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!

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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….

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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!

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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…

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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…

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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.)

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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?)

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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.

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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.

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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….

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

OUTFIT POST: NAVY & PEACH LEOPARD

Yes you heard correctly…I am talking about wearing navy and peach leopard print…before you run screaming from your laptop, think about it carefully.  It can actually work especially if the peach is kinda more orangey due to the leopard pattern. Exhibit One for the Defense:

Victoria Beckham Silk And Wool Blend Blue Orange Dress

If Victoria says ok then who are we to say no? Ok so back to me.  This trip was supposed to be one where I would take a whole load of outfit posts. I had some lovely brands Pedro Garcia (thank you 852West), Vamastyle and Niin to work with.  You might also see that I am currently obsessed with the textures at the park and really made me appreciate the amazing pieces I was allowed to wear (even on an unplanned outfit post).

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Yes I am wearing Navy and Peach Leopard and Stripes! Esley Navy Top (Polkadot Boutique), Menorquitas (Spanish Shoes HK), Bracelet (Niin)

At this park I was obsessed with the different textures of the plants, the rock formed from trees.  So apologies for the playing around with product shots.

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Niin in Nature

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Amazing Rock Formations…

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Trees Turning Into Rock…

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Amazing Details of the Pedro Garcia Tote

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The Perfect Summer Tote… from Pedro Garcia (perforated leather…AMAZING)

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More Navy and Peach…

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Gutted that the matching sandals from Pedro Garcia did not have my size in the press samples (I felt like Cinderella’s ugly step sister who was that desperate she considered cutting off parts of her feet)

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Alternative would have been the amazing satin sneakers from the same Pedro Garcia S/S2015 collection.

Ok that is it for now…lesson to be learnt…embrace colour!

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

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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)

“Sports Couture” – Ports 1961 S/S14

I was recently fortunate enough to attend the preview for the Ports 1961 S/S14 collection (side notes to the fabulous Plug PR for a) winning the account and b) doing a fantastic job of this preview).

“Sports Couture” is the key central theme for both the men’s and the women’s collections.  This would seem to be an elevation over the usual term of “sports luxe”  This is evident in both collections by the exquisite materials used, the beautiful detailing and the finishing that was shown whilst keeping in line with the sports wear traditions in the easy to wear shapes.

The women’s wear was designed by Fiona Cibani and the chief inspiration was Michaelangelo Antonioni’s 1970 film ‘Zabriskie Point’.  At the time of its release, the film was not a commercial success but has since become an art house classic.  The film is based a lot about a couple and their journey into the desert.  Cue sunrise and sunset prints, sky blue hues, sandy colours featured in the collection.

zabriskie Point Film promo coverZabriskie posterThe Film Inspiration

zabriskie-point-scene zabriskie point death valley zabriskie point death valley 2The beautiful scenic views which inspired to colours, the prints and the general vibe of the collection

The collection itself is super wearable, lots of gorgeous dresses but also plenty of separates.  The classic Ports 1961 white shirt remained a focal part of the collection (this version was long enough for models to walk the runway wearing it as a dress.  For us lesser mortals it means sparing our blushes and banishing the horrid phenomena of “builder’s bum”.

Sunrise and sunset prints were some of the stand out pieces of the collection.  I loved the sunrise print jumper but also the dresses that featured the sunrise and sunset prints.  SUPER distinctive yet not too scary to wear.

Easy to wear jackets, shirts and skirts plus the dresses means that this is a wardrobe that pretty much any woman would want to own.  It consists of pieces ready for work, for casual lunches and for evening functions.   Clean lines and sports wear shapes… what is there not to like for the Ports 1961 woman?ports13Sports Couture at its BEST

ports8The Sunset Dress (In the back)

ports2The Sunrise Jumper

PORTS1961_SS14_25The Same Outfit (on the runway)

PORTS1961_SS14_23One of my favourite pieces – the SUNRISE Dress (on the runway)

