Showing posts with label Designers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Designers. Show all posts

How To Take Care Of Your $500 Shoe

Shoes, shoes, shoes……. one of my favourite topics. Needless to say, I’m a shoe fanatic. I’ve a weakness for shoes, to the extent that my hubby had to limit me to a max of 3 pairs at one go during our regular shopping trips when we first got married. I remember my very first pair of pricey sandal was a red pair of Scholl which cost me more than S$50 in the early 80s when I was in my sweet sixteen, using my own pocket money. It looked somewhat like the one in this pix except that it’s wider & completely flat with a lighter shade of orangey red. It was a fad at that time. Soon, I graduated from Scholl & progressed to Charles Jourdan, then Ferragamo to Chanel etc.
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Travel: Luxury Shopping & Good Buys in Tokyo

Day 4 (Omotesando/Harajuku/Ameyoko):

Burberry Blue Label was the first thing on my mind when I woke up. Had a quick pasta meal & took a train to Meiji-jingu station, my next BBL stop.The famous "fashion-trendsetting" area is located around Aoyama, Omotesando & Harajuku. The latest fashion designers & apparel retailers come & define their business base here. Omotesando is where the international high-quality stores converge & the area is often used for photographing models for magazines.

The BBL store here is just as big. This is the one I often pop by when in Tokyo. I've no interest in BBL bags so I went direct to the clothes section. Took some time to browse around & spotted this stylish short coat.

It looked a little like a Burberry trench coat that I have, except that mine is longer & came with a hood. I bought the coat more than 10yrs ago & it still look as good as new. This shorter version has 2 ways to wear the collar & the detachable inner lining has buttons instead of a zipper.

Look at their packaging. Although the coat didn't come with the Burberry signature hanger & garment bag, it came with the BBL very own cute garment bag with ribbons. They even put a plastic wrap over the paper bag. Oh, don't forgot to carry your passport with you cause you'll get a 5% tax rebate on the spot!

After the BBL stop, I took a stroll along Omotesando down to Harajuku. The gorgeous boulevard of Omotesando, often called the Japanese Champs Elysees, attracts many nostalgic foreigners. Beginning with Louis Vuitton & the Esquisse Omotesando building complex, which offers all the luxury brand names like Chanel & Gucci, Omotesando offers you dozens of different brand names.

Here, the immaculate streets look like they’re steam-cleaned nightly & every shopper looks American Express Black-card wealthy. After walking & walking, take a load off & rest your sore feet at any of the lovely street cafes here.

Every Sunday, many young people dress in a variety of styles that include gothic lolita & cosplay, among others, spend the day in Harajuku socializing.

The popular Harajuku is not only about teenage culture, there're lots of cheap & nice food there. Takeshita Dori is a narrow, roughly 400 meter long street lined by shops, boutiques, cafes & fast food outlets targeting Tokyo's teenagers. Since I've only got 48hrs in Tokyo, I chose to skip Takeshita Dori this time & went in search of my Fancl store. There's just too much to do with so little time.

Good Buy: Tense Up EX. I stopped by a Fancl outlet here to check out my collagen drink. This is a popular product among airline crew. It's an intensive care to firmer, smoother & more radiant skin. Apparently, this refreshing fruity beverage containing Fancl's original creation, HTC Collagen, is more easily absorbed & boosts collagen synthesis far more effectively than normal collagen.

This drink costs S$7 a bottle or S$61.50 for a box (10 bottles) here in Singapore. Guess what? Despite the high Yen, it only cost ¥2,650 for this box of collagen, which is about S$4/bottle!

I went back to my hotel to drop off my stuff before heading to Ameyoko, a place I must go in Japan for my snacks. Various products such as clothes, bags, cosmetics, fresh fish, dried food & spices are sold here. This is a place to go if you enjoy cheap stuff.

Look at the incredible prices of these fresh seafood. Sooooo cheap! If only I could carry them home, which I did, once. I bought Mentaiko back to Singapore but it was messy & troublesome .......

Prices of Japanese snacks here are much cheaper than in the supermarkets & you'll be spoilt for choices.

Most snacks here cost less than ¥300 except for the Wasabi Pistachio which is ¥800.
I'd planned to recount the full day itinerary in this post but I'm getting tired. So please head over to Fine Dining at Ginza, Tokyo for more of Japan!  
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Travel: Burberry Blue Label In Ginza

burberry blue label tokyoginza shiseido parlourDay 3 (Burberry Blue Label @ Ginza, & Fine Dining @ Shiseido Parlour):

Woke up early to check the latest news on ANA. I was worried cause the airline was on strike the night before. I'd to ensure my flight was operating & that I can fly to Tokyo safely. It was a such a relief when the concierge informed me that all flights returned to normal.

