selection of labels that held not just style and quality in high esteem, but also stories: the importance of a brand’s materialization and purpose was also imperative to the Urban Icon DNA. This is why brands from places like Los Angeles (like beach-ready Melie Bianco), Barcelona (the unfettered Desigual), and Texas (Fossil), all have a place they can call home in Urban Icon.
Matthew also shared with us some of Urban Icon’s unique services, like their Inside & Outside Guarantee. This is a policy which promises to protect every part of the watch purchased from an Urban Icon store from wear and tear within the first six months of purchase. So if other watch stores only have a policy that covers the dial and movement mechanics of a watch, Urban Icon will cover and replace any defective part — from the dial, crown, crystal, strap, everything — for free. How neat is that?
The night’s fun began when distribution of custom-picked gifts from Urban Icon to each participant. Based on the results of a personality survey, everyone was given either a bag or watch from one of the many brands carried by Urban Icon. Everyone seemed really pleased with their respective gifts, because they did indeed match up to their personalities quite well. Talk about custom-picked goodie bags!
Smiles all around as participants received their customized goodie bags from Urban Icon. Lucky ladies!
We then moved on to a special game designed to shed more light onto the plethora of brands available at Urban Icon. Basically, each team was given a set of clues that pertained to one specific brand: for example, the clues that German industrial-chic accessories label, Liebeskind, were all about the city it came from (Berlin). Teams then had pick out an item from that brand available in the store to prove that they had their brand knowledge down-pat. Since everyone on board was especially savvy, every team got their answers right, and the winning foursome was selected based on who figured out their clues first.
Smiles turn into serious thinking as we moved on to the games...
Matthew Mendelsohn awards the game winners their prizes: Urban Icon shopping vouchers!
Everyone walked away with custom-picked gifts, shopping vouchers, and a wealth of information on Urban Icon and their style philosophy. To have the Urban Icon experience of your own, drop by the store nearest to you! There are more than fifteen Urban Icon stores at eight Indonesian cities; not forgetting, of course, that their online store is always open and delivers free across the entire archipelago. So what are you waiting for? Exercise your freedom to experience Urban Icon, your way
If you’re not familiar with local label Capital T, you should be: Tertia Enda dropped everything at her full-time job to study at Susan Budihardjo. From there, she founded Capital T with a mission to provide urban professional women the option of having clothes that suit their fast-paced city lifestyle. Capital T recently released Writer’s Block, the label’s F/W ’13 collection, and its press release had this to say:
For this collection, the design was inspired by the term ‘Writer’s Block’ hence the name of the collection. Tertia Enda, the designer, found it enticing how a seemingly dismissive situation could ironically rouse progression on a story, often it even creates new details, new routes, new stories. This idea is represented by how Tertia tried to cut patterns in such ways to create some kind of procrastination feel on her collection and symbolizes the struggle of the author by playing with upside down interlocked triangles. The whole attempts resulted in arcane looks throughout the pieces, thus making this collection captivating both to see and to wear, like the beauty of writer’s block itself.
The previous Capital T collection, titled Forbidden, also featured a very prominent geometric motif: where there are triangles in this collection, Forbidden played with squares and also made use of a pale pink shade that went beautifully with corresponding dark blues. Come to think of it, this collection is also home to an identical color palette not dissimilar to the previous one, possibly meaning that the designer has fallen into a comfortable design groove she’s comfortable with.
True to her original mission of providing comfortable clothing to young urban women, Capital T delivers on freedom of movement. Each piece is neither too form-fitting or loose, letting the wearer take on the world in style. I’ve been totally crushing on a pair of palazzo pants form an older collection, and should probably go grab them before someone else snatches them up.
What are your thoughts about the F/W ’13 collection? Capital T is available online at Jakarta’s D Space at Debenham’s Lippo Mall Kemang, Happy-go-Lucky of Bandung, as well as Indonesian e-tailers Shopdeca and Zalora in Indonesia, Gnossem in Singapore, and at Fashion Valet in Malaysia.