Monday, March 31, 2014

Chanel Eyeshadow Tutorial by Lisa Eldridge

I love Chanel eyeshadows. On the special website for the new eyeshadow colors make-up artist Lisa Eldridge does video tutorials on how to apply it, but there are also illustrations with a paint-by-numbers approach to apply the different colors. See more HERE.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Tang Tang Tang Tang on Johnston Road in Wanchai

I finally discovered where David Tang's new store Tang Tang Tang Tang is - right below The Pawn restaurant in Wanchai (David Tang is the owner of Shanghai Tang stores). Read more at It is such a beautifully eclectic store, antique British silver mixes with modern toaster ovens, and everywhere you look is something you didn't think you needed - until you see Tang's version. 
A few weeks ago I was having lunch at Cipriani with some friends, and David Tang came in lighting up the room with infectious smiles and exuberance. When I was inside Tang Tang Tang Tang on Saturday it occurred to me that is exactly what this shop is all about - David Tang's smiles and exuberance. There are very few shops that manage to be interesting on their own while still maintaining a bit of the character of their creators, but Tang Tang Tang Tang does it brilliantly. Paul Smith's shops have always been like that, but I can't think of many others.

Tang Tang Tang Tang
66 Johnston Road
Wanchai (right underneath the Pawn, and just around the corner from Ship Street)

Right around the corner on Ship Street are tapas bars 22 Ships and Ham & Sherry. Among the tapas at Ham & Sherry is toast with bacala - salt cod. I haven't had salt cod since a dinner years ago at Cafė de Bruxelles in New York, which has apparently closed now after many years of serving the best fries in New York. Although not a sherry fan, I had a nice pre-dinner drink and snack with my husband here on Saturday and the sweet sherry was quite nice with salty anchovies and cod.

Elle MacPherson is 50 and still in leggings

How did that happen? The Cut reports Elle MacPherson is 50 and celebrates her life in fashion with a slide show of no less than 82 photos. See it HERE. Her face has changed a bit... but to that I can only say goodonya (as the Aussies do). Getting old and wrinkly is hard for any woman, now imagine having people take you picture every single day... that would be enough to send me to the plastic surgeon on a monthly basis...

Elle in 1990

Elle in 2014

Sparkly Espadrilles

These Tory Burch sparkly espadrilles are so much fun - perfect for poolside with some shorts and a gauzy white shirt. Find them at Shoespace in Queensway Plaza (just across the footbridge from Pacific Place).

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Feeling homesick for Zermatt

If I had to name a place where I feel happiest, I wouldn't hesitate a second to answer you: in the high Alps. I have not been back to the high Alps since we moved to Hong Kong, but got hit by a bout of extreme nostalgia this week when dining at fave Cipriani, where the ladies rooms are decorated with beautiful pictures of Italian mountains.

Cipriani tuna carpaccio with spicy avocado

Although I often tell people back home in the West that it is impossible to assimilate in Hong Kong, I have become rather Hong Kongish in my insistence to take a photo of every dish on the table before it is touched. This tuna carpaccio was delicious.

Ladies room nostalgia at Cipriani

There are few things as beautiful as the branches of fir trees weighed down by heavy snow. It is high time I find my way back to the Alps.

photo taken on a family vacation in 2006

view from our apartment

eating rösti outside and drinking ice cold pints of beer after a long hike - and then some guys with giant horns showed up

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Alexander McQueen Sandals at Joyce

Studded heel Alexander McQueen sandals at Joyce in Pacific Place, Hong Kong. Also available in black suede at Lane Crawford in IFC. Sandal weather is imminent!

Christy Turlington in April British Vogue

Yesterday was such a lovely sunny day - I booked a pedi at the Mandarin Oriental because sandal weather is imminent. I have always thought it would be really fun to have a website where people from random towns all over the world take iphone videos while driving around and post them. I love driving around new places and I could easily get hooked on checking out someone's daily commute from Marin County over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco, just to name an example.

Every time I go into this bathroom at the Mandarin Oriental salon I hope that one day I have a bathroom with basins like these. So pretty.

In the hour I was there I read most of April British Vogue. The interview with Nigella is great - this woman studied medieval languages at Oxford! Her dad was Chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher. Very interesting read and great photos.

