26 August 2006

september (in)sanity

September's around the corner and here is a slew of Fall covers!

Claudia Schiffer (Elite) shares i-D's September 2006 issue with Lindsay Lohan. I really like the Claudia cover! What a legend! It has a very Elle Driver feel and the headband reminds me of the Rochas headbands.

People have to stop glorifying Lindsay. That cover is so softcore porn. Her July 2006 Harper's Bazaar cover wasn't that hot, either. Sorry, Lindsay.

Kate Moss (IMG) appears on the cover of British Vogue for the twenty-third time and stars in about eight campaigns. Overexposure! Still, you have to be an icon to get that much coverage. Kate is. The weird thing about this cover is that the styling and the pose is very similar to that of the August 2006 issue, with Jessica Stam (IMG) on the cover.

Du Juan (IMG) and look-alikes Gemma Ward (IMG) and Sasha Pivovarova (IMG) grace the Chinese Vogue cover. Gemma and Sasha look like mirror images!

On the Eastern side of Fashion: Taiwanese Vogue picks Natalia Vodianova (DNA) as their September cover girl and Japanese Vogue has the post-pregnancy supermodel for the second month in a row.

And featured in French magazines: It's been quite a comeback for Amanda Moore (IMG), our favorite All-American lesbian catwalker and editorial muse, nabbing the latest Numéro. Another comeback on the right, French model mom Audrey Marnay (DNA), L'Officiel's cover for Septembre deux mil six.

Notice the recurring theme of repetition? Hey, two synonyms in one sentence! Weird.

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 10:01 PM :: (0) comments

24 August 2006

songs of summer

Some of them hit the airwaves on the cusp of or during the summertime. With titles like "Summer in the City", references to the sky and sunny days, or simply embodying summer in three to four minutes, they translate the playfulness of the season, the sweltering days and the breezy nights, the dynamic laziness, the careful splurging, and the aimless drives. The others are not necessarily released in 2006 or even during June, July, or August, but they still echo the summers of my childhood and youth. In these ever so elusive months, summer is like an annual visitor that arrives without notice and then abruptly departs.

I've compiled a list of songs, in alphabetical order:

Alphaville - Forever Young
Though released two years before my birth year, (try to figure that out!) it celebrates youth and longevity and evokes sun and sand.

Aly & AJ - Chemicals React
Ignore sisters Alyson and Amanda Joy Michalka's Disney Channel ties and you get a really vocally-gifted duo. These girls sing very well and this song drifts you "out into the sea", while the tide is "pulling you in deeper." Cheesy but summery!

Anna Nalick - Catalyst
Subtly embedded in this song is California. Miss Nalick sings of LA lights and Frisco lights, reminding me of one too many summers spent in Southern California and of my trip to San Francisco last summer, which would've been repeated this summer as a last-minute thing. Fate had the final word.

Belle and Sebastian - Another Sunny Day
Hey, Swedes can bring in some light, too.

Bloc Party - Banquet
Kele Okereke (we have the same birthday!) and his crew are a talented lot, don't you think? I love Bloc Party and I tie this song very closely with summer, even though fire is the least bit of summer reference and SoCal didn't have a lot of wildfires this season! Anyway, go ahead and feast on this "Banquet."

The Boy Least Likely To - Faith
I think George Michael would be proud of, if not at least amused by this cover. The brilliant banjo and the soothing vocals are a cute twist on a late eighties anthem. This song cleverly tells a very interesting portion of my summer, and doesn't it take you to a field in Kentucky with a bunch of dancing, patchwork-wearing Midwestern folks?

Busta Rhymes ft. Kelis & Will.I.Am - I Love My Chick
Okay, so this is Busta's attempt at philogyny. It's a little rough around the edges and has rap and hip-hop's constants: objectification of women (refer to the original title) and sexual and drug references, but it's summer through and through.

Carla Bruni - Noyée
Donald Trump's ex, one of my favorite chanteuses, but an Italian gem all her own, sings about Casanovas and walnut trees. This is one former model who can sing!

Cary Brothers - Ride
This song screams, no, whispers a late afternoon drive down PCH with the top down and the sun gradually setting and shining benevolenty. Beautiful. Enough said.

Cassie - Me & U
You know this has been blaring on the radio stations all throughout summer. Cassie the half Pinay stunner, guys talking about the way she does what does. Go Pinay!

Christina Aguilera - Ain't No Other Man
She goes Back to Basics but sings way beyond basic. She's still got the voice and now has a more refined look and a jazzy, bluesy sound.

