Everyday is a Good Hair Day

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Photographs by Harold de Puymorin

One question I get asked a lot is how I style my hair. Well, my strategy so far pretty much involves praying before going to bed that I will wake up effortlessly into a good hair day – very proactive indeed. I recently experienced a hair styling session at Paul Gerrard Hong Kong to find out how easy and quick it is to get my dream curls with ghd’s Gold Max Styler. The above is my attempt to recreate the beautiful hair completed with only the straightening iron.

Paul Gerrard Hong Kong

The hair transformation took place in Paul Gerrard on Pottinger Street. In less than 15 minutes, Paul transformed my hopeless beach hair into this glamorous runway-ready evening hair with the ghd Gold Max Styler.

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ghd Gold Max Styler. Perfect for voluminous waves.
Available at Lane Crawford, Paul Gerrard, Alpha Omega and others. See full stockists here.

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Book your styling session to get the catwalk-ready hair now!

July 24-26, Paul Gerrard, 26 Pottinger Street, 12-8pm

July 25-27, Alpha Omega, 54 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay 12-8pm

July 24-Aug 17, Lane Crawford Times Square, 10am-10pm

July 24-Aug 17, Lane Crawford Canton Road, 10am-10pm

Fluorescence

COS Dress Orange
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COSDressOrange3Photographs by mom

COS dress, Zara trench coat and heels.

This is probably not the right season for layering. But I really would hate to wait till Spring 2015 to show you this outfit that I love – a beloved COS dress in a sharp, fluorescent shade of orange, paired up with a soft, flowy trench from Zara’s spring collection and some accidental sun tan. Although summer is never too short in Hong Kong, I urge you to enjoy some outdoor time this summer with friends and families with great food and wine, or in my case, juices!

New Looks by Karen Millen

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Photographs by Daniel Kong


Karen Millen Products

Visit Karen Millen at Central/Central, Sogo or Elements, or shop online. From left to right – Ombre signature satin dress, Perforated tote bag, Paint printed full skirt, Monochrome cocoon jacket, Pleat lace skirt, Space dye bandage knit dress.


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For many, including myself, Karen Millen stands for the feminine clothes and polished looks – its signature satin dresses flattered many and scared away many, perhaps more, by its figure-hugging designs since the brand was established.

This season, a selection of designs that seem unusual to be found in Karen Millen stores – a unlined cocoon jacket with dropped shoulders and doom sleeves, and a structured pleat A-line skirt. These fashion forward pieces make refined urban outfit for day and night, and are intended to transcend seasons. Other pieces, extract the DNA of Karen Millen aesthetics and transform them into causal and relaxed shapes.

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Though pleasantly surprised by the brand’s evolving creative direction, my favorite piece remains one of their signature satin dress. This particular piece stood out for its beautiful digital ombre print. And like all Karen Millen dresses, it sculpts the body and leaves the woman confident and glamorous.

All Karen Millen products courtesy of Karen Millen Hong Kong.


Sunshine State of Mind

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Photographs by dear mom : )

Vintage biker jacket, Zara top and skirt, Topshop boots.

Everyone in the city, including myself, seems a bit annoyed by the unexpected chilly and long winter in Hong Kong. When having no clue about what to wear, I always go for a pop of colour and a simple pencil skirt. It’s reassuring to know there’s always something that can work the magic. Hopefully the weather will get warmer in no time, and we can all kick start the new season very soon!

From Geneva with love.

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IMG_0563Photographs by Charles Mugel

Coat, skirt, and gloves by COS, Zara bag and Topshop boots.

An outfit post attempt from Geneva. After two years of dreadfully humid Hong Kong winters, I finally got to spend some time abroad during this festive time of the year (with a real Christmas tree and a proper gift exchange session which lasted for 3 hours.) While enjoying some time away from Hong Kong, I realised that I’ve been running this blog for three full years. No sentimental stuff (since I didn’t actually become famous because of the blog) but I do feel grateful that the memories of the past three years of my life have been carefully recorded and preserved. And I’m truly grateful for those who still stops by every now and then.

2014 is about gratitude – hopefully.

Ports 1961 Spring Summer Collection

PORTS03Powerful display of Ports 1961 Spring Summer collection at ArtisTree.

PORTS02The mid-thigh length boyfriend shirt is a tribute to the iconic blouse the brand was built on.

PORTS04Designer Fiona Cibani draws on panoramic photographic vistas of desert, sun and sky to express the free spirit of the collection.

PORTS07Drop shoulder satin top matched with double lace A-line shirt – Ports 1961′s essential sporty femininity.

