Monday, February 28, 2011

Cate B and Scarlett J

From the front I thought this dress made her look unnecessarily wide, but posing in the pic below I think Cate is perfection personified. Pictures from the New York Times And Scarlett's new slightly more edgy hair is gorgeous. Anne Hathaway was the loveliest presenter I have ever seen on Oscar night.

More 1984

So as I am going thru more 1984 mags, I saw this Gianfranco Ferre ad - I used to love this particular picture. It's still so beautiful today, the shoulders are not even too bulky. Sorry, my scanner is hopeless, I am getting a new one soon. Although it's not all due to my scanner - the photographs were a lot less clear in these magazines. I don't actually know if that is because of technology or if it was a popular photography style at the time. Gianfranco Ferre unfortunately died in 2007 - I always watched his collections. Not instantly on the internet in those days, but in special runway editions of Italian Vogue. He was known for his amazing white shirts.


I keep thinking why does everything this season look so familiar to me - so looked thru some of the old magazines I have dragged along to Hong Kong and YSL was doing the current season way back in 1984.


What goes around comes around - again and again and again...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wedding dress

I came across this happy couple in Stanley today. The dress immediately made me think of Diana's dress, but as soon as I actually looked for a pic of Diana, I realized I had been quite wrong.

Both dresses have a lot of frills, and sometimes all that frill is hard to tell apart.  I am so curious what Kate will wear for her wedding into royalty. I hope it is not an Issa dress - although they are perfectly pleasant flattering dresses, they just don't have enough right royal bad taste to be memorable. Both my Chinese bride and Diana on the other hand have succeeded entirely where memorable is concerned...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Like I said, never a bad outfit

Sofia looking just gorgeous at the Marc Jacobs show in New York on the left. See more pictures on And I don't really know when or where the pic on the right was taking but I LOVE THAT DRESS - am instantly obsessed. I want that dress.

Saturated color

A quick check of my closet and it's clear I don't have to worry about keeping up with the bold color trend. When muted neutrals come back, however, I might have a problem. I thought the stores wouldn't buy into the bright colors heavily, but I was pleasantly surprised to see loads of color at Lane Crawford. Would be curious to know how stores look in England though - it's always a bit more challenging to wear bright orange on a grey rainy day.  My pal Emma will be going soon and will hopefully report back.

Oscar dresses

Quite looking forward to seeing the Oscars tomorrow. Was trying to think of dresses I loved in the past and can only remember two clearly - Sharon Stone and Sharon Stone... She always takes risks, and when it pays off, she is to me a fashion icon as great as Babe Paley. It has at times not paid off for her, but that goes right back to the point made in my Etiquette post. It's hard to stand out from the crowd without having a bit of courage in your fashion choices, but a bit of courage sometimes turns into a dead swan dress, and that's definitely not good...

Cheap and Cheerful

H&M is doing some very cute Miu Miu inspired dresses. The fit is quite nice as well, although polyester as often the case at H&M. But then Miuccia Prada has done quite a bit of polyester herself thru the years. And at 30 Euros the price is right!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Queen's Road Central

It was spring today on Queen's Road Central. The window of Joyce had been changed but isn't very nice. It proudly announces, but that is a disappointment. Just some info about the stores and a few ashtrays for sale. 

Will just have to stick with, the new men's website from It is really great. Below two of their fashion inspirations.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Putting the box of pretty note paper on the blog made me think of etiquette. David used to buy me lovely second hand etiquette books when we lived in NYC. I thought he did because he was just very sweet, but maybe he was hinting at something... Anyway, no books recently! Listen to this advice on "the ethics of dress" from "Manners for Women" by Mrs Humphry, aka "Madge" of "Truth"....

"The object of a fashionable woman in dressing, is to make herself distinctive without becoming conspicuous - to excel by her union of graceful outline, and fidelity to the fashion of the moment (no easy task), and, while offering no striking contrast to those around her, so to individualise herself that she is one of the few who remain in the memory, when the crowd of well-dressed women is recalled only as an indistinguishable mass.

