Monday, December 15, 2014

The Man in the Rain




It's about 9 pm and we stopped by an off-the-road 24/ hr diner to grab a quick bite before heading to our next destination of Hoi An. My chauffeur (his name is Thai by the way; a little cold but knows his stuff) goes inside and asks the lady of the house what they were serving.

I linger around outside for a bit to take in the rainy air. 

It was like being in the lungs of country; You could smell the whole spectrum of Vietnam here. The muddy humidity, the metallic rainy street, and the broth of various soups.

I canvased the surrounding area and suddenly I starkly paused. 

There across the street was a man with a metal grooved briefcase. He was standing by the restaurant roadside sign. From my inquisition from the crowd that was eating at the restaurant, he was a hitch hiker trying to get a ride up north. 

At that moment, I envisioned his whole life flash before me. 

He was born in an impoverished town blight-stricken by the war. Growing up he had to work hard for his living, educated by his parents and learning from their hardships. 

It struck a grievance in me. Poverty was still prevalent in the country, and even though there is an industrial revolution going on throughout the country, the people of Vietnam remained still and unable to grow. 


I could have easily been that man. 


Gratitude rushes through me for my parent's hardships. Without their struggles, I wouldn't have what i had today.

Remember that we all could have been that man standing in the street, waiting for a glimpse of hope to pass by.


With love,


[mr. white elephant]

Nha Trang











The coastal city of Nha Trang has left a special place in my heart. As soon as we rounded about the cliff that lead into the city, I knew instantly that I would fall in love with it. Growing up in Orange County, I was spoiled by it's iconic beaches and laidback lifestyle. But putting my toes in Nha Trang's silky sands generated a different kind of euphoria. 

I woke up that morning at 7 am restless to start my scavenger hunt, but when I stepped out my hotel gate and into the buzzing main street , I quickly realized that everything sold here was catered to the tourist community (fairly so). I didn't want to bring home something that anyone could get a local gift shop. I was looking for something magnificent and glorious and I knew that I couldn't find it here. 

So instead, I decided to take a ditch day. Oh how I wish I could take all my ditch days here. 

Great seafood, beautiful views and modern amenities. All of my favorite things. 

I took a walk along the freshly dewed morning sands and reminisced on the confusing scenery. The sky was a mix of sweet lavender and muddy steel. The mixture reminded me of a great cup of Vietnamese coffee; symbiotic and in perfect harmony. I wanted more and more. It was like a siren calling into the distance, teasing me to come closer.

This is as close as I could get to reverting back to my childhood. Nha Trang does that to you. There's a freakin' amusement park on an island for crying out loud. 

Ridiculous. 

But I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Until next time, Nha Trang. 


With love,



[mr. white elephant] 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sanctuary





My cross country trip begins at 4 am on the 8th of December. The city of Saigon (now changed to Ho Chi Minh City) was softly rustling at this time. I could see shop owners slowly emerging from their swift slumber to start another hectic day.

There is an eeriness that is evoked from the streets. 

The flowers in my neighbor's entryway were tightly blanketed by the vines that surrounded them and the creatures of the night roamed about freely, not afraid of the wrath of their benefactors.

I'm standing on the corner of a usually busy street completely in silence.  Within minutes, I was flashed downed by the car that would escort me to the northern city of Hanoi. 

As soon as I entered the vehicle, I became enveloped in shroud of sleep. Jet lag finally kicked in and before I knew it, I awoke with the sunlight kissing my face. We had stopped for a quick lunch break.

The smell of the sea brushed across my nose and suddenly I became calm and refreshed. We were on the edge of Cam Ranh, a local beach town. You instantly knew that this was not a tourist stop, but rather a common hang out for the local travelers. The scenery was very "asian Gilligan's Island". I didn't know where I was, but this was such a beautiful uncertainty. There were palm trees swinging in the distance with crafty hammocks tied tightly around their legs and white sand that glimmered from the sea water. This was not the Vietnam that I was familiar with but rather a conscious dream that I didn't want to wake up from. 

In this moment, I felt like anything could be achieved if I said it out loud. 

Ballet dancer? Done. 
Guerilla-style nature photographer? Easy-peasy. 
International Singer? Do you have to ask? 


It was like living in a world of blissful stasis. 


