Friday, 31 December 2010

Countdown to DEWA: My top 35 favourite songs by the diva Ning Baizura (Part 3: 10-1)

Here we are at the climax, the final ten in my three series countdown. Hope you enjoy this review as much as i enjoy writing it. Feel free to comment if you agree or not with the selection and rankings.

Ps: Happy new year 2011 peeps! May the new year bring you success in your career, love and live


#10 BEBASKAN This song, a personal favourite of mine from the ERTI PERTEMUAN album, is the very definition of understated elegance. First performed live for the very first time at the 2003 Anugerah Era awards, this Audi Mok produced ballad, with lyrics by exudes a certain degree of sophistication and adult contemporariness that I consider quite rare amongst the many songs in Ning’s repertoire. Her vocal performance of  Shah Shamsiri’s lyrics is subdued and unrushed, yet belies great warmth. The song also is available in two other versions. The serene Quiet Storm Mix is an acoustic presentation highlighting Ning’s vocals to great effect. But the greatest surprise is epic 7-minute Classic Club Mix. Here Audi Mok lets loose by turning the song on its head at transforming it into an all out clubbers anthem! Also , Ning recorded fresh vocals for the the remix, adding the necessary sass, and backing vocals and a diva moment bridge, imploring you to be free on the dance floor!

Bebaskan [Classic Club Mix] (Fan Video)

#09 IZINKAN You may be intrigued as to how this obscure track, dating all way back from the NING album managed to make its way to the Top 10? Well, I am going to answer that with an even potentially controversial and divisive statement: Best. Vocal. Ever! Yes folks, say what you may of my choice but me this gentile ballad by Johari Teh is the canvass to which Ning put use her god’s given talent in the most sublime manner. In this one song (and perhaps unbeknownst to herself), she displayed her classically trained vocal range and all inherent singing techniques at her disposal, giving it colours, energy and soul. A triumph!

#08 TEGUH The title song produced by Hari Kish Menon from the album of the same name is an inspiring modern pop-ballad with the now famous line ‘Bersama, berdua… Cita-cita dan cinta kan teguh untuk selamanya’. With themes of reaching for your dreams, rising above and never looking back, Ning voice soars over the synth strings. The dynamics of the song is upwards, reaching a climactic bridge and ever-scaling chorus. 

#07 ANTARA MUNGKIN DAN CURIGA Like all good trilogies, there should be a prologue, interlude and an end. Just like Curiga casts doubt on the sincerity of love, and Mungkin opens up of the possibility of reciprocating love… comes the knock-out track that debates between the two: do you give in to chance or forever remain a cynic? A beautiful dilemma indeed. The song is another epic ballad by Ross Ariffin and Johari Teh, whereby Ning’s voice is soulful and strong. Meanwhile the bridge features some of her most legendary, thrilling, and accomplished adlibs. Again try and imitate the ‘to-toots’ and a fan will precisely know which song you are referring too. It still send me to blissful shivers whenever I hear the song. 

#06 SELAGI ADA… (CINTA) from the comeback album comes the comeback ballad that truly cemented her return to the Malaysian music industry. This power ballad written by then husband and wife team Nurul and Ajai was judged Song Of The Year at AIM12. The song also made the finals of Anugerah Juara Lagu (AJL) under the Best Ballad category.

Selagi Ada Cinta [Live Performance at Anugerah Jura Lagu 2004]

#05 PASTI Considered a signature song of Ning, the sunny and carefree love song by Jari serves as the lead single to the NING album. The sparse and sparkly production makes the perfect base to which Ning displays her vocals with amazing clarity. Of course, who wouldn't remember that the song features her now classic and legendary yell of ‘Passtiiiii!’. The song is still sounds fresh all this years and simply a joy to listen to

Pasti [Music Video]

#04 CURIGA The song that started it all. The one that made people stand up and listen. The one that entirely brought about an exciting new chapter in the Malaysian music industry. Hearing it back after all this years does indeed makes one nostalgic of how far her carrier has come. This song is unique at the time because there is no other song like it. In a sea of rock and rap, comes this classically inclined ballad by Jari and lyrics by Mahzan B with the unmistakable crisp soprano voice by the rising starlet. Ning’s maiden appearance at the Anugerah Juara Lagu competition yielded her the Best Ballad award and exposed here talent furthere to the masses, with here simple yet elegant performance (not forgetting the backing singers… hmm speaking of which where are they and what are they doing now eh?), earning her a thunderous applause from the audience. The track was also nominated for Song Of The Year at AIM '93. The music video was nominated for Best Music Video at AIM '93

