Monday, November 20, 2017

No Festival Fashion at Clockenflap





Tinariwen from Mali performed for a large audience - beautiful music.



The Sartorialist's got nothing on me!  I asked this pretty girl if I could take her picture because I loved her hat with LED light flowers.  I am getting the hang of this.

Most everyone else was wearing jeans and sneakers.  It's not quite Coachella yet, but lots of fun nonetheless.



Thursday, November 16, 2017

Beautiful Style on Lugard Road


I went for a run this afternoon on Lugard Road, the panoramic road around Victoria Peak, and ran past this lovely couple.




I stopped running immediately and before I knew it I had complimented them on their outfits and asked them if I could take a picture for my fashion blog.

I never do anything like this!  I am always too shy to approach a stranger.  But these people were so kind and smily that I must have sensed it was okay to ask.

How cute is her coat?  The front panel is grey woven wool, while the side panels are a navy blue knit. I love the bare legs and white flats with the fall coat.  And her light blue bag with delicate gold chain complimented the outfit perfectly.  Such a beautiful girl with only a bit of red lipstick on her face. And her friend David looks like such a gentleman in his pinstriped suit.

After we said goodbye and I started running again, I had so much fresh energy.  

David and friend, if you are reading this, I just want to say that I loved seeing you today. You both make the world a more beautiful place with your lovely style and your kind faces. 

xx Dianne




Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Time To Take Stock of Your Best Price-Per-Wear Items


After all, the winter sales are coming up and it's a good idea to prepare yourself before you do any serious spending.  I don't care much for the summer sales, but winter sales have coats and boots,  and those are always the best sale purchases.

What have you worn most this year?  For me it's my Gucci sneakers with stars (HERE and HERE). I have worn them fifty times at least, which now has them down to the equivalent of two large Starbucks coffees a day (this would be of course in addition to the actual Starbucks I would already have had, not to mention the price-per-wear of the other clothes and bag I'd be wearing with the sneakers... but you get the idea).

After honest analysis why I wore these sneakers so much I know that I love the combination of ultimate comfort + fashion credibility, and the fact that they literally look amazing with anything you wear.  I have other sneakers I don't wear as much, and I have to admit it's because they are not as current and as recognizable as the Guccis.  I never think of myself as a label whore but in this case I have clearly succumbed.

Conclusion, if there are any Gucci sneakers in the sale, I should pounce.

I have also done some thinking about expensive things I have bought which have not been worn enough.




Price per wear failures:

AG Jodi Crop jeans (HERE)
Isabel Marant Étoile ruffle blouse (HERE and HERE)
Gucci block heel loafers (HERE)


I have only worn the jeans once - they are super cute and I love them but they are too tight.  The loafers are beautiful and I love them too in principle, but I haven't reached for them often - I don't really know why, although I guess that red is not as easy to throw on as a more neutral color and with red shoes I personally do not love a black bag). The shirt is beautiful but also too tight in the waist and I have scores of ruffly blouses this season.  The material is linen, and I associate that with summer so much, that I have ignored it completely since September (despite the tropical heat).

Lesson One for me:  Stop buying things that are tight.  It is never worth it!  Ever!  You are not magically going to lose those 5 Pounds, and you shouldn't be rewarding yourself with new clothes if you haven't even started to try.  

Lesson Two for me:  If you buy things that are slightly harder to style with the rest of your wardrobe, make sure you plan a few easy outfits around the red shoes for instance, so that you never have to think about it in the morning.  Now that I am looking at this outfit, I think it's very nice and I should wear it all the time (although the ruffles, and the flare, and the loafers remind me a bit of Austin Powers).  Bag wise it makes me think I would like to have a nice dark navy bag to go with this and other outfits with red shoes.  One for my winter sale list!

If you are one of my friends reading this and you need help sorting out your wardrobe, ring me now!  I  am cheap - a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit will get me to your house in no time :).  Every time I do this kind of thing I think I should have become a personal shopper, there is really very little I like better than putting outfits together or making new outfits with old clothes.

Have a great Thursday lovely readers xx


Monday, November 13, 2017

Does this ever happen to you?


A month ago you got invited to a Christmas party and you accepted right away and looked forward to it for weeks.  You imagined what you'd wear and even bought a dress.

Then the party day arrives - you didn't sleep well, your hair looks a mess, it's cold and pouring outside and your new dress now feels rather snug.  Suddenly you wish you could stay home with a cup of hot tea and watch romantic comedies you've already seen twenty times.

