This month’s Super Styler is our very own sassy and snap-happy supermodel, Sabrina Sikora! We know how to pick ‘em, and Sabrina’s story is as equally fascinating as she is fashionable. From small town Georgia to the bright lights of NY and HK, Sabrina has worked with some of fashion’s most famous faces and brands. After being directed by Tom Ford, gracing the pages of Vogue and strutting on the runway, Sabrina has gone from being in front of the camera to behind the lens, becoming one of the best photographers in town. Find out more about her below… you’ll see she’s just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside!
Tell us about where you’re from and how you made it over to Hong Kong!
Originally hailing from Macon, Georgia in the USA, most would say I’m a long way from home. I made my way to HK from New York in 2007 with my then-bf-now-husband for a quick two-year stint that just keeps going and going (fine by me!). Growing up, I participated in pageants and cheerleading and was as proper a Southern Belle as I knew how to be. I love to bake, acquired a vintage silver collection, revel in the long lost art of table setting and napkin folding, and I will monogram anything that will hold still long enough. I guess those qualities were somewhat appealing to that Yankee boy I met, because we have been roaming around this world together for ten plus years!
How did you get into modelling and the fashion world?
When you are 13 years old, 5’9”, a size 0/2, with size 11 (42) feet, you are kind of built for a few career options – volleyball, basketball or modelling. I have absolutely zero sports skills (beyond cheerleading, of course) so I went down the modelling route. The job allowed me to travel beyond the borders of my native Georgia, while also introducing me to a host of international characters and occupations that I might never have known otherwise. Starting at age 16, I traveled to New York, Milan, Paris, and Shanghai and then finally moved to NY aka “the city” a month after turning 19. By that point, I was pushing 6’ tall and wearing a clothing size 2/4, so I was perfect to hit up all the castings that my agency had to offer.
Over the years, I have lived in one-bedroom, one-bathroom model apartments with seven other girls as well as impromptu couch surfing sessions as needed for bookings. The draw of seeing myself in a magazine and the rush from a runway show was just too appealing to let anything stop me, so I kept pounding the pavement day after day getting turned down by this client and that. Some days, clients would love me and then it would make the whole process worthwhile again. It was a roller coaster of a ride but an experience that made me very street smartand also very easygoing as you never know what experiences will lead you to that next great thing, so you just roll with the punches and have fun along the way. Now, I am fortunate enough to only work through direct bookings so I don’t have to do the casting beat anymore.
What are some of the highlights of your career as a model that really stand out?
There are a few highlight reels that play in my head when I think back over the years. One would be the shoot where I was Carolyn Murphy’s lip double and Tom Ford was directing me. She was incredibly friendly and he is, well, walking perfection. I rolled in satin sheets crushing an Estee Lauder Amber Nude lipstick in my teeth while Mr. Ford instructed me along the way. I tried my best to capture the mood and feel that they were looking for.
Another top day was the day I shot my first cover at age 17 in Milan. We were high in the mountains with a helicopter to hang from as our “prop”. I was wearing a white, grey, and fuchsia Versace fur and was told that the model with the nicest hands would get the cover. The models were told to hold out our little mitts and then I was declared the winner. I snuck off to a bedroom of the cabin that served as a dressing room and called my mom. Through static and tears I told her the good news… That was a very good day!
Being chosen for the NBC/Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search was also an incredible experience. I was selected as one of 12 girls to live in a house in LA and to compete in a variety of sports and modelling challenges, and the winner would appear in the coveted pages of the SI swimsuit issue. Unfortunately, I was given the boot and the reason given was that I was “too nice”. Out of all the reasons to get cut from a show, I think that is by far the best. I did manage to win one of those sports challenges, so I left the show with a new diamond necklace along with a bit of press which did a lot for my career back in NY.
There are a lot of other great moments like when I landed my first campaign, when I saw myself in the pages ofVogue and Bazaar, and those highs from strutting it hardcore down a monster runway for a big designer. These moments made all those days of being told you are “too this” or “too that” (fat/skinny, tall/short, old/young, tan/pale… insert anything here) to be worth it.
Any tips or words of wisdom for aspiring models?
There will be a lot of no’s, but hopefully there will also be a lot of yes’s. The trick is to stick it out through the rough days and to stay healthy and grounded so that when those yes’s start to come you are happy, fit, and ready. You may not be right for one client, but you are someone else’s perfection. It is just a matter of getting out there and seeing as many clients as possible, testing as much as possible to build your book, and being friendly or at least genuine and authentic to all you meet (the industry is small!). You have to view yourself as a product and not take things personally. Do a casting and then put it out of your mind. As long as you are the best version of yourself that you can be, then that is all you can give. If a client wants more than that at least you know you were at your best and gave it your all.
You’re not just a model, you’re also an amazing photographer (that we couldn’t do without!), blogger and new mama, how do you balance everything?
Being a mom is job number one and one that I kind of feel like I might be getting the hang of after four months. The photography and blogging are both wonderful because I can more or less set my hours. I only schedule a certain number of shoots per week that way I can stay on top of the editing and retouching.
The fashion events for blogging are typically in the afternoon, so I hang out with the cutie until around 11am then shoot, retouch, or write. Next, I slip off to a few events and am back at home in the early evening to hang out with my sweet boy again. Everyday is different which I love, though I did need to set up a routine for my kiddo as little ones love structure far more than I do.
I choose one night a week, typically Wednesday or Thursday, to hit up the evening events and I’m also sure toschedule in a date night with my husband. It’s so important to have that time together to keep the marriage strong. Family is my first focus as that is what I feel is most important in life. I’m so happy to be able to have a job that I love and that allows me to spend so much time with them while being creative and getting to hang around so many inspiring individuals. This city is chalk full of talent and being able to shoot and blog about it is wonderful!
What do you do to relax/chill out when you’re not running around town at fashion events/shoots/taking care of your little one?
Well, pre-baby I loved to sit in an open-air café and sip wine or iced chocolate while thumbing through fashion mags, Instagram, Pinterest, or scrolling Blog-lovin’ for hours on end. Even better if said café served chocolate chip cookies! On the flip side of that, yoga is also my fave fitness activity and a great way to decompress. Now, free time is a mythical creature and I have been very lazy about scheduling in “me time”. I love hanging out with my husband and son so when the work is put away and the computer is closed, I would rather eat and relax with them or go to whatever pop up exhibit, creative collab, or art show may be going on. Follow that up with a delicious and not-so-healthy lunch and I’m in heaven. When my child is clean and fed, I can take on the world! Truthfully, my work is fun for me so I’m often found editing images at all hours pre- and post-baby.
What sparked your interest in photography and what are some of your most memorable shoots?
