hello lovers! i've been in a great mood this weekend because I finally got my bike back from Palms Cycle! They do a great job at restoring vintage bikes and really give you more than you expected from a little shop like theirs. It's no wonder people walk in every 10 minutes to check out a bike. I got hooked up with couple of great things. I didn't even know that brooks made leather tape for the handle bars. The owner gave me a 60% discount because he used the other half of the tape and the brooks cork ends. He gave me a chrome one to match my bike and helped me put it on for free. Lovely people that cares!


Will be going back there again to get baskets, a bullet light and a bern helmet. They really have everything you need for your vintage bike. On to more photos...







We were in Venice Beach just cruising around. After it got around dinner time, we biked back to Abbot Kinney and shopped for a bit. I've never been there before and always heard of great vintage stores there and was delighted to check out. Found a high-end vintage boutique called Ms Vintage that sells items such as Dries Van Noten, and Burburry to name a few. I was in love with this 50s skirt but I really cant put a $500 dent into my wallet right now. I must figure out a way to recreate it. Lovely boutique and lovely owner but stuff I will have to pass for now.

After dinner, we walked outside and I saw Bohemian Exchange right across the street. I was in love with the name and knew it would be a wonderful hunt. Walked in and wanted to buy the entire store..but I picked up a super soft and long cardigan that's light weight enough to wear on summer nights. And this white wool hat that looks like its from the 40s where you can tie around your neck so it wont fly away. Perfect for riding! Really lovely store with decent prices. I had a little talk with the owner and she's so down to earth and the fact that its non-profit for the community makes me feel good about buying things from her. Will be going back there again!

I love meeting people like her. Makes me feel warm and welcomed and that I can freely express myself in words, the way I dress, my point of views and my way of life. What a wonderful life that would be which brings me to my next subject...

I'm not sure what its like in other culture and ethnic background, but I often feel so far connected to the Asians in my community. One being the fact that yes, I am the artsy creative type. It automatically puts me in a realm that's different than those who persue academic excellence, but I don't judge them for doing something that's different from me..so why look down on me for the things I do? People have no idea of the money that brings in for a creative. I'm not a broke artist who would only make my riches when I die.

What Im trying to get to is that I notice a lot of people in my own race that falls into this certain category. Am I the only one that sees things differently? Am I defying what it means to be a successful asian..or at least appear as if I am? First I don't want to be a doctor, engineer, or a lawyer. Second, I don't really give a crap about brands for only the face value. What I am after is style. If I am utterly and obsessivly in love with a style a high end designer put out, of course I want to buy it, but I don't go buying things just for the names sake to show off money for people that don't even care about my life in the first place. I love quirky, unusual and cultural things. I like to get lost in the past and relive the life they had through purchasing vintage goods. Now in the fashion world, and all you lovely bloggers would know that vintage does come in a hefty price sometimes.

What irks me is when people of my own race calling me a freak and not because I act weird, but that I don't dress like them or share the same values that they do in fashion. I also don't mean a freak as in I dress in clashing neon colors from head to toe, but as in cheap. Because the fact that I don't dress in BEBE, or Ed Hardy, anything brand name that they can automatically recognize or the fact that I often pick items where the logo isnt apparent doesn't qualify as being cheap. I choose not to be mainstream and trite because it's just so damn boring. Imagine looking just like everyone else or having the exact same thing as others. How is it different than dressing in a uniform? I can't conform to such idea. Coco Chanel once said, “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” and I cannot agree with her more. I love that quote, it means so much to me.

I wish people could look beyond the face value sometimes and stop looking down on those who are different. We should be celebrating our differences as its how new ideas form. To even make a judgment that someone is cheap because of their way of life is so wrong. Just because I choose not to stay in a 5 star hotel, but a bed and breakfast for its cozy and unique atmosphere doesn't mean I am cheap or that I can't afford it. Because I choose to take the bus at night and explore the streets of a different town doesn't mean I'm too broke to take a taxi, for all I know..especially the way I dress, I should probably take a taxi to avoid uncomfortable stares of my baring legs on the bus. But I choose to be different and that is much more awarding than those who try so hard to fake themselves as rich. What an empty life that is.