Fashion wise there was this lovely story of Christy Turlington in lots of variations of white. She is more beautiful than ever.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Stripy bookcase, all done

I am still stuck with hideous floors and woodwork, but that's because Hong Kong is a rental town for most of us. But I love my revamped Ikea bookcase.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bedroom stripes

One of the projects I have been undertaking... painting Dove Tale (Farrow and Ball No. 267) stripes on my Ikea bookcase

In 2014 I was hoping to break my previous record...

... of 254 posts a year, but then got totally waylaid by my bedroom decoration project. Even my mum was wondering whether I am okay, having posted nothing for 6 days. Well good news, the bedroom is almost done. Just need to get a few things today and since it is a really lovely cool morning I am getting one more wear out of this Isabel Marant jacket which has been a firm favorite this season. It is still in stores and also comes in a really nice petrol blue.

I was up really early this morning to drive my husband to Airport Express and while waiting for this traffic light at 6 AM I saw a lone black dog across the road. He just stood there for a moment, looking terrified at my headlights, maybe wondering how in heaven's name he ended up smack in the middle of the city. I can't stop thinking about that poor animal and hope he has found his way back home.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

More from Lane Crawford Hong Kong

Somewhere between a haphazardly placed table and a display cabinet I saw these two gorgeous Alaïa totes hanging from one of those very sharp metal display stands which mark the leather of the handles. This store is dazzling in so many ways - the amount of extraordinarily special merchandise is staggering compared even to some of the best shops in the world - that the Azzedine Alaïa (!) totes are just hanging there, a bit forlorn, without much fuss or special focus. I know I will never ever live in a city again where fashion is this casually extravagant.

Monday, March 17, 2014

No photos!!!

sparkly Saint Laurent pumps at Lane Crawford

square Lanvin necklace and Alexander McQueen shoes at Lane Crawford

When I walk into Lane Crawford, camera at the ready, I always get seduced by the shiny stuff on display. I rarely raise my iphone to take a picture of the perfect pair of basic navy trousers. Sorry these are a bit fuzzy - the velcro shop assistants were crowding around me and it's only a matter of time before they start yelling "no photos!!!".

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday 16 March in Hong Kong

The IFC seen from Peel Street

A Marinara pizza at Motorino with an extra topping of brussels sprouts - accompanied by some sparkling red

When my husband gets homesick for New York, we do pizza - this place is straight out of Brooklyn, but on the escalator just above Staunton Street

The earlier part of the day was spent with children who were absolute angels on a 2 hour morning hike, a glass of wine and lots of decorating books in the afternoon. One day I want to have a room where the wall paper matches the upholstery. Every time I look at pictures of pretty bedrooms like this though, I wonder if there is a husband in that room?? And do they like this girly stuff?? 

Such a pretty blue room - and I love the 3 paintings above the fireplace rather than just one in the middle.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Chloé Sandals on Yoox

I came across these gorgeous Chloé sandals on Yoox. I have actually never seen this style before, and don't know how old it is (Yoox is an outlet), but they go perfectly with this season's mod fashions. Many companies today make special styles for outlet shops (often using cheaper materials and construction), but that doesn't mean they are not very very cute. Find them HERE.

12 March 2014 in Dafen, China

beautiful old and not so beautiful new - in Dafen, China

I was on the hunt for blue and white and came home to Hong Kong with some lovely pots and pictures.

I was hoping to combine the blue and white with these 3 Manuel Canovas fabrics for my bedroom. Blaise and Octave above in color Absinthe, and the Serena Metis pattern below, which is one of the most beautiful fabrics ever. All from Altfield in Hong Kong.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Broken Vows - Phillip Lim is to blame

Phillip Lim wool dress with silk lining

There is this dress in my living room since yesterday - it's Phillip Lim and it's not my fault.

It has a zipper hidden under the little peplum

I mean, I had to go to Ap Lei Chau to get my daughter the Barbie Safari Sisters Camping Set, which was on the top of her birthday list.

you can wear just the skirt (maybe with a white Gap shirt and some Chloé flats)

Then I had to catch the lift down, but a few were out of order so I had to walk around the whole 19th floor to find one.

you can wear just the top (maybe with some baggy Isabel Marant trousers and old Céline sandals)

How was I to know I would walk right into a shop called Imaginex with a really big Phillip Lim sign in the window when I still had 20 minutes to kill before I was being picked up???