Juliet & I went our separate ways. She had to return to S'pore, while I took the domestic flight to Tokyo alone. While at the domestic airport, I noticed that all flight announcements were made only in Japanese. Even though I've finished with an advanced in the language, I'd to listen carefully at the continuous announcements just to ensure there were no last minute changes. It's really tough for non-Japanese speakers to fly domestic or to move around the airport.

Flight time was just an hour half & it was soon over. I'd chosen to land at Haneda airport as it's much nearer to the Conrad Tokyo. The ride was just 15mins & but look at the fare! There're two places in the world that one shouldn't resort to taking cabs unless necessary - London & Japan. japan taxi meter fareI got out of the hotel as soon as I checked in. I reminded myself, I just have another 48hrs here..... so scram.

My first stop was to head straight to Burberry Blue Label at Ginza to check out the latest fashion. This is like a 'must-do' whenever I visit Tokyo. You can't find Burberry Blue Label in other parts of the world except Japan. The prices are cheaper than Burberry but sizes are much smaller. I guess it's because it's catered to a younger crowd, but that doesn't stop me from visiting.

It was love-at-first-sight for this pretty dress. I tried & sure looked good in it with its figure-hugging cut but it's definitely too young for me. Gosh! Wish I was 10yrs younger.
burberry blue label ginza Then I saw this chic denim coat. It's so unique & I love the roll-up cuffs. I chatted with a sweet Japanese sales staff, who told me they carry different designs & colours at other outlets. Hence, I decided to pop by the boutique @ Omotesando since I'd be heading to Harajuku the next day.
burberry blue label trench coatMy feet were aching & I longed for a foot massage. I stumbled upon this parlour & requested for a 30-min session. Prices were stiff but my feet forbade me to think wisely. tokyo foot massage tokyo foot reflexology pricesI was invited for dinner at the Shiseido Parlour at Ginza. Wow! I didn't know Shiseido is in the food business too, & own the whole damn building in the swanky Ginza. Gosh, I was impressed! ginza shiseido parlourI was told the parlour was established in 1902. The entire building consists of a lounge, gallery, restaurants & even a salon. Our restaurant was located on the 5th flr & the elevator brought us right up to the restaurant's doorstep. Friendly staff greeted us & offered to take our coats. The ambience is cozy & it can be felt from the moment we entered the nifty restaurant.ginza shiseido parlour fine diningMy friend & I each ordered a different cocktail - The 'Sakura Mony' & 'Plum Cooler' @ ¥840 each. I prefer the Plum Cooler which is a mixture of Plum Wine & Ginger Ale. ginza shiseido parlour cocktails
Starter for me was Assorted Hors-d'oeuvres @ ¥2,250.ginza shiseido parlour appetizers
I was delighted with the selection of roast beef, smoked duck, parma ham, sashimi. It was simply delicious. ginza shiseido parlour dining platterFor main course, I chose the Roasted Seafood with Sauteed Tomato & Green Salad @ ¥2,620. ginza shiseido parlour seafoodThe dish comprised of a crab claw & scallop with lots of greens & I was happy with my choice. ginza shiseido parlour crab clawThe Strawberry Parfait @ ¥1,680 was simply too sweet. ginza shiseido parlour strawberry parfait dessertI picked that simply because it was written on the menu as '人気No.1です', meaning 'Most popular choice'. ginza shiseido parlour menuI was delighted to be presented a small bouquet of flowers just before leaving the parlour. ginza shiseido parlour flowersWell, dinner was really nice. I thanked my friend for the wonderful meal & went back to my hotel. When I returned to my room & finally had time to settle down, I saw this cute little teddy sitting on my bed. For a moment, I've completely forgotten about my Conrad bear collection. This bear looked different from the others I have, this is much smaller & it's so cute. I immediately dashed to the shower room to find my rubber duckling. I like this white one, compared to the yellow ducklings. I'm pleased & I felt like a big kid. This is one joy I find when staying at the Conrad.  Over over to more Luxury Shopping and Good Buys in Tokyo!
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Why You Should Stay Off Counterfeits

The market for fake luxury goods is nothing new & knock-off Louis Vuitton bags, Rolex watches etc are some examples of just how sophisticated the industry has become.Consumers who believe that buying counterfeits is socially acceptable should consider whether they condone the use of their hard earned money to fund child labour, the international sex trade, human trafficking & other heinous illegal activity.
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Guide To An Authentic Chanel Bag

tips to authentic chanel bags
My apologies for the long wait for this final Guide To Authentic Bags, as there was a sudden influx of emails as well as family matters I’d to attend to. After publishing my series of guides, I’ve some request from readers for guides on names such as Prada and Coach.