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PORTS01Soothing desert color palette of sand, off-white and champagne.

PORTS05 Vivid color palette and again the desert landscape.

Ports 1961 launched their Spring Summer 2014 collection in Hong Kong last week at ArtisTree. The brand created an almost museum exhibition experience for visitors and for a second I believed those are beautiful art works on display.

The Women’s Collection designed by Fiona Cibani was inspired by Michaelangelo Antonion’s 1970 film Zabriskie Point. The designer draws on panoramic photographic vistas of desert, sun and sky to express the free spirit of adventure with her Spring/ Summer2014 Collection. The entire collection seems to be made for someone like me, the sporty cut, the really feminine dresses and skirts and the beautiful heeled sandals – can’t wait to see the new season in store! Check out more about their Spring Summer collection here.

The A-Line

HW01HW03HW02COS jumper and mid-length skirt, Hong Kong boutique bomber jacket, Topshop necklace and boots.

Excuse that awful look on my face. It is very difficult to model with 95% of your body covered in loose-fitted clothes, that’s why I put all that intensity in my facial expression. Apologies if you feel threatened for a moment. Consider this my Halloween look (coz I’m not gonna do one!)
I’ve been looking for the perfect skirt to go with my platform utility boots and my bomber jacket to create (in my humble opinion) the look of the season. It’s all about the length and the shape of the skirt (shorter than maxi, longer than mid-calf, and has to be A-line). I got mine from COS (aka the company which stole my fashion wishlist) and you may find yours here, here and here or consult Harper’s Bazaar’s chicest ways to wear the midi.

Roger Thyvane Ouk | Gentlemen Style Series

Text by Kadri Karolin Kõuts | Features Editor
Photos by Sybil Kot | Editor-in-Chief


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Maison Martin Margiela double breasted jacket, Balenciaga pocket square, tailored shirt: Tailored shirt, Void cufflinks, Liverano braces, Eric Raisina Brooch

It was unsure whether it’s the natural charm of his Cambodian descent or the whooping orange-colored suspenders, but Roger Thyvane Ouk brings a certain feeling of warmth into the otherwise very sleek and somber Wow Suite on the 37th floor of W Hong Kong. While our team admires the panoramic view to the harbor, Roger carefully adds a finishing accessory or two to his outfit, occasionally seeking for a hint of approval from his beautiful wife and business partner – Jade. What is certain, though, is the incredible dynamic between the multi-talented couple behind Thyvane, a menswear brand dedicated to ties and bow ties that salute diverse cultures and personal style.

After many years of practicing law in Melbourne, the first-generation Australian decided to follow his lifelong passion and swap jurisdiction for fashion design. Although Roger has now distanced himself from the courtrooms, he continues to ponder with the idea of authority and conflict by transcending narratives of the past to a more contemporary shape and form. Having designed a collection called “Promise & Power”, Roger nonchalantly refers to Terracotta warriors of the Qin dynasty, the Thirty Years’ War and the ever-so peculiar dressing habits of Louis XVI when talking about the rather hostile evolution of the tie.

With an intention to create a dialogue between the product and the customer, Thyvane explores a broader concept in fashion rather than just designing a traditional line of accessories. Roger and Jade Ouk are eager to work across disciplines and pursue collaborations with architects, artists and creative minds alike to push the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not.

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Tailored jacket, Henry Bucks pocket square, Calvin Klein T shirt and H&M shorts.

What is the essence of fashion for you?

Fashion in a way elevates me to another plane. I think it has the ability to move people emotionally, and psychologically, to another level. There is truth and fiction in fashion and you have the ability to control that. It interests me what other people choose to wear and why, the meaning behind that. And it’s because I’m more of a visual person.

Where do you get your inspiration?

When I dress up, I’m inspired by other people a lot of the time. And then there’s an element of wanting to bring something unique and personal to the outfit. What I wear and what I design is sometimes inspired by different themes. What is consistent is that I draw a lot from the composition put together by balance and beauty that Mother Nature is able to strive.

Do you follow any fashion blogs?

I follow The Wanderlister, The Sartorialist, Facehunter, GQ Style. I’m not there to look for inspiration, but just to see what the present trend is. They give you a good sense of what you could wear to fit in. I’m drawn towards historical context more than individuals. I may want to go back into the 17th or 19th century costume and see what people are wearing. People that I really admire are those that I don’t know – the unknown – who are able to carry something with such flare and character and poise, and who seem to be dressing more for themselves than for anyone else.

Do you hunt for brands?