Does that ever happen to you?

Me too.

But you can't be a flake, your hosts are counting on you.

I firmly believe if you are not feeling great and you don't know exactly if you feel like getting dressed up, you should keep your outfit as simple as possible.



Navy satin bomber jacket, from Shenzhen, similar HERE.
White Zara T-shirt, similar HERE or HERE.
J.Crew dark red pants, find them HERE.
Anya Hindmarch glitter clutch, similar HERE.
Tabitha Simmons shoes with crystals, similar HERE and HERE.


These J.Crew pants are super flattering, and constructed from the most comfortable fabric ever.  J.Crew calls it four-season stretch and they are definitely onto something.  The material looks like wool, but it's actually a polyester, viscose and elastane mix.  If you have these pants in your closet, you're going to make it to all your Christmas parties without a hitch.  Rain, sleet, snow - no matter, you will be warm and cosy while still looking gorgeous and genuinely effortless.

Then put on some large and glamorous earrings (I really love THESE and if you've got money to burn THESE are amazing. Basically, unless it's black tie these trousers will take you anywhere.

And you know what else always happens to me?  Once I do actually make it to the party, I always have a really good time.




Sunday, November 12, 2017

Three Great Gift Books




Christmas at Lane Crawford in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.




This book is beautiful.  Full of gorgeous fashion illustrations while at the same time a guide to Paris.  Buy it HERE.




I bought The Life Plan at a Kikki.K store while shopping with my twelve-year old a few months ago.  It was a special Kikki.K edition (HERE) and the original version is HERE.  I have just had another annoying birthday, and every year I wonder how I can still be this unproductive and disorganized at my age.  This book is great,  and it's answering that question rather effectively so far.

It's a rainy Sunday today - some tropical depression in between here and Vietnam at the moment.  I am finally sitting down to finish The Mitford Murders by Jessica Fellowes (HERE), a relative of Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey.  It's such an enjoyable read.  Beautiful language, descriptions of London and England in 1920, set at the childhood home of the notorious Mitford sisters.  A perfect stocking filler.




Wednesday, November 8, 2017

It's Already Christmas In My House!




I saved these candles (a gift from my gorgeous friend Fi) for a long time - I don't know what I was waiting for, some special moment?  I do that all the time with shoes and clothes too.
Ever so often I yell at myself:  Dianne, your life is right now!

Taking this to heart I am even sitting around in this new J.Crew jumper which I only bought on Tuesday.



 
It is so soft and perfect for lounging around. This may be one of my favorite purchases of the season (find it HERE). I just throw on any old pair of leggings and I'm ready for hot chocolate wine and candles.  The scarf is also from J.Crew (HERE).

Now all I need to do is turn up the air conditioning to arctic and pretend it's winter in Hong Kong.
Just kidding, I'm not that irresponsible.
Even though it's not exactly cold yet, Hong Kong houses are very damp and in older colonial era buildings there is often no central heating, so it feels quite cold inside once the sun goes down.




Monday, November 6, 2017

Busy Weekend So I Am Reposting A Fave Outfit From Last Year




The very old jumper is from Zara, it also has some metallic threads running through.

Equally old COS slim black trousers.

Miu Miu shoes, I need to wear these more.  I do love a neutral grey and black outfit with red shoes.

Karma slapped me right in the face with the little silver bag. It was a lookalike bag, and it got ruined by one of the silica gel packets we hang in our closets here to keep tropical humidity at bay.  The packet leaked and literally melted half of the bag.  Be careful with those things.



Government House in Hong Kong, which was the official residence of Hong Kong's Governors during the colonial era from 1855 until 1997.  Hong Kong's first Chief Executive after 1997, Tung Chee Hwa, refused to live in the mansion.  

Strangely I actually have seen a fair amount of Tung Chee Hwa since I have lived in Hong Kong, as his grandchildren are my neighbors.  Funny this expat life.




Wednesday, November 1, 2017

This Uniqlo Skirt is the Perfect Answer to Fashion Fatigue




Uniqlo skirt, find it HERE
Very comfy oversized jumper, little bit cropped, mine is Isabel Marant, another great one to style with this skirt HERE
Gucci sneakers, find them HERE
Zara bag from last season, similar HERE


I have fashion fatigue all the time.  That sounds odd maybe, coming from a person with a fashion blog.  I suppose it's not like I have a problem with fashion, but I can't always be bothered to wear it.

