Highstreet Vs. High End: Exhibit 5 - Croc Leather Tote

I did my previous blog on the croc leather. The exotic skin is indeed fantastic yet intriguing due to its irregular pattern reptilian scales. While the authentic alligator skin may cost at least £10,000 at designer's store, while the mock croc may be cheaper due to its PU or pressed-leather imitation.

Burberry recently added their new croc leather collection either as full leather version or as trim on the backbone of the bag. The cost? The brown leather alligator tote cost a mere £11,000 while the tote with alligator lookalike trim cost almost £1000. My similar find at Zara in brown leather mock croc tote cost less than £60, while the PU mock-alligator black tote is rather cheaper at less than 40 quid.

Whatever budget you may have, the choice is yours.

P/S: Would never killed any endangered species just for the sake of fashion.

Burberry Crocodile leather (L), Zara leather mock croc (R)

Burberry alligator trim tote (L), Topman PU mock croc (R)

WINTER SALE: Part 2 - My Lowdown on Bally Leron Tote

Winter Sale really brought me to travel at different part of London, just for the sake of bargain hunting. One of them is to the much overrated New Bond Street - where all the designer labels line up at both sides of the road. You can find names like Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, YSL, Armani, Lanvin and many many more. It's nice to hop in, hop off just to try their stuff without buying them.

One of the store that I visited yesterday is Bally. They are quite famous with the leather footwear and bags. Ever since I saw the much anticipated Fall/Winter 2008 collection, I've been dreaming of getting the Leron tote bag in the dark brown color. So, went there hoping to get my hands on it. And I did. But the excitement really turn sour coz the bag is not what I expected for.

The tote bag is quite functional with the 2 front zipped pocket and roomy internals. Yes, it does has their infamous buttery soft leather feel. But the color and leather type is totally off! Sure, the color looks smashing in their website, but it it's not that delicious, dark chocolate color; rather lighter than expected. Plus it's really scratch prone. Very. One scrape, then it's scarred to death! And the handle is not that long, when holding it tends to incline toward the pocket side. And the price? More than £500. Not even worth it.

The other one in grey is not full leather - nylon, with leather trim and canvas strap, instead. The nylon body feels very slippery and the leather also scratch prone. The one that I get my hands on is not the tote bag, but sling type. Cheaper (less than £200) but not that nice.

So, my verdict? Never truly believe what you saw in the website. Go and get your hands on them before you pursue to buy. As they say, try before you buy...

P/S: Still thinking of getting their brown brogue boots on sale, instead. ;)

WINTER SALE: Part 1 - My Shoe Galore

Today is probably the most tiring day of my entire life. Never ever I got myself in bed most of the time. Not because the temperature out there drops to freezing point, but because my body is extremely aching, this biceps is curled to its max and my feet is almost twisted and sore. All due to the much anticipated winter sale bringing me down to carrying loads and loads of shopping bags from the stores. This is perhaps the best winter sale ever, especially for shoe and bag lovers. Maybe because the autumn/winter collection is the finest range in the entire year with the emphasis on the leatherwear at various cuts and leather treatment like patent, high shine and brushed leather.
My verdict? Harrods and Selfridges did the best discounts for the designer shoes. Be it Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Dior or Dolce, all being slashed up to 75%. Zara, Topman, Office and Russel & Bromley also did some great offers up to 50% off. Amazing designs, amazing price. But have to go as early as possible, otherwise I won’t be able to get my right size in stock!

My prized possessions for winter sale? The Gucci brogue zip-up and Dior Chelsea boots from Harrods at 75% off. Great fit, great label and great price, what not to buy? Also the lace-up Oxford shoe of different kinds from Zara. The hi-shine brushed leather looks amazing, the matt brushed leather looks very Louis Vuitton Taiga range and the patent leather with a watery shine features. Also the brogue leather lace-up from Nanny State at Topman - two different colors with the same design. Brogue is gonna be huge next season!

So aching shoulders, sore arm and twisted feet… all is nothing with the massive offers that I carried in. With my winter sale shoe galore, I am a psycho shopper!



It's 26th of December! Meaning... It's Boxing Day! SALE!!

Oh my God, loads and loads of people at Oxford Street today! Not contempt with the economic downturn, almost 1 million people crammed London West End to begin their anticipated Winter Sale, especially the one from Selfridges. Other than Harrods, Selfridges Sale is the one to look for finding great bargains. Anything from Gucci and Prada footwears, Dolce and Gabbana bags, Dunhill briefcase, Mulberry luggage and Louis Vuittons.. it's really a haven for the bargain hunters. It is estimated almost more than 10,000 people are in Selfridges this morning alone searching and snapping the offers. Most prices are slashed 50% like shoes and bags. No wonder there's massive queue at the Gucci, Prada and Chanel booths.

