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kotmj

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Thanks both. I think I've got the workwear angle covered cuz I'm going to the bread and butter tradeshow with the folks from Tuckshop & Sundry Supplies, so will deffo rub shoulders with the major stores. I was hopeful of finding a good cloth bin, but google yielded minimal results.

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Looks like I will be travelling to Hainan Island soon to visit the ancestral home. A couple of hundred years ago a certain Tok was doing quite well over there, and had built himself a house -- the sort with a courtyard in the middle, wooden eaves, and intricate paintings on the walls. The Chinese understanding of a house is more like a complex. This is a goldsmithing family (explanation for my inclination towards the crafts?) before the China-wide social restructuring and the eventual impoverishment of the family and the emigration of certain Toks over to Malaysia. The house still stands, though most of it is in a poor condition. There is a bit of land that certain members of the family still farms on, and there is a coconut grove behind the house with the graves of several dozen Toks.

 

I wonder if six days is too little to have a Hainanese suit made for myself. It would be great if there is like a village tailor. How cool is that.

 

I have an insane love for shellfish, and for the longest time ever, I have always thought that my ancestors must have eaten lots of it because it felt like primal food to me. I mean, I had European housemates who live their entire lives without ever needing to eat any shellfish. Me, I was pining for seafood most of the time.

 

So the other day, I asked my father if the ancestral house is situated anywhere near a beach. I wanted to know if Toks have have been eating much seafood. His reply: "You can see the beach from the house."

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I meant the Hainanese interpretation of a Western suit. Basically, a suit, but made by Hainanese in Hainan. I'll have to find one the first day I'm there.

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Be afraid be very afraid. I will never do it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is one though. 

 

海南红帮高级成衣定制工作室

 

http://weibo.com/p/1005053425722920

陈松林先生

联系电话 13078921308

邮箱 1309540362@qq.com

 

 

现在来普及下本工作室的相关历史:本工作室是的红帮裁缝的第七代传人陈松林先生开设的,那么啥子是红帮裁缝呢,一言蔽之,它是中国历史上有着重要历史贡献的创业群体。呵呵,这绝非虚浮之此,而是有充分历史依据的。

     宁波是我国著名的红帮裁缝诞生地,中国的第一个本帮和西装裁缝流派都出于宁波人。宁波人以前称西方人为“红毛人”专门替“红毛人”做衣服的裁缝,也因此称为“红帮”裁缝。

    红帮不仅是一种技艺,更是一份文化遗产。它凝聚了中国近代服装业的180余年历史精髓。

    19563月至四月由上海迁至北京的208名红帮师傅成立了北京“红都”服装店。“红都”是专为国家领导人制作服装的服装店,毛泽东、刘少奇、周恩来、邓小平、江泽明、李鹏等党和国家领导人的服装都是由该店制作。

    1956年秋,有12名红帮名师进入中南海,展示了中国现代服装最高水平。

    在香港、日本及东南亚各国,红帮裁缝仍然是主宰高端西服的主力。当西服经过现代化、工业化的滥觞之后,纯手工的量体裁衣制作方式仍然是满足部分高端顾客的首要之选。消费要求在世界的各大时装之都,高级定制成为顶级时装的主要生产方式。

    目前,国内嫡传的红帮裁缝已不足百人,且都年事已高,正值壮年的红帮传人更是屈指可数,呵呵,俺们陈师傅就是其中的一个。

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Father went to Beijing with friends instead of to Hainan with me.

 

Tomorrow, I go to Makati City, Manila for 3 days.

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Makati City is so wow. I'll write more once I'm back. Btw, wealthy Malaysians should finally learn to be more selective whom they marry. European aristocracy have always known this. So do the Filipino upper crust. When the son of a wealthy family marries the daughter of another wealthy family, it concentrates wealth. After a few generations of doing this, the whole country belongs to a couple dozen families.

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I'm guessing you've just seen how the Ayalas, Aquinos and etc run the country. But did you see how the other 99% of the people live.

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Makati was amazing.

manila1_zps4h5xw8rp.jpg

(View out of hotel balcony)

 

I personally found it better planned and built than any part of KL. It's quite American in concept. Their idea of a condominium is of the American sort, and totally not like ours. What Makati really needs though are more green parks.

 

More coming later tonight...

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Years ago, I sold some Solbiati linens to a customer in Manila. I found him very pleasant to deal with and very communicative. He told me a lot about himself; to reciprocate, I told him about myself. I did not know then that eventually he would play such an influential role in what I do. We had many more encounters including one in person in KL. He is the catalyst for my going to Manila. I met up with him for dinner at Sentro 1771 in Fort Bonifacio, a very American-looking portion of town.

 

manila6_zps1r9fk12k.jpg

(On the way to Fort Bonifacio from Terminal 4)

 

manila2_zpsr84inqew.jpg

(My favourite dish of the evening. Fried Mozarella balls.)