There are certain brands, which are renowned for making particular items very well. The Italian suspenders I wear – the quality of that product exceeds a lot of others that I’ve worn in the past. So there are times when people are seeking brands because they begin to understand the craftsmanship behind it. But there are times when quality doesn’t play a role and it’s just the brand itself. Personally I would never shop based on the brand.

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Roger06Roger07Tailored suit,  PYE shirt, Louis Vuitton glasses, vintage pocket square Pocket square, Henry Bucks cufflinks and Custom-made Shoes.

What makes a woman look good?

Putting clothes aside, the first thing is confidence and that doesn’t necessarily mean having to be loud or flamboyant, or wearing the latest trends, but I sense that the person is very comfortable in their skin. That goes for both men and women I think. It’s the attitude that you bring to a room because that can have a greater impact than what you actually wear. But assuming you’re walking into the room with that, what will set you apart… I’m just thinking back on the iconic women Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren and Jackie Onassis. What they bring into the room is elegance in style. Timeless beauty. So what makes a woman look good…The ability to wear something with poise.

 Do you like the fashion scene in Hong Kong?

I think for men, there’s real refinement and conservatism. It seems that a lot of men do pay attention to detail and follow trends quite rigorously. There isn’t yet however that avant-garde, adventurous culture that I’ve found in other places. But Hong Kong men are increasingly taking more risks particularly in the area of accessories, which is really exciting. People tend to be very neat here, in terms of what they wear within the business and working community. It’s clean and sharp, but there is that convergence towards the mainstream.

 Tell us about the transition from being a full-time lawyer to becoming a designer du jour.

I’ve always had a fascination with fashion. When I was in the university, studying law, I participated in a mock board and I had to look for a tie to wear for these moot proceedings. I’d been preparing a number of months for this event in a real court, but it wasn’t a real trial. And I couldn’t find any ties that suited my personality or which spoke to me, or reflected the historic cultural context, which I was from. So making a tie for that event kick started everything.

I’ve always loved fabrics and things of texture. After that, I began looking for materials that I thought reflected me and that other people would appreciate. A lot of people were asking for the tie, they wanted a copy. I’ve always designed outside of my work career. There’s a strong creative side to my personality and it feels really good and energetic and positive when I create. I love the law; I love what it stands for. At the same time, it’s very challenging. It gives you a real discipline how to tackle particular arguments. It brings out thinking to my fashions in terms of wanting to really analyze why I’m doing something and the purpose behind it. On the other hand, fashion influences the law in a way that people are taking a different approach to things. In some respects, it makes me more open-minded.

Roger10Roger11 Rex jacket, Tailored pocket square, Zara Shir, Claude Maus Jeans, Magnani shoes, vintage scarf, David Neil Ring, Hollywood Vintage bracelets.

What does Thyvane stand for?

The core of the brand is about reflecting, about a dialogue. It’s about understanding the person that is beyond what they are wearing. Thyvane’s item strikes a conversation or an enquiry, so it can be anything. We started with neckties because they’re quite conventional but also common items for men to wear. It comes from a specific historical context and we’re able to imbue that with a different meaning depending on the type of fabric or the design. That’s what is really fascinating and interesting.

Tell us more about the design process.

 It’s a combination. Sometimes there’s an idea that I have in mind and I’m inspired by nature or animals or particular architectural forms. Then I create something that’s influenced by that. Which means writing it down, drawing an image, finding the appropriate colors and then sourcing fabric to match, thinking about the silhouette that would reflect the idea. Other times the cloths or fabrics themselves inspire me. They move me to want to do something with them. With some of our products, we look for the best method of creating it. Our latest collection is handmade in Australia. For other products, sometimes a machine-made one, you’re able to achieve the consistency you wouldn’t get with a handmade product. And we go down that line. In the end of the day, we’re looking to deliver the best product.

What does “Promise & Power” represent?

 When I moved to Hong Kong 2.5 years ago, I noticed that a lot of people had come to the city from all corners of the world and they were drawn to the allure of a promise of wealth, of opportunity. Whatever it is they thought that Hong Kong could help them deliver. And that’s the promise. The power aspect of it is that ties have always been associated with military adornment and royalty. So the collection sort of explores people’s desires in fashion, not necessarily ties, and this notion from the commercials and advertisements that promises them this lifestyle, which has elements of power.

