Pinches Under the Arms a Bit...

An Eyedontist (clever name) poster in Causeway Bay. Looks like someone actually went to the trouble of assembling an entire corset made from high end sunglasses. One of those ads that looks compelling at first, then leaves you scratching your head; what is this trying to say (or sell) exactly? Anyway I hope for the model's sake they included a liner of some sort, otherwise the discomfort of actually wearing this hard plastic contraption must've been incalculable...

'80s Stoner Chick Returns

This is another window display from our friends at AnotherFCK, the hipster geniuses behind the "Dream World" geek posted last month; it seems they're now playing up the classic '80s stoner chick. I especially like the matted-hairspray look matched with the monstrous flower clip. Now you too can act heavily sedated and/or bored out your mind while hanging out in the school pot dealer's basement. Then its off to combat the munchies with some nasty 7-11 nachos, followed by some serious bitching about angst, suburbia, and that weird smell coming from the couch.

'Norse Trade Route' - the new A&F

This is a t-shirt adorning a weekend dad in Victoria Park (for what its worth he had no problem with my taking a picture - unfortunately the picture didn't turn out well, and his head got cut off by a jungle gym).

I looked up 'NTR' - apparently this bold new brand has yet to have its official roll out. But Abercrombie and Diesel beware - the Norse are coming to establish a trade route, and woe to any who dare oppose them. One would assume that Vikings would be more interested in raping and pillaging, though truth be told they did a whole lot more colonizing and founding kingdoms like 'Muscovy' (aka Moscow), but I digress. This is the 21st century after all, so global trade rules the day...

'Glammario'

This impressive little icon graces the window of a shoe shop here in Happy Valley. I was never a fan of the whole Mario Brothers/Donkey Kong thing; in fact I found it's popularity quite perplexing, especially considering the fact that it a) made no f**king sense, even as video games go, or b) it had the most annoying music and sound effects ever created.

Still someone obviously liked Mario enough to purchase a diamond/rhinestone encrusted version of him, apparently in the hope that it will help sell shoes(?). I wonder if any of the women browsing the various pumps and stilettos here are swayed by Glammario. Maybe they also sell the whole outfit in ladies sizes - nothing says glam or 'tricked out' like a bejeweled paperboy hat, overalls and work boots. Somewhere there's an evil "glamwario' plotting to pry those precious gems off our beleaguered hero. And yes the fact that I know there is an 'anti-mario' called wario - despite my best efforts to avoid such useless info - is quite annoying to me.

Happy Mexican Girly

A poster for Liz Liza's spring collection at SOGO, the new 'happy mexican girly' line. These ladies are on the forefront of human-anime hybrids, carrying the Japanese fetish for big eyes to its logical extreme. Indeed its now all the rage for 'girly' - hypercute Asian women - to sport contact lenses with enlarged pupils and sparkly irises. This is supposed to make the eyes look even larger and anime-esque. I've seen a few kids in HK wearing them, and its a bit unsettling up close; they look like more frightened than cute, and they seem unable to see peripherally. Apparently several eye doctors have come out against them, as your real pupil can't deal with the extra light etc. Alas beauty knows no pain, as they say.

Out of curiosity I googled Liz Lisa - the website I found is mostly in Japanese, but from what I could gather it seems the spring collection is bereft of actual 'mexican' designs. Heaps of 'happy' and 'girly' though...

Some Very Happy Beach Toys

This is a store window for a new boutique in Happy Valley. I looked up Anna Rita N, which turns out to be a high end Italian fashionique outfit. The ad campaign is from Italy, so I that lets the locals off the hook so to speak. I was literally stopped in my tracks by this one - not by the model and her admittedly distracting legs, but by the bizarre inclusion of blowup clownfish at her feet. They really seem to appreciate the upskirt view, and she seems happy to engage in a little exhibitionism. Not sure what or who this is supposed to entice; voyeuristic beach toy fetishists? Leg aficionados with a hidden desire to be Nemo?

The Dream World Beckons...

