best bet: earth hour

Earth Hour has been happening each year on 31 March since 2007; this year, their mission is no different.  From 8.30 to 9.30 in the evening, in your home country, turn off all the lights, turn off your internet, turn off the television and put away those iPads - anything that runs on electricity, turn it off.  For us, the exercise is more than just about energy sustainability, it's also about connecting with people on a deeper level, which is difficult to do when your iPhone is constantly buzzing or your friend is watching YouTube in the background as you talk.  But without lights, you're going to have to stock up on candles! In keeping with the spirit of Earth hour, we've gone straight for environmentally-friendly candles by Ecoya.

Stock up on candles from Ecoya: they're hand-poured, environmentally-friendly and they smell delicious!  We love the Ecoya Metro Glass Jar in Lemongrass & Ginger.

Ecoya is available from GOD in Leighton Centre, Silvercord, Hollywood Road, The Peak Galleria and Stanley Plaza.

 Stuck on how to spend the time? Here's our list of suggestions to make the most of it in Hong Kong -- you'll have so much fun, you'll want it to last way longer than just an hour.

1. Tai Long Wan: hike out in the afternoon and camp on the beach by a campfire.  Summer's on the way and it's a good chance to do some stargazing.  Snuggle up to your loved one or prepare for an all-night gossip session with your bestie.

2. Evening Stroll: get romantic and go for a walk in the park with your sweetheart; Hong Kong is full of gorgeous parks in which to do this.  Our favourites are Hong Kong Park and Victoria Park.

3. Zzzzzz: catch up on sleep! There's no better excuse.  After a crazy selling season, that's what we're guessing some of our team might be up to!

4. Be a Kid: play a game of Hide-and-go-Seek, Sardines, Telephone or Tag in the dark with your favourite little (or big) people.  The side streets of Sheung Wan are a paradise for kid's games -- just watch out for cars!

Most importantly, have fun and make the most of it.  You'll end up wanting to do it every day.


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charlotte's web

Wednesday night saw On Pedder's celebration of Charlotte Olympia's new collection launch in Hong Kong.  As you would expect from such an event, the guests were immaculately dressed and the decor was beautifully designed.  However, the real highlight was, of course, the shoes!  Charlotte Olympia first made waves in the footwear industry when she introduced her floating platform heels, usually done in contrasting two- or three-tone colours and fabrics.  Since then, she's expanded her range to include ultra high wedges and adorable flats.  The one thing that you can always count on when trying to spot a Charlotte Olympia design is an obvious element of whimsy.  If there's one thing that Charlotte understands, it's the magic of fashion, the fun, the excitement, the daring impracticality of it all.  She's carried this attitude into her jewelry and handbag lines, as well - you can now populate your accessories closet with starfish printed wedges, spider necklaces and feather clutches.  You can cultivate an entire world of whimsy, courtesy of Charlotte Olympia.  She's a fantastically talented designer and a wonderfully warm woman -- look out for our profile on her early next week, where she tells us of her love of mermaids, her penchant for matchy-matchy style, and the birth of her new child.


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denim comeback

We all know and love sass & bide for their party-perfect dresses and trophy jackets, but they've also recently really stepped up their game in the denim department, sending out some of the most perfect fitting (and comfortable) jeans we've tried in a while.  People are catching on: we've recently spotted everyone from Victoria's Secret model and Transformers star Rosie Huntington-Whitely to blonde babe Dree Hemingway to supermodel Kate Moss sporting their delicious denim.  Denim is making a stellar comeback for Spring 2012, so make sure you dress your perfect pins in the perfect pair of jeans in order to stay on-trend.  We love a comeback story - especially when it looks this good.

sass & bide is available in Hong Kong at Harvey Nichols, I.T, Liger and Little Black Dress.


