I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been one of those people who go to the museums, pick up one of those audio guides and then wander off looking at pieces without listening to the tour. I think the only exception was when I went to the Chanel Mobile Art exhibition and afterwards, I still retraced my route to look at the pieces in my own pace and order. If, however, you are a fan of audio guides, then you should check out the Langham Place in Mongkok which is now offering their guests iPod tours of their Chinese contemporary art.
One little known fact: the hotel owns more than 1,500 pieces of contemporary Chinese art estimated to hold a value of more than HK$20 million. This collection is displayed throughout the entire hotel and the iPod tour highlights the hotel’s top 21 pieces from the ground level to the 41st floor. The free guide is narrated by Angela Li of Contemporary by Angela Li and is available in English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese. After the tour, you’ll receive a complimentary take-home petite box-set guide with image prints and written explanations in English and Traditional Chinese.
The tour is available seven days a week from 6:00am – 11:00pm.
For more information on Langham Place, Mongkok, Hong Kong visit http://hongkong.langhamplacehotels.com
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
A couple of years ago, I would never have dreamed that alongside the encyclopedia of celebrity names I keep in my head, fashion bloggers would be added to that database. But lo and behold, it's 2010 and bloggers are THE ones to watch -- so much so that at a Joyce event honouring Donatella Versace, I was starstruck to meet the great Susie Bubble... and didn't even bother staying to see or meet Madame Versace.
So it's a great honour to interview Jak & Jil's Tommy Ton, whose street-style blog is among the most popular in the world (wide web), so much so that Lane Crawford invited him to do their campaign and blog last year (and were nice enough to help hook up this interview). In this exclusive Q&A, we talk to Tommy about his experiences blogging, his fashion favourites and why Mario Testino left him high and dry front row at the D&G show last year.
Hong Kong Fashion Geek: How would you describe the content on your blog?
Tommy Ton: The content on my blog is pretty much all the photos I take during fashion month, and each day I post one to three photos from my month long excursion so that I can celebrate everyday as if were fashion week.
HKFG: How did you promote your blog initially?
TT: I only really told fellow blogger friends like Susie Bubble and Rumi Neely from Fashion Toast and it was word of mouth that really attracted new readers to my blog.
HKFG: When did you realize that you had become an online phenomenon?
TT: I'm only still realizing that to this day. I guess it really occurred to me when one of my personal twitter photos was reposted on Refinery 29 and I was surprised that someone found me fascinating.
HKFG: What other major industry attention have you received?
TT: Being acknowledged by big industry figures is all the attention I could ever want and need. Just the fact that Carine Roitfeld, Anna Dello Russo or even Anna Wintour knows about what I'm doing or who I am, that's just something I never thought I could achieve through a blog.
HKFG: What do you think you have gotten out of starting Jak & Jil?
TT: Respect and the encouragement to continue doing what I love to do.
HKFG: How much time do you invest in your blog?
TT: It basically takes over your life. You have to invest a great deal of time developing content that is newsworthy to your readers and then you have to edit what you post and monitor comments as well.
HKFG: What do you think has been the impact of the fashion blogger movement on the fashion industry?
TT: I think fashion blogging has certainly brought democracy in the industry. You don't have to work your way from the bottom to make it to the top. You just have make your voice heard and from there it's those who have a point of view that will stand out.
HKFG: One of your biggest commercial projects is the campaign you did with Lane Crawford earlier this year. How did that collaboration come about and why do you think they chose to use a blogger to represent their campaign? What has been the impact of that project on your own career?
TT: Well, in December of 2008 I received an email from Lane Crawford asking if I'd be interested in photographing their Spring/Summer 2009 campaign. I thought it was a joke because I didn't think anyone ever would ask me to photograph a campaign. Within a month, I was flown to Paris and we shot the campaign during couture fashion week. The team at Lane Crawford liked the aesthetic of my photos which I took during fashion month and they wanted to translate that into their campaign. In addition to shooting the campaign, I blogged directly from Milan and Paris. It was definitely my breakout moment and it certainly validated why I should continue blogging.
