Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mama's got a brand new garden

I’ve always had a penchant for plants. Thing is, I don’t merely have a black thumb. I have a black hand or maybe even a black arm. I kill plants with a disturbing amount of frequency to the point where when I try to purchase plants, my friends try to talk me out of it for the sake of the plant. The plant sitting on my desk right now has lasted over half a year so far and I’m increasingly beginning to suspect that it’s not really a plant but rather a rubber gadget that my friends gave me to placate my gardening desires. Well, today, something even better comes along. Gardening Mama! Yes, Mama is no longer content to stay in the house and cook after conquering the NDS, Wii and iPhone consoles. She is now moving on to gardening. Gardening Mama for the NDS comes out today and you can use your DS stylus to plant, prune, pick and landscape your garden. Gamers manage their gardens through the seeding, blooming and maturing phases and then make products out of it. For example, you can grow strawberries to make jam or pumpkins to carve lanterns. Now I can finally garden, guilt-free.

See IGN’s review here.


My kind of math

My fascination with convertible-wear continues. Although my eBay searches for Complex Geometries inevitably turn up used textbook listings, I continue to search undaunted. (As is a theme when it comes to my online shopping habit, I delay buying from the online shop because I can't decide which piece I want).

Complex Geometries is the super-comfortable-looking men's and women's line of clothing designed by a guy named Clayton Evans, and EVERY SINGLE ITEM the brand makes is super-duper desirable. They come in basic colours (white, black, grey and variations on the above), have that to-die-for relaxed fit that for some reason is so difficult to master, are made of low-maintenance fabrics like cotton and jersey, and are convertible to the point of ridiculousness. Drape, tie and wrap your way to a new look every day!

I'm feeling the square-hood tees and dresses, the giant tank with tube, the split square dress... I just wish there were better depictions of the garment laid flat so that my mind can do the creative math (that IS the relevance of the brand's moniker, right?). That said, the photos on the Complex Geometries site, and especially those on the Oak NYC site, are gorgeous, almost editorial-quality images.

Shop Complex Geometries online here, or Oak NYC here. (Images courtesy of...)
If you're patient, here's the eBay search link.

And of course, the eye candy:

The square-hood dress

The giant tank with tube

And the split square tee


iPhone Show & Tell: Stanza

If you are a book loving Geek like us, then undoubtedly you would have attempted reading an ebook. While nothing beats the feeling of having an actual paperbound book in your hands there is something to be said for being able to store some 20, 30 books on your phone. Why? First thing that comes to mind is that when traveling, you save a lot of that baggage weight for shopping. My love affair with Stanza really began when Shoe Geek introduced me to the Twilight series. Unable to get my hands on Eclipse while on an Edward/ Bella high, I resorted to finding it online. Yet reading in front of the computer is something I associate with being at the office and at home, it just doesn’t feel right. Stanza imitates the reading process by ‘flipping’ pages when you tap left or right and allows you to adjust the font size. Books can be uploaded to the phone wirelessly via Stanza Desktop (although I do wish you can batch upload). Best of all, it’s a free app so why not take it out for a test run?   


Monday, March 30, 2009

SHOErotica: Miu Miu python platform stilettos

Get them at net-a-porter


School of {on the) Rocks

Never thought there was a learning curve to drinking, but then again, you learn something new every day! And that "something new" could be how to mix fab cocktails just like the bartenders at Aqua. Two classes are being hosted by their kooky new mixologist, Paulo Figueiredo, on May 2nd at Aqua Spirit, and on May 9 at Yun Fu, from 4:30-6pm. The classes are titled "Do you know your margarita from your mojito?" and promise to teach you all you need to know to become the toast of the town (pun intended). 

Students will learn the basics of making and shaking a cocktail, and will receive a guide with cocktail notes so they can recreate the juicy tonics at home, as well as cocktail redemption vouchers -- and of course, the chance to drink the cocktails they've just made. If playing bartender is something you've always wanted to do, then this class is for you. Or if you find balding, mad-scientist types irresistibly sexy... well, then Paulo will be just your type. Call 852 2854 1813 to book a spot. 

Aqua Spirit is at 30/F, 1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 852 3427 2288. Yun Fu is at B/F 43-55 Wyndham Street. Tel: 852 2116 8855.