And no one, not even the most expert, is invariably successful; but then the triumphs are all the more brilliantly effective by reason of an occasional failure".

How true is last sentence?????? Some more of my favorite fashion philosophers below.

Pretty Paper

I love this box of Kate Spade note cards. It's as if the roses are going to jump off the paper. Very lovely despite the fact that gorgeous Kate is no longer at the Kate Spade company.

I'll take the shoes and the legs, please


              Shoes by Sergio Rossi

Monday, February 21, 2011

Giovanna and Eddie

I had never heard of Italian fashion editor Giovanna Battaglia until I started seeing her appear in Now she has become my favorite person to watch during the shows. She is often much more interesting looking than the models on the runway. Below left Giovanna stars in the Eddie Borgo Spring Summer 2011 ad campaign. Check her out at The jewelry not so shabby either - I want pretty much every piece. Gunmetal and rose gold bondage cuff is my favorite.        

Glamorous Kate

I totally love this pic of Kate Moss in Dior's new Addict lipstick ad on the left. She always looks so great with make-up. I know every editor out there thinks her strength is her natural look, but I think she always looks best with a bit of color.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

George Balanchine

In the notes for Derek Lam's Fall 2011 show there was a quote from George Balanchine: "There are no new steps, only new combinations".

That quote brings me right back to my time at FIT in New York, where I had one draping teacher who would always say something along the same lines. She said there are designers and then there are stylists, and you need to decide what you are going to be. According to her a designer is someone who is always inventing new steps, or more specifically new shapes, proportions, maybe even sewing methods.  Stylists on the other hand are designers who pick from existing shapes and proportions and then try to put them together in a new way.

Under that theory, Rei Kawakubo and Alexander McQueen would be designers, while Michael Kors might be a stylist. I had the sense my teacher respected the former more, but I never really agreed with that. It may be an interesting concept to have 3 sleeves on a top, but it's most likely not going to make you look pretty or make it easy to get in your car or eat your dinner. And I think for most of us clothes simply need to be practical. That's not to say I don't love the innovation that designers like Kawakubo bring, but I'd rather see them in the Met than in a clothing store.

One of my projects from school below....  very much stylist and not so much designer.....

Thursday, February 17, 2011


In this season of predominantly minimalism, I'd like to show you one of my fave Vogue covers of all time. Brooke in 1983 in the most opulent Chanel Couture jacket entirely covered in embroidery, beading and sequins by the venerable house of Lesage. Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld (he started his job with Chanel that year) to be inspired by an 18th century snuffbox. On the right a dress from the Couture advertising campaign that September.


So then there you are about to go to the Mandarin with your Standout Shoes but you feel you could do with one more accessory.  

I think this could work....                                                                    Or this.


Standout Shoes

I did not end up buying the so-so adequate Miu Miu shoes the other day, because I am going to try from now on to buy only shoes that I think are truly special. I have too many very nice basics already.  Last year's Standouts for me were these 2 Louboutins. The suede grey booties have a Spiderman pattern on them with silver leather peaking out from the cutouts. I'd make a very good Spidergirl in those! The other ones are more simple cage booties, but they just always seem to look great with anything. I am sure I will keep loving both for a long time so I might even say money well spent. But there is always the chance my husband is reading, so what I meant to say I got these on sale :)

The lovelies on the right were bought last season by a Melbourne pal who is one of the most exuberant and fun dressers I have ever come across. The really cool thing about those Zanottis is that the upper 2 straps are sort of loose and don't hug the foot tightly. It creates this really nonchalant effect like you just threw them on, had no time to get dressed. I am pretty sure this girl never buys basics when it comes to shoes. And that's my plan for the season.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

And then suddenly

it is 19 degrees again.  So out with the down coats and thinking of spring. I am going to start with a pretty navy blouse with white jeans and my new Balenciaga wedges (see Kung Hei Fat Choy below). A sleeveless taupe dress with Chloe flat sandals and a JCrew cardigan, and an orange stripe shirt dress with flip flops and a messenger bag for roaming around Sham Shui Po. I am soooo ready for spring.

