OUTFIT POST: COBALT COORDS…

Cobalt – a chemical element with the atomic number of 27 or  a cool blue colour.  Strangely enough though, this colour like its name evokes energy, movement… electricity.  Even warmth.  In fashion, the colour has been around for a while and for us Oriental ladies it is a great shade to wear.  Actually scratch that … for any lady to wear.  I have not seen one lady wearing cobalt who does not look good and hey its definitely more interesting than wearing a black dress.  The colour just seems to brighten the complexion so for us sallow complexion ladies…(like me it is a blessing).

As I am in an adventurous mode, I stepped away from the safe zone of a LCD (little cobalt dress…I have a gorgeous one from local label What the Frock? but wanted to push it and show the current trend of matchy matchy tops and bottoms.  I found a great pants and tops set from Marks & Spencer (warning the trousers are stretchy but can be very tight fitting!!) A word of warning here, check out the size above your normal size just in case as it might be a better fit.  No camel toe please!

354A5072

COBALT COORDS…  This makes for a great change from a cobalt dress or even a trouser suit.  The top is smart enough and the trousers are sleek enough to look professional for work….

354A5077

Excited for New Work Wear Options!!  Go Bold Go Blue Go Cobalt!

Another word of warning, with slim fitting trousers such as these and in such a bright colour, make sure you do not have the bottoms too long for you.  Ideally they should skim the ankles or just cover the ankles otherwise you have a lot of material in excess and fold ups do not help maintain the silhouette!

354A5079

Does my BUM look big?  Simple accessories such as these sleek heels and my MISCHA black and white tote adds structure and balance to such a loud colourful piece…

354A5190

With a top like this…do not do what I did, forget to tie the belt and pay attention to it.  This is definitely a DON’T shot as you can see that the belt half tied makes an otherwise polished look look sloppy…

354A5207

My intention was to keep hair and accessories sleek to counterbalance my colourful clothing and also keep it work appropriate.

My hair (as you might have noticed) recently got cut and I have been wearing it curly.  However, for this shoot, I thought it would be nice to see how my new cut styles up when straightened.  I tried out the new GHD Platinum and they are awesome.  Hair was shiny and also easy to straighten.  Check them out (though they are pricey at around HK$2,500 per pop but much better than ruining your hair with cheaper imitations as my friend says…hair you wear with you every day!).  My bucket bag is from local favourite MISCHA and it really is a great city bag.  I put pretty much everything in it!!  I grabbed it in the warehouse sales but check out her current offerings to get something just as good.)

354A5138

This MISCH Bucket Bag has been a perfect city bag…

Unfortunately or well fortunately for me, I got these awesome sleek heels from Badgley Mischka at a garage sale but here is a pair from Pedro Garcia’s Fall 2015 collection which would be a great alternative.

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 10.40.55 PM

Pedro Garcia Heels from Fall 2015 collection.  Check here for stockists.

And one final thing…the COBALT COORDS!!  Yes they are from Marks & Spencer and you can get them in store or go online.

A big THANK YOU to Marks & Spencer for the outfit and of course to my boo Bryant Lee for the photographs. http://www.bryantleee.com!

Advertisements

OUTFIT POST: COLOUR AND PRINT CLASH – It’s OK for work wear (IMHO)

When I was younger…Just joking I will not start with that….

So where was I?   Firstly, thank you again to the talented Bryant Lee for this second outfit post shooting.  He called this the “professional look” so I apologise for some truly cheesy poses where I try to copy boss lady/corporate poses and head shots.  (Yes a bit cringeworthy) but the intentions were pure…the idea was to show you can be feminine, wear colour and print (with a bit of intentional clashing) and still be work appropriate.

354A4242

Would You Trust Your Finances to THIS FACE?  (No answers please…)

It is so easy to stick to dark grey, blacks and if you are lucky navy for your work wardrobe palette.  Yes it is the safe route to go and to be honest you can not go THAT wrong (do not make me eat my words!) with suits and shift dresses in those colours.  However, a question…would it not make you start your day with a smile on your face if you could add some colour to your work outfit?   Now, do not get me wrong, there are times when colour and patterns may not be appropriate.  I am not recommending lawyers to go and get a lipstick red suit or powder blue one and rock it to attend a serious High Court proceeding.  There are certain protocols and traditions that even this colour and pattern obsessive respects.