This is a poster for AnotherFCK, a hipster clothing store that specializes in unearthing ungodly '80s retro and then unleashing it upon unsuspecting 21st century fashionistas. This ensemble is the aimed at the 'hypergeek' set I suppose. Honestly who would wear this outfit - shiny red pants with a drawstring? And complimented by purple geek frames? And his turtle-like head and bad 5th grade haircut don't help.

Its also one of those unintentionally hilarious taglines that makes me wonder if the ad agency was tweaking their HK clients. 'The dream world' seems an apropos title: Enter the dream world if you dare, where this outfit turns heads and melts hearts; the dream world, where this guy doesn't get beat up at lunch on general principal; the dream world, where he is not a virgin but in fact gets laid constantly back at his bachelor pad, with old-school Devo playing in the background - Whip it Good for the act itself, followed by a post-coital cuddle rendition of Beautiful World...

Pursuit WIll Go By 18 Wheels!

Another t-shirt from North Point - Pursuit WIll Go By This! I like the Old Glory trailer, but the tricked out NASCAR truck cab cranks it up a gear; check out the ground effects. I wonder if the cab has a 'Calvin & Hobbes' sticker, with a maliciously grinning Calvin urinating on the hated #84. What or who is actually being pursued is not clear, but whoever it is better be ready for a goddamn ass-kickin'. Good to see some 'friends don't let friends drive chevy's" spirit alive and well so far from the heartland, err, homeland. I'd love to watch the pursuee's panicked eyes as he/she/it checks their rearview mirror, and sees #83 roaring up his tailpipe, bearing down with a special delivery of Stars and Stripes and a little thing we like to call freedom...

beLIEve

A t-shirt for sale in SOGO. I honestly can’t decide if this is a fashion/chinglish disaster or an example of brilliant tongue-in-cheekiness. The jarring disconnect between the unicorn/rainbow motif (which would be worn unironically by your average HongKonger) and the tagline beLIEve is truly remarkable, especially by irony-blind HK standards. If it is intentional, then my opinion of at least one HK fashion designer has skyrocketed. If it isn’t, then it’s still a priceless example of unintentional, completely discombobulating irony at its finest...

Yes, Those ARE Bungie Cords

A huge recently taken down construction site billboard in Causeway Bay. Yes that really is a shredded bungie cord shawl. I have to give credit to whoever thought this one up though. It must be damned difficult to come up with any new or interesting fashion props for photoshoots, as just about very ‘normal’ idea has been beaten to death, resurrected, then beaten to death yet again. I will say that it has interesting color and texture, but they’re bungie cords. This one has to fall into ‘that’s not only silly, but probably really uncomfortable’ category. That thing must weigh 20 pounds. One bonus though - if that overly fierce looking model in need of a weapon, or is ever stuck out in the boonies and her bumper comes off, she’ll have an ample supply of bungies readily accessible...

Bloody Luxury Rides a Pale Horse

A marketing prop at Juicy Couture in Harbour City TST. I am perpetually amazed at the time, effort, and expense some stores put into their window displays and instore paraphenalia, but these guys are a cut above, and this item is a cut above their usual lifesize suit of pink armor. There are few things that make me want to buy some edgy fashion for the wife quite like a fuschia-maned horse with ‘bloody luxury’ spraypainted on its side and haunches. I wonder if I can buy a horsehide purse with this slogan emblazoned on it as well -maybe even rendered in actual horse blood? Ironic and edgy, dare I say juicily so...

Doctor Bag's Stove Pipe Corsets?

A magazine cover for Asian fashionistas. Apologies for the subtle starbucks sticker - can’t blame them for labeling their mags so people don’t walk off with them, although I don’t think they had to worry about this one being stolen. One would expect with a tagline of ‘Doctor Bag’ that they would display an actual, well, doctor’s bag, or at least a purse styled on the classic country doctor case, big and chunky with clasps and a handle etc. But apparently Doctor Bag has moved on to corsets made from aluminum gutter sections - or is that stove piping? Either way this has to be the most uncomfortable looking accessory I’ve ever seen; well top three at least. I assume Doctor Bag is male, as no woman would ever put a serrated border under the breast line. Or would they? After all, ‘beauty knows no pain’...