Dashboard Confessional - So Long, So Long
With a new album titled Dusk and Summer, Chris Carraba delivers once again. I know he's moved away from his trademark acoustic sound and a lot of people don't like that. I remember back in high school when I was positively obsessed over Dashboard Confessional and people answered, "What the **** is that?" whenever I told them about DC and emo. Emo didn't even have a look back then. It was all about the music. Anyway, I can't get over how good this song is! He sings something about a lifeguard stand (summer!), an ocean road (summer!), and the line "but just as summer’s hold is fleeting" (summer!). I also want to know who sings the background vocals. He made the song all that much better.

Fergie - London Bridge
Stacie Ferguson's foray into being a solo artist begins with a bang. Is "London Bridge" what I think it is? "Oh snap", (or "Oh sh*t") another mainstream summer release!

The Fray - How to Save a Life
You know how movies and television shows use background songs a lot, and I mean a lot? They did it to Liz Phair's "Why Can't I?" and to Michelle Branch's "Breathe". They showed no mercy upon this song, but I still love it!

Glassjaw - Ape Dos Mil
This has to be my rebel entry. The lyrics "You can bet when mid-October ends I'll still be ranting 'bout most early May" completely skip the summer months but who cares?

Gnarls Barkley - Gone Daddy Gone
I prefer this a million times over their obvious summer hit "Crazy". I must be crazy but again, I could care less.

Her Space Holiday - My Girlfriend's Boyfriend
I haven't gone insane over a violin ever since Avril's "I'm With You", and that song isn't even that great. "My Girlfriend's Boyfriend" sounds weirdly happy for a girlfriend-cheated-on-me-with-my-best-friend song, but that just adds more appeal to it.

Imogen Heap - Speeding Cars
This was on the last episode of The OC, an appropriate title for the cause of Marissa Cooper's death. You know what The OC's season finale means. That's right, a summer hiatus.

JoJo - Too Little Too Late
After two flops on the big screen, JoJo redeems herself with a certified summer song!

Justin Timberlake - SexyBack
The video's location makes me want to hop on a flight to Barcelona, roll with the pijos and learn Catalán. "SexyBack" was an acquired taste for me.

Kamikazee - Narda
I first heard this song back in March or April but I haven't grown tired of it. It makes me proud that a lot of Filipino bands are cranking out true OPM. Woot. A song about Narda (the limp teen) aka Darna (the superhero alter-ego)? You can't get any more Pinoy than that!

Kelis ft. Too Short - Bossy
Basically, Mrs Nas murdered her teeth, but I can't stop bopping to "diamonds in neck, di-diamond in my grill."

KT Tunstall - Suddenly I See
So You Think You Can Dance's answer to American Idol's overplayed "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter. But hey, KT's very talented. The British are coming!

Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten
Never mind that it's been on every TV show imaginable (see The Fray above) and most recently as The Hills' opening credits song, "Unwritten" reeks of suntanning in Malibu and rollerblading in Venice Beach, no? The British are coming indeed.

Nelly Furtado ft. Timbaland - Promiscuous
Overplayed. Those radio stations killed it. Nelly Furtado has resorted to semi-rapping. Hey, that's okay, I embrace it anyway. When I look back, this song is basically summer of '06.

Nena - 99 Red Balloons
They float in the summer sky. Now pop every single one of them. Kidding. This song was released the same year as Alphaville's "Forever Young" and it has the same spirit, that upbeat big-haired cheeriness of the eighties. Don't you love it?

Ne-yo - Sexy Love
Sexy. Sexy. Sexy.

Paris Hilton - Stars are Blind
At the end of the day, after all the exhausted Gwen Stefani comparisons, this song is summer to to core. If you don't think the song is, then the music video definitely is.

Pitbull - Bojangles
Pitbull is awesome. Period.

Pussycat Dolls - Buttons
Did they really need Snoop to rap on this track? Come on. Lead Pussycat is half Pinay! Now where's the gasoline and matches so we could all work the floor like they do on the video?

RBD - Enséñame
I have to admit, Rebelde is one of my favorite shows. This is so Mia, Miguel, Roberta, Diego, Lupe and Giovanni romping in Cozumel, swimming with the dolphins and having dinners on the beach.

Regina Spektor - Fidelity and Summer in the City
An extraordinary vocalist with super catchy songs, Regina Spektor was my summer discovery. Applause, applause.

Rise Against - Swing Life Away
I wanted to include this song because it has that drinking-lemonade-on-the-porch-on-a-hot day feel. Yeah. Don't hate.

