Acoustic Norwegian duo Kings of Convenience impresses with its brand of soulful folk pop tunes.

Listening to the soothing quiet sounds of Norwegian duo Kings of Convenience’s brand of acoustic folk pop, one wouldn’t be surprised to find the duo—Eirik Glambek Boe and Erlend Oye—to be equally Zen-like too. In an exclusive telephone interview, Glambek Boe sounds very much like the quiet Norwegian—he is still in bed, and his answers are short but sufficient. This is not to say that he is unfriendly. In fact, Boe was very courteous and accommodating, just like the duo’s music really, which sounds best when you’re chilling out in bed, or simply as background music. Boe talks to I-S about the group’s musical influences, collaborations and upcoming gig at the Esplanade during the Mosaic Music Festival.

You’re based in Norway, but Oye is in London. Tell us how do you guys work together?
Well, if we see each other too much, we would have probably killed each other. But seriously, it’s good that we work individually first … as I’m a very nightlife person and I like to work only when it’s dark. We can produce more variety when we have individual outputs, especially after two or three months that we don’t see each other, and we start jamming and touring when we do.

How would you describe your music?
Acoustic pop music—that’s the closest that I can describe it. Our music is based on a very intuitive approach, especially at the start of writing our songs. Following that, when we try to finish each tune, our working style becomes more structured and systematic.

You guys make relaxing acoustic pop songs, but what are you listening to at the moment?
I’m listening to lots of Brazilian records lately, as I’ve just celebrated my birthday in Rio. I’m especially fond of acts such as Del Costa and Joao Donaldo. They remind me of the ’70s, as they are acts that I used to listen to.

What inspires your music?
I actually like to go to the clubs and dance, and hence I’m inspired by some of the things I hear there. Yeah, we’re often inspired by dance genres such as techno and house. The first record that I ever bought was one of house music—when I was 12 years old in 1989. Since then, I’ve been listening to more recent acts such as Biosphere and Royksopp.

You’ve done a collaboration with talented vocalist Feist (Let It Die) in your last album, Riot on an Empty Street (2004). Will we be seeing more collaborations from you soon?
Nothing in the pipeline for now. How it happened with Feist is that we went to see her show in Berlin a couple of years back. She gave us a demo, which also happens to be one of my favorite records, so we decided to collaborate.

Do you guys prefer to perform live or work in the studios?
It’s usually more tense and personal in the studios, while live performances are more intense and spontaneous. I would choose performing live anytime.

What can we expect from your upcoming concert here?
I can’t tell you. Basically, we’ll just be doing our thing.


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World renowned French eyewear designer Alain Mikli gets personal.

French eyewear designer Alain Mikli has come a long way. It began in 1978, when the now legendary designer first broke the rules of the traditional eyewear business in France by launching a series of edgy eyewear that ignored most of the standards then, in the process becoming known as the pioneer of modern and avant-garde frames. Fast forward 30 years, and Alain Mikli is still making waves. Apart from his highly successful self-named eyewear empire that includes diffusion lines such as Mikli (aimed at the younger set) and Starck eyes (a collaboration with equally innovative product designer Philippe Starck), Milki has also dabbled in many art projects. These include the recent Touch and See exhibition, a collaboration with photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand which was held along the walkways of Orchard Road, and even a venture into fashion, when he launched the Alain Mikli Clothing Collection in 1999. I-S talks to Mikli about his highly sought-after eyewear, and other art and fashion ventures.

Alain Mikli frames are some of the bestselling in the world, with sales figures reaching close to 600,000 pairs per year. What makes it so successful?
Well, that’s a very difficult question for me to answer. (Laughs) All that I can say is that we always strive to increase the pleasures of our customers, which is why we still have a strong following after all these years. It boils down to the technicalities involved in making the frames and their details. It’s not just about having a good design, as that’s just one side to making a good frame. When you buy Alain Mikli eyewear you’re always assured of the quality of our craftsmanship.

What sets the brand apart from others, such as L. A. Eyeworks, which has also made headways in creating cutting-edge eyewear?
Competition is always good. These brands can always try to recreate the shape of the most stylish eyewear out there, mine included, but in terms of replicating the structure and details of some of our works, I don’t think they can get it right. While design technology has improved over the years, especially when it comes to sunglasses, most of the other brands don’t concentrate on product innovation, which we do. They’re more interested in marketing. That said, it’s not my place to judge the works of my competitors because “taste” is personal, and whether I like their works or otherwise is subjective.

What are some of the so-called innovations that you have invested in?
We’ve made headway into the Asian market over the past few years, not just in terms of moving into the market, but also in creating frames that suit Asian faces, which are obviously different from European ones. These frames are lighter, as they are made for the Asian face structure, so to speak, and the way the frames fall onto the nose is different, and how the face of the frame is more flexible and auto-adjustable. Of course, there are other technicalities to the frames that I can speak off, but they are too technical.