Curiga [Live Performance]

#03 AWAN YANG TERPILU This special ballad written by Lin Li Zhen is near and dear to many hearts, but perhaps none more so than Ning herself. As this could be the theme of her entire life: the story of an estranged relationship between father and daughter, brought apart by the choices in life to pursue in what you believe. The tale is told beautifully by master class lyrics by the late Loloq, considered by many as the most poetic, meaningful of all his works. Even Loloq himself considers it his most accomplished piece of writing. Consider the opening stanza: Kerana cinta, aku kembara… Bagai camar, melintas laut, mencari pohon untuk berteduh and immediately you can imagine how the words mirrors Ning’s own meandering journey. The tale is also brought to life vividly by Virginia Kennedys heart-wrenching and poignant music video. The song struck a nerve with general audience and took home awards for Song Of The Year and Best Music Video in the 2004 AIM awards. The song also participated in the Anugerah Juara Lagu 20 finale (to this day, I still feel it is the most deserving winner) where Ning chose simplicity over extravagance in her performance.

Awan Yang Terpilu [Live Performance at Anugerah Juara Lagu 20]

#02 IN ANOTHER LIFE If there is ever a song that forever embellished on our minds that Ning has the credibility to make it in the international stage it is this one. Written by Sam Lorber, Greg Pretipino and Andrew Gold, the ballad is said to have been originally intended for Mariah Carey. Story has it that upon Ning’s rendition of the track, Mariah gave here seal of approval. But whether this is more rumour than fact is immaterial, for indeed Ning’s vocal delivery is this otherworldly and diction impeccable. The song itself is sublime, I especially like the ‘waves crashing and seagulls chirping’ sound effects sampled at the beginning, very typical of the time but so appropriate to sere as an intro to the glorious voice that proceeds. So successful is this track that it broke new ground by topping radio charts in both Malaysia and Singapore. Moreover, it spent an amazing 11 weeks atop Singapore radio charts. Amazingly this song has been covered by several international singers, most notably American actress/singer Jennifer Love Hewitt and Hong Kong chanteuse Sandy Lam. But of course, none can ever match the truly mesmerising original by the diva.

In Another Life [Music Video]

#01 KE SAYUP BINTANG We have come to the peak to what I consider the quintessential and finest track of her career. The title track of the same named album is simply perfection. In my opinion, no other song in her vast catalogue culminates perfectly the elements of writing, production, lyrics and of course Ning’s voice, delivery and rendition. Fauzi Marzuki produced a dreamlike and heavenly ballad, adding it a sense of drama and mystery with a steady percussive beat serving as the undercurrent amidst an ambient synth arrangement. Meanwhile, Ning’s vocal performance of Amran Omar’s wonderful lyrics is yearning and heartfelt, again serves as an example of understated elegance. I remember reading the reviews of this ballad at that time even comparing her phrasing and nuances to that of Anita Baker. The music video, which features Ning in a short haircut is simple, yet bursting with a kaleidoscope of colours, befitting the starry universe the song imagines. With all elements combined, this track stands to this day as my all time personal favourite.

Ke Sayup Bintang [Music Video]

This concludes the journey through Ning’s vast catalogue. With the launch of DEWA in the new year, I am hoping to be surprised and amazed once again that the list would reshuffle. Already there are potential tracks such as ‘Mama Papa’ and ‘Raksasa’ and I believe the rest of the songs would be equally as exciting and ground breaking. Stay tuned for my review of her 11th studio album in the near future.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Countdown to DEWA: My top 35 favourite songs by the diva Ning Baizura (Part 2: 20-11)

The countdowns continues with the second part of the threesome . Enjoy


#20 ALANGKAH In the original iteration, Ning’s husky vocals complements the fresh production by Hari. The lyrics, written by Tesh R.S (of Casey’s ‘Seribu Impian’ fame) is positive and uplifting, centre's around ambitions, dreams and fantasies. The track is also one of the very few in Ning’s entire catalogue who’s remix is officially available. The Gergasi Mix, which is exclusively available in the ‘Kasi Gegar ‘ Compilation ups the ante with some vinyl scratching, thumpier bass, additional adlibs and samples, giving the song a distinctive urban flavour.