Kiehl's invites bottle art

This is for those who miss their kindergarten days of Show and Tell. Kiehl’s is inviting you to indulge in your inner child and ‘give new life’ to old bottles by making them into decorative handicrafts. Some of you may actually be good with crafts, but I can’t help but wonder how many will end up like Chandler in the episode where he and Monica were supposed to make each other Valentine’s gifts. (Crotchless panties anyone? Or just a sock bunny?) Anyway, I digress. If you bring your piece de resistance to Kiehl’s during the month of April, they will reward your efforts with a complimentary 30ml Crème with Silk Groom. The company will then award the best 20 with a 200ml bottle of Aloe Vera Biodegradable Liquid Body Cleanser. If you are DYING for that complimentary gift and at a loss as to what to make, join Kiehl’s workshop on April 25 and 26 at Festival Walk. Yes, they will teach you how to decorate old plastic bottles (see image, Brad Pitt not included).  


Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Linkfest!

Combine old school cassette tapes with artistic license for these cool portraits

Vending machine that makes fresh pizza in three minutes? I’m there. http://dvice.com/archives/2009/03/pizza-making_ve.php   

Is it a credit card masquerading as an mp3 player? Or is it an mp3 player pretending to be a credit card? 

Just because it tickles my sense of humour. Toilet paper with origami instructions printed on it 

Does anyone still send postcards? These cards come with a counter to time how long it took the postcard to arrive. Moot point for me as I tend to buy postcards, write them then forget to send them. 


SHOErotica: Yves Saint Laurent platform strappies

Get them at Luisa via Roma


The perfect union?

Test-drove the new joint that took over the Cafe des Artiste's spot in California Tower, Union J, opened by two Jean-George alums who hail from the Big Apple. They define their cuisine as "New American", whatever that means, but it sure tastes good. Variety is in abundance when it comes to eateries in Central, and restaurants come and go, but hopefully, this one's here to stay, because the food is good and the price point affordable as well. (It's billed as the place for business lunchers and fine-food lovers who've been suffering from wallet woes of late.)

I can't really describe what it is that made me enjoy the dining experience so much, but everything is just very... fresh. They don't do anything super-fancy or innovative, but what they do cook, they cook well -- the flavours are all in harmony, bursting to greet your tongue. There, that's probably the best endorsement I can give. 

The menu is divided into three sections of six dishes each, for a total of 18 dishes (yes, Shoe Geek can do math) that will be refined/updated every couple of weeks. If you're there and they're on the menu, try the crab appetizer thingy with horseradish (can do math, cannot remember dish names...), the lamb tagliatelle and above all, the 70% chocolate cake. Molten chocolate cakes are a dime a dozen nowadays, but this one, forgive the expression, really takes the cake. It's endearingly paired with a very-authentic pistachio ice cream, a bizarre yet perfect union that pretty much sums up the philosophy of this place.  

Forgive the crappy photo and lack of food shots, blame the iPhone cam and my overeagerness to dig into the food before photographing them. I'll try procure more shots later today.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pawn Cocktail

With April less than a week away, it might be time to do some spring cleaning. As we all have those days when we inevitably end up watching Friends reruns rather than clean, The Pawn is giving you a bit more motivation.  During April, if you bring 70% - 80% (because apparently anything older is taboo) new books, toys and clothes to the modern British bistro after 5pm, you will receive beer and martini coupons. This is in celebration of their first anniversary and all donated items will go to The Salvation Army Hong Kong. Free beer and martinis, cleaning out the house AND that gooey satisfaction feeling of having done good? Perfect way to get rid of the winter blues. 

The Pawn, 62 Johnston Road, Wanchai


The name game

As much as Mizz Bradshaw's fashion choices have been overexposed to the point of absurdity, there's still moments that take my breath away when I'm watching my Sex and the City box set for the 34578th time. (For those who are keeping track, that basically means that eBaying Butter by Nadia dresses and watching SATC are two of the daily activities in my rather humdrum life). At some point I'll do a recap of my favourite fashion moments from the show, but right now I've already digressed substantially from the topic about which I had planned to write, which is nameplate necklaces.

