• Fashion,  Fashion Buzz

    The World According To Karl Lagerfeld

    If there’s an award for designer says the darnest thing, the title would go to Karl Lagerfeld. 

    A sense of humour and a little lack of respect: that’s what you need to make a legend survive.

    Le Monde Selon Karl or The World According To Karl, is one of those sooner or later thing.

    He is the white haired, pony tailed fashion designer that has worked up quite the storm over the years with his stylistic brilliance and not to mention, vocal disposition. Nothing short of colourful, the head designer of Chanel has courted controversy throughout his career. What’s with the fat jibes at Adele, eh?

    Karl Lagerfeld is not one to mince his words and perhaps, because of this, he makes the industry a little bit more interesting for those of us on the outside looking in. And now, his penchant for honesty, or notoriety will be immortalised forever.

    His barbed “quotes” are compiled for the book that is due out this September. The book will feature illustrations by artist Charles Ameline and it’s available for pre-order now. Though the famed Kaiser was not involved in the production of the book, he has given his seal of approval.

  • Fashion,  Tips & Trends

    The Art Of Wearing Alice Headbands

    Alice headbands are a great way to style up your hair if you ever get bored of hairpins, scrunchies or your usual hairstyles.

    To those who didn’t know, Alice headbands are those horse-shoe shaped plastic bands that you wear over your hair. Did you know that these wondrous accessories have the potential of spicing up one’s hairstyle and appearance? Case in point, the ever-trendy Blair Warldrof from Gossip Girls, or think back at how Alice in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland sweetly accessorised her little blue pinafore with a thick glossy headband. They’re classic and you can wear a headband in an assortment of ways and for almost any occasion!

    From delicate embellishment-cladded pieces to the conventional thick bands, here are some ways you can wear an Alice headband;

    The Middle Parters

    To those who rock a middle parting, you’d be pleasantly surprised by how sweet this look could make you look.

    We personally find this style emitting a sort of feminine and innocent radiance. Don’t think so? How about taking a look at this other way of rocking a middle-parting headband look-

    For a Prim and Proper Outlook

    For the times where you want to look extra neat and tidy, while showing confidence, try this.

    Just pick your favourite hairband and sweep all your hair (including bangs) behind with it. While looking stylish, we think this style can give people the illusion that you’re neat, classy and super comfortable with your pretty facial features!

    Or, if you’re not that comfortable showing your whole forehead, then you could wear it with some of your fringe;

    Simply adjust the amount of hair you’re comfortable with, sweep your fringe to the side and tuck it in; just like how Alice did in Alice in The Wonderland.

    You’d definitely be living up the ‘Alice Headband’ name!

    As a Statement Piece

    Headbands that are accented with embellishments or designs look great with long flowing hair or with a shorter do.

    Key is to simply let the headband do the talking! This look can give your casual attire an instant oopmh and is especially great for those fancier outfits and events (e.g. a wedding reception). Plus point is that this style will give you a stylish look without having you to further damage your hair from hair styling products! We imagine this looking especially great at wedding receptions.

    The Bed-Head Fixer

    Overslept? No time to wash or style your bed-head hair? Just put a headband over it!

    Who knew something so simple and effortless would look so chic.

    As an Add-On

    For he days when you feel like your usual tied hairdos are getting a little bit too bland, an Alice band can always serve as a good accessory;

    You can also pair with with ponytails or pigtails!

    Oh, and to my shorter-haired lovelies – these styles will look equally as great (if not better) on you pretty ladies! So go forth, remember Blair Warldrof or Alice, and snap that band on! And when you’ve already mastered the art of wearing Alice headbands, or if you’re just looking for something more eye-catching, why not try for a loud and proud Floral headpiece?

  • Home,  Living,  Love & Sex

    Quick Kitchen Cleaning Tips

    Cooking is fun but cleaning up is not, right? Here are some tips to get the job done with minimum fuss.

    Cutting boards – Whether it’s wooden or plastic cutting boards, lemon is the trick! Squeeze and rub half a lemon on the surface. Let it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing.

    Blender – Take the blender jar straight to the sink and rinse with water. Add in a drop or two of washing liquid, fill it halfway with warm water and put the jar back on to the blender. Turn on for 30 seconds, rinse out and you’re done.

