Sunday, March 18, 2018

Moving From Hong Kong To London With Eighty Pairs Of Shoes

I am exaggerating as usual, but I am starting to fret nonetheless.  In the next few months I will have to decide what comes with me to a central London flat that will undoubtedly not have the spacious walk-in-wardrobe I have enjoyed here in Hong Kong.

I also live in fear of my husband setting eyes on everything behind those twelve closet doors in my favorite room in the house. I once saw this funny quote on instagram: what scares me most about dying is that my husband will sell all my bags for what I told him they cost

Thank goodness I don't have much of a bag collection, but shoes are my personal weakness. 

I have always bought things based on the principle that I want my clothes to last a long time, take on my character, and become part of me.  Think of a tailor made tweed jacket for instance:  in my theory of fashion this jacket would experience life with me from a job in my twenties to Sunday lunches in my forties with old friends.  I suppose I have always liked the romance of clothes being part of our personal story, but as I have grown wiser and more sensible it's become obvious to me that this theory has major flaws:

-  Fabric does not last a lifetime when worn often, and high quality fine cloth is virtually a perishable
-  Bodies change 
-  If you enjoy the act of shopping regularly but don't throw anything away, you will accumulate so much stuff that you will not have enough time to wear it all.

Lisa Armstrong's great piece about closet organization touches on the psychology of owning stuff and here she talks to a woman who owns only a few things at the time, wears them to death, and replaces them when they fall apart.  Considering the probable size of my future London closet, I am thinking this may not be a bad way to live.

A classic tweed jacket will always be a beautiful partner to ordinary blue jeans, but if you don't enjoy walking around in tattered clothes as much as an old-fashioned country gent, you will have to replace it now and then for a fresher model.

Today I am starting another no-shopping challenge until I sort out what in my wardrobe makes it onto that container ship and what will have to stay behind.  I am hoping to get some audience participation in this project starting with this post here today.

I am hearing The Clash (because London is calling) in the back of my head now - should it stay or should it go now, if it goes there will be trouble, if it stays it will be double, so come on and let me know... should it stay or should it go?

Should they stay or should they go?

Three fabrics in one Peter Pilotto skirt, a mountain print contrasting with tweed.  This is a beautiful skirt but feels dated.  Should it stay or should it go?

These Céline shoes were EVERYTHING back in... 2013 I think.  Everyone whose style I admired had these shoes.  Aimee Song were them for months on end.  Even though now they feel totally wrong, I loved these so much at one time that I don't know what to do.  Should they stay or should they go?

Let me know what you think!
Hope you've had a great weekend,
Lots of love, Dianne

Thursday, March 15, 2018

What Shoes To Wear In Hong Kong Continued: Dior J'Adior Slingback Flats in Bright Red

Thank you for all your emails on my flip flop rant.

I love your spirited opinions and I love that quite a few of you agree that Havaianas* don't look right on city streets.  Agreed, they look great in Californian cities.

But Hong Kong with its mix of modern skyscrapers and British colonial heritage is quite different. It deserves a bit of decorum.

How about a pretty slingback instead?  My friend's shoes at Dior in the Landmark. Her stirrup Gucci trousers are so incredibly cool, I have severe trouser envy over these.

* Flip flops can mean many things to different people, I have realized.  When I say flip flops, I mean rubber beach slippers like Havaianas.
If you don't know what I am talking about read my rant about flip flops HERE.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Hong Kong Is Full Of Women In Flip Flops (Get Ready For A Rant)

Please don't tell me it's that time of year already.

The first girl I spotted was wearing an attractive denim dress, but with some winter white legs sticking out, dry, and full of shaving nicks. She wore flip flops.  Her hair was tied back without much effort but the result wasn't exactly effortless.

I obsess over clothes and outfits many hours a day, but this girl confirmed to me once again that it doesn't matter what you buy or wear if the resulting outfit isn't supported by a modicum of maintenance.  Arms, legs and hair that are not well cared for will easily distract from any outfit.

Watching some skincare videos on youtube over the weekend it struck me that the various experts were quite militant about skincare methods but it's always about the face only.  What about the rest of your skin?  If the double cleanse is of life or death importance to your nose, why wouldn't it be for your knees?  Just a thought.