I’m very excited about this collection. This is an instance where I was actually inspired by the fabric itself. We found snakeskin that feels like tissue paper. We’re also using lace, which is just amazing. Men should be able to wear lace too, so I came up with a lace tie for men. We had to go through a number of prototypes because it’s challenging to make a bow tie from such a delicate material. It has lining and interlining and requires a special technique. When we go back in history, lace ties were the like the pinnacle of the tie. All the royal monarchs wore lace cravats. Back then; people had a hundred ways how to tie it, now we only have 3 or 4 ways. It’s interesting, if you go way back, the time men were giving themselves in terms of dedicating to their looks and the types of things they were wearing, you don’t see it these days. Outfits used to have a lot of detail, a lot of embroidery. Now it’s mostly associated with women. When does it shift along the line?

 There have been so many advances in technology in fabrics, in cut and design, but ties have remained the same. I find it really fascinating. It’s interesting to see people’s reactions. There have always been checks, particular colors or paisley. What’s going to be the reaction if they’re not that? What I’m saying by beginning with ties and bow ties is look, I am part of the system, I studied law, I have a tertiary education, but at the same time I’m not part of the system. It’s not a complete rejection, but I want to reflect more of what I call is modern and have that presented. Admitting to a system is not reflecting who I am. I want to recognize the alternative backgrounds, so it’s becomes a dialogue. There’s more to you than meets the eye. And I think that’s really nice in fashion, when people begin to recognize more than just the way it looks. I’d like to evoke something more than just a casual conversation. So you’ve chosen to wear that. Why? Can you tell more about it?

 

Plans for the future?

We have an online store where you can purchase directly. We’ll release the new collection shortly as well. In addition to stocking at Kapok, we’re hoping to give our potential customers the opportunity to feel and see the products by stocking at other places as well. Ultimately, it would be nice to open our own store, a retail space, so we can meet our customers directly. I may also explore doing limited runs of items such as shirts and jackets. It’s all about being able to have a lot fun while creating something.

Do you have any final tips for our male readers?

I have a lot of men come up to me and say, ‘I’d really like to wear that but I just don’t know whether I could’. So what I’m getting from them is that there’s this underlying urge to want to do something, but something is holding them back, or restricting them from doing it. I tell them to just go ahead and do it! They’re worried about what people would think, they’re not sure how to style it… The first step – just do it and see how it feels.

A lot of men also say that they don’t know how to tie a bow tie. This is one of the most exciting things about this accessory – the fact that you go home with a product and you’ll learn how to do something. There aren’t many products that give you that sense of satisfaction. I remember when I first tied a bow tie and it felt great! The energy that you spend dedicating yourself to doing something makes the product that much more interesting and valuable. Another great thing about bow ties is that you don’t necessarily need to tie it up. There’s a certain relaxed look of having them untied.

 

 

 

The One to Watch

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Photos by dear mom.

Classic Oxford Lady by Daniel Wellington, Zara dress, blazer & bag, Topshop boots.

I never considered myself the classical type. Perhaps the word “classic” is so overused in PR messages that it has lost part of its meanings to me. Daniel Wellington’s interpretation of classic, in contrary, is unpretentious and approachable. Its clean and light design made wearing wristwatch relevant to my high digitized life, and the colorful interchangeable nato straps make perfect fashion accessories for those who changes her mind every five minutes. The beautifully designed wrist watches are offered at affordable price points ( generally between USD135 to USD 229). Click on the link to find out more about the story behind the brand and its selection of men’s and women’s watches and accessories.


*Disclaimer: The Classic Oxford Lady watch was gifted by Daniel Wellington. However this review reflects my true opinion on the brand.

Jesus Miranda Martinez | Gentlemen Style Series

Text by Kadri Karolin Kõuts | Features Editor
Photos by Sybil Kot | Editor-in-Chief

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H&M jeans and jacket, Club Monaco shirt, Mango He scarf, Rolex watch.

When I ask Jesus Miranda Martinez to tell a little about himself, our very first sartorial victim bursts out laughing: “I’m usually the one doing questions,” says the 39-year-old about his career in human resources at a major international retailer. While recruiting people for one of the trendiest high-street clothing brands on the market, Jesus has taken a more introverted role in his personal life and likes to keeps things simple. He doesn’t run a blog, rarely filters his photographs and disagrees to linger with hashtags. Not to mention he has never appeared in a fashion feature before. But for a guy like Jesus, who pairs up dandyish tailored jackets with patterned silk trousers and leather loafers, it was only a matter of time when the well-dressed gentleman welcomed The Style Voyager into his newly furbished apartment in Sheung Wan to capture the treasures of his wardrobe. With an array of galleries and specialty coffee shops, this particular Hong Kong neighborhood fits our host almost as well as the flamboyant pocket squares he wears on a daily basis.