I have grown up on sets and amongst the clothing racks of runway shows, but the photography started by chance when young girls started coming to me asking how to become a model. I told them to submit simple photos to agencies but most girls only had school pictures or very over styled pageant pics (remember, I’m from the South!). With a point and shoot in hand, the girls came to my house after school or on weekends and I snapped basic shots that showed their face and shape. I soon grew tired with just shooting these simple snaps so after those were out of the way, we would raid my vintage collection and costume jewellery and have some fun.
My camera grew in size and buttons as did my knowledge of how to work it. Angles and “posing” (I hate that word as modelling is movement, not posing) came naturally to me, so I could see the shot quite easily. I just needed to master the technical aspects of how to work the camera to capture the shot. I was still modelling at this time, so I had the added benefit of being able to learn from some of the top photographers by seeing them in action from my post in front of the lens! After a few classes, many hours of YouTube lessons, and loads of test shoots, I felt confident to put a price on the service. Model hopefuls came to me, not only to be photographed, but to learn how to move on film and also to ask as many questions about the business as possible so they would be better prepared for the castings and bookings to come.
Soon, not only newbie models but families and business professionals were in front of my lens, entrusting me to help them to move to look their best on film. That is what I enjoy most – shooting with someone who is rarely photographed and watching the light spread across their face when they see the raw images on the back of the camera. Few people know just how beautiful they really are. I hope to capture that and show it back to them.
As far as memorable shoots go there have been a few. Often a gorgeous image is the result but sometimes it is a long road to get there. There have been armed guards roaming around the studio protecting millions of dollars in jewels. There’ve been many a shoot that lasted until the wee hours of the morning. There have been tumbles off stilettos (model), bruises from the gear (me), and nipple slips (model), and one time the whole crew got strep throat from one model who showed up sick. Once upon a shoot, a model got bit by a horse and another time the model got covered in chiggers (it’s a Georgia thing). No matter if we are outrunning a storm or shooting swimwear in bone-chilling temps, we always manage to get through it and get something that we are all proud to show!
You’ve been in Hong Kong for a while now, what do you love about it most? Is there anything you really miss about the U.S?
Simply put, I love Hong Kong. I love that you get all the aspects of a major city but you can still run into your friends at the grocery store. Everyone seems to know everyone. I grew up with that in Macon, so it is nice to have that again after feeling so anonymous in New York. I feel that the creatives in Hong Kong are very supportive of one another and are constantly building each other up. Almost all of my business is word of mouth.
I love how quickly things change here. While the pace of life stays humming, new friends, new restaurants, new shops, new travels are just a breath away. It keeps life exciting and I have been amazed at just how fast the years slip by. I hear it is even truer once kids are in the mix…
Failsafe beauty spots for hair, nails, facials and general beauty?
I’m pretty bad when it comes to a scheduled beauty routine. Typically, I’ll finally catch a glimpse of myself in good light or once a shoot is confirmed and pick up the phone to book in everywhere at once, blasting the system from top to toe in one mad rush beauty day.
My paws are prettied at Indulgence and Meegan takes care of my rare facials there. I entrust my hair to Shayne atSalon Chandler! He saved me when another salon gave me a bonafide mullet the year I got married… My better half’s response when I came home with said mullet was “at least you are young and in an industry where mullets are cool”.
Otherwise, at home measures are taken as needed. I like to use a raw tomato over my face once a month or so to remove the dead skin. I also swear by dry brushing to keep my body smooth. Each year in Asia leaves me paler than the year prior, which seems to agree with my skin as the wrinkles have stayed at bay. I love Burt’s Bees for face products and Kiehl’s for body and hair. For on the spot manis, I use Insta-dri by Sally Hansen and also love the peel and stick nail polishes as they don’t need to dry. Without fail, my son will cry as soon as I paint my last nail so this allows me to tend to him as needed with no fear of a smudged or chipped mani.
Fave places for food and drinks in HK?
You can find me at Agnes B. café on Gough Street at least once a week for an iced ginger tea or an iced chocolate. I also love scooping up a sack of bread at Po’s Atelier and sitting in the park across from it to devour it all. The bolstock and the one with the corn are incredible! For lunches I’m often at Life, Oolaa, or 85South. Other delicious eats include Tokyo Joe, Posto Pubblico, Crystal Jade, Myung Ga, and Cipriani. It has been a long time since I have been able to go out for drinks, so my list may be far too dated to do anyone any good. Once I can have cocktails again then I will hit up Sassy for all the on point recommendations!
Your sense of style (and your jewellery collection!) is the envy of many a HK girl, what are your go-to stores in HK? Any secret spots you can let us in on?
Costume jewellery is my weakness, especially if the item in question is very large and gold. I never leave Caty Jewellery empty-handed and I’m often there to pick up gifts for friends as well. Select 18 has some really unusual finds and great sunglasses. I salivate over many a piece at The9thMuse with Lulu Frost, ManiaMania and Lionette being my favourite brands they stock. Polkadot Boutique is great to find shiny bits and bobs to add to your arm party and I always hit up the On Pedder Warehouse sales - I’ve found some real showstoppers there. Otherwise, eBay is a treasure trove of vintage finds and is just a click away! I do have a one-in-two-out rule effective in my closet so things don’t get out of hand. I try to sell the pieces on Hardly Worn It on Facebook. If it won’t sell, then I host a swap with friends and/or donate the items to charity.
We know you’re a vintage queen, where are your favourite places to get some vintage steals and deals?
Sorry Hong Kong, but I typically do my best vintage shopping in the States, especially when I am home in Georgia. I’ve found Burberry coats for US$10 and Bob Mackie and St. John blazers for US$5 each! I drool over the designer vintage scene in Tokyo and am itching to go back and get my hands on the Chanel jewels I saw in the windows. Bonus is they were a fraction of the price that I have seen in NY or HK!
In Hong Kong, I love Me&Gee for dresses and scarf print tops. OnceStyle has gorgeous lust-worthy finds as does Reverie. Reverie also does repro’s of vintage pieces so that you can get the look for less and in multiple sizes. For jewellery, Select 18 and Somewhere in Time are both worth stopping in and digging around. I did a massive vintage post for Sassy and had no idea there were so many shops in town (check it out here)! Again, eBay is a good go-to for picking up classic designer leather bags with a bit of patina.
What are your wardrobe staples/essentials?
This is a tricky one for me as I am not a “capsule wardrobe” person though I tried it for the 15/30 post I did a while back (great for creating the perfect carry on!). My must-haves include a pair of black skinny cigarette pants, a pencil skirt, a well-fitted blazer, button down silk blouses, long flowy printed vintage dresses, and pretty much anything with sequins or leopard print. Dresses and skirts and ultra long flowy pants are personal favourites. Top it off with lots and lots of jewellery and a pair of heels and I’m set. I tend to overdress for events but I would rather be overdressed than the most casual of the bunch! I had this happen at age 12 when I showed up in shorts and a tank to a brunch and felt so self-conscious that I vowed to never let it happen again!