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cut it off

An equally valid title for this post could have been "hot chicks in cut-offs" but we're afraid that might garner some unwanted, unrelated Google-search traffic, so we've opted with a slightly less risque-version instead.  But the message of this post is clear: girls look undeniably cool in itsy-bitsy cut-off denim, and alluring in a way that only nonchalant pieces such as these can deliver.  And honestly, if you're going for a pair of distressed cut-off shorts, really no one does it better than One Teaspoon.  Dress them up with a fitted jacket and ankle boots or throw them on with your favourite pair of Superga sneaks if you're more of a relaxed-casual type.  Whatever your style, these babies look good on everyone.  Literally.

One Teaspoon is available in Hong Kong exclusively at I.T


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white out

One of the biggest trends for S/S '12 is to white out.  What does this mean?  It's simple, really.  Just throw on all your whitest clothing and ta-da, you're done.  The trick here is really to mix textures to keep it interesting.  One of our all time favourite bloggers, Aimee Song of Song of Style, does it best: here, she pairs the perfect sheer white shirt from One Teaspoon with textured cotton shorts and a cozy knit with a silvery metallic finish.  Top everything off with a pile of your favourite wrist jewelry and you're ready to go.  We love this look because it automatically makes you look fresh, clean and sophisticated.  Also, white makes you look extra tanned, so major bonus points there!  The perfect white shirt is a lifetime investment that will literally take you from the bedroom to the beach and from the boardroom to the bar, so make sure you take the time to find the perfect one for you.  This one from One Teaspoon is the most perfect white shirt we've found so far.  Can't wait to get our hands on it ourselves!

One Teaspoon is available in Hong Kong exclusively at I.T

See more of Aimee's killer style over at her blog, Song of Style.


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where is my mind

We always look forward to seeing Planet Blue's lookbooks; styled in a down-and-dirty way with some of the coolest models in the business, their photos are always absolutely stellar.  What we love most about it is how it's always got a healthy hint of cheekiness and a rebel attitude.  Their March lookbook, Where is My Mind features all of our favourite pieces from INSIGHT's S/S '12 women's collection.  Sprinkled with a healthy dose of vintage-inspired floral prints, trashed denim and little body-con dresses, the collection is ready to take you from the beach to all your summer musical festivals.  Check out our favourite shots from the campaign right here.  Bring on the summer!

INSIGHT is available in Hong Kong at I.T, Harvey Nichols, Seibu, initial, Bauhaus, Island Wake, Sports Corner and Drex Fable Fashion Ltd.


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new shades

Summer's coming, people.  The weather's officially beginning to warm up and we're hoping for many beach weather weekends this year.  The sun's out in full force and that always makes us think of one thing: new sunnies.  Killer shades are always at the top of our must buy lists for summer, and we're lucky to have so many fantastic options out there to choose from.  Loyal readers will know that ksubi are our go-to brand for unique styles and quality craftsmanship.  Each season, the ksubi boys release a lookbook for their new collection of sunglasses; this is something that we look forward to seeing every few months. It's always styled to perfection and features some of our favourite hot models in the business.  This season's styles perfectly complement their 90's grunge-inspired fashion collection - check out some of our favourite shots from their campaign, right here.


And if you're optically challenged, ksubi's got some killer optical eyewear on offer, too.


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best bet: merci

Yesterday we took you to Le Bon Marche for a spot of fashion; today we're taking you to Merci, our favourite Parisian lifestyle store.  Merci is located on the edge of the Marais, surrounded by a handful of artisnal designer furniture shops.  For those of you whose French is limited, merci means "thank you"; so you immediately get the sense that Merci is a store with a sophisticated and affable personality.  The concept store is divided into four parts: the cinema cafe, the lifestyle area, the women's fashion section and the men's fashion section.  We'd say Merci is strongest in terms of their lifestyle department and their cinema cafe; this is where the store really shines in terms of visual merchandising and unique point of difference.  They offer everything from chic bicycles, to hand-dyed scarves, to adorably packaged home gardening sets.  If it's fashion you're after we'd say the best they have to offer is in the accessories department: fantastic organic-inspired jewelry and cult-status K. Jacques sandals are our best bet buys.  If you've got time, we'd definitely recommend that you stay for a bite to eat or a coffee at their cinema cafe.  Decked out in old movie posters, DVDs of decades-old black and white movies, and long-expired movie tickets, you're surrounded by a wonderful feeling that you've become a part of old Hollywood.

