Mademoiselle C.

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Sometimes, I wish there was a better word for “inspired”. It’s a bit overused.

But that is how I feel when look at other world-class editors.

Being an editor is about infusing your view, your sense, your pulse of the ‘current’ into a publication. Carine Roitfeld’s is all attitude and personality, sass and authority. And her art direction is immaculate.

So excited for her upcoming documentary.

Image: Carine Polaroid

In the Mood for…

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Autumn.

Creating a moodboard and concept sheet for an issue is one of my most favourite things about what I do. Afterall, I get to call sourcing photography, surfing Pinterest, browsing recipes sites, and reading magazines my job. This is what this week was all about.

Those who know me know that I am awfully selective about being mainstream. Granted, in producing a magazine, we need to cater to our readers. And our readers are….mainstream. However, as an editor it’s my job to inject some unexpected into the expected.

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The palette we’ve decided on will use a lot of gold, orange and plum with hints of pale green. And as usual I will probably try to sneak in tints of blue, just because I feel it allows eyes to rest while being inundated with visual after visual. It’s difficult to not default to browns and reds so we needed to throw in some pops of contrast. I’m also eying the colours of Moonrise Kingdom.

As we all know, autumn is the season for harvest. But in China, it’s not just about flavours and staples, but more so about eating the right seasonal ingredients to keep your body warm – literally. Therefore we will be incorporating chestnut, gingko, white sesame, taro and ginger into our heartier-than-ever recipes. Lots and lots of wonderful, pungent ginger to keep our systems cosy.

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For this issue, I just want to evoke that special autumn feeling of coming home to something warm. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Coming home to the smell of hearty homecooking, gathering around with loved ones, jumping into piles of crunchy, golden leaves, walking into a room full of laughter. It’s always a challenge for me to fuse East and West together (we don’t have piles of leave to jump through here in Shanghai, or apple pie, for the matter), but it’s fun to see how many ways we can sneak new ideas in.

Alright, Issue 10. Let’s get you started.

Photo: Tart + Tea, London, May 2011.
Images: Bouquet, Lipsticks, Yarn, Apples. Tarts, Citrus, Porridge.

New [Work] Digs.

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Our little team of six moved shop this weekend and we are now located in a swanky, official looking downtown office building. Despite global headquarters’ orders to move in with the rest of the agency family, we were slightly reluctant to leave our cosy and creative loft office. We loved our space, our own little playground. We also happened to over-look the rooftop of a family’s home that told tales of an adorable puppy trying to befriend a Queen cat, 5:30pm al fresco dinners when the weather was warm, and the “interesting” daily laundry line. These little anecdotes became our daily work musings, which we will now miss.

But. New office means NEW SPACE TO DECORATE!

I dream of one day having a home office like the set-up above, simple and straightforward. Calming tones, clean-cut furniture with just enough softness. I admit that my tendency for clippings and inspiration will mostly require that I have a large overhead board of some sort, but this calming scene makes me think that efficiency will come with the territory.

8bde3b71-e032-4644-abcd-b08f8eb132e5-largeI am also one who needs at least two selections of pens on hand at all times. Don’t ask me why – I think I probably pluck two or three from the jars atop my current tabletop to use on rotation on a day of planning, and will grab my collection of Muji double-ended felts for editing. This little tray is perfect because it also houses more space for me to collect photos and artwork. Organised clutter, if you must.

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And then we have notebooks and paper products, which make me deliriously happy. This generally means one lined, one unlined, and one to easily tear pages from.

Here’s to hoping our new digs will inspire the team to produce even better work than we have been. And here’s to me dreaming of more perfect work stations…

Images: Office, Notebook+Notepad, Notebook, Organiser.

The Rain Room.

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With the mercury hitting 38°C today, everyone is looking for a respite from the heat that’s been hovering above us this week. And it seems as if tempers also rise along with the heat. Does patience somehow “melt” away?

How I wish I could pop into Random International’s Rain Room currently on exhibit at the MoMa in New York City (where it is also insanely hot right now, so I hear from pals) to reclaim a sense of coolness and calm. Its choreographed downpour also encourages each visitor to explore their reactions to the given scenario: Do I, or do I not, dare to step inside? Do I run through, do I attempt a pirouette, do I tip-toe across waiting to get drenched? Furthermore, it also allows the visitor to have a sense of control over something that otherwise would be uncontrollable (the weather).

I secretly love it when it rains. This is perhaps due to the fact that I am from Vancouver, where raindrops often beat out sunrays in attendance. So until our local rainclouds decide to grace us with their presence, those of you lucky enough to be in NYC please pay this stunning installation a visit so that I can vicariously cool down through you.

Image: MoMa

Dec the Halls.

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I’ve been at this blogging thing for a few months now, but it’s funny how, of all things that I’ve discussed, I rarely talk about the one thing that I love the most.

Interiors.

I have probably avoided writing about it so to selfishly avoid a bout of envy. But today I came across these two items that I MUST somehow add to my space.

How adorable is the above bookend? Balloons and books, ticking off two of my favourite things. As someone who can spend hours obsessing over styling a vignette, I could just easily pop this little guy in the corner, or among my hardcovers, and call it a day (for now).

(Additionally, this makes me want to be in New York for Frieze to see Paul McCarthy’s “Balloon Dog”.)

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Those who know me know that I have an affinity toward all things Penguin Books. Let’s discuss their publishing repertoire another time, but their design aesthetic is unbeatable. Classic yet modern, all in one. I had interned there during my time in London, and while in the end magazines still stole my heart, I still have very fond memories of working in the children’s department at the glorious Pearson office on the Strand (with the best view over the Thames, I might add.). I don’t give up hope that one day, in one way or another, that I will work with Penguin again in some capacity.

I digress.

This London town house, designed by Harriet Anstruther, could quite possibly be my dream home. The details, the fixtures, the space and light – go here to see the most amazing pop of neon pink in the form of a bar, and other clever accents. And of course, that coveted painting above the fireplace…

A girl can dream.

Images: Burke Decor,  Cosas de Palmichula.

MIA.

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The hours have gone by too quickly and the recent sunshine has pulled me away from the Mac, hence the lack of updates in the past few days.

Speaking of missing, thoughts of the Big Apple keep billowing in my mind. I reckon it’s time to plan a visit to my once other-home, and to peer at one of my all-time favourite buildings, the Seagram, again. The New York Times has a great story on the building of this landmark today, filled with fun name-dropping anectdotes. Love.

But before I can schedule in another 12+ hour flight, I’ll make do with a 2.5-hour one. See you tonight, Hong Kong!

Photo: New York City, Columbus Circle, 2009.