I love clothing that stands out. At 6’ tall I gave up blending in a long time ago! What started as getting Best Dressed in High School also had me almost getting sent home for heels that were too pointy and too high- who knew stilettos were a safety hazard?! That transitioned to my NY agency sending me home to wear something “more flattering” when I showed up to a casting in a vintage striped dress which resembled an old nurses uniform. I tried to tone it down and just put the crazy stuff on the models that I was styling for shoots, but then I realised that I had all this fabulous stuff that wasn’t getting worn and I wasn’t getting any younger. Why not deck yourself out and enjoy it all now? Why should I wait till I’m in my 70’s to wear mink stoles and crazy hats!? You only live once! Dress for it!
Along with all these bright bold pieces, I also need clothing that I can lie down in dirty parking lots to get a shot, so half of my wardrobe is over the top printed craziness and the other is dark beat up old jeans and black tunics to shoot in. Sometimes people don’t recognise me when I turn up to a shoot as I have a bare face and a bun and am wearing all black. I have actually been asked if I was “that model girl’s sister”. Ouch!
What trends are you spotting at the moment and what’s number one on your must-have list?
On my spring/summer shopping list, vintage boyfriend jeans and/or overalls, and a sleeveless trench from Club Monaco appear. I recently checked backpack and drawstring bucket bag off my list. Another recent addiction is chunky jewellery with animal heads on it (i.e. vintage Kenneth Jay Lane)!
The boyfriend jeans I found at Goodwill for US$3 and they are the most comfortable things in the world! I can fit my whole huge hands in the pockets! Pair these with a Chanel-inspired jacket and some fab heels and I’m set for just about any HK outing. Overalls are a tricky one but I think the same styling tricks would work here too and provide me with plenty of pockets for teething rings and other baby accoutrement.
With my newfound mama role, I am realising that some pieces are best not worn around an infant (sequins are scratchy and lace is just begging to be pulled apart). I’ve raided the racks for dark prints (camo for drool and spit up) and dressy pants so I can bend over to put him in a stroller without giving the city a show.
Any essential styling tips and tricks?
When in doubt, wear a great black pencil skirt, a silky button down, red lips and one incredible piece of jewellery. I also default to dresses that style well from day to night, as all you have to do is add accessories and change the shoe and bag.
As for styling tips and tricks, I hate to iron so I steam everything. Toupee tape is your friend. You can use it to hold a hem up, stick a shirt to you if it is a bit low cut, hold a lapel in place and/or stick a belt to itself so you don’t get that weird floppy bit that sticks out on the end. I roll a lot of sleeves due to my long arms not fitting most shirts but love how relaxed it looks. Jeans just look better with a cuff to me. Belts are my go to for making me feel leaner in an instant. The bigger the belt buckle the smaller the waist appears to me!
What do you love about fashion and what you do?
I could write a novel about what I love about fashion, but I guess my favourite part is it allows you to express yourself in an instant. If I am feeling blah, I grab something bold to bring me back to life. Feeling chic? I opt for an all black number, a clean pinned back bun, and a deep red lip. Feeling girly and sweet? I’ll toss on a vintage floral maxi with a beat up bag and comfy Tom’s.
Clothing can reflect how you feel about yourself or even put you in a better mood than when you started getting dressed (this was so true when I was battling the morning sickness beast). Your moods can change right along with your outfits and vice versa.
Fashion should be fun and reflect who you are at that moment. There is always something to look forward to with fashion as it is never finished – it only evolves. That is also why I love photography. Though individual bookings may start and end, my work grows and changes with time. My whole world around is documented and at any point in time I can look back and see where I’ve come from, and hopefully gain direction in where I am going.
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Check out this article and more over at Sassy Hong Kong!
The Flaunt I Want is back and better than ever! Every Friday I will bring you goodies that I just can’t get off my mind! You will find a sampling of the latest trends as well as a few tried and true classics! To kick things off let’s start with some fabulous druzy jewelry. And as always, I will never recommend anything to you that I wouldn’t want myself or recommend to a friend!
No matter what shop you’ve popped your head into lately, I’m sure you’ve spotted a trend among the trousers. Prints, prints and more prints seem to be covering every pair of pants, with options ranging from floral to geometric, to animal inspired and beyond! Most ladies typically want to draw attention away from their lower half, but if that’s the case then how are you supposed to wear a trend that does anything but? Well, let me guide you along in a few fun, foolproof ways to rock this trend confidently!
SWEET AND SIMPLE
From left to right: Gucci Natural Straw Fedora, Tie Front Shirt, Map of Pink Paris, CASIO B640WC5AEF unisex rose gold-plated digital watch, J.Crew Café printed silk-twill Capri pants, Tory Burch Thea Backpack, Zara Soft Slipper, NARS Enchanted Cream Blush
This is the perfect look for wandering around newfound city streets and sipping lazy lattes while people watching. Pack these J. Crew dotted pants for your cruising comfort and know that they can not only pair with a sweet pink top like the one above, but also with white, tan and burgundy options. This gives you a lot of wear without wasting valuable luggage space! The size of the print is small and consistent which is great for all shapes, but especially the curvier varieties. To complete the stylish traveler look, slip into these fantastic Zara loafers and stash your maps and camera in this handy Tory Burch backpack (see more backpack options here!). Load up on bracelets in each city you explore to add some authenticity to your arm party (learn the art to stacking here). Be sure to blog post your travel finds on Spottly so others can live vicariously through you and also create their own travel wish list from your fab finds!
Here are some other ideas for pairing a simple top and printed pants! We love how Super Styler Sarah Rutson perfects this look here.
From left to right: Alexander McQueen AMQ 4251/S Metal Brow Cat Eye Women’s Sunglasses, H&M Top with a stand-up collar, J.Crew Jeweled Quill gold-plated crystal necklace, Henri Bendel Debutante Palm Clutch, Alice + Olivia Sunburst Palm wide leg trousers, Smythson Wedding and Honeymoon set of two textured-leather notebooks, NARS Wind Dancer Opaque Nail Polish, Bobbi Brown Limited Edition High Shimmer Lip Gloss – Bare Peach, Kurt Geiger London Bond Pumps – Nude
I styled this look with the honeymooner in mind. Brides everywhere know that arms need to be toned for the big day, so why not continue to show off those guns in a white sleeveless top? The Alice + Olivia floral pants are a perfect match as they add a bit of sexy glam to a basic top. The loose fit keeps you cool and elongates the legs when paired with a nude Kurt Geiger pump. Record your adventures in these Smythson journals so you can relive them for years to come!
Now let’s take this print party to the next level. Time for print mixing!