The Mandarin

There's just no place like the Mandarin. When I said the other day that Jason Wu's tuxedo would be good to wear to the Carlyle, I should have been slightly more patriotic and mentioned the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. Do still take care not to look like one of the barmen. White dinner jackets can be tricky that way. That said, these guys at the Captain's are very charming. And on the left YSL does the classics.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Dickies, part 2

A few weeks ago I did a post on bringing back dickies.  And it seems the great Marc Jacobs has heard my pleas...  Read Cathy Horyn's review of his Fall 2011 show at

Photos from Dickies galore!


The amazing window display in Joyce at the moment.  For those of you who have never been to Hong Kong, Joyce will be a must visit on your future trip.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cold in Hong Kong

It's really cold and windy and wet in Hong Kong. It kind of feels like October in Holland. We are actually getting some use out of our Fall 2010 clothes. But guess what, we are already outdated. Fall 2011 is here and I love Alexander Wang's sparkly navy trousers. Jason Wu's 2011 version of the tuxedo would be lovely for a late night drink at the Carlyle's Bemelmans Bar, that is only if you are tall and lanky. Otherwise you may look like one of the barmen. See more of New York fashion week at

I am disappointed...

with the shoes this season. The clothes are all so colorful, I think they need very simple non-gimmicky shoes. Lovely Jane of loves shoes, and I haven't often heard her say negative things about shoes, but she too seems a bit disappointed.

I have been roaming discount websites for last seasons' styles, and these ones on would be so cute with the stripy shirt dresses I will be wearing this summer. I am very tempted to order but it is Sunday and my husband is roaming around the living room. Don't think I can convince him I need more shoes :)

I have been thinking though lately - does anyone really notice the shoes other people wear? I do, of course, because I am a freak, and I remember every detail of outfits people wore 5 years ago to dinner if it made an impression on me at the time. But the other day I was at book club with 14 other girls, and at the end of the evening wide awake with jet lag, I was on tempted to buy some Miu Miu shoes. When I tried to remember how many similar styles I have already in my closet (tally was frightening) I wondered how many of the book club girls would even notice that these new black shoes were different from all my other black shoes??????

I think they would only if they were Standout Shoes. Standout Shoes are not so easy to find. Sarah Rutson from Hong Kong's own Lane Crawford always wears Standout Shoes. They are often Alaias like the ones below. My friend Jane owns those shoes and she says they make her happy every time she puts them on. So much so that's she not that interested in buying new shoes. As she puts it: "they just keep on giving"!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kung Hei Fat Choy

Just got back from a trip home to Holland during Chinese New Year. It was icy cold and not ideal for shopping since indoor mall shopping isn't very common in Europe. Below is a pic of the most upscale department store in Holland with several branches around the country. I used to love that store, before I moved to New York, London and finally Hong Kong.

It's called De Bijenkorf (The Beehive) and it used to seem quite glamorous to me as a young girl. Right across from it there used to be a pastry shop and tearoom and after some shopping my mum and I would have tea and pastries and I would always have a bananensoes, a banana cream pastry. Recently some rusty modern architecture disaster was built onto the store, so it's lost its grand (albeit dated) appearance.

And inside it was bleak street....

How did that happen? Maybe nothing happened and it's simply the wealth of lovely stores in my subsequent homes that have made De Bijenkorf less exciting. The magazines in Holland on the other hand are fabulous. I picked up great copies of Flow magazine and Linda.

I managed to make it to Antwerp for my favorite high street store of all time, COS, which is a chain of stores owned by H&M, but nothing like H&M. The designs are a cross between Helmut Lang and Jil Sander, all very simple but there is always an unexpected detail. The quality is quite good and the prices are like Zara. See

Their kids clothes are adorable as well as shown by my lovely model above.  Blue sandals from Pom d'Api - no trip to Europe is complete without Pom d'Api kids shoes - I would buy them even if I didn't have any kids!!!!!

And finally some shoes of my own...  Loved these vieux rose Balenciaga wedges. The heel is made of white plastic. Can't wait to wear them.