Saturday, August 31, 2013

Toned down style for fashion week

It'll be interesting to see how editors and bloggers dress at NY fashion week starting soon on September 5. After the bollocking they got last year from veteran fashion writer Suzy Menkes about their exaggerated attention seeking outfits, I am pretty sure everyone is going to tone it down significantly. But how are street style stars like Elisa Nalin, Viviana Volpicella, and Anna dello Russo going to make that work when unusual (but often beautiful) color combos have been their calling cards. I am looking forward to seeing it all unfold.

Toned down style for fashion week - but I couldn't resist putting the blue Marni jacket in 

Blue leather Marni jacket
Alexander Wang clutch
Proenza Schouler T-shirt
Reiss Belt
Martin Margiela trousers
Givenchy bracelet
Givenchy shoes

Italian stylists Elisa Nalin and Viviana Volpicella

Anna dello Russo

Suzy Menkes condemns attention seeking editors and bloggers at the shows. Hhhhhmmmmm.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Isabel has my back

So in the previous post I overcame my fear of slipping into dowdiness. But I did this by buying shoes that were at the height of popularity in 2009. The irony of this is not lost on me, of course. I privately like to think of myself as the Woody Allen of fashion blogging. Opinionated as anything but never without a wave of neuroticism right around the corner. And I do like a good rant.

Well this morning Isabel Marant has assuaged all my fears - her resort 2014 collection has some very handsome lace-up (or something like it) sandals, which has just injected brand new life into the whole genre. Although knowing Isabel, they are likely to have some very wacky heels.

Isabel Marant resort 2014

Alaia obsessions

I have been wildly madly in love with these Alaia shoes for years. But I can't wear 12 cm heels and I can't afford Alaia. I am not the only one who loved these shoes because pictures of them pop up everywhere all the time. There were nude versions, and even orange and white. And of course there were the French editors wearing them all at the same time.

And there was the gorgeous Taylor Tomasi wearing them as well as the editors, and even with jumpers and canvas.

I always say here in this blog that you have to know yourself before you buy. And I know I spend my life at school, at football, at tennis, at swimming lessons... so there's no rationalizing these babies around my life. Okay, living in Hong Kong we do have the opportunity to spend time at some insanely glamorous places, but I already have many pairs of worthy shoes. So those Alaias left the station, on a TGV train, very fast and very far out of reach.

Yet these shoes have become a bit of a litmus test for me. I often wondered, am I getting to the point where I will soon forgo really high heels, because I prefer comfort? I wore some 7 cm respectable block heels at a garden party at our house in Holland, and all of my aunts (who were quite stylish in their day) were aghast at my heels asking me how in heaven's name I could walk on those things.

So there has to be a moment I reckon, when you say, no more super high heels. I am a mom with an eight and a ten year old. Although I go out on average 4 times a week, a lot of those nights are dinners at people's houses - not always the perfect place for 12 cm Alaias. Especially when you are asked to take them off at the door. Yet I am not mentally ready to leave them behind. I am not ready to be a woman who, in her day, loved to wear really glamorous shoes.

Aquazurra lace-up heels

And then Aquazurra came along. Edgardo Osorio started making lace-up sandals, almost as sexy as the Alaias but instead they have 10.5 cm heels, and they are less than half the price. I jumped on those babies faster than you can say midlife crisis. My reaction was so immensely intuitive, it's cast all my doubts aside - I am nowhere near ready to give up high heels. Respectable age is just going to have to wait for me a while longer.

Now the only challenge that remains is trying to get these things on. That will be a daunting task indeed.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Good Sandy Bad Sandy

In a week full of Miley Cyrus outrage, I fondly look back at my first bad girl fascination. That Sandy sure knew how to do badass in a really sweet and innocent way. I don't ever understand why the little Hannah Montanas of this world want to turn themselves into shocking badasses. But I suppose Hollywood is littered with out of work grown up ex-child stars, so maybe reinventing herself is very much a necessity for Miley. And now that we are all talking about it, let's see how the old adage all publicity is good publicity works out for her.

good Sandy

bad Sandy

Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf's

The documentary about Bergdorf Goodman, Scatter my Ashes at Bergdorf's, is out on itunes. If you have ever wandered thru this monumental shop between 57th and 58th streets, or bought some shoes in its shoe salon, you will love this film. It hasn't got the best reviews, because it is a bit overly romantic and gushy about what is really just a retail shop, albeit a very fine one - but I loved every minute of it. I went straight to my computer to look for shots of our days living in Manhattan, and this one was taken from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, looking downtown over Central Park.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fashion on Facebook and some digressing along the way

I have been very lazy this week and have accomplished nothing. It started on the weekend when I had a proper browse around Facebook. You know, actually looking at people's photos and stuff like that. A very handsome old boyfriend changed his profile picture and he is shirtless!  No wonder I got stuck in for hours.