 

manila3_zpsvd8kmeru.jpg

(Lamb stew)

 

manila4_zpsucjtv98w.jpg

(Ikan kembong and a pork dish)

 

manila5_zpspagmtxat.jpg

(A mango)

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I met with many people the next day. From 10:30am till 6pm I talked non-stop to a succession of people. The people I met are really the most interesting part of my trip. But due to the high profile of these people, they and their families are under constant public scrutiny, so it is best I do not talk too much about them.

 

But I can show a picture of the place. I say "place" and not "shop" because the way things get sold in this place is very different from the typical luxury retail outlet.

manila7_zps3vvoigym.jpg

 

After all the meetings, I walked Makati for several hours by myself. It was already dark.

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I was walking when a small guy who fell in step with me said to me, "Look! Knife!" I looked at him. He had a 1.5" black anodized blade in his right hand. "Give phone!" he commanded me.

 

"I'm not giving you my phone," I said to him. "Look! Look!" he said, moving the knife to effect a menacing gesture.

 

He was a whole head shorter than me, and weighed maybe 35kg. He looked young, but it was difficult to ascertain his age because of his severe undernourishment. I started preparing myself to deliver an explosive punch in his face. Without conscious effort, I was already subtly moving my shoulders joints around as a warm up to the punch.

 

I once trained with weights using the Anaconda Protocol. The routine with Anaconda was very different from other routines. Every rep was an explosive rep. You moved the weight as fast as you could. I loved this routine because I felt amazing after a workout.

 

"So this is how you are doing it," I said to him, readying myself for an explosive punch into his face. I guessed that even if he stabbed me while I punched him, a 1.5" puncture wound wouldn't be fatal. I was only afraid my veganism had severely eroded my explosive power, and that instead of a knockout punch, it merely hurts him a little and he would stab me repeatedly. That would be quite unpleasant for me.

 

The problem was solved when he abruptly changed his demand. "Money for food!," he cried. I shook my head. I'm not giving him anything. "Money for food!" he cried again. I gave him the coins in my pocket. He thanked me and left me alone.

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I continued walking Makati after the encounter. A customer in KL told me that Makati is like Singapore. He's right. The Ayala Greenbelt malls are a complex of malls separated by gardens. Greenbelt is not a mall. It is a complex of malls. It's huge.

manila11_zpso5g0bnq0.jpg

 

There's even a revival old school barber shop.

manila13_zpsxotif9bm.jpg

 

The retail scene here is large and sophisticated.

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The next morning, I had a "fun" appointment. Kevin Yapjoco is an early member of this forum and a well-known Manila menswear enthusiast. We had waffles for breakfast. He said joonian said hi to me.

manila14_zpszqozajoz.jpg

 

The buttonholes on Kevin's shirts are all hand sewn.

manila15_zps30fmoukf.jpg

 

He used to be in data analytics; he is now manager of The Signet Store, which is a Filipino version of The Armoury. It stocks much the same assortment as The Armoury. We opened shop for the day.

manila16_zpsizd88uik.jpg

 

The jeans is standing up by itself.

manila17_zpsg8t6c0si.jpg

 

Drakes squares and Fox umbrellas.

manila18_zps778bk5zb.jpg

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I had to rush back to the "place" after that to see the chairperson/owner of a company with a market cap of roughly RM 3 billion. Then, I was assigned a Land Rover, a driver and an assistant to go buy the hand woven blanket I had said I wanted.

manila19_zpszaggyeim.jpg

(Me in the back seat of a Land Rover with driver and assistant in the front. The closest experience to high living for the foreseeable future.)

 

While shopping for the blanket, I saw someone who seems to have flown in directly from Pitti.

manila20_zpspyrxqkmc.jpg

(American corporate buyer. He spoke in a very effeminate way. Totally gay.)

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Makati was amazing.

manila1_zps4h5xw8rp.jpg

(View out of hotel balcony)

 

I personally found it better planned and built than any part of KL. It's quite American in concept. Their idea of a condominium is of the American sort, and totally not like ours. What Makati really needs though are more green parks.

 

More coming later tonight...

 

It's just Makati jeremy, try going out of that. But i do agree Makati is well planned and quit nice. Stuff is much cheaper there too compared to here. Like Adidas sneakers.

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I vaguely remember that Makati is predominantly owned by Ayala family. Having old money and connections can really help to bolster the fortunes.

 

But the idea of going through the metal detectors in each building in Philippines always worry me. Not that they have it. But how lax they administer them.

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I found the prices of food there quite high! A little higher than KL. On par with Genting.

 

The other thing I found remarkable is just how dynamic the driving there is. Their idea of sufficient space between cars is 2".

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Here in KL drivers leave more space between vehicles.

 

The other thing which struck me is how polite and service-oriented the Filipinos are. We in KL are indifferent and cynical. But we are still a lot better than, say, the Germans.

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