Dior pret-a-porter Show Hong Kong Victoria Habour January 28th 2011

As the world "hopes and prays" that the Far East will be the cornerstone of the global recovery, luxury brands everywhere have heard the call and are desperately trying to get closer to their Asian big spenders.

So what do Dior do? Following their show in Shanghai last year they decided that Hong Kong would be another great place on which to focus their annual budget. The outcome  - a spectacular 300 persons seated dinner for the creme de la creme of Hong Kong's fashion scene - with the catwalk conveniently running its way right through the centre of the table, this way, the already skinny Fashion Ladies had a good excuse to ignore the dinner altogether and focus on the legs in front of them.

Location: a marquee on TST pier overlooking the Vegas-like lights of the Hong Kong island.

Unfortunately I couldn't do to the actual show but my spy was there on Friday and managed to send me her sneaky photos before jetting off to Thailand, thank you Mrs. P :)

 Hong Kongers take their Iphone's very seriously - they are pretty much attached to their hands at any time of the day which comes in handy when you need to snap some Dior models strutting their stuff on the catwalk in front of your plate...

Love the white lanterns on top of the table, you can imagine them hanging in some old lighthouse pointing the way to lonely sailors trying to make their way home...

Happy Sunday!


Daydreaming of a dark forest ...

I started my way home from my French class tonight daydreaming about enchanted forests, then my thoughts became darker (it's the end of the week) and turned to the movie Pan's Labyrinth and the Antichrist by Lars von Trier and my forest became a moody dark place and when I came home I stumbled upon http://www.fashionartexpression.com an incredible website for fashion art expression, and found a very twisted but stunning shoot called the Dark Forest by Denise Grunstein. As I continued searching for images I found a couple of more editorials that I want to share with you...


Constance Jablonski: Dark Forest 2010, Numéro mag 2009, ‘TINKER BELLE’S FOREST editorial photographed by Koto Bolofo and styled by Nikki Brewster for Vogue Nippon – March 2002,Dark Forest by Denise Grunstein


Fashion illustration Antonio Lopez and some thoughts on globalization

International and Globalization are two words that we were indoctrinated with whilst at university, the buzz words of the noughties. So tonight I am walking from my French class through Magazine Gap Road from Wanchai. For those not in Hong Kong, the city is either lush tropical rainforest 70% or a concrete jungle 30% - there is no in-between. So as I am walking uphill surrounded by trees, lit up by these mysterious looking lights, I start imagining that I am in an enchanted forest (ok don't laugh - it's been a long day at work) and then guess what bursts my bubble... two Russian guys walking their dog - seriously - now that's what you call the real arrival of globalization. Hong Kong, 10pm, 3 people in the middle of a deserted path and all Russian. Amazing!

Anyway, just had to share that thought/encounter with you.. Now back to inspirations, as I was browsing my favourite online shopping site today (Asos.com - hope my husband is not reading this post) I came across Tina Chow(she deserves her own post) - their muse for 2011, I looked her up straight away and found a reference to the illustrator who discovered her, Antonio Lopez.

I am obsessed with illustration, I fell in love with illustration when I saw those early Hed Kandi cd covers in 2001 and then it was Julie Verhoeven for Louis Vuitton collection and then James Jean for Prada. Back when I was studying in London I even took some illustration courses at LCF but to be honest I kind of sucked so back to Antonio.

I love everything about the late 70's, Andy Warhol and studio 54, endless parties, decadence without limits, excess like there is no tomorrow, the innocent hippy 60's had given way to drugs, sex and glitter. Julian Moore in boogie nights, Jerry Hall, Bianca Jagger, Andy Warhol still going strong with the Factory and Antonio Lopez and Ruben Toledo illustrating and painting it all.

"I'm always inspired by people. People are what I love."
Antonio Lopez the Picasso of Fashion Illustration

Antonio Lopez (February 11, 1943 – March 17, 1987)  fashion illustrator - work appeared in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Interview and The New York Times.

Born in Utuado, Puerto Rico. He attended the High School of Art and Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. While attending the F.I.T. he began an internship at Women's Wear Daily which led to him leaving school and working at the publication. 

In 1969 he moved to Paris along with Ramos and was an associate of Karl Lagerfeld; he stayed there until the mid-1970s. 

He discovered Jerry Hall and lived with her in Paris at the beginning of her modeling career.  

He worked in a variety of materials, including pencil, pen and ink, charcoal, watercolor, and Polaroid film, and also pursued jewelry design and conceptual designs (such as window displays for Fiorucci and Studio 54).

Lopez died of complications related to AIDS on March 17, 1987. He was forty-four years old.

P.S. the first two photos are of Lara StoneJavier de MiguelBaptiste Giabiconi acting as the New York icon trio of the 70’s: illustrator Antonio Lopez, art director Juan Ramos, and supermodel Jerry Hall shot by Karl Lagerfeld himself (ooohhh clever Karl) for the September 2010 V67 issue, also known as “The New York Issue”.