You’ve done many collaborative works over the years, such as with famed fashion and product designers Donna Karan, Issey Miyake, Philippe Starck and Jil Sander. Which are your favorites?
Collaborations are always fun because one gets to learn and to have an open mind. These outside projects are always a challenge because I have to create something outside my own collection. If they’re done properly, they can be very good. One of my all-time favorites is with Philippe Starck. The thing is, the way we work is very similar, even if we’re in different fields. We are very positive people, and it makes working together so much easier and pleasurable. For me, the good thing about collaborations is that it brings people together to develop different artistic projects and show how ideas can converge.

So are we looking at more collaborations in the future?
Yes, but not too much. I can’t be like Louis Vuitton and support many big exhibitions and collaborate with too many people. It’ll be too obvious, do you know what I mean? I have to feel really comfortable and truly believe in a project to do it.

But we’ll be seeing more of your own fashion projects?
Yes. The line has taken some time to take off because most people don’t usually associate me with fashion, and the collection is actually very expensive—even more expensive than, say, Prada. But next year in June, we will be launching the Uomo Autumn/Winter Collection in Paris. The apparels are very conceptual, like my eyewear. I travel a lot, so I’m exposed to a lot of things, and I like my collection to be very different from what’s out there. I see it as a timeless collection—simple and practical. Sometimes the hardest things to create are those that are simplest.


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Singapore-based French artist Agathe De Bailliencourt’s hip scribblings are available for sale at Taksu Gallery.

Some might not consider it high art, but for those who are into contemporary and urban artworks, Singapore-based French artist Agathe De Bailliencourt’s frantic and fantastic scribbling and acrylic on canvas works are top notch. The Ecole des Beaux Arts de Cergy Pontoise (one of France’s most prestigious art schools) graduate, who has been based here for the past two years, is holding her first solo art exhibition J’aime-J’aime Pas at Taksu Gallery through Mar 18. Her massive 156 x 126.5 cm works are mostly priced above $4,000, but serious art investors should find these a steal.

After all, some of De Bailliencourt’s best pieces are also exhibited at the established Galerie Catherine et Andre Hug—Jacob1 in Paris, and her works are collected by many private collectors and museums worldwide. The artist has also collaborated with cult fashion label Comme des Garçons on a few projects, including a wall mural for its guerilla store here in 2004, and some drawings for the upcoming Singapore Biennale poster design.

“My works are about repetition, and it’s a technique that I’ve been using for nearly a decade,” says the affable artist. “I’m quite an extreme and spontaneous person … I repeat because I feel the need to repeat, and it’s a theme that is constantly running through my head. It is how I express myself.” Growing up listening to underground rock bands such as Sonic Youth, De Bailliencourt started this heady style when she first incorporated the words “I Take the Expressway to Your Skull,” a line taken from Sonic Youth’s 1986 rock number “Madonna, Sean and Me” from the album Evol, over and over again in her first few art pieces.

And she hasn’t looked back since. Today, with the same style intact, her later works from 2004 onwards incorporate energetic smatterings of the phrase “J’aime-J’aime Pas” (“I Love, I Don’t Love”). While old school art aficionados may find De Bailliencourt’s works unsophisticated, younger art lovers are more appreciative of the artist’s colorful and erratic scribblings and paintings, done in mostly acrylic and pencil, and reminiscent of the late and brilliant American artist Jean Michel Basquiat’s works. “Basquiat’s works have had a huge influence on me,” admits De Bailliencourt. “I love everything he does, as they are so strong. There’s a sense of strength and sincerity to them, and that’s very important to me because art is all about that. When I do my works, I want to be free, and to just let go. As long as there’s sincerity in one’s works … that is art.”


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Mrs. Henderson Presents.

Editor's Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)
Judi Dench
Bob Hoskins
Kelly Reilly
Will Young
Christopher Gues
Directed By: 
Stephen Frears

A bored rich widow opens London’s first topless revue in Stephen Frears’ entertaining, but flat, Mrs. Henderson Presents.

Opening Date: 
Thu, 2006-02-23
Running Time: 
Terry Ong

Awards and standing ovations aren’t new to film and theater director Ekachai Uekrongtham. His works such as Beautiful Boxer, Chang & Eng and Ka-Ra-You OK? were the talking points of several film and theater goers.

What is your current state of mind?
Calmer than I should be.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a doctor. Then I discovered movies. So I fooled myself into thinking maybe one day I could become a film director.

How does it feel like to be back in theater after delving into film production?
Excited. Nervous. Full of expectations. Like going on first dates—all over again.

What is your biggest achievement?
Making my parents smile.

What inspires you?
Paintings, architecture, moving clouds, splashing waves, grass swaying in the wind, body warmth, rain, empty spaces, silence.

What personal trait do you appreciate the most in others?
Laid-back, nonchalant air. Quiet confidence.

Which living person do you admire most and would like to invite for dinner?
The person that I admire most and the person I want to have dinner with are different. It would be nice to have a long chat with Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure, Bright Future). Quiet dinners with my mum and my brothers keep me grounded, sane and human.

What is your first love still?
It depends on the time of day. Most times, I just love to tell good stories that make people look at life a little differently.

What are you reading?
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. I started reading it when I was doing research for my new film The Coffin. But I got a lot more than information out of it.

