Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bintang Tank Tops

a pretty sunset.....

a few lunch time margaritas at La Lucciola...

some ill-advised loopy shopping...   (but do go to SKS when in Bali)

Yellow does not look good on me. I have considered yellow my favorite color since I was a babe (i.e. a small child) although if I were asked the question in terms of clothes I would probably say watermelon pink and taupe. After 2 margaritas I thought the taupe in this yellowish dress would make the yellow totally flattering. It's a really cute and comfortable maxi dress, but I'll need a spray tan or a cardigan to make it work for me.

What is it about holiday dressing? What's with all the grown men wearing Bintang tank tops (or wife beaters or vests). And so much skin on display everywhere. For those Asians who have never been in Europe or Australia or the US, they must have a pretty warped view of the Western street scene.

I guess it doesn't help that the shops in holiday resorts cater to this look with the endless tie-dye tank tops and flimsy dresses, shapeless cover-ups in combinations of pink, turquoise and orange in such harsh hues they make my eyes hurt. The Simple Konsep Store in Seminyak (www.simplekonsepstore.com) where I bought the dress above is a lovely exception. Really nice prints and lots of beautiful non-garish color combinations.

 taupe with red and gold

watermelon pink and taupe skirt by JCrew, Joanne dress worn as shirt by JDCamicetta, napkin from La Lucciola in Seminyak

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Don't forget your belt

Today a friend came over for an afternoon drink, and looking like quite the slob at 5 minutes to 4, I quickly threw on a belt to pull together a rather basic outfit of lilac Current Elliott jeans and a Club Monaco men's button-down and I think I managed to look like I made an little bit of effort.

This was a not inexpensive belt from Tods, but the money was totally worth it terms of price per wear. My thinking is, if you see a belt with a great buckle, get it right then and there. There just aren't that many good belts around. JCrew always does nice inexpensive ones, but a quick search through my other fave sites came up with very little. There are lots of belts around with interesting detail, but if it is not focused on the buckle, there really is no point to having detail at all. The belt below left is by my fellow country men Viktor and Rolf - it has braiding in the back, but the front bit is a flat navy leather bow, which is hardly going to stand out between your shirt and your trousers. Much better bet to buy the belt on the right by Linea Pelle, which is simple, but has its detail on the front.

Belts from www.shopbop.com

Left: Yves Saint Laurent at www.net-a-porter.com and right: JCrew at www.jcrew.com

The Yves Saint Laurent belt on the left is a great timeless design (although not cheap) and the JCrew vachetta leather belt will go with absolutely everything. The buckle is simple but a really nice shape.

Left:: Banana Republic on www.bananarepublic.com and right: Balmain on www.stylebop.com

The Balmain belt on the right has the kind of baroque details that end up looking a bit eighties to my eye (that said Balmain is probably the hottest editorial brand at this moment). 

Left: MSMG at www.yoox.com and right: Fendi at www.theoutnet.com

The Fendi belt on the right has a lovely buckle, but more than a little bit "inspired" by Hermes I suspect. I scoured many many pages of belts on www.shopstyle.com (the site will consolidate the belt choices at most of the big US websites for you) and it is slim pickings. So if you see a great buckle, buy the belt!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blush and Blue

Sarah Mower, a prominent fashion writer in the US, said a few years ago that women over 35 shouldn't wear biker jackets. She got a boat load of angry letters and this month in US Vogue she tries to explain her view. In my humble opinion it's terribly old fashioned to say what women should wear at what age. Some women at 50 look great in biker jackets, while some women at 20 look awful in them. Worn open they actually have a nice asymmetrical shape which I think is quite flattering. There are some very pretty wool and knit versions around too. I love them over a simple dress, maybe even a longer midi (calf length) dress, which is a length that can look dowdy on its own.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Get ready for big hair

Love, love, love all the big hair in Fall editorials and campaigns. Start teasing girls - sleek straight hair suddenly feels, well, very safe, and not as fun as a raucous head of messy hair. I have got some growing to do if I want to try for myself. Although last year I was onto something.

girandole earrings by Duchessa, buy here

Friday, July 20, 2012

Woozy Shopping in Europe

Shopping in Europe isn't really much different anymore from the United States or Hong Kong. There are so many global chain stores now that pretty much the same is on offer in most big cities. What I love best about shopping in Europe is the coffee, lunch, and wine breaks. You are not stuck in characterless mall restaurants but everywhere you look are adorable places to have a rest and admire your purchases before you go on and do some more... 

Roermond, Holland

Roermond, Holland

Waalwijk, Holland

You indulge in some frites and some red wine, and then you hit the shops again. There's nothing like a bit of tipsy shopping. Although it can (not infrequently) result in impulse buys... I am still not sure what I think of these sale boots. But I do remember I had lots of fun buying them.

It's really nice to be home though... COS has opened in Hong Kong!!! Queen's Road Central on the corner of Pottinger Street.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Real luxury

I have been reading my way thru all kinds of Dutch and Belgian fashion magazines since I have been in Holland. And I am sick and tired of all the articles about luxury. From Hermes to Gucci and many more, all the representatives of these companies are describing why they are the only ones providing us with real luxury. The word is used so often nowadays in fashion that it seems to have lost all meaning. This morning my mother picked fresh flowers from her garden and put them in a vase. The house smells delicious, and the fresh green and white of the flowers give the house a beautiful summery glow. There's no man-made luxury that can top that.