354A4229

I Feel Lady Like Yet Office Appropriate … The colours and prints also make me happy…

354A4253

Fit, Silhouette and Proportions Are KEY…

As I get older, I truly have learnt to embrace colour and print…I am lucky I guess that in my current role, I do not have to be so traditional in my workwear.  However, I believe any professional woman can add a little bit of print and/or colour to their wardrobe and still be taken seriously.  (Looking back, though I love it, my purple trouser suit might have been a bit too much of a throwback to Prince but hey you live and learn…right?)

Unknown

Just so you get a rough idea…but it was more fitted OK?

Anyway, if I was going to give any advice (and this is just from my own personal observations, mistakes and experiences and should not be considered to be gospel because HEY I am not an EXPERT!); then here is what I would say.

1)  Silhouette and Fit ARE IMPORTANT

If you are going to go for a loud colour and/or print (do it be adventurous!) then make sure the fit of the garments is right.  With anything that is ahem eye catching, if it is badly fitted you will just look like a hot (and not in a good way) scruffy colourful printed mess.  Stick to a streamlined silhouette (this kind of goes with the fit hence why I have put them together) and for example go for a pencil skirt (always a safe silhouette as can be super chic and lady like) or fitted trousers.  Too baggy trousers unless you are a supermodel, will make you look unpolished and is more suitable for casual outfits.  Though the neoprene skirt has a drape in my outfit post, it is still a pencil skirt silhouette so keeps it looking polished (hopefully) and professional.

354A4232

My serious face….?  This Marks & Spencer Limited Collection Skirt has a drape front but is still a pencil skirt silhouette and the orangey red is so on trend at the moment…

2)  Invest in Prints…

I cannot remember where I read it (if I remember I will edit and add the link) but fashion editors are right that you should spend a bit more if you are going to go for a print.  This Doll Memories printed silk blouse (http://www.doll-memories.com) is may be a tiny bit on the pricier side of my price range but you definitely are getting your money’s worth.  The print (whimsical cosmetics print) is detailed and crisp and clear on the silk.  The colour of the blouse is bright and consistent.  Not to be a snob, but printed clothing that is at a lower price range really can look cheap and would not probably pass muster for work.  Also it can look a little junior as well.

3) Keep Everything Else Simple…

With your clothing doing all the talking, keep accessories simple.  I focused on my wrists and fingers (accessories same as previous post) and kept it to one metal scheme…gold.  I avoided adding too much jewelry as it can just be a bit too much.  My hair is kept back in a pony tail and make up is quite simple.  A small cat’s eye and well I love my lip colour so an almost matching orangey red lipstick from MAC (matching to my skirt) are all that is needed.

354A4293

4)  Proportions

If you are going to play the colour and print game, then definitely pay attention to the proportions.  Simply put in my case I made sure that my skirt goes slightly below the knee and also rolling my sleeves up emphasises the skinniest part of my arm aka my wrists.

5)  HEELS HELP…

Something about a great pair of heels does complete an outfit.  Now do not go crazy and add glitter, bows or unwalkable heels (ideally not open toe either…strangely enough I find it really not professional looking even if your toes are beautifully pedicured.)  I was lucky that Voltage PR gave me this amazing pair of paint splattered snakeskin pump heels from Andrew Kayla.  They added a really nice contrast to my outfit and are actually quite comfortable.  The heel is not super high and the pointed toe helps to elongate my legs and make my ankles look relatively slim… A BIG YES in my book….

354A4350

354A4255

354A4320

Anyway…have fun…experiment and you WILL find the right mix…

OUTFIT POST: It is all YELLOW…

Sorry Coldplay, had to quote from your classic song.

So I totally fell in love with these Dagmar culottes (yes am currently obsessed with culottes -who would have believed it?)  I loved the stormy mountain scene painted on it and knew that this was going to be a focal point for the outfit.  (Yes, there is a danger having attention on my thighs and crotch area but the print was so PRETTY!)  I was gutted that the matching shirt was unavailable in my size but looking back in hindsight, I think for my personal style, it may have been a bit too much.  (Too much print for moi you say?)

354A6633These Dagmar Culottes are AMAZING…

For the top.  I took a complete departure from my usual comfort zone.  I would generally pair these culottes with a simple black T or a black silk tank/shirt.  Vein kindly lent me some pieces which really encapsulate the sports luxe trend as they are made from stretchy jersey.  The jacket is also in a bright yellow which I was nervous about it as it was quite fitted especially around the arms but in fact I am happy Vein pushed me.  The jacket is also from Dagmar.  The big push for me was to wear the black singlet from BACK by Anna Sofie Back.  I have seen her brand on many of the big blogger including such people like Susie Bubble.  However, firstly, I am wary of something with a big strip of branding but also something that is super fitted.  In fact, it really is too much of the “street” style that I can never seem to get the hang of.

