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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Luxury Brand Awareness @ Suria KLCC

Suria KLCC

Today, we're going to do a little luxury brand awareness. Some people may know a lot more than what's in here, but some may not have a clue as to what some are. Suria KLCC is one of a number of Malaysian shopping complexes, and probably one of the first to introduce luxury brand shopping to the nation. So to some extent, a number of the wealthier people need not neccessarily wait for a holiday to go on a nice shopping spree.

This photo-article will introduce to you, some, though not all of numerous luxury brand names one might want to know. You may even be surprised by the mention of one or two.

Versace: A leading fashion brand from Italy that makes handbags, jewellery, the works...

Tiffany & Co: The brand specializes in jewellery & silverware, a place where one might like to get a highly valued wedding ring.

Prada: In the same reign as Versace, clothes, shoes, leather accessories are a high end specialty, also from Italy

What might you do for a Prada bag?

Chanel: From France comes a Parisian fashion house that sells luxury clothing, fragrances, handbags, cosmetics, fine jewellery

Watches from CHANEL

Cartier: World renown French jeweller and watchmaker boasts of its own rich collections, have you ever heard of the term, a 'Cartier diamond'? Probably unsurprising from the number one luxury jewellery seller in the world.

Faber Castell: Surprised? Sure it sells an eraser you can buy, but they also made something you probably can't afford. It has made a fountain pen, labelled, 'Pen of The Year 2009', where parts of it are made out of horse hair. It is being sold at Suria KLCC, for about RM 10 000. How many Pilot G2 pens can you buy with RM 10 000?

Bally: Remember this one? Famously known throughout many Malaysian schools for its inclusion in an English short story, but better respected as a Swiss Shoe company.

Sincere: Not a watchmaker itself, but a prime retailer of fine watches in Asia, established in 1958, Singapore. Among the brands it carries, Tag Huer, Omega, Dior, Gucci, Hermes, Mont Blanc and many more

Bvlgari: Starting with jewellery, it now produces fine watches, handbags as well as fragrances. Probably one of the legacy corporations as its roots trace back to the year 1884.

Tissot: Nothing to do with wet tissues or anything of the sort, it is a Swiss watch manufacturer existing since 1853. Lasting more than a century, it is now even commisioned as the timekeeper for world sporting events including ice-hockey, cycling, fencing

Rolex: Probably the brand everybody might know, world famous watchmaker Rolex is founded much later than Tissot but has grown to be a huge status symbol, and is even ranked among the world's 100 most valuable global brands by BusinessWeek.

Giorgio Armani: Considered the most expensive in the bunch, the designer of this series is in the name

Emporio Armani: Targeted at the young adults, may be a bit less classy than Giorgio Armani series, but considered more trendy than the higher end series.

Armani Exchange: Geared towards younger customers and uses urban trend styles. Cheaper than the other two Armani brands above, but its prices still pay a lot of respect to the name Armani. Armani headquarters are located in Milan, Italy.

Royal Selangor: Moving away from Europe, Malaysia has something it can pride itself on, its ability to specialise in pewter has earned itself good international recognition with high quality goods and innovative design. Malaysians have never labelled it 'cheap'.

Gucci: A household name, but not neccessarily present in every household. Most Malaysians know Gucci very well for its handbags, to some extent a woman's luxury leather house.

Gucci handbags and purses on display

Harrods: From London to the city centre of Kuala Lumpur, the world's most famous luxury department store plays host to a good number of luxury brands, some of which may already be mentioned in this article, to name a few others: DKNY, Furla, Christian Dior, Davidoff and more.

Godiva: A manufacturer of premium chocolate, featuring regularly in luxury department stores, and decided to open its own little shop right next to Harrods in Suria KLCC.

Godiva is located on the 1st floor, at the end facing the KLCC park.

Fendi: Yet another premium Italian fashion house, its home is in Rome, and is best known for its handbags.

