Taiwan: Fashion Houses 101

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We’ve done the Taipei 101 many a time on our travels here in Taiwan, but for this outing, it’s the Fashion Houses in the 509m, bamboo styled building that are doing the business of being breath-taking.

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There’s certainly no expense spared in this complex of 101 floors, and the Fashion Houses of Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, TODs and Burberry certainly take this to heart and I’m drooling over the lavish and intricate window displays of the stores on the third floor with delicate floral backdrops, lush green cactus landscapes and hot-pink, candy-stripe balloons… That is, until I see the bejewelled and sparkling exteriors of the displays on the fourth. It’s worth walking around to appreicate the stores: they’re works of art – as well as powerhouses generating billions of dollars per year purely in attire for us to prance around in a feel pretty (or so I assume it feels to own any of these brands…). But, all joking aside, it’s a delicious rendering of advertising, and if it weren’t for the hawk-like, black-suited attendants intimidating my little self in the doorways, I’d probably take a couple of shots inside with my phone… As it is, I’d probably better not…

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Third Floor Displays.

Dolce & Gabbana Taipei 101

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Louis Vuitton Taipei 101

TOD's Taipei 101

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Fourth Floor Giants.

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Louis Vuitton Taipei

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Dior Taipei 101

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Burberry Taipei 101

The Fourth Floor Taipei 101

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It’s not just me however, who’s got the iphone out to do some gorgeous building papping, the locals are definitely into it to, and as I stroll around the twisted floors of shop after shop, there are people everywhere, from all over the world – posing for their photos in front of the public image of these global brands. It’s a powerful message for the effect that this kind of advertising has, that within what was once the tallest building in the world is housed these commercial, luxury brands that inspire such reverence and desire that couples will pose in front of their gleaming doors – no half-naked models required, Abercrombie.

I mean, please, even the food court is fancy, with its clever, light-dispersing wine glass chandeliers.

A little pretty architectural and advertising planning sure goes a long way.

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She Interns: The Office Perks

Style #4

Top: Urban Outfitters
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Jacket: As Before,  Zara
Clutch Bag: fcuk
Shoes: Shilin Night Market, Taipei

THE OFFICE

Now thoroughly in the routine of my morning commute and office life, I , rather predictably, nearly miss the train to work. Typical that I was thinking only the  night before how natural this early morning routine was feeling. Well, after that debacle  I gather myself together to my usual, only slightly less ridiculous self to work.

The CMPR Office is one real perk to this week’s work experience. I’m slightly obsessed with colour co-ordination, and entering through the offices heavy cream door,  what it beheld can only be described as my kind of paradise. Those who know me, know that my live colour-scheme is pink and green; from the pastel green wall in my bedroom with matching mini-polka pink green curtains to my two favourite pink and green mechanical pencils it’s a sickeningly cute combination-obsession that’s depths I try to hide from the public eye.  Well, I have finally found an environment in which I can bathe in pink and green glory: the CMPR Office.

THE WORK

Today after finishing two written information bubble, the work-load took a side-step from PR management, to the realities of running the firm – and that meant getting to grips with the office ebay account (!!). I was pretty surprised to find out about it – what on earth would a PR company use ebay for? How is that going to reach clients and customers? Well, turns out that it’s a fabulous idea, and here’s why: the company perks. As it turns out, being a small office of highly specialised PR staff in a city like Belfast is as good as being a celebrity. MD Cathy lands Q&A radio segments – one of which I was tensed in the office for, as it churned the staff into a research frenzy for the 30min warning we got before airing – magazine interviews, fashion event invites, screening invites, beauty products and much more in return for being Belfast’s first port of call for all needs editorial or runway related.  So where does ebay come into this? Well, such a small office can only need so many lovely (and expensive) products and any duplicates can be sold online. Personally I’ve never quite got to grips with buying on the site, although I’ve been on the wishful cusp of learning to sell on it many a time, so this was a timely intoduction! This week we were selling lots of Cathy’s daughters clothes, BNWT (brand new with tags to those not in on ebay acronyms).

I think I’m a long way off having children yet, but I nearly keeled over with how TINY AND CUTE the clothes were.

THE PERKS

And speaking of perks, you may have wondered with the mysterious white bag was in my Style #3 Photo  (or not, but I’ll let it slide…): on Wednesday I was given a bag of perks for little me!

I. Nearly. Spontaneously. Combusted.

I mean, seriously struggled to contain my excitement and gracefully express my gratefulness.

I did not know this happened in real life.

So my lil’ bag of goodies contained:

The Body Shop Morning Mist
Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Style Prep
Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Colour in
Nuxe Moisturising Lip Stick
Smashbox Girls on Film Blusher
Dior 3 Colours Ready-to-Wear Smoky Eyes Palette
Jason Shankey Heat-Proof Straightner Carrier

All I can say is a massive THANK YOU CMPR for my lovely gift!