Hand-dyed scarves, framed on the wall.  Love this VM idea.

The street-facing window at Merci's cinema cafe.

Guess what's inside?  A home gardening set.  How adorable is the packaging!

Delicious treats at the cinema cafe.

Chic bike.

Ane here's a vintage Fiat with Merci number plates parked outside the store in their cobblestone courtyard.  Love it!


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best bet: le bon marché

Paris is full of gorgeous monuments, historical landmarks and natural wonder, but it's also one of the best places in the world to, well, shop.  It's a city with a myriad of concept stores, small boutiques and the best department stores in the world. We'll be sharing some of our favourites with you, but first up is Le Bon Marché.  Located on the city's achingly cool left bank (or rive gauche, as the Parisians say), Le Bon Marché is surrounded by a group of wonderful locally-bred brands such as Maje, sandro and ba&sh; not far down the road is our favourite museum in Paris, the Musee Rodin.  They say that the best way to judge someone is by the company they keep; well, if that's the case then Le Bon Marché is one super-cool cat.  We've started things off with this store, because it's really a one-stop shop for pretty much everything you need in terms of fashion, books, beauty and crafts.  It's also the best of the best in terms of visual merchandising.  The interiors are gorgeous, with immaculate escalators designed by famed French interior designer, Andrée Putman.  If you've only got time for one place to shop while you're in Paris, we'd definitely say you need to hit up Le Bon Marché.


Escalators designed by Andree Putman.

Whimsical ribbon selection in the haberdashery corner!

Quaint, feminine fabrics; designed exclusively by Le Bon Marche.

Printed T-shirts with brand names as brand indicators; genius VM idea.

Exterior window display.  Le Bon Marche took the season's biggest trend (prints) and designed several windows around each print.  Designers included Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and Nina Ricci, among others.

Lovely little bookstore inside.

Le Bon Marche displays different artwork throughout their store; they change the art installations regularly so that they are always introducing their customers to new artists.


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profile: robert dodd showroom

One of the best things about Paris Fashion Week, even greater than going to the shows even, is being able to visit all the wonderful showrooms - permanent or temporary - that are sprinkled throughout the Marais and its surrounding arrondisments.  It's glorious because it's here that you can see the clothes up close; you can admire their construction and craftsmanship, and you feel a deeper connection to each piece.  Every showroom is unique in its own way; both in terms of the interiors and the collections they house.  One of the loveliest spaces we saw was the Robert Dodd showroom, which played host to the Twenty8Twelve F/W '12 collection.  The Robert Dodd showroom is filled with glorious natural light, located on a quiet street, with a lovely cobblestone courtyard.  

Robert Dodd played host to Twenty8Twelve's F/W '12 collection during Paris Fashion Week.

We also had the delightful luck of running into Robert Dodd himself one night while having drinks after a long day at a small bar du vin down the road.  He was wonderfully friendly, insightful and exceptionally charming.  We chatted to him about running the showroom (he actually runs three showrooms, all located in the Marais district), the genius that is Hussein Chalayan (Robert's showroom manages the Hussein Chalayan x Puma range) and the astounding success of J Brand jeans.  We actually feel a bit guilty, as we felt we may have crashed his meeting over drinks with a charming man from J Brand; but it was impossible to resist the temptation to chat him up.  We only wish we could have had a longer conversation!

The courtyard outside Robert Dodd.

So much glorious natural light!

To learn more about Robert Dodd, visit their website here.


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