Alangkah [Gergasi Mixx]

#19 ASMARA Perhaps the best up-tempo number the TEGUH album, this Mark J Fiest produced track is just dripping in R&B soul goodness. Ning performs with a decidedly confident swagger befitting the click and sexy beats.

#18 KAU & AKU This much beloved track always reminds me of a breezy day at the beach. The jazzy written by Ross Ariffin makes full use of Ning’s easy-going delivery with lyrics written by herself. As vanilla as the sentiments, the song is also one of the most controversial in her a career. A spat with her recording company back then resulted in a ban from her performing all songs from the sophomore album. That meant that the performance for the 1994 Juara Lagu finale had to be replaced with the boy band Kool, which remixed the song to suit their catcy dance steps. Ultimately, the performance won the ‘pop rock’ category, which also meant that Ning shared in the trophy and cash prize for the contribution as lyricist.

#17 PERCAYA / JUST BELIEVE The suave and sophisticated first single from the TEGUH album (and later reincarnated in English in the ALWAYS album), represents Ning’s evolution to experiment with a more urban sounding R&B. Produced by Mark J Fiest, the intention of the Malay and English double underscores Ning’s grand ambition of making her mark in the international arena. Unfortunately, the it didn't come to fruition as Ning was cheated by here management back then, one of the many setbacks in her tumultuous career.

#16 WATER AND SALT The only ballad from the electronic and dance heavy EASTTOWEST, album the song is indeed an understated gem. Completely unadorned save for acoustic piano, flute (by the renowned maestro Andrea Griminelli) and strings to accompany Ning's yearning and melancholic vocal performance. Simply mesmerising!

Water and Salt [Fan Video set to the short film, ‘Malaikat di Jendela’ (Angel by my Window)]

#15 SENANG TARI Renowned local media blogger Sultanmuzaffar, in his review of the ERTI PERTEMUAN, exclaimed this song as ‘bijaksana!’. And that is indeed the most apt way of describing this intriguing track. As the theme song to the acclaimed short film ‘Pua’, this track written by Farihin Abdul Fatah and Ain stands as one of the most unique songs in Ning’s collection; a mix of arabesque percussion and instruments interspersed in a trance pulse and beat, giving it a futuristic bent to the song. Ning’s vocal delivery is understated and sensual, while the French monologue in the beginning only adds to the element of mystery. Virginia Kennedy, who directed the music video sees Ning reimagined as a gothic goddess, recalling inspired cues from Madonna’s Frozen and Nothing Really Matters videos, respectively. Bijaksana indeed…

Senang Tari [Theme song to the short-film Pua]

#14 DEKAT PADAMU The title track from Ning’s debut album is simply sublime. The song, written by Jari is soothing with its saxophone accompaniment, while Ning phrases the lyrics by Lukhman S with elegance and poise. Towards the end, she presents here trademark whistle register, but still controlled and never overdone.

#13 WARNA I luv, luv, luv this track! There is a certain kineticism and energy to the song that I really couldn't put my finger on, but it never fails to put a smile on my face and makes me wanna stand up and dance: the vibe is simply that irresistible. If Ning is considering a set list for the live concert scheduled this July, I would hands down recommend this song as the opening performance. JP Abdullah managed to create essentially gospel infused pop song (think Mariah’s Emotions), while Ning performed here self-penned lyrics with soul and finesse. Plus the unmistakable adlib has made the song even more memorable. Proof? Simply quote ‘Pah du-duh, pa du-duh-pa!’ to a fan, and they now exactly which song you are referring to…

#12 KEMBALI (2003) This song embodies a significant juncture in Ning’s ever-winding career. for it presents with the most unique of challenges: After an almost insurmountable controversy, how does one ever make a comeback? In Ning’s case: by addressing the issue head on, and more importantly by releasing an irresistibly catchy yet poignant song with aim to reintroduce Ning to the local music scene. The first single from the SELAGI ADA… NING album is produced by Ajai, with lyrics written by Ning herself. The contemporary R&B pop song, which features a masterful string arrangement by Fauzi Marzuki, A sophisticated music video directed by Virginia Kennedy, which features CGI elements also complements the song beautifully. Her ‘return’ has definitely been cemented in 2003 when she emerged the surprise winner of the Anugerah ERA Choice Female Vocalist.