Scissor Sisters - Don't Feel Like Dancing
This group is just so much fun! They have a hint of Bee Gees and a sprinkle of Kylie. Included in their yet-to-be-released album Ta Dah! is this track, with a timid title but expectedly full of fun and energy.

No matter how much I curse summer for its onslaught of hellish temperatures and for being an inopportune season for layering, I appreciate it for its academically-absent carefreeness and its seemingly endless opportunities for celebration.

Summer. L'été. El verano. L'estate.

I'll cut the melodrama and let you listen for yourselves!

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 11:43 PM :: (0) comments

21 August 2006

day-tripping in LA

My cousins are gone! They've left! The reality of an imminent sixteen-week period of suffering is starting to sink in. Gah.

Museum of Tolerance
9786 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl
Washington, DC

One of my last hurrahs for this summer was a trip to the Museum of Tolerance. It was such an enlightening experience and it provided me with an even greater understanding of the severity and the impact of the Holocaust. During the visit, I got to hear Dorothy Greenstein talk about her past. She is a survivor of the Holocaust, born Devorah Kirszenbaum and acquired the Polish name Zofia Leszczynska. Another speaker that day was Timothy Zaal, a former Neo-Nazi skinhead who founded the White Aryan Resistance and was notorious in the San Gabriel Valley back in the late eighties. With the exhibit and the speakers, I earned a renewed respect for the millions of victims of the Holocaust and for everyone in the past and present who has been a victim of hate. I had the same feeling after going to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC back in 2001. Both museums are well worth the visit!

Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles
1514 N Gower St
Hollywood, CA

After all that somberness, one has to eat! Hankering for a delectable Southern style meal in a no-frills urban setting? Head to Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles in Hollywood. A celebrity favorite and a longstanding hit in the neighborhood, I highly recommend the chicken! Mmm and some of those homemade biscuits, eggs, grits, waffles, and more. Now I'm hungry again!

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 1:19 AM :: (0) comments

19 August 2006

ikaw ay aking

I made a mistake! And boy I'm glad I made it. The So You Think You Can Dance finale was this week! I really thought that I missed it. Of course my favorite, Benji Schwimmer, won. Go Benji!

Earlier this week, I scootered my way to my friend's house. Remember those Razor scooters that were big back in '01? Yes, those. On loan from my little cousin, I traversed the streets of Temple City and San Gabriel, getting amused and weird stares from drivers. I almost fell over twice and I must say, considering that she lives about a mile away, it was a huge strain on my right ankle and my left calf. Just did it for kicks. Never doing it again.

Here are two versions of Black Eyed Peas' "Bebot" music video. Generation One features Filipino workers in the 1930s and their quaint little society called the Rizal Social Club, with some land tilling and swing dancing. Generation Two shows present-day Filipino youth partying it up with jeepneys and bebots in tow. Frankly, they look more like Filipina video hos, and not all of them looked Filipina! Both versions include tons of cameos from artists and performers in the Filipino-American community, including American Idol runner-up Jasmine Trias. The video mainly focuses on Apl, but of course fellow Peas Will, Fergie and Taboo came out to support him as well. Skip the opening sequences which are a bunch of infomercial-esque stuff. Anyway, just watch the videos!

Generation One:

Generation Two:

Visit Director Patricio Ginelsa's website, Xylophone Films.
Check out Kid Heroes Productions, where you can also watch the videos.

Pinay ka sigaw na, sige!

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 2:00 AM :: (0) comments

17 August 2006

the leaders of the pack

The man purse. For years and years they've cradled securely and comfortably on men's waists and shoulders from Finland to Italy. Guys have a right to carryalls, too! I did my own search about this season's best murses, and narrowed it down to my top three.

(3) Recon by Fossil
The rugged leather exterior is perfect for on-the-go city slickers. Its coolness has a slight rustic touch, but it looks a little too small to carry all my stuff!

(2) Indie by Goorin
A genius take on oilcloth, it pairs well with the red leather straps, piping, and brass details. Looks gloriously high-end but costs way less, but a little too big and bulky for everyday use.

(1) Tarpolino by Longchamp
The winner! This classic Longchamp Tarpolino cut in tarpaulin canvas in a late summer/early fall orange outshines everything else. The size is perfect and it comes in black and a mixed print as well.

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 10:41 PM :: (0) comments

14 August 2006

half and half

What's up with all these hot half Filipinas invading showbusiness? Oh I'm not complaining, just exclaiming!

