Street Style at Paris Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week – First Impressions

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A few days ago, I was on the subject of ‘first impressions’ … I share now, another perspective on first impressions…

RALUCA STOICA

Paris is really hot right now, and not just because of the weather, but also because here they are in the middle of the Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week. On Wendsday we had the Raf Simons and Valentino shows, and yesterday the long-awaited Louis Vuitton and Dries Van Notten. The girls that attended the shows came in a higher number compared to Milan, but they look much more restrained – the classic black and white looks prevailed.

www.astairwaytofashion.com Street Style at Paris Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week

www.astairwaytofashion.com Street Style at Paris Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week

www.astairwaytofashion.com Street Style at Paris Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week

www.astairwaytofashion.com Street Style at Paris Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week

www.astairwaytofashion.com Street Style at Paris Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week

www.astairwaytofashion.com Street Style at Paris Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week

www.astairwaytofashion.com Street Style at Paris Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week

www.astairwaytofashion.com Street Style at Paris Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week

www.astairwaytofashion.com Street Style at Paris Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week

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News Flash!!

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VAL Scarves around the globe

NEWS FLASH!

Original, limited edition Silk Scarves by VAL are making the scene on style icons around the globe ……

  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
  • Germany
  • France
  • Czech Republic
  • Slovakia
  • Italy
  • Russia
  • Colombia
  • South Africa
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Scotland
  • Ireland
  • UK
  • USA
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Macau
  • Japan
  • Vietnam
  • Singapore
  • Philippines
  • Malaysia
  • Netherlands
  • Indonesia

To view the ALLURE Collection of art-to-wear Silk Scarves by VAL, please click here.

Usually worn as a classy finishing touch to one’s outfit, some of these original works of art on silk have been proudly displayed as wall art too.

Any which way you look at it, ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’ ~ John Keats.

If you wish to see and be seen with a VAL Original, please contact me directly at veronicaannlee@gmail.com

Thank you one and all….

Marvellous Makeovers

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Call them what you like. Lowest form of art. Ground art. Plain Janes…but they all point to the humble manhole covers. Most people take them for granted as part of the ground they walk on.  But I find them to be fascinating in terms of how they could look when presented in a totally different way.

Here are three versions of some manhole covers – all made-over by VAL into Art-to-Wear originals, aptly named SIDEWALK SIRENS in Black and Blue and PAVEMENT PASTELS. Printed on 100% silk twill in 90×90 cm dimensions, complete with meticulously hand-rolled edges, the scarves’ vibrant colours appeal to everyone and dress up a plain outfit dramatically.

Sidewalk Siren in black

Sidewalk Siren in Blue for blog

Pavement Pastels for Blog

To review the full Allure Collection of Silk Scarves by VAL, please click here.

For the longest time, I felt like I was the only one obsessing about the patterns on manhole covers…until this I came across the following in the news:

Shanghai manhole spotlight – please click here to read. 

Over in Japan, they have taken to turning manhole covers into art forms with the creative use of colour!

For more news on the Japanese manhole art, read about Remo Camerota’s book Drainspotting – please click here.

Please click image of Japanese manhole covers to read more about it on www.designrelated.com. please click on image

Please click on above image of Japanese manhole covers to read more about Drainspotting, a book on the subject (image is from http://www.designrelated.com).

Next time you are out on the street or sidewalks, do pay attention to the world of creativity some simple manhole covers can offer.

Till the next post..have a great day.

 

First Impressions…

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Packaging for blog

No matter what the argument on this subject matter, I say without any reservation, that YES, first impressions DO matter…and are all important. It applies to people AND to packaging as well.

When I designed the packaging for VAL scarves, I received many an opinion from a cross-section of people…but at the end of the day the final decision as always, was all mine.

I started with a brown ‘au naturel’ box-like envelope – which I still think was presentable – some loved it.

Next, I designed a sturdy box in two shades of grey with VAL seemingly embossed on an oval-shaped ‘plaque’ (I love oval-shaped anything) in one corner.   A white flower I photographed in Shanghai – takes pride of place below the VAL (to remind me of the ‘birth city’ of Silk Scarves by VAL).

I chose greys for the box, as opposed to any other brighter colour/s – mainly to allow the beauty of the scarf within to draw all the due attention it deserves, when opened.

Soon I realized (to my great delight) that the VAL box is on its way to becoming an item to keep and value – along with some people’s collection of boxes from top designer brands.

However, as the VAL Silk Scarves have an international following and to enable easier delivery, an extra VAL envelope style packaging with accordion sides has made its debut, with all the elegance of the grey box. I am rather pleased with the look, hence the decision to share this little snippet of progress within the VAL world.

Toodles for now….have a great weekend …. and don’t forget, first impressions do count!

Art-to-Wear: LEGGINGS by VAL

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leggings logoDesigning art-to-wear Leggings by VAL is a creative adventure. From ensuring that the end result has the desired effect (as seen in my mind’s eye) when the leggings are worn, till the pairing of tops and accessories for the photo shoot, every detail gives me such joy.