Kembali [Music Video]

#11 PENJARA KASIH You know its gonna be epic, when it starts off with a saxophone prologue. And what a glorious ballad it is, forever embellished by her fans as the ’bagai ikan’ song. Written by Jari, the song presents an element of drama utilising a heart-beat rhythm to serve as a undercurrent to the song. Ning’s voice has never been more clear and flawless. The meaning full and deep lyrics by Lukhman S narrates a controlling relationship (Aku perhiasan mata, pada yang sudi memandang. Jari jemari yang tidak membelai, terhalang oleh kaca berharga), while the killer chorus with the legendary ‘goldfish in a bowl’ analogy eventually builds up to a rousing finale. And just like that, the song bookends with the sax instrumental again. Like i said, epic.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Countdown to DEWA: My top 35 favourite songs by the diva Ning Baizura (Part 1: 35-21)

With anticipation of the diva’s 11th studio album DEWA reaching fever pitch, I thought it would be the perfect time to revisit and honour Ning’s vast repertoire of songs.

In a career spanning 17 years, she has given birth ten albums under her belt plus numerous more from soundtracks, compilations and guest performances. She has entertained us with at least 120 songs, all showcasing her exquisite vocal range with versatility and finesse. Ning has been noted as the voice of Malaysian soul and R&B, but her genre also expands to hip-hop, dance, electronica, rock and even keroncong (albeit pop infused, hehe).

Thus in an almost herculean effort, I have attempted to distil all of the songs into a quintessential list which I believe define who she is through my ears. But please, forgive me for being decidedly super greedy at listing 35 (in honour of her present age) instead of the customary ten. Its difficult to choose when you are spoiled with so many aural delights… So grab a nice warm cup of cocoa and enjoy this trip down memory lane and cris-cross time as we look forward to Ning’s newest offering in the coming year, marking her rebirth and reinvention.

ps: have a very merry Xmas and a happy 2011 peeps!


#35 AKU RINDU PADAMU Starting off our countdown is the lead single from what is considered Ning’s least received offering, PUJAANKU. Perhaps in a marketing decision to make here more relatable to the masses (read; kampung folk), the end result is an almost typical Malay ballad of lost love written by the eponymous LY and Baiduri combo. Still, the song does highlight an important point: than Ning simply cant doesn't fit the typical mode. She is capable of so much more… as evidenced by the selection that follows.

Aku Rindu Padamu (Music Video)

#34 NATURAL WOMAN The title song represents an important era in Ning’s career. After virtually being ostracized by the Malaysian media following the FHM confessions debacle, Ning sought an ‘escape’ by heading to Japan to try here luck there. There, she cut an album with producers Chica Asamoto and Nao Nakamura and the result is an experimental English album which has elements of trance and two-step. NATURAL WOMAN is the most sought after finds among Ning’s diehard fans due to its rarity of being released only in Japan. This bouncy song in particular also showcases her attempt at singing in Japanese.

#33 PUJAAN KU Another title song, this time written by Is Wow. The background synths and effects gives this jazzy number some neo-soul edge that makes it stand out from the rest of the staid collection.

#32 GETARAN RINDUKU / JUST WANNA GET CLOSE TO YOU This song, written by Mark J Fiest exemplifies 90s American-style R&B at it finest, particularly in its English incarnation. With a base-heavy production, this suave track could have sit comfortably on the Billboard charts had the initial plans of taking her global came to fruition.

Getaran Rinduku (Fan Video)

#31 DUGAANKU This beautiful track that bookends her debut album has been a favourite to many due to its truly heart-breaking lyrics (the killer line: apakah kita nanti tiada dapat serasi? ataukah hanya aku bermimpi ‘tuk memiliki), Ning’s composed vocal delivery and the flute and guitar accompaniment that gives the song a Latin inspired flavour. You can almost imagine a star-crossed couple dancing there last sensual tango together before departing forever.

Dugaanku (Fan Video)

#30 AGE OF POLLUTION The first single from her third English album is a miasma of heavy electronica bass beats designed to complement Ning's whispery delivery in what could have been the club anthem the Live Earth Concerts. With themes of environmentalism and taking action, the sprightly animated music video has also become winner in the 2007 Rome Film Festival in the video clip section.

#29 ANTARA KITA This duet with Hedi Yunus was intended to be her cross-over ticket to the Indonesian market and vice versa. Their voices complements each other well in this power ballad, with Ning’s clear and strong high register combining beautifully with Hedi’s milky sexy vocals. It remains her most popular song there. It goes to show that if we set our petty differences aside, the two nations can indeed make great music together. Like i always say: kita adalah serumpun.