Bothering to put make-up on, bothering to shave my legs, there could be a number of reasons*.  An old pair of comfortable jeans is generally a fallback on days like that.  I have a feeling I am not alone, as I see a lot of Lululemon around me everywhere.

But long skirts are totally changing the game for me, especially this merino knit Uniqlo version.  It is sooo comfortable, not clingy because it's fairly wide on the bottom, and it goes perfectly with sneakers.  Mine is dark green but I think there is black, grey and red as well in the store in Times Square.  Here I paired it with a hall-of-fame alpaca jumper from Isabel Marant, and a cheap-and-cheerful bucket bag from Zara.  This outfit is so much easier to wear than a tight lycra get-up.  And it looks great.  And you don't have to pretend that you're on your way to the gym.

And if you need to look a tiny bit more dressed up, switch the sneakers for mules (like THESE if you got money growing on trees or maybe THESE awesome inexpensive ones).  The bag is big enough to carry the extra pair of shoes around.

I am constantly grabbing this skirt - it's so easy to wear.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  I bought a size large as Uniqlo tends to fit small.  Almost weekend!


* This is why I always say you should only ever buy things you really love - even your fallback comfort items should be amazing; look for the perfect color, with some beautiful detail. That way you can grab something out of your closet blind and look great even if you didn't have time to put make-up on. This suddenly reminds me of Trinny and her amazing new make-up line - if you are interested in super fast minimal make-up this line is amazing - HERE




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Dinner Party Outfit with Isabel Marant, Zara and Gucci

I am keeping it very comfortable (as I am hosting) with jeans, a voluminous shirt (tucked in) and some block heels, but packing on the detail with zips on the jeans, embroidery on the shirt, and gold hardware on the shoes.  Less is more is not on the menu tonight.


(that's lovely morning sunlight in my picture)


Isabel Marant Étoile jeans, find them HERE

Zara shirt, similar HERE

Gucci pumps, same shape, but different detail HERE and HERE

(I love Gucci's crazy shoes!  Pure delicious fantasy, exactly why I love fashion)





Sunday, October 29, 2017

Bringing out the Mom Jeans after my third Mini Mango Bonbon this week



The Mini Mango Bonbon at Korean dessert shop Café de Paris est. Korea, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay.  With both kids off school we have been spending a lot of time in Causeway Bay (a teenage favorite for its amazing shopping) and taking too many bonbon breaks.


But nothing like a pair of mom jeans to solve a belly weight problem...

H&M mom jeans (find them HERE)
Zara flower print blouse with bow (from last year but similar HERE)
Chanel bag with studs (last season but similar HERE and HEREHERE)
J.Crew velvet shoes (last season but similar HERE and HERE)



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Building Your Fall Wardrobe

I am always quite jealous of those vloggers on youtube who have their capsule wardrobes well settled before we are knee deep in fall foliage.

How wonderful it would be to have a perfectly color coordinated closet with perfectly fitting clothes for all occasions, easily accessible on pretty hangers and brilliant white shelves...




My closet (in our rented house) is big but super ugly.  It's made of cheap poo brown veneer which I should have changed right before we moved in, but I didn't, and now I feel it'll be too disruptive to change it.

I am also beginning to think size is not always an advantage. I'll never be a capsule wardrobe person, but some limits are helpful for a well edited closet.  Like most people, I don't buy a whole new wardrobe every season, instead I add things that will cheer up old favorites, and I buy other things just because I love them and I love change in fashion.  

Unfortunately, they then often disappear behind one of those twelve doors and it is easy to lose track of what you have already bought. 

I have had all this space for nine years now, and typically I've organized the clothes by tops, bottoms, jackets, sweaters, dresses, shoes/handbags.  But this season I am taking on a tip from Amanda Brooks* to hang all my brand new things front and center.  New coats, jackets, jeans, jumpers, shoes, you name it, are now all mixed together on one rack so that I can actually see, wear, and combine the new things with older but still loved items in my wardrobe.

I considered everything I bought since June to be new, as Hong is still warm, and my newish summer clothes can still get a lot of wear.  It's immediately become my favorite spot in my wardrobe, and I can easily see myself losing interest in what is behind the other ten doors. 

This system may become very useful for wardrobe editing in the future.  If you pick all your favorites and put them in one place and you find yourself forgetting about the other stuff,  it may be time for a trip to the charity shop.









