Rarely do I turn to local celebrities for styling inspiration, but while I was cleaning my desk and figuring out what was actually on the 300 CD-ROMs stacked around the place, I came across Wyman Wong at a Versace dinner wearing a rather subdued ensemble (by Hong Kong standards) of a typical tuxedo, turned tough with super studded loafers and a series of chunky metal chains that act as a cummerbund (you may need to click the image to see it closer). Love it when classic meets gangster, and this look goes perfectly with the image of him in First Love Unlimited (aka 初戀無限Touch) threatening the other boy in the park: "lei la salle?" Maybe that's an esoteric reference that only teens of the '90s will get, but the look, I suppose, is universal.
Friday, April 30, 2010
What’s the best vodka to have in your cosmo? Sex and the City would like you to know that it’s Skyy Vodka. The latest brand to buy into the SATC 2 hype, Skyy Vodka is releasing a limited edition bottle designed by Sex and the City costume designer Patricia Field. Patricia has also been cast in the role of spokesperson. Expect to see Skyy Vodka mentioned in the movie and strategically placed in scenes when it opens end of May.
So what to do before the movie opens? Among the tie-ins are drinks made with Skyy to be served at Houlihan’s restaurants and named after characters like Carrie, Samantha and Mr. Big. I've taken the liberty of finding the recipe of the Carrie drink for you to try out at home. Details after the cut.
The Carrie Drink
* 2 ounces Skyy vodka
* 1 ounce X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
* 2 ounces cranberry juice
* 3/4 ounce sparkling apple cider
Shake Skyy, X-Rated and cranberry with ice and strain into chilled martini glass. Top with cider and garnish with a thin apple slice.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I’ve never been a tea drinker. I’d regularly consume lai cha and lemon tea but only because I associate that more with the Chinese cha chan teng culture. Whenever someone says they are having a cup of tea, I automatically envision this British lady that goes “daaahhhhling, you must have a cup of tea’ complete with the petticoats and umbrella. So imagine the surprise of my family to see me becoming an addict to Aveda’s Comforting Tea. For the past month, all I’ve been doing is drinking tea at work, drinking tea at home and no, while tea gives some people the trots, it doesn’t have that effect on me. (Extra points for you if you can identify that reference. @Cnostaw and ShoeGeek can’t participate.)
Now just how comforting Aveda’s Comforting Tea is, I can’t say but it tastes darn good. This I find very bizarre because the tea is a herbal infusion of licorice root and peppermint and I HATE the taste of licorice. So I have no idea why I love this so much. But it’s definitely very soothing, slightly sweet and has this minty aftertaste. You can get the tea loose in a bottle or in teabags. The bottle is definitely the more cost-effective option of the two as it’s about HK$270 for a bottle and HK$210 for 20 teabags.
Available at Aveda Counters at Lane Crawford.
Images: Google images and Aveda
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
It's not a dream, these T-shirts really exist. I would live in these. And funny enough, it was when I was trying to figure out their shipping policies that I discovered the shopping-site service Big Cartel, which I am hoping will lead me to more Etsy-type goodness, but with prettier layouts. If not, so be it, I shall get my shopping rocks off elsewhere. In the meantime, I will embark on a weekend DIY project to replicate the stark, sophisticated and cerebral slicework at play in these tees.
This post is more for our oversea readers who don’t have the option of customizing shoes the way we do in Hong Kong. I’ve recently stumbled upon Shoes of Prey an Australian website that created bespoke shoes. Launched in Oct of last year, Shoes of Prey offers a range of designs for you to customize with various materials such as calfskin, python, fishskin or silk in a wide range of colours.
The actual ‘design’ process is rather primitive, very similar to painting an image using MS Paint. And while it may seem like there aren’t too many designs to choose from, apparently the current range offers more than 3 trillion combinations including flats and heel heights from a comfy 2 inch heel to the 4.5 inch heel. I hear they will be starting to do boots as well which will give the offerings an even larger range. It’s a bit on the pricey side at US$180 for ballet flats; US$230 for 1½ to 3½ inch heels and US$280 for 4 to 4½ inch heels. (You can easily get customize shoes at Island Beverly for about US$60.) Shoes of Prey do guarantee a full money return if you don’t like the shoes and if the fit is a bit off, they will pay for your shoes to be fixed in your city or make you a new pair. So for all you readers who don’t live in Hong Kong, it might be worth checking out this site if you are looking to create a pair of bespoke shoes.