Do You Wanna Dance with Me & My Mylar Tux?

An ad from Neway, a huge kareoke chain here. We just spent a surreal afternoon there for an impromptu going away party. The utterly bizarre and completely unrelated accompanying videos are worth the trip: the vintage 80’s hairstyle are amazing, and ‘New York New York’ featured footage of Amsterdam and the Southwest. Can’t imagine it’s hard to get footage of NYC, but I digress.

Anyway this billboard features one of the strangest tuxes I’ve ever seen - I’m guessing its paint-splattered Mylar, the same material in those silver florist balloons, but who knows? Maybe its especially space fabric designed to allow our heartthrob here to execute hyperkinetic ubermoves while crooning along with the latest cantopop schmaltz. The fabric cuts down the friction, but our hero runs a dangerous risk of collapsing from heat stroke, as the material mimics those shiny weight-loss suits on late night cable, and all that extra sweat pours down into his equally bizarre rainbow tinged reverse-winged shoes...

Grapes 'n Lightning - a Winning Recipe for Cool Candy & Good Smell

A t-shirt on display in Causeway Bay. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming the Grapes is supposed to be the focused upon phrase. And yes I suppose grapes can be used in the production of cool candies, and they do have a pleasant if subtle smell. Something tells me these qualites weren't foremost on the designer's mind here. No doubt they were distracted by the purple lightning bolt motif patterning. Oh wait! Grapes struck by lightning produces cool candy and a good smell (carbonized grape jelly?) . I totally get it now...

Bling Belt with Matching Bling Belt Fretboard Guitar

An ad from WTC in Causeway Bay. The developers have spared no expense in promoting their mall, from 3 story high billboards to exclusive fashion shoots. But they've really outdone themselves here. Presenting the ultimate matching accessory for a bling belt - an electric guitar with another bling encrusted belt fused onto the fretboard. A bit awkward to carry around all day, and obviously you can't play it, but as the saying goes, beauty knows no pain. Beauty also knows virtually nothing about actually playing guitar; one can imagine the shredded fingertips after a session with this monstrosity. Of course you'd have to string it first....

Smart Says No, Stupid Says YES

A window ad in Central. I didn't get a chance to cross the street and check it out, but I did check the internets later. Seems Diesel has gone with an full bore campaign based on the memorable tag line "Be Stupid"...



They even suggest several acts of rank stupidity, such as this gem:



One can only hope that their clientele don't really try stepping into oncoming cars with a traffic cone over their heads, but who knows? Perhaps getting struck by an SUV (or even better a Mini Cooper) in the name of fashion by is smartest/stupidest way to insure immortality, to truly be 'tragically hip'...

Alexander III The Great Shopped Here

A men's clothing store in TST. Apparently during his excursions to India Alexander went a bit further afield, no doubt lured by a Pakistani street hawker who approached him (in a direct but courteous manner) with tales of quality suits at outrageous prices. Later he found this humble shop, filled with stylish polo shirts and smart casual slacks. He ordered 14,000 button downs for himself and his troops, all at a truly reasonable discount...

-40˚Freeze Dried Perfection

A rather brutal but effective new treatment from the beauty experts over at Fancl. Seems all you need to preserve that eternally youthful complexion is a blast of -40˚ C freeze dry (-40˚Fahrenheit as well, surprisingly enough). Of course there's a minor downside - your face becomes as fragile as those liquid nitrogen-dipped flowers they're always shattering in HD commercials. So yes your skin looks flawless, but don't smile - not even a self-satisfied smirk. As the saying goes, 'beauty knows no pain', but beauty never had to clean up freeze-dried cheek fragments...