Not just that, Debenhams and House of Fraser also started their winter sale. Prices are slashed down up to 70% from shirts, tees, undies and even perfumes. Crowds are nightmare. To enter the mall is one problem, to pay is another. Expect the queue being like a snake being beaten up!

Other stores that also begin their sale are Zara, Topman, Burton, River Island and many more.

Sale, Sale, Sale!! Shop when their drop!

P/S: Waiting for Harrods Sale to start tomorrow. As their ad says - There's only one Harrods, There's only one sale....



Summer is still almost half a year away, yet the spirit of summer seems to linger among us. Probably due to the unsettling British weather especially in London that make us wonder everyday whether it's gonna be chilling cold or rain or just mild with sunshine. Lots of us also seems to escape to the sunny paradiso to soak up for the tan with less items of clothing.

Talking about summer, one thing for sure is to change what we put our feet on. Away with high leather boots (or u may get preheated to oven temperature), in with the canvas plimsols, sandals and loafers. The would-be big next season must have been the boat shoe (or sometimes called deck shoe). Probably taken it's name by people who aboard the ship or cruise, the loafers have a trademark 'stiched' upper and shoe lace on the side.
ASOS offers boat shoes in various colors such as black, white and also the bubblegum blue, yellow and pink with white soles and smooth leather uppers. At River Island the fabric used is denim while French Connection and Sperry goes for slightly high-grain leather.

If you wanna unleash the Gilligan in you, boat shoes might be a good choice.

Boat shoes @ ASOS
French Connection (L), River Island (M), Sperry (R)

Burberry Prorsum SS09 Pre-Collection

Burberry Prorsum Spring/Summer 2009 Pre-Collection is now available online. Offering a range of light double breasted macs in crisp cotton, jacquard and high sheen finished; and mid and knee length. While the suit is of wool given a slim fitting for a mod look. Colors seem to be on the muted side with shades of grey and stone, and a dash of yellow ochre and deep purple. Price is over on the high end side, starting from around £1000.

Expect some highstreet stores like Zara, Topman or River Island to come up with exact copy next February or March for SS09 collection in nationwide UK. With the average consumer affordable price, they're surely be snapped fast like a hot cake.


CK IN2 ME: I've Totally CKonverted!

Try browsing any mags featuring any male celebs. Or ask any guys on the street. Or visit the undie department at the mall during sale. Chances are people will name the 'Calvins' to be the best designer underwear brand. Calvin Klein underwear. Period.

Why people has to be embarassed talking about underwear? Underwear is probably the single most functional garment you wear, and one of the most important factors in whether you feel comfortable in your clothes. Unless you love going commando, it’s the closest thing to your skin. You probably ask 'nobody gonna look to my undies anyway', but when you’re wearing attractive underwear, you walk differently and even feel sexier!!!

Talking about the Calvins, the designer himself said said ‘we made underwear sexy and something fun for everyone to enjoy’. After 25 years in the market, CK undies have gone stronger than ever, still leading the market by offering cutting edge designs, innovative fabrics and exceptional fit. With various colors and cuts such as brief, boxer, hipster, trunk and jock; and branding like 365, Pro Stretch, XT and Steel - CK is definitely the pair of under crackers every man should slip into.

It's true when people said - you must at least own a pair of CK pants. And I do. As cliche as it may sound, it does what it says on the tin. Comfy. Exceptional comfy actually. Perfect fit and support. The fabric is fantastic coz it let your skin breathe (guys u know what that means, right?). It won't fade out even after several washes. The waistband really hold on to your body nicely without overstressing your waist (and leave mark!).

Get your pair of CK (not the fake one at the street market!). And with the prices comparable to the cheap highstreet brand (during sale, or at BVO), CK would definitely be the one to snug your thang into. Me... I'm totally ckonverted!

TRENDSPOTTING: Square End Knitted Tie

The mod era strikes again. Continuing with the knitwear on menswear collection, the favourite staple in men's wardrobe - necktie - is given a mod look. Think 60s, the jazzy swing Andy Warhol era. The end is cut giving a square shaped, instead of conventional V. The fabric is knitted and can be either silk (a no no for Muslim men) or synthetic.

Kenneth Cole came up with horizontal stripes pattern in silk, so as St George @ Debenhams with bublegum pop stripe and and dotted pattern. At Topman, the silk ties come in black or burgundy, which is similarly seen at ASOS but in polyester, instead.

