The Thai Lorde

24 07 2017





What’s cooking?

18 07 2017

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Philippines TV celebrity chef JP Anglo.

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Poster boy

15 07 2017

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Sexy muay thai champ, and one of the few Thai celebrities to buck the country’s bleached skin trend, Buakaw Banchamek, goes high fashion for Volume magazine. What a knockout.

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Oz: fresh fashion faces from downunder

21 06 2017

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Above, pink-haired Louis Vuitton “it girl” Fernanda Ly, and below, fellow Sydney University student – and instagram-famous photographer, stylist and now fashion world  heavy-hitter – Margaret Zhang.

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Photography straight from the Aussie ‘burbs by Elvis di Fazio, Frank Ocean’s visual collaborator:

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And below, another Elvis di Fazio collaborator, former Sydney club dancer and now top New York model, Daniel Garofali.

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When I grow up, I want to be..

30 05 2017

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Fan Bing Bing at Cannes

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Mommy’s little helpers

17 05 2017

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Bangkok model Cindy Bishop features in an acerbic, and colour-saturated, domestic-themed spread for Thai Harpers Bazaar – just in time for (Western) Mother’s Day!

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Back for the bops

17 05 2017

Thai singer Palmy is set to return with a new single being teased online…from the snippet in the clip above it doesn’t seem quite as catchy as her last album, but lets wait and see.





Tokyo 70s 80s

2 05 2017

 

Listening to records with friends over the weekend, the subject of Kenji Sawada came up. The fresh-faced and well-scrubbed teen idol morphed in the mid–70s into something much more transgressive, a louche Roxy Music-esque man-vamp in the mould of David Bowie, becoming an enduring Japanese music and fashion icon.

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He also starred in two notable movies, the Man Who Stole the Sun, a psychedelic romp about a rogue chemistry teacher who builds his own atomic bomb, and an iconic turn in the sumptuous Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters.

Sawada also appeared in the advertising campaign for PARCO department store, often paired with J-supermodel of the moment and fellow face of the early eighties, Sayoko Yamiguchi. What a time!

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Yamiguchi also flirted with Western rockers like Steely Dan – on the cover of one of their albums, above – and the rolling Stones.

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Modern loneliness

25 04 2017

 

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I saw two films at the International Film Festival which, by coincidence, both explored the theme of loneliness. Oliver Assayas’s “Personal Shopper” stars my new fave Kristen Stewart, as a searcher, a psychic, looking for something more than the unwanted life she has found herself in at the periphery of the fame machine, as a Paris celebrity’s personal shopper. Its a strange, meandering little film, full of moments of stillness but also little revelations, not the least of which is Stewart’s great central performance or her effortless normcore lesbo-chic styling. I saw it on a rainy day, the last day of my holidays, at Kowloon’s eighties-tastic Cultural Centre with the director himself in attendance.

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A few days later, the Monday night of my return to work to be precise – I journeyed out to Kowloon Tong, to see “Corpo Electrico” – the Body Electric. It is the first film from Marcelo Caetano, who previously worked on Neon Bull, and that film’s tone is evident again here: an almost plotless (and some might find, pointless) slice-of-life drama, but filled with beautifully observed scenes of every day life, almost like an anthropological documentary, and human warmth. We watch the handsome main character Elias as he daydreams at work, drinks with friends, smokes and does his laundry. Elias, played beautifully by Kelner Macêdo, works as a pattern maker in a Sao Paulo garment factory, passing his time with semi-flings with friends and ex-boyfriends.  At the time, I was charmed but slightly bored by his life, but now the day after I find the film lingering in my thoughts for its loving and very real portrayal of gay life in the early twenties : its intense and flirty friendships,  camaraderie and cliquishness, non-career job boredom and hedonistic weekends, all floating under an unformed and seemingly ominous future.





Cavemen and Kristen Stewart

27 03 2017

My twin obsessions this week, oddly, were Kristen Stewart in the strangely luminous “Clouds of Sils-Maria” and prehistoric man, courtesy of the surprise hit book “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.”

My curiosity for Olivier Assayas’s “Clouds of…” was piqued by the rave reviews for his upcoming “Personal Shopper” (for which I had snagged tickets at the Hong Kong International Film Festival) and which also starred his (rather unlikely) new muse, Kristen Stewart.

The formerly much-derided Twilight star has been amassing accolades. I have seen her variously described as “the greatest actress of her generation” and “a star for our times.” I didn’t get it. What was the buzz about? But halfway through this movie, which I had originally found slight and rather dull before it totally sucked me in, I twigged. Stewart is a naturalistic actress par excellence. She doesn’t look like she is acting. So at first I took her for granted – where were the virtuoso emoting I associated with “great acting”? Where was the transformation?  She looked like she always does, shaggy dark hair, stumbling over her words, willowy frame in clothed in grungy lesbian-chic. But then I realised that despite that, this character isn’t HER. She is a multimillionaire, not Julian Binoche’s ambitious assistant in the Alps, and the fact that I had forgotten that shows what a great performance it was.

