Lance Lee | Beijing, China

A Singaporean fashion Photographer now shooting in Beijing. Contact me via lance.beijing@gmail.com

February 5, 2012 at 10:54am
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John Singer Sargent

What is the secret to Sargent’s greatness?

  • John Singer Sargent would do a lot of sketchesof a subject, either in pencil or watercolors, before he started an oil painting. These sketches helped him learn about the subject matter and served as a tool to practice his wrist movements for later brush strokes.

    He encouraged his students to paint ″a hundred studies″ on the same subject matter and have canvases of various sizes ready to use at any time when inspiration struck.

    He would say, ″You can’t do sketches enough. Sketch everything and keep everything and keep your curiosity fresh.″

  • Sargent almost always drew from lifeand rarely used photographs.

    He would place his easel right next to the model and walk back and forth between the easel and a set point that was far enough away to simultaneously see both the painting and the model in totality. In doing so, he was able to see the canvas and the model in the same light, at the same angle of vision, and at the same distance.

  • He taught his students that first, it was important to accurately draw the masses of the paintingin the right place — before putting in any fine features or details.

    Sargent would say, ″If you work on a head for a week without indicating the features, you will have learned something about the modeling of the head.″

    By that statement, he meant that an artist should work to get the basic structure right — before focusing on the details. Draw and paint like a sculptor. Always look for big masses, angles and prominent planes.

  • When it comes to painting, Sargent would use a lot of thickpaint with a large paint brush.

    He would say, ″You do not want dabs of color, you want plenty of paint to paint with.″

(Source: explore-drawing-and-painting.com)

January 21, 2012 at 9:37am
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2012 S/S Campaigns: Seeing Doubles

LONGCHAMP vs Louis Vuitton

Similiar ” What You Looking At? ” moments for both Longchamp’s and LV’s 2012 S/S campaign images. In both series, models have similiar hair, makeup and poses.

Bally  vs  Moschino

Touristy theme!

Herve Leger    vs   Max Studio

Jill Stuart    vs    Akris

January 16, 2012 at 9:00am
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Stars’ Power Stylists

Published in The Straits Times on 16 Jan 2012

Every red carpet has its head-turners - dresses that captivate, spark style trends and celebrate turning points in a star’s career. Much the same can be expected when the Golden Globes unfurls its crimson runner in Los Angeles on Sunday night (16 Jan 2012).

In the past seasons, the looks on parade at this annual glam fest helped cement reputations and jump-start careers.

When Reese Withersppon stepped out in 2007 after her break-up with Ryan Phillippe, her tight yellow Nina Ricci dress lent her an unaccustomed oomph. She was sexier than ever, it seemed.

Two years ago, Maggie Gyllenhaal injected spirit into her modest indie profile with a peach-ton mermaid silhouette by Roland Mouret. The following year, at the Oscars, Katherine Heigl’s form-fitting scarlet gown transformed her from a daffy approachable girl-next-door into a pneumatically contoured diva.

"That dress was a game-changer," said Nicole Chavez, who coaxed Heigl into her one-shoulder sizzler.

Such moments can be transformative, said Chavez, a stylist who has worked with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Scarlett Johansson. ” People - casting agents, studio executives - stop and take notice,” she said. “They are suddenly interested in working with you.”

Such image-shaping clout, long concentrated in the hands of agents and publicists, has been ceded in part to a coterie of influential stylists, Hollywood tastemakers sich as Annabel Tollman, Petra Flannery, Estee Stanley and Deborah Waknin, and household names such as Rachel Zoe, whose fame matches, even eclipses, that of the women they dress. Most subscribe to the axiom that red-carpet exposure can serve as a billboard for designers, who reap hundreds of thousands of dollars in free advertisingm and turn unfamiliar names such as Elie Saab and Naeem Khan into covertable luxury brands.

(Source: newyorktimes.comm)

December 30, 2011 at 11:23am
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Fashion Trends for 2012

Published in Straits Times ( www.straitstimes.com ) on 30 Dec, 2011.

THE GOLDEN TWENTIES

Luxury, style and unbridled decadence defined the glamorous 1920s. So, with the uncertain state of the global economy, it is no wonder that designers are recreating the deliriously upbeat vibe of the Jazz Age.

Shiny metallic, drop-waist dresses, topped with fun details like tassels, beading and fringing ruled the spring/summer 2012 runways. They were reminiscent of party frocks the ladies of the decade wore which allowed them to literally kick up their heels and do the Charleston.

Ralph Lauren presented a delicate and romantic collection which featured white menswear-inspired suits, drop-waisted dresses in luxe liquid-like fabrics as well as art-deco beadings.

Marc Jacobs opted for a dance hall-themed collection featuring sequinned and beaded dresses and skirts that fell just below the knees.