The couture elements definitely came from the hand-stitching of the embellishments, the exquisite materials (lace and velvet overlay on one skirt) and the beautiful origami pleats on one piece.  (Coincidentally we say the blue version of the origami dress and on the runway it was the white version which Julia Roberts wore to an event!!)

ports10Beautiful Embellishments – Couture elements

ports11Exquisite Fabrics add the Couture element…

PORTS1961_SS14_07The “Origami” Dress on the Runway and which Julia Roberts later wore…

ports12Close up of the Origami pleating…

Ports 1961 excelled again with their shoes and bags.  Vivid colours which complemented the collection beautifully.   The heels in a multitude of colours were my favourites – high enough for me to feel elegant but with a thick enough heel for all us HK girls to be able to stride with confidence!

ports6 Ports5Accessories, Accessories, Accessories…

FINALLY, I can start on the men’s collection.  We were fortunate to see the men’s collection (actually not available in HK) side by side with the women’s collection.  Designed by Fiona Cibani and Ian Hylton, Ports 1961 Spring / Summer 2014 Men’s collection is inspired by the sculptural artworks of Rainer Lagemann, which capture the human body in motion. A geometric freeze frame of classic, timeless gestures and emotions are conveyed through silhouettes, materials and details.  This can be seen especially in the stunning graphical prints of the suits and accessories.

Rainer Lagemann & AnaMarie Paredes (Metal Sculpture) Rainer Lagemann Rainer Lagemann’s works – Inspiration for Ports 1961 Men’s Collection

All the bloggers were in love with the chunky knits, the suede shorts and for me the prints on the suits as well as the purple suit.  A shout out must also go to the designing team for the fabulous accessories from the brogues of many colours to the “man” bags.  To be honest, I would have used any of those bags and clutches in the men’s collection.

Ports1961_SS14_17 Ports1961_SS14_18THOSE Purple Suits!  (Am wishing the boy to take note!)

Ports1961_SS14_19 Ports1961_SS14_20 Ports1961_SS14_26 Ports1961_SS14_27Amazing Prints on the Suits

 Rainer Lagemann’s influence can definitely be seen in the graphic quality featured on some of the suits.  The different scales of the prints were handled so well that they should be appreciated and admired.

If I could, I would have definitely taken away the cute suede shorts in green and the chunky sweater…

Ports1961_SS14_15Forget asking the boy to wear this…I want to wear this!

Once again Ports 1961 were highly successful with their accessories (something I do not usually make a point of mentioning regarding men’s collections).  Their brogues were super colourful and chic and the variety of bags was bag heaven.  I would have snapped up the dossier holders with the  Rainer Lagemann inspired print, the super squishy large suede bags and what I like to call my fancy cat carrier….

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Super Squishy Suede Bags…

ports3My new “Cat Carrier”

The beauty of seeing both collections side by side is that you can truly picture the couple who would wear those clothes.  They would be THAT couple you would want to be with and want to be.  These two collections definitely complement each other.

ports9 ports4 ports2Beautiful Couples…Seeing the two collections as a whole…

Ports 1961 women’s collection will be available in HK stores from early 2014.  For the men’s collections, you will need to look to a trip to Europe or US.  For more information please contact Plug PR’s Resham Kirpalaney.

N.B. Runway shots of the collections are courtesy of Plug PR and Ports 1961, the other images of the collections were taken by me.

Obsessed with Simone Rocha Lace

Obsessed with Simone Rocha Lace
Yes I know I am behind on the fashion curve but I am still loving the lace dresses from Simone Rocha.  I know it is probably still not on the hot list to love coloured lace but hey, I am not that fashion forward so it is all ok!
A quick sideline to give you a brief intro to Simone Rocha if you have not already discovered this designer.
Simone Rocha, a Fashion MA from prestigious Central Saint Martin’s College has shown her collections at LFW and had window installations at Collette and Bon Marche during Parish Fashion Week.  Her dresses have been worn by some of the coolest young Hollywood fashionistas such as Chloe Moretz.
Coloured lace can look cheap but Simone Rocha has made it classy with neon colours and a mixture of textural patterns.  For those of us who cannot afford the real thing then check out Next for their versions.  I am a bit late to get the cute red and pink lace dress but Next have some Autumnal versions currently available.
Note from someone who has been there, check the quality of the material the lace is made out of as cheaper versions can a) be scratchy on the skin, b) look cheap and c) have the colour run when washed.
PRs for Simone Rocha – any spares going in my size please contact me….he he he he just joking!  But seriously, this is a great designer and one to watch!