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
From left to right: Eye Color Quad Tom Ford, By Malene Birger Cirilla cropped top, ALDO Teitler, New Look Bracelet manchette lisse effet superposé, Dolce & Gabbana Leopard Print Straight Leg Trouser, DIANE VON FURSTENBERG Lytton Coil Leather Clutch, Zara yellow satin bow court shoes Shoeperwoman, Le Labo Discovery Set – Eau de Parfums
If you have mastered pairing your prints with solids, then why not amp it up and mix your prints? Leopard is a neutral in my book and goes beautifully with plaids, stripes, and even floral as seen here. This pair is a great option as the leopard print is dark, so it calls just the right amount of attention without venturing into Peggy Bundy territory. Try this look for your next GNO (girls night out!) and know that you can dine and dance in comfort… or at least as long as your Zara heels let you! While we are trying new things why not test out this sampler of Le Labo fragrances? Stash them all in your DVF clutch and toss on your Asos cuff and Aldo ring, or if you want to rock some local finds then opt for an Emi & Eve cuff and a Bejeweled Bespoke ring…
If you love the leopard look then set your eyes upon these fearless females!
THE POWER PLAY
From left to right: OSCAR DE LA RENTA Sleeveless Jewelneck Crochet Peplum Top, House of Harlow 1960 Meteora Drop Earrings, LSA Garbo Champagne/Cocktail Glass 150ml Thick Blush Gold Bands, Monki Nadia trousers, TOPSHOP Lipstick, GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI 100mm Python Printed Leather Sandals – Gold, Emporio Armani Large Tote Bag
For the fab female who’s not afraid to abandon her frock and kick back a couple cocktails, this one is for you. Be the centre of attention in stripes this season! This pair is from Monki and is perfect for hitting the party scene in something fabulously eye catching yet as comfy as your pajamas! Here we mix our prints again with this fantastic Oscar de la Renta crochet peplum top (check out ideas on how to wear peplums here). While going loose on the bottom it’s important to have a top that is fitted to balance the silhouette. Once dressed, slip into a few luxe accessories and paint your pout with this wine colored lippy from Topshop, and you are set to impress!
Need more black and white graphic inspiration? Check out how these ladies layer the look.
Now you have a slew of ideas to help you tackle the printed pants trend! Fear not when walking amongst the racks and know that you can mix and match your way to a perfect pairing. Whether you choose to add a solid top to the look or go bold with a clashing combo, you know you have what it takes to create a look to love!
Check out this and more over at Sassy Hong Kong!
Ugh! This is the first word, nay sound, that comes to mind when describing Hong Kong summer temps. The sweltering sun, the ever-climbing humidity, and the frequent downpours are enough to make anyone religiously stalk the Cathay website for fanfares elsewhere. What if I told you that you didn’t have to escape to feel comfy this summer? With a few simple styling solutions you can be cucumber cool on the hottest of HK days! Let’s take a look at how to stylishly beat the heat for this summer and beyond (because we all know that the heat doesn’t end come September!).
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
The go-to option for torrid temperatures is the easy breezy dress. This mint striped Tibi option boasts cute cutouts on the sides to offer air con to your midriff. Keep the accessories in a barely there shade of nude with this Asos bag and fab Chanel flat (I have been coveting these puppies forever!). Top it off with a hat to hide a somewhat sweaty mop and offer a bit of much needed shade. Meanwhile, shades of bashful blush top your paws and pout alike, thanks to Dior and Bare Minerals respectively. Once you have added a slew of sleek gold rings, take a slow stroll to the flower market and scoop up some fresh summer blooms to fancy up your flat.
SHORT, SWEET AND TO THE POINT
For the global nomad, take this sunny orange look out for a spin. Pleated shorts from Monki offer an aerated stride while the billowy blouse a la Marni will keep you cool. Sweep your hair into a messy topknot and finish with a thin headband for a chic topper. Down below, these Valentino gryphon sandals are lust worthy while this arm party from Tory Burch, Michael Kors and Daniel Wellington offers more affordable luxury. Snatch up anoversized leopard clutch to stash your glam cam and travel finds in. Time to hit the town in style!
THERE’S ONLY ONSIE WAY ABOUT IT
When it’s time for a steamy night out on the town, reach for this cobalt romper from Shopbop. If you have been hard at work on those gams, then this is the perfect piece to debut your results! Lengthen the look even further by donning a pair of nude heels. May we recommend painting your tootsies with a very Sassy shade of pink?! As for the face, grab your Facetools brushes for flawless make up application. The brand was founded and recently launched here in Hong Kong by Sassy fave make up artist Natasha Sajnani! Once you are ready to face the crowd, stow yourstraw bag under your arm and off you go.
CUT IT OUT
Monki Hope Sunglasses $105, Zara Crop Top by Annie Greenabelle $185, Jennifer Behr Silk Jersey Turban Headband – Black $1,535, Rebecca Taylor Enchanted Garden Pant $2,285, YVES SAINT LAURENT Rouge Pur Couture Pure Color Lipstick $270, ModCloth Boho Sassy Hour Necklace $140, Suede Zara Shoes, Winking Eye Clutch $295
You now have a multitude of ways to add some sizzle to your summer style without melting down. A cut out here, a pleat there and some billowing fabric… and you’re ready to take on the season. Add in a fan, a pretty parasol, and a handkerchief for those moments when you glisten more than one should and your summer survival wardrobe is complete. Now you can turn that ‘ugh’ into ‘ugh-mazing’!
Read this and more over at Sassy Hong Kong!
After seven years in Hong Kong I have adapted to many things — the summers aren’t as hot as when I first arrived, the bones in foods don’t bother me anymore and the hills aren’t as difficult to traverse as they once were (and in heels!). I have changed the way I speak now using words like liftand queue and ending a multitude of phrases with “lah”. When so many things are same same but different, and usually for the better, why not add in a very old but new-to-me custom?
I’m talking about the practice of not leaving your home for a month and being looked after by a pui yuet, otherwise known as confinement! Many of my Chinese friends have done this and raved about the practice but I didn’t know a single Western girl in my circle who had tried it out. Well, this just seemed like one more thing I wanted to experience in Asia so for the month after my son was born, I was a Western girl confined!
What is confinement?
The practice of confinement is much more than just not leaving your house for the month after your child is born. It stems from the idea that when you give birth, your body loses a lot of warmth and allows wind to enter the body, resulting in health problems later on. The month is a time to restore the warmth and to heal — no cold foods or drinks are consumed, you don’t bathe or wash your hair, you keep covered and away from cool or windy spaces, and you take a variety of Chinese medicines to aid in the healing process. The name actually translates to “sitting the month”.
A pui yuet or confinement nanny moves in with you full-time to prepare the foods and medicines, watch after the baby, and help guide you in what it is to be a new mother. Many are certified in a variety of child care classes including CPR, infant first aid, baby massage, pre/post-natal nourishment and Chinese herbal nourishment, to name a few. This first month is also the time when your child is most susceptible to illness so limiting their exposure to the outside world aids in optimal survival. This is not so much a concern now, but when the practice first originated it was very much a big deal!