354A6609Pushing Myself Out of My Usual Comfort Zone was GOOD

354A6621

354A6596

354A6663Keep Accessories Simple

So what accessories?  I kept it all simple with my VOID watch, Filippa K black flats and bag by Baum und Pferdgarten.  The trousers and the colour palate of yellow is so much that I wanted some simple accessories to ground the outfit otherwise it could have been a hot Scandi mess!

354A6592Warning: Hot Scandi Mess Approaching!

All clothing and props apart from the lipstick (Thanks to MAC for my Heroine lipstick) and watch (VOID http://www.voidwatches.com) come from Vein in St Francis Yard.

Vein (address: Shop 301-302, Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong telephone:2528-4988)

Vein on the Yard (address: 2 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, Hong Kong telephone 2804-1038)

website: http://www.bvein.com

Photos once again by Bryant Lee (www.bryantlives.com)

(Outfit Post) Life can be a Bunch of Roses…

This was my favourite outfit shoot out of the ones that I did with Bryant.  The simple fact was I was acting like myself and acting like a complete fool.  I know I won’t get prizes for my posing but it was felt so comfortable to act like a goof ball.  I also learnt a valuable lesson, a good prop is such a confidence booster.  A big shout out to Vein again for providing their clean white shop front for me to pose in front of and my prop which was “The Gentle Woman” with Bjork on the cover.

The pristine white back drop was perfect for the outfit I was wearing which was a rose print neoprene sweatshirt and skirt by one of my favourite brands Baum und Pferdgarten.  It was a lot of print and the  sweatshirt being in neoprene was a little bit bulky looking.  My mum does not like this outfit as she says it does nothing for my figure.  But I love it anyway simply for the print.  The collection has an amazing pair of trousers in the print which were sold out in hours on the brand’s online store and they have a coat in the print (disappointingly for me it really did not suit me.)  I kept things simple with my lovely black Filippa K black flats and hair slicked back and a fresh slick of MAC “Heroine” lipstick.  I think the silhouette (personally) would be more flattering if I had worn heels but that would have ruined the casual feel I was wanting to create – however it would be a simple fix to take the look into evening.  Only accessories was my trusty VOID watch.

354A6685

354A6688 354A6694  354A6711

And then I got silly…but I learnt a good prop makes the difference.

354A6704 354A6732

All clothing and props apart from the lipstick and watch come from Vein in St Francis Yard.

Vein (address: Shop 301-302, Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong telephone:2528-4988)

Vein on the Yard (address:2 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, Hong Kong telephone 2804-1038)

website: http://www.bvein.com

Photos once again by Bryant Lee (www.bryantlives.com)

Culottes Are Still Here…And They Are Cooler Than The First Time Round…

Culottes were the go to “IT” item for girls to wear in the 80s, 90s.  Generally above the knee in loose flower material (usually in a very bright pattern).

images-4

Culottes were short in those days…

A classic teenage girl ensemble would include some ill-fitting culottes and the ubiquitous hat.  Do  you remember the TV show “Blossom”  well, her wardrobe probably contained a few pairs of culottes.

Unknown-3

Unknown-2

Young Blossom from the then hit TV was a Culottes Princess

images

images-2

Interesting floral or graphic prints were commonly accompanied by a vast colour wheel of colour!

Culottes NOW…

This version of the culotte is surprisingly easy to wear.  Here are some quick tips:

images-10hannah-crosskey-layering-london-fashion-week-sophia-webster-shoes-h724

  1. Keep things neutral.

Go for simple silhouettes and neutrals such as black, navy, white or grey.  Keeping it simple helps to keep it easy to wear with your tops but also gives versatility meaning that you can dress it up for more formal occasions or dress them down for casual outings.  Neutrals also means that you can make it work appropriate and have it as an alternative to suit trousers or skirts.  Wear with heels and a smart shirt or even a jacket.  Wearing it with open toed sandals or sneakers and a slouchy sweatshirt or sweater keeps it casual.

Heels makes this office appropriate or even as an evening outfit option.

images-12images-8

images-13

Culottes – A trend that is versatile.

2. Material Choice is Key

Unless you are a model or tall and with slender physique, culottes made in fabrics such as stiff satin or leather can be hard to wear.  Though providing a very strong statement look, it is not an easy look to pull off.

images-4images-5

Materials such as leather though striking can be hard to pull off.

