Sunday, August 20, 2006

Retail Therapy

I'm not a typical Kuwaiti "name brand" ("marka") type of girl, whatsoever. I have my own style when it comes to clothes and shoes, and it's part of what makes me Me. The most expensive items in my wardrobe are my 14 eyelet teal Doc Martens which cost me nearly £100 and which I absolutely love, and my pair of Seven jeans (which, let's face it, are worth every penny). Other than that, my wardrobe is more than happy being in the student-income-bracket. In London I shop in Covent Garden and Camden Town. In Kuwait I have only ever stepped foot in Villa Moda once, for a party back in the day.

I will admit, however, that I love to engage in a bit of retail therapy every now and then. In London I'm always broke so on the rare occasions that I can actually invest in a new item or two, it's a real treat and it can put me on a high for days. Like when I first bought my Docs above, or my maroon and yellow Converse, or my black Osiris skate shoes. (Funky footwear is my weakness.)

So anyway, having prefaced this post with that bit of information about myself, I would now like to share with you the two newest additions to my wardrobe, both of which I absolutely love, and both of which are just so unbelievably "me", I couldn't have designed them better myself.

First, this necklace was part of my birthday gift from my sister Raine.

I think this is just such a unique and funky piece. First of all, it looks exactly like the turntable I have in my flat in London, only mine is white. Second of all, it perfectly represents a passion that I share with P. And third, I just love vinyls and I think turntables are where it's at. The turntable arm on the necklace actually moves, so you can put it over the vinyl. I usually don't wear much yellow gold but this looks perfect the way it is. It's by Swatch, by the way. I've always loved Swatch.

Second, I bought this bag for myself the other day.

How amazing is this? It's a bag with a black and white picture (in fabric) of the soor (town wall) and one of the old gates of Kuwait on one side, and the old souq circa 1937 on the other. What better bag could a historian carry, I ask you? I got this from a little boutique called "Just Me" on the first floor of Galleria 2000 in Salmiya. The lady in the shop told me that the bag was designed by the owner (a young Kuwaiti woman) and that there was only one like it made. Again, I don't normally wear or carry much brown, but it doesn't really matter - it's gonna become my "everyday" bag in London. It's big enough for me to carry to university, and my PowerBook actually fits inside, funky teal fabric protective cover (made personally for me courtesy of "Edo Rex") and all. I absolutely love it. The price was a bit steep - more expensive than I was expecting it to be, and to be totally honest more than I have ever spent on a bag (all I'll say is, it was less than KD 60). But I decided to just get it. It's a totally unique find, nobody else in the world has this, and the concept is just purely me. And at the same time, I get to support a small Kuwaiti business, which I love doing because it really makes me proud to see young Kuwaitis thinking outside the box and doing something original.

While we're on the topic of acccessories, as an afterthought, I thought I'd share that I just got my ears pierced about two weeks ago. I had them pierced as a kid but they got infected so they closed. Then one day a couple of weeks ago P and I were walking around in Marina Mall and for some reason we decided to stop into Claire's to buy a pair of those magnetic stud earrings for fun so that we could both try them on to see how we'd each look (him with only one - and he looked very sexy, btw!). Then it dawned on me - why don't I try again? So the next day we went to the pharmacy in Jabriya where I'd had them pierced as a kid, and P held my hand as they re-pierced them over the old holes. I must admit, they're so cute! Raine also got me a pair of white gold studs for my birthday to replace the special pharmacy ones (which I had to wear for a week), and I now have to keep these in for about a month. Then, a whole new world of fun is gonna open up for me! Although I don't see myself as a dangly-earring type - I think I'm more of a studs kinda girl. It'll suit my short hair better.


  • Happy belated Birthday Kleio :)

    the bag is so Kuwaiti, creative & love-able... (so you as well)

    By Blogger iDip, at 8/22/2006 9:20 am  

  • Loved the turn table necklace ...absolutely love it ...

    By Anonymous fractal00, at 8/22/2006 1:39 pm  

  • I love the necklace. It's so simple.

    I don't know, I've never been THAT much into brands (if you call Urban Outfitters a brand) but I love my Citizens of Humanity jeans :P

    Ever since I came here, I've been hounding vintage stores. Everybody back home asks me about a certain purse or jacket, but I know it's one of a kind :)) And fashion repeats itself so...