HKFG: You were also invited to sit front row and blog at the Dolce & Gabbana and D&G shows -- could you share a little bit about that experience? Your twitter also mentioned a little run-in with a photographer at the show -- would you mind sharing that story?
TT: It was definitely a surreal experience. I was already shocked when I was told beforehand that I would be sitting front row but I didn't anticipate the laptops or being seated one seat away from Anna Wintour. It definitely was a blogger power boost and it impacted my profile and I was more recognized more after that. At D&G, I was initially seated next to Mario Testino but I don't think he was keen on being seated next to the group of bloggers that were placed next to him. He left but he came back after he noticed he caused a stir and we spoke about his new website.
HKFG: What other big projects do you have lined up, going forward?
TT: Well, I have an ongoing partnership with Style.com and GQ.com. So I've basically become the official street style photographer of Conde Nast. I photographed my first feature for Vogue Paris which is in the February issue. I have a special appearance in a major fashion magazine coming up which I cannot discuss until it hits newsstands.
HKFG: What are your own favourite fashion blogs?
TT: JJJound, Fashionologie, Turned Out.
HKFG: Favourite designer?
TT: Phoebe Philo at the moment. I'm so excited that a woman's perspective in back in charge.
HKFG: Favourite item in your closet?
TT: At the moment it's a Raf Simons neoprene peacoat, which I got at Lane Crawford when I was in Hong Kong.
HKFG: Who is your style icon?
TT: Charlotte Gainsbourg and my friend Maya Villiger. They both wear clothes so effortlessly and make basics look so refreshing and modern.
HKFG: What is the best experience you've gained from blogging?
TT: Being able to contribute something to the industry that is impacting and inspiring to others.
Images: Jak & Jil, Tommy Ton portrait from Hanneli
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Okay, so I have a confession. I always sort of associated arts and crafts with sad old spinsters with 10 cats and too much time on their hands, or 12-year-olds on summer holiday with too much time on their hands, or creepy stalkers who spend time studying how to make homemade bombs and have too much time on their hands. You get the point. Luckily I have the perspective-broadening influence of FashionGeek to prove to me that you can sit at home and make jewellery while you watch Top Model or Project Runway without being a loser. At least that's my new POV and I'm sticking to it. And now, thanks to the experience-gift site Spoilt, I have now also converted to the church of scrapbooking.
As our first Spoilt experience, we elected to attend a scrapbooking workshop at Random Art Workshop in Causeway Bay (which, incidentally, carries Chic Infinity, jewellery designed by our very own FashionGeek). Frappucinos in hand, we stepped into the workshop with a stack of old photographs, and were quickly introduced to the myriad of materials and tools at our disposal. We both were sold on Tiffany-blue albums, and as you'll see below, FashionGeek got into the theme of the brand by adorning hers with keys.
We were left to our own devices for the next two hours to slice and dice papers, apply stamps and paper cut-outs, glue random shiny crap and otherwise use our imagination to create a pretty little photo album for ourselves. And goshdarnit, it takes TIME to do this. Who knew? By the end of two hours, we each had four or five pages of lively layouts. And a hunger to stay there all day and night to continue creating. But alas, real life awaits, and plus, RAW was hosting a bachelorette party, a Scrap 'n Strip, or Whorecratft, so to speak. We were, unfortunately, not invited, because if anything is funner than scrapbooking, it's scrapbooking while a fit-looking policeman entertains you with the bulge in his pants. What a genius idea.
Anyway, it's entirely likely now that we will be getting each other experience vouchers for another scrapbooking session from Spoilt, come next birthday. It's not just for weird losers with too much time on their hands, okay? Hit the site for this and other experience vouchers.
RIP white leather butterfly ankle-tie sandals (2002-2005)
Please forgive the unimaginative title dear readers. Am a bit brain dead and can’t come up with anything witty. Anyway, moving on, check out this unusual partnership. IFC’s H one partners with a Lebanese Chef for a special promotion during April 19-29. Guest Chef Zahi Azzi from Australia’s Kazbah Restaurant delights in creating authentic Moroccan, Middle Eastern and North African cuisine and apparently patrons in Oz make reservation bookings a month in advance. So with all this hype, what type of foods can we expect?