    Microwave – Fastest way is to place a handful of wet paper towels inside the microwave oven and run on ‘High’ for 3-5 minutes. Alternatively, microwave a bowl of water with lemon juice. The steam will soften the grime and once the paper towels/ lemon water cool down, use them to wipe the inside.

    Oven – Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge. Then wipe down the inside of the oven door as well as the exterior. The mixture of baking soda helps to remove any spills or grease with ease.

    Fridge – Wipe the inside of your refrigerator with hot, soapy water every week. Then rinse by wiping down with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water to help fight mildew. This also freshen and deodorises the inside of the fridge.

    Stove – This may sound weird but try apply a thin layer of car wax and wipe off dirty residue. This will also help prevent future spills that may stick and harden on the stove. Cleaning will be relatively easier then.

    Surfaces – Sometimes the cooking residue can get on appliances, cabinets, stovetops and surfaces with back splashes, grease and grime. Baking soda and vinegar are your friends; apply on damp sponge or cleaning cloth and wipe away.

    Source: Reader’s Digest, Craftionary, Home Life

  • Fashion,  Tips

    Fashion Friday: Indian-Inspired Trend for Spring / Summer 2013

    Indian-inspired beadings, embroideries and hues are the latest Eastern traditional style to gain momentum on the high fashion scene.

    Our possessions go a level up every time someone else shows appreciation of them.

    Does it ring true to you? Recently, Asian influences are big on the runways – from the appearance of batik, followed by the recent rise of Chinese porcelain patterns and the kimono fever. On the other hand, we see more locals are sporting batik, kimono cover-ups and kurta-inspired tops. It’s about time these local gems are explored!

    For their Spring 2013 ready-to-wear, designers are looking East again with Indian influences colouring the runways. Beadings, embroideries and bright hues like turquoise and tangerine are taking centre stage at Marchesa, Diane von Furstenberg and Naeem Khan. At Marchesa, satin is completed with intricate embroidery works – creating stunning pieces amidst simple cuts.

    Diane von Furstenberg brings a touch of luxe to loose-fitting pieces with sequins and ombre fabric inspired by saree. At Naeem Khan, traditional Indian patterns are modernised in floor-sweeping gowns, making his creations red-carpet worthy.

    Infusing India into your daily outfits

    This week, we are all about infusing the free-spirited Indian fashion with its vibrant colours into our daily getups. While saree would be wonderful to wear to a friend’s wedding, there are many ways to be that head-turning ethnic chic woman.

    H&M satin maxi dress, RM249. Luccacal stacked bangles, RM22. Dorothy Perkins lime embellished top, RM203. Topshop paisley shorts, RM209. Charles & Keith tangerine ethnic sandals, approx. RM132.60. Mango paisley print foulard, RM49. Indifashion drop earrings, RM54. Rhapsody printed cropped pants (via Zalora), RM98.90. ASOS jeweled headgear, approx. RM86. Zara sequined box clutch, RM319. Mango nehru-collared top, RM139
    • The forever-summer Malaysian weather calls for a breezy maxi dress, and this week our eyes are on this full-printed number from H&M. Match with a wooden chunky necklace and a stack of bangles to channel your inner Aishwarya Rai on a Sunday, or throw a white blazer on it for a day at work.
    • Indian fashion is big on embellishments and this lime green halter top from Dorothy Perkins is a perfect balance between modern and ethnic. Match with a paisley shorts and tangerine sandals and you’ve got yourself a foolproof combo.
    • For a casual date night, pair your nehru-collared top with a printed cropped pants and sequined box clutch to achieve that effortlessly stylish getup.
    • To achieve the instant ethnic look, throw an accessories to any of your outfit of the day – be it printed headscarf, Indian drop earrings or jeweled headband – and voila!
  • Food

    Baking Semperit Cookies For Hari Raya

    Do you have fond memories of baking with your bestie or sister? Perhaps a favourite cookie recipe or secret ingredient that’s passed down from generation to generation?

