Keep Out

December 12, 2017

Yellow H&M Suede Biker Jacket and Speckle Knit Sweater /
Yellow H&M Suede Biker Jacket and Speckle Knit Sweater / FOREVERVANNY.comYellow H&M Suede Biker Jacket and Speckle Knit Sweater / FOREVERVANNY.comYellow H&M Suede Biker Jacket and Speckle Knit Sweater / FOREVERVANNY.comYellow H&M Suede Biker Jacket and Speckle Knit Sweater /

I like to talk a lot - to myself mostly, but more than talking, I really like to observe. I like to watch the way people move their hands when they talk to me or with others. How many times they touch their hair between each time they look up or down. I sometimes count how many times someone blinks when they talk to me if I doze off, just enough. I think the act of observing tenderly is intimate as long as you keep a certain distance too...

If I could have a small unfurnished apartment with a linen duvet cover over a single mattress on the floor and maybe 4 or 5 pillows, I think that’d be ideal. I’d say to forget about the internet router but in a perfect world, I’d be able to use wifi to endlessly travel through cyberspace without being discoverable and reachable by anyone else. I’ve always been an observer, and always will.

I like to be alone and despite putting all these things out there - I'm not really looking for company. I've been thinking a lot about this space and what's this blog is for. Everyone asks me all somewhat the same questions or wonders about what I want out of my blog or social media account but honestly - not much. I've never been tempted for extra attention (obviously this doesn't apply to my bf or friends) and fame. As someone who gets mentally drained from going to one social gathering every month or so - I can only imagine how hard it is to feel obligated to be a sweetheart 24/7.

For the majority of our egotistic and exhibitionist generation - being different is a way to relate - but for me, it's a form of disassociation. As someone who still prefers long talks on the phone over any other sort of written ways of communication - writing and photos are a way for me to express myself without having ever really need to expect responses from. I miss the first few days when I decided to create a blog just to have a virtual journal for myself.

I guess at one point or another - I was actually looking for some sort of feedback and got disappointed in the lack of relevant responses. It made me unmotivated to share as often and questioned this whole space and myself as well. But thank god for the lack of noise (in forms of other's opinions or thoughts) I've come to realize how silly I was being and now I'm fine with people just keeping out of my space again.

Suede Biker Jacket: H&M (similar)
Top: United Arrows (similar and here)
Pants: GRLFRND Denim
Shoes: Acne Studios
Bag: Proenza Schouler PS11

Photos by Shun S.


In The Process of Processing

December 1, 2017

ATP Nila Two-Tone Boots and JW Anderson Pierce Bag in Tokyo / FOREVERVANNY.COM
ATP Nila Two-Tone Boots and JW Anderson Pierce Bag in Tokyo / FOREVERVANNY.COM

I've always been attracted to construction sites and messy alleyways like outfits that appear a little undone. I figure maybe one of the reasons why I relate so much is because that's how I've always viewed myself and everything that I am and/or known for.

I landed in Tokyo with a single suitcase with an intended stay of 1 month. Of course, you're probably thinking that that makes a lot of sense for all that 'solid wardrobe' crap I've been preaching. And yes, if I really wanted to - that suitcase alone was well curated for even a two months stay. But of course, shopping was unavoidable especially when you're in an interesting country, as Japan.

There were over 5+ different outfits that I had in mind to wear with these ATP two-tone boots that I've been ogling over - and somehow none felt right until I decided to try these boots on with a hoodie I picked up from Uniqlo to wear for 7/11 or Family Mart runs in Shimbashi (typical).
ATP Nila Two-Tone Boots and JW Anderson Pierce Bag in Tokyo / FOREVERVANNY.COM
ATP Nila Two-Tone Boots and JW Anderson Pierce Bag in Tokyo / FOREVERVANNY.COMATP Nila Two-Tone Boots and JW Anderson Pierce Bag in Tokyo / FOREVERVANNY.COMATP Nila Two-Tone Boots and JW Anderson Pierce Bag in Tokyo / FOREVERVANNY.COM

It's a little fucked up, to be honest, that pretty much every single time I start to feel like I've settled on something, my mind wanders and it makes me all unsure again. Already hard enough that my brain is constantly overflowed with a million thoughts all somehow unrelated and disconnected from one another yet simultaneously demands my attention all at once. I feel like these days, my thought processes are all unfinished even if it seems like I'm done processing them.