    Come to think of it (and I actually thought about writing a post about it) I think it's kinda ridiculous how young girls (18 years of age...) carry $1,000+ bags in Kuwait. My friend's sister was with her chicas in Maki this Xmas and I swear, this one girl had that sought after whaddya call it...Fendi Spy Bag? I was like "If that kid is wearing that, what the hell is my mom gonna hold? A piece of heaven?"

    Yeah...but I think a piece of heaven wouldn't be enough for mamita :))

    You're so humble Kleio :) I love that

    By Blogger Erzulie, at 8/22/2006 9:03 pm  

  • idip: Thanks! :) I've been enjoying carrying the bag around the past couple of days. It sure is a conversation starter!

    fractal00: Me too! Swatch has all kinds of cool jewellery, which I didn't know about before! Who'da thought?

    Erzulie: I do the vintage circuit too, but I draw the line at actual second-hand stuff. You know, having OCD and all, don't think I could do it. ;) But what's cool about those places is that, like you said, everything you get is one of a kind. But that's not what people here want - they want you to know exactly where they got it from, how much it cost, and only seem to prefer what everyone else has got.

    As for the designer-clad child fashion victims - it's insane! I've seen girls as young as 12 carrying little mini-me Gucci purses. It's ridiculous. Talk about missing out on a childhood! And the older teenagers and twenty-somethings...they really overdo it. I mean, I have nothing against designer clothes or accessories - some things are really quite nice. Not my style, but nice. But, even if I was interested in it myself, I could never fathom owning a $1000 bag before making at least a four-digit salary. And in my twenties, I feel it's just such a waste. On older women, it definitely works - then it looks classy (well, depending on the woman, of course - some of them here go out looking like Versacci threw up on them). But as a teenager and twentysomething - I don't know, I've always preferred to do it my own way!

    It's like in London, when you see a Porsche or nice BMW go by and you look inside, you will always see a silver-haired man in a suit driving. In other words, someone who's worked most of his life to finally earn that car. Here what do you see behind the wheel of a Porsche? Some 20 year old geezie with a goatie and a baseball cap, or an 18 year old chick-chick who agreed to forego a five-star education abroad for a set of wheels.

    And I'm sure even the biggest chunk-a-heaven wouldn't be enough for your mom. :)

    By Blogger Kleio, at 8/23/2006 2:37 am  

  • that is some funky necklace!! 3aleech ib alf o sittimyat 3afya... tistahleen... & raine has great taste ;)

    and congrats on the ears and the bag... take good care of them and keep 'em clean :)

    lol @ erzulie.. it's crazy! the obsession with brands in kuwait is insane! it makes me boil when i hear someone talk about their latest 'marka' buy as if it is going to elevate them.. some of it looks good but they just take it to a whole new obscene filth level... you see people going to uni as if they're going to a wedding.. makeup and bling... all they need is ilgassar, 6ar, o mi3ris... wahtever happend to looking clean, chic, and above all, original? most of them look like carbon copies of each other... *sigh*... sad...

    and speaking of one of a kind vintage... i once bought a beautiful hand-stitched mogul jacket that has miraculously ended up in a teeeeeeeeny tiny dusty shop in jaipur.. i was just over the moon with it... i took it to the laundry and wore it on my trip back home... i was like a kid showing off their new shoes..
    two days later... i found the exact same jacket in villa moda's 'vintage' stall... alas.. i can't sue (or can i? *evil smirk*).. bastards...

    By Anonymous badlydrawnwoman, at 8/23/2006 8:55 am  

  • Wow Kleio you took the words right outta my mouth when you mentioned the car thing i.e. 18 year old kids driving ferraris. Earn it! Hell, I don't care if your parents are multi-billionaires. Real appreciation is no more :/

    By Blogger Erzulie, at 8/23/2006 9:11 am  

  • BDW: Regarding my ears, I kept them spanking clean but alas they got infected again. Apparently some people just always have that reaction. Anyway, this time I'm fighting it and my dad put me on antibiotics for a few days (it's OK, he can do that, he's a doctor). :)

    "some of it looks good but they just take it to a whole new obscene filth level" --> What a great way of putting it. It's true, some things look good on people - a well placed bag on a pretty outfit can look very classy. But that's not how they do it here. I mean, when teenage boys start wearing Gucci sneakers, you know something's wrong! And college age kids carry Louis Vuitton stuff as their school supplies - bags, folders, agendas, pencil cases, etc. Ugh.

