With CNY coming up, Bally is trying to convince you that instead of red packets, everyone should be giving out Bally gift cards instead. The concept is pretty straightforward, it's more the marketing angle that needs work. The beauty of the gift card is that it allows the recipient more freedom to choose what he/she wants -- to give a gift card instead of a red packet, aka cash, is, to a certain extent, taking away that freedom.
Also, given that the cash denominations usually received in lai see packets aren't usually that high, (I personally haven't even received anything more that HK$1000, and that number was only reached due to the generosity of my own parents) that also inevitably means that you'd have to shell out your own dollar dollar bills to actually buy anything worth more than $1000 at the Bally counter (which, let's face it, is everything in the store). The gift cards are available at HK$500 (ha! useless!) to HK$30,000 at any Bally boutique.
In the meantime, check out German actor-director-producer Til Schweiger in their latest ad campaign. Schwing! Yes, I know that's a gender-inappropriate reference. But he is pretty.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Tszuji.co.uk, an online website that sells shoe storage systems have come up with the research to support our shoe buying habits. Conducting a survey with their customers, women were asked about their feelings towards their footwear, and what they could remember about their shoes compared to their relationships. Findings include:
92% of women remember the first shoes they bought with their own money, while only 63% recalled the name of their first kiss.
96% of women regret throwing away a pair of shoes, while only 15% regret dumping a boyfriend.
So what does that mean? Has Sex and the City ruined romance for everyone or is our desire for fashion greater than for love? Or simply that we have become cynics who don't believe in love. What's the answer? I don't' know. It's been a long day at work and I need to get me a drink.And maybe shop online for that perfect pair of shoes. After all, they're much easier to find than Mr Right.
PS Image stolen from Google images of Tamara Mellon and her shoes
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I've never been a big fan of poetry yet but for one of my majors when I was doing my Bachelor's degree, I decided to do Creative Writing with a focus on short fiction and poetry. To my immense surprise, I found poetry really enjoyable and in fact fell in love with quite a number of poets. My all time favourite is still Pablo Neruda The Book of Questions while ShoeGeek proclaims a love for Nikki Giovanni.
Having been back in Hong Kong for a number of years, I've never managed to make my way to the Outloud Poetry events. Outloud has been going on for about ten years at the Fringe Club but in 2010, it will be moving to a new location due to the refurbishment of the Fringe building. Where will it be going to? The Bostonian Restaurant at The Langham, Hong Kong. Entry to the event is free of charge. What with the new year, new venue, maybe it's time to finally check it out.
Event Details at a glance:
OutLoud at The Bostonian in The Langham, Hong Kong
February 3, 2010
8pm until 10pm
Free entry for all, first come, first served basis.
For more information contact: 2375 1133
The stylish woman's uniform is pretty simple: skinny jeans, black blazer with rolled-up sleeves, loose T-shirt that hits at the hips, you know the look. A hundred million women own these staples, but no two have the same collection of T-shirts, I'll guarantee you that. The T-shirt is where every human expresses him or herself, sending a message about what he or she is all about. Are you wearing the Nike logo-sperm hybrid that reads "Just do it"? Yeah, you're funny, we get it. The solid fitted tee emblazoned with a brand logo like Versace or Dior? Yeah, you're rich, we get it.
Me, I like shirts with faces. I'm not sure what that says about me, maybe I'm afraid to face people so I have to stare them down using my torso, or maybe I just relish the idea of being a walking totem pole. Whatever the reason, it's my fetish, so it was a pleasant surprise to receive a package of product samples from the Tshirt Store in Sweden, on the occasion of its opening up a branch in Hong Kong just before Christmas.
Two different faces were included; a mean little boy whose expression mirrors one I make at my dog when she's been bad, and a clown face that would probably suit someone a little younger than me. As for the first one, it was like I had found a younger brother for the bitchy-looking babe shirt I got in Taiwan last year: here's the sibling's shot:
At first, the boy really scared me, but then I kind of liked the idea of him staring ominously from a door crack, so I hid him mostly under a white short-sleeved blazer so only his eyes peeked out. Because the tee is this perfect long length, I just threw on leggings, cowboy boots and my typical smattering of ridiculous gold and back accessories, and was out the door.
We were a bit skeptical about the quality when we first received the shirts, but I found them soft and comfortable, especially if you prefer a looser sleeve but a fitted body. Now I kind of really want to order more friendly faces, or take a trip out to Nathan Road to check out the shop. The "fox in disguise" shirt really appeals to me, for obvious reasons to anyone who knows me.