I am not a good Facebooker - I forget about it for months, and then other times I get quite involved for a week or so. It's lovely to "like" things - it's a bit like saying "hey I noticed that, well done you, and by the way I hope you are well". In a warped way, Facebook can teach you more about people than real life interaction. I knew this couple once - one was an enthusiastic liker and commenter, always having a lovely word to say. The other was an enthusiastic poster - constant pictures of himself, achieving this, that, and the other - he spent a lot of time on Facebook for sure, but rarely liking or commenting on others. And when they broke up it wasn't actually a surprise - the giver had kept on giving and supporting for all these years, and the peacocky poser took it all without ever giving anything back.

And then there are things on Facebook that one couldn't like with all the best intentions in the world. Like the stories about cancer which inevitably end with the phrase: I know 95 per cent of people are not going to share this, but if you are against cancer, then I know you will share this. So those who don't share are for cancer? Who comes up with these demented posts that try to shame people into sharing them? And what is the upside for the creators? Advertising revenue? (I clearly have no clue how Facebook really works). Or how about the bits about what constitutes a good friend? A good friend will never forget you and a good friend blah blah blah - now you need to share this if you have a good friend like this. Seriously, "None of your damn business" should be one of the options under these posts. Hhhhmmmm, will I Like? Nope. Will I Share? Nope. Or will I None of your...? Click!

A rant a day keeps the doctor away, I'd like to think.

But I am digressing horribly. Because what I wanted to say (although I am realizing now that y'all are way more savvy than I am)  is that virtually every fashion company out there has a Facebook page and they are often much more up-to-date and fun, and easier to navigate, than their websites. So that's another thing I got stuck in for hours. I loooved of course the many pages by Chanel - therefore the gorgeous picture below, nicked from their official page.

By the way, the old boyfriend's shirtless picture only showed him up to chest level. How wrong would it be for me to ask if we can get a top to toe version???? I'm just saying....

The lovely Jeanne Moreau having a tête-a-tête with Madame Chanel

Halston ultra suede shirtdress - how excellent is this picture?

Balenciaga store in LA! I am going there in October!!

Dior nail polish in the olden days - a bit like Céline's nails nowadays...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shoes I never wear

I love all these shoes. I loved them when I bought them, I love them when I imagine them with an outfit, I love just having them. So then why do I never wear them? If you are anything like me you have a fair amount of shoes and clothes that just never make it out of the closet. It will always be a mystery to me why some purchases become a success and why others never do. When I am in the store buying them, they are always full of promise.

So I am spending this week wearing those things I never wear. I am simply going to put them on and walk out the door. Let me tell you, it works. When you are walking around those tiny concerns just go. So the heel may have been more perfect had it been 1 cm wider - but it's not and I don't know a soul who is going to notice. Where it becomes problematic is when the shoes are too tight (the pink and tan JCrew heels bottom right) - those probably just have to go. Anyone with a size 37??? So if you see me out this week without one of the above shoes on my feet - please feel free to call BS on my A.

Fathers and Daughters

I think it was Madeline Albright, the first woman Secretary of State of The United States of America, who said, and I paraphrase, that successful women often have adoring fathers. Here are my husband and daughter - we had an early sushi dinner on Saturday when our son had a sleepover with his dear friend Sam, who is sadly leaving soon for boarding school in England.

My adoring husband father told her she should put on some nice city clothes, after all we were going to a proper grown up sushi place. She chose her purple and silver jumpsuit from Juliet and the Band (find it HERE) and her silver shoes from Bisgaard (available at the best kids' shoe shop in Hong Kong, Apple and Pie - find it HERE).

I walked behind them and thought, gosh, I miss my mum and my dad, and I loved how seeing the two of them walking hand in hand made me think of the importance of family. Here in Hong Kong, most of us don't have our families. We have lots of fast and loose social contacts, and ever flowing champagne to make us feel better. But there are few people you can trust like your family. We miss you Amy and Apa, Tijn and Debby, Fleur and Stijn xxxxxx

Saturday, August 24, 2013

September Wish List

Denis Colomb scarf - find it HERE

Whistles camo print dress - find it HERE

Crazy heel Marc Jacobs shoes - am terribly obsessed with these shoes, but not entirely sure if I love them or hate them. Food writer Jeffrey Steingarten always makes a point of listing the foods he hates so that the reader is aware of his bias against kimchi, for instance. Well for the record, I truly hate shoes with weird heels. Always have and always will. But these... I don't know, I think I may very much be in love with them. Find them HERE.
(instantly David Cassidy is singing to me in my head: I think I love you so what am I so afraid of...)

