Sunday, August 31, 2014

Flavors of the month

I have always loved bracelets better than any other jewelry. I go through periods where I have favorites, currently it's this bunch. I love how a bit of gold cheers up any old dress or sweater. From top to bottom Balenciaga, Hermès and Tiffany.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Another beautiful night in Hong Kong

looking from the terrace of the Yacht Club towards Wanchai and Central Hong Kong

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Marisa Berenson make-up for Fall

 Marisa Berenson's visual biography A Life in Pictures is one of my favorite fashion books.  As Fall fashion is full of 60s references I am inspired to try (a slightly subdued) version of Marisa's make-up - lots and lots of lashes and pale lips. 

MAC's eyelash primer and Opulash mascara are so fabulous. I have never had lashes this big.

Love the (almost) bare skin and lips, but very dark eyes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Has anyone in Hong Kong been to H&M lately?

A really charming dress out of a fairly rigid sweatshirt-like fabric - lots of volume on the bottom - this  will look like a million bucks with plain pointy Jimmy Choos and a few big modern bracelets.

A sweatshirt with quilted sleeves and checked voile shirt that puts Isabel Marant to shame at around HKD $400.

I went today with a friend who has a 9-month old baby to look for super cute mini outfits. H&M Hong Kong is in Novosibirsk nowadays, well actually it was always there, but you didn't have to go so far because there was also a giant shop on Queen's Road Central. The latter premises have been taken over by Zara, however, and although rumors of imminent stores on Hong Kong island are rampant, the closest shop to the Peak is on Canton Road in Tsim Tsa Tsui (alright so Novosibirsk was a bit of an exaggeration, it's actually in Kowloon, the bit across the harbor that belongs to Hong Kong but which is basically the southern most tip of mainland China).

Finally getting to the point, I would like to say we had a brilliant visit. Everything is dirt cheap as ever (and don't even start about sweat shops - the Swedish are possibly the most moral and honest people on the planet - if there was ever accidentally a sweat shop involved it would have been rectified instantly) and I bought a few things I am absolutely thrilled about. The baby clothes were gorgeous and the new (well at least new to me) work-out wear is pretty and practical, at a fraction of the price of the Lulus and Nikes of the world.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bringing the colors of fall into my summer

Once fall fashions are in store, it's no fun to wear your old beaten up summer stuff. But with a Very Hot Weather Warning in force today, Hong Kong is nowhere near ready for winter. So I've started wearing some darker combinations in lightweight fabrics - making me feel a little bit like fall has arrived.

COS T-shirt
Céline sandals
Étoile Isabel Marant skirt
Prada plastic link necklace
My daughter's plastic pearls

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Project Destroy Vogue

I always buy US Vogue. But I don't always like US Vogue. The September issue is such a bloody pain to read - it's way too heavy to hold and when you get to the middle it becomes hard to open the pages fully. I don't necessarily mind looking at the ads that make up most of September's 856 pages. They can be quite beautiful at times and many of the big design houses use top stylists and photographers. But Vogue could not be as fat as it is without allowing some really bleak ads to disgrace its pages. Former Vogue contributor André Leon Talley used to complain about a famine of beauty in fashion. Well, there is plenty of famine on the pages of Vogue. I am concerned about sullying the pages of my blog with examples but I will, to make the point, reluctantly.

A cheesy show on the telly (Mr Selfridge) and a glass of wine made Project Destroy Vogue a perfectly enjoyable activity. I ripped out all the ads I could without taking out the mastheads, the features, and the editorial pages. I made a pile of ads I didn't care for and a pile of ads I wanted to give a second look.

                                                            Project Destroy Vogue in progress

Lily Allen's dreamy cottage has competition from a  h i d e o u s  Caress ad

a story about scarves is dirtied by this pathetically bad Camel ad - where is Don Draper when you need him

this is what the story would have looked like if it hadn't been broken up to please the advertisers

And what you end up with is lightness - literally, it is no longer heavy, and there is also a lightness on the pages, the stories are easy to read and the pages are bright and inviting. In fact, you suddenly remember why Vogue is still Vogue. I have read this issue from destroyed cover to destroyed cover. I am telling you, join project Destroy Vogue, and you may actually love it again.