Antara Kita (Music Video)

#28 BAWA DAKU PERGI From Malaysia’s first full length animated feature ‘Silat Lagenda’ by the ever ground-breaking KRU brothers, comes this fresh and fun up-tempo R&B track is tailor suited to Ning’s whispery and relaxed singing.

#27 MENU MINGGU INI Don't let this breezy and understated jazzy number by Aidit Alfian track fool you. It belies some of the sensual lyrics ever written by the devilishly brilliant Ad Samad. As Ning sexily coos to her lover: Andainya diriku kan jadi, patung ujian rempuh, yang sewenang kau lakukan, sekehendaknya hatimu, aku sedia relakan. And just as the song about to end, it abruptly turns the table by asking: Menu minggu ini, mungkin tidakkan kau menduga, sekali ini... berterbalikkan watak kita... kinky!

#26 HUMAN This Human League remake was updated for her second English album ALWAYS by producer Hari ‘Haze’ Menon. I remember it clearly when I first heard the song on the radio, and could have sworn it was a black singer from the States performing the song. Ning voice stands out over a gospel–esque choir and uplifting production.

#25 MUNGKIN A classic up-tempo track from her debut album written by Ning’s own brother Badiq and features the now ubiquitous trademark ooohs and aahs. The song was made even more memorable by a Vogue inspired performance during the Juara Lagu Finals in 1994.

Mungkin (Anugerah Juara Lagu 1994 Live Performance)

#24 KAU PELITAKU This song speaks of a daughter expressing her gratitude towards her mother’s immeasurable and unwavering love and sacrifice. This is very much about Ning’s own story and the relationship with her mother, who is very much the centre and backbone of Ning’s life and career ups and downs through the years. Another track written by Hari, it features Ning’s very own lyrics. Her sincere performance accompanied by a sax interlude never fails to make my heart soar. Truly inspiring.

#23 JAUH A non-album ballad, this is indeed a rare gem. Featuring Ning’s subdued, almost vulnerable vocals as well as an understated production.

#22 ANGEL OF MY HEART This understated English ballad by Mark J Fiest is presented in a paired down, almost dreamy production, thus highlighting Ning’s vocals to great effect. As always here diction impeccable and her performance magical.

#21 DRAMA Rounding off the first batch of songs is this simply high-camp and diva-tastic track. Cleverly sampling Beethoven's piano loop, it also features guest vocals by her protégés Nikki and the late Yanie. The instant hit, written by Audi Mok and lyrics by Ad Samad created quite a stir in the Malaysian music scene when it was debuted at the ERA music awards. Since then, an English version has been recorded and remixed for the EASTTOWEST album, as well as being much copied by drag performances throughout. As they always say, imitation is the sincerest from of flattery.

Drama [with Nikki & Yanie @ Angurah Era 2006 Live Performance

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Ning Baizura, Jaclyn Victor and Shila combined vocal forces in 3 SUARA

What happens when diva Ning Baizura, ingénue Jaclyn victor and rising starlet Shila join forces in a secret album ? the result is 3 SUARA, a special project consisting of 10 ‘three-ets’ (is there such a word?) which will hit stores in December.

This unique idea to combine the three singers came from Kevin Chin, a Malaysian working in Singapore who also selected the tracklist. Meanwhile, Indonesian producer Irwan Simanjutak helmed the production of the album.

I guess for Ning fans when it rains, it pours… cuz after almost 6 years anticipating her next Malay album, which is almost complete and due to be released early 2011, we are treated with this surprise prezzie. Happy days indeed…


01 - It's Beautiful Life
02 - Menari Dalam Hujan
03 - Seisi Hatimu
04 - Di Mana Di Mana
05 - Beribu Sesalan
06 - Hanya Satu
07 - Mengenangmu
08 - Tomorrow's Calling
09 - Teman
10 - Beribu Sesalan [Acoustic Version]

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Diesel ‘Jeret’ Trench Coat
















Ever since my planned getaway to London & Paris this coming April, I have been eying for a trench coat for quite some time now. Although the de-rigour trench would be a Burberry of course, I don't mind settling for something as stylish and a bit more wallet friendly, hehe.

Luckily had this black DIESEL JERET trench coat on sale. The detail that I am loving the most is the belted cuffs, which gives the staid outerwere a bit of an edge. The grommets on the belt elevate this piece to another stylish level while the slash zip pocket on the left of the chest provides an additional outlet to store essentials.