Each pair of leggings is a unique work of art, passionately designed around a tale to tell. Hence the new logo (above) for the leggings aptly implies that all the designs are one of a kind.

Fantasy for blog

In the beginning, there were six designs. Now, due to encouraging response, there are 12, most of which can be stylishly paired with matching Silk Scarves by VAL.

The image above shows the FANTASY design, which is a head-turner and conversational ice-breaker!

Please click here to view the full Leggings by VAL collection.

The collection features legging designs for a range of tastes and can be worn to suit different occasions – from casual to formal. It all depends on how one dresses it up (or down) with.

I strongly believe that accessories and scarves play an important role in adding to the look too. So ladies, do enjoy putting together your own style.

Toodles for now…..

Instinctively Ahead of Trends….

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I seem to be on a roll, keeping ahead of trends…on many an occasion.

Eons ago, long before it was popular, I was into handmade paper and exotic home concoctions of soap, lotions and potions, resulting in a mini library of reference books (oh, way before the age of google search). My kitchen was more like a laboratory as one visitor so rightly mused. The ‘broil and bubble’ experimentations were exciting while they lasted, but when my interest plateaued, the rest of the Asian world seemed to pick up from where I left off, and now these items are available just about everywhere!

Fashion as art: For the longest time, I used impressions of postage stamps in my many works of art, some of which have graced my silk chiffon scarves.  However, it was only when the Greek fashion designer Mary Katrantzou used the same subject in her designs, did the humble postage stamp catapult to fame in fashion, as noted in an earlier post (please click here to read more about May Postage Stamps Always Be In Fashion).

In the same way, I just discovered with delight, that my silk chiffon scarves entitled Paradise (in tones of Blue and Brown) seem to be ahead of the best fashion trends for Spring/Summer 2014. Thanks to the likes of Prada and Aquilano.Rimondi, who created collections inspired with the art of others.  The latter in particular, found Paul Gauguin’s evocative images of Tahitian women a most apt art form for their designs. (For more details, please read vogue.com here).

Paradise in Brown - long scarf intro - Jun 2013Paradise in Brown - for blog

In my Paradise theme which takes an ethereal form on a floaty silk chiffon sheath measuring 180x42cm, two South Sea maidens in their colourful sarongs frolic amid a sanctuary of lush vegetation, punctuated with flowers and birds, one of which is my pet Finch named Gauguin, so named for his naturally vivid colours! I depicted them in a paradise (of my own making) as Greek philosopher Nikos Kazantzakis phrased perfectly…”you have your brush and colours. You paint your paradise and in you go”. (Please click here to read more about an earlier post on Create Your Own Paradise).

Paradise is part of the Allure Collection of Silk Scarves by VAL. To view the collection, please click here.

Sculptural Neck Art 1 by VALSculptural Neck Art 2  by VALHas anyone seen my hand-stitched “Hand in Glove” neck sculpture series? Fashionista friends quipped that these one-of-a-kind pieces would be perfect on Dolce & Gabbana couture models. No, I have not seen them on any high fashion runway, but isn’t it such a thrill to have one’s handiwork compared to the likes of Dolce & Gabbana?

While I derive much satisfaction from delving into what gives me joy, discovering that I am (sometimes) ahead of the pack is somewhat a realisation to be reckoned with. I am thankful for continued guidance from above for such inspiration and look forward to always being creatively different.

Entrepreneurial Success at 15

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PEE VEE PIC for blog

Way back when we were sweet 15 (or to be specific, 14+), my best friend Pam and I launched our own handbag brand PeeVee. We dared to be different… and it turned out to be our first taste of entrepreneurial success!

Yes we were still at school, slogging hard to pass the first major exam year of our young and ambitious lives…. but we made time for our passion. Being over-achievers and inseparable trend setters (that often ruffled the feathers of the powers-that-were, at school), we made regular day trips to the big city to shop till we literally dropped, with just the exact change left for the hour-long bus ride home.

To feed these regular sprees, we had to find ways and means to fill up the piggy banks (and we could not sell anything in the house, as Pam’s sister Chris had cautioned us). So we set up a joint-venture handbag making business! Of course, the name would be PeeVee. We thought of everything, splitting the costs, expenses, work and profits in half.

We created a logo and a hand-drawn catalogue showing a variety of handbag designs, made with faux suede. It was then passed around the classroom, and by the day’s end, we would have our list of orders.

Each bag required about ¼ yard of fabric purchased from the local men’s tailor shop, and we had a range of colours, all that the shop had in stock. Every handbag was then embellished with brass rings, eyelets and beads, depending on the chosen design, which made it a one-of-a-kind PeeVee original.

On the weekends, Pam and I alternated working on our creations at each other’s house. We hogged our mothers’ sewing rooms, where the PeeVee duo cut and stitched like elves racing against time.

By Monday, the finished handbags would be ready for delivery to the classmates who had ordered them. We beamed with pride at having our handiwork appreciated by one and all, and some were even sent abroad by our classmate clients, as gifts for their sisters. A huge testament to the quality of the individually crafted PeeVee handbags, complete with our logo that was painstakingly worked into the design.