FashionGeek and ShoeGeek went Christmas shopping last year and ended up buying each other nameplate accessories (acrylic bangle and gold pendant respectively) but the recent discovery that Pat Field is hawking the nameplate necklace on her website for US$189 a pop prompted me to seek out other, more economical options, given that us Geeks got ours for HK$400-500 at La Foret mall in Causeway Bay (you can also find them on the top floor of Island Beverly for a little bit cheaper.) If you grew up in Hong Kong, you probably spent some amount of time at the Sugar Street silver shop getting broken-heart necklaces with your 30 best friends as well, despite the fact that the engraver never bothered improving her handwriting skills.

When in need of customized jewellery, go with Etsy, an endless resource of knick-knacks to fulfill every whim and aesthetic. Here's a roll call of my favourites.

BeautyName does the most traditional, Carrie-like necklaces, in a number of fonts.

SilverMePendants does layered discs in different metallics, engraved with multiple names, depending on how many discs you have on the pendant.

Fatally Feminine Designs has this whimsical take on the concept with the Alice-in-Wonderland inspired rabbit nameplate. For Juicy Couture lovers, there's also a whole host of polymer clay jewellery charms etc that are very... well, juicy-ish.

Rona Jewellery (sorry, had to British-ize the name for blog style consistency) does more statement pieces, but are a bit more pricey than the average of US$20-30.

And finally, La Bella Jewels has this square pendant which would be super chic on a nice long chain... (and is perfect if you're in some sort of sisterhood of the travelling pants, or, say, a super new-age, mega-couple type four-way relationship... hey, it happens!)

All this personalized jewellery searching has now gotten me excited about another item of jewellery that hasn't yet had its spot in the limelight... lockets! Always loved them. But that's for another day and another post. So long!

As always, images sourced from the owners' websites.


WWF Earth Hour

Just a little public service announcement from your neighbourhood friendly hkFashionGeek. WWF’s Earth Hour is taking place on Saturday and Hong Kong’s committed to switch off lights for an hour at 8:30pm. Originating in Sydney, Earth Hour 2009 aims to reach more than one billion people in 1000 cities around the world to create the largest global social movement. Currently 1672 cities and towns in over 80 countries have signed up. Hong Kong will be doing its part with over 500 companies and organisations as well as over 1500 buildings pledging to go dark so do your part for the environment and take this opportunity to engage in a little candlelight nooky. 


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Au Natural

I’m not one to look at the ingredients of cosmetic products. I find all those polywhatevertids and peptoconfusids confusing so I was pleasantly surprised when I received the alert about the new Natural Corner at Sephora. Rather than a long-winded approach (trust me, I’ve received releases that run up to 20+ pages) they had a simple list of products with bullet points. Because of that, they are getting this post. Ah the powers of a well thought-out press release. So what are the products? See a select list blow:

Sephora Green Connection Liberator hair scrub 
  • A hair and scalp scrub that cleanses and brings a shine to your hair 
Retail price: HK$159   

Oliviers & Co. Organic Lip Balm 
  • Contains rich and natural olive oil Immediately soothes dry and damaged lips 
  • The olive oil and Shea butter moisturise, nourish and repair your lips 
Retail price: HK$198/15 ml   

Nvey Eco Organic Cake Eyeline
  • Organic formula, contains Chamomile, Vitamins A, C, E 
  • Not only does Corn Silk add depth of color, ease of application, long wearing ability, it is also soothing to the skin 
  • Excellent for dry and sensitive eyes 
Retail price:HK$218/1.5 G   

SEPHORA store: Hollywood Plaza, Sai Yeung Choi Street South, Mongkok, Kowloon 
( MTR Exit E, opposite to Broadway Cinema)
Store Tel. NO: (852) 2771 8061
Business hours: 11:00am - 00:00am

Images: Courtesy of Sephora


Bottled Up

By the looks of things, fashion designers are no longer content to stay in fashion. There’s a rising trend of designers taking to bottle design such as Christian Lacroix and Jean Paul Gaultier x Evian (did you know evian spelt backwards is naïve?), Roberto Cavalli x Coca Cola Light and Alexander McQueen x Chivas Regal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for collectibles yet I can’t help but wish that some of the designers put in a bit more of effort. Let’s take a look at the candidates:
JPG x Evian
Um, what is there to say about this? You slap on your brand, paste on the bottle’s brand and how much are you getting paid for this? 