My fall 2017:

A few big jumpers
An interesting pair of jeans
A big faux shearling coat
Some ruffled tops
Two silk skirts
An oversized blazer and a dressy blazer
Suede boots, some slip-ons, and a cross-body bag



* from Amanda Brooks' book Always Pack A Party Dress



Sunday, October 22, 2017

40 Per Cent Off This Hava Bag (Proenza Schouler) at Forzieri





The other day (Friday) I was searching for Proenza Schouler Hava bags specifically, because I was hoping they would be doing a dark red or brown version this season.  I like using www.shopstyle.com and www.lyst.com for searches like that, and I will usually also have a look on my big three: www.matchesfashion.comwww.net-a-porter.com, and www.mytheresa.com.

Within seconds I found this color listed on www.modaoperandi.com, same bag but the strap was all in red as well. 

The second Hava bag I found in this color had black details on the strap, which I liked better (as it makes it really easy to wear with black shoes).  I clicked on it only to find it was 40 per cent off for a limited time only.  




I wasted no time and neither did the people at Forzieri.  Three hours later the bag had been shipped from Italy and I am sitting here admiring it on Monday morning in Hong Kong.  First experience with www.forzieri.com, but a good one so far.  The only thing that could be an issue is that there is no automatic return slip in my box like you would find with the other online retailers mentioned above. 

But at 40 per cent discount, I am not concerned.  I knew exactly what I wanted and was quite sure I wouldn't need to return it.




Proenza Schouler's designs are intelligent, for lack of a better word.  All styles have back pockets for easy reach of Octopus cards or phones, the straps are always easily adjustable, the hardware is as practical as it is beautiful, and the bags feel featherlight compared to many other popular styles in stores.  These guys are designer's designers: they are never just going to slap a logo on a bag and call it a day.

I am so pleased with this arrival, coming after a weekend reuniting with old friends and my son's arrival home for half term.  A happy Monday from Hong Kong everyone.




Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Supper Club in Isabel Marant



Late afternoon on Lugard Road.  I had a quick run around the Peak before getting ready to go to Supper Club, which used to be Book Club, until we all stopped reading the books.




Whenever I want to look nice but a bit casual at the same time, I go for Isabel Marant.

This blouse is from last season (HERE), but with my Marant clothes I never worry about seasons. They are remarkably timeless, even though the designer often sets the trends. The fabrics are always of exceptional quality, and this particular top has beautifully detailed accents.

The blouse is from Isabel's main line (a lucky sale buy), but the lower priced Étoile line is also gorgeous.

Have a look HERE.




Tuesday, October 17, 2017

I don't know how to carry off this J.Crew skirt




J.Crew skirt (HERE)
J.Crew cashmere jumper (HERE)
Chloé shoes (few years old but similar HEREHERE, and HERE)

The skirt is so bright and ladylike that I feel it has to be casualised.  That's not a word but you know what I mean.  So I am thinking a big jumper (maybe a camel color instead?) and a thick heel or a sneaker.

I don't know, anyone have any advice?  I was seduced by the colors, but maybe I should have slept on it...




Sunday, October 15, 2017

Franca: Chaos and Creation




As recently as May 2016 there was a law in Holland which forbids insulting a friendly (i.e. ally) head of state.  Turkish leader (and well known creep) Recep Tayyip Erdogan got insulted by a German comedian and promptly lodged a complaint with the German government.

In the photo above people with gold balloons proudly exercise their right to insult the president on Fifth Avenue in New York.  But by posting this photo, am I breaking the law in Europe?  Just to make it clear, I very much agree with the balloons.

In the documentary Franca: Chaos and Creation, Franca Sozzani's son paints a portrait of his mother, the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia.  For me the most interesting aspect of her story is how she managed to create such outrageous, often politically motivated content at such a conventional publishing company.  If you are looking for feminism and girl power in fashion, Franca Sozzani was the real thing.

If she had been able to continue her work (Franca died in December 2016) she would have no doubt participated in the current political debate - I imagine the issue title to be something like this:

L'imperatore il presidente è nudo 
the emperor the president has no clothes

I went through my magazines to see if I had any of Franca's issues left, and unfortunately I could only find the June 2011 magazine, Belle Vere, which was featured in the documentary and celebrated curvy (i.e. normal) women.





You can watch Franca: Chaos and Creation on Netflix.




Friday, October 13, 2017

Casual(ish) Date Night Outfit



The other day I waxed lyrical about my new grey jumper.  I now want to wear it with every outfit.  There are few things more versatile than the perfect grey jumper.  Here it tones down a dressy skirt for a slightly more casual but chic date night outfit.

