Friday, May 29, 2015

Serapian Watch Roll and Arm Candy

Serapian had some great gifts for husbands/boyfriends/dads when I dropped in the other day - also loved the sparkly bracelets for me

7 On Lan Street (behind Marks and Spencer)
Central, Hong Kong

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Favorite purchase from my Paris trip - Hermès toggle bracelet

Have you recently tried to shop at Hermès on Rue Faubourg du Saint-Honoré? It's rather a nightmare I dare say. If you are lucky enough to find there are no lines to enter to the shop, it will be heaving inside, and not with well mannered Parisian ladies, but with a young, status craving crowd of people who are quite keen on buying the bits in the shop that screeeeaaaaaam Hermès, rather than whisper it pianissimo.

I am not a snob - actually where did that come from, I am a total snob - but this atmosphere in the shop very much takes away from the experience of spending money there, and it also greatly diminishes the value of the product in my feeble (and snobby) opinion. Whether Hermès' products are greatly different in quality from the designs of new luxury companies like Jason Wu for instance is debatable, but buying at Hermès is not just about quality. Buying at Hermès is about solidifying an identity you have established for yourself - the identity of a person who appreciates beautiful hand stitching, duck confit, the importance of terroir to wine, and traditional British manners. We all come from different backgrounds, but many of us have left them far behind at this point, and along with the money we earn and the sophistication we learn, come the apropriate material goods - and that's why we need Hermès. When Rue Faubourg is overrun suddenly by people, however, who are dropping credits cards like billionaires while furiously playing Jetpack Joyride and simultaneously spinning around on the spot to show their FaceTime connection where they are at this very moment, it all becomes a bit iffy.

A nice young man at the Faubourg location of Hermès, however, must have noticed my despair and told me in a conspiratorial voice that the Rue de Sèvres location in Saint Germain is actually very quiet and peaceful, and maybe I should try my luck there. I did, and it was exactly the kind of experience that encourages one to read up on the fine nuances of British table manners or perhaps even to consider reading the works of Gustave Flaubert. The Saint Germain shop was previously a swimming pool serving one of Paris' oldest swimming clubs (read about it HERE) and it is a lovely, light and airy space without any other tourists on the day I visited. I picked the toggle bracelet above. All my trust in Hermès was restored. And speaking of being a snob, I was reminded of a great Hemingway quote in the very pleasant film Kingsman, delivered beautifully by the lead character Colin Firth:

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man, true nobility is being superior to your former self.

I will try to remember that next time I wrestle the crowds at my favorite luxury destination ♡

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Grace Lam styles J.Crew

If you could only wear one brand of clothes for the rest of your life, what would it be? I love to debate that question with my fashion nerd friends, and although the debate is always good fun, the answer is inevitably J.Crew. I just can't think of another company that does both basics and fashion so well. Or that does both clothes AND shoes so well. Or rain coats, pajamas, bikinis, you name it. There is not a category in fashion that J.Crew does as an afterthought. I could easily live in their beautiful things alone for the rest of my life - easy peasy.

Last night Grace Lam, Contributing Fashion Editor at Vogue China, was a guest stylist at a Spring fashion event in J.Crew's Hong Kong store. Gorgeous in-house personal stylist Michelle was on hand as well to help shoppers find a perfect match - what I love about Michelle is that she has an encyclopedic knowledge of anything ever made by J.Crew. I threw some vague description at her of a shoe from a few months ago that looks like it has a bit of a southwestern motif and within seconds she had come back from the store room with the exact Elsie pump I was thinking of.

Such a fun night! Thank you, J.Crew!

Grace picked her favorites all around the store. 

super lightweight summer cashmere

Maria Velasco, a stylist, wore a beautiful MSGM dress to the event (find her website HERE)

I love that pale pink lace skirt

this girl was my favorite guest - she was shy and lovely, and posed very patiently for my iphone as I tried to get a close-up of the gorgeous jewel she wore just below her collar. I don't know if it was a necklace or a pin, but it looked exquisite with her checked tailored shirt and jacket - I absolutely love how she has made this look both androgynous and feminine

Grace Lam wore her J.Crew sandals with patterned pink socks and looked so super cool in them

We had a friend, Melbourne Fashion Girl, in town and before we went for dinner she wanted to do a quick browse of the shoe floor in Lane Crawford. These Saint Laurent leopard print pumps seduced me immediately until I tried them on and realized I was never going to spend enough time on Hollywood Boulevard or the red light district in Amsterdam to justify buying them ♡

Sunday, May 24, 2015

24 hours in the plane and 48 hours in Paris

the perfect navy blue coat at Louis Vuitton

one of the many awe-inspiring buildings on my walk from the 8th arrondissement to the Place des Vosges

a dreamy summer dress at Louis Vuitton

simple salade végétarienne at Bistro Volnay (find it HERE)

attic windows overlooking a beautiful museum courtyard

stripes at Louis Vuitton

sitting on a bench on the Place des Vosges

the opera

coffee after lunch at restaurant Taillevent (find it HERE)

mixed patterns on a dress at Louis Vuitton

the kaleidoscope ceiling pattern at Hotel Le Grand Intercontinental 

Spanish artisanal nougat shop on the left bank established more than 200 years ago

more attic windows on the Place Vendôme - all I ask for is a tiny flat on the corner with four windows or so? or maybe 5

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Louis Vuitton, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris

my trusty Balenciaga and my new trusty LV? Yes or no?