Of course there are other shirts that don't involve the child star of a horror movie, as well as some calculator watches that I am digging; you can find the whole selection either at the online store or at iSquare: Tshirt Store, Shop 402, iSquare, 63 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Tel: 852 2682 3687.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
We've always thought being a geek is pretty sexy and now we are getting affirmation for our beliefs. The creators behind the iconic Barbie doll is asking us to vote for her next career and Mattel is fully on board with geekiness being the next big thing. Since her debut in 1959, Barbie has had over 120 careers. She's been an astronaut, a pilot, a rock star, and a veterinarian. And for the first time, Barbie can indulge in her techie side and become a computer engineer. Cast your vote here.
Through an extremely circuitous route, us Geeks ended up being invited to Liberty Private Works to trial the omakase menu prepared by chef Makoto Ono, who is one of our favourite chefs ever. We had had the privilege to try his food twice before, once at a private dinner held at Prive and another when he was guest-cheffing at Dakota Prime, and I distinctly remember thinking, the first time I tried his food, that his was the best meal I had had all year. Bear in mind, too, that besides being a dedicated glutton, I also cover the Dining section for a luxury lifestyle publication, so I do have a little bit of frame of comparison. I don't mean to show off, I mean to say (in a circuitous way) that this guy is really damn good.
Liberty Private Works lives up to its name by being as private as possible. Despite its having opened in July of last year, we were the first so-called media people to be invited to dine there (we are SO lucky, I know) and it's located on the third floor of a random building on Wellington Street, with no elevator, so it's for those "in the know" only. That said, when we arrived at slightly after 8pm, the long bar table was full.
The restaurant seats around 10 people along a long bar table facing the open kitchen, where Makoto and two other chefs busy themselves preparing your dinner. The menu changes on a nightly basis, but generally varies on a theme, with an amuse bouche, a raw fish appetizer, soup, meat, seafood and a dessert. There's a blackboard in the back which lists the courses and ingredients involved, sort of like in the Mandarin Oriental's Krug Room but without the crossword puzzle element.
Since we were late, (sale at JDC, $200 boots, you know the story...) the spicy chips and amuse bouche (an ostrich skewer thing) were served immediately, and promptly devoured. What I think Makoto is best at is getting the right textures -- the ostrich wasn't overcooked so it was still juicy, but not so raw that you spend forever and a day chewing, or can't pull the meat off the skewer.
Next up was a Kampachi appetizer, which looked kind of fishy but tasted really tangy and refreshing. You sometimes wonder what the point is of flavouring and garnishing raw fish, when it tastes so good on its own or just with soy sauce and wasabi, but I think Nobu proved that a little marinade never hurt anybody. And the Makoto took it to the next level with grapefruits and ponzu jelly, using a strong citrus to counter the fish.
The downside to dinner here is maybe that there's sometimes a lot of ingredients going on, it gets pretty filling halfway through. Sweet potato veloute with rabbit ravioli and 16 other ingredients I didn't quite catch, was a pretty heavy soup considering we hadn't even hit the main course. I did, however, love the soup (sweet potato soups are so sweet and creamy) and the contrast between the crunchy veggies, the sweet soup and the savoury ravioli.
FashionGeek and I were deeply engrossed in conversation when my eye caught 10 pieces of salmon pass me in a baking pan. "Groan..." I thought, roasted salmon. Roasted salmon is the most ridiculous proposition, in my mind, because it robs the fish of its moisture, and NOTHING is worse than dry salmon. That's why we pan-fry ours so we can watch it and remove it from heat as soon as it reaches the desired pink-itude. It wasn't promising when the plated fare arrived, browned on top in a small pool of brothy sauce. But OH. LORD. When I took the first bite I stopped mid conversation and squealed "Oh my god" to FashionGeek. I'm not in the habit of doing the in-public orgasm face but I swear, this salmon is better than sex, or maybe I just haven't had the privilege of having really good sex, because I'd give everything up -- sex, dog, child, shoe closet -- for more of this salmon.
By the time the beef arrived I was pretty darn full, having cleaned all my plates beforehand, but I do recall it being serviceably soft with good sauce and accompaniments. I do remember that at the Prive dinner we attended, Makoto served a saga beef with manga salsa that took my breath away, so maybe this time I was just busy relishing the afterthought of that salmon.
Before dessert, a palate cleanser of cranberry-sangria ice and jelly was served, which kind of took a bit of the fullness out of my stomach. The dessert was pistachio and caramel cake -- admittedly, not bad at all, but not of the same outstanding quality as the rest.