As a first time mum with my family 8,000 miles away, confinement seemed like the way to go as I could heal, learn and bond with my baby while being very well taken care of by a pro! The challenge was finding a pui yuet that spoke enough English for us to get by, as my Cantonese is laughable (perhaps that will be the next thing I adapt to!). I saw this article on Sassy Mama and contacted every agency on the list. Out of the responses, I found E-Mother to be wonderfully professional and timely with their dealings. Within a week, Melisa set me up with an interview with a nanny that would be available during the time of my delivery. We sat down and asked all the questions we could think to ask and were very satisfied. We signed on to have our pui yuet do full confinement with me for the first month post-baby and then stay on as a night nurse for the following two months (Thank you Grace Lam for this tip! It is genius!).
I thought that I would’ve been bored out of my mind staying home for a month so in the preceding weeks, I stocked up on magazines and knitting projects and saved all my favorite TV shows. Some pui yuets advise to stay away from anything that may strain your eyes such as reading material and all screens (TV, computer, phone, etc.). Thankfully, mine didn’t insist on this so I was free to indulge. Even so, I rarely watched TV or read any of my stockpiled mags as my son was feeding every two hours so I always had something to do. When he finally went down for a nap I would catch up on thank you notes or a few emails or try to have a meal before his little clock registered chow time again.
Plus, we had family and friends over for visits basically every day. Add in the naps that I was ordered to take and the hours and days slipped by unbelievably fast. I left the house only for doctor’s visits and, during the last week, a quick dinner date with my husband (baby wasn’t on a bottle so we only had about an hour). Honestly, the few times we left the house I felt so frazzled between trying to figure out the taxi/car seat situation and managing the baby’s fluids that never seem to stay in his system that not leaving the house was A-Okay with me!
Our pui yuet was very surprised when I told her that I wanted to go the full on Chinese route. She assured me that she could make Western dishes but I insisted to go traditional. We agreed that if there was something that I really didn’t like that she would do a substitution. We never had to do this. The foods were awesome from bbq pork chops, to ginger chicken with choi sum, to this amazing ginger and soy whole steamed fish. Morning, noon, and night I had animal protein and a veg served with a bowl of steamed rice.
Though fruit and beef are not allowed on the menu, I looked forward to every meal and was never hungry. Many new moms are so busy caring for the baby that they forget to eat. This was not a problem for me. Baby would go down after a feed and I would be told to go eat. I cleaned every plate, much to our nanny’s surprise! The foods were rich and fatty which is good for creating a hearty supply of milk for a hungry tot. Before each meal I would have a bowl of herbal soup to aid in healing and increasing the milk supply. The soups are even tailored to the type of healing you need depending on your method of delivery. In addition to the warm soups, I drank multiple glasses of warm water and an herbal tea, which tasted very woodsy but helped get more fluids in me.
The Chinese Medicine
The medicines were put into the tea and soups, some more potent than others. The first soups tasted like dates and chestnuts and were easy to sip. The later ones were far too intense for me so I would shoot them like I was back in the ‘Fong! I still got every one down though. The worst of the bunch was given at the end of confinement and contained fish maw and little worm-like things called cordyceps. These are actually parasites that grow on the backs of insects and eventually kill their host. Cordyceps also happened to be the most expensive ingredient starting at around $5,000 for a small pack! This was the first item on the list given to us in prep for my confinement. My husband’s jaw dropped when he saw the list of 20 plus things, assuming they were all were this expensive. Thankfully, nearly all the other ingredients were around the $10-20 range. Three months post-baby I am still taking cordycep soup three times a week (I’m told you can do so for the first 100 days — not something I was thrilled to hear!).
The No Bathing
This is the one thing that most people ask about when I mention that I did confinement. Honestly, I didn’t feel that gross as I was just sitting on the couch all day so I wasn’t working up a sweat. Dry shampoo, applied liberally, did a good enough job of making me presentable to guests. While you don’t take a normal bath or shower, you are allowed to bathe with special ginger water made by your pui yuet.
Around once or twice each week two huge pots were concocted, one more concentrated than the other, and carried to my bathtub. The smell was heavenly and reminded me of Christmas! With the less strong water I was allowed to wash my hair first then wash my body with the stronger version after. I sat on a small stool in the tub and poured the water over me. I found this time so relaxing that I really came to look forward to it and was sad when the month was up and I no longer got to have it. The “heat” from the ingredients in the water made me turn red as a tomato after each bath for around 30 minutes. No one warned me of this so after my first bath I was left running to the nanny declaring that I was allergic to bathing! She laughed and just told me to wait it out.
My baby boy was taken such good care of during the period of confinement. Between my husband, my mother, our helper, the pui yuet and myself, he was never left in want for anything. Feedings went like clockwork and he slept as much as possible even with his colic bouts. I learned a host of tricks to soothe and comfort him as well as the proper hygiene methods for caring for a little one.
When it was time to feed, our nanny would change his diaper then I would hear “Mommy, stand-by”. I would get my pillow ready and a few moments later a clean, though slightly fussy, baby would be gently dropped off. At night, the bedroom door would open and baby would be placed on my chest for his feeding and then collected after 30-40 minutes. I got as much sleep as possible for a new mum. I was even instructed to take naps during the day, an order that I happily followed.
To be honest, there were not many challenges for me during confinement. Because my baby was constantly surrounded by people, it seemed that he always had someone to hold him. This is great for making babies feel secure but when they will only sleep in someone’s arms it becomes tricky. Our nanny would take him post-feed and put him in the crib to sleep, which took some time to accomplish because as soon as his little head touched the mattress he was awake! After a few weeks of practice, it became easier to put him down for his naps.
The only other thing that I found difficult was trying to enforce a timed schedule with him. He demanded feedings every two hours and our nanny said most other babies were going for four hours. We tried delaying the feeding (much to the dismay of everyone in the building) which didn’t last long, so we ended up feeding on demand which resulted in a much calmer house. Our pui yuet also mentioned that feedings should only last 30 minutes but my little guy would snooze and snack, resulting in 40- to 60-minute sessions. She showed me that I could uncover him and tickle his feet and sides to make him keep eating which worked like a charm.
A resounding YES to confinement! I will be doing this with every baby we have in Asia. I have never felt so well looked after and wonderfully nourished. Baby was also quite healthy and happy. There’s so much to learn when you are a first-time mum and having a pro on hand to advise is amazing! I can’t recommend this enough and feel that this was a service worth every dollar spent. Just having the peace of mind at night that baby is in their crib sleeping soundly with expert eyes watching over makes mama sleep better too. And we all know how important that precious sleep is those first few months! This was not a custom that I grew up knowing anything about but I am so glad to have been able to learn about it and experience it in Hong Kong. I cannot recommend this enough to all soon-to-be-mums out there!
E-Mother also specialises in ‘pui yuet’ maternity nurses.
How much: Contact them for details or enquire here .