Alexander McQueen x Chivas Regal
Ok, you’re trying a tad harder Alexander (Can I call you Alex? Maybe not, if I’m dissing you here), by having the bottle wear a royal blue leather ‘dress’ but still, can you do a bit more besides putting an enamelled British flag on top? It’s just not much to look at you know.

Roberto Cavalli x Coca Cola
Domo arigato Mr Roberto. Your coke bottles are signature Cavalli. It may be taking the easy way out, just put the pattern on a bottle or put a heart around it but at least it’s instantly recognisable as Cavalli.

Christian Lacroix x Evian
You know what your two designs remind me of? The challenge given to Season Four Project Runway contestants. Remember when Christian and Chris designed the haute couture gown and were told at the last minute that they need to design a ready to wear version? The couture piece was fabulous, it was innovative while the RTW design was clearly a filler to fulfil the challenge criteria. This is what your two bottles remind me of. The haute couture bottle is beautiful. Is it a bottle? Is it a girl wearing a gown? Is the gown the fresh mountain springs where Evian water comes from? But the prêt-a-porter bottle is sorely lacking.


I can't believe it's... Butter by Nadia

For the amount of time that I have been wanting this dress (like, two years, or sometime slightly before Jordin Sparks was crowned American Idol), you would think I would own it by now. But I seem to prefer stalking it endlessly on eBay until the absolutely perfect one appears.

The genius of the Butter by Nadia dress is its convertibility. It's a tube dress! It's a backless halter! It's a tunic! It's a skirt! It's a wrap dress! It's... well, it's a superdress! The main reason I've been procrastinating (after all, I could have by this point gotten two years of wear out of a US$250 dress) is because I simply cannot decide which colour I want. So, I patiently await a desirable specimen to appear on eBay that will catch my fancy and sway me from clicking "Watch this item" to instead clicking the bid button. 

What's annoying is that since I have begun the search for the perfect Butter by Nadia dress, the brand has actually released more and more colours and patterns, thereby making my decision that much more difficult. That, and the fact that most all the listings on eBay are for the satin version -- so much harder to wear (I suspect many are used as bridesmaids dresses for their versatility and price point). Give it to me in black jersey and I promise I will Buy It Now.

Find the dress on eBay here.
Check out the website here (images courtesy of... you know the drill).
Check out extra ways to wrap the dress on youtube here.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Brunch Club: Unkai

Not to hard-sell the Sheraton's F&B outlets today, but in the spirit of bougie brunching, I wanted to bring you Unkai's free-flow weekend lunch. For most restaurants, free-flow refers to the bubbly booze, but at Unkai, it means infinite amounts of succulent Australian Wagyu beef,fresh Atlantic salmon, giant Hokkaido scallops, free-range Chicken Breast and more, accompanied by refreshing starters, tempting dessert and unlimited Asahi or tea. All these are teppanyaki-ed before your very eyes for at the mouthwatering price of $388 per head (or mouth, rather). 

I have fond memories of Unkai, which has been around fat least since the days of my graduation from Primary School. My parents did a dinner in the private room at Unkai and although in my family that is known as the day we walked into a tatami room filled with hundreds of balloons, (no small feat to coordinate, you understand) it is also in fact the day that we kiddies had our first taste of Kobe beef. We haven't looked back since.

This is an ongoing weekend promo, available from noon to 2:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Unkai at the Sheraton Hong Kong, 20 Nathan Road, Kowloon. Tel: 852 2369 1111.


Duck, duck... goose? Nope, more duck again

One of the best Chinese restaurants in town, Celestial Court in the Sheraton Hong Kong, is doing a Peking Duck menage a trois. No, kinky readers, this isn't some peep-show/bestiality extravaganza (and yes, the lameness of that joke is palpable even to me, the one who wrote it). It is a sinful gorgefest, however. For $420, you get the sliced BBQ duck with pancakes, the sauteed diced duck with lettuce wraps, and a more unconventional duck congee to make sure you're getting all the ducky goodness out of your fine fowl. 

Since your resident Shoe Geek is just as big a food geek, believe me when I say that Celestial Court will do a better job than that tourist trap, Yung Kee (Yung Kee should only be visited with friends who "know people" there, otherwise all you will be served is a two-course meal of bad manners and half-assed bird.)

Anyway, the offer is good until the end of April, and you can get further discounts if you have an Amex Platinum or higher (15%), HSBC Premier (15%) or just a regular old HSBC credit card (12%). And by reader request, we're now including addresses and booking information: Celestial Court at the Sheraton Hong Kong, 20 Nathan Road, Kowloon. Tel: 852 2369 1111. 