PS. Yes I’m obviously still listening to Madonna
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
My regular pilgrimage to Nasty Gal uncovered this dress... at first I only saw the top half, and thought to myself, "super cute!" Only to discover crazy handprints all over the body. But it's kind of growing on me for some reason, with its nostalgic throwback to the 80s or 90s -- not in silhouette, although the sheer bit and skintight fit are very 80s indeed -- but because every child of that era grew up with a Hypercolor T-shirt, and was ergo victimized by fawning compatriots attempting to brand the garment with a handprint. That probably wouldn't fly nowadays with sexual harassment suits and pedophilia and whatnot. If you think about it, the whole concept of Hypercolor was kind of... er... whack, to begin with (to borrow decade-appropriate slang). It's all fun and games until you have two glowing patches under your armpits, or worse yet... around the crotch.
But if that's your schtick, and you don't want to scour eBay for used Hypercolor tees, then maybe a handprint on the ass is your next best bet. A little Dree Hemingway styling never hurt either.
I’m on a bit of a Madonna kick right thanks to the awesome episode of Glee last week and it has continued on this week when I saw that Madonna is now venturing into eyewear design. Come next month, you’ll see the first of six styles for a new capsule collection designed by Madonna for Dolce&Gabbana. Naturally Madonna will be the face of the MDG ad campaign shot by Steven Klein. Check out more of the gorgeous images and the actual sunglasses after the cut.
Monday, April 26, 2010
This limited edition Fendi Mezzo Punto Baguette combines my love for crafts with my love for bags. And it's better than the first iteration where you draw your designs as cross-stitching a pattern is infinitely easier than drawing something pretty.
If you've ever travelled to the Royal Garden's Greenery for the dinner buffet, or if you've even walked past it while dining at one of the other outlets, you'll know what kind of scene to expect there. It's a madhouse of typical Hongkongers jostling and vying for the last lobster thermidor, applying that most mannerly of etiquette -- by which I mean hovering by the empty lobster tray, poised ready to spring, empty plate in hand, when the crustaceans appear from the kitchen doorway... Then again, I wouldn't have it any other way. What you find annoying now when you return lobster-less to your table is endearing when overseas, you can instantly recognize any Hong Kong hometown-er by the way they tackle a buffet line.
But will they apply the same stealth and dedication to the Hot 'n Spicy buffet special at the Greenery now? At HK$443-473 a head, you can feast on grilled king prawns with seared US 1855 beef (per person), poached seafood, stir-fried crab with black pepper sauce, stir-fried eel with Szechuan pepper, beef Rendang, as well as counters purveying Japanese robatayaki, Indian delicacies, Malaysian satay and delicious seafood. In keeping with the spicy sensations, desserts will include curry lemon cream caramel, peppered chocolate cream with marinated strawberry and ginger flavoured panna cotta. Make your reservations at (852) 2733 2030.
Friday, April 23, 2010
I'm off in Phuket right now so this will have to be a short one, but the hot weather and vivid flowers at this resort have me in a floral mood. If I still had hair, you can bet I'd be destroying some natural lifespans by picking these babies and garnishing my tresses. I'll have to wait till I'm back in Hong Kong, with access to my full closet and all my bits and baubles, to bust out the oversized flower headbands I picked up last year. In the meantime though, a gal can dream, and dream I will, about these gorgeous garlands on offer from Garden of Whimsy on Etsy. Now if only I had luscious, flaming red hair as a canvas for this creations... but nope, I'm not dyeing my hair again. Made that mistake, and after being a Chinese blonde girl, I'm not going back.
At the time of writing, it’s a gloomy day where the sky is gray and my tea is cold and I‘m reminded of this storytelling card game called Gloom. The game has been around for a while but it’s so wonderfully twisted that I felt the need to spread the gospel of Gloom a little further by sharing it with you my dear readers.
So the premise: “The world of Gloom is a sad and benighted place. The sky is gray, the tea is cold, and a new tragedy lies around every corner. Debt, disease, heartache, and packs of rabid flesh-eating mice -- just when it seems like things can't get any worse, they do.”