With love, 


[mr. white elephant]

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Warning 10% remaining

It has been about 6 days since I left Ho Chi Minh City and 6 days of encountering "10% battery remaining" Stupid me forgot to bring along an charger adapter for my macbook pro. You become rather crafty when trying to find a three-pronged plug. I have done the following so far: 

1. Ask hotel concierge to unplug their own macbooks so i can charge my own. 

2. Unscrew a plug covering with a keychain screwdriver in hopes to find a missing plug head.

3.  Attempting to use a mini fridge adapter as an alternative charger. 


All which have failed. 

I apologize for the delayed posts but hopefully I will find an adapter charger soon. 


With love, 


[mr. white elephant] 

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Palace








Upon entering my childhood home, I realized how drastically my imagination had refurnished my memory. Being only 4 when I was last back, I visualized it as a palace with a spiral staircase at the heart of a gentle fortress. Back then, being only about 3 feet tall, the home looked like a mansion. I remember looking upon the living room and encountering porcelain Arabic flooring in kaleidoscope shapes that glimmered far as the eye can see and rustic window cutouts that looked like they existed only for kings.

Now as an adult, I see that the floors were were slightly less glamorous and ended abruptly upon a six yard radius and the window cut outs were more for ventilation and light entry rather than opulent decor.

But standing on the spiral staircase and looking around at the being the home use to be made me nostalgic for my childhood. Growing up as an immigrant child in the United States, I was only given what sparse memories I inherited through photos and stories dictated by my parents. Here I stand having my memory of this majestic palace worn with age and replaced by the dire need to learn more about my past.

I'm coming to find out that this trip will not only be about finding treasures, but also about finding myself and the part of my life that ceased to exist when I stepped foot on that plane in 1993.


With love, 


[mr. white elephant] 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Flight




34,000 feet in the air with nothing but Tyler oakley's podcast, psychobabble, and leftover Gardettas sparked a memory of a day off I had a week ago. It was raining that day and I was scouting thrift shop locations for Vietnam , and to my dismay, ended up with only dead-ends. I learned later that day from my mother that thrift shopping in Vietnam is more word of mouth rather than 'Google this' or "yelp that".

Mother knows best. 

I can't believe I'm in the air somewhere over Osaka and circling through my 'treasure map' for the most appropriate route for the next two weeks. I feel very fortunate for this experience and I realize that it's an opportunity that i need to utilize efficiently. 

"This needs to be done. This has to be done right" I keep telling myself. 

Tomorrow starts the beginning of RE+PURPOSE.

With love,



[mr. white elephant]





Thursday, December 4, 2014

Another Beginning


I woke up at night a couple of weeks ago pondering about the direction I wanted my company, Project White Elephant, to grow into. I knew that the basis of the project was to unify local artists to create a more potent creative community. However, there was something missing from the equation that I couldn't put my finger on. There wasn't enough depth invested into the project and thats when it hit me. I felt the project was limited, primary by myself, and if it had any chance of survival, I needed to take it a step further.

So comes the revival of mr. white elephant.

Within the next two weeks, I will be traveling to Vietnam and Cambodia in search for hidden metropolitan and rural treasures that evoke emotion and life when in your presence. I also need it to be appropriate for a project called RE + PURPOSE that will be developed and realized sometime next year. A little summary? Think beautifully aged and worldly treasures repurposed into unique and extraordinary apparel. That's all you're getting for now.

I really can feel it. 2015 will be the year for this exhausting behemoth to be born and polished for the world to see.

In addition to becoming a treasure pirate, I will also be the documenter for this trip. I will try my best to upload at least 5 times a week to share with you the outcome of this journey.

I would kindly appreciate a little hand holding during this process so any suggestions on where to go or what to do would be great.

Now to find to an answer to the age-old question,

"how the hell do I pack 12 outfits into a carry on duffle?"


With love and admiration,



[mr. white elephant]

Friday, April 25, 2014

Style Seekers Series





Welcome to our new series, "Style Seekers." Yours truly will be snappin' and chatin' style-worthy SF and LA go-abouters.

Let's be honest, street fashion carries the fashion trends in our generation. This trickling up process is what inspired many designers to set trends like 'festival ready' and 'western influenced'.

Without further ado, this month's Style Seekers!



Spotted! Cris D. taking it to the man! Menswear inspired Chic.