Where: 702 Wah Ying Cheong Central Building, 158-164 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong
Contact details: 3583 2543
Gorgeous photos of Sabrina and her baby boy are courtesy of Martice Milton. Check out more of her amazing work at www.marticemiltonphotography.com.
Read this and more over at Sassy Mama HK!
By now I am sure you have noticed that pretty much every 90’s trend has come full circle and is once again gracing the runways and the store shelves. While I don’t care much for the baby doll dresses, large floral prints, and dare I say it… grunge (eek!), there is one craze that I am happy to get behind. Welcome back, backpacks! Let’s take a gander at a few of this seasons faves and some cool style inspiration for how to wear them!
From left to right: 3.1 phillip lim Pashli Backpack in Black – $6,940, Stella McCartney Beckett faux leather backpack – $10,220, What It Snakes Backpack – $465, Alexander Wang Skeletal Backpack In Sesame With Rhodium – $8,490, ALDO Bowie – $660
For those just jumping on the backpack bandwagon I suggest starting simple. Keep your colours neutral, your lines clean, and these simple shoulder sacks will take you anywhere. The 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli was an instant hit at the media preview, with bloggers in near fisticuffs to get their hands on it! If you want to try the look for less, then thisnude faux snake number from NastyGal works wonders (and for only $465 – bargain).
Treat these puppies just like you would any classic bag and pair them with everything from pedal pushers to pencil skirts, just watch as your outfits are instantly elevated to street chic cool!
If you feel you have mastered entry level status and want to amp up your efforts then add a dash of colour! With so many gorgeous hues out there you may end up buying more than you originally planned. I have been lusting after this Grafea one for months, but I just can’t seem to decide what colour to get!
From left to right: Proenza Schouler PS Large Backpack – $16,670, Grafea Sky Leather Rucksack Sky Blue $2,360, River Island White quilted rucksack - $395 , TOPSHOP Clean Pocket Backpack - $445, The Cambridge Satchel Company 11 Inch Leather Satchel Backpack (Apple) - $1,770
Here’s the blue version above, but check their site for all the other options. I am also head over heels for the Cambridge Satchel take on the look. All I need now is a sheer floaty dress and a bike with a bell, and I’m off on my weekend adventures!
From left to right: ASOS Leather Pony And Weave Backpack - $720, Louis Vuitton Monogram Backpack - $9,495, Chanel SS14 RTW Backpacks What To Wear, Tory Burch Kerrington Backpack - $2,145, FOREVER 21+ PLUS SIZES Cool Girl Striped Backpack - $190
Ready to add real flash to your look? Mix your prints and add some zing with relaxed rucksacks in a fun print. Go luxe with the classic LV monogram or Chanel graffiti bag (the only way to do grunge is with Chanel!). Tory Burch brings out your wild side with this sporty leopard number, while the striped Forever 21 knapsack harkens to summers by the beach.
Clearly if you aim for the “advanced” look then you already know how to mix prints like a pro, but if you need a refresher then just remember to stick with the same tonal family and to vary the size of your prints. And, of course, consider leopard a neutral!
Now you have a new fab way to stash your stuff in style. Whether you choose to go ultra-chill for weekend usage, or clean and streamlined to hold all your office accoutrement, you have options a plenty! Plus, as with all backpacks, they leave you hands free so you can do more important things like work and make important phone calls Instagram and sip champers! Buy a backpack and thank me later…
Originally posted at Sassy Hong Kong.
Here’s a little preview of the goodies now available at Hong Kong’s hottest new shopping destination- J Crew ! Sassy got the sneak peek of the shop the night before the grand reveal and we were beyond excited to raid the racks! Better still we got to meet the infamous Jenna Lyons (again!) and the main man himself, Mickey Drexler! Click on over to Sassy for more info about the shops and scroll down to view more in store pics by me!
Geneva of A Pair & a Spare and Mickey Drexler.
Thank you Jenna for taking the time for a quick portrait session amidst all the opening festivities!
Sassy is first in all things going on in the ‘Kong (and beyond!) and that includes showcasing style stars both at home and abroad. Teresa and Ottavio Missoni recently stopped by to celebrate the anniversary of their shop in Elements Mall and while there we got to meet up with them. Dervla got the story on their fave shopping scores while I snapped pics of the dynamic duo around the store. Here are the super stylers rocking their looks.
Read the full interview over at Sassy Hong Kong. All photos by Sabrina Sikora.
While I love a mass chain store as much as the next chica, there is something so wonderful about buying local! Not only are we saving cash on shipping and that nasty carbon footprint of getting the goods to us in the ‘Kong, but I love the thought of supporting someone just around the corner who is following their dreams. We’ve rounded up a list of local designers you should have on your radar as well as where to find them (check out our list of local jewellery designers here!). Many of these do not have retail space so the only way to order is online, but be on the look out for pop-up shops, which always seem to be well… popping up!
A Black Cigarette
Brand new to the HK scene is A Black Cigarette, which uses sustainable concepts and eco-friendly materials for their designs. The clothing, available in a neutral colour palette, can be worn and layered in a multitude of ways so you get your own chance to play stylist!
Pretty pleats and flattering forms are the name of the game at Aftermath. Designer Nina Ricardo founded the brand in 2010 and has since flown around the world and back sourcing fabrics in the US and producing the limited quantities of the creations locally. Designs are feminine and are the perfect answer to HK’s muggy summers!
Aly & Rachelle
With a creative director that has worked for Agent Provocateur and Alexander McQueen you know you are in for a treat with the collection! We are quite keen on the extensive dress range. The designs are effortlessly chic and can take you from the desk to the dance floor.
Flirty floral are the name of the game at As Ada! The frocks are perfect for a garden party or next year’s round of spring weddings that we all know we will be attending! Be on the lookout for the bridal collection that will soon be launching! (make an appointment with the showroom to view and purchase the collection)
As Ada, 4/F, Wing Fat Building, 3-5 Jervois Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2873 2874; www.facebook.com/as.ada.fashion
Aura’s creators, Tracey Fenner and Tiffany Bisley, believe that women should be able to express their beauty and empower themselves through all they do, especially when they move their bodies. As an answer to boring old workout wear, they have created this flowing and feminine line to allow us to move freely but still feel gorgeous while doing so. The colourful fabrics are all made in Bali and the designs are intricate yet supportive of movement; most pieces are between $500-800. This is the perfect range of clothing to add to your yoga bag!
Blue Sea Blue
If you are headed on holiday, be sure to check out Blue Sea Blue to stock up on all things resort-worthy! From jewels and bags, to cardigans and kaftans BSB has it all. Our favourite pieces are the comfy cosy maxi dresses which would pair perfectly with sandals, sun, and sangria!
Book of Deer
This brand gets its name from the oldest book in Scottish lit and the charms of the past are sure to still be found! Vintage-inspired cuts and pretty as a picture prints make up each creation. These are the perfect pieces for the girly girl in us all!