My choice? The one at Uniqlo. Come in various colors such as black, blue, green, and grey; plain, stripes and dotted pattern. The knit is wonderful, the fabric is from what I can wear (polyester) and better yet.. the price is damn cheap.
Kenneth Cole @ House of Fraser

St George @ Debenhams

TOPMAN black and burgundy tie

ASOS Black and Yellow polyester tie

Some of my Uniqlo Ties


Object to Lust For: 2009 McClaren SLR Stirling Moss

What happens when you cross between a Mercedes and Batman? It's the 2009 McClaren SLR Stirling Moss, that is. The outstandingly sleek delicious car that resembles the infamous Batmobile will make it debut in the Detroit Motor Show next January 2009. Ought to be the next big thing in automobile industry, the car which is shaped like an arrow boasts the most sophisticated technology and a breathtaking design which reinterprets the SLR legend.
Some of the features:
  • Sports an exciting, pronounced arrow-shaped form and is characterised by an elongated bonnet and a compact, muscular rear.
  • No roof nor a windscreen to separate the driver and passenger from the outside world.
  • The entire bodywork made of fine lightweight carbon fibre, represents a stand-alone design concept.
  • 2 seaters, with smaller swing doors.
  • A 478 kW / 650 hp, 5.5 ltr V8 supercharged engine.
  • Accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds.
  • Top speed of 350 km/h.
  • 5-speed auto.
Other features:
  • Limited to 75 units only.
  • Price starting from 750,000 Euros.
  • The production will commence in June 2009, after the SLR Roadster cease to be manufactured at the end of May 2009.

(Pictures from various sources)


It's the croc leather that is becoming a fad in the men's accesories. Man bags, holdalls, belt and even watch strap. Exotic skin is definitely special and different compared to its on-land rival - the calf and sheep skin, due to its uneven texture and irregular pattern of the scales. It made the leather stand out by itself effortlessly.
Many highstreet and designer brands come up with either the real croc leather or imitation one. While the original skin may cost more than $20k for a bag, the imitation exotic skin is more on the affordable side. It can either be real calf leather given a croc pressed pattern or pleather (PU or PVC) with alligator skin print.

On the designer side, Louis Vuitton is famous for the Neverfull crocodile leather in their recent collection that cost a whopping more than $20k. So as Bottega Veneta Madagascar tote that has similar design. At Burberry Spring/Summer 09 runway show, the croc is given either as a trim on the canvas, or full leather holdall. The alligator skin is also seen in the recent Dolce & Gabbana men's collection with a range of bags from carryall to briefcase and washbag.

While on the affordable side, Benetton has come up with the range of PU exotic skin print last Autumn 2007. They are snatched up very fast due to the low price. So as Zara, that came up with real leather mock croc tote in limited edition last year and still offering faux lizard skin this season.

I have my own croc obsession (no, not the stupid Croc shoe!). Have the opportunity to snatch that faux croc holdall and messanger bag last year, and the other brown leather tote early this year (Limited edition, less than 12 available in London). They're real, high quality calf leather given a croc print. While at Redoute, the briefcase is of PVC. Still the lizard skin texture look fierce. And the latest addition to the bag family is my PVC croc tote from Topman. Most important - it's practical as daily use, the design should stand out, material is sturdy, and the price is right! Voila....

P/S: Just imagine how many bags could one come up with when they get the mythical Bujang Senang!
Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote

Bottega Veneta Madagascar Tote

Burberry Croc Tote Spring/Summer 2009

Dolce & Gabbana Croc Bags

Benetton Autumn 2007
And...my croc collezzioni (so far...)
Zara tote bag (L), Zara holdall leather mock croc (R)

Redoute carryall briefcase (L), Zara leather mock croc messanger bag (R)
Topman mock croc


Seeing Double: Imitation or Running Out Of Ideas?

There's a popular saying - imitation is a form of flattery. But when you see something that is quite similar in design, is it a form of flattery or simply just running out of ideas?

What I'm talking about is the design of the perfume bottles sported by Narciso Rodriguez For Him (and Her, too) andDolce & Gabbana The One; as well as Calvin Klein Man and Boss Pure. Comparing the overall design, they look similar. Narciso's top is more plasticky, while D&G's is given woody feel. On the other side, CK's go for black non-transparent top, while Boss' with the see-thru. With the same overall outlook, given a tweak here and there - voila ... you get a new design!
Or is it just that they're came from the same manufacturer? Or just from the same old designer? Whatever it is, it may be a good to recycle idea esp during this credit crunch period!

Trendspotting: Dolce & Gabbana Holdalls

Travel bags has upped their ante of not just being used for packing your essentials when travelling, but also as a statement of style. Lifetyle, if you may. For jetsetters (or trainsetters, bussetters, if there're any of those words), choosing a right luggage is not only for the space it may provide, but also the construction and design as well. It should be sturdy enough to carry on loads of stuff, while light enough to bring on board without having to pay extra for the excess luggage.