Before I confuse you even more with my lack of better words choices for all the jumbled thoughts that are running on as I'm writing this right now - I'll spare you a few seconds to catch up on some slightly more normal things I've been meaning to type out since I barely have the time to hold a pen anymore.

These days, this space feels more like a journal than an actual blog. I feel like I'm writing so that I can have something to look back in a few months to keep track of it all since time has been passing by at a ridiculously fast pace. The more I start to figure out what I want to do more off, the more I lose sight of the things that I've been doing. Dare I say it, but I think I'm finally reaching the point where I'm over fashion...

But let's hold that thought.

Hoodie: Uniqlo
Pants: GRLFRND Helena Denim (alternative)
Shoes: ATP Nila Boots
Bag: J.W Anderson Mini Pierce Bag (40% off)

Photos by Shun S.


By The Sea

November 13, 2017

Green Overcoat and Off The Shoulder Floral Top Robert Rodriquez Japan /
Green Overcoat and Off The Shoulder Floral Top Robert Rodriquez Japan / FOREVERVANNY.comGreen Overcoat and Off The Shoulder Floral Top Robert Rodriquez Japan / FOREVERVANNY.comGreen Overcoat and Off The Shoulder Floral Top Robert Rodriquez Japan /

As someone who can’t swim and is actually terrified at the thoughts of submerging myself underwater, I’m a sheer sucker for all types of waterfronts dwellings.

Something about Venice has always been captivating to me and I’ve always thought places like Positano were as close to dreamy as possible. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a fishing village south of Vietnam and something about being able to fall asleep to the ocean’s waves grew endearing even when the floods came often.

As Japan becomes a country that I frequent more and more in the past couple of years, I’ve started to appreciate this coastal city as well. As much as I can ooh and ahh at the pretty Japanese gardens and bamboo grove, I’ve been looking for a waterfront oasis like this place for a while.

I came across an article on Ine no Funaya during last year’s trip to Kyoto (which is technically this year since it was between December/January) and wanted to see it for myself since.

It’s rare to find a place that isn’t filled with tourists and flocks of people with self-sticks that often hits the back of your head or makes a cameo in all of your photos. But hidden gem and locally authentic aside - I was just really happy to be by the sea again for once and breathing in the fresh air of Kyoto both literally and figuratively.
Coat: Mute by JL
Top: Robert Rodriguez
Pants: FRAME
Bag: JW Anderson
Shoes: Common Projects

Photos by Shun S.



November 8, 2017

Navy Crewneck Sweater and Linen Skirt /
Navy Crewneck Sweater and Linen Skirt / FOREVERVANNY.comNavy Crewneck Sweater and Linen Skirt /

Just like that, November is here again. It was just earlier at the beginning this year that I was in Kyoto - and now I’m back.

It was freezing cold in January but surprisingly warm this time around - which allowed me to wear something lighter and made packing so much easier. Convenience and comfort aside, the underlining truth is that - global warming is real and yet conversations about it still feel like folklore rather than discourse...

But, second time here in Kyoto, and I still haven’t gotten over its charm that’s special from the pace of Tokyo. I can now understand a little better why it’s known as the "heart" of Japan. Just wishing it was more timely to see some foliage that should have taken place already.

Skirt: Black Crane (similar here)
Shoes: Common Projects
Bag: Proenza Schouler PS11 Mini
Accessories: Fendi Bag Bug

Photos by Shun S.


