Sunday, April 22, 2007

Jaime's Den - Fashion I - YSL

Another one of Jaime's cute article. Posted on Quilt.


Dear sisters …. .. you are probably wondering why I have the nerve to start a fashion series discussing couture and designers here? Not that I’m Anna Wintour, that influential Vogue editor-in-chief whose scrupulous working style even inspires a New York Times bestseller and an Oscar nominated movie ‘The Devil Wears Prada’. Nor do I hold any front row seats ticket in the spring/fall fashion shows in Paris, Milan and Tokyo; worse, I can’t put a single thread through a needle! So what qualifies me to write about style, taste and the world of high fashion?? You’re absolutely correct, I am no celebrity stylist nor red-carpet fashion critic. But you see, my dear sis, I am facing a big dilemma here : I have this wonderfully gorgeous hunk who has this incredibly sexy body waiting to be dressed (eeeeasy Miss Hong & team …… no need to start typing up your resume yet). You have to agree that fashion plays a pivotal role in our prince’s image. Have talked about his hair before, so just can’t resist putting forth my 2 cents on his ever-chic and elegant fashion. Can you bear with me for the next few minutes?

The very original fashion icon to me (NO, it’s not Madonna!), regarded by many as the greatest designer in the last century, is Yves Saint-Laurent. When I was still a freshman in university, my campus is located near the chic shopping district of Yorkville – much like Avenue Montaigne in Paris and Fifth Avenue in New York. Every day on my way to class, I would deliberately get off one subway stop earlier and took a detour around Yorkville, passing by the windows of an opulent designers store displaying the finest European clothing (hehe, that explains why I missed so many lectures in my first year and needless to say – embarrassing marks!). My eyes were often drawn and stayed at this full length portrait of a bespectacled man hung high up against the red-velveted wall.

You see, back then in Toronto, other than socialites and the fashion industry, nobody really paid much attention to ‘designers’. Ferragamo, Gucci, Hermes are reserved for the elite few and their designs are more classic than trendsetting. Designer was not a household name like today, counterfeits were unheard of since designer goods were in a class of their own.

For this country girl who grew up on a wardrobe of school uniforms with the mere fashion vocabularies of sweater and jeans, I was totally captivated by the magnetized eyes, slender silhouette and the refined style of this ‘King of Fashion’. Do you ever have that experience when you drive by a charming house and feel that someday you will be living inside? Or seeing someone in a crowded party and somehow sense that you two will make good friends? I always believe in destiny, a connection between people, even houses and objects (hehe, you’re probably frowning now and wondering why on earth is she getting so philosophical here??). Like the first time I saw Yong Joon in Winter Sonata, I felt this immediate connection with his warm smile and gentle mannerism (I’m sure most sisters can attest to that too). Just wonder, do you see any resemblance of YSL with our own King? (NOOOOO!!! A thundering protest - ok ok, I hear you loud and clear. Our Yong Joon is one of a kind, totally agree!)

Well, these ‘self-pity’ sessions went on for several months until one day, I finally gathered up enough courage to set foot on the plush carpet of the Yves Saint Laurent boutique. I was greeted cordially by these perfectly-coiffed, elegantly-dressed sales ladies. To my surprise, they didn’t show any condescension just because this timid young girl looked more like a ‘washroom attendant’ than a prospective customer. Being welcomed like a princess, they escorted me to the dress salon and urged me to try on their heavenly, dream-like gowns. Ahhhh…….this awe-struck girl was so ‘encouraged’ that I began to touch, feel and examine, leaving my DNA all over these precious garments (Phew! Now that I think back, it’s lucky I didn’t break any threads or beadings off the gowns. Otherwise, I’d really have to stay and clean their washroom for a whole month!) From that magic moment on, all I can conclude is : after you’ve seen perfection in design, quality and craftsmanship, there is no turning back. Tell me sis, after you have seen Bae Yong Joon, does any other star measure up?

……. To be continued

Relevant links to :

Pierre Bergere, Yves Saint-Laurent Fondation

Yves Saint-Laurent, Gucci Group

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