Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Year That Was

In less than an hour, 2011 will finally be a thing of the past. If there was one thing this has year taught me, it's this: Life is full of unexpected possibilities.

From wonderful new friendships, solo travels, disappointments that could shatter your soul to finding the kind of love that will shake you to the core - these were the highlights of 2011 I won't easily forget.

So what does 2012 have in store for me? For all of us? I can't say. But one thing I'm certain of: 2011 pointed me to the right direction. It taught me that anything and everything is possible. It taught me that when there are hurdles to be crossed, you don't back away. So perhaps, 2012 is the year where I take life by the balls and say, "I'm going to conquer you, whether you like it or not."

With that said, I wish all of you wonderful possibilities for the new year. Thank you for being with me on this journey. Happy New Year.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Alphabeticalife on Twitter

I know I haven't been blogging as much and I apologize for that. It's just that, I feel rather uninspired lately. However, I do hope that I get my blogging buzz back once 2012 rolls along.

In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter for random raves, rants, interesting news bits and the occasional photo - @alphabeticalife

It would be great to interact with some of my readers on Twitter, so add away! See you there.

Monday, 26 December 2011




Couldn't find it in your eyes

But I'm sure it's written all over my face

Saturday, 24 December 2011


For fans (such as myself) of Ridley Scott's 1979 classic, "Alien", a lot of questions will be finally answered on June 2012.

I've never felt this way about a movie before, so I'm hoping "Prometheus" won't fail to deliver. Unfortunately, I still have to wait six more months. In the meantime, here's the highly anticipated trailer.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Monocle Cafe

It's hard not to fall in love with Monocle. What was once just a magazine is now practically a religion for its increasing number of fans all over the world. After branching out into retail and radio, Monocle is now entering the world of F&B with the very first Monocle Cafe.

Located at the Hankyu Men's Department Store in Tokyo, the cafe strikes a perfect balance between design, tasty food and amazing coffee (provided by none other than Omotesando Koffee).

The cafe features handsome furnishings designed by Naoto Fukasawa and Jasper Morrison, while Bolichwerke lampshades provide soft lighting throughout the space.

In addition, essential accessories from the Monocle shop are also available, beautifully displayed on Vitsoe shelves.

With such an overwhelming presence of the Monocle brand in this breathtaking space, you'll surely fall in love with Monocle all over again.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Thought for Today

"Life is basically unfair. But even in a situation that’s unfair, I think it’s possible to seek out a kind of fairness. Of course, that might take time and effort. And maybe it won’t seem to be worth all that. It’s up to each individual to decide whether or not it is."

- Haruki Murakami

Friday, 25 November 2011

Something to think about

"The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you."

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Christmas Wishlist 2011

More Muji t-shirts and boxer shorts for sleeping

Rag & Bone Merino Wool Shawl Collar Cardigan

New Balance 420 sneakers in blue and grey

Mougin & Piquard for J.Crew Grande Seconde Watch in Cream

Kitsune Polo Parisien

Kitsune Weekend Bag

Friday, 11 November 2011

Hiroshi Tsubouchi

The first time I heard of Hiroshi Tsubouchi footwear was when Monocle collaborated with the brand to come up with a limited edition line of leather slip-ons.

Monocle x Hiroshi Tsubouchi leather slip-ons

Soon, you'll be able to purchase Hiroshi Tsubouchi footwear from everybody's favourite web shop, Tres Bien. Here's a look at some of the current styles:

Click here to see the other styles.

Images via Tres Bien

Sunday, 6 November 2011

City Sounds

Whenever I visit a certain city, it's inevitable that I associate it with a particular song. It's not something I do on purpose - I suppose it's something a bit more serendipitous, like my iPod knows that a specific song will complement the setting and my current state of mind. Here are some examples of songs I've come to love that will always bring me back to a special moment in New York, Shanghai or Hong Kong.

New York City - 1000 Times by Tahiti 80

Somewhere in New Jersey - 60 Miles an Hour by New Order

Shanghai - Bu Liu by Faye Wong

Hong Kong - Surfing on a Rocket by Air

Sunday, 30 October 2011


The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo. Please remember, things are not what they seem.

Have you picked up a copy yet?

Thursday, 20 October 2011

My Hong Kong Part 2

Simply put, Hong Kong is a shopper's paradise. From cheap, quirky finds, carefully curated one-of-a-kind items, the latest collections from the world's top brands to discounted designer merchandise, Hong Kong pretty much has it all.

Here's a look at some of my go-to places when I'm in town.