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Behind the Scenes: Distortion and Control Photoshoot

So you may remember that a couple of months ago, the Razz My Berries Magazine’s editorial team (of which yours truly is a member) worked make-up and styling for the Issue 14 photoshoot: ‘Distortion and Control’. Editor Becky Lodder wrote up the day’s Behind the Scenes article with sneaky preview photos from Online Editor Katherine McIntosh – and my intensely-concentrating face even featured in a cheeky photo on the website. It was a fabulous morning of tense make-up overseeing – and most importantly, the role of light diffuser holding – in the beautiful Reed Hall. For this project, the editors worked closely with London-based photographer Charles III Photography, who was on set both photographing and filming under his sub-company Travis & the Gentleman for the day…

Hair and Make-Up: Distortion and Control Photoshoot

And here’s a sneaky few shots from the day! The landscape shots can be opened in full by clicking on the photos.

Razz My Berries Magazine | Issue 14 Distortion & Control

© Charles III Photography
Models Left to Right: Conor Bryne, Emma Brisdon, Mellissa Bryan, Alina Ivan, Toby Craddock, Ioana Cristina Minulescu
© Charles III Photography
Model: Ioana Cristina Minulescu
© Charles III Photography
Model: Toby Craddock

© Charles III Photography

© Charles III Photography

© Charles III Photography

It’s always interesting  to look at photos in hindsight – an artist, or at least I, am never 100% happy with my work; call me a perfectionist, but there’s always something that I would love to try differently or improve on. However, this is the real world: time is money, experience is all about making mistakes and unfortunately, you can’t start out calling all the shots on set – all we can do is keep moving on and upwards. I can’t wait for the next chance to work with such a great team of the creatives to build a shared vision of something beautiful; I am dying to do big shoots like this in the future…

Ladies and Gents, fashion is my drug of choice.

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LUST LIST: AW 2012

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THE BIG ONE: Herringbone Short Coat, Mango

I am in  love with oversize this autumn, and this oversize coat is killing me. Picture rolled up sleeves and just-too-big shoulders on, well, anything. It’s the perfect boyish piece to emphasise a slender frame that I wish was in my wardrobe. Please? Now?

THE WARM ONE: Knitted Speckle Slouch Jumper, Topshop

The winter chills are coming, and the student house is on measly heating, and I want a cosy cream jumper. Paired with black jeggings, scrunched down grey socks, black ankle boots and a messy bun… is it obvious I’ve been fantasising about this too much?

THE WEIRD ONE: Gargantuan Green Grape, OPI

You know when you’ve got that weird fashion itch that you can’t quite explain? Well, this is it. Maybe it’s the looming grey autumn weather, but this month I’ve had an overwhelming compulsion to slap some bright green on my nails and see how it goes, so some OPI (only the smoothest nail polish ever) Gargantuan Green Grape is going on my lust list…

THE CLASSIC ONE: Del Rey, Mulberry

Big. Carries things. Looks great. Self-explanatory, really.

THE WACKY ONE: Mono Cosmic Skater, Urban Outfitters

I’m not big on prints, and my wardrobe is very simple, but I’ve a closeted desire to own something this wacky for a geek-chic look – think Zooey Deschanel-esque glasses, tights, brogues and a loose white shirt. I’m not entirely sure which space conventions I’m invited to that I could wear this at, but the more I look at it, the more I’m thinking – screw simplicity and get this wacky number on.

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Beijing, TUESC: Fashion Show!

CATWALK, BABY

In a slightly less important note this week, although entirely mortifying on my part as this post reminds me, Annie and I took part in the Fashion Competition at camp – and yours truly won the Camp T-Shirt Customising Competition in the Volunteers section for Blue G!
Cringe.

I definitely don’t have the same pizazz as the Blue G Boy Band (who received many paper origami flowers from their female classmates, I didn’t fail to notice), and without Annie twirling me down the make-shift catwalk I certainly wouldn’t have looked quite as graceful. But the early morning rushed sewing (of course, I don’t travel anywhere without a kit) paid off with improvised polystyrene and cardboard flowers with a braided hem going to show you don’t need much to make something cute, if not dubiously weather-proof.

Just don’t look too close at the quality of the stitching.

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STYLE NOTES

Personally I like Annie’s decoration better, but as many of the volunteers have noted in our travels around Beijing, Chinese fashion has something against showing the shoulders, let alone the chest area.

I’m not particularly keen on showing skin myself, and part of me (literally) reckons it’s the Asian in me, if not the Asian mother upbringing.

Rather unnervingly, another volunteer commented that Chinese girls wear clothes like… “Charlotte,” pointing at my loose T-shirt and short combo. Sans cleavage (not that there’s much to show), shoulders covered, and typical cute design logo. Sigh…

Unlike my Western volunteer counterparts, I’m too conscious of the hubbub of curious looks and comments to want to make more ripples than a group of 老外 (lǎowài) already do; it’s hard not to feel influenced by my surroundings, especially when I can understand them. The style here for women definitely has an emphasis on femininity displayed as “girly” and delicate, rather than as accentuated sensuality. And the results of the Camp fashion show seems to act as a demonstration of this hypothesis anyway…

On the other hand, there’s no problem with short shorts, although by comparison to the Taiwanese style I’m used to, these barely count as short at all. Certainly high-heels are worn all round. We’ve even seen high-heels, bizarrely, on mountain trails where we foreigners are decked in hiking gear…

Though, I don’t think that’s something I’m about to be influenced by.

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