Sunday, October 25, 2015

Leopard, Paisley and Logo

too much pattern is never quite enough for me

Louis Vuitton shoes
Zara jeans
J.Crew jumper
Maje scarf

Another fab Fall day in HK - view towards Happy Valley

Saturday, October 24, 2015

After Dinner Drinks in Sai Ying Pun

Ping Pong 129 in Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

It's Fall!  25 degrees!  Jackets are out!

Ping Pong always has such a nice mix of people - artsy, fashiony, hipster dufus and quite delightfully normal as well
(walkable shoes are vital on Sai Ying Pun's hilly streets)

J.Crew jacket
Anine Bing T-shirt
J.Crew necklace
Valentino shoes
COS culottes

Cos this is Sai Ying Pun's urban reality - rather a contrast to the Vilmart served inside

Friday, October 23, 2015

Check Out J.Crew For Fall - And Go Visit The Times Square Store Too

Every time I walk into the J.Crew store in Hong Kong's IFC Mall, I instantly have a smile on my face. Between beautiful jeans and khakis hang silk shirts in rich patterns and colors, blazers in flannel and herringbone wools, stripy T-shirts with or without embellishment, gingham shirts, pleated silk and faux leather skirts, party shoes with glitter and comfortable pointy flats, thick cashmere in zesty brights, and merino wool in basic and seasonal colors. Everything in the store can be worn with everything. Sporty mixes with sweet, and sexy mixes with classic fashion. You can dress here for school pick up, a date with a new boyfriend, tea at the Mandarin, a walk through the forest, or a meeting at work with the accountant. There is no other brand which can so successfully get you through every situation in life as J.Crew. And it is such good fun to go into their shops - the interior is light and bright, the dressing rooms are comfortable. Moreover, the sales teams are always helpful and knowledgeable, not pushy, and most of all really nice.

However, J.Crew's sales have been disappointing for a while now and the media has reported the complaints of a number of J.Crew's vocal doubters with more than a little bit of schadenfreude. The complaints are often about change. J.Crew is too fashion forward, it doesn't offer the same plain khakis I used to buy when I was in college. There are too many sequins on the clothes. I can find the same stuff at Forever 21 for a lower price. The good thing about J.Crew is that its customers feel a real sense of ownership and connection to the company, the bad thing about this familiarity is that the complaints are often more whiny than they are practical. Angry customers love having a go at the J.Crew Collection which they think expensive and unsuitable for sensible lifestyles. My advice would be to walk past the offending sequins and pick up some jeans and T-shirts from the next rack, but that's taking the complaints at face value, and that is not going to satisfy any of the naysayers.

Frankly, I think what's really happened is that J.Crew turned from a company with an anonymous behind-the-scenes design collective into a company led by a strong, articulate six foot tall woman with nutty eyeglasses and bright red lips. Jenna is a style icon to many (and me) but an oddly mismatched New Yorker to others. J.Crew used to be democratically all American, but now it may be perceived as all New York.

But that perception is wrong and and plain ridiculous. All the basic, well priced T-shirts, jeans, stripy shirts, merino jumpers, blazers, and quilted vests are still there. God forbid one may have to walk past a few sequins to find them (in the beautifully decorated surroundings of a J.Crew store, rather than the bare, uninspired walls that will greet customers at Forever 21). Those basic pieces will also have design integrity, developed by a dedicated team of designers to be part of a cohesive collection, rather than copied from some other brand and slapped on the rack without conviction. The shapes and silhouettes are still as classic as ever and can be worn as easily with Bass loafers as 20 years ago.

There are very few retailers out there raking in the bucks in this economy, but it seems that is not enough of an explanation for industry analysts. Mickey Drexler has promised investors that J.Crew is addressing the sensible brigade's concerns, and that stores will be reflecting this adjustment soon. I sure hope Micky is not thinking of scaling all that exuberant fun right back down - J.Crew has a wonderfully distinctive personality in an industry full of indistinguishable duds and that is something worth fighting for. Remember Dress Normal at the Gap? Look what basic has done for them. Maybe J.Crew does need to do a better job of informing their customers that they do still have all the basics in store alongside the fashion, but to give up on all that wonderful character and sparkle would be a crying shame.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday October 16, 2015 in Hong Kong

I spent a bit of time looking around Lane Crawford this morning - every time I stop in I am blown away by the enormous selection of high end designer clothes. Not for my wallet these Peter Pilotto designs, but wonderful nonetheless. The first dress on the hanger (with orange stripe) would be at home with me right now if I had that sort of money.

After lunch at Cipriani with a great Aussie friend I sat in my car going up the Peak thinking the bright afternoon light may make a good picture from Victoria Peak down to Kowloon.

It was promising at first.. A Bellini and some Sancerre gave me the Dutch courage to ask this sweet girl if I could take her picture. She wore a white cotton shirtdress with a little vest, a breast plate almost, with needlepoint owls on it. Somehow the effect was incredibly charming. I just love people who love fashion.

But around the corner the view was all about pollution (granted this is a photo taken with an iphone 5S - but the air really is that gross out there).

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wednesday Morning Musings

no outfit matters if you are not happy with how your hair looks

most people don't notice what you wear but color always gets compliments

most things you buy never become favorites, so think again before walking towards the cash register

if you like blazers in winter, you'll need a big voluminous coat/cape (or move to a mild climate)

this gorgeous J.Crew cape would fit perfectly over a blazer (find it HERE)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Saturday Social

You know it's going to be a good party when the host has a dedicated drinks cabinet

Australian Anne wears only one beautiful Valentino accessory and the simplicity is striking

the chandelier in the formal sitting room is exquisite

Australian Anne wears DVF from a few seasons ago - so glam with her baby blond super model hair

my Bicester village neon Valentino's (I had to apply some filters as it appears I may not have shaved my legs)

Niecey wears her new cuff from J.Crew - I looooooooooove J.Crew jewelry

the hostess also bakes really well - in my next life I am coming back as her child

an old J.Crew dress and an old Zara necklace - I love a good clash of purple and red
- but now back to Monday morning...

Monday, October 5, 2015

Still In Doubt, So A Bit More Classic

Zara jeans
J.Crew sleeveless T-shirt
J.Crew cardigan with Stella McCartney chain (so that I can wear it hanging off my shoulders)
Bag from Shenzhen

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Kenzo

Trousers, jacket, gloves, all in dove grey suede - and is that a raccoon tail dangling from her hat? Not to mention the goofy character reflected in the mirror. This is anything but effortless but I love everything about it. From my own Paris Vogue Paris 1983.