    Now, we understand that there may be some of you reading this that are sceptical baking; that some of you may have had a bad baking experience and are scared to continue creating tasty delights. But, don’t be! Although the tasty end product of baking is the main objective of the activity, remember that baking should be fun and is a constant learning process. If at once you don’t succeed, try try again! And here’s a novel idea, why not try baking something for the upcoming Hari Raya celebrations?

    Not only is baking fun, it can also be somewhat healing and satisfactory. Just think about it – whether it is baking butter cake to spend time with the family, or cookies for a friendly neighbourhood share during festive occasions; baking can bring people together and build closer relationships. Plus, they make great personal gifts!

    To aid you in your cookie baking expedition, Buttercup teams up with Chef Kamarul Hasni to present a little demonstration on how to make one of the Chef’s favourite cookie recipes – the buttery Semperit cookies! Here it is;

    Ingredients

    • 375g butter or butter blend
    • 1 ½ cups of Wheat Flour
    • 1 cup of Custard Flour
    • 2 ½ cups of Corn Flour
    • 1 ½ cups of Castor Sugar
    • 3 Egg Yolks
    • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Essence
    • 1 tablespoon of Cocoa Powder
    • 1 cup of Chocolate Sauce to drizzle (optional)

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 180°c.

    2. Shift corn flour, wheat flour, custard flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl.

    3. In a separate bowl, beat together butter and castor sugar (it does not need to be fluffy).

    4. Add in egg yolks and vanilla essence, mix well.

    5. Add flour mix into butter and sugar combination.

    6. Continuously fold it until it becomes soft dough.

    7. Insert the dough into the semperit mould

    8. Press dough strips onto the baking tray, cut them at approx. 4cm each

    9. Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes.

    10. Remove cookies from tray and let them cool.

    11. Drizzle chocolate sauce over each piece (optional) and let it cool down for a while before putting them away in an airtight container.

    Note: As baking depends heavily on the ingredients used, it is recommended to opt for quality ingredients like Buttercup for a good end-result.

    That’s it ladies; simple, fragrant and full of tasty goodness! Oh, and if the first batch is not really what you’ve expected it to be, don’t feel bad and beat yourself up for it. Know that there’s still two months left till Hari Raya for lots of baking trial and errors! Good luck and have fun all!

    Sources: Recipe and Photos are provided by Buttercup. 

  • Beauty,  Hair

    Home Remedies for Dry Hair

    The dream is soft and shiny tresses but the reality is what you get at the end of a broomstick. 

    Dry hair is a very common and distressing condition. It can be caused by a number of factors like severe dandruff, imbalance diet, chemical processing and pollution. This leads to loss of moisture from the hair shaft and causes your mane to look lacklustre, lose its shine as well as vitality or elasticity. That’s when you notice the frizzy and brittle bits. If not treated properly, dry hair can cause widespread damage like breakage throughout the lengths of the hair.

    Lucky for us, there are ways to combat the dry hair phenomenon. And what’s even better is that recovery begins at home!

    Eggs Booster

    Eggs are a good source of protein and lecithin, which can help to strengthen and repair hair by adding moisture, shine and texture.

    Fix it ~ Mix 3 eggs with 2 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil, add 1 tablespoon honey and stir well. Apply the mixture onto damp hair and scalp. Cover with a shower cap and leave on for 30 minutes before washing off with mild shampoo and lukewarm water.

    Avocado & Honey Treatment 

    Avocado is known for its many benefits and one of it is to repair damaged hair. Its oil is light enough to provide moisture. Couple with the rich proteins, it gives you best nutrients to smooth down unruly hair.

    Fix it ~ Peel 1 medium avocado, remove the stone and mash the flesh together with 2 tablespoons honey. Massage mixture into hair and leave on for 20-30 minutes. Wash hair as per normal after that.

    Honey Hair Mask

    This nature’s sweetener is a natural humectant which means it has the ability to attract and lock in moisture to leave hair feeling soft, shiny and nourished.

    Fix it ~ Massage 1/2 cup of honey to freshly washed, damp hair and let sit for 20 – 30 minutes. For extremely dry and damaged hair, try mixing honey with 1 to 2 tablespoons of egg yolk or coconut oil to help make the treatment more effective.