Born to a Filipino father and a Hawaiian-Russian mother, Nicole Kea aka Nicole Scherzinger first got a taste of the limelight after winning a spot as one of the members of Eden's Crush, the end product of the WB network's Popstars back in 2001. The 28-year-old is now the lead singer of the burlesque pop group The Pussycat Dolls and has a solo album in the works. The Dolls' organizers were recently fined for being too frisky. It seems like the Malaysian government never had any idea what they wear, do, or sing about.

Popularly known as Nick Lachey's current squeeze, Vanessa Minnillo can attribute her features to an Irish-Italian dad and a Filipina mom. Born in Clark Air Base in the Philippines, she went on to win the crown at the 1998 Miss Teen USA pageant. Now at 25, she is a host for TRL and a reporter for Entertainment Tonight.

If you subscribe to the Delia's catalog, know the summer smash song "Me & U", or keep track of Abercrombie and Fitch ad campaigns, then you probably know 19-year-old Cassie Ventura. Cassie's father is Filipino and her mother is Mexican and West Indian. Signed with Diddy's Bad Boy Records, expect great things to come from this budding R&B star! Sadly, I think she's primarily marketed as a light-skinned African-American, but that's just me.

Go Pinays!

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 12:49 AM :: (0) comments

11 August 2006

summer's last few breaths

I'm enjoying them. Right now, "summer" is the only S word I can get along with. The other, that vile swindler of a word is not to be discussed. Not right now. There's a time for that, a time which I'm not amenable to establish or calculate.

Now smile. Summer's still here!

After three straight days of going out and having fun, Thursday seemed like a lifeless, dragging monotone of a day. The worst part is that I completely missed the finale of So You Think You Can Dance. That's my first major offense this summer. Oh well, I can always look back on:

V for Vendetta Monday with Karina. We walked to the nearby video store and rented the DVD. I wasn't able to watch the movie in its entirety because I was ordering textbooks online at the same time. We had some heinously bad spaghetti from Hot Stuff Cafe, but thank goodness the garlic chicken wings and the tiramisu passed the taste test.

Ajisen Ramen Tuesday with Sarah and Josh. I had gyoza, chicken curry and rice and I shared an ice cream sundae and mochi with Sarah. Glad that my lunchmates gave their meals and the place two thumbs up. The building used to be a Korean restaurant and for about a month, a hamburger place. The previous businesses weren't successful but now that the food is beyond delicious, (I love the seafood ramen) hopefully Ajisen will be a Temple City fixture for a very long time! Later in the day, we stopped by Karina's house and tried to watch V again, but we ended up watching the Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN) video instead. Brings back those days. While Josh slept away his work woes on Karina's couch, the rest of us played (forearm-stinging) volleyball on the street. Afterwards, I managed to finish making one bracelet for TROPA's upcoming Club Week (Y'all are lucky I'm nice like that). Josh had to leave for work and in a few minutes, Con arrived. We had dinner at Cha for Tea, went to see Lady in the Water, and had some tangerine frappuccino to end the night.

Santa Anita Mall Wednesday with Bobby. We had lunch at CPK (I ate too much, as usual), walked around, fit some jeans at Express (Bobby splurged $80 on his purchases), walked around some more and went in various stores, including Solstice. They had this really cool pair of Marc Jacobs sunglasses that would require half of my savings account to pay for, but they were bomb anyway. I had another tangerine frappuccino in Arcadia, and we made a pit stop at Karina's. Seriously, I'm getting sick of seeing Karina everyday. JK Jarina Kane! For the third day in a row, I tried to sit down and watch V but again there were too many distractions! In the afternoon, Jerry picked us up and we made a stop at Covina to edit the PCN video, went back to Karina's, stole some of her mom's Shakey's potatoes, and made our way to Eagle Rock. Queen bH was supposed to return a couple of videos and made it just in time when the manager was closing the store. We had dinner at some really obscure Thai restaurant in Glendale called Indra. It was a little funny and embarrassing at the same time because at the end of the day, everyone was close to penniless, the restaurant accepts cash only, so we had to dig inside our wallets to pay for our meals! On the way back, we got a bit lost but thanks to Bobby's keen sense of direction, we all made it back home. Haha.

Now here I am, early Friday morning, mulling over the recent foiled terrorist plots and the realization that I might not be able to take Chapstick and a bottle of water onboard ever again. You get dehydrated at 30,000 feet, you know. Without my customized special eau and my trustworthy lip moisturizer, the world might come to an end. Right. I'm hoping they still give free Origins packs in first class.