“Sapiens” was also something of a revelation. The book, by Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari, traces humanity from its origins to the present day. Powerfully written, Yuval kicks off with the sensational reminder that although today there is only one human species, used to thinking of itself as the pinnacle of all evolution, we know that once we shared the world with at least six other human “species” – the homo erectus and Cave of the Red Deer people in China, the dwarf-like homo floresiensis of Nusa Tenggara, the Denisovans in Sibeia. the neaderthals in Europe…. The book claims that humanity’s “original sin” was perhaps the genocide of our brothers and sisters, leaving us alone as the sole surviving humans on the planet.

 





♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

13 03 2017





Age of Aquarius

28 02 2017

Kleber Mendonça Filho’s “Neighbouring Sounds” was a strange, understated tale of deeply submerged injustice played out on the sunny streets of an upper-middle class beach-side suburb of Recife.

The same theme and setting is explored again in “Aquarius.” This time though the director’s trademark light touch, so powerful in his last film, underwhelms. It is all so subtly and slowly unwound that I found myself wondering where the story was in endless scenes of Sonia Braga letting her hair down and listening to 1970s Brazilian records in her lovely oceanside apartment. There are also rambling flashbacks and passing mentions of unexplored plot points, metaphors for cancer and gay sons, flutteringly light social commentary and surprising sex scenes. But what there is not is any sense of tension or excitement, or – in the end – meaning.

It did have one powerful and unexpected side effect though. The boyfriend was inspired to go out and buy a vinyl record player!





New sensation

12 02 2017

He has got the voice of an angel, the looks of a K-pop idol and an octave range to bother Mariah Carey: Kazakh singer Dimash Kudaibergenov is the breakout star of this season of China’s hugely popular singing contest “I Am A Singer.” The series has cannily adjusted the usual X Factor format to pit professional, established singers from across the Chinese speaking world against each other, bringing with them their various fan-bases and offering the singers the chance to hit the RMB jackpot on the Mainland. So there are Taiwanese rockers, HK balladeers and the hitherto unknown-outside-of-Central-Asia Dimash who wowed the world’s biggest country with his inaugural performance of a song by Russian singer Vitas (above) and instantly established himself as the one to beat. I’ll be cheering for him.





21st century boy

12 02 2017

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Meet the new face of Seoul, 16-year-old Nigerian-Korean model Han Hyun Min, who broke out at this year’s Seoul Fashion Week. Sign o’ the times.

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I’ll be the next installment… ;)

26 01 2017





Johnny Hooker

25 01 2017

Recife’s Johnny Hooker has taken Brazil by storm with his re-imagining of the gender-bending 70s and early 80s rock years. In one interview he called David Bowie the Father, Madonna the Mother and Caetano Veloso the Holy Spirit, his personal trinity, although the glam trappings of Ney Matogrosso and Cazuza are also easy to detect.





Instafamous

14 01 2017

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I recently joined instagram, mostly to brighten up my life with a feed of #instagay celebrities, avant-garde fashion icons and other assorted interesting people while I sit on the bus.

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Like the flamboyantly funny Thai TV hostess Madam Mod.

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New York go-go boy Matthew Camp, currently hawking his own fragrance, called 8.5.

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Belo Horizonte muscle-hipster Joapane.

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The swoonsome immense_ray (言武) in Shanghai.

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Dandrogyny, who performs at Melbourne’s HonchoDisko night (how did I miss that?)

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And Japanese go-go king Kenta, now repping his boyfriend’s Korean clubwear brand, VEAKSeoul.





Brendan Maclean

30 12 2016

I adore Oz indie-pop star Brendan Maclean, and I’m looking forward to his forthcoming television debut in an ABC web comedy series called “F*cking Adelaide” about three siblings who return to the much-maligned South Australian capital after their parents’ death. It could be great.





Kylie: showgirl

25 12 2016

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Resplendent in the brass-and-plush-velvet foyer of the Victorian Arts Centre is this free exhibition of stage costumes by hometown showgirl Kylie Minogue. These range from her Hajime Sorayama robo-muse (circa “Can’t get You Out of My Head”) to Aussie-flag emblazoned and heavily shoulder-pad-endowed 1980s jackets.





Fresh blood down under

1 12 2016

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Rapper Tkay Maidza from, of all places, Adelaide; Simon Dunn the former rugby player and now out gay role model;  tumblr’s hot and heavy SCORTKOR from Sydney, and Aboriginal swimwear model Casey Conway.





Jane Zhang

30 10 2016