    Aloe Vera Conditioner

    A plant that is known for its excellent moisturising properties, aloe vera can help treat dry hair to become more manageable and lustrous in time.

    Fix it ~ Mix 3-4 tablespoons of aloe vera gel with 1/2 a lemon and add 3-5 drops of essential oils in a bowl. Apply the mixture to your just-washed hair and leave on for 5-10 minutes at least. Then rinse thoroughly.

  • Fashion,  Tips

    How To Care For Your Prized Footwear

    “Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world,” said Marilyn Monroe. We couldn’t agree more! But, what about caring for them?

    Some time ago we held a little fashion class on the do’s and don’ts when wearing high heels. Today, the class goes on with useful maintenance tips and tricks for your prized possessions. Oh, and we’re not just going to stop at heels – we’re going to teach you clean and care basics that are applicable for most of your footwear!

    Cleaning

    Leather: For those favourite pair of leather shoes that are worn daily, a weekly wiping with water, soft cloth and a little soap is sufficient enough to remove dirt and grime. As for those that are only worn on special occasions, you should clean and polish them after every use. Cream/paste polish should be used as a natural conditioner to maintain the material’s natural oils, and covering up stains and marks.

    Suede Material: One should be extra careful with suede shoes as this material marks and stains fairly easily. The trick is to clean them straight away when they start to get dirty. It is best to find a suede brush – gently brush away dirt and oil stains in the same directions as the fibres. For stubborn oil stains, try leaving cornmeal flour overnight and brush it off the next day.

    Canvas: Canvas materials are one of the more durable and easiest to maintain. Shoes with these material shoes be cleaned at least once every two weeks. Although some advocate that it’s safe to throw them into the washing machine, we think spot cleaning is safer and better – simply clean dirt stains with a small amount of detergent, some water and a soft toothbrush.

    Synthetic material: Ultimately, never directly dunk shoes that are made of synthetic materials in water. A moist soft cloth or cotton can easily remove any impurities from shoes.

     

    Caring and Storing

    Add anti-slip. First and foremost, when you’ve just happily got a new pair of shoes, please add on anti-slip patches. Especially applicable to high heels, these patches are you and your shoes’ new best friend – not only do these patches add grip and prevent nasty spills, they also protect and prolong shelf life! Alternatively, you could also head to a cobbler to have a thin rubber sole attached.

    Dry Them Naturally. It is best to leave and let your shoes dry naturally as dryers (e.g. hair dryers) and heat may ruin and dry up certain materials, thus making them more vulnerable to cracks.

    Stuff them up. It is recommended to stuff any form of covered shoes with newspapers or paper towels to help them keep their shape and get rid of any excess moisture.

    Use Shoe Cases/Covers. This applies especially to shoes with studded stones or made from suede material because dust in the cabinet may cause the stones to lose their shine and collect in the suede material. No shoe bag? Just use an old pillow case! They work just as fine.

    Sources: Bff, Boldsky

  • Beauty,  Makeup

    Of Acne Outbreaks, Facial Treatments and Beauty Centres

    Recently, Singaporean blogger Juli (a.k.a bunbunmakeuptips.com) shared with the world her shocking post-facial experience.

    The 28 year old blogger had received a sponsored facial treatment and products from an undisclosed beauty centre in Singapore. After the initial facial, her skin  showed visible signs of an acne outbreak the next day, and only got worse day by day.

    After going back to the beauty centre to consult them of her problem, they responded by giving her a number of acne and pus extraction services and treatments.

    What was alarming was that the facial salon did not show signs of admission; insisting that this was an average acne breakout. As a facial salon with 30 years in the industry, you’d think that they’d be more responsible in managing the condition of someone else’s skin, rather than insisting on further inflaming a client’s face with questionable treatment in order to “upkeep’ their reputation.

    Sadly, the beauty blogger’s face is now covered with inflamed red, angry pimples filled with pus and is currently in danger of losing a career should this condition not cure over the next few weeks. To get a better picture of the entire story, read this blogpost of hers.

