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Monday, April 20, 2009

West, East and in Between, A series of short travel stories.

They Call me Mr. Miller!

What does one think of when traveling across a nation with a 5000 year history? Considering I’m on a train and it has taken the better part of two days and one night….Everything. Traveling by rail is one of the few activities one can do that causes you to really think of what you are leaving behind, such as a beautiful woman standing at the end of the track waving goodbye and the things yet to come; good, bad or indifferent. Keeping in order with the topics shared there are a few differences in fashion, law and politics throughout China.
Bringing in the New Year of 2009 was spent in Las Vegas, the “City of Lights” or “Sin City” and since its only a forty-five minute flight away from Los Angeles, California, “The city of Angels”, I was able to enjoy the festivities in Beverly Hills as well. Born and raised in Las Vegas but educated primary in Los Angeles, I cannot understand why Vegas is “Sin City” and Los Angeles, “The City of Angels”. From my experience most of the sins taking place in Las Vegas occur on the weekends and are being perpetrated by those “Angels” from Los Angeles.

Ending the celebrations of the New Year in the United States brings me to China where it starts over again and in a big way. “The Festival of Lights” January 26, 2009. I start in a midsize but very active town called Harbin, in one of the Northernmost and coldest parts of China that is famous for its Ice City.

The entire town is lined with ice sculptures that would later be illuminated by the candles place inside and around them to celebrate the new year, much like the candles used in America to illuminate carved pumpkins on Halloween. Throughout the next few weeks I would venture further South through another city called Hunchun.
Hunchun is not as cold as Harbin, but it is definitely smaller and is the equivalent of Mayberry. I did notice something, although the town is small, the women tend to be very fashion forward, sporting the very French styles including the Shootie; later I would discover the reason…the town is dead! The towns’ only industries appear to be dining and shopping. The only semi-sporting activity I could find was a four lane bowling alley and of course no reputable Asian locale could call itself Asian if there wasn’t at least two KTV joints on each corner like Starbucks in Los Angeles or new York. That’s Karaoke Television for you unknowing.

This may or may not go without saying, this town has not experienced many foreigners with the exception of Russian Caucasians. Definitely not any of African descent, as I felt like Sidney Poitiers character Mr. Tibbs in the famed movie “In the Heat of the Night”, only they call me Mr. Miller!

Working Photo of Mr. Miller II.
Courtesy of Mr. Li shen, Interior Decorator

Monday, April 6, 2009

China Fashion Week March 2009

For some of us living day to day in what often becomes a boring and mundane existence, the opportunity to see a glimpse of a "fashion" show on E-Entertainment television can be the highlight of a day, for others, being next to the runway is the only way!
For this politico, legal eagle/fashion connoisseur turned part time GI on a full time basis, (don't ask!) it would only do but to be present at one of the Easts most coveted fashion shows during the China Fashion Week in Beijing, before possibly having to visit a less fashionable locale such as Afghanistan!
A while back while at a dinner in Beverly Hills I sat with the re-known Mr. Blackwell, who turned to me in the middle of the second course, looked me up and down and smiled. He then asked me two questions before making a statement that would ultimately change my life. "How old are you and where were you born?" After answering he responded by informing me that he had over forty years of critiquing the wears of the wealthy, the famous and not so famous, but most importantly, those who thought they had style, of course we all recall his "Best/Worst dressed list" that every year at every party and Hollywood event people clammer to be on the best end of and ofter shutter to be listed on the worst.
Mr Blackwell ended by congratulating me for having what he called a classic style and elegance that he has not seen in many years, not put together by some personal shopper or named designer, but obviously by someone who used his own emotion and history to dress himself, afterword The Mr. Blackwell gave me a thumbs up and added me to his Best Dressed list. I only knew him for a few short years before his death, but I will never be able to forget the man, who reminded me that when all others ask me to dress down or dress comfortable....I must remember that dressing up is in fact my comfortable. This leads me to follow and create fashion and bring style to those who would ordinarily never see it, feel it or wear it; the GI, or the politico, or just the everyday person, look for styles and combinations created by me as inspired by Mr. Blackwell. Oh yeah; hears to all who participated in the Beijing China Fashion Week 2009!