Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Are you ready for the return of brown?

Skirt by Stella Jean at Lane Crawford - gush gush gushing about Stella Jean - this is the most exciting new clothes brand (at least new to me) I have seen in a while

this is technically camel, but really, no post is perfect until it has a picture of Giovanna in it

before the new season, when a new trend is on its way, I always go search my wardrobe to see if I have anything in that color/style from before... well this is the only thing I could find and dates back to about 2006.  Btw I wonder if Mulberry changed its leather - because this old one is buttery soft - and lately I have been disappointed at the bags in store here in Hong Kong

lace up suede Miu Miu boots in Vogue

70s style shearling in Harper's Bazaar

Givenchy Fall 2014

The separate elements of this outfit are all a bit... ugly?  But together she has made magic.

Valentino sandals
Antonio Berardi jumper
Michael Kors skirt
Tom Ford bag
John Lewis earrings
C.Wonder bracelet

Monday, May 26, 2014

I'm walking on sunshine

Looking towards Deep Water Bay (on the south side of Hong Kong Island) from Wong Nai Chung Gap

Admiralty district just right next to Central

Four Seasons on the right and the mountains of the New Territories in the background

Queen's Road Central

Kowloon seen from the Four Seasons lobby

Walkway towards the ferry terminal seen from the IFC building on the harbor which separates Hong Kong Island from Kowloon, the New Territories, and mainland China

Everyone is suddenly happy and smily - after 3 weeks of tropical rain and fog Hong Kong is finally bathed in sunshine. If you are not from here, imagine living your entire life in an indoor pool or a steam room - pretty disgusting for sure. But once the sun comes out nobody cares about that anymore. This city is so beautiful in sunlight, you can't help but feel very lucky to have spent some time here.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Quirky versus Chic

fashion is so subjective... but I think we can all agree that this is the ugliest display ever? Joyce at Pacific Place does quirky

So tell me, when you are about to buy some clothes or shoes, do you have this imaginary scene in your head where you are wearing your new dress looking so fab and so right for the occasion? And is it an occasion you rarely ever attend, like a summer party in a field in say, Devon? You probably have guessed from the question I do that all the time. I buy maxi dresses because I think I would wear them while having a G&T before dinner in Bali, I buy coats because I see myself walking into Barney's on a rainy Fall day in New York.

And also, do you think you know how other people perceive your style? I thought I did, but I may have been wrong for a long time! I think I am classic, sporty, preppy by day and conservatively chic at night (don't laugh because I used the word chic in a sentence, I know it's a stupidly pretentious word but there is no better one to describe what it means).

About two years ago, my friend Martine (who is beyond stylish and French) described my style as "bohemian" in a throwaway comment at Thanksgiving. I forgot about it but then the other day another friend described my style as "quirky".  What??????  I am not quirky!! I am not bohemian!! I am conservatively chic!!!!!!!!!  That same day another friend said she never wears shorts because her husband thinks women in shorts look like lesbians.  What?????????????  I wear shorts at the pool all the time!  Has he been thinking I look butch all this time when I have been thinking I was a model of clean cut preppiness in my JCrew shorts?

That brings me to my next question. Who do you dress for? If you only dress for yourself, then who cares how wrong other people are about your style. But do those people exist, I mean people who only dress for themselves? I think we are all trying to say something through our clothes, right? Aside from day-to-day covering-your-naked-body clothes, there are also interview clothes, date clothes, parent-teacher meeting clothes, and fancy restaurant clothes.

Since I have established people view me rather differently than I view myself, how in heaven's name am I going to pick the right outfit for my next interview for instance??? How am I going to appear not bohemian?

Something to think about next time you find yourself in a dressing room planning an occasion for your new outfit...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Two Tried-Too-Hards and one Vision of Loveliness

From Vogue - Click on the picture to enlarge

This is a picture taken before the Dior resort 2015 show at the Brooklyn Navy Yard last week. It was a big deal, Dior coming all the way from Paris to a place that's not Manhattan. Undoubtedly you have seen the picture of Rihanna in a pink satin dress doing bad-girl-gone-good for a few minutes.

