Thursday, February 27, 2014

Isabel Marant kimono-ish shirt

I am starting my day today in a lightweight cotton kimono-ish shirt from Isabel Marant. It's gotten really humid again, so coats are out. I am not loving the jeans with it but that's what I got. The shoes are at least 10 years old bought in Bally on the King's Road with my friend Amanda. Sometimes something really old in your wardrobe suddenly feels new again - I love it when that happens.

Bag from Shenzhen
Shoes from Bally
Shirt from Isabel Marant Étoile
Bracelet Club Monaco
Jeans by JBrand

27 February 2014

The day started off with such a high this morning when I met up with my friend from, who brought her tiny baby girl. There is just nothing like cuddling a baby - those squirmy little arms and legs, and she smelled so sweet as well. I was really productive for the rest of the morning and then decided to pop in at Isabel Marant to check the prices of some things I had seen on Surprise surprise, most things were priced the same, but some were actually cheaper in the shop on Ice House Street (Hong Kong is usually crazy expensive compared to other cities).

I tried on an Isabel Marant Étoile red checked tweed jacket, but it look so horrible on me. It looked a bit like I had picked up the worst career suit from a sale rack at Talbots.

And then literally 10 minutes later I walked through the Princes Building and these super cute Chinese girls were in front of me, with the girl on the right wearing the red tweed jacket. With her cute shorts and boots and squishy Chanel tote she looked nothing like Talbots. So very very cute.

I popped in for a look see at Chloe where I ran into a friend who was trying on these sunglasses. The scalloped edge mimics the edge of their super soft ballet flats... It made me daydream about being a millionaire! But no such luck... Now I am back home but still with a smile on my face from seeing that little baby girl. I hope you all had a lovely day as well.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lane Crawford Causeway Bay is chock full of Vans

Except they are not really Vans.  Look up Vans slip-on on for the real thing at a very tiny fraction of the price.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Random picture of the day, number 2

Giovanna again looking perfect in blue. From Moda Magazine.

Random picture of the day

Giovanna Battaglia (Contributing Fashion Editor at W Magazine) in a shirtdress.  
Totally random, but I love a shirtdress, and I love Giovanna. 
Photo from

Would you wear this dress?

I was instantly attracted to this dress at Joyce - but now when I see it back in my photo it drives me crazy. All those prints pasted together and the black middle piece with the black rabbit ears on the shoulder... I can't manage to see it as a whole, my eyes get stuck on the parts.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The March magazines are here

And as usual W Magazine blows everyone else out of the water. Although the magazine has changed a lot since the days of John Fairchild, its essence always was, and still is about cockiness - in the beginning from the über rich showing us how the good life was meant to be lived, and today from the über stylish showing us the only way to dress, to live in style. Below are two favorite images.

Not your average white top, dark bottom - the Véronique Branquino blouse is a nod to the New Romantics style of the late seventies and eighties. And I also love the funny bat belt - it is referred to as the stylist's own, which is what most other magazines would consider a lost opportunity to sell advertising to belt designers. But I love everything about it.

Another white top and dark bottom - this time with a graphic modern feel. The Hermès belt and Proenza Schouler clutch are stunning. The trousers are navy and the accessories black and white - chicest color mix ever. Now I feel properly excited about spring.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

My dream Isabel Marant trousers already sold out

sold out before I could even have a look at them - Isabel Marant Den trousers - photo from - yes, I know I did say no purchases until May, but I would have taken my son's guitar to the dark depths of the Mongkok MTR to sing for my money in order to afford these trousers

the Den trousers as they were shown in Isabel Marant spring 2014 show

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Givenchy overload

Givenchy at Joyce on Queens Road Central, Hong Kong

In the beginning of the season (around Christmas) I obsessively wanted something in this Givenchy flower print. I had the 10 cm pointed pumps in my basket for a while, then the high heeled sandals, then the mini Lucrezia bag... none of which are actually in this picture! I still love and adore the print, and if these things were half the price, I might very well still go for it. But when the bags start around $15,000 HKD, I don't want to see that print splattered on 20 different items everywhere.

Who says matching is dead?