I suppose I've just been quite militant myself.  I just really don't like flip flops worn in city life - Hong Kong is such a beautiful town...  it deserves a bit more effort.

Here's my fully covered but comfortable outfit of the day.  Repetto flats (HERE) are super easy to walk in, and my Isabel Marant Étoile shirt (HERE and HERE) is made from lightweight cotton voile.

Old Balenciaga Velo bag (similar HERE) and old Zara jeans (HERE).

Have a lovely Tuesday!

xx Dianne

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Beautiful Spring Saturday in Hong Kong, March 10, 2018

Scenic overlook high above Wanchai

A pretty typical weekend outfit:  all navy, comfortable with pretty shoes

The stunning drive home:  Cotton Tree Drive leading to the Midlevels

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Why Not... Change The Buttons On Your Blazer (featuring Anine Bing jeans, Isabel Marant loafers, a Zara blazer and Prorsum buttons)

I got Botox in my forehead today for the first time.

Five hours later, I can't really see a difference yet, although it all feels a bit numb and heavy.

I was told I couldn't rub my face or lay down for a few hours so I decided to sit quietly on the couch doing a few sewing jobs I've been ignoring.

I wore this blazer constantly in the Fall and although I still love it, I decided to replace the fabric covered buttons to give the jacket a tiny bit more polish.  The buttons came from a super old Burberry Prorsum jacket which I bought at a sample sale while working there (I think around 1999).   It's hard to find such beautiful quality buttons in retail stores, so if you ever throw nice clothes out, make sure you cut off the buttons.

I think everyone probably has this outfit in their closet.  It's just jeans (mine are Anine Bing, similar HERE), a T-shirt and a blazer with some backless loafers. Actually my well worn Isabel Marant loafers can be worn both ways (similar HERE).

Who is as happy with the continued blazer trend as I am?  Blazers are such a no-brainer when getting dressed in the morning.  This Zara jacket was from last season but similar HERE.

Hope you are all having a lovely Wednesday!

Thanks for reading,

xx Dianne

Monday, March 5, 2018

Current Mood: Nostalgic About Hong Kong (As This Expat Is Moving)

If you are coming to Hong Kong for a visit in March, or between September and Christmas, I would highly recommend a weekday lunch visit to The Peak Lookout.  Take a seat in the garden with a friend, and just relax and take it all in.

Don't expect much from the food, but if you are hungry have a salad and share the salmon naan, and there's some perfectly adequate new world wine to choose from. The waiters will make constant mistakes, but they will say sorry sincerely and admit this happens all the time. And because you're having such a lovely time, you forgive them with a patient smile.

Before you know it, lunch has turned into the dinner, and outside just around the corner the southern views make for a great sunset vacation snap.

I've had nine years in this neighborhood and when I think of old friends who are no longer in Hong Kong, I so often remember the times I spent with them here, at this modest café.  One particularly fun afternoon involved my friend Fi trying to convince the musak playing pianist to sing some Purple Rain Prince.  That awesome trouble maker is still here but our other lunch companion moved to Europe some time ago. Miss you Niecey.

Thanks for reading everyone, I very much appreciate it.

xx Dianne

Friday, March 2, 2018

My Spring 2018 Hero Piece: Sandro Striped Jacket

For me a hero piece is that item of clothing that binds together all the other things in your wardrobe.

It's the kind of piece that can elevate any old pair of jeans and a grey t-shirt.

This striped jacket is special and on-trend because of its stripes, but it's also a basic and classic because of its stripes.

I saw it in the window of Sandro in Pacific Place and just knew it would be an incredibly versatile piece.  This is also the time I bought THIS skirt from the sale rack, and the jacket also looks beautiful over that shape of skirt (albeit not so great with the color lilac).

Sandro jacket HERE
Alexa Chung for M&S slip dress, similar HERE and HERE, and HERE.
Proenza Schouler shoes HERE
Proenza Schouler bag, quite old but PS's Hava bag is super lovely HERE

Thank you for reading, I very much appreciate it!  If you liked this, enter your email above right to receive every new post directly in your inbox.

Lots of love,