Materials such as jersey, cotton mix, silk, wool or even denim are great options for the culotte.  For the culottes which are less wide legged, suiting materials are great and makes it a very suitable work alternative.

For summer months, go for lighter fabrics or even pleats if you are brave enough.

images-9

images-11

Add a cropped top for the perfect summer look.

images-7images-6

Cropped tops, light fabrics and colours makes the culottes a perfect summer staple.

4. Proportions are Important

To keep the culottes modern and not an 80s/90s throwback, keep them below the knee.  Ankle to mid-calf are super flattering.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 10.07.56 pmUnknown-6

Below the Knee is the optimum length.

MY PICKS:

I have found some great affordable culottes in a variety of styles.  Check out sites such as ASOS and Zalora.  Also Monki have a great denim pair which will not break the bank at under 300HKD.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.59.07 pmScreen Shot 2015-03-13 at 10.05.37 pm    Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.58.50 pm

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.56.30 pmScreen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.58.17 pmScreen Shot 2015-03-13 at 10.05.22 pm

However if you want to spend some extra money, check out some of the Scandinavian brands such as Dagmar or Carin Wester which you can get from a store in Vein (one of my favourite stores in HK)

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.55.09 pm

Carin Wester

Where to Shop:

ASOS (www.asos.com)

Zalora (www.zalora.com.hk)

Monki (address: Shop L1/29-31, Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mongkok, Hong Kong telephone: 3585-8026

website: www.monki.com/; www.facebook.com/monki.hk)

Vein (address: Shop 301-302, Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong telephone:2528-4988)

Vein on the Yard (address:2 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, Hong Kong telephone 2804-1038)

website: http://www.bvein.com

And here is a sneak peak of how I wear the new version of culottes…outfit post to be out soon!354A6577

And Then We Became Four…Or how my Chihuahua has more Instagram Fans than Me…

I know how ironic for me to start working on my blog again by writing about the newest addition to my dysfunctional family (remember my labels recognising two cats – a previous post?)  Before you all wish me congratulations that I have joined into the current trend of fashionistas (wait I actually termed myself as a fashionista?) of having beautiful babies (Sabrina, Jasmine Smith from Dress Me and Christing C), I have to say “STOP”.  No I have not found some poor man to inseminate me but I have adopted a dog…a CHIHUAHUA!!!

Now I am ashamed to admit I was one of those people who were not chihuahua lovers.  However, I am a sucker for a sob story.  I have been volunteering for doggy adoption days at a local charity called Kirsten’s Zoo and one day one of my friends from the association who helps foster especially emergency cases came to the adoption day with a big reusable shopping bag.  In it contained a very angry (read petrified) chihuahua called Edowan.   My friend had previously fostered him before he had been found a supposed permanent home and had found him delightful.  When she went to receive  the dog from that said supposed permanent home (which lets just say did not work out for the dog), Edowan had a total character change.  From a seemingly friendly adoptable cute (albeit fat); he had turned into a slightly slimmer aggressive at other dogs and was aggressive to people.  He had infected feet (they were bright pink from licking due to stress and not drying out) and overgrown claws nearly the size of his actual feet (dogs tend to if walked enough keep their claws filed down naturally and only need occasional clipping unlike cats).  Have you noticed that I sound relatively knowledgeable?   Anyway, we all now faced a problem, this little angry Chihuahua needed a foster home or he would have to go to kennels.  He could not go to a foster with children or dogs.  It slowly dawned on me and (looking back it felt a bit like an out of body experience) that I was probably the only one who could come to the rescue (yes SUCKER is probably tattooed on my forehead).  I feebly mumbled I had two cats but I could separate them from the dog by having the dog in my room.  The dog was handed over to me and then I realised I HAD TO BUY DOG STUFF NOW!!!  AND OMG, I have an angry scared chihuahua to deal with.  Panic instilled as I made my way home.

Unknown

A fairly accurate representation of me meeting the chihuahua.  (Apart from either the dazed and panic expression on my face.)

At this point, I must say that the usual fosterers of Kirsten’s Zoo came to my rescue with words of advice and more importantly reaching out with their phone numbers so I could contact them any time.

So off home…we go…  Mads and Odette were curious by the noisy and angry bundle as I hustled into my room after setting up pee pads and a little bed and food bowls filled with designer dog chow and released the little bundle.  Actually for a chihuahua,  Edowan (yes his name is EDOWAN – I do not understand the provenance of the name.)  First of all he growled and yelped at me, bit me when I tried to hold him or pick him up but did finally calm down.  Though pick him up in the wrong way and yes another bite mark to my growing collection.  He also loved barking at the door to my room as he knew there were cats on the other side.