SHOErotica: Rupert Sanderson Zircon gold mary janes

Sorry for the long departure everyone, illness befell the house of fashion geek. While we get back up and running, enjoy some of the goodness that is Rupert Sanderson's classy gold mary janes. They look like they'd be able to weather this rainy day too...

Get them at net-a-porter


Friday, March 20, 2009

DNA Beaute warehouse sale

Looking for beauty products at up to 75% off? Check out the DNA Beaute warehouse sale. They say that they are moving warehouses and are having a pre-stock take sale but methinks that they just want to put a different spin to the normal warehouse sales and are enticing us to think that there might be better than usual goodies. DNA Beaute carries Sanctuary, Swiss Nature, Banana Republic, GAP, Karen Mok the Fragrance, Toni&Guy and Organic Surge products. Additionally, purchase BECCA $100 cash vouchers for only $75 (limited to five per person). 

Date: 26 & 27 March 2009 (Thursday & Friday) 
Time: 10:00am – 7:30pm 
Venue:  DNA Beaute (HK) Ltd. 20/F Tai Yip Building 141 Thomson Road Wanchai

 ** Available while stocks last **



Friday Linkfest!

Matthew Williamson is the perfect designer to do a high-low collab, because his signature thing is prints, which are easily reproduced at any cost range. In your face, McQueen for tar-jay...

Alien (ahem, Chanel Iman) does hosting duties at the soon-to-be relaunched MTV's House of Style

Watch out, Mizz Iman, the Japs are coming! The latest in cost-cutting: robotized models

LVMH battles Google on search terms that bring up fakey-wakeys... Hongkongers, search for your A-faux's before it's too late!

If your second-runner-up title on Project Runway doesn't earn you the fame you desire, then attacking someone... (with a cat)... should do the trick

ETA: What an impeccable team-up. Nicole Richie as Lady Gaga in the impeccable Blackbook


iPhone Show & Tell: Fish Tycoon

You’d be surprised at how addicting this game it. The goal is simple, you have to breed different fishes to discover the 7 magic fishes of Isola. You start out with some fish eggs in your tank and you have to feed them and wait for them to grow big enough for you to sell to make money. At the same time, you want to research the environment (so that rarer fish can thrive), food (so you don’t have to feed as often) and advertising (so you can make more money off your fish). The beauty of the game is that it’s in real time, i.e. if the game is not on, the fish continue to grow and starve so the addiction factor comes in quickly as you don’t want your fish to die. This game has been around for ages (have played it on my Palm Pilot, on the PC, etc) but it’s still addicting for some odd reason. Try Fish Tycoon Lite for a free trial. Trust me, you will be hooked (no pun intended).


Zipper-dee-do-dah, zipper-dee-YAY!

I totally expected the whole zipper trend to explode after YSL and Phillip Lim both did interpretations of the zippers-as-ruffles architecture, but somehow the hard look of ‘80s shoulders and mini minis took over the genius of this hard-soft juxtaposition. Perhaps the concept was too limiting? Perhaps not, as these designers show.

It’s nice to know that I wasn’t the only one who took this whole zipper thing seriously. While some of her pieces take things a bit too far (cough, zipper flower brooch thingie, cough), Kate Cusack, whom I discovered via fashiontoast, has some killer jewellery interpretations, including a series of clean, stackable zipper cuffs and some very hypnotic necklaces, all available through her Etsy store.

And then, there is this creation, the zipper dress by Sebastian Errazuriz which can be worn any number of ways (just drape and unzip accordingly), including as a little top or skirt. It’s not in mass production yet as far as I can tell, but it SHOULD be.

To finish off (or zip up, if you will), Loubs and Choos, all zippered out.

Photos all come from their respective links.


SHOErotica: Haider Ackermann suede lace-up boots

In honour of the last couple of weeks that we should be wearing boots... from one of my new favourite discoveries, Haider Ackermann's spring 2009 boots. (Yes I know these are "Spring boots" but in my mind that is an oxymoron.) The close-ups don't do the boot justice, so here are some full-lengths from the runway that will prove how awesome these truly are.

Photos courtesy of Luisaviaroma.com and Style.com