With lines that are called “Starter”, “Main Dish”, “Dessert” and “Side Dish”, you know you are in for a unique offering. The different lines offer varying degrees of intricacy and design with the Starter being more youthful and the Main Dish more luxurious for the experienced lingerie connoisseur. Don’t forget to check out the eye masks, garters and other accessories that fall under the Side Dish category!
Bubies, 2/F, 18 Pak Sha Road, Causeway Bay, 2521 8186, www.bubies.hk
This is the line to linger over if you are fan of prints and colour! The two stunning (and talented) faces behind the brand, Pernille and Tale, provide you with the perfect pieces for the jet-set glamorous girl! We love how versatile the 70’s Dress is and love that the cuffs already sport chain detailing so we don’t need to add any jewellery leaving us out the door looking fab in a flash!
She’s already known for her on-point blog Fashion Hedonism, as well as her beachy, boho-chic style, but now you can add designer to that list! Scoop up styles that Christing wears herself – but beware that legs will need to be bared! We love the super short shorts and the HK-summer-approved breezy mini dresses. Be sure not to scrimp on the squats at your next gym sesh to look good in one of Christing’s pieces!
Daydream Nation is far more than just clothing. This creative hub includes theatre, dance, film, and visual arts. They have gained international recognition for their collabs with Peter Jensen, Urban Outfitters, and were even sited as one of Karl Lagerfeld’s inspirations for the Chanel AW09 collection! The clothing, shoes and accessories are meant for the bold that are looking to get style stalked on the streets, so steer clear if you aren’t a fan of catching all eyes as you pass!
Daydream Nation, 2/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, www.daydream-nation.com
Daydream Nation, Shop 3 & 4, No. 101, K11, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong,www.daydream-nation.com
Erbert Chong’s pieces feature sophistication with a bit of an edge. The collection includes leather and fur bombers, silk blouses, and elegant evening wear mixing conservative and controversial cuts and fabrics. His style is perfectly feminine while still having a bit of bite to it! Be sure to check out his structured bags fit for any occasion; you can also choose to have its interior tag embossed with any three letters of your choosing! With each piece handmade by Erbert himself, this young Hong Kong designer is definitely a name to watch.
Erbert Chong Studio, 16C King Palace Plaza, 55 King Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong,www.erbertchong.com
Erbert Chong Showroom, 25/F, Tin On Sing Commercial Building, 41-43 Graham Street, Central, Hong Kong,www.erbertchong.com
Originally known for founder Grace Chan’s grassy clutches, the brand is now boasting some artistic alternatives sure to mow you over! We love the paint-dipped clutches that are the perfect size to keep in a larger handbag during the day and pull out after hours for a night out. Cosmo and Bazaar can’t be wrong as they have both featured Grace’s clutches as carry-all’s for the cool to covet!
House of V
House of V is one of those brands that brings it back to basics to create elegant, simple pieces that will fit seamlessly into your wardrobe. Their staple items use clean lines and high quality materials to create striking pieces that will give you an instant sophisticated style. House of V ‘strives to serve confident women with a keen eye for fashion’… perfect for all you Sassy girls!
Featuring flowing, naturally-dyed linen tops in a range of peaceful hues, Hulu is the brand to choose before you head off on your next yoga retreat. The label also has bright, printed options for the kiddies so you can match when you meditate.
Hulu 10, 10 Glenealy Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2179 5500, www.hulu10.com
With even just a quick perusal of Ika Butoni’s website you know you are seeing something special – even better if you make the trip to Mira Mall to see the collection in person! There is an incredible range of styles to choose from, each bearing a look sure to get you noticed. We love the bold tribal prints and rich embroidery from their new collection!
Ika Butoni, Shop 201, Mira Mall, Mira Hotel, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2311 7238; www.ikabutoni.com
Inspired by her Asian travels, founder Cristina Wilkinson’s created a line of carefully crafted swimwear sure to show off your best assets. Accessories and wraps are sourced abroad, while the dresses and kaftans are Itsie Bitsie’s own design! If you are headed for some fun in the sun, then Itsie Bitsie should be your first spot to stock up pre-travel.
Jo’s Ready to Wear
Jo’s Ready to Wear makes for tea parties in the garden and summer picnics! The embroidered pale pink and flowing white skirts beg for bare feet with gingham blankets beneath. Even if you can’t pick fresh blooms in the ‘Kong you can wear these cotton creations while toting your fresh cuts from the Flower Market!
Jo’s Ready to Wear, 5/F, Lan Fong Road, Causeway Bay, 6146 0861, www.josreadytowear.com
What happens when you take a classic shape and add just enough of a twist to turn it into a work of wearable art? Well, you get Johanna Ho’s collection! We see her pieces on gallery owners and goers alike – they are that cool and modern! If you want to make a subtle but very cool statement, then slip on one of Johanna’s pieces for instant impact.
Johanna Ho, 13 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.johannaho.com
Have a front row seat at an A-list runway show to attend? Then don yourself in one of the hottest local labels around: meet Jourden. This name to know has been on the backs of all your fave fashion editors and has even been spotted in the pages of Vogue! Classic cuts are given new life in a range of standout textures from slick iridescents to knobby knits. Jourden should be in the front of your mind and your wardrobe!
Indian influences run though this richly-textured collection, whose vibrant fabrics are sourced in Bangalore and Delhi. We love the bold yellow circle skirt as well as the thick fabric belts that draw all the attention to that taut waist of yours!
Kanchan Couture, 108 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/KanchanCouture
Designer Kamla Hiranand has been in Hong Kong for more than 25 years, so she knows a thing or two about what the ladies of our city desire. Her line of kaftans is staggering – ranging from simple sheer tops (around $1,500) to the more elaborate bedazzled digital print maxis (around $2,800). You can even do bespoke creations! Set up an appointment at the showroom and be sure to bring your friends, as they are happy to dress everyone in tow. While there, accessorise your new kaftan with one of the incredible bags ($1,500-2,500) or jewels direct from India.
Kamla International (Showroom), Unit 1906, 19/F Crawford House, 70 Queens Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, 2509 1898 (call to make an appointment), www.kapriceonline.com
Designed by Christina Wan, Kookii B has designer kimonos, lingerie and jewellery with gorgeous intricate detailing, such as lace and crystals. Her prints are inspired by exotic destinations such as Bali and Koh Samui, and we covet them for our next vacay. The colourful bracelets brighten any wrist, perfectly suited for the warm summer months we’re expecting!
I have no doubt that by now you have read founder Fiona Kotur Marin’s story in Ladies Who Launch! Kotur bags have not only made their place in the HK scene, but also around the world. These high-end beauties, seen on the arms of tai-tais and celebs alike, are sure to spice up your clutch collection. We are also enthralled with the debut shoe collection from the brand and we can’t wait to lace up our tootises in these high-end delights!