Thing To Wear

June 19, 2017

Orange Floral Kimono and Valentino Rockstud Flats - Thing To Wear /
Orange Floral Kimono Gold Jewelry - Thing To Wear / FOREVERVANNY.comTokyo Gold Architecture and Orange Floral Kimono - Thing To Wear / FOREVERVANNY.comWrapped Shirt Layered with Japanese Vintage Kimono - Thing To Wear / FOREVERVANNY.comVintage Japanese Kimono Orange Floral - Thing To Wear / FOREVERVANNY.comOrange Floral Kimono Tokyo Japan - Thing To Wear / FOREVERVANNY.comOrange Floral Kimono and Rockstuds - Thing To Wear /

Fourth trip to Japan going on fifth soon, and I’ve yet gotten the chance to put on a real kimono for myself. Maybe I’m just not ready for my Japanese boyfriend to see me in one yet - but who knows. I’m the kinda person that likes to wait for significant timing to do certain things. Ironic, given the fact that I’m also someone who would book a trip to Turkey just because it was convenient.

After each time I’ve left Japan and came back, I picked up a few more words. But that’s really about it. Without evening realizing, I’ve found myself a little more assimilated to the way Japanese women conservatively dress on this particular trip.

When I was in Japan last summer, it was the souvenir bomber jackets that was trending - making hunting a real vintage one a thrill. I never got to find the particular one that I wanted, and the ones that came close to what I was searching for costs about the same as a designer piece. Worth it? Probably yes — but not enough for the hype for my personal use.

One of the great things about working in fashion is that you’re always aware of what’s to come rather than what’s currently trending. According to ELLE, robes are going to be everywhere soon - and to be honest, if Zara is displaying 5 of something on their racks, you should know by now that that’s what's going to be hot soon since it's ripped right off runways from 3 months ago.

I’m actually not a big thrift shopper, mostly because of how I treat my personal clothing pieces. I never get rid of things because each piece is attached to some sentimental memory. So for me, buying someone’s old clothes is kind of an invasion of privacy (does that make sense?).

On a whim last May in Tokyo, I stopped into a thrift store along the rows of many others in Omotesando and came across racks on racks of reworked kimonos. The prices weren't outrageous at all for once, and this orange blossom of a patterned one stuck out to me right away. Did you know that "kimono" literally translate to "thing to wear?" For such a significant cultural clothing item, I find that it's even more alluring that it's so humbly named.

I actually didn’t plan for this outfit to turn out the way it did - but I thought it worked perfectly. I was already wearing a very Japanese wrapped shirt, paired with my typical laid-back boyfriend jeans, and made a little fancier for a possible date night dinner with some obnoxious studded flats. Somehow, the kimono eased itself on me and the boyfriend and I ended up spending 15 minutes walking around Omotesando after to relocated this golden and wood architecture of a gem to shoot this look.

Kimono:  Vintage (similar here)
Top:  /Style (similar here)
Pants:  GRLFRND Denim
Shoes:  Valentino Rockstuds
Bag:  Proenza Schouler PS11
Accessories:  Fendi Bag Bug

Photos by Shun S.


Sumimasen (すみません)

April 12, 2017

Camel Coat United Arrow - Sumimasen | Camel Coat United Arrow Common Projects - Sumimasen | FOREVERVANNY.comCamel Coat United Arrow Proenza Schouler PS11 Wrap Shirt - Sumimasen | FOREVERVANNY.comCamel Coat United Arrow - Sumimasen | FOREVERVANNY.comCamel Coat United Arrow Common Projects - Sumimasen |
If there’s one word in Japanese that you should learn and could learn, then repeat after me - su-mee-mah-sen. Not only are the Japanese efficient in each and every way in their daily lives, even their common words are extremely useful. Sumimasen is a word that means, excuse me, sorry and thank you, all in one. And honestly, that’s literally all you’ll need to know if you’re as slow about picking up a new language as I am. One of the things that I’ve grown to appreciate Japan about is how thoughtful they are when it comes to the little details. In a lot of cases, details are what makes something special and unique yet too many details can be overwhelming and risk functionality at the same time. The Japanese do details so well, it’s as if adding purpose to details is just their cultural normcore. If you ever get a chance to visit Japan, pay attention to your hotel’s bathroom mirror, how it only fogs up on the edges leaving a clear portion for you to still be able to see. And don’t be too amazed when you realized that there is Braille lettering on cans to ensure that people know that they’re drinking something hot or alcoholic. The exaggeration of details is no longer something rare, as by now, you’ve all seen and probably own a giant bell sleeve shirt that literally disables you to perform any basic human functions (especially eating). The outfit in this post features two pieces that I picked up in Japan that captures the essence of details with purpose. The coat is double-faced in beige and cream with hidden side pockets that are not common in Western coats (why? I have no idea but I’ll look into it). The shirt takes form of a kimono wrap with two ties instead of one making it secure enough to be worn from the back or front as opposed to this one. It’s easy to ooh and ahh at something that’s copiously filled with details, it’s important to keep in mind that not all details are necessary. Hence, minimalism isn’t about less, and it’s why everything in Japan is so god damn aesthetic.
Coat: United Arrows from Japan (also worn here - my best similar options here & here) Top: /STYLING from Japan (very similar one here) Pants: Topshop Shoes: Common Projects Bag: Proenza Schouler PS11 Mini Accessories: Fendi Bag Bug Photos by Shun S.