Alexander McQueen shoes and bag at Joyce on Queens Road Central, Hong Kong

You are not supposed to match your shoes and your bags! is a popular noughties and 2010s fashion diktat. But when you wear shoes like these, which are bad taste personified frankly - so of course I love them - then matching your bag keeps you from sliding too far down that slippery slope. This sedate bag and the crazy shoes balance each other perfectly. Now all you need is a longish fitted grey wool dress like the Narciso Rodriguez number Kate Moss wore in Cannes with Johnny Depp. If you are wondering, that was 17 years ago. How fast did those years go by?!

One Season Wonder

Find these printed leather J.Crew pumps on They are the perfect one season wonder - it doesn't matter what you wear, you will always look right now (until June when the Fall collections hit the stores and these will look so last year)

And I ran into this fabric version, with a slightly higher vamp, at Isabel Marant on Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong. They may not have longevity but they are so much fun.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Saint Laurent in Wanchai

Do you ever find it annoying when you see fashion magazines where the model is in her Valentino dress and her Saint Laurent heels right next to a dumpster in some gritty unrecognizable part of some big city? And do you ever ask yourself how the hell did that uptown girl end up in that part of town?

Well in Hong Kong me and my Saint Laurents end up in that part of town all the time. Not because I am so cool, but because the city is so bloody small. I had a girl's dinner at Giando's at Fenwick Pier tonight, but as double yellow lines everywhere around the pier prevented cabs from stopping within a 2 mile radius, I found myself walking on the fly-over towards deep down and dirty Wanchai in my Saint Laurents thinking where is the bloody Sartorialist when you need him? So I took my own picture, sans the heels, sans the Valentino dress (but that's because I don't own such a dress).

And when I got home to the Peak I wondered why my house smelled so nice. I followed my nose towards my downstairs lounge only to realize it was real live flowers, which lovely Alexandra had brought me on Saturday. When you live in Hong Kong you get accustomed to fake flowers so quickly, you may forget about your Dutch heritage - shame on me - and you may end up buying your flowers in plastic versions. I have done so for at least 3 years but now I am thinking what the hell was I thinking? because there is nothing like coming home from deep down and dirty Wanchai to a house full of fresh flowers.

Too much?

Phillip Lim dress and a bunch of costume jewelry

Phillip Lim makes many lovely embellished things - this blue T-shirt dress is one of my faves. Now if I was fresh out of New York I would not dare to wear any jewelry with this dress. But I have lived in Hong Kong for more than five years now, and we Hong Kongers love to bling it up. I need to get dressed for dinner tonight, and took all this stuff out. But I don't know what's happened to me - maybe the last few seasons' minimalism is getting to me, because nothing looks right with that dress... 

Speaking of bling - the lovely people at contacted me for a possible collaboration. I am not free to do so at the moment, but I am so pleased they asked. Did you see the project they are doing with Swarovski? Create your own costume jewelry with the prettiest Swarovski sparklers...  I have already bought several for birthdays - and one all navy version (of course) for myself. Absolutely love the helix beads. Find them HERE.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Test driving a pleated skirt

I love the season's pleated skirts - the fact that they are all quite long is a bit more difficult. Trying out this COS version tonight.

Zara jacket
Alexander Wang shoes
Petit Bateau T-shirt
Duchessa Jewels necklace
COS pleated skirt

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hong Kong 13 February 2014

early morning downpour in Central

how to cheer up a grey day with a Serapian

Shiro has re-opened - despite the dire premises inside Great supermarket, I can't stay away

Joyce and On Pedder take a long term view on the ubiquitous buckle boot

sneak peek into the construction on the corner of Duddell and Queens Road Central

What's your favorite color

At Saint Laurent it doesn't matter what the color of the moment is. Spoilt for choice in Times Square, Hong Kong

Prettiest spring coat

The prettiest spring coat of the season was this preppy Miu Miu school girl coat in navy and red - it arrived and instantly sold out on But suspect Zara will be making a version one of these days...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Who needs a house out in Hackensack?