Various Eats:

Hot Stuff Cafe
315 S San Gabriel Blvd
San Gabriel, CA

Ajisen Ramen
4937 Encinita Ave
Temple City, CA

Cha for Tea
2 E Main St
Alhambra, CA

Indra Restaurant
517 S Verdugo Road
Glendale, CA

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 1:33 AM :: (0) comments

10 August 2006

rolling on the floor, laughing

The original:

The spoof:

Bubble Gang has always been and continues to be perfectly hilarious!

More updates soon!

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 5:25 PM :: (0) comments

05 August 2006

R.I.P. audrey lindvall

The modeling world has suffered another loss. Not along after the Heather Bratton tragedy, Audrey Lindvall (IMG) passed away two days ago in her hometown of Lee's Summit, Missouri while she was riding a bike, hit a curb, and was thrown against the rear wheels of a gasoline tanker. She died at the scene.

In an interview, sister and fellow model Angela Lindvall (IMG) has this to say about Audrey: "I know that she's an angel now, and she's going to be with us in spirit forever. I try to find there to be some reasoning for this, and maybe it was her time to go, but it's just so hard to think I'm never going to get to hang out with her again and laugh with her again, so I just hold on to the memories. We were very, very close, and we had such a good time together before she left."

Audrey (right) and Angela Lindvall.

R.I.P. Audrey Lindvall
August 11, 1982 - August 3, 2006

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 3:00 AM :: (0) comments

03 August 2006

tush and mush

It's the intelligent and beguiling Diana Dondoe (IMG) on the cover of the fourth issue of Tush, the German fashion and beauty magazine with an obviously humorous name.

Had fun yesterday! Thanks guys! Even though Karina and I were constantly jumping from one place to another trying to meet up with each and every busybody throughout the day, it was well worth it! Thank you Carol, Con, Karina, Kris, Marlo, May, and Sarah! I will post some pictures soon.

Random thoughts. . .

Mel Gibson. How embarrassing. How disgusting.

And Mayon volcano! It's showing signs of an impending eruption. What will happen to the world's most perfect cone? More importantly, how bad could the damage be?

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 9:47 PM :: (0) comments

02 August 2006

tsumori triumphs

With the recent explosion of Asian fashion designers in the Western fashion scene, emerging names like Derek Lam, Doo-Ri Chung, and Thakoon Panichgul, in conjunction with established labels like Vera Wang, Anna Sui, and Vivienne Tam, and esteemed houses like Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, and Rei Kawakubo, plenty more Easterners are standing out.

Ciara Christensen (Women) oooooooAurore Malaterre (Next) oooooooooTania Balash (IMG)

Nataliya Gotsii (Ford)oooooooooooo Elena Melnik (City)oooooooooooo Olga Sherer (1)

Ciara Christensen (Women)ooooooO Jessica Sjöö (Ford) oooooooooooO Mor Katzir (1)

Robyn Connor (Marilyn)ooooooooO Olga Sherer (1)oooooooooooooooO Marla Boehr (IMG)

Tsumori Chisato (who worked for Issey himself), delivers and delivers well. The Bunka Fukuso Gakuin graduate’s clothes are highly coveted in Asia and she is gradually getting the international recognition she deserves.

Her Fall/Winter 2005 collection, my favorite, is a mixed bag of amusement and opulence. With the cute owls, she seems to have drawn inspiration from Native American designs. A couple of her garments recall a more pulled-together (dare I say) bohemian edge. She moves on to pink and blue prairie garb and quilt patterns, a couple of dresses with an Eastern European folk feel, and her signature patchwork silk dresses. Her color palette is muted and bold at the same time, distinguishably Japanese and refreshingly edgy.

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 12:55 AM :: (0) comments

01 August 2006

in remembrance of heather bratton

The fashion world mourns the loss of one of its rising models, Heather Bratton (Women). She was killed in a car crash on the New Jersey turnpike on the way to Newark International Airport. The vehicle she was riding broke down in the center lane of the turnpike, was rear ended, caught fire, and trapped Heather inside.

In a world where American models are about as rare as straight men in fashion, Heather redefined beauty and showcased angles that haven't been witnessed recently. A self-confessed wallflower in high school, she had transformed into a poised, beautiful woman at the very young age of nineteen. This tragedy recalls Niki Taylor and Petra Nemcova, both of whom fortunately survived their ordeals.

R.I.P. Heather Bratton
June 25, 1987 - July 22, 2006

We miss you.

On another sad note, Procter & Gamble has decided to close down Rochas. What a waste after its remarkable resurgence. What will Olivier Theyskens do next?

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 8:06 PM :: (1) comments