Dolce and Gabbana offers some of the trendiest holdalls which are showcased in their previous runway show. The shades of vanilla, cream, beige and dark chocolate look immaculately amazing. There are choices of leather, suede and canvas; trimmed with matching studs and buckles. There's even croc leather for the edgy look (or is it mock-croc?) . The size is just right to be taken as hand luggage on board the flight. With the additional compartment on the front (some models), there would be ample space to pack some of your travel essentials.

(Photos from Swide Magazine)



It's hardly snow in London. Yet white has become an interesting color choice for the footwear especially the trainers. Think Wimbledon, then you know what I mean. Probably due to the purity of the shade (white is the combo of all colors, right?), white trainers are the easiest to pair with your sweat top and pants.

In this week's issue of SHORTLIST, a variety of white trainers are at your choice. Either as plimsols for lowcut and casual, to brogue for smart casual effect; perforated trainers for a breathable feet to classic sneakers like Adidas' Adi range. There's even choice either slip on, lace up or velcro for easy strap on-strap off moment. Material wise? Leather is the best for hardwearing and cleaning, while cotton is perfect during summer coz it won't warm up the foot too much.

My choice? The CONVERSE Chuck Taylor Leather Wingtip white trainer. Either with a formal pants or casual jeans, either way can be worn.

P/S: Didn't I talked about WHITE in my previous blog? Hmm...style psychic reigns again!

CONVERSE Chuck Taylor Leather Wingtip


Highstreet Vs. High End: Exhibit 4 - Patent Holdall

Going away for Christmas break? Sure you wanna pack your clothes in something more stylish (not just your backpak). Holdall is a perfect choice. Since patent is becoming more popular nowadays, Pauric Sweeney Patent Python tote could be yours if you are willing to blew up all your budget! (and poor that python...). The exotic skin look dashing with the patent treat.

On the highstreet side, similar design is seen at River Island with the black patent holdall for the urban metro guy (minus that exotic scales). Since the price is more on the affordable side (esp during these days), packing your clothes in this one surely look stylish too. Plus, with the River's 'Want This' list, this could probably be sold out soon!

  1. Pauric Sweeney Patent Python Holdall @ Browns - £1400.00
  2. River Island Black Patent Holdall - £44.00


EPSON Stylus Photo PX700W AIO: When Style Meets Function

Searching for a printer could never be a nightmare if one expect to find something that could tick all the boxes. In the world of all-in-one, a printer should not just act as a simple printing machine; it must also capable of being a photocopier as well as a scanner. Think iPhone - it's not just a phone, it's also an iPod, a web browser, a camera, gaming machine etc. Not just that, the design should also look smashing to the eye, and would integrate seamlessly with the interior decor as well.

Enter Stylus Photo PX700W. The newest addition to the Epson's AIO family. It looks devilishly outstanding with the AIO capability. Set to become an iconic design, it look sleek with the solid square-ish shape and black mirror finish (very smudgey-philic!). The HD printing/scanning/copying would be a perfect home printer for any budding photographer. The printing speed is quite fast, it can also be used as a standalone copier (which is quite fast too). The scanning resolution is at the higher end, though some has reported it 's quite muted to the eye. The control panel comes with a 2.5-inch LCD screen for easy choosing the picture you wanna print. Plus it can be moved up and down (but careful not to break it!). You can also print via memory cards such as SD/MMC or Memory Stick thru the slots located at the front of the printer, or Pictbridge connection. And with the Wifi capability, you can even print while sitting on your sofa!

And with the ink cartridges that are on the cheap side, this one would definitely be a right choice for any economista photo snappers.

Epson Stylus Photo PX700W: Specification

  • Printing method: 6-colour, Epson Micro Piezo print head
  • Print resolution: up to 5760 x1440 optimised dpi
  • Print speeds A4: Black text up to 40ppm, colour text up to 40ppm
  • Copy speeds: 6msec per line at 1200dpi (black), 12msec per line at 1200dpi (colour)
  • Scan resolution: 2400x4800dpi
  • Paper trays: 2
  • CD printing: Yes
  • Double-sided printing: Yes, with optional duplexer
  • Monitor: 2.5in colour TFT
  • Card reader: Compactflash types, Secure Digital types, Memory Stick types, xD
  • Picture card types (adapters may be necessary)
  • Interface: USB 2.0, WiFi, Memory card, Pictbridge
  • Dimensions: 519x214x496mm

(Pictures from various sources)