Yes maybe I shouldn't have gone in, but I did. And so I broke my vow and bought a dress, at 70 % off mind you. Phillip Lim's fabrics are very special, the cut of the clothes is brilliant and there very often is a little invisible surprise. This dress turns into a top and a skirt by unzipping the bottom. It is so beautifully made... and at 70 % off it was very inexpensive. But in penance for my sins I am eating beans on toast for the rest of the week.

Go to this Imaginex store! 19th floor of Horizon Place in Ap Lei Chau. I skipped all the other stuff, but there is a big Phillip Lim section with some lovely, very recent things in there.

PS did you notice my Stella McCartney Pity the Fool necklace? That's one of the 2 necklaces and 8 (!) bracelets I managed to whittle from the chain of my old Falabella bag (see previous post on that subject HERE).

Sunday, March 9, 2014

House Envy with Jemma Kidd

I have a horribly acute case of house envy over Jemma Wellesley, Countess of Mornington's newly decorated house. Georgian, tick, eclectic, tick, colorful, tick, 18th century art, tick. I am generally quite content with my life as it is - but I'd better stop looking at these photos if I want to keep it that way...  Click to enlarge.

photos from Elle Decor - find more HERE

Perfect Chloé sandals for walking around town

Love the sturdy but still slim 80 mm heel, love the black for summer, love the square buckles. Find these HERE.

Tower Bridge Antiques

admiring my new linen press from Tower Bridge Antiques while dreaming of one day owning a Georgian country house

I have not been able to concentrate on anything fashion lately. If you read regularly you may remember that I vowed not to buy any clothes until May - so I haven't been looking at fashion that much, it would simply be too tempting. A book club last week kept me busy reading Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy and The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty. For good measure I continued on with Snobs by Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey. I wouldn't recommend the Bridget book, but the other two were tremendously entertaining. Julian Fellowes' wisdoms about social hierarchy in England are both funny and confronting, and as he analyzes the psychology of social climbing there is also real pathos in the book. The sounds of sycophantic laughter and flattery of the rich and powerful are just as common in Hong Kong - just substitute the aristocrat for the most powerful banker/boardmember - so the themes of the book are rather universal.

Aside from reading I have been looking for antique cabinets online, so that I can hide my television in the bedroom. I cannot begin to tell you how much I liked Tower Bridge Antiques. I found a mahogany linen press, ordered it, had it shipped by air, and within two weeks I was sorted. Furniture in Hong Kong is rubbish, lots of faux Italian lacquered MDF at stupidly high prices, so I was really glad to find how easy it was to import things from England. The website had a good selection, but once I enquired after a specific item, owner Ron sent me pictures with many more options. Very highly recommended.

My husband and I are always dreaming of finding a country house in England, so house porn took up a lot of my time as well. This house looked so pretty, a romantic jumble of buildings and additions in lovely gardens - no wonder it was already sold when I came across it (not that that matters, cos in no way whatsoever could we have afforded it).

Don't like the furnishings at all, but the shape of this room and the light flooding in are just perfect.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

4 looks from the Fall 2014 runways

My favorite of the 4 looks - a sculpted top with slim trousers decorated with silver zippers on black zipper tape. It's sleek and cool and elegant all at the same time. This is Alexander Wang for Balenciaga. I did not love Alexander's show for his own label, but this show was so beautiful that I think he silenced the doubters for good (or until his next show).

I like this even though it is not something I think anyone who can afford Saint Laurent would really wear. A cool girl in London might put this look together from a thrift store, however. The mix of the space age boots and the knit cape are quite charming and I am a sucker for a bow at the neck. This is Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane.

All wearable and very pretty - this is Chloe. Just love that dress - boots are nice too although that bit of knee showing between a dress and boots never looks so good on normal people.

Another bow at the neck! And a leather placket, diagonal drapes of fabric which suggest a harness of some sort, then a pleated skirt with mismatched belt and random purple fabric flapping about. Oh and lest you did not notice, all has been styled with black pantyhose and open toed sandals. Needless to say I love it (and this look will be all over the magazines come August). 
I must go check instantly what Suzy Menkes said about this Givenchy collection. Soon the famously outspoken fashion critic may not be very critical at all since she has just joined Condé Nast, where none of the fashion writers criticize because there are always advertising dollars at stake.