Just need slight alterations on the sleeves and sides and I am so April showers ready, hehe…

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Manhattan Portage + 55DSL = “EUROPA 55”



Manhattan Portage and 55DSL have collaborated to create a special limited edition bag called the EUROPA 55;  a combination of 55DSL’s creativity with the iconic red label from New York City. The originality of 55DSL and technical expertise of legendary manufacturer Manhattan Portage makes this urban messenger bag the ultimate collector’s item.

Customized by 55DSL head honcho Andrea Rosso, the new bag features a black 55DSL logo, the black Manhattan Portage label, a black vintage buckle, and a series of zipped multifunctional pockets.A limited number of 1,000 bags will be released worldwide and will be available at Manhattan Portage and 55DSL flagship stores and for select retailers starting Mid-November.

Europa Messenger MP Bag // 37 x 28 x 10 cm (WxHxD) size // 0.60 kg weight // 11 litres volume // 100% Waterproof Tarpaulin Vinyl and 1000D CORDURA® Classic Fabric // €99,00 // More details found at: and

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Diesel opens its first large format concept store in Shibuya, Tokyo

by Amanda Kaiser // November 19, 2010 // WWD.COM




Diesel’s evolution beyond denim into an edgy and irreverent lifestyle brand is on full display at its new flagship here.
As to be expected, there are plenty of jeans washed and sandblasted to achieve every imaginable effect. But the store is also home to a café, an exhibition space and a corner selling Diesel’s recently launched home collection, which includes a goose down filled sofa and bedding printed with photos of vintage stereo equipment.

It’s not just that you’re going in somewhere to buy clothes, you are entering an atmosphere, the reality of a brand,” said Diesel founder and president Renzo Rosso in the WWD interview, who hosted a mini hot dog-fueled party Thursday night to fete the store. “It’s an environment in which people can hang out.”











The two-level flagship opened to the public on last Saturday. It makes its home in the bustling shopping an entertainment district of Shibuya in a building that also houses a Tommy Hilfiger, multi-brand boutique Tomorrowland and some other retailers and restaurants. Once shoppers make their way past a cluster of slot machines stocked with play tokens, they can take in the brand’s full range of men’s and women’s denim, apparel, handbags, eyewear, watches and other accessories. Prices range from about ¥7,140 for a t-shirt to ¥28,350 for a pair of jeans blacked with a coal-type effect.









The store also carries some limited edition items exclusive to the store, including sold or silver high-top sneakers and a jacket made from raw denim that is supposed to age 10 times faster than the standard indigo-dyed fabric. The Glorious Chain Café serves up hearty fare like pancakes, eggs benedict, ice cream sandwiches as well as glasses of Rosso’s own wine.








Market conditions in Japan are very difficult at the moment but Diesel is faring considerably better than many other fashion brands and its sales in Japan, its largest market, grew 7% last year to €220 million, or about $300 million. The brand has not cut its prices on specific items but it has adjusted its merchandizing mix to have more products at entry-level price points. Diesel is aware of the importance of developing engaging stores and nurturing close relationships with customers through online platforms....

Saturday, 27 November 2010

The Chase

Text by Lucia Davies // 20 September 2010/

This adrenaline-charged chase sequence by photographer Will Davidson shot exclusively for AnOther captures Sophia Kokosalaki’s debut A/W10 collection for Diesel Black Gold amidst a bustling cityscape. “The Chase” is inspired by classic cinematic pursuit scenes of the French New Wave, and the noir chic aesthetic evokes an industrial European feel. Kokosalaki’s collection was a perfect match to the inner-city setting and Davidson’s signature dark and gritty style: leather combined with slim-fit distressed denims, conjures an air of rebellion and an artisanal punkish attitude.

The Chase // Photography: Will Davidson // Clothes: Sophia Kokosalaki // Styling: Karen Langleyu // Music: Daniel Lea // Models: Noot, Olly Walker and Jonathan Saxby // Hair: Chi Wong // Makeup: Shinobu.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Sneak peak spring 2011…


Diesel Spring 2011: Denim. Leather. And Hardware. Oh My!

Text / Photos by Elgene Castueras // 18 Nov 2010 //

Diesel Spring 2011

Denim. Leather. Hardware. Oh my! Diesel is Multitudinal. From Diesel, Diesel Black Gold, and 55 DSL, each line brings a different perspective and vision to its heritage.