At Etro, models in art deco-themed flapper dresses walked the runway, while Gucci added a rock twist by showing studded black-and-gold flapper dresses in layers of sequins and fringed tiers of metal chains.

With Baz Luhrmann?s movie adaptation of The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan, slated for release next year, the 1920s are definitely roaring back in vogue.

LEND ME YOUR EARS

While statement necklaces and chunky bangles have ruled the runways for many seasons, next year will see accessories focused on the ears instead. And what a focus.

Call them chandeliers, shoulder-dusters, door-knockers or whatever you want, but oversized earrings will be the key look for spring/summer 2012.

Marni had them colourful and psychedelic, while Dolce & Gabbana gave a quirky twist by sending them out in the shape of fruits and vegetables.

At Chanel, the look was ornate and bold. Other labels which showed large earrings included Emilio Pucci, Prada and Oscar de la Renta.

The eyes may have it, but the ears will certainly be doing all the shouting next season.

IRAL FASHION

In the past year, fashion has gone viral as high-end brands put out more online content - from campaign videos to short films.

One of the biggest hits this year was Lanvin’s wacky ad featuring models Karen Elson ( left) and Raquel Zimmermann (right) dancing to I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) by Pitbull. More than 100,000 YouTube viewers watched it in the first three days and a dozen copycat videos soon popped up on Youtube.

When Louis Vuitton launched its latest City Guides last month, it produced several Lonely Planet-esque short films. These included guides on how to be the perfect gentleman in London and the best dim sum places to visit in Hong Kong.

Dior also released a kooky video showcasing its make-up, which borrowed elements from retro video games like Tetris, Pacman and Super Mario Bros.

Meanwhile, New York designer Prabal Gurung roped in rapper Rye Rye to create an infectious music video inspired by his Resort 2012 collection.

The online trend is set to grow even bigger next year. Karl Lagerfeld, who directed the Chanel short film The Tale Of A Fairy, which went online in May, released another short video last week as a prequel to the fashion house’s recent annual Metiers D’Arts fashion show.

Get ready to be entertained in style next year.

CROC ROCKS

Leopard prints may have been everywhere this year but come February, when the spring 2012 collections hit the stores, get ready to show some skin - crocodile skin, that is.

These exotic textured scales will appear in various hues on outerwear, bags and accessories.

Spearheading this trend is Louis Vuitton. For spring/summer 2012, creative director Marc Jacobs showed ladylike looks in pretty pastel hues topped with lightweight trench coats made from crocodile skin.

The French label also sent out models toting croc bags, ensuring that next season’s It Bags will be ultra-luxurious and ultra-expensive.

American label Proenza Schouler opted for a faux croc skin effect with its black printed bustier paired with a bright blue pencil skirt. Meanwhile, Paris-based Japanese designer Tsumori Chisato took a more tongue-in-cheek approach by featuring crocodile motifs on her colourful skirts.

Rapper Kanye West, making his debut at Paris Fashion Week, presented a luxe take on hip-hop streetwear that also included a hooded jacket trimmed with crocodile skin.

At Italian label Tod’s, powdered crocodile skin was a key detail on its shoes and bags while Gucci and Bottega Veneta both included bags made from the reptile skin.

With so many designers doing the crocodile rock, it’s no wonder that luxury fashion conglomerate LVMH, which owns luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Celine, decided to acquire Singapore’s Heng Long International Limited tannery in October.

It’s time to start saving now because staying on trend will cost you more than a pretty penny next season.

UGLY-PRETTY HAIR

Ultra-girly straight, heavy bangs and boyish pixie cuts were the most popular hairstyles in the last two years. Next year, embrace ‘dos that are less about a pretty face and more about a quirky personality.

First up is actress Rooney Mara’s mid-forehead length bangs (right). She chopped off her locks for her starring role in the movie Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and has since been sporting a fringe that ends about 2cm above her eyebrows.

The style could look almost awkward, but the actress shows how it can bed off in real life with loads of attitude and statement make-up, such as a bold lip colour or dramatically lined eyes.

These shorter bangs are easier to manage as they will not fall over the eyes and can be slicked back with mousse for an instant change in appearance.

For his spring/summer 2012 collection, fashion darling Alexander Wang had his models sporting wet-looking locks that made them look as if they had walked out of a gym’s shower.

The designer popularised the now-ubiquitous side braid two years ago, so it would not be a surprise if this look takes off too. Plus, this carefree hairdo is a great complement to the sporty look that continues to be big next year.

Of course, you can’t just walk out of your home with dripping wet hair as your clothes would be ruined.

Instead, to get the look, scrunch mousse through towel-dried hair and blast it with a hair dryer, as Redken hair stylist Guido Palau did for Wang’s show.

Then, run hair oil, such as argan oil, through the strands to give them a wet-look shine.

NAIL IT YOURSELF

Fancy nails took off this year, with patterned Minx overlays and gel nail art all the rage.