Is this the best denim shirt ever?

the super sharp lines of the pockets make the difference

this shirt has so much innate edge, it could turn taylor swift into a badass

it's made by levi's

Friday, August 22, 2014

Vika Gazinskaya proves me wrong

photo by Phil Oh of Vogue

I adore this picture of Russian designer Vika Gazinskaya. I love the hair, the make-up and that infectious smile. I bet you are smiling right now just looking at her. Just the other day when I was wondering about the culottes trend for Fall, I expressed a strong dislike for the combination of long full skirts and pumps. But I happily admit I am wrong in this case. Even though Vika has chosen to wear both volume on top and volume on bottom, she looks perfectly balanced. This outfit reminds me of Italian design in the eighties, which was often quite pared down (with notable exceptions like Versace). Vika is clever and opinionated in a good way - read more about her HERE.

Vika Gazinskaya looking nothing like anyone else

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Beautiful morning in Hong Kong for pretty shoes

Central and Sheung Wan below and the container port across the harbor

Givenchy shoes (find similar HERE)
Isabel Marant blouse
Frame Le skinny de Jeanne jeans
Gryson bag (very old but find Joy Gryson's website HERE)

A skirt and a white shirt

I bought the skirt in COS quite a few years ago. It was tight when I bought it, but I thought I would go on a diet. Surprise, surprise, I didn't - so it didn't get worn for a while. Then I exercised like a madman for about 2 years, was finally able to fit the skirt but at that time I deemed it too long. Had it shortened but gained back lots of Pounds so couldn't fit it again. Today, after lots of meals of seaweed and spinach, it fit just right. Phew! - thought that was going to be one of those shameful purchases that get thrown out unworn...

I am tucking in a lot lately. I have even tried it with jeans and shorts and I like that it makes my legs seem longer. This outfit felt so fun and girly. The shirt is J.Crew, the 3-quarter sleeve perfect shirt (find it HERE), and the shoes are very old Moschino.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Favorite Diet Trick

All the clever people go on a diet before summer, but I bought some expensive rashies (swim tops - read more about those HERE) to cover my belly and literally drank the Maldivian island of Landaa Giraavaru out of sauvignon blanc with my dear pal Fi. Consequently I find myself in a horrible panic because none of my winter clothes fit. 

I bravely got my second App ever (after Instagram), it's called My Fitness Pal, and I am counting calories with a fanaticism I did not know was inside me. If you happen to be on a diet too, you must try these dried seaweed strips - there are 12 in a packet and they are the perfect way to get rid of the potato crisp cravings that come from having a glass of wine (5 oz of red burgundy is 125 calories). A little bit salty, a little bit chewy, they are absolutely delicious and the whole entire packet contains 15 (fifteen!!!!) calories only.

Will you try culottes for Fall?

I wore culottes in the eighties and I remember they were very hard to wear. It's pretty much like wearing a just-over-the-knee full skirt - how many times have you seen a girl who looked really cool in that? And now think of it with pumps - that mental image is making me run like the wind for my old skinny jeans.

That said, today I saw a skinnier version in the window of Valentino that I could be persuaded to try. These had much less volume than traditional culottes and they looked pretty cool actually.

grey culottes on the right at Valentino, IFC mall, Hong Kong

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Stephanie Seymour in the best jumper ever

It looks like a million ply cashmere. If I remember correctly it was Michael Kors. But probably the real reason this jumper looked so good is because of Stephanie Seymour's beautiful face and messy hair. This is an old cover of W Magazine.

In the window of Joyce, Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong

Print capri pants with raffia embroidered jumper - Harvey Nichols across the street is reflected in the window.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Count your blessings

Somewhere yesterday I read an article in which someone I admire said to always count your blessings. I couldn't stop thinking about that today. The weather was just perfect with sun, shade, and breeze alternating so that we were always comfortable, and my husband cooked a delicious simple lunch -  I made sure to count my blessings every 10 minutes or so.

Although I very much found myself in the moment all day, I could not stop thinking about the jeans I bought last night, and how I wanted to photograph them in the evening light on my teak table just before sunset (sorry Penny I totally did hang on your every word of course).