Chef Azzi’s signature dishes include:
- Baked Kataifi Prawns with Muhamara Sauce
- Whole Baked Baby Snapper with Pistachio and Samke Hara Sauce
- Lamb Shank Tagine with Carrots and Prunes
- Rice Pudding with Saffron Poached Pear and Crushed Hazelnuts
- Sweet Couscous with Rhubarb and Pashmak
These items and many other traditional Lebanese and Moroccan dishes are available in H one during Chef Azzi’s guest fortnight. If you get a chance to sample the dishes, do let us know your thoughts. Chef Azzi will be presenting both a la carte and a tasting menu throughout the promotion period. During this period, you can also expect to see belly dance performances from Monday to Saturday.
Advanced reservations are recommended. Please call (852) 2805-0638.
H one is at Shop 4008, Podium Level 4, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong.
Opening Hours :
Monday to Saturday - 12:00–14:30, 18:30–22:30
Sunday - 12:00–15:00, 18:30–22:30
Monday, March 29, 2010
Went to Domani's for their new weekend semi-buffet, which includes antipasti and dessert buffets and a main course for $350-$450, with an add-on $200 for free-flow, prosecco, red, white, beer and juice. I don't have much to say, because I already wrote 1000 words on it for a six-page spread which will appear in the magazine I work for. If you want the eloquent and properly written review, pick that up instead. Here, I'll just say... it's good, really good. The tagliatelle and grilled shrimp we opted for were awesomeness. And the strawberry mousse thing: Yum. Go and sit for four hours on the terrace, and really get your money's worth on beverages.
Proper food porn after the cut.
Friday, March 26, 2010
We don't typically do post-event updates because it sort of infringes on what I do in my day job, but I love those Rupert Sanderson guys so much I'll make an exception. We live-tweeted from the On Lan Street store opening of Rupert Sanderson last night, which was hopping in spite of events held at the same time by Bally, Juicy Couture, Guess, Stella McCartney (not to mention the Twestival). Within 30 minutes the shop was heaving with a veritable parade of Sanderson shoes on lithe-limbed babes, and quite a few fashion-savvy gents, too. I'd had breakfast with Sanderson as I mentioned earlier, but instead of asking him deep and meaningful questions about his inspiration and whatnot, I regaled him with tales of how my mattress very nearly didn't make it into my apartment due to the limitations of the staircase and elevator ("PIVOTTTT"). Are you bored with this story? I'm sure he was too, but then later that evening I somehow ended up sharing with him the fact that you can view the entire eight-day journey on the Trans Siberian Railway via youtube/Google Earth. And offered to send him the site. To which he stuttered: "Er, I'm sure I can Google it..."
Anywhoo, by the end of the event, even my normally heel-happy feet couldn't stand much longer. I still remember having coffee with owners Bertrand and Teresa when they told me, "We're going to buy pots now," prompting me to wonder whether launching a luxury brand had driven them to drugs. But of course, it's "pots" they meant, quite literally, and on departure from the event, we were all given pots of daffodils, because the shoes are all named after daffodil breeds (yep, even the ones like "Defender" and "Asteroid"). And then it was over. Now, go buy some shoes. Who cares about rugby?
Andrew, the RS sales director from the UK; Teresa and Bertrand who brought the brand to Hong Kong, and Mister Sanderson himself
There was a lot of Sanderson to be spotted...
Continuing from yesterday’s post about combating the dust that’s swept over Hong Kong this week, besides cleansing products, it’s also essential that you rejuvenate the skin that’s been damaged. Facials, masks, exfoliators etc are all great tools that you should utilise. A few suggestions after the cut.
La Mer Refining Facial
Talk about the ultimate exfoliator. The Refining Facial contains pure diamond powder to create a luxurious and extra-gentle skin exfoliator unlike any other. Combine that with fermented organic sea matter to soften the skin and gently lift away dry, surface cells and you get diamond powder and polished sea quarts as physical exfoliants while sea minerals as the nutrients to your skin.