J.Crew lace skirt (similar HEREHERE and HERE)

& Other Stories jumper (HERE)

Miu Miu bag (similar HERE)

Miu Miu pumps (similar HERE)



Add some modern earrings to your simple outfit.  The book underneath is possibly my favorite ever fashion book.

J.Crew earrings (HERE)

Book: The Little Black Jacket by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld (HERE)



And then maybe add a smoky eye for a bit of edge.  

This palette is from Victoria Beckham's new range with Estée Lauder.  Find it HERE.



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Super Easy Matching Style Tip


Match your bag to your top and your shoes to your bottom.  It's super easy and it makes your outfit look really polished.  It works best with solids although I have tried it with similar prints before and that works too (see HERE print skirt and print shoes with black top and black bag).

For years now magazines have been saying you should not match your shoes and bag because that's old fashioned.  I still like matching (I am just anal that way), but try this for a more modern match.










Dream Outfit with Isabel Marant Skirt, & Other Stories Jumper, and Those Zara Boots




Isabel Marant skirt (similar HERE)
& Other Stories cashmere jumper (HERE)
Zara boots (HERE)

I can't, unfortunately, wear my dream outfit, because it is 34 degrees again today.  Buts as soon as it gets to 24 I will be wearing this every single day. The gray jumper is awesome. It's from & Other Stories, and is more tightly knitted than the average high street cashmere. This means it doesn't feel quite as soft but it has a nice weight and the heather gray is absolutely beautiful. The arms are quite fitted while the body is a bit more loose and cropped. This is a really good jumper.




And Zara finally started selling these boots which were featured in so many looks on their website. If you are a regular reader you may remember I was obsessing over these last month. Now that they have arrived at my house in size 37 and size 38, I love them just as much as I thought I would.

My feet aren't perfect for them though.  I have a high instep which makes the leather wrinkle a bit on top of my foot.  Size wise I think the boot is a bit on the narrow but large side, therefore I am keeping the 37. If you have narrow feet with a regular instep you can size down.




This skirt is unbelievably lovely (and it has an elasticated waist) but I am aware it is quite expensive*.  Find some nice less expensive alternatives HEREHERE, and HERE.


* This blog is not about showing off possessions...  I put outfits together for the reader's entertainment, and I enjoy a cheap high street purchase just as much as something more fancy. Thought I'd just mention that - it feels necessary after Louise Linton's instagram savagery.




Saturday, October 7, 2017

A few moments of sheer bliss in the Surrey Downs



The view from Platform 1 at Woldingham train station

Anytime I am just about to lose faith in human decency I should get on a train to the English country side. In country towns in England, you may well come to believe that social media hasn't been invented yet, and that community spirit and kindness are the most important values in the world.

I am back in London now where my daughter asked me about THIS and all I want to do is get straight back on that train to that other innocent world we visited only a few days ago.

But.. we are about to get on a plane home to Hong Kong, so no such luck.

See you back in the tropics.




Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Classic With A Twist



I spent most of the day roaming around the area between Oxford Street and Piccadilly. Wherever you look there is something spectacularly beautiful, whether it be an intricately sculpted coat of arms or a delicate wrought iron gate.  I don't think I'd ever shop online if I lived in London.  It's too much fun to have the full shopping experience here.


I've been thinking of getting something in velvet, but most pieces in stores feel too much like one-hit wonders - I swear I have seen the exact same velvet bomber jacket in at least five stores.  They are cute I agree, but I prefer to buy classics, things that won't feel last season in just a few months.

This Sandro jacket is perfect:  there's a nod to the season's velvet obsession but this navy double breasted classic will look beautiful long after the trend has passed. Find it HERE.



Saturday, September 30, 2017

Shopping and eating my way through London



Getting my fix of French pastry.  There is no good pastry in Hong Kong.


Open flat shoes - ideal for the mild winter in Hong Kong. And Harrods has a 10% sale today for Harrods card holders - if you catch this in time go now!


Malone Souliers (similar HERE)


Huda Beauty makes the best matte lip stains, find them HERE.


And more pastry. The simple millefeuille is always my favorite (HERE)



Many years ago I had a Joseph jumper in this kind of oatmeal wool - I have looked for something similar ever since I lost the jumper in the move from London to Hong Kong.  Last night I walked into French Connection on the King's Road where they had no less than three styles in this color HERE,  HERE, and HERE.