Rue du Faubourg St Honoré and the Élysée palace
(sorry for lack of posts - to be rectified soon)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Find Your Style (but first answer these questions)

iphone snap of one of my fave pages in one of my fave Chanel books - we've got Paris, a girl with windblown hair and a monkey, a white Chanel jacket with black trim (the ultimate), a black bow at the neck, the random chains of pearls....  what's not to love?

You probably already know your style. I bet it's classic with a twist, right? But sometimes it's quite good to re-examine why you wear what you wear. Not least because it makes shopping more efficient, but also because it's good fun. I have answered the first set of questions myself. Tomorrow we continue with more questions based on today's answers.

Favorite item of clothing in your closet: Chanel inspired short boxy jacket and a black blazer.

Favorite outfit: jacket, T-shirt and very dark jeans, Chanel bag and flats. But I am not as tall as I'd like to be so usually it's shoes or boots with a block heel.

What do you wear if all else fails: a J.Crew white 3/4 sleeve perfect shirt and Current Elliott boyfriend jeans with Moschino black shoes, and a Balenciaga black bag.

Favorite color for clothes: navy, or a combination of navy, black and white in one outfit.

Favorite stylish person: Sofia Coppola. I have never seen a photo of her in a bad outfit. But I have a split personality when it comes to fashion because I also love Chanel and Hermès embellishment on absolutely everything. Sofia is never embellished except for matching Verdura cuffs ever so often. I wonder what Sofia would look like if she were styled by Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele? Distant seconds and so forths are Alexa Chung and Inès de la Fressange. These three women all wear block heeled shoes all the time by the way. I love a girl in a block heel. Finally, I also like Kate Moss' style, but not as much as the others'.

Favorite thing to shop for: shoes with block heels!

Favorite type of bag: a bag with a top handle held in the crook of the arm.

Favorite all time brand if money were no object: Chanel merged with J.Crew.

Favorite cut of jeans: medium waist skinny bought one size too big, which I suppose makes it a more of a narrow straight leg.

Favorite shop on a budget: J.Crew and Zara.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bated Breath: Always Pack a Party Dress

Style Stalking by the stylish women behind the blog Refinery29

The Refinery29 girls say leopard should be considered neutral - I wholeheartedly agree

I think I have heard Toni Morrison say in some interview, possibly on Oprah, that every expression is a cliche. If it has been said before it is a cliche. I hope she really did say that because ever since I think I heard it I find it hard to use any existing expression of language without feeling like a lazy fraud. Yet "with bated breath" is just the perfect amount of drama to describe the eagerness with which I await Amanda Brooks' new book Always Pack a Party Dress: And Other Lessons Learned from a (Half) Life in Fashion. It will be released on May 26th.

In the meantime, I picked up Refinery29's book Style Stalking at Kelly & Walsh in Pacific Place. Refinery29 is one of those big professional blogs with information about everything and anything, lots of mom and working woman stuff, but for me not necessarily a fashion destination. The book, however, surprised me more than pleasantly. It has lots of streetstyle photos with interesting looking girls, whose outfits are analyzed and broken down in categories like mixed prints, ladylike and rule breakers just to name a few. It's quite fun! It'll do perfectly until Amanda's book comes out...

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pop Up Shop at 21 Square Street - Thursday, 7 May, 11-6 PM

Janne Poulsen (House of Kamal) bracelet with JDCamicetta silk top

Janne Poulsen's necklaces on Isabel Marant Étoile silk top

I went to the Pop Up Shop on 21 Square Street in Sheung Wan today because I wanted to look at Janne Poulsen's pretty silver treasures. I have bought her Hope bracelets in the past, which benefit the charitable organization HKAHF (Hong Kong Adventist Hospital Foundation - find them HERE). The jewelry she showed at the Pop Up today was super fun and pretty, just the thing to cheer up a simple top and a pair of jeans. I love that you never look overdone in her things. Other brands showing are Chicameo and Zenvara among others. They will still be there tomorrow, close to the Man Mo Temple. Or find Janne's website HERE.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Moody humidity in Hong Kong

the harbor

view towards Kennedy town from Lugard Road on the Peak

the harbor and ICC building in Kowloon, the highest building in Hong Kong