Chantecaille Detox Clay Mask
This Detox Clay Mask from Chantecaille contains rosemary and honey which detoxifies and purifies the skin while soothing and softening the skin at the same time. Other key benefits include renewal of cells, tightening of pores and regulating the PH balance.
Retail Price: $790
SUKIN Purifying Facial Masque
Sukin Organics is the perfect brand for the budget conscious. Their Purifying Facial Masque includes rich clays such as kaolin to absorb toxins and impurities and refine the skin. It also contains aloe vera and rose hip to soothe the skin, leaving it radiantly refreshed and nurtured.
HK$85 / 100ml
Image: Getty Images
Thursday, March 25, 2010
In honour of the Rupert Sanderson store opening in Hong Kong today at On Lan Street, here are my new precious babies. Love. (Thanks B&T!) It's the first standalone store you'll find outside of the UK, so this is big news. I'm off to brekkie now with Monsieur Sanderson himself, so expect nice tidbits throughout the day... @hkFashionGeek and I will be live-tweeting at the opening event tonight so make sure to follow us... (except I'm now at @cko01, my @hkshoegeek account got too overwhelming... sorry for the confusion).
Air pollution is obviously a hot topic of discussion what with the over the roof pollution index on Monday morning. In addition to the various health concerns, I also have a more superficial concern; clogged pores. Air pollution ages skin prematurely and if pollutants stay on the skin for a long period of time, it will increase the oxidation of sebum, creates pimples, rashes and allergies in addition to skin dehydration. So what can you do to combat the dust? Check out a few of our recommendations:
Bulgari Radiance Cleansing Milk
Enriched with soothing extract of rose and bisabolol, the Bulgari Radiance Cleansing Milk is a cleansing lotion which delicately removes all traces of make-up and impurities, leaving the skin soft and radiant. Contains the Bulgari Gem Essence which we covered in a previous post.
MTM Custom-blended Massage Cleanser
This cleanser is a professional homecare treatment utilising deep cleansing and massages procedures to awaken the self-cleansing power of skin. It will accelerate skin metabolism and remove dead skin and pore-clogging impurities while simultaneously strengthening the self-cleansing mechanism of skin cells and prevents pore congestion.
Shu Uemura Pore Clarifying Foaming Cleansing Water
Get a more refined and smooth skin with Shu Uemura’s self-foaming cleansing water. Enriched with the purity of the water lily which is known for it’s anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties, this cleanser is recommended for people who prefer the texture of light airy foam in the morning and in the evening after using a cleansing oil.
IPSA Time Reset Skin Smoother
This beauty essence is designed for topical application to reduce the oiliness of skin while smoothening the skin's texture. Two options are available; a powder-gel essence that prevents built-up oil and makeup deterioration while treating enlarged pores or a milk essence that softens the skin texture while treating enlarged pores and smoothening the skin.
These products will launch in HK next week
Check back in tomorrow for part 2 of this article. What to do after cleansing.
Top Image: Getty Images
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
It's cool that FashionGeek works in PR now, because then she can take me to "PR dinners" which are essentially extended disco mixes of our usual gossip lunches. A couple of weeks ago, she escorted me to Aqua to test out (er, pig out on) the new menu designed by their new chef and maitre'D. Excuse my ridiculously bad iPhone photos below. We ordered one of everything on the menu... and pretty much finished it all. Muahaha.
Aqua is one of those places that you go when you have friends in town. It's trendy and happening and has a kick-ass view and pretty decent food and crazy funky cocktails, so your out-of-towners think that you might be some sort of Hong Kong version of Carrie Bradshaw. (When really all you do is watch re-runs of Friends all day long and walk the dog five times a day.) If this sounds a little like you, then here's a guide to the best dishes so you can act like you know what's good.
Foie gras is always a favourite, and paired with shrimp and balsamic-anointed strawberries, it's even better. The scallops were also cooked well. For the mains, I think the pasta trumped secondi dishes. You've heard me rave about Aqua's desserts before... and I took full advantage of FashionGeek's limited stomach capacity when the sweet stuff arrived this time, I think I cleared 3/4 of that dessert platter on my own.