Dunhill: Much more than most of us know it for, it actually specialises in men's luxury leather goods, clothing lines and accessories. The cigarette brand we also knew it for is considered a luxury brand, produced by British American Tobacco. A similar competitor, Davidoff also has presence in Suria KLCC.

Etienne Aigner: Less known, but produces high quality handbags, small leather goods and jewllery.

Louis Vuitton: Now I pay respects to an old friend's favourite. Honestly, I personally like the name and logo a lot more than the others. The French fashion designer, whose home is the capital of France, founded in 1854, continues to compete against the likes of Prada, Armani, Dolce & Gabana among others.

An LV bag on display outside the store. Louis Vuitton is located close to the second front enterance (facing Menara TA and BSN) of Suria KLCC.

That wraps up my highlight among some of the most prominent luxury names in Suria KLCC. So if you've ever wondered a bit about any of these brands, the differences and similarities, hopefully you've gained a little insight today. Of course, you can always find out more by making a trip down to the city centre to take a look for yourselves. As always, at Suria KLCC:

That brings us to a close of today's edition of Living thoughts... Simply Loud. Stay tuned for 'A Day at The Office' coming soon. This article is brought to you by yours truly, Christon Emang.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Three Things

1. NSt
2. KKP
3. MPO @ DFP

I'll try to keep this as short as possible, but no promises! Hahahaha.

1. NSt = NarrowStreet
Venue: SIB (KL)
Anyhow, the weekend started with me officially linking up with NSt for the first time since its inception. During the week, I had liaised with Pastor Daniel and he was happy to accept my involvement in NSt. Looking at how things are, I'll be helping out in a cell group as well as the music team.

I'm going in as an observer with the music team for the first two weeks, before being scheduled on to play as part of the process of being put in. So on Saturday, I got to see how Leonard, Wai Kin, Emmanuel, David, Daniel Lo and Mei Gan would put it together with Felix manning the PA at the back. Daniel Lo introduced me before they started practice so I'm getting to know a few of them. Noted down some things that can be improved during practices, all of which I believe Felix agrees with me, hahahaha.

Later on after the youth service, I tagged alongside Daniel Lo to join in his U-16 boys cell group. I have to say, its really fresh to be in this sort of environment again and its good for me to be meeting much younger people. The boys are pretty all right amongst each other so it made for a generally good time, and there's this guy who kind of knows the bible almost inside out so its pretty amazing to see some of his theory skills, hahaha. Discussed Luke 2, in line with the youth service, the only passage that describes any of Jesus's time as a young boy.

2. KKP = Keluarga Karnival Petronas
Venue: PERMATA, Bangi

Always wanted to go to a company family day, and this was it. I didn't go for the morning activities because of NSt but I was keen just go get a taste of the food and a bit of concert at night. For just RM 10 per person, it was well worth it. Free flow of food and drinks is always nice, and the large number of people make it for slightly lively affair with the ongoing music.

The way they do the food is like this, just imagine.... you're in a pasar malam, so there's stalls right, but everything is free, so all you have to do is just line up. I'll tell you one thing... the longest lines were for two things:

A) Kambing Golek
B) Tempura (prawn)

Oh, and one more thing. This is just crazy. They were also giving away durian at the event. Guess how much? TWENTY TONNES!! That is absolutely CRAZY! I think you can imagine the line queuing up for that, its just so freaking long. As much as my father likes durian, he couldn't be bothered to queue up, which is fine with me, ahhaha (I do not like durian)

Anyway, I liked the band when they were playing for the Petronas Performing Arts Group, doing a bit of the funky stuff and some rock n' roll (was watching a lot of James Brown on YouTube earlier that day). Shila, known well from the competition One in A Million, season 2 performed as well, and she was probably my favourite performer, because my father and I left after that. We left early so we wouldn't have to compete against heavy traffic if we waited for the event to end proper.