It must also be said that another perk of the dinner is to sit at the bar table and watch the chefs in action. Firstly, because it's always cool to pick up tips and watch food being prepared. Secondly, because Makoto is something of a hottie, especially if you like the tattooed bad boy type, the kind who drives a rice rocket and has squinty eyes. The Geeks both agreed that we would marry him instantly if asked, in particular if he cooked for us every night, so perhaps that's all the endorsement you need.
Liberty Private Works is at 3/F, 12 Wellington Street. The omakase menu is around $500-600 I believe, and worth every penny. Tel: 852 5186 3282.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Okay now there's actually a fashion-related angle to this whole Robert Downey Jr gushfest, courtesy of Cole Haan. You don't hear that brand name mentioned too often in relation to the red carpet, probably because Cole Haan is known more for comfortable basic shoes you wear to the office if you have to take the MTR. They're comfy but not the sexiest thing you've owned, by far. Surprisingly, Cole Haan made an appearance at the Golden Globes, and beyond that, made a pretty loud statement when it came to Monsieur Downey Jr, who wore a pair of combat-boot-inspired dress shoes to pick up his award for Best Actor in Sherlock Holmes.
The gents I've seen in formal attire tend to default to shiny oxford wingtip type shoes, so it's refreshing to see RDJ rough it up a bit in accordance with his personal style. From the full-length shot, he seems no different from any oxford-sporting male, but I bet when he sat down that boot collar peeked right out of the bottom of his pant leg. (Well, that is, if he'd had his tux trousers properly hemmed.) Straight boys, take notes -- You can mix up your shoe choices beyond the typical black or brown lace-ups.
The particular shoe in question we are seeing on Mr Downey Jr is the Cole, Rood & Haan Bearcat Boot, which is part of Cole Haan's new handmade shoe line that's a bit more rough around the edges than the brand's regular fare, and is inspired by vintage designs (what isn't these days), in particular the "classic and dangerous leading men of the infamous Jazz revolution era," or so says the press release. The Bearcat retails for HK$4,150.
By now I'm sure you've all heard about the NBC drama that has ensued since the powers that be decided to give Leno back his old spot and move O'Brien to a later spot. I've been following the story quite a bit (rooting for O'Brien I must admit). He just had his last show last Friday and I must say that his antics have gotten more and more amusing throughout his last week. I have nothing more witty to add but because it's Monday morning and we all have to work again, I decided to showcase my favourite part of his farewell programme (where he blows through as much of the NBC budget as he can in one week) in order to give us all a chuckle.
Friday, January 22, 2010
It's never really bothered me that Robert Downey Jr was a bad-ass, except in the sense that being in jail or on probation or coked out or whatever prevented him from making movies and TV shows. His presence onscreen makes everything better, and he is in my humble opinion the only man who can carry the suffix "Junior" and still retain an aura of coolness. Not to mention the fact that he is the hotness. There's not really a point to this post except to say that, and that I'm glad that he won the Golden Globe, and please can I have his babies?
Women are never satisfied. Only three wears in to my amazing ASOS motorcycle gloves, and I'm already sweatin' these amazing American Retro over-the-elbow fingerless gloves. And I'll be needing a kick-ass pair of over-the-knee boots to go along with them for the mummified look.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Nuh-uh they didn't! The Olsen sisters borrow that red sole to put on their adorable Rizzo booties with an impressive metal pin heel. If you ask me, they didn't even need it.
Get them at Shopbop.
Shu Uemura will be launching the rouge unlimited supreme shine on Feb 1st in Hong Kong. Boasting of "the ultimate fusion of pure, high fidelity colour supported by the brand’s signature hybrid pigment technology. The new lipstick provides infinitely a deep, dewy shine. The breakthrough formula amplifies colour and magnifies shine with two revolutionary ingredients of film keeping capsules and ultra shine oil for a deep moisture feeling that glides over lips like dew." Whether or not that's true remains to be seen but the girl in the image does have unbelievably shiny lips. I'd be interested in seeing whether or not the texture of the rouge is sticky. Much along the lines of lip gloss, anything shiny tends to be rather sticky. Fingers crossed that Shu Uemura will have solved that problem.