    Having sensitive skin ourselves, the VB team truly sympathizes for Juli and those who have encountered similar experiences. In light of the case, we would like to take the opportunity and remind you to consider the risks and dangers of going for facials:

    1) While getting a facial is one of the easiest methods to cleanse and pamper your face, it should be noted that facial treatments are not suited for everyone. It’s a harsh truth, especially to those of us who love to pamper ourselves with massages and pedicures but alas, it’s better to be safe than sorry in this instance. In fact, it is highly recommended that those with extremely sensitive skin to get professional consultation (from a doctor or dermatologist) to check the condition of their skin before heading to a beauty centre. Remember, it is a beauty centre’s job to tell you that you have 1,001 skin problems that they can (allegedly) fix but it’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth the risk (and money) because things could go really wrong – as proven in this instance.

    2) Always do a little background check on the beauty centre if you’re interested in their services and products – check reviews, see what others have said of their experience there. Being vivid beauty deal hunters ourselves, we understand that there are tons of great deals and promos available out there but if something sounds too good to be true, there’s usually a reason! Check the place and deal out properly, and make sure that they are a legit beauty centre with quality and approved products that are suitable for you. Think of it this way – if that centre has a respectable background and business, then they’ve really got nothing to hide, right?

    3) Before agreeing to anything, seek a consultation with the beauty therapist and ask about the centre’s policies. More specifically – ask them what they would do in case the facial treatment goes bad. Another tip is to be wary of the things that the therapists say. Take for example Juli’s case;

    We’re not saying that all beauty therapists and centres spin words, but we’re just asking you – as a paying consumer, to be cautious.

    While we sympathise with Juli and those that have visible skin imperfections, it is always important to remember that beauty is only skin deep and it’s important to never ever rely on your looks a 100% because you never know when you might lose it.

    Instead, build your self-confidence from within by being an amazing person that could probably standout even in a room in complete darkness and never, ever judge someone else by their appearance. After all, we all know that inner beauty and a good heart is what matters the most.

  • Fashion,  Fashion Buzz

    Women & Fashion Film Fest 2013: Documentaries To Watch

    The world of fashion is often seen as superficial and shallow to most, but every now and then..filmmakers around the world present thought provoking subject matters in film and documentaries, that most of us don’t often think of or associate with the glamorous, glossy world of fashion and entertainment.

    Thanks to the Women & Fashion FilmFest  which takes place in New York this June 8 and 9, 2013, the festival brings together members of the fashion, film, television and media industries to foster discussion among members of these industries through films and to create a stronger sense of community.

    So while the films shown are related to fashion, the purpose is to first and foremost examine issues related to women, and that facing the fashion and entertainment industries; whilst celebrating honour leaders in fashion, entertainment and media.

    With an impressive lineup of committee members featuring fashion heavyweights such as Patricia Field (Sex and the City, Devil Wears Prada, Ugly Betty), Coco Rocha, Zac Posen, Andre Leon Talley, and even our very own Zang Toi, here are some of the movies that will be featured at Women & Fashion FilmFest this year – a must watch for every fashionista out there!

    DOCUMENTARIES:

    Girl Model

    A documentary by David Redmon & Ashely Sabin

    Despite a lack of obvious similarities between Siberia and Tokyo, a thriving model industry connects these distant regions. Girl Model follows two protagonists involved in this industry: Ashley, a deeply ambivalent model scout who scours the Siberian countryside looking for fresh faces to send to the Japanese market, and one of her discoveries, Nadya, a thirteen year-old plucked from the Siberian countryside and dropped into the center of Tokyo with promises of a profitable career. After Ashley’s initial discovery of Nadya, the two rarely meet again, but their stories are inextricably bound. As Nadya’s optimism about rescuing her family from their financial difficulties grows, her dreams contrast against Ashley’s more jaded outlook about the industry’s corrosive influence.

    Girl Model is a lyrical exploration of a world defined by glass surfaces and camera lenses, reflecting back differing versions of reality to the young women caught in their scope. As we enter further into this world, it more and more resembles a hall of mirrors, where appearances can’t be trusted, perception become distorted, and there is no clear way out. Will Nadya, and the other girls like her, be able to find anyone to help them navigate this maze, or will they follow a path like Ashley’s, having learned the tricks of the labyrinth but unable to escape its lure?