Oh, and one other thing, I got to see the President of PETRONAS from a distance of about 10 meters. From what I saw, he seems pretty easygoing and likes his children, or grandchildren, I can't tell, hahaha! Probably grandchildren, he is quite an elderly fellow. I wanted to take a photo of him, but my father said it probably wouldn't be too wise, he'd noticed the plainclothes bodyguards, I'd noticed one of them too. I was so tempted to go up and say, "Excuse me Mr. President, could I take a photo with you?" but I guess I was a bit too scared to approach a man of his position in front of everybody, especially with top brass management sitting around too.

3. MPO = Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
Venue: Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP), KLCC

In previous blog posts, I have mentioned that I bought a ticket for an MPO performance, and Sunday was the day for it. I had a generally good seat, N20, which meant I was at the end of the left side at the very middle of the DFP which I was quite happy about. RM 15 was a serious bargain for this event.

Ms. Xian Zhang, a short young Chinese conductor came up for the first song and she immediately left her mark on me. Maybe its because this is my first time witnessing a live orchestra, but her body movements, hand gestures, everything about her body movement was really vigorous. If I were a professional conductor, there is no doubt in my mind I would want to do exactly that. Maybe its inappropriate to say, but it really reminds me so much of the aggressive motion that I absolutely love from Taking Back Sunday. I mean, she was really, like in your face kind of conductor.

The soloist made an extremely huge impression when he came on for the second song. It was quite entertaining, it was like watching a Chris Wee play violin, ahahahaha! Only that this guy would have a little more style and vigor in his style of play. Seriously he reminds me of Chris Wee, except I think Chris Wee's face is cuter, ahahahaha! He was superior technically and his expression was good as well. Then, something happened that I thought would only happen in movies for dramatic effect.Towards the end of the song when everything was being played at a high tempo, the climax, one of the strings of his bow came off!

He really looks like this when he's playing

In my mind, I was like, "What! Are you for real?!" Even better, at the end of the performance, the audience clapped so long, that he actually did a DOUBLE ENCORE! This is my first time ever seeing any performer being called for a double encore. He did something really cool for the second encore. He POPPED OPEN his bow, and WRAPPED the strings of his bow around the violin so it looks more like a crossbow, and he started playing a short piece.

EVERYONE was taken by surprise, even the MPO members! I even saw one of the violinists GET OFF his chair to take a look at what Chuanyun Li was doing. That guy was fantastic. It was enough for me to want his autograph after the concert, and I was fortunate because the line wasn't that long. Actually, I really liked the conductor too, but I couldn't find her after the performance for her autograph so I had to settle for one.

I got him to sign my ticket too (notice how the two signatures are different)

Well that marks the end of my eventful weekend, am looking forward to my second week at NSt this coming weekend. Look out for a post this week about my working life at Business Information Management & Administration (BIMA), Level 24, Petronas Twin Towers very soon.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday in June

Well, I was pretty free on Saturday and decided to get out of the house. My mother and I drove down to a familiar spot, The Curve just to do something outside for the day. I guess I was a little restless after a whole morning of not doing much in the house.

I also did something I've been meaning to do for a long time, buy a thumb drive. After I lost my very naked thumb drive (one time I pulled it out and the skin came off) in UTP a very long time ago, I decided to make do with my Sony walkman which stores up to 2 gigabytes of data.

However, since then, I've had problems, maybe due to viruses and such. My walkman can turn on and off by itself and so forth, which is a little disheartening to be honest, so I decided I'd get a thumb drive when I have a little cash. I decided that moment was yesterday, so I went into IT Hypermarket at Cinileisure and got myself this:

The SanDisk 8 GB Cruzer

It cost me about RM 71 I think, if I'm not mistaken. I wanted to get the Kingston equivalent because I preferred its flip open mechanism but it didn't have Windows ReadyBoost, so I got this instead. Windows ReadyBoost is basically a technology that aims to enhance read time, particularly for portable flash memory storage devices. I haven't used it yet, but I sure will very soon. Monday will be its working debut at the Petronas Twin Towers.