The latest nail phenomenon in the United States and Britain is magnetic nail polish, which contains actual metallic bits.

Hover the magnet embedded in the bottle cap over the nail polish after it is applied to create a swirly pattern.

Sephora stores in the United States are selling a range of magnetic nail polishes by London brand Nails Inc, but they are currently not available here.

Watsons, however, says it has plans to introduce magnetic nail polishes next year.

ORANGE CRUSH

Pantone’s colour of the year for 2012 is tangerine tango, a vibrant shade of orange-red.

While this bold hue may be a tad overwhelming for those with a more conservative fashion sense, it looks set to be a hit in the beauty world.

Most of the major make-up brands will be launching products in this colour family for their spring 2012 collections. After all, this striking shade is a great way to add a pop of colour to the lips, nails and cheeks.

As make-up artist Bobbi Brown says in her latest press release: ‘The most modern way to wear a bright colour is as an accent on an otherwise neutral face.’

Plus, make-up artists say orange-toned colours are great for Asian skin as the warm hues work well on those with yellow-toned skin.

Get a head start on this trend with the following launches next month.

Check out Bobbi Brown’s Neons & Nudes collection which features a lipstick in Atomic Orange ($33, above) and a shiny orange lipgloss in Citrus ($35).

Shu Uemura has a Creamy Dome Cheek blusher in Sunlight Peach ($39) that adds an healthy orange-pink flush to cheeks.

Nails are not forgotten. One of Chanel’s three limited- edition spring 2012 nail polish shades is called June ($37), a sweet apricot orange

November 4, 2011 at 11:40am
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1990s: MINIMALISM

Then: This was the anti-fashion decade where the loud glamour of the 1980s was rejected in favour of simple, understated clothes.

Icon: British model Kate Moss

Now: Fuss-free and more restrained, the sleek minimalist look takes on a slimmer silhouette with narrow trousers, cream silk buttoned-up blouses and neat skirts. Pleated maxi skirts are paired with tailored jackets and there are no loud brand logos on bags.

Top tip: Keep the make-up fresh with a tinge of color on the cheeks and lips. The idea is to look fuss-free, not ghostly.

(Source: straitstimes.com)

11:25am
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1980s: NEON FEVER

Then: Loud prints, shiny fabrics and over-accessorizing were the key features of the decade.

Icon: American pop star Cyndi Lauper

Now: Instead of emphasizing gaudy print, designers are using loud colors and patterns as accents on dresses and tops.

Top tip: Tone down loud graphic prints by pairing them with dark solid colors, such as black or navy blue. Accessorize with chunky bangles or quirky bags.

11:02am
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1970s: DISCO DIVA

Then: Flared pants, lurex fabrics and gold accessories defined the disco-glam era of the 1970s.

Icon: Singer-songwriter Donna Summer

Now: Streamlined in the sihouette yet vintage in its overall appeal, the long and wide dresses as well as masculine suit trousers this season evoke a mature, powerful and seductive woman.

Top tip: Pair wide-legged pants with a sheer pussy-bow blouse. Slip on a pair of colourful platform sandals for a comfortable yet stylish look that can take you from day to night.

(Source: straitstimes.com)

10:45am
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1960s: CARNABY STREET

Then: Heavily influenced by London’s fashionable Carnaby Street, mini-skirts, mod A-line dresses and sleeves shift dresses defined the era. The Mondrian print, which was introduced by Yves Saint Laurent, was also a popular dress design of the era.

Icon: British supermodel Twiggy

Now: Designers have referenced pop-art colours such as saffron, pink and burnt orange in coats and dresses, while pleated hipster skirts simulate the drop-waist silhouette.

Top tip: Go for color blocks which revive the mood of the decade without looking too costume-y.

(Source: straitstimes.com)

2:34am
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1950s: PRIM & PROPER

Then: Christian Dior’s New Look, which was launched in 1947, revolutionized this decade’s fashion with its full skirt, large bust and small waist sihouette. However, the era was also about below-the-knee pencil skirts and fitted jackets which produced a more tailored feminine silhouette.

Icon: American Actress Doris Day

2:30am
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1940s: WAR UNIFORM

Then: High-waisted wide-legged pants, loose culottes and suits became favourites as American women entered the workforce while the men went to war.

Icon: German actress Marlene Dietrich

Below, a model photographed in typical 1940s, Marlene Dietrich style.

Now: The masculine look gets a sexier touch with silk wrap blouses and plunging necklines.
For a more updated look, switch the wide-legged pants for high-waisted tapered trousers.

Top tip: Balance the menswear-inspired look with a low neckline or a silk pussy-bow blouse.

Movie stars Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn wore trousers with exceptional attitude before pants were socially acceptable, and made them essential components of every stylish women’s wardrobe.  These Hollywood inspired styles include sporty knickers, classic trousers and kicky shorts or tap pants.