Up Close: Pinstripes and Leather

Deliciously 'Knot-ty'

Up Close
Up Close! 
Style Comes in Pairs; Crystal and Gina
Charlotte in all her Euro freshness
Up Close: Neon Explosion 



Monday, March 31, 2014

Tasty Peanuts!

Beautiful things are to be shared, not kept to one's self. 


1. Open Jacket with Vegan Leather Trimmings by 10 Crosby Derek Lam

via dereklam.com/10crosby
[This jacket is everything that is right about an open-faced jacket. 
The black leather trimming against the off-white Japanese crepe sends shivers of delight up my spine. This little gem provides both structure as well as fluidity. 

Can you ask for a better spring-weight jacket that stands out from the crowd? Prove me wrong. I dare you.]



2. Floral Camo Zip Pouch by Givenchy

[Sometimes you just get tired of carrying a large tote or shoulder bag around. 
When you're in a hurry or need something that is compact and easy to carry, then maybe a zip pouch might be the right choice for you.] 

There's something effortless about running around the city with such a pungent piece. ]

[Car keys, card wallet, and your new YSL No. 52 lipstick.
Done and done.] 

[Running around $410, this is a reachable one-a-kind luxury.]



3. White Sneakers by Converse 


[White Sneakers are the next big thing in causal footwear. Tough Love; ehe only two words I could think to describe this Come Back Kid. 

It's so retro, it became modern.]



4. The distressed boyfriend jean by Rag and Bone



[A good distressed jean is a great staple for festival season. 

Dress it up with a blazer and heels or dress it down with a t-shirt and bomber. 

Either way, it is a great way to give the finger to those skinny lovers.] 





Keep it Real, 

[Mr. White Elephant]

------------------------------

Come support us by liking our Facebook page click here! 

Follow us on Twitter @TheWhtElephant

Find us on Instagram @mr_white_elephant

Questions about P.W.E? 
Please contact danny@projectwhiteelephant.com

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Coffee Shop

Birth of Mr. White Elephant

Givenchy bag, Kitsune cap, H&M boucle cardigan coat, H&M special edition headphones

Drip Coffee and (delicious) Glazed Donuts 

Bit Code inspired wall print



Coffee shops are incredible establishments. They have an amazing ability to inspire and construe new ideas. The past couple of days I have been working out of coffee shops and internet cafes. They have a unique quality about them that makes me want to complete the task at hand and move on to the next. 
I don't know if it's the coffee that gives me a dose of pure adrenaline or maybe the calmness that is instilled in me when see that everyone around are in the same state of mind. 

Regardless, they are my personal heaven-sent gift. 


Keep it Real, 


[Mr. White Elephant]


--------------
Come support us by liking our Facebook page click here! 

Follow us on Twitter @TheWhtElephant

Find us on Instagram @mr_white_elephant

Questions about P.W.E? 
Please contact danny@projectwhiteelephant.com






Tuesday, March 25, 2014

THE STARTING LINE



Everyone needs a fresh start sometime in their life. 

Put the past into a box, tape it up,  label it "Only in case of emergencies", and store it in the outer corridors of the mind. 

Don't bother with the trivial things that weigh down your daily motions, but rather move forward to see the better future ahead. 


Too sentimental for you? Well too bad. There's going to be a lot of that. 

Cancer babies everywhere unite! 

Okay, you other signs can join as well. Just don't ruin the nostalgic mood. 

You might be asking, "What and/or who is Mr. White Elephant?"

I am the subconscious of Project White Elephant. (www.projectwhiteelephant.com
This blog is a reflection of my daily struggles and joy to becoming a grown-up company. 

A little bit about myself? 

I am an eternal neutralist. I love, I hate, I adore, I despise. I am a little bit of you. 
Even when I fail (and i will), I'll get up and try again. 

I am fashion enthused and society inspired. I want to litigate any questions you have about style and fashion as well as how we can contribute fashion to our community.  

Please join me on my spectacular journey to building my own dreams and goals and in return, I will try to everything in my power to help you along with yours. 

Follow me on my visual journey via:

Instagram: mr_white_elephant

Twitter: @TheWhtElephant

Facebook: www.facebook.com/projectwhiteelephant




Keep it Real, 



[Mr. White Elephant]