Okay yes, I may be ranting a little too much about something a "friend" said behind my back that I just found out. How high school did I sound and I should be above all the drama, but it brought up such a point. And for all I know, she has low self esteem and needs to talk crap about all her friends to make herself feel worthy as she has this thing about being snobby because she thinks she's rich.

and for the record, i think rich people are the nicest people out there as they don't have time for all this back stabbing nonsense.


renee said... @ 8/09/2009 2:47 PM

that's a super awesome bike!

Kym said... @ 8/09/2009 2:53 PM

your bike? hot. your bike outfit? hot. the beach? hot. i miss venice beach. :(

Shantee said... @ 8/09/2009 7:33 PM

i totally agree with what you said. most of the girls i know are so brand conscious that they find me distasteful just because i love bargains and thrifted items.

its always easy to be fashionable when you can afford designer clothing. all you have to do is buy the trendiest stuff and automatically people would call you a style icon. thats y i truly admire those who shop for bargains yet look so sylish.

anyway, hope u would ignore that backstabbing 'friend' and still be as great as you are :)

btw, i love how u paired the vest with that vintage dress!

Ela said... @ 8/10/2009 12:52 AM

Nora, I totally hear where you're coming from! I love my designer stuff too - but I won't buy something just because it's a brand name if the piece isn't actually aesthetically pleasing or compliments my style. Don't let it get to you - it's cause you know how to put an outfit together, rather than dress like it's paint by numbers :)
You look fab, missy! xx

Aimy said... @ 8/10/2009 5:39 AM

I know what you mean about the Asian fashion sense being about labels because I am Asian too. It was really hard for me growing up because I loved art but all of my cousins excelled academically. But sometimes I think that sites like Chictopia only encourage or praise a certain type of style so that people end up being "stylish" in the same way! I hope that makes sense. It was nice to read someone else's thoughts on that though :]

KIRAFASHION said... @ 8/10/2009 11:03 PM

Thanks so much for your sweet comment!
I do love to ride a bike…such a freedom sensation!
You look amazing!
Love all here so much!!

Wish you the best,
See you!!!


Wendy said... @ 8/11/2009 4:36 AM

Everything is just lovely.

OkayDoood said... @ 8/11/2009 7:11 AM

I agree with Shantee - it's best to stay above the gossip. Most importantly, I agree with you - that our asian society needs to celebrate our creative differences. We already have asian communities that welcome us. Since it's already 2009 and we're in 2+ generations deep, those that criticize are behind the times. Here's the Doubt quote on gossip I was telling you about:

"A woman was gossiping with her friend about a man whom they hardly knew - I know none of you have ever done this. That night, she had a dream: a great hand appeared over her and pointed down on her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O' Rourke, and she told him the whole thing. 'Is gossiping a sin?' she asked the old man. 'Was that God All Mighty's hand pointing down at me? Should I ask for your absolution? Father, have I done something wrong?' 'Yes,' Father O' Rourke answered her. 'Yes, you ignorant, badly-brought-up female. You have blamed false witness on your neighbor. You played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed.' So, the woman said she was sorry, and asked for forgiveness. 'Not so fast,' says O' Rourke. 'I want you to go home, take a pillow upon your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me.' So, the woman went home: took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to her roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed. 'Did you cut the pillow with a knife?' he says. 'Yes, Father.' 'And what were the results?' 'Feathers,' she said. 'Feathers?' he repeated. 'Feathers; everywhere, Father.' 'Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out onto the wind,' 'Well,' she said, 'it can't be done. I don't know where they went. The wind took them all over.' 'And that,' said Father O' Rourke, 'is gossip!' "

Fashion Pix said... @ 8/11/2009 8:01 AM

I love your bike, nice pictures too!

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