LNA T-shirt - find it HERE

Saint Laurent bracelet - find it HERE

Current/Elliott jacket - find it HERE

JCrew earrings - find them HERE

Zara replaces H&M on Queen's Road

H&M decided the new rent of US$1.4 million per month was too steep, so Zara will be taking over the premises (source: Wall Street Journal)

Mere seconds away from H&M - plastic toilet brushes and hardware for sale

Alternative Evening

Try layering a cropped jumper over an embellished dress. Modern graphic accessories complete the look.

Ter et Bantine jumper
River Island dress
Elizabeth and James shoes
Lynn Ban cross earrings
BCBGMaxAzria clutch
Lanvin ring

Friday, August 23, 2013

Weekend 2 Ways

Michael Kors jumper
Victoria Beckham jeans
Repetto black flats
Rolex Datejust watch
Dries van Notes black canvas tote
Victoria Beckham black and white tote
Saint Laurent studded leather cuff
Givenchy lace sneakers

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The studs keep on coming at Valentino...

The only way I can resist them is through the fact that I have no money. I mean seriously, are studs here forever? Like Chanel quilting or Burberry check? Every time I crave a new item with studs I warn myself they won't be around for much longer...  But they keep on coming. Buy them at

Cathay Pacific Holidays

Bangkok seen from Peninsula

I have never talked more about the weather than since I moved to Hong Kong 5 years ago. Even expats who have been here for 15 years still wonder why the weather is so much like England. I keep telling my husband I agreed to move to a sunny tropical paradise, not a foggy polluted rock with constant rain - but he's not impressed. He still wants to come back as a Hong Kong housewife in his next life. I am dreaming of a weekend away... and when I posted pictures of Bangkok a few weeks ago, I should have mentioned that we booked our trip through Cathay Pacific Holidays, which was totally brilliant. You can pick from loads of special offers, but if you have a specific place in mind, that's fine too, and there are many hotels to choose from. We ended up going to the Peninsula in Bangkok, and rates were way better booking through Cathay. Highly recommended - try it HERE.

Padded Piping

Chloe at Princes Building in Central Hong Kong

Quite a few jumpers and blouses this season have padded piping around the neckline. Because of my unfortunate practical nature I am worried they won't stay nice after a wash or a dry-clean, but I love the look. This one was in the window of the beautiful Chloe shop in Princes Building.

Designer Clothes for Kids

I am not a fan of most designer clothes for kids. There's usually a big tacky logo somewhere, while the quality isn't anything to get happy about. But yesterday I spent some time in Harbour City mall in Kowloon to look for a nice dress for my daughter, and I was thoroughly impressed with the Dolce & Gabbana kids shop there. Understated, beautiful materials, well made... so nice that there were quite a few things I would have loved for myself if only they made my size.

Dolce & Gabbana at Harbour City mall in Kowloon

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fall Layers

Even though it's beyond hot and humid in Hong Kong, calendar autumn is approaching and we have been excitedly working on JDCamicetta. Checking out the tweeds of the season, and pairing them with perfect tops. A perfect top needs to sit well under a jacket, but needs to be able to stand alone when you take it off.

the patterned fabric on top reminds me of a men's pocket square - lovely with the tweed grays and burgundy's of the season.

soft patterns  - the grey on the right is a divinely soft crepe silk

or a more geometric design maybe - submit your email address on the top right hand side for updates on fall JDCamicetta tops and dresses

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Marion Prisma Skeletal bag (Oh... but what's in a name)

This is one of Alexander Wang's new fall bags. It is the Marion Prisma Skeletal bag and it has all three elements I love in a bag. 
1) It's got a top handle with a separate cross body strap
2) It is a very ladylike shape, yet it is soft throughout the body, rather than boxy and stiff
3) It is rigid on the bottom thanks to the (super cool) corner hardware

I have only seen this style on and so far. And I think for both you can only pre-order for delivery in September. (Oh... how I love autumn, the hunting season for not-so-cheap thrills which will share our life as material possessions....)

Blush pink on my brain

all because of these little friends

Zara jacket - in stores now

Farrow and Ball paint

Paris Vogue

Farrow and Ball paint

hard and soft - pink and black

Marie Antoinette with the most beautiful costumes of any movie I have ever seen