Available Feb 1 2010 priced at HK$195
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
We promised you free stuff and you're getting free stuff -- next up in our lineup of giveaways is a Chinese New Year treat, an abalone and turnip pudding with air-dried meats (okay I'm sure it tastes better than the name implies) worth $288. Obviously these things have expiration dates, so instead of the actual pudding you'll be receiving a coupon to pick it up from the Four Seasons Hong Kong in IFC, Central. We don't have a pic, unfortunately, but it's a three-Michelin-starred pudding, you really can't go wrong, here's a shot of Lung King Heen's dim sum turnip pudding, stolen from FoodNut.com
As usual, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Four Seasons giveaway" and we will use a random number generator to decide on the winner. You have a week to enter, and you can have an extra entry if you RT on twitter (@hkfashiongeek or @hkshoegeek so we know), or join our Facebook fan page (sorry, new fans only, just let us know by email if you've joined). The contest is open to Hong Kong residents only.
Much like any typical girl, I like reading romance novels but Harlequin books are such cheesy romance novels with standardised plots that I imagine the creative process is kind of like magnetic poetry where the powers that be shuffle plot aspects around, choose some with closed eyes and some poor writer has to churn out the story. Now they are expanding out of their zone into the world of gaming. Yes you read right, Harlequin romance novels will be transformed into online games for your pleasure.
Harlequin has teamed up with casual gaming developer Big Fish to give you a game called Harlequin Presents: Hidden Object of Desire. Of course, my mind immediately goes to the gutter and simply on the name alone I can go one for quite a while so I am going to refrain from that. Let's talk about the premise of the game instead.
"Allie`s on a quest to find some breaking news in the Kingdom of Adamas, but must now choose between her friend`s well-being and true love! The bachelor Prince of Aristo is the most enchanting man she has ever met, but she must fend off his charming advances long enough to figure out what is going on. Help Allie find valuable clues in Harlequin Presents: Hidden Object of Desire, an exciting Hidden Object game."
Oh my, having to choose between a friend and true love where the lover is a bachelor prince. My pity goes out to the copywriter who had to write the content of the game. The game is all yours for US$6.99 and can be downloaded here.
Trust my brother the gummy-bear aficionado to find this: the world's largest gummy bear, the equivalent of 1,400 regular-sized gummy bears. If you can pack this down in one sitting, that means you'll have consumed 12,600 calories -- not recommended for children or Welsh Corgis. It's fairly economical too, at US$29.95 for this 5-lb beast.
The website description probably puts it best:
"The World's Largest Gummy Bear is the lion of the candy world. There is no candy more magnificent or more powerful. This five-pound beast is the equivalent of 1,400 regular sized gummy bears and packs a whopping 12,600 calories. Its monstrous size is only matched by its enormous taste. The World's Largest Gummy Bear tastes just as delicious as its pint-sized counterpart. Available in several flavors: blue raspberry, red cherry, green apple, and orange. Hand-made in the USA."
The infomercial is a must-watch.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
There's no reason not to look cute even if you're in the kitchen. Check out these adorable Dreamy Aprons from Neiman Marcus. I could totally see ShoeGeek rocking the half version as a skirt (I'm not so much of a ruffles girl but can still appreciate their cuteness factor.) The only annoying about Neiman Marcus is that you can't order online. Or rather, in order for them to ship internationally, you have to call them to place an order. However, I'm hoping that by posting this up, some Chinese manufacturer will stumble upon this site, make it and sell them in HK. (Psst, if this happens, be sure to email me!)
In the meantime, get it here.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Here's a little eye candy for the girls to pick up their Monday blues. Cristiano Ronaldo in ads for Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani Jeans. Truth be told, I'm not much of a soccer fan except for the World Cup which has a particular place in my heart but who doesn't support hot sexy footballers in provocative ad campaigns? You know you want to click the read more link to see the rest!
I've been wearing the style for years, but for some reason Uggs only really hit Hong Kong last year, about 17 years after they were deemed fashion faux pas by the the fashion powers that be. (Don't believe me? Watch Ann in Cycle 3 of Top Model get berated in the personal style challenge for this offense -- and we're on what, Cycle 12 now? Not that ANTM is an accurate fashion barometer, but anyway.) I always thought it was because the city doesn't get cold enough, but wham bam, now Uggs and their various knockoffs are all over the city. I was finally able to trade up from my Ugg lookalikes (all I could find back then) to the real deal.
RIGHT after I traded up, I discovered Koolaburra, another sheepskin boot purveyor that's doing even cooler plush shoes, embellished with studs and fringe and other edgy little details to make a ShoeGeek squeal. Um, he-LLO, do we see the snake boots that are like the long-lost mother of my snake ring posted here? Little orphan snakey needs her MOMMY!
Get them at Koolaburra.com or call +852 9199 7828 which is meant to be a local retailer, Posh Camp.