Depressing right? Designed for 2 to 4 players, the game puts you in control of the fate of an eccentric family. The goal of the game is simple. You want this family to suffer the greatest tragedies before allowing them to die. You'll inflict them with mishaps like was beaten by beggars or was pursued by poodles to lower their self-worth, while cheering your opponents' families with marriages and other happy occasions. The player with the lowest total Family Value wins.
Where does the story telling come in? For example, Mister Giggles, the demented clown can be driven to drink but was popular in parliament then beaten by beggars only to be devoured by the weasels. So the rules suggest you take this opportunity to tell stories as you play cards, for example explaining how after Mister Giggles was driven to drink by the death of his porcupine, he ran for parliament in a drunken fit only to find his bill unpopular by beggars so they set weasels onto him.
The artwork of the cards is all produced in the etching style of Edward Gorey by Scott Reeves, which is pretty evocative of the mood of the game. The beauty not only lies in the premise but rather in the snarky copy written on each card. For example, if your character was mocked by midgets the side comment is “it’s the little things that hurt the most.”
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find this game in Hong Kong but you can always buy it online here.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Yes guys, I know, it’s a rather unimaginative title but forgive me as I’m uninspired. There have been a slew of new perfumes coming out lately and today we’re going to highlight some of the ones that have made its way into my inbox. Note how most of them are inspired by Spring, the sun, flowers and happy thoughts, all of which Hong Kong is sadly lacking at the moment.
Yves Saint Laurent Opium
Hailed as YSL’s masterpiece, this scene opens on a wave of mandarin and bergamot to reveal a middle note of jasmine and carnation. The bottom note highlights vanilla, amber and patchouli.
Price: HK$550/ 50ml
Available at Yves Saint Laurent counters on 26th April 2010
Burberry Summer Limited Edition 2010
For both men and women, the Burberry summer fragrance aims to capture a relaxed, elegant and bright mood. The ladies can expect a top note of blackcurrants, pomegranate with citrus freshness of mandarin and white peach, middle note of freesia, honeysuckle, lily of the valley and white rose and a base note of cedarwood, sandalwood and musks. The guys gets a top note of yuzu leaves and mandarin, middle of mint, juniper berries and thyme and the same base note of cedarwood, sandalwood and musks.
Price: HK$520/ 100ml for the women’s fragrance
HK$445/ 100ml for the men’s fragrance
Available at Burberry counters on 14th April 2010
Carolina Herrera CH Garden Party Limited Edition
The CH Garden Party Limited Edition fragrance is inspired by the sensations evoked by the first sunny day after winter. The scent contains top notes of citrus fruits, middle notes of jasmine and rose petals and base notes of sandalwood and cedar.
Price：HK$760 / 100ml
Available at Carolina Herrera counters in April 2010
Paul Smith Sunshine Edition 2010
Another option for those couples who like to wear matching scents. The Paul Smith Sunshine Edition 2010 epitomises those first rays of sunshine signaling the long-awaited arrival of Spring (or so the press release claims). The guys get a top note of coriander leaves, grapefruit and black pepper with coriander seeds, nutmeg and starfruit for the middle note and a bottom-note of incense, moss and cedarwood. The ladies version opens on a zingy accord of citrus before turning flora with jasmine, white peony and bulgarian rose. Bottom notes of musk and sandalwood completes the scent.
Price: HK$478/ 100ml for the women’s fragrance
HK$405/ 100ml for the men’s fragrance
Available at Paul Smith counters April 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
So the iPad is finally out and the early adopters are all eager to test it. Personally, I haven’t decided if I’m pro or against the iPad. What I am interested in knowing is how businesses will take marketing forward using new technology. (Must be the PR Geek in me.) Earlier, I wrote about how the Langham Hotel was offering guests an iPod guided tour to their Chinese contemporary art which the hotel boasts as being the first in the world. Hot on the heels of this comes the news of InterContinental Hong Kong equipping its Concierge teams with iPads.
I’d be interested in seeing how the InterContinental will utilise the iPad’s functionality to compliment guests’ experiences. One question I have would be with regards to mobility. After all, a key selling point of the iPad is the fact that you can take it wherever you go much like a netbook. If the iPad is stationed at a concierge desk much like any desktop or laptop, what would be the point? (Besides the cool factor of being the first to utilize the iPad and generating buzz about it.)