When we had made enough for the next spending spree, we would take the weekend off ‘work’, put on our hot pants and boots (yes, in the hot weather too, after all, were we not living our dreams of being self-supporting fashionistas?) and head off to the big city for a day’s shopping spree, whether it rained or shone!

In spite of the success of the PeeVee brand, the reality of the looming exams (and the disapproval of the powers-that-were) brought our entrepreneurial diversions to a close before we reached our 15th birthdays. Not so the friendship. It continued through the years and Pam is just right there, on the other side of cyberspace!

She still wows everyone with her sewing skills, while being the cutest mom to her grown children and fantastic wife to a lucky man. Thank you for being such a wonderful friend, Pam……and for turning the house upside down in search of the prized photo of us with a PeeVee original handbag!

The penchant for making my own handbags and fashion accessories continued to inspire me over the years… and has evolved into today’s VAL Design.

The Story Teller

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Painting by VAL

Painting by VAL

There is a story waiting to be told all around us, each and every day. For the better part of my ‘other life’, I took great delight in weaving together stories for other people, to be told about them or their organizations.

Then I took to unravelling stories in my mind, by putting paint brush to paper or canvas.  That morphed into collage work, which has led to where I am today on my creative journey.

Always the one ‘behind the story or the camera’, the tables are turned these days, and now it is focusing on ‘the story teller’.  Here are two particularly interesting features on VAL and her designs, that I am happy to share with one and all.

Please click here and here to read the online versions, if you have time to spare.

Once again, I am most appreciative of the interest by the two magazines, in my humble creations.

Thank you….

The Colours and Textures Of A Morning Walk

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While on a morning walk, the sights, sounds and textures of the great outdoors are a constant source of inspiration. The fresh, cool scent of morning dew.  Cheery orchestral chirps of birdsong.  Lush greenery that rub shoulders with pretty flower shrubs, each vying for the sunny rays from clear blue skies above.

Along the way, thoughtfully placed wooden benches dot the route.  Laid out at the foot of each bench, chequered diagonal cement squares form a welcome ‘mat’ to the weary.  Providing a soft touch to the concrete ‘mat’, are little bits of greenery that manage to nestle in between the squares.  The landscape people have thought of everything….

It may be a slightly uphill walk, but at the summit, gentle breezes caress the face.  On the way back, the downhill slope makes it seem a shorter time to get back to the muesli, fruit and yoghurt breakfast, topped off with a cup of freshly-brewed coffee. What an invigorating way to start the day!!

Back at my desk, the essence of the invigorating morning walk is captured in a collage aptly named MORNING WALK, reflecting the energy of the colours and textures that linger on in my mind.

Morning Walk for blog

Printed on a square piece of 100% silk twill, with hand-rolled edges, the 90x90cm scarf has a story tell, hence is a conversation piece in itself. Besides being an art-to-wear fashion accessory, a creative personality has already framed it up on the wall as an art piece!

Morning Walk 1 for blog

A limited edition VAL Original, the MORNING WALK scarf is part of the ALLURE Collection of Silk Scarves by VAL. To view the full collection, please click here.

Morning Walk 2

Thank you for contacting me directly at veronicaannlee@gmail.com for online purchase or other enquires.

Toodles.

Romancing the Artistry of Yesteryear

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Indigo Romance - art to wear on silk scarf and leggings to match.

Indigo Romance – art to wear on silk scarf and leggings to match.

We say “walls have ears” but how I wish they could speak as well! The same wish applies to the classic tiles that graced walls and house floors. I would spend hours absorbed in the tales they could unravel. IF ONLY.

Faded, peeling layers of indigo walls of heritage Straits Chinese buildings in this part of the world are a stark testament to years of living. Beautiful floor tiles and rich gilded carvings that adorned doors, windows and room dividers complete the historical picture of the kind of lives that were led then. Though no more in mint condition, every crack and scratch is part of the tapestry of events that characterize these humble decorative backdrops, that once were the pride of every Straits Chinese family’s home.

Call me a romantic at heart, but these remnants of beauty intrigue me enough to put them all together into a modern-day collage aptly called Indigo Romance.

IR long scarf intro - for blog

A VAL Original design, Indigo Romance is now available in the form of a silk chiffon scarf with hand-rolled edges (180x42cm) and leggings to complement the outfit. Perfect ‘art to wear’ pieces inspired by heritage artistry.

Imagine the joy of sashaying down the worn down five-foot ways of heritage Straits Chinese buildings, outfitted in Indigo Romance leggings and scarf to match. That is my way of sharing with the world the lasting artistry of yesteryear, while paying tribute to the artisans.

Leggings can be worn for casual or chic occasions...

Leggings can be worn for casual or chic occasions…

To view the complete Leggings by VAL collection, please click here.

For a peek into the Allure Collection of silk scarves by VAL, please click here.

Coming soon: New bone chinaware with Indigo Romance designs.

Toodles for now.