Louis Vuitton in Times Square (Hong Kong)

The other day I took a look at, and he made an interesting observation. He had photographed what we in the West would consider a poor man in Morocco, who had accidentally or on purpose put together an outfit with a quite sophisticated matching color palette. In the commentary someone dismissed the man's style, saying he probably found his clothes on a trash heap somewhere. The Sartorialist got cross and made an eloquent argument about style and poverty and why no one should assume that poor people are any less interested in or capable of style.

I haven't been able to stop thinking about this. Income inequality has been a hotly debated topic in the United States of late (read more HERE) - the rich are said to be growing much richer while middle classes are shrinking and becoming poor. The resulting social inequality or social isolation could very well result in rich people believing that the poor do find their clothes in the trash.

When I was in school and before I had any money I was a way more creative dresser. I picked up colorful cheap things in flea markets and discount shops. There used to be a fabulous place in New York called Daffy's where you could buy discounted clothes a few seasons old, high end or low end. Now that I have some more means at my disposal I am often disappointed when I am in front of the holy grail. Yesterday I went to Times Square (Hong Kong) for instance, and took a good look at a Louis Vuitton SC bag, and it was perfectly nice, in the way that many small duffels in grainy leather are nice, the hardware was solid, the zipper zipped smoothly, the stitching was evenly spaced, but even the small size cost more than 30,000 Hong Kong Dollars (more than 3,900 US Dollars). 

Who needs a house out in Hackensack, is that all you get for your money? The sounds of Billy Joel singing Anthony's Song flooded my brain in that very instant standing there facing the sales girl in her little white gloves. The store was full of people, probably from the mainland, people who may appear pretty poor to western eyes in ill fitting clothes made from cheap fabrics. I have often wondered why buses full of people come from the mainland to queue in front of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, or Hermès and spend their hard earned savings on a silly luxury brand fashion item. But you know what? Maybe they have already realized that this is what it takes to be noticed, to be seen, or, to not be dismissed, by the rich people who rule their world.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Beautiful Seventies

I should go to the movies more often. I watch plenty of them on itunes, but there is such a difference watching them on a very big screen. Last night my friend and I could only get second row tickets, but being that close to the characters of American Hustle was nothing short of intoxicating.

Movie screen beauty is very different from magazine endorsed beauty. I don't know if this was a deliberate decision, but Amy Adams' character doesn't have much make-up other than on her eyes and lips, and you can really see her skin. She has absolutely beautiful skin of course, but it is human. There are laugh lines and there are pores and she looks very real compared to beautiful women in magazines, who have been photoshopped into lifeless perfection. Seeing people on huge screens makes you feel so much better about your own skin. It is truly an outrage that the Anna Wintours of this world have gone so far in changing what human (flawed) beauty looks like. I have made a mental note to take my young daughter to see movies on the big screen all the time.

Only a few days ago I read a review of American Hustle which described it as overrated and as the kind of film we have been duped into loving by culture tastemakers (read it HERE). But Kevin Fallon is horribly wrong. It is not overrated. It is every bit as good as you have read. There is no confusion at any time about who is conning who. The brilliant characters in this film are somehow as confident as they are insecure, and it is one of those movies that motivates and inspires you - to read more books, to visit New York, to try a new hairstyle, to kiss your husband, to listen to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, to think about religion, to wear your old DVF wrap dress, or to dance around your living room singing into a fake microphone.

But it must be seen on the big screen.

Friday, February 7, 2014

I love Marc Jacobs

Did I ever tell you I love Marc Jacobs? Well, I love him more than any other designer. I love his clothes and I love him as a person. I loved him as a shy geek, and I still love him as a muscly tough guy. Many years ago (early nineties) I ran into him on a totally empty platform of the Prince's Street N and R subway station. I had read in WWD that his first collection under his own name had been a smashing critical success. Here's probably where I should divulge I have a ridiculously embarrassing history with celebs - I wanted to tell Uma Thurman in the lift to her gynecologist's office that I loved her in Pulp Fiction, but when the words came out I couldn't remember the movie's name, so I said "I loved you in... that movie". On another occasion I got invited backstage by the band and rather than being grateful I told the lead singer of Tears for Fears "isn't your name Roland Emmerich?" (somehow I added the name of a random German colleague of my husband's to the poor guy's first name). He was not happy and vowed "never to do this again" - I still wonder whether he meant invite women backstage or perform again, but I digress.