    About Face: Supermodels, Then and Now

    A documentary for HBO by Timothy-Greenfield Sanders

    About Face reunites fashion’s legendary models and examines their lives, careers, and lifelong relationship with beauty. From youth to cosmetic surgery, addiction to self-esteem, overnight stardom to reinvention, this HBO documentary reveals the extraordinary women behind the famous faces. Shot in Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ intimate portrait style, About Face highlights the women whose images defined our sense of beauty from the 1940s through the 1980s.

    About Face features Carol Alt, Marisa Berenson, Karen Bjornson, Christie Brinkley, Pat Cleveland, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Jerry Hall, Bethann Hardison, Beverly Johnson, China Machado, Paulina Porizkova, Isabella Rossellini and Lisa Taylor. The film also includes special appearances by Kim Alexis, Nancy Donahue, Esme, Eileen Ford, Dayle Haddon, Cheryl Tiegs, Christy Turlington and Calvin Klein.

    Ralph Rucci: A Designer and His House 

    A documentary on the legendary American Designer by David Boatman

    “It is very important to show what the human hand can do.” Ralph Rucci, from the David Boatman film “Ralph Rucci: A Designer and His House”

    Ralph Rucci: A Designer and His House is an insider’s look at the highest level of American haute-couture as seen through the lens of award-winning director David Boatman. The film follows the evolution of Ralph Rucci’s spring 2008 ready-to-wear and fall 2008 couture collections, from inspiration to presentation at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, France. Rucci makes it clear that his workroom isn’t just sewing clothes, but translating his dream of the impossible. Interviews include: Martha Stewart, Cathy Horyn, Coco Mitchell, James Galanos, Glenda Bailey and Deeda Blair.

    Sexy Baby

    A documentary by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus

    An ex-adult film star, a 12 year old girl and a 22 year old who yearns for “normal” private parts are chronicled in this thought provoking documentary about how pornography, social media and pop culture affect women and girls. Sexy Baby is the first documentary film to put faces to a seismic cultural shift: the cyber age is creating a new sexual landscape. While doing research for the film, the filmmakers, Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus, had intimate and candid conversations with kids in middle school classrooms, suburban shopping malls, nightclubs, college dorms, and even conducted an informal roundtable during a high school house party. While chronicling trends among small town and big city kids, they discovered this: Having pubic hair is considered unattractive and “gross.” Most youngsters know someone who has emailed or texted a naked photo of themselves. Many kids have accidentally or intentionally had their first introduction to sex be via hardcore online porn. Facebook has created an arena where kids compete to be “liked” and constantly worry about what image to portray – much of what was once private is now made public. And the list goes on.

    With this vast collection of information, the filmmakers decided to tackle the topic through personal storytelling. At first glance, it may seem difficult to understand why they put a former porn star, a plastic surgery patient (Laura) and a 12-year-old girl (Winnifred), in the same film. But this was no accident. They found that the adult entertainment world, represented in our film by Nakita, is trickling into the mainstream world and affecting both Laura’s and Winnifred’s lives – but in profoundly different ways. Nakita becomes an ironic role model of sorts. Laura is an embracer of mainstream culture. And Winnifred is our eyes and ears, constantly questioning the status quo.

    SHORT FILMS:

    Breaking Night

    A short film by Yolonda Ross

    Girl flees a heavy situation at home with her boyfriend. By circumstance, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, she comes face to face with a vision of confidence and sophistication that she’s never seen before. This chance meeting changes her outlook of who she is, and more so, who she can become; transforming her life forever. As night gives way to morning, she abandons the young ‘lost girl’ she was, emerging as a young woman with purpose, into the light.

    Lady Gaga – You and I – Jo; Lady Gaga – You and I – Yuyi; Lady Gaga – You and I – Bride

    Three short films featuring Lady Gaga by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

    Blank Canvas

    A short film by Director/Producer Sarah Berkovich
    When Kim received a devastating diagnosis for uterine cancer, her world turned upside down. Through her treatment, she has struggled to cope with her changing body image in positive ways. Taking an unconventional route, Kim decides to turn her baldness into a blank canvas for self-expression, and in doing so creates a powerful statement that allows her to share her experience with others.