With denim as its core, the use of soft cotton stretch with varying colors and styles lures the new customers and brings in the old loyalties. From the women’s mint and sherbet colored jeans, multicolor printed pieces to the beaded dresses – its foray defines edge, vintage, and feminity.

Diesel Spring 2011

Diesel Spring 2011











On the other hand, function and utility combines leather, suede, and hardware in menswear bridging a ‘camo’ meets Hollywood touch.

Diesel Spring 2011

Diesel Spring 2011










Attitude, lifestyle, and comfort describe the 55 DSL collection. Its street influence and playful vibe shows youth and fun through graphic tees, hoodies, and vests. Must have items include washed green motorcycle leather jacket (option to turn into vest), printed and beaded dresses and shoes, and suede jackets/minis.

Diesel Spring 2011

Diesel Spring 2011

Diesel’s core is denim. It is part of their DNA. Ranging from exclusive treatments and washes in optional fits, there is always a pair for anyone. With the holidays and spring right around the corner, Diesel is a perfect stop for a gift to someone … or yourself.

Sunday, 14 November 2010



Hot Models Get Busy in Brooklyn Law Library

By Elie Mystalalt // 11 Nov 2010//

The library at Brooklyn Law School is fast becoming the most sexual law library in America. Last week, the class of 2010 dedicated a plaque inside the library warning students, “It’s supposed to be hard.” This week, we’ve learned that the law library also plays host to some hard bodies.

Apparently, Brooklyn Law allowed models from Diesel Jeans to use its law library for a photoshoot. The jeans didn’t stay on for long. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the law library for the 67th best law school in America….


A spokesperson for Brooklyn Law School told Above the Law how the photo shoot came about. Apparently school officials were caught a little bit off guard by the nature of the shoot:

Television and movie producers frequently ask for permission to use our beautiful facilities as a backdrop and we try to oblige when we can. When we gave Diesel jeans permission to do a photo shoot, we understood that jeans, and not what is worn under them, would be the subject of the shoot. We would not want to create the impression that the featured attire was approved by us.

Well, I for one approve of the featured attire. And really, I don’t think the issue is the clothing, so much as the setting. You know what I mean? Check out this desk:


Undoubtedly there is a Brooklyn Law student reading this post at that very desk. And I bet that person didn’t think to put on a condom before he started studying today.

But Brooklyn Law students shouldn’t be embarrassed by this use of their library. No really. It’s cool. I mean, take a look at this one. It’s very tasteful:


You can see the full photoshoot here.

Of course, the people in those pictures are just models. It’d be much more interesting if real Brooklyn Law students participated in this photoshoot. I bet a “Hotties of Brooklyn Law Calendar” would leave Cardozo and Fordham students ruing their choices.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Ra-ra-ra Raksasa!

Prepared to be awed with Ning’s 2nd single ‘RAKSASA’ from her upcoming Malay album. Totally a gigantic hit!

Monday, 1 November 2010

DIESEL Freebies at Singapore stores

Receive a DIESEL denim pouch key ring with any jeans purchased. Also, receive a Diesel limited edition Be Stupid USB with purchases of S$500 or more in a single receipt. Whilst stocks last. Terms apply.

Diesel, 01-24 Forum The Shopping Mall, tel: 6735 3387 // 02-17 Paragon, tel: 6732 3525.




Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Welcome to GlamNation!



Wohoo! Got my ticket today Smile. Cant wait to see the glamalicious Adam Lambert strutting his stuff at Putra Indoor Stadium next Thursday.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Astana Lumayan update II



Construction work progresses at Astana Lumayan. Piling and and foundation works are underway, though hampered by incessant rain as can seen in the pictures. Hope Mother Nature would be kind towards this little spot on earth…

Monday, 27 September 2010

Urusan Aizat Amdan****

Urusan Aizat Amdan

In another clear example that not winning do not necessarily equate to failure if the talent is undeniable (read: Faizal Tahir), another reality star has steadily but surely increased in stature to become a reputable force in the local music industry.

That Aizat, the AF Season 5 alumni, would be rising star that he is today has indeed surprised many (he only lasted up to week seven). Yet his success is  deservedly so: witness the breakout hits ‘Kau Aku’ and ‘Hanya Kau Yang Mampu’ from his first effort, (literally titled) Percubaan Pertama. Riding on the latest trend of online  distribution, these songs hit the right nerve with the tween and the socially connected generation, as as a result has been legally downloaded an outstanding 1.3 million (and counting) times, a record that translates into real mega-bucks. His debut album also served up with other smash singles, Lagu Kita and Fikirlah. And, after a good showing in two successive Anugerah Juara Lagu finals, anticipation is sky high for his sophomore effort.