I regret to say that even though I was presented with the avatar entitled, I have a black belt in shopping, “bestowed” upon me by a good friend, I won’t be able to provide in-depth knowledge as I’m not a user of these brands. With this, I thank you for reading and supporting my series of guides.....
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Guide To An Authentic Ferragamo Bag

Salvatore Ferragamo was an Italian shoe designer, which has evolved into a luxury goods empire spanning the world. His collections are characterised by painstaking attention to detail & trimming as well as an original use of materials & choice of colours. authentic salvatore ferragamo bagThis is one of my favourite Ferragamo bags from the Gancini Icona Collection. It was love at first sight – the adorable pink, the metal & leather Gancini & shoe charms caught my attention & I told myself, I just had to get it.

Fake Ferragamo items will always have poor craftsmanship eg. sharp corners, cheap leather, bad stitching & so on. I’ve to stress again, scrutinize the details. Eg. the interior of this authentic Gancini is lined with a prominent Salvatore Ferragamo satin lining. Most counterfeits lack this on authentic ferragamo bagCodes, codes, codes. Similar to brands like Christian Dior, Ferragamo bags come with matching tags, embossed with "Salvatore Ferragamo" & the serial code (I’ve blocked it partially to hide the authentic code). guide to authentic ferragamo bagHardwares on the genuine will always be engraved with the designer brand like this Ferragamo hair band shown here. And please, always check for mis-spelling which is a sure give-away. authentic ferragamo hair bandFerragamo bags will come with a white dustbag with red drawstring & the "Salvatore Ferragamo" logo. authentic ferragamo dust bagAs mentioned in my Guide To An Authentic Louis Vuitton Bag, authentic items do not come with tags attached that says "Genuine Leather" & will never have a “leather” tag hanging outside the bag. 

Well, here’s the wrap-up for my Ferragamo guide. Follow me on my next Guide To An Authentic Chanel Bag. Do also read up on my Guide To An Authentic Christian Dior Bag & How to spot that fake bag!
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Guide To An Authentic Christian Dior Bag

Well, I hope you've read my article on How To Spot That Fake Bag & Guide To An Authentic Louis Vuitton Bag.

By now, you should have an idea of telling the difference between the genuine & counterfeit. From here, I'm going into details on the authenticity of Christian Dior Bags.
All Dior bags come with 2 authenticity items:
- "Maintenance Guide" in 3 languages
- "Authenticity Certificate Card" (Grey-coloured card with 3 languages on the back)
Both the cards above (from different bags) are authentic but notice the difference? Also, most Dior sales staff do not complete the back of the Authenticity Certificate Cards.

ALL Dior bags come with a white cotton dustbag with grey writing that reads: Christian Dior on the first line & Paris on the bottom. A silk dustbag indicates a counterfeit.
Dior's famed Saddle Bag is handcrafted from logo fabric with fine leather trim & signature hardware. Curved & graceful to tuck neatly beneath the shoulder, a distinctive classic bag to carry season after season. The Saddle Bag has a very distinct shape, while most fake do not have the correct shape.
Typically, Dior’s tag will be of the same colour & leather as the bag. So a combination leather & fabric bag should have a tag that matches the leather portion of the bag, eg. The Dior Saddle Bag.
The front tag will be embossed with "Christian Dior" & "PARIS", while the back has "Made in Italy" or "Made in Spain" & a serial code.
That's all, folks, on Dior. Remember to look out for my next tips covering on:
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Guide To An Authentic Louis Vuitton Bag

The legendary style and signature sophistication of Louis Vuitton is a luxury to behold. Internationally renowned and highly regarded for name recognition in the fashion world, as a result Louis Vuitton has become one of the most counterfeited contemporary luxury brands.
louis vuitton monogram manhattan review
Louis Vuitton sells its products strictly through its own retail stores, small boutiques in high-end department stores and reputable online sites (as an effort against counterfeit). It is also good to note that LV has no discount nor sales.
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How to spot that fake bag!