That aside, my mother and I also bought tickets for Night at The Museum 2, a movie I've wanted to watch for a long time. There's the stigma nowadays that sequels are not as good as the first movie, but that didn't cross my mind and I just really wanted to go for the movie. I wasn't dissapointed.

Ben Stiller, main actor of the movie

Old characters, new characters, I just loved it. For me it was really awesome, it was just purely funny and personally I couldn't point a bad finger at it. I experienced the feeling that I haven't had since watching Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. I believe in many ways I still enjoy the thing I enjoyed as a young child a whole lot more than some of the action and intellectual movies of my preference. I admit I wanted it to be so much more, it was already good, but my mind was already saying in the middle of the movie, "I wish this could be so much longer!"

Amy Adams stars as Amelia Earhart

A notable here is that I was blown away by Amy Adams who took on the role of Amelia Earhart. There was just something about her character I was so drawn in to. The character of Amelia Earhart just kind of sinks into me (with reference to Taking Back Sunday's new single: Sink Into Me). That heart for adventure, simple fun, without naiveity does somehow, attract me really. Even the use of language, man I just... perhaps its fair to say that I fell for 'Amelia Earhart' which doesn't happen to me so often in movies. I don't think that's ever happened before actually, not even with movies like A Walk to Remember.

I guess that sums up my Saturday, other than the fact after the movie I spend a long time in Bentley's trying out the very nice expensive Taylor acoustic guitars at the Bentley Music showroom. It's tempting me to save up in the next many years to get a new instrument, maybe even in the 900 series bracket, but that'll probably be a decade or more later, assuming I'm really dedicated to that investment.

Well, so long for now, until the next time.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My First...

time witnessing a concert of any sort at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in KLCC. I think it serves well as a warm up to what I'll be seeing in two weeks time again at the same venue. Today, I went for a chamber concert. Mellissa asked me if I wanted to tag along, so I did, tickets were priced cheaply and I was curious as to the different experience of watching a chamber concert as compared to a full orchestra.

The Ticket

The Hall

Basically with a chamber concert, there's a small group of players (in today's performance, duos or trios) playing a song / movement, I don't really know the terms. There were four performances, all by different people playing pieces of different composers.

The first was a performance of Milhaud by a violinist, pianist and a clarinet player. I think it caught everybody's attention because it was pretty lively and personally I think I enjoyed that one the most. The violinist and the clarinetist knew how to entertain a crowd and body expression was just awesome. For me, it felt like they knew how to connect to each other using the song. Honestly, this kind of thing really impresses me because I've always felt that body posture when playing music is so important and really just boosts the image of how confident and convincing the performance is. The clarinetist and violinist were definitely testimony to that.

The second one was a solo cellist performance, a sonata composed by Ligeti. I personall found it hard to appreciate, because.............. I think the key is definitely not major (I think) and I think almost every note played is a type of harmonic note. I guess I have to learn to like those things over time.

The interval came after that, and I decided to take a different seating position this time. The first time I came to the hall, I was sitting at the back during an open rehearsal where Han Na Chang (cellist) was performing as the soloist and I really liked it. Since the chamber concert wasn't a huge affair, there were still a lot of seats at the last row, so I decided to take my listening experience down there.

Things kicked off again, with a man on the tuba and a lady on the marimba (looks like a xylophone with relatively large organ like tubes underneath, which I suppose attributes to its deeper sound). They performed Penn and the lady on marimba was pretty cool. I personally liked it. The man on the tuba though is a different story. He was always trying to adjust his instrument during the song which I personally found slightly annoying. I guess it was because of the problem I suspected, I never felt his notes were clear. I know a tuba doesn't sound like the trumpet, but I don't know... there was just something about it.