Timeless Spanish elegance on the streets of Hong Kong...

In the endless sea of black and grey that is my Hong Kong lunch hour stroll I noticed this eye catching combination of black and white stripes and electric blues. Locals rarely wear colour especially during the day, and nothing puts more of a smile on my face than a healthy dose of colour.

As I followed the lady in the blue scarf I noticed her two companions and overheard them speaking Spanish. I was mesmerised by the elegance and the confidence of these three women.

There is something about Spanish women: the way they carry themselves, the way they wear colour, that really sets them apart from other European women.

In this youth obsessed age where catwalk models are barely 16, fashion bloggers 14 and the latest fashion designers just 12 years old, we are all seem to be chasing eternal youth. Unfortunately this media driven pursuit has made us lose sight of what really gives one character, we forget about the true timelessness style and chic.

When Christian Dior was asked 'what is key to good dressing?'

He said, 'There is no key! If there were it would be too easy, rich women could buy the key and all their fashion worries would be over! But simplicity, grooming and good taste - the three fundamentals of fashion - cannot be bought. But they can be learnt, by rich and poor alike.'
The women below are timeless in their elegance. Everything about their clothes from the way they tie their scarves to the way they combine colours: they manage to be classical and fashion forward at the same time.


Bangkok! Welcome to the dreamy and spiritual shopping mall of the East...

Bangkok.... a fascinating mix of 8 lane highways, skyscrapers, 5 star hotels, mega shopping malls and old low rises, winding quiet canals, shabby but endearing little old houses and the beautiful gold covered temples.

People tend to have this seedy image of Bangkok... Well at least I did until my first trip there, you imagine it to be gritty, crowded, polluted, full of all middle aged European men trying to re-kindle their long lost youth.. Now I am not denying that Bangkok has a bit of all of the above as well as some pretty horrendous traffic jams but scratch beneath the surface and it can be so much more than what you expect. It is a city that has managed to transform itself into a thriving megalopolis without losing touch with its traditions.

What really struck me about Bangkok was the combination of materialism and spirituality - on Saturday evening we visited one of the enchanting gold Buddhist temples and found young people making their way to the temple to say their prayers and walk around the golden tower.. there were hundreds of little bells chiming in the wind, the glimmering gold of the temple, warm breeze and the serene setting sun - absolutely beautiful.

Despite being very devoted temple goers the Thais are also very devoted shoppers! The malls in Bangkok are just incredible: full of dressed up kids, tai tais, as well as the mainland Chinese and the Russians - I had not seen so many since my last trip to Moscow!. The best part of the malls are the food courts that go on for 2 kilometres and offer everything from Lenotre macaroons and a Mandarin Oriental deli, to the most mouth watering ice cream selection - they are even home to that quintessential English tea store Wittards (I thought those guys had gone bankrupt in the great recession). My absolute favourite hangout was the Vanilla Brasserie: I loved everything about it, from the name (I love all things cinnamon and vanilla) to the cutest packaging..They even had brownie and creme brûlée scented candles!. Ahhh heaven!

My 3 top tips:

Take a trip on a speed boat/Thai gondola down the small canals, to see the kaleidoscope of sights and sounds, the eclectic mix of french style houses, shabby chic favelas, Wooden Thai houses and nouveau Thai "palaces". Oh and keep an eye out for a small terraced house with a western boy lying in a hammock drinking a beer without a care in the world.

Visit the Jim Thompson House (http://www.jimthompsonhouse.com/). An American entrepreneur/ ex CIA agent who pioneered Thai silk exports to the US, revitalizing what had been a cottage industry until then. The popularity of the silks exploded after being featured in the costumes in ‘The King and I. The house has the most exquisite combination of Thai and Western styles, antiques, silks, carpets and cutlery. Make sure that you are hungry as House restaurant serves the yummiest fresh spring rolls and rice noodles I have ever tasted.

Last, but not least - Food! Forget about being on a diet or a detox! Bangkok arguably has the best food in Asia. Fresh, succulent, a melange of tastes and smells of mint lemongrass and pandan leaves. I felt like the biggest piggy after all those noodles, rolls and phad thais that I devoured... It was completely worth it!

Worst 3!

Traffic, Traffic, Traffic! It's a huge city so it takes ages to get from A to B. Stick to taking boats and tuk tuks. Oh and don't be surprised if a taxi stops you in the wrong place and asks you to check out the shop, restaurants or the cafe etc. That's the Thai entrepreneurial spirit, the whole city is trying to make money out of tourism one way or the other, and this place belong to his cousin, mother, sister, friend etc who kindly asked your taxi driver to bring him some business so don't let it upset you! :)

Have a good weekend!!!