Here they are - the patchwork makes me feel like I am very much this season and the fit makes me feel like I lost 5 Pounds. I may not always love Isabel Marant's runway shows, where her disheveled cool girl fashion always seems too far removed from my normal everyday world, but the clothes that end up in her shops always hit the mark. Cannot wait to wear these to death all winter.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Old clothes, new combos Part 1

Old J.Crew shirt and even older Marni for H&M trousers. Old clothes, new combos.

I have started to love the colors army green and kelly green together. Old Saint James shirt and old Zara shorts. Old clothes, new combos.

Isabel Marant Filipa shirt

Such a great basic (but with an edge) - buy it HERE

And wear it every single day - I love how Elin Kling wore a version of this shirt (years ago I think) with leather trousers and a wide belt.

Holidays are over, guests are gone, and I am thinking of Fall fashion

Simple pleasures - washing your hands in the Cafe Gray bathroom looking down from the 49th floor onto the city below. A must for visitors from abroad. I hope you would agree with me Raymond from Causeway Bay?

I have had a brilliant time in the Maldives and subsequently a fun drunken whirlwind visit from very dear friends of old. Then a hectic day of shopping for school supplies and uniforms, and now I feel like peace personified sitting on my bed with a giant stack of magazines and a glass of red. It is raining vats of dirty grey rain, so inside (in my air conditioned room) it feels like Fall is upon us. If you love fashion as much as I do you will not argue when I state that reading the big Fall issues and imagining your clothes for the upcoming cold is one of the greatest pleasures ever.

I am super tempted to run out to Gucci because my one favorite items so far has got to be those block heeled boots with horse bits on the front. I think I prefer the short ones, they remind me of the Tom Ford days, when Madonna was still cool, and when Amber Valetta was my favorite model. But my first purchase of the season is always a dreadful mistake. I don't know why, but it has been a disaster year after year, so I am waiting, and considering.

Speaking of the Gucci show, there were two outfits with jeans which were so lovely and so fresh. Real women hardly ever wear head-to-toe designer looks - I really don't get why designers don't mix it up more often.

The sixties have always appealed to me, and actually I did already buy something for the new season, maybe these are going to be my dreadful mistakes. I have also splurged on a bag and a bracelet, but those I feel absolutely safe with. My taupe Balenciaga Vélo bag has been the best bag purchase I have ever made, so I happily went with the slightly updated black version by Alexander Wang.

The shoes however... are Lanvin and very Belle de Jour and I am slightly worried that while I will be thinking I am wearing them ironically with low crotch destroyed skinnies, other people might think I have borrowed my granny's shoes. So I will say to myself what I say to my daughter in situations like this: stick to your convictions, girl, it's your confidence that is going to make an outfit look good.

The magazines are fabulous this month. Lots of oversized minimalism, which always makes for a great fashion photo on a super tall skinny model. Although my favorite single outfit so far is very fitted - worn by Freja Beha in the Louis Vuitton ads.

I love the prim and proper collar, I love a tailored tweed jacket more than anything for Fall, now throw in some patent leather pants, and I am in heaven.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Thakoon slouchy trousers

Thakoon draped trousers - find them HERE

On the first day home from the Maldives I went to Causeway Bay. I looked around in wonder at the girls in Times Square wearing super uncomfortable high heels and tight clothes through the eyes of a hippie who's just walked around the beach barefoot for two weeks straight. I thought I will never wear uncomfortable heels again. I even thought why do all these people think that the strangers around them give a fig about what they wear. Well that was then, and now barely three days later I am salivating in front of Net-a-Porter and right back in fashion slave land. I love these slouchy trousers with the oversized V-neck jumper and heels - am itching to find some that do not cost close to HK$ 7,000. I know I am beating a dead horse - but why are viscose and acetate trousers so expensive?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Best holiday ever: The Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

The Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru is located in paradise, but it's the people who make this hotel the best I have ever stayed at.
The breakfast table on our last morning.

I have never been on holiday in only one place for two whole weeks. I usually get restless and ready to go home. 
But not in the Maldives - I could have easily stayed for another two weeks without feeling homesick for Hong Kong.

In the sea plane going home... where fog and pollution beckon... but where, and that's only a slight consolation, I will be wearing pretty shoes again.