“Carnivale”…Adding Colour to My Life…

Recently I attended DRESS ME blogger and super stylist Jasmine Smith’s birthday FIESTA and it was a fantastic opportunity for me to beg my good friend ALL THINGS INDULGENT‘s Vanessa Lawson to make me a custom floral head band.  I have loved Vanessa’s DIY pieces for a long time – the colour, the vibrancy… the sheer sense of fun that exists in her pieces make them irresistible.  I personally do not have the patience or the glue gun skills to make a piece so it was great that she was willing to make me one.  Knowing my aversion to large head pieces, Vanessa totally understood my style and produced a gorgeous vivid red floral head piece.  I fell in love at first sight.  Unfortunately, I just do not know when I will next wear it.  Somehow, I do not believe that the office dress code would let me wear it.

Fortunately for me, I recently worked with the fabulously talented photographer Lauren Engel (model, photographer and researcher into money laundering – a girl of many talents) and inspiration hit me – I could pair said floral head piece with my gorgeous Clover Canyon dress and wear it for the shoot…yes!  (I am a genius…)

Vanessa is a fan of Clover Canyon too so I know she would appreciate such a pairing.

For those who have not heard of the brand before, Clover Canyon is a LA brand who is famous for their vivid prints and vibrant colours.  Their clothes totally encapsulate the eclectic and joyful spirit of California.  Reminiscent of Mary Katrantzou’s gorgeous sprints but with less structure, the Clover Canyon clothing is colourful and with a sleek silhouette.  I love their neoprene dresses but also have recently fallen in love with their beautiful floaty “shirt” dresses.  I don’t usually like floaty dresses as they tend to look tent-like on me but these dresses are cut relatively slim so there is less volume.

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Clover Canyon Floral Fish Dress, All Things Indulgent Custom Head Piece, Beatrix Potter Book Clutch by PS. Besitos, Samantha Wills Ring

I am not sure why but the floral head piece, the floaty dress and the colours remind me of some of the old pictures or statues of Catholic saints.  Think old fashioned Latin saints or something from New Orleans – hence the name “Carnivale” for the title of this outfit post.  The above picture (as you can see I cannot pose) is my attempt at a saintly pose!  I even have a book in hand (well a book clutch).

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That Floral Head Piece

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Trying to Look Saintly

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Light and Dark

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Trying to Pose

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It is all about the Accessories

A word of warning, if you choose to buy this dress, please be careful as it is very transparent.  I definitely think it would be perfect for a beach holiday as a cover up over your bikini or you would need to wear something underneath to spare your blushes.  Thankfully, I was indoors for these pictures and was wearing nude undergarments (thank you Sheer!)

I bought my Clover Canyon dress from Oxygen Boutique which is a fab store based in London.  If you cannot stop in their store, they do offer an online shopping site so do have a look!  They stock some amazing brands such as Clover Canyon (of course), Senso and Alice & Olivia.

Check out Vanessa’s blog ALL THINGS INDULGENT for tutorials on how to make the floral head piece or contact her directly for custom orders.  I bought my Samantha Wills ring online and my PS. Besitos book clutch as mentioned in previous posts is from Etsy.

A big thank you to Lauren Engel for taking the pictures but also to Sheer for generously allowing me to use their beautiful shop space for the location of my photo shoot.  On a rainy, humid day, it was a beautiful oasis of air con!  For readers in HK, Sheer is my favourite place to go for lingerie.  They know how to fit bras properly and offer a wide range of brands and styles!

SHEER
4/F, W Place, 52 Wyndham Street
Central, Hong Kong