Kyoto, Japan

January 30, 2017

I’m one of those lucky people that get to say I’ve been to Japan several times already in my lifetime, but visiting Kyoto finally was definitely a game changer to my previous thoughts on Japan. It’s one of those places that just feels unreal but in a really practical sense and not dramatic at all.

Kyoto was brutally cold if I’m being quite honest, but I can still recall how warm these soy-sauced rice cakes that a grandma was selling on the streets tasted that first morning I was there.

Two days of exploring some of the most noted landmarks of Kyoto resulted in about fifty-thousand steps in total according to the Health app on my iPhone but it all seemed so surreal that I barely felt tired. Although I did manage to fall on my face during my hike down through the torii gates trying to run like my ninja friend Naruto. And even that didn't crush my spirit in exploring the next day.

For someone who’s mind is constantly overflowing with thoughts, Kyoto was the only place that was able to tame my brain. For two days, I felt completely at peace. I was reflecting a lot without overthinking; it was like I was detoxing myself internally. I mean, I still can’t describe it, but I now understand a little bit of what people mean when something leaves them in awe-- because that’s how it felt when I stumbled upon an almost empty Bamboo Grove at Arashiyama on New Year's day.

Aside from the Fushimi Inari, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and other temples/shrines along the way I was able to make a quick stop in Uji and Gion as well.

I only spent a few hours in Uji but it was enough time to grab some matcha ramen and gyoza. It sounds kind of gimmicky at first, but it made sense right away after I had a green tea tasting with dessert. Having to try 4 different green teas that differ from how they are grown, harvested, dried, and processed, I realized that they all have a seaweed aftertaste which actually goes well with a lot of Japanese food.

Not sure if it was due to the festivities taking place in lieu of New Year’s Day but Gion gave me so much energy despite it being located in a very historic and reserved area. I couldn’t help but try to chase down every single person wearing a yukata. I’m not one to be intrigued by colorful clothing, but something about how these colors and prints all went together and stood out was really inspiring for me to see from a fashion perspective. It’s also one of the things that I definitely want to wear the next time I visit Kyoto again.

With all that being said, if you’re looking to visit Japan, I highly recommending making some time for Kyoto. You don’t really need to stay too long to experience everything, but I can guarantee that it will definitely be the highlight of your trip.

You can break down your trip by doing a day to Fushimi Inari in the morning to avoid large crowds. On the way back, you can stop at Uji to visit the famous green tea town and/or make time for Nara. I did Arashiyama and Gion in a single day and it was a great combination of scenery. From a place that is really peaceful, to one more lively but still very traditional. I had a really good dinner at a random place on the alley of restaurants along the Kamo river called Pontocho. When it comes to food, most places in Japan are already above average as they care a lot about the quality of their ingredients and service, so it really all depends on what you want to eat and personal preferences.

A couple of days was probably long enough to cover common grounds of Kyoto, but it definitely wasn't enough for me. I am really looking forward to being able to visit Kyoto one more time.