Problem one…Edowan is not toilet trained and so cue frantic clorox and then scrubbing and wipes.  Edowan needed to go to the vets and get his feet sorted out as he was needing to be carried everywhere and also the pain was making him even more annoyed.  However, he looked like a cute dog….let’s just say there was potential in this spunky little old man.

Edowan is 8 years old, spent nearly 7 years on a Chinese fisherman’s boat where he spent the last two years sharing with a younger, larger golden retriever and hence was a bit bullied.  His owner went out one night and disappeared.  It is assumed he drowned.  For a whole month, Edowan and his doggy companion were unnoticed and survived on cigarette butts.  Also Edowan was dragged by the ear by the larger dog (he now has a bias again retrievers or large dogs – little dog syndrome maybe?)  My foster friend took him in and said he was quite friendly and was learning to go to the toilet outside.  And then he was adopted.  As the adopter had kept on avoiding signing the papers, legally the dog was still the adoption agency.  Kirsten is very protective of her charges as so much time and money is invested into making sure perfectly good dogs do not get euthanised when they can be adopted.  So an intervention happened, the sorry state of the dog was realised and then I entered the story.

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 5.46.01 am

Edowan when he was first adopted…

After a bit of time with Edowan, I found out he was actually just desperate for cuddles and love…which I was happy to give.  He was not happy to go to the vets but we needed his feet sorted out so I could get him out walking again as I strongly believe that unless necessary, a dog should be walking…for the first few weeks, the catchphrase was “No bag Eddie, you walk!”  As any parent….Edowan was used only when expressing disapproval.  Edowan responded to Eddie.

A few days isolated in my bedroom meant lots of cuddles from me but I also wanted to see if all the pets could live in sweet harmony.  I introduced Eddie on a leash to the cats.  The cats were not bothered, Eddie was not either.  And it  pretty much has been like that since apart from the odd “Get out of my way!” from Eddie.  However, apart from the cats, Eddie was not a sociable little dog.  Imagine coming out of solitary for 6 months and then being inundated with noise, new smells, people and NOISE.  Eddie out and about on walks was a nightmare.  He was aggressive when he saw dogs, people especially CHILDREN and wheelchairs.  And it was not just a little bark, it was a complete fit which I termed PSYCHO EDDIE.  However, I found out that Eddie loves walking up stairs and so my 7th floor walk up is a blessing.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.02.43 am

First Few Snuggles with Eddie

Bromance between Mads and Eddie slowly developed with the odd interaction with Odette but it was more a Mexican stand off

.Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.00.50 am

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.01.15 am

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.00.50 am

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.01.54 am

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.01.36 am

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.02.20 am

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.00.19 am

The Cutie at Home

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 6.59.49 am

Psycho Eddie

I at that stage in fostering Eddie was working at the Hive and I managed to sneak him in.  It was such a great place for him and he began to be less psycho and engaged with people.  It does help that he is pretty adorable looking.  There are random pictures of him on people’s Instagram…random dog in the office today but do not care.  Adoption days on the other hand were not great for Eddie.  There are a lot of people and dogs, all hoping to make that match between man and dog.  He was nervous and completely Psycho Eddie.  He was also stressed after.  However when taken away from the crowds or sitting on my lap, we did manage to get some cute shots for the adoption promotion.  (I was still denying I was attached to the grumpy old man).

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 5.44.03 am

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 5.44.50 am

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 5.45.25 am

Edowan posing a storm for pictures

After seeing these pictures (thanks to amazing volunteers), I realised Eddie was very photogenic. Hence the onslaught of my placing Eddie in fashion posts on Instagram (with earrings from Jennifer Loiselle, wearing a fashion bow tie, browsing through a Jack Wills brochure, wearing a fetching novelty hat and posing with MAC make up).

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 5.36.02 am

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 5.39.08 amScreen Shot 2015-04-17 at 5.37.29 am

Or PRODUCT PLACEMENT…Eddie has now graced the official Instagram of JaxCoCo and Plug PR for Nexpresso.

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 5.39.29 am

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 5.40.16 am

With regards to socialising Eddie so that he is a happier and relaxed dog amongst people and hopefully dogs and children, it is an ongoing basis but he has such character that I believe we can do it.  He is a lady charmer

.Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 5.41.22 am

He is also incredible with his expressions for photos.  As a fashion blogger, I am a failure and cannot take decent pictures of myself.  I somehow need to get some tips from my dog (yes dear readers I adopted him…)

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.03.32 am

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.03.44 am