Anyhow, the last one was a sonata for violin and piano by Prokofiev. I think that was the longest performance out of the four. At least it felt like the longest. I had mixed feelings about the songs in terms of preference, but I guess they played well. How can I say otherwise right? I particularly liked the second half of that performance though, it felt a lot more convincing compared to the first half.

That ended that, left the hall, took a few (or a little excessively really) group photos, caught up a little with Mellissa before getting out of the city centre. I'll be looking forward to my next experience at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas. This time, it'll be with:

Ms. Xian Zhang will be conducting and Chuanyun Li will be the soloist on violin. I just have a gut feeling that will be a really good one. I'll be looking forward to that, entering with this ticket:

I guess that's that for now. =)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

the Anger

A mix of things, and it isn't pretty.

This has nothing to do with my internship, no I am not complaining about bad workloads, supervisors, work mates or anything like that. Neither is this a rant even if some will see it as one.

Lately, or rather since the beginning of the year, I've become a much more critical person. Hence, it seems easier for me to get angry, to get frustrated with anything. It could be regarding scenarios, people or time. As I said, anything.

I've become so angry with some people, so frustrated with many, even if I do not say so. Sometimes, it's hard to believe such people are your friends, or share the same values you do that make them even more precious than some others. Why?

As I mentioned, becoming more critical as a person, I've really begun to think more of, "How can you do such a thing, it's just so.... What's wrong with you!" The thing that sinks the heart is the fact that these people are supposed to be friends, they are, but it just sucks to see that they in particular are the ones 'going wrong' if I may say so.

I've had enough of the emo, the suicidals, the people who are just so good at setting the poorest examples. Enough of the pity you put on yourself so people will gain your attention. Enough of trying to satisfy your ego to look cool or respectable. Enough of the laziness and the ease of giving up because one couldn't see a long term investment or never took the initiative to do what was really needed. Enough of the people who think they've got people so easily figured out that they go ahead and make rash decisions. In particular, I've had enough of the people who say don't judge me, and  know the reason is because everybody fears 'looking bad' in front of someone else. Honestly, enough.

Am I just blurting emotion now? Being emo? No, not really. Its just a frustrated truth that's there. Maybe there's something in me that's not settled, which is causing me to be so angry. I admit that sometimes for no reason, I just wish so hard that I could just lash out at someone with no reason. Am I being contradicting now?

There's some saying, I can't remember what it was so I've just come up with this, "It's easier to hate the people you love than the ones you don't"

Like I mentioned earlier, the people I'm angry with are not even my enemies! Honestly, sometimes I'm just dumbfounded by these people. They're so good at acting the good part, while hiding everything else away from us. Not willing to deal with things, not willing to ask for help. I have no idea what's happening to you, and then BOOM! Something happens and then the rest of us are like, "What??" I, or the few of us are supposedly the ones you say you trust, or are willing to share your burdens with, but the reality is just the opposite.

When that happens, I get frustrated. I just go, "What can I do. I believe I've done my part. I've tried to be nice, or I've tried to be loving to such people but then, the response is nothing." What are you doing? You know the most bizarre thing, is sometimes such people appear to heal temporarily, somehow have never learned from past experience, and then do the same thing again. I'm not talking about repeating dropping your phone or tripping over, but the more outstanding things.

As such, it has become harder for me to forgive you people in my heart. I still treat you nice or at least mantain allied diplomacy because I have no intention to betray you. If I say that I'm your friend, then I mean it. It's just that many times I don't think you people understand how much your actions or your attitude affects people like me and your friends. The love is there, but somehow you either don't understand it, reject it or don't look for it, therefore leaving you blind, leading to your own unfortunate circumstances.

I hope I can find it in me to forgive you and for me to get rid of this 'thing' inside me. I just hope you can wake up, because honestly, you appear to be aware, but yet are so ignorant of things right next to you. Let the love of my faith, heal both you and I.