Clearly that is what on this young artistes’ mind when releasing the follow-up URUSAN AIZAT AMDAN. From its creative title and packaging, to the thoughtful song-writing and impeccable production, the self financed album speaks of progression and musical acumen that betrays his age. Tonally, the seven track album more mature than that his debut, with influences from Brit and alt-rock acts that are his inspirations more forthcoming. The addition of two English tracks further expands his repertoire to surprising results.

The album kicks of with YEARS FROM NOW, the excellent upbeat opener with a an intriguing introspective underbelly: here Aizat boldly contemplates his future career and life direction right of the bat! With the 70’s-esque strings and unmistakable ‘pah-rup-pup pah’ backing vocals, the song sounds surprisingly fresh unlike anything on the current radio waves. On the next song, Aizat tempers the mood with the MANA OH MANA, a simmering ballad of yearning love and builds into rock out crescendo. Here, Aizat performs his best vocal delivery, easily displaying his range and is bound to be another hit.

Perhaps the only slight in the album it is the songs SENYUM, which is a tad laidback and does not quite jive with the rest of the collection. Meanwhile, the message of hope in ERTI HARI INI conjures an almost Scorpions ‘Wind of Change’ –like moment in its positivity.

Aizat is always known to be sempoi (i.e. cheeky and easy-going) and the absolutely delightful SUSUN SILANG KATA is best representative if this trait. This jazzy and joyful first single is highly addictive and is sure to put a spring in the step of the listener. Contrast that breeziness with the stark EMOTIONS, the most sophisticated and accomplished track in the whole album. While its a slow burner, but as the title suggests belays deep feelings, menacing almost, of love gained and lost. The arrangement is sparse and subdued befitting Aizat’s delicate, melancholic vocal delivery interspersed with lush sweeping strings towards the end. Definitely the best track in the entire set. The album then bookends with SUNGAI LUI, another excellent rock-ballad that melds into an all out stadium anthem towards the end.

Like the title of the album, Urusan truly reflects Aizat’s artistic vision and song-writing gift with clarity and confidence. This highly listenable set portends a higher level of song-writing and production Aizat is capable of that this listener hopes he will explore more in future endeavours. Percubaan kedua yang cemerlang!


  1. Years From Now (Aizat Amdan, Anas Amdan)*****
  2. Mana oh Mana (Aizat Amdan, Anas Amdan)****1/2
  3. Senyum (Aizat Amdan, Anas Amdan)***
  4. Erti Hari Ini (Aizat Amdan, Anas Amdan)***1/2
  5. Susun Silang Kata (Aizat Amdan, Anas Amdan)*****
  6. Emotions (Aizat Amdan, Anas Amdan) *****
  7. Sungai Lui (Aizat Amdan, Anas Amdan)****

Monday, 20 September 2010

Diesel Black Gold SS2011 preview

A love letter to the art, craft and music scene of America’s West Coast

The wild creativity of the West Coast arts and crafts movement, the free spirit of rock festivals and the sun-drenched landscapes of California all infuse the latest Diesel Black Gold collection, designed by Sophia Kokosalaki.












The pieces look handmade, as if patched and customized by their wearers. Colours are soft and diffuse: dusty pinks, greys and tans. Deeply rooted in Diesel’s DNA, a vintage feel runs through the collection, suggesting clothes that have been worn and loved through endless summers. The edgy influence of rock and roll adds a sexy refrain. Hand-painted desert scenes and the quirky shapes of cacti – in the form of jewellery, bags or shoes – transport the wearer to the rugged side of California.







































The collection is fluid and contemporary, yet with a touch of nostalgia: look out for big pockets, leather piping, flared trousers and form-fitting jackets in suede and leather.

Other pieces weave in floral and patchwork elements, recalling fashion experiments with “found” fabric, while natural elements like flowers and leaves keep up a very West Coast dialogue with nature. Outdoor festivals become pagan rites.



































An additional feature is the use of beading to evoke native American craft skills. Hand-stitched beading brings tradition into the modern world. Recalling the artisanal approach, the use of metal beads and other metallic hardware trace a direct line back to Diesel Black Gold.