    Erzulie: Once in DC it was raining and I didn't have an umbrella so I was hanging around campus waiting for it to let up. I lived about 4 blocks away but didn't mind waiting. Then I bumped into an old friend from Kuwait who went to another school in DC but was visiting my campus and he offered to give me a ride home. In the car he asked why I didn't have a car. I said because unlike all the rest of the Kuwaitis in DC I actually lived in the District itself and not in Arlington and so I could walk, metro, or cab it everywhere. He said it didn't matter, that I should call my parents and tell them I wanted a car. So I said fist of all, I would never ask my parents to buy me a car when I don't need one, and second of all, what for?! Why would I need a car inside DC? I live right smack in the centre of town! And he said, "For days like today, when it's raining and you forget your umbrella." And he was serious. I was gobsmacked.

    By Blogger Kleio, at 8/23/2006 12:40 pm  

  • "Versacci" That is just too cute - you made me laugh and laugh. Versace.

    I agree with what all of you have said. Brand names have gone from classy to cheap and overdone and downright tacky! It's like everyone in the world has to have the "IT" Mc.Bag of the moment! And here it is even worse... The bag, shoes, shades, jewelry, makeup, and layers of clothing... It's like a group of designers projectile vomitted on these people! Ick.

    So glad you like the necklace habibti :) I knew it was you the second I saw it!

    badlydrawnwoman - thanks for the compliment ;) and ilgassar - you made me laugh so hard with that one!!!

    By Blogger Raine, at 8/23/2006 2:34 pm  

  • Where did u got that from where?
    Special dudette needs Special items ;)

    What makes an Item or Object Precious / Unique is not the Brand, but the vision that was behind the idea of the making of it, the materials and cuts ect.. and an item varies in Preicousy (i think i just created a n english word) between people, depending on their appreciation for it.

    Best part, is that a special Dudette picked that special bag ;)

    Now it is even more special and unique for hanging on your right shoulder, or left shoulder?

    For the Vinyl, oh boy, vinyls are sexy! Careful on the needle! ;)

    By Anonymous P, at 8/23/2006 7:55 pm  

  • Oh and check your email Kleio :)

    By Blogger Erzulie, at 8/23/2006 9:21 pm  

  • Raine: Yeah, yeah - see how far removed I am from it all? I can't even spell their names! LOL! I like the McBag term. Good one. :)

    I love the necklace. You do indeed have great taste!

    P: Duuuude!! Mon dude!! ;) Nyahahahaha! You're so right that the value of an item is not in the brand, but in the creativity and vision behind it, and in the way in which each person appreciates it. Most things are worthless here, even when they cost $1000, because people don't appreciate the thing for its own sake, but because they know it's "in", or will give them some sort of social prestige.

    As for Preciousy - are you sure you're not translating from French again? I better not argue that it's not really a word in English, though - like quotidien! :) But I'd personally go with precioussity.

    Do you really have to ask which shoulder?! Do you not remember the pictures?!? LOL!

    Vinyls are indeed sexy. Why the world switched to CDs and digital music is beyond me. Vinyls are the real deal. Music sounds so much better on vinyl, and the packaging is so much nicer. I think I could live inside a vinyl sleeve - care to join me?

    You're a pretty special one yourself, my precioussss. Je suis ta dudette pour toujours, mon apricot. ;) Hee hee hee.

    (Btw, before I forget, you killed another ant near the door.)

    Erzulie: Will do! :)

    By Blogger Kleio, at 8/24/2006 12:50 am  

  • I love your bag. There is this shop in Carnaby St, opposite Muji that sells bags like these. You should visit the place some time. Someone like me gets totally lost in the there. It is so retro.

    By Blogger Jags Mollu, at 8/26/2006 9:17 pm  

  • Hey JM! Are you talking about Octopus? It's a few doors down from Muji, across the street. They have bags and other cool, strange stuff. I got this bag from there nearly a year ago, and I just love it! They have a branch in Covent Garden too. I can't wait to hit up Covent Garden in a couple of weeks! I'm looking forward to London in the autumn - I can start wearing my Doc Martens again. :)

    By Blogger Kleio, at 8/26/2006 11:23 pm  

  • YES, YES, YES. I had forgotten the name.

    By Blogger Jags Mollu, at 8/26/2006 11:45 pm  

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