I like this picture as an example of how to dress perfectly for an occasion (or not so perfectly). First there is the woman in neon pink shoes and the silver jacquard bubble dress. The whole thing screeeeeeeaaaaaaaams overdressed. Then there is the girl in the middle who has planned everything in so much detail that you feel she might cry if her artfully draped jacket slips off her shoulder. She is wearing a long skirt (trend ticked), a fluffy fringy bag (trend ticked), a non-leather motorcycle jacket slung not-so-casually over shoulder (trend ticked), a shirt with inverted pleat (trend ticked), and low heeled white sandals (trend ticked). Tried way too hard.

And then there is lovely Caroline Issa. In the front she is wearing a beautifully cut black pantsuit while in the back she shows us just a hint of Dior. There is just enough drama for this big glam event, and just enough cool for Caroline to be herself. A vision of loveliness.

Mara Hoffman swimwear

Mara Hoffman makes the best swimwear and her rash tops are so gorgeous. Thank goodness someone finally decided to make rash tops more presentable. Find Mara Hoffman's suits HERE.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Cape top at COS

I spent some time today trying to figure out the pattern of this top with a cape-like back panel from COS. It is really flattering, the fabric looks beautiful, and it is washable. Washable! I wish all my clothes were washable but more than half have Dry Clean Only tags on them. I do wonder whether it is an original design because mainstream companies have taken to copying like I take to fries with mayonnaise.

A quick walk thru Zara today was like a whirlwind tour of all that's popular for Spring '14 - there were among others Chloe-esque slides, Isabel Marant-esque dresses, Miu Miu-esque bags, and Valentino-esque fringe sandals. If you ever think about integrity in fashion design, you may like to watch this Phoebe Philo interview on the British Vogue YouTube channel. I found it both interesting and annoying. Watch it HERE if you have the patience - it's 57 minutes long, and Alexandra Shulman is a sympathetic but not a natural interviewer while Phoebe is a rather reluctant subject. But if you love fashion design, it will make you think.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Coach slides

I don't love most of the pool slides in the stores right now (it would be rather politically incorrect for me to express what I think I'd look like wearing them, rhymes with like), but this leather Coach pair is really nice. Featured in W Magazine by Karla Martinez de Salas, Fashion Market and Accessories Director. Find them HERE.

Feeling like navy and dark yellow

Yellow flips flops under straight leg jeans, a cropped top, a neutral clutch and some shiny chandeliers. Perfect for a late night party at the beach.

bag from Shenzhen

Zara earrings

from House and Home 

from Harper's Bazaar Russia

Tang Tang Tang Tang wash bag and coffee cup

New Balance sneakers

Céline from last year

I had to call it dark yellow this time because in preparing for this post I kept on hitting a post called ochre and navy by a certain blogger called HendricaHubertina. After three years of this I am starting to repeat myself. But don't you love ochre and navy??

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Fiona in House of Holland

Fiona in the first floor Powder Room at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong, wearing a House of Holland dress. Such a fun party dress - find it HERE.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

If you love Amanda Brooks and Taylor Tomasi...

...then you must check out these Zara pictures HERE. A brilliant campaign with all my style heroes wearing Zara clothes. Brilliant and inspiring.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

And on our last night in Holland

We watched the footy at the Philips Stadium in Eindhoven.  This picture was taken around 8.30 PM when it was still very sunny. PSV won and by the skin of their teeth qualified for European football. Eindhoven is happy and we are coming home.

Ba&sh - Summer 2014

Had never come across a Ba&sh store until the other day in Antwerp. Loved their casual summer styles. In Hong Kong Ba&sh is available at Rue Madame in IFC.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Dinh Van jewelry and a day in Antwerp

That bracelet on the left... it's a big gasp for me. Ever so often I do hope my husband reads this as we have an anniversary coming up soon. Of course I did tell him a few weeks ago I was buying my antique bedroom linen press as an anniversary present for both of us.

Antwerp is such a beautiful old city - I always love this view towards the cathedral although I detest that McDonald's flag.

I think she is just modeling, not designing. I don't know Carroll at all. See a video of Sienna modeling the clothes HERE.

Looking out at the old Wapper square from the modern structure of Horta Café

I don't know the name of this square which is on the way out of the center of Antwerp - but always love the tram wires surrounding the statue like a spider web.