By now you all know how much I love A.P.C., so it's always the first stop whenever I'm in Hong Kong. When I was there in April 2011, the staff was feeling extra nice and they gave me a 10 per cent discount! It may not be a lot, but it was still a very nice gesture.

But when I was there about three weeks ago, the boutique on Paterson Street in Causeway Bay was being renovated. I was devastated. But there's always a next time.

When you find yourself in Nathan Road, head to the mall called The One. It houses boutiques such as Beams, Beauty & Youth by United Arrows and Journal Standard. Stock up on clothes, shoes and accessories that are big in Japan.

I.T. Hysan is a must-stop for the latest and greatest in fashion.

Check out the awesome collaboration between I.T. and Mark McNairy. Beautiful, isn't it?

If you want great deals on designer duds, visit Horizon Plaza, which houses high-end department store outlets like Joyce and Lane Crawford (where I scored a leather Comme Des Garcons travel bag at 90 per cent off!), as well as I.T., Emporio Armani, Ralph Lauren and more. You need to be patient though as you'll have to sift through racks and piles of clothes, shoes and accessories before finding a hidden gem. And once you find it, don't let it go.

Citygate Outlets is another must-visit place if you want to score designer items on discount. From Club Monaco, Calvin Klein Underwear, Jack Spade (where I picked up a leather passport holder/wallet) and a gigantic Ralph Lauren shop (I scored a beautiful bengal stripe shirt), you'll surely be spoiled for choice. I don't think anyone can leave this place empty-handed.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

My Hong Kong Part 1

For some people, the idea of a perfect getaway would be somewhere quiet like a secluded beach. Well, not me. Rather than going for R&R somewhere tranquil with hardly anyone around, I opt for vibrant cities where there's always something going on. Hong Kong has always ranked high on my go-to scale because of the energy it radiates; the buzz of the people on the streets; the neon lights that illuminate the dreariest of nights.

Here's a pictorial entry on one of my favourite places on earth, celebrating the sights and spectacles Hong Kong has to offer.

The Airport Express is where my trip begins. This service connects the airport to key parts of Hong Kong such as Tsing Yi, Kowloon and Hong Kong

Working your way around the city is made easy by the subway, or more commonly known as the MTR. There's a certain rush I get every time I descend to this subterranean wonderland. The ads adorning the walls, fashionable folks whizzing by you, the colourful tiled walls - these are the things that never fail to leave me in awe.

One of the best things about Hong Kong are the hidden neighbourhoods. Break away from the main shopping drags and numerous malls and you'll find specialty boutiques, quaint cafes and a whole lot of character. Such is the case with St. Francis Street in the Wan Chai area. Make your way up this steep road and you'll be greeted by...

...the Monocle shop!

From the Monocle shop, walk further down and you'll see F.I.L. Visvim fans, rejoice! The beautiful structure and space perfectly complements the apparel from the famous Japanese label.

The fun doesn't end at F.I.L. Turn right and you'll find a small alley that will lead you to Sun Street, where the amazing specialty store Ka-pok is. If you're looking for Uniform Wares watches, Mismo bags, Astier de Villatte perfume or Mizensir candles, this is the place to go. They also have a little cafe where you can order a delicious cuppa.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

A Closer Look: Monocle Shop, Hong Kong

I just came back from a weekend trip to Hong Kong. Of course, the vacation wouldn't be complete without visiting the Monocle shop. Here's a closer look inside, as well as some of the items currently available.

As you enter the store, the section on the left showcases some of the latest Monocle collaborations with clothing brands like Loopwheeler, Kitsune and FilMelange. The shelves on top are dotted with a variety of items like CDs, books, decor, the BlackBerry x Monocle phone and past issues of the magazine.

To keep your footsies warm while on the plane, check out the colourful socks from the Tabio x Monocle collab. They come in an assortment of colour combinations and two sizes, small and large.

Over on the right side, you'll find the famous Porter x Monocle bags, perfect for business travel or solo sojourns. You can also find other items like leather travel slippers, Brooklyn leather wristbands, Comme Des Garcons fragrances and candles, passport holders, business card cases and an assortment of finely crafted stationery.

While the shop is small, they've managed to maximize the space. In this photo, you'll see various issues of the magazine displayed on the steps.

Framed posters that will liven up any bare wall.

A duffle bag of wooden blocks, anyone?

A cozy lounge area further inside. Here, you can sit down for a chat with the shop staff or place your shopping bags so you can check out the shop with both hands free.

The Monocle Shop Hong Kong
Shop 1 U/G, Bo Fung Mansion
1-4 St. Francis Yard
Wanchai, Hong Kong

*Many thanks to Gokie for allowing me to take photos!