Style: Sydney

Two words: Aussie hipsters.

As laid-back and easygoing as Aussies are as Americans, for some reason, Aussies tend to have a better grasp on owning and knowing style. Cheers, mates.

Style: Sydney

The darling at Darling Harbour. As we shed layers of clothing for warmer weather, Sydneyans bundle up for a cooler than usual winter season. Shadow, a uni student studying, get this, accounting, came to me as a surprise as I was around the corner of more flights of stairs. I was more concerned looking down at the stairs to not trip in my platform heels when she caught me off guard in her chicly cozy play on textures of boucle, fur, tulle, leather, and wool. A nod to her impeccable melange. She gets an A+!

Airport Style: SFO

Long gone are the days of chic travel style. It’s all about the required business attire or self-inflicted leisure casual{ties} but today I was delighted to see this young lady that happened to be pulled over by the duty police officer at SFO with her friend for her ride’s expired license tabs. She was still all smiles for the photo regardless of the circumstance. I should have cited her for being an almost extinct rarity at airports.

Exhibit SF: Pulp Fashion, Isabelle de Borchgrave

What if at every memorable moment of your life your favorite song played? That’s the kind of day I had with my friends exiting the Legion of Honor from the exhibit, Pulp Fashion. A guitarist was playing his rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon in D outside of the museum and it made that moment even more beautiful.

I guess that’s what artists do, make people think and think again, induce a sense of euphoria, or revive a buried emotion. Creative people always intrigue me. There always seems to be something chemically imbalanced in their minds and things that are soulfully so wrong that it manifests into something so right.

Masterpieces aren’t created by dabbling a little here and a little there. I wondered how obsessed and ingeniously kooky a person like Isabelle de Borchgrave would have to be to recreate such colossal yet delicate dresses which her husband, Werner, admits to, “crazy – they cost a fortune to make, are totally useless, but people love them.”

Fashion always becomes a nostalgic reference to look back on and may inspire the creative souls to imitate or recreate. Fashion especially becomes historically endowed as critical points of the past when iconic figures dawn memorable looks of that decade. de Borchgrave uses the idealistic medium of fashions past to create her jaw-dropping pieces with the unconventional medium of clothing of rag paper. Her current exhibit ‘Pulp Fashion,’ at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, showcases over 60 of her hand-made dresses revisiting over 300 years of fashion history from the extravagance of the Renaissance to the haute looks of Christian Dior and Coco Chanel.

Her painstaking process of crumpling, crinkling, creasing, burning edges, and hand-painting are just some of the key ingredients needed to make convincing life-sized dresses that mimic every fold, drape , dye treatment, and embellishment of real fabric. The outcome of her skills are so persuasive that triple, quadruple takes are necessary to realize that dainty piece of lace was somehow hand-painted on sheer rice paper.

De Borchgrave left the nest at the tender age of 14 with her parents’ blessing to pursue art, something she always knew to be her destiny and enrolled at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. As an adult, she found interests other than painting which ultimately spawned her current artistic passion and career. Inspired by fashion, details of fabrics in paintings made her yearn to recreate everything for herself. As a parent, she had already made exquisite paper dresses for her children.

Her obsession has turned into a worldwide tour of exhibits which is definitely worth visiting as it is art defined and intertwined by the aspects of fashion, painting, history, crafting, but most importantly the creative dream and ingenuity of the artist that turned into a sensational delight for the viewing public.

‘Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave‘ is running from February 5, 2011 through June 5, 2011 at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. For details, visit,

Worldwide Trend: Won’t Clog Your Style

Even some of the most fashion-forward style cohorts had a tough time swallowing last fall’s uber-tacky trend of the chunky clog so reminiscent of something grandma would wear. This spring however, the clog has been modified into something much more digestible and glamorous thanks to the willingness of designers trying to bring back the trend. The clog sandal is diversified in such a way that it is effortlessly chic worn casually by day or dolled up for the evening mixed with a multitude of styles. Try it low with bare legs and denim shorts or trouser shorts. Try it high with rolled up cargo pants, boyfriend jeans, skinny jeans, capri pants, mini-dresses, and jumpsuits. This is the new walkable and versatile shoe for spring and summer that comes in an assortment of colors, heights, and styles. At least this time around, your grandmother won’t become nostalgic looking down at your shoes.

Tags in this order from left to right: Miu miu, Topshop, Ted Baker, Jimmy Choo, Stella McCartney, Givenchy, Michael Kors, Celine

Style: Shanghai

As I was strolling down the escalator of a subway station in Shanghai, I noticed this girl’s hair! How ingenious! Her upper half was french braided and tucked in with clips and the rest of her hair was left down.

Style: Shanghai

I was amazed at the emergence of personal style awareness I found with locals this time around! This young man made my heart sing with his perfectly proportioned, perfectly orchestrated, head to toe urban guerilla-chic style. His look left me with an impression, a metaphorical reference through an apparent voice of visual creativity and individualized personality without having to say a word in a society that still considers freedom of speech a taboo. This is why we turn to fashion. Fashion is democratization at its best.

Destination: Sydney. Product Review: Rebirth Lanolin Oil

I recently had another trip to Sydney and discovered a great body oil at a great price. If you know me, I cannot get enough of Aussie made beauty products.

I used to use Johnson’s Baby Oil after showering to retain moisture all day but all it is is mineral oil. Rebirth Lanolin Oil not only has mineral oil but it has a mixture of coconut oil, lanolin, Evening Primrose oil, wheatgerm oil and vitamin E which packs a nutrient rich punch for continuously soft and moisturized skin. The scent is absolutely light and dreamy! $8AUD for 4.2 fl. oz.

Cheers to baby soft skin without using baby products!

Style: SF

Don’t you love it when older men still carry that spark of charisma? To me, it’s the epitome of cool.

On my “Dean’s List.”

Destination: Seoul. Product Review: Tony Moly Tomatox Brightening Mask

As the consultant/sales rep claims, this product has been their bestseller. I would have to completely concur! This product is also so easy on the wallet, at around $8 a pop, of course beauty addicts are clearing out the stock!

Used once or twice weekly, this is the fastest and easiest mask to instantly, brighten your skin. I mean, in a snap! There’s no peeling involved just a wash-off type. After a few minutes of application, the product seeps into the skin and creates a bubbling effect. That’s your indication that the product has done its deed and your cue to wash off with lukewarm water.

For more information about this product or other Tony Moly products and to purchase, go to their website Tony Moly is also on Facebook.