Fasten Support Juice and Daidai Diet

A diet/slimming product at a local beauty shop. There are tons of slimming salons and diet products here, but few have the pedigree of the exclusive Fasten Club. Exactly what is being 'fastened' isn't exactly clear, but this juice apparently supports the process. Combined with the Daidai (die-die?) diet, club members can expect the pounds to just... fasten away?

Diligent Fungus Miracle Slimming

A bus side ad for yet another diet/slimming product here in HK. There is huge business in slimming products and treatments here, involving various exotic creams and questionable procedures, but this has to take top spot (for brand name recognition if nothing else). Hard to beat 'diligent fungus', even if the thought of willingly applying a relentless mold on your skin is more than a bit unsettling...



I've yet to find a better street shot, but I did manage to find this web banner ad. Seems Jen here depends on it to loose 20 lbs. in one month. Wow - that is miraculous. One hopes that she means 20 pounds of fat, and not, say, internal organs or brain tissue. Hate to have a bunch of 'invasion of the bodysnatcher' types shuffling about HK, pointing at chubby ladies who obviously haven't succumbed and unleashing that unearthly scream...

A Little Too Original

From the Adidas Originals store in Causeway Bay, a billboard to 'celebrate originality' (of course one shouldn't be so original as to not purchase trendy adidas products, but I digress). Originality is all well and good, but making a cuddly hat out of an eviscerated teddy bear (note the stuffing strewn behind our hero) is moving beyond original into disturbing, perhaps even budding serial killer. Makes me wonder if that's just a wig in front of him, or something far more 'original'...

Dancing Wolves Vs. Septwolves

Two clothing outlets in Yangshou - the bitter rivals Dancing Wolves and Septwolves. Not sure if september wolves is a reference to some uprising or revolution, or an obscure Chinese folktale. Nasty looking wolf though (doesn't look good on a polo shirt) in marked contrast to the suave film noir icon for 'dancing'. I'm guessing dancing wolves is more for sweetly dangerous ladykillers, ready to sweep a dame off her feet with some hard-nosed, soft-hearted detective work, while septwolves goes for the aggressive 'hunting in packs' type, usually seen at sports bars or a Hooters happy hour, howling for more chicken wings and twofer pitchers, making endless boorish passes at the long suffering waitresses. You don't want to be on the streets when a pack of septwolves stumbles upon some dancing wolves; the dancers swinging in to deliver some ironic oneliners and solid uppercuts, the septwolves gangtackling, spewing sports analogies and Schwarzenegger quotes...



Adivon Originals

A new store in Yangshuo, home of those iconic jungle-covered, mist shrouded outcroppings you always see in Chinese paintings (and yes they really do look that way). Maybe it just me, but this up-and-coming Chinese brand bears more than a passing resemblance to adidas. Hmmm... its almost like they took a chunk of the logo and turned it 90 degrees, and used an identical font. Or perhaps a young entrepeneur named Adi Vonsler (or Vonsler Adi to use the asian convention) decided to follow his passion, just like a young german named Adi Dassler. Coincedence? Harmonic convergence? Or blatant copyright violation? You decide...

Define Beauty? OK. This Is Not It.

From a MTR subway ad. Our friends at Canon ask us to ‘define beauty’, apparently with the help of this bizarre counterexample. Yes thats a huge black disco ball ‘eye’ on her forehead, and yes her neck is surrounded by a ring of blond wig hair. At least I hope thats wig hair. And it matches her fake blond wig - its the little things. Reminds me of the famous Supreme Court justice quote regarding pornography - ‘I know it when I see it.” The converse is obviously true…

Denimholic

A Japanese fashion magazine(?) from HK airport. Apparently one can have too much exposure to high end jeans and skirts. Seems this poor soul is no exception, the unlikely but telling face of addiction. A tantalizing fabric indeed: so egalitarian yet elite, so casual yet couture, so cruel…

You see more and more of these forlorn beauties on the streets of Tokyo, their vulnerable anime eyes staring off into space, chewing their once immaculate manicures to the nub, in search of just one more hit of pricey denim…