Having born in The Canary Islands, the Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa, Jesus effortlessly transcends his Mediterranean roots into a closet that is dominated by many shades of blue and white, classic silhouettes and timeless pieces hand-down from past generations. Both of his most cherished vintage items, a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch and a suede jacket, once belonged to his father.

Before moving to Hong Kong for work, Jesus has lived in five continents from the US to Australia, including South Africa and Mainland China. With such a nomadic lifestyle set in the agenda, the Spaniard has mastered the art of combining contemporary menswear with a sweet sense of nostalgia.

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Valentino sneakers, Zara pants and scarf, BLK DNM shirt and Scotch & Soda jacket.

What is the essence fashion for you?

I enjoy fashion. It is one way to represent what you’re about, what’s your personality. Whether you go out in the streets, is it a Sunday morning or a work meeting, it’s what you’re comfortable wearing with. Its about to be properly dressed for each occasion without loosing your personality and becoming one more. It tells about you, same as your manners or your voice tone.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Las Palmas is not the most stylish city in the world. It’s flip-flops and shorts… I don’t think it has been a big influence. Even in Spain, I sometimes get attention because of the way I dress. But I’m not trying to. I don’t like flashy things. From time to time, I check Jak & Jil and The Sartorialist.

If I have somebody who taught me the basic rules – it’s my mother. Being a housewife, she wasn’t really into fashion, but she always paid attention to how my sister and I dressed when we were kids. She used to tell me whatever you do, wear good shoes. When my mother passed away, a business acquaintance then told me she was the most elegant woman in Las Palmas.

What completes an outfit for you?

I don’t think I go for a single item. I do wear tote bags all the time. Everybody who sees me says: “Oh, the guy with a big bag”. But I feel that an outfit is not complete without proper shoes. They don’t have to be expensive ones. I love retro running Nikes! I also prefer low rise round neck tees and shirts without pockets (why do you need a pocket?).

 

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Trickers shoes, Tate pants, Massimo Dutti shirt, ITER jacket.

Are there any items you would never consider wearing?

Short-sleeved shirts, boot cut pants and thick sole sandals. Never.

Describe your style in a sentence.

I don’t think I have a consistent style. I can change from day to day. It mostly depends if I want to dress up a little bit more or less. I also like to play around things a bit. Yesterday I was wearing trousers that combined shorts and leggings.

Tell us about your beauty routine.

I usually trim my beard once a week. I never shave. For the hair I just blow dry and use a little bit of gel. I’m more into fresh colognes rather than deep ones. I use a special edition of D&G’s Light Blue and La Nuit de L’Homme by YSL for the night.

How do you spend your leisure time?

 I love reading. And movies, but it’s not easy to go to the movies in Hong Kong if you prefer something off the mainstream. I play tennis, but I don’t gym. As a kid, I did some sailing, which I would like to pick up again.

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Rivieras shoes, Zara pants, Design Workers London shirt, COS scarf, ITER bag.

What makes a woman look good?

I think it’s about knowing how to dress up as well as being more casual. Even if a woman puts a lot of effort into her outfit, it doesn’t have to look like it. Body posture is important too. Wear high heels only if you know how to walk in them. I don’t really like clothes that are too tight. In the end, it has to be balanced. If you wear a skinny pant with a fitted t-shirt… I mean sexy doesn’t have to be tight.

Is there a difference between being stylish and being trendy?

Absolutely! Being on trend is easy nowadays. You can look at magazines and buy all the bestsellers from the retailers. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re properly dressed. Style is everything. It’s more about being attractive rather than pretty. Maybe it’s because I like feminine over girly types.

 What do you think about the fashion scene in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is such a mix. I respect people who are really personal with their style. Maybe I’d never wear that outfit myself, but I respect that more than just putting all the fancy labels on top of each other. You can see that there is nothing personal about it.

 

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Do you hunt for brands?

I never shop because of the brand. I look for the item and pick from everywhere. I’m quite reluctant to spend too much money on a single piece. I can spend a bit more on shoes, but if it’s a t-shirt, I think it’s not worth it. One year, two years later you have to swap it anyway.

What are your plans for the future?

I like Hong Kong. Especially the Star Street and Sau Wa Fong area. But I don’t think it’s a city to be in for a long long time. I don’t see myself retiring here… Spain – it’s life in the streets. In Hong Kong, people are in the streets because they don’t have anywhere else to be. I do miss the European way of life; I like late dinners with no rush where you can drink wine (Ribera del Duero) without getting drunk.

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