Thankfully, the InterContinental realizes that and won’t be underutilizing the iPad’s functionality. They’ve already downloaded a ton of apps for the iPad such as the Hong Kong 720º by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. In addition, videos of the concierge team’s top local recommendations will loaded onto the gadget as well. Of course, it’s early days yet and I’m sure the InterContinental will be coming up with more uses for the iPad. What do you think would be some cool uses for the iPad in a hotel concierge service?
Image caption: InterContinental Hong Kong Chief Concierge Louis Baleros with the iPad
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Clearance sale from brands such as Anteprima, Furla, Cocktail, A.T and Atsuro Tayama at Times Square starts tomorrow. Get ready for more shopping.
Interested in getting email alerts notifying you of upcoming warehouse sales? Sign up here.
I had put this book, While I'm Dead... Feed the Dog, in the giveaway pile before moving and ended up bringing it on holiday to Thailand, fully not expecting to read it what with our jam-packed schedule. On the flight back home, the book received an eleventh-hour reprieve and I zoomed through the strange, blunt and witty prose. I was sort of reminded of Salinger because of the first-person, smarter-than-thou, anti-establishment style of writing, but it was the plot that really hooked me -- sort of like Snatch, the movie, played from the perspective of a small-town high-school kid.
Imagine my surprise after I had finished, when I read the author bio, that Ric Browde wasn't even a novelist. He was until about a decade ago a multi-platinum record producer, behind the likes of Poison, Joan Jett and Ted Nugent. And then, when his records ceased to find commercial success, he switched to writing. Wikipedia claims the book is being made into a novel, but you shouldn't place all your research confidence in Wikipedia really. Don't you hate it when someone who's already good at one thing, is also really talented at doing something else? And you're barely good enough at doing one thing in the first place. Ah, petty jealousy directed at random people who don't even know you, you've reared your head again.
That said, if you're interested in reading a fast-paced book that features teenage lust, inappropriate parenting, transvestites, silent nuns, a shiny red Corvette, David Bowie (and entourage), a real aversion to Latin and excessive sexual innuendo... then let me know, I'll pass you the book. Or buy it for yourself at Amazon.
Monday, April 19, 2010
If you are a fan of celebrity fashion, you've no doubt seen the Dolce & Gabbana Miss Sicily Satchel on the arms of numerous stars such as Madonna, Victoria Beckham and Dita von Teese. I'm not too sure how I feel towards it. I'm a fan of larger bags but there's something rather off putting about this bag. Maybe it's the crochet?
I didn't realize how many articles of clothing I had until I moved into the new apartment, which features a walk-in closet. Somehow, seeing all your clothing gathered in one place is quite a scary thing; imagine a mob scene of shirts and skirts and hats and bags and my god, dresses, dresses and more dresses. Am I really that materialistic? (Yes.) If that isn't enough to damn me to hell under the sins GLUTTONY and VANITY, then my shoe closet definitely did the trick. Is 40 pairs of shoes too many? Anyway, after basking in a large tub of middle-class guilt, I then went out and bought another pair of shoes. Retail FAIL, minimalism FAIL. And then I came home in my new shoes ($299 at that haven for reasonably priced footwear, The Shoe Shop, patent oxfords with giant rubbery wedges, yes I needed them.) and under the pretense of blogging, spent a wee bit of time surfing Need Supply.
Do you guys know about Need Supply? I did once and then totally forgot about it and saw a link of some blog or other and now am rediscovering how great and also reasonably priced it is. I need me some Need Supply. How do you normally tackle a multi-brand shopping site? I always hit category "Dresses" first. How predictable, considering my exceedingly well-organized closet (let's see how long that lasts) tells me my clothing collection is almost 50% dresses). But it was under "Tops" that I found the clincher. In what is becoming a weird pattern around here, I found another T-shirt that bears the likeness of my dog. Either my pup is a really popular motif (the fact that she highly resembles a fox/wolf might help) or... I've gone a bit crazy cat lady over my canine companion.
For those of you who aren't seeing Welsh corgi imagery in your grilled cheese sandwiches, there's also plenty of thread candy.