Outfit Post: A simple black and white dress…

If you know me…you know I LOVE colour.  So this post is a bit of a different one for me as I am showcasing basically a black and white dress.  It is also a more feminine look than I really go for with a high neckline and an A-line skirt.  The dress was from Marks & Spencer and was paired with a pair of mules also from Marks.  I was lucky that the lovely Sabrina Sikora pushed me into wearing mules (I always looked at them with an eye brow raised) and well they were peep toe too which makes me go EEK even more (I have to keep a decent pedicure on those tootsies).  However, they ARE super comfortable and pretty much went with every outfit I had during the summer of 2015.  Also a heel that you can walk around in in HK?  SOLD.  Thankfully Marks & Spencer have reproduced them this Spring 2016.  They obviously know a good thing when they see it.  Shame though that they did not reproduce the navy version (gutted I didn’t get those last year).  For other options on the mule shape…check out Australian brand SENSO (they ship to HK!) from closed toe, open toe to various shades of animal print (cue heart emojis at this point).

 

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Senso Mules…

The dress I am wearing in this outfit post is from Summer 2015 for Marks & Spencer.  However the shape is classic and super flattering for most silhouettes.  For curvy girls like me, a nipped in waist helps give you a nice shape and though sleeveless, it is easy to cover up your bingo wings with a little cardigan (or just own the said bingo wings like I do).  I have found local brand WHAT THE FROCK?  to be a great affordable option.  No pattern but coming in a multitude of colours which adds personality to your outfit!

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What the Frock ‘French’ Dress in Pink

I have heard from a professional matchmaker that such a dress like this is perfect for a first date.  It is feminine, fashionable (without being too fashion aka scary) and has scope via the colour and the accessories you add to it to make it your own personal style.

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So there you go…dresses that do not have crazy prints can be a good thing…

Thanks as always to Bryant for making me look semi decent in photos, that boy is a miracle worker and super talented.

 

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Homage to Christian Wijnants and Pajamas Dressing

So this set of photos are long overdue to be posted as they were from LAST YEAR.  However, it seemed timely since Christian Wijnants was in town recently to celebrate a stand alone store to unearth these pictures that were taken by the talented Bryant (www.bryantlives.com).  This was the first time we shot in a store (as there were only limited numbers of the Christian Wijnants pieces in the EQ:IQ stocks).  Usually, the natural lighting in IFC with Bryant’s camera creates some magical glow that makes me look relatively decent (shocking huh?)

 

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First Time Shooting in a Store with Bryant (the sales thought I was crazy lady)

When I saw the press preview of this Christian Wijnants 2015 collection, I fell in love with this print.  I am not usually a fan of dark green but the blue and pink of the print makes it fresh, playful and feminine.  The collection had been based on African farmers and the way they used what was available around them to create their clothing…this meant interesting use of print, textures and being inspired even by what we would normally consider to be rubbish.  The matchy matchy feel of this top and trousers with the silky feel reminds me of pajamas too.  So comfortable.

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Feeling so Comfortable…

I was lucky enough that I was lent some amazing jewelry by Amaara Jewelry who make amazing one-off pieces that consist of vintage beads.  This really helped to set off the original theme of the Christian Wijnants pieces.

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Amazing Accessories

The one thing I learnt about pajamas style dressing is that unlike in magazines or street style, you can rarely do scruffy otherwise it does look like you LITERALLY have just rolled out of bed.  Make up, accessories of course help but the essential is a pair of heels.  Your safest choice is to grab a great pair of stilettos.  Instantly makes the look go from scruffy to dressy.

I do not listen to my own advice and had only with me a pair of black boots but thankfully they were very high heeled and Gucci so though I could not run around HK with them, they did smarten up my look.

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All About Heels…

 

 

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: 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)

(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.

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

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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)

What is Normcore? I like to call it Normancore!

What is Normcore? I like to call it Normancore!
Hello Polyvore…It has been a while…
Yes, I know the trend and phrase “Normcore” has been around for a while and YES I am a bit behind the trend for writing this post about it now…  Well after reading the Wanderlister’s awesome article about Gap’s current advertising campaign in Asia to try and convince  the Chinese that it is not all about the bling bling but about the simplicity and quietness of norm core (apparently according to the Urban Dictionary it is “desire to fit in” or “the fear of standing out”).  In a society which is all about designer branding and thick gold chains (have you seen a Chinese bride?), it would be interesting to see how ex-COS Rebekka Bay’s vision for Gap translates into success here in HK.
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Normcore a la GAP… (photos from Gap and via the Wanderlister)
As a vintage lover, the norm core trend originally had me perplexed as throw me a garish floral print in a jumpsuit or maxi skirt and I am a happy bunny.  How was this girl (who deliberately buys versace esque print shirts) fit in with the cool kids wearing this normcore thingy?  Yes, I used the word thingy…it is a word in my lexicon ok?
But then that lightbulb moment happened, as I reflected on my recent brand loves and purchases and realised subconsciously I was actually doing the normcore trend…A HA!  Yes, by slowly following scandi brands such as Won Hundred, Humanoid, Baum ind Pfundgarten, Filippa K etc…I was actually doing this whole normcore trend.  I have to admit, I love the comfort of the simple flats and the slouchy sweatshirts and t-shirt dresses…for me it was not necessarily a fashion choice but more a lazy oaf choice (shameful yes I know but I never really did consider myself a fashion blogger.”
Also, I am loving new HK online brand GRANA which has simple silk shirts and the softest cotton t-shirts on sale.  Also currently loving ecochic website’s A Boy Named Sue’s slouchy plain cotton sweatshirts.
So yes, inadvertently I am a normcore follower but deep down if you still offer me a loud garish print, my heart still belongs to the print…
On a final note, I would like to add that I prefer the term “Normancore” which was coined by Grazia to describe the normcore trend…I cannot directly quote the actual description (goddamn you cats for losing my copy of Grazia…yes I am using my cats as an excuse) but it goes something like this… “Imagine Norman from Accounts at a staff party…he is quiet and blends into the background…that is normcore or rather NORMANCORE”.
Now for all those people who work in accounting and accounts (I actually have friends who do) and the random Normans who may read this article…I apologise for any offence taken.  This really is just another random musing by myself and just a little bit of fun and anyway GRAZIA USED NORMANCORE FIRST!
Below is a list of the items I selected on Polyvore…sorry bit rusty as it has been a while…

Filippa K white shirt
$215 – nelly.de

Humanoid brown coat
farfetch.com

Y A S blue coat
$255 – houseoffraser.co.uk

Filippa K super skinny jeans
$195 – zalando.co.uk

Filippa K black shoes
$250 – gravitypope.com

Won Hundred camo shoes
thedreslyn.com