A handbag’s an important part of a woman’s fashion arsenal, the gateway to her fashion statement. For a woman to own a top range handbag is not unheard of. Which is also why a lot of women are willing to part with their month’s salary or entire bonus just for a bag. Unfortunately, many are tempted by the huge discounts that are offered on the internet. But before you part with your hard-earned money, shouldn’t you do some homework before hitting that “buy” button? Ebay is a breeding ground for fake designer merchandise & while there’re websites selling the genuine article, there’re just as many passing off counterfeit goods as the real thing. Some 2nd-hand sellers may even produce a receipt claiming it's authentic.

While I’m no expert in spotting that fake bag, the following information is based on my experience over years of exposure. I must say that many of these counterfeit bags are so convincing, they can easily fool the average consumer. I hope the following tips will give you an idea on how to tell the fake from real.

One of the biggest indicators of fake bags is the price. Some designer bags can be discounted, but they’re never marked down to rock bottom clearance prices.

So if you’re shopping online, whether it’s for 2nd-hand goods or brand new ones & come across a deal that’s too-good-to-be-true, don’t buy. Simple logic. If I’d bought a bag for more than $3,000, I certainly wouldn’t sell it for less than a $1,000.

Brands like Louis Vuitton & Chanel do not offer discounts. They’ve done an incredible job at keeping their brand's value at a prestigious level. One of the reasons that they’ve been able to do this is by not discounting. These brands do not wholesale either. If there’re flaws in the products, they’ll simply destroy the bags. There’re NO outlet stores for "last year's models" etc.

Well, what are the tell-tale signs? Look for all kinds of clues that will alert you to a fake:

- The first thing you need to do is look at the bag itself. Do the materials look to be of the highest quality?
- There should be exact match of fabric & material, the way labels & decorations are attached to the bag.
- How about the stitching? There should be no loose or uneven threads; threads should also match the bag exactly.
- The brand name will be engraved & not embossed on the hardware. You should also be able to find the name engraved on the hardware for the strap.
- Mis-spelling of brand name. Make sure you’re getting a Prada & not Proda.

Wanna learn more?
Look out for my next articles (complete with photos):
Guide to an authentic Louis Vuitton Bag
Guide to an authentic Christian Dior Bag
Guide to an authentic Salvatore Ferragamo Bag
Guide to an authentic Chanel Bag
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Chanel: 2.55

The classic bag of all time, Chanel 2.55. A typical Chanel handbag you would say, but it’s an icon! So, what’s the story behind this luxury bag?

It seems that in the 1920s, Coco Chanel became tired of having to carry her handbags in her arms and decided to design a bag that free her hands. Inspired by the straps found on soldiers’ bags, she added thin straps and introduced the resulting design to the market in 1929. After her successful comeback to the fashion industry in 1954, Chanel decided to update her handbag for the modern women. The resulting design was called 2.55 after the date of creation, February 1955.

read about chanel classic flap bag
I’ve always wanted a to own a Chanel handbag; it was like a dream bag. I got my Chanel Classic Flap Bag years ago during a trip to Paris. I paid about €1,150 then but the price has since escalated to about S$6,000 now. Lucky me! So what’s in the 2.55?

  • The bag originally came with a front lock called the “Mademoiselle Lock” (reference to Coco Chanel never marrying). Since the 1980s, versions came a lock in the shape of a double CC logo called “Classic Flaps”.
  • difference between chanel handbags
  • Chanel recognizing that the modern women needed to have their hands free while attending social functions, designed a double chain shoulder strap, something common in down-market products, but rare in luxury circles at the time. The chains in the Chanel Classic Flap Bag were attached by leather-threaded chain inserted though eyelets. The caretakers of the convent she grew up in, held the keys at their waist dangling from the same type of chains as the 2.55 shoulder strap chains.
  • chanel double chain shoulder strap story
  • The bag has a quilted diamond or herringbone pattern on the exterior. Using a running stitch, this gives the bag shape and volume. The pattern is believed to have been inspired by several sources: jockeys’ riding coats, stained-glass windows of a abbey at Aubazine, cushions in Chanel’s Paris apartment.
  • chanel quilted diamond or herringbone pattern
  • The back has a flap for storage of money.
  • story of chanel classic flap bag back pocket
  • There’s a secret zippered compartment inside the front flap. That’s where Chanel is rumoured to have stored her love letters in her original bag.
  • secret zippered compartment inside chanel bag
  • The lining’s burgundy colour represents the colour of the uniforms at the convent where Coco Chanel grew up.
  • coco chanel classic handbag story Chanel 2.55, stylish today as it was 50 years ago! Check out my Guide To An Authentic Chanel Bag
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