    34 x 25 x 36

    A short film by Jesse Epstein

    34 x 25 x 36 is Jesse Epstein’s third installment in a trilogy of films (along with The Guarantee and the Sundance award-winning Wet Dreams and False Images) examining issues of body image from quirky and revealing angles. This time, we are taken into the inner workings of the Patina V Mannequin Factory in City of Industry, Calif., where the artistry, craft and marketing that go into creating “the ideal woman of the moment” — in plastic — are accompanied by a remarkable amount of reflection on just what that ideal means (one thing it means is a 34” x 25” x 36” figure). Patina V is a place where the owner will tell women (and then run for cover), “There are no perfect bodies out there. We make the perfect body.” And the chief designer harkens back to the roots of his craft not only in French 19th-century wax figures but also in the religious icons of medieval times.

    Walking After Midnight

    A short film by James Franco

    A dynamic brand film in a series of four vignettes directed by James Franco, stars Stuart Weitzman shoes as worn by Petra Nemcova. Inspired by the 1980s movie Mondo New York, the film follows a young woman during a late night stroll through downtown spots like The Hole, Le Baron, Peels, and Freeman’s Alley, to the track of “Walking After Midnight” by the San Antonio-based band, Girl in a Coma.

    For more information, visit the Women & Fashion FilmFest website.

  • Health & Fitness,  Love & Sex

    Ways To Soothe Coughing Fits

    No matter how you put it, coughing is simply no fun.

    A cough is a signal that there is an imbalance in your body – that there is some sort of substances, mucus or microbes present in your breathing passages or lungs. With that said, coughing is your body’s natural defence of trying to expel those irritants. Although coughing is essentially your body trying to heal itself, this act of expelation is not a particularly fun and enjoyable process. Let’s face it; most of you might even encountered times when coughing became so severe that it impaired breathing or prevented rest.

    While cough mixture is the best cure during coughing fits, there are other forms of remedies to soothe and help you go through these hacking processes. Be it for yourself, your child, a family member or simply as a general know-how, here are some tips and tricks on soothing those nasty coughing fits;

    Hydration.

    As fluids may help dilute mucus secretions and soothe an irritated throat, it is very important to prevent dehydration by increasing your fluid intakes. Water is always the best selection, and it’s best to stay away from dairy products for the time being.

    Also, hydration should not only be limited to drinking – one can add moisture to air with a steam vaporiser or cool-mist humidifier, or you can even do a simple head-over-a-bowl-of-warm-water approach to get some steam in.

    Honey and Warm Drinks.

    Quality raw honey is a natural decongestant, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. As it coats the throat, it can help soothes the rawness and irritation. Honey can be eaten by itself, with tea, hot water or along with other remedial drinks, such as –

    • Slice some lemons and put into a big tea pot. Fill with warm water and add a few tablespoons of honey.
    • Warm up some pineapple juice (it’s better if you freshly juice the fruit yourself) on the stove.  Mix two tablespoons of honey into the juice. Warming the pineapple juice will help the honey to dissolve.
    • Combine apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of raw honey with a quarter glass of slightly warm water.

    Gargle.

    Gargle warm water and some salt in your throat. Not more than three times a day though, as the salt may stain onto your throat.

    Menthol Essential Oils.

    Essential oils containing menthol and eucalyptus are great for treating and relieving coughs. Not only will it leave your nose, mouth and throat feeling cooler, it also works as a mild anaesthetic to relieve sore throats. According to the Cardiff Common Cold Centre, this is because menthol causes a cool sensation in the nose and helps constrain infection of the nasal airway.

    Watch Your Diet.

    The golden rule is to avoid fried, oily and sugary foods when coughing. One tip is to consume a hearty chicken soup consisting of poultry, onions, sweet potatoes, carrots and parsley. A study from the University of Nebraska proves that the combination can ease the symptoms of coughs and colds as it is anti-inflammatory and could speed up mucus discharge.

    It is noted that a cough may be a sign of something more serious or lead on to other medical complications. Therefore, although these remedies may prove to calm down those coughing fits, it is highly recommended you go to the doctor’s if the symptoms persist or become too serious.

    Sources: The Independent, Chicago Tribune