How do you spend your Sunday mornings?
In Bangkok, eating roast pork rice (with lots of green chili) near the Thieves’ Market. In Singapore, having Ampang yong tau foo near Still Road.

What is your idea of hell?
When you don’t even know you are in one.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Flossy buns from Breadtalk. Coke chilled till almost frozen. Little Thai pancakes with calories high enough to knock out giants.

How do you recharge?
Watch a good movie with large Coke in one hand and large popcorn (sweet below, salty on top) in the other. Looking at the sea and pretending that the world has stopped moving.

What’s playing in your iPod/MP3/CD player?
“A Love That Will Never Grow Old” (Emmylou Harris). “Don’t Compete, Lose More” (Bird Thongchai).

What do you collect?
Good memories, humbling moments and kindness from strangers.

Where would you like to live?
Three days in Singapore, three days in Bangkok, and one day in peace.

What is your favorite item of clothing?
A pair of old jeans that makes me feel like new.

What accessory sets you apart?
I don’t accessorize. It’s not a good look for me.

If you had to play a character in a movie, which movie and which character?
I’m a bad actor. I don’t think anyone should take that kind of risk with me.

What did you believe at 18 that you wish you still believed now?
I can’t remember what I believed when I was 18. But I still try to believe in what an 18-year-old should.


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Sexy and pretty lingerie to perk up the festive mood
  This intricate corset FROM Altogether by Gossard generates ample white heat. $178 from Natalie Lingerie.
  Get naughty and play hide and seek with your loved one when you wear this camouflaged camisole and brief set. $138 from
  This simple yet sexy low plunge two-piece, which comes with a delicate trimming motif, is certainly eye-catching. $89.90 from Triumph.
   Get your man to fall in love with you this Valentine’s when you put on this bra and brief set, featuring a flying hearts motif. $138 from
  This affordable and pretty black lace bra and knickers with floral print is for the young and FLIRTATIOUS. $50 from Fling.
  Spanish lingerie designer Andre Sarda’s works are always intricate, and this lovely hand embroidered two-piece is no exception. $580 from The Lingerie Shop.
  Polka dotted two-pieces have never looked classier than in this Andres Sarda Round range. $282 from The Lingerie Shop.
  Only the bold and beautiful can carry off this chiffon and silver-foiled fishnet babydoll, featuring a sequined buckle at ITS center. $59 from La Senza.
  Foreplay doesn’t get any better than when you put on this audacious teddy lingerie by Shirley of Hollywood. $88 from Natalie Lingerie.


Address Book:

Fling, #04-05 The Heeren, 260 Orchard Rd., 6732-0067.
La Senza, #018/020 Suntec City, 3 Temasek Blvd., 6336-1804.
The Lingerie Shop, #02-09A Palais Renaissance, 390 Orchard Rd., 6732-3091.
Natalie Lingerie, #03-55 Mandarin Gallery, 333 Orchard Rd., 6836-0863.
Triumph, 2/F, Isetan Scotts, Shaw House, 350 Orchard Rd., 6733-1111.


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Look stylish and stay dry while everyone around you gets soaked this rainy season.
  This ultra black and ultra cool men’s jacket, made purely from nylon, is certainly edgy. $245 from G-Star.

  Keep your laptop dry and looking good with the Uni-Sex-Uni-SNATCH™ satchel bag. Catering to both guys and girls, it’s available in three vibrant colour combinations: classic black, funky red and khaki,  and electric blue and teal. Made of textured quality rubber and PVC, they are completely waterproof and loaded with pockets and compartments. $90 from Snatch Bags.
Brighten your day with this trendy checkered Parasol umbrella from Esprit. $19.90 from Esprit.
Bring out the biker chick in you with this 96Hrs track jacket. $899 from Venue.
  Whoever says wet weather gear must be dowdy? Not when you accessorize with this eye-catching Catherine Mannuell sling bag. $149 from Felt.
The metrosexual man will certainly dig this water resistant gym bag. $89.90 from
Cover up with this kitschy Twinkle pilot’s hat. $180 from Front Row.
  Fear no rain as this gorgeous rouched jacket from Umbro by Kim Jones comes with a hoodie. $510 from Front Row.
Keep your stuff dry and looking good with this trendy 96Hrs bag. $399 from Venue.
These white Puma Dassler boots are made for walking and talking. And THEY keep your feet dry too. $599 from Venue.





Address Book:

Esprit, #01-12, #02-09/20/23, Mandarin Shopping Gallery, 333 Orchard Rd., 6732-0335.
Felt, #01-18 Capitol Building, 11 Stamford Rd., 6837-3393.
Front Row, 5 Ann Siang Rd., 6224-5511.
G-Star, #02-32 The Paragon, 290 Orchard Road, 6735-8419, #04-08 The Heeren, 260 Orchard Rd., 6738-8329.
Snatch Bags, 9487-4254,
Venue, 44 Club St., 6323-0640.


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Editor's Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)
Gwyneth Paltrow
Anthony Hopkins
Jake Gyllenhaal
Directed By: 
John Madden

Gwyneth Paltrow is brilliant in John Madden’s stage-to-screen Proof.

Opening Date: 
Thu, 2006-01-12
Running Time: 
Terry Ong