Marc and I were the only people on the platform and when our eyes met and I told him "I heard your collection was amazing, congratulations". He seemed surprised someone recognized him and thanked me and asked for my name. But I couldn't even get my name out and uttered "oh I am nobody, I mean I don't work in fashion" and the train came, I said goodbye and got on.  I AM NOBODY! - for f's sake, why did I say that? I quit my job soon after to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology, and I vowed when I met Marc next, I would not be such a bloody loser.

Of course I have never met Marc again. A few years ago I heard an ex-colleague from Burberry, a very handsome Italian designer, had started working for Marc. I desperately wanted to be a groupie geek and tell him how much I loved his new boss, but thankfully I controlled myself.

And you know of course that my other fashion crush Sofia Coppola and Marc are BFFs... And that Sofia wears all his clothes constantly. And if you ever looked at Louis Vuitton clothes in the store, you know what I mean when I say I have never seen finer clothes anywhere - the materials, the color combinations and the construction are what I would imagine haute couture clothes are like, although I have never seen any of those up close. His work for LV was fashion utopia to me. And now Marc Jacobs is said to have left LV to prepare for an IPO of the Marc Jacobs brand.

To support his IPO preparations, I figured I should buy one of his new bags. I am so selfless, aren't I? His most loyal geek follower. The bag is so super lovely, light as air, with the most gorgeous hardware. But now I am beyond broke, and have reached my budget for the whole season... No purchases till the end of May - stay tuned for how that works...

Black and white accessories at Lane Crawford

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

This too is Hong Kong

If you don't live here, or have never visited, you may not realize most of the island is without any sky scrapers whatsoever. This is the approach to Big Wave Bay on the east side of the island.

Did it rain today??  Just walked up to my bedroom to see the clearest view of Lamma Island in months (the pollution has been at dangerous levels for a long time now) - normally it is only clear like this after heavy rain. But I have been inside all day talking to a friend over lunch and wine, so never noticed any rain!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Again and again, and again

No one has influenced the look of handbags as much as Phoebe Philo since she was appointed Creative Director of Céline. And now she does it again with these outstanding totes with geometrical handles. She is a true innovator.

Fendi is on a roll

Almost literally on a roll here. 
My friend's gorgeous Fendi bag (they seem to be expanding on their crazy expensive Peekaboo style with some really well proportioned totes with very nice hardware) - certainly looks at home in Cipriani restaurant

Monday, February 3, 2014

Still thinking of Kate Moss

I was thinking about Kate Moss' new collection for Topshop (see my post from 2 February HERE) - and I hope she will focus on tailored pieces. I am not as much of a fan of super casual, sometimes ratty Kate (sorry Kate!) with scuffy boots and grimy jeans, but I absolutely love her when she has a bit of polish in her outfits. The new collection is said to have LBDs which she does better than anyone else (when she wears them at least). Here's a bit of memory lane of 4 great outfits, very Kate, but with a bit of glam.

I think this is a Saint Laurent dress

looking really fresh in light colors

possibly my all time favorite - no one can wear a cape like Kate

distressed jeans but very pretty jacket and blowdried hair

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Really good denim shirt by Acne

This Acne shirt has a beautiful frayed hem and the color is the perfect faded blue (this is the kind of shirt you will treasure long after you have discarded all of the season's trendy bits - find it HERE)

Will you stand in line?

Kate Moss' new collection for Topshop should be hitting the stores soon (read about it HERE), but will you stand in line to buy her clothes?

I lived in London when her first collection arrived on Oxford Street, but I didn't go to the launch. There is something terribly undignified about running into a shop elbows wide, grabbing bits ferociously before anyone else can, just to have more stuff. But about ten days after the furore I did walk into Topshop and looked to see if anything was left. And there was one lovely treasure hanging there in a UK size 10, all by itself without any of the customers around me giving it a second look. I tried it, I loved it, I bought it, and I still totally love it today. I still don't know what her other pieces were like, although reports were the overall quality was not great, but then again, this is cheap and cheerful Topshop. I must admit I am curious and I will go have a look (but will not wait in line!).

my Kate Moss jacket from her collection for Topshop first time around