If you are in need of a qipao for a fab event or just a fancy souvenir from your time in Hong Kong, then Linva is the place to purchase. Tailors Mr. and Mrs. Leung have stood the test of time with a shop that has been in business for more than 40 years. That is incredible in a city that is ever-changing! Custom offerings take about two months to complete but there is an entire range to choose from if you can’t wait that long.
Linva Tailor, 38 Cochrane Street, Central, Hong Kong
LuvMyDress is not just dresses but, yes, the dresses are super cute! Designs are right on trend with colour blocking, embellishments, and architectural elements. The first online launch was such a huge success and sold out in no time. Keep checking the site as new goods are on their way. We can’t wait!
Your go-to shift just got a lot cooler! Designer Rakhee Shah weaves her Indian and Kenyan heritage into a visually rich collection filled with prints and colours to excite and entice. We promise that you will hear the compliments flood in the minute you step out in a one-of-a-kind by Maisha Concept. We hope that she starts stocking jewellery too, so that we can have the prints and colours wind their way up our limbs as well! Check out our full review here.
Marie France Van Damme
While the brand isn’t new, this sleek IFC boutique certainly is! Marie France has actually been living and working in Hong Kong since the 90s, but now she has finally opened her first standalone store in the 852 – and this is set to be your one-stop shop if you have glam travel plans in mind. Her luxury resort-wear boasts a wide variety of silk-embroidered kaftans, tunics and sexy swimwear, perfect for lounging by a five-star pool. Be sure to pay special attention to the gorgeous snake print swimsuits – a Sassy fave! There are also several easy jersey dresses and metallic shifts and skirts for your night-time adventures; for glam on the go, grab a metallic tote or a chunky geode cuff to complete your look!
Marie France Van Damme, Shop 3088, Podium 3, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2882 9088,www.mariefrancevandamme.com
Bringing a romantic whimsy to spring, new Hong Kong designer Melissa Bui has produced a collection that comes as a breath of fresh air in a town filled with mostly black and grey clothes. Her debut collection features pieces reminiscent of Oscar de la Renta and vintage Dior – perfect for those of us that love girlie details on a well-cut silhouette. All Bui’s pieces are available by order only, so you’ll have to email her here if you want in on the action. This collection will surely bring out the lady in us all!
Mer Culture has a great selection of swimsuits that you can mix and match to suit whatever shape or style you love. We love the one-shoulder options as well as the sexiest tankini we have seen yet! Sizing ranges from XS-XL, so no matter your size, you are well sorted. This is your brand if you want to wow in the waves and smoulder in the sand!
SPECIAL SASSY OFFER
Catch their storewide summer 2014 sale with items up to 30% off! Better yet, Mer Culture is offering us Sassy girls an even further discount of $77.52 ($10 USD) off when you enter the coupon code SASSY10. Simply mention the code and this Sassy article!
Sassy That Girl Michelle Lai’s brand is only four years old and in that time she has made quite the name for herself and her brand! Busy HK girls who have to do and carry it all flock to the well-priced stunners for hauling their life around. Once you decide on which colour combo you like the best, have it personalised with your initials to ensure everyone knows that the tremendous tote is yours!
Traditional style qipao’s are revamped with interesting fabrics perfect for a new generation. We love the polka dot version, which lends a playful tough to an elegant cut. While browsing the site, take a gander at the intricately-cut wooden and creepy little puppet-like necklaces, which are all handmade.
Just because it’s a basic doesn’t mean that it has to be simple. This line is meant to be worn in all facets of life. Break the pieces apart and pair them for your casual engagements and your more regal affairs. Sassy faves include the crisp button down shirt with cut-out neck details and piping and the ever-so-sexy LBD with a back cut out! MVT is clothing you will keep and wear for life!
MVT, Room 306, Yu Yuet Lai Building, 43-55 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2544 8188, www.mvt-atelier.com
City dwellers everywhere will scoop up this urban-luxe apparel brand. We love that the clean cut shapes are more than they appear with asymmetrical details, mod overlays and stitching, and mixed materials. Geometric shapes and luxe leather embellishments make N12H a label to surely catch your attention.
Sugary sweet dresses boasting flowers, kisses, and strawberries are sure to remind of us of our youth. Perfect for the dead heat of summer, these flouncy little numbers will bring out the Lolita in all of us!
Nude is Rude
Merisa Zeman brings us a line of completely wearable and incredibly comfy jersey pieces that will sneak their way into your wardrobe in no time. With just one touch of these garments, you will be hooked! When you don’t feel like getting dressed, just toss on a little Nude is Rude and you will look totally put together but will feel like you are in your pj’s! How cheeky…
It’s nearly swimsuit season, so head over to Papeete to update your wardrobe to ensure you’re ready for poolside and beachside lounging. This elegant and contemporary beachwear brand is perfect for Sassy girls who want a touch of glamour at their next resort holiday. We love the bold colours and prints – they’re getting us excited for some sunshine!
Ri by Carrie
Carrie Hare, founder and designer of Ri by Carrie, honed her craft in the Alexander McQueen prints section and later relocated to the ‘Kong bringing with her a wealth of knowledge about how to dress the body to really make the most of what the good Lord gave you! If you love to go bold, then check out Ri’s printed leggings, fringed mini’s, and shocking shifts! A personal fave is the Origami Kimono Wrap Dress which would make the perfect beach cover up!
Ro & Mo
Ro&Mo is relatively new to the Hong Kong shopping scene – but they’ve already made a name for themselves as thelabel to wear when accessorising for your beach holiday! Hong Kong-based Monica (Mo) and Spanish resident Rosita (Ro) founded the brand, and both spent their youth frolicking in the waves at the beach. They cultivated these memories into a collection that is concise, with three key themes, but well-thought out… leaving you with exactly what you need for packing that perfect stylish getaway kit! We’re talking turbans, bags and wraps in a variety of colourful options, including chevrons, stripes and Afro-fab batiks – so feel free to mix and match your way to holiday perfection.
We’ve sung the praises of S. Nine designer Susanna Soo before and here we go again! When you want to go all out, there is no better local designer to wear. Susanna is known for her intricate gathering techniques but we also adore her use of sheer panels and the ultra flattering silhouettes she creates! Make an appointment at her showroom to see and try these beauties for yourself…
Boasting suits for all stages of life, you can find something to wear when you are ripped, when you want to keep your bits covered, and even those tricky swimsuit shopping maternity days! There are even suits for the little ladies in your life! Our fave? The strapless one-piece Liz Taylor, which comes in a variety of eight (lucky baht) prints and colours! That’s just as many times as dear Liz was married! Coincidence?!
Sabina Swims, Union Commercial Building, 7/F, 12 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong,www.sabinaswims.com
Brand new to the HK shelves is Sarah Lai’s show-stopping collection. We can’t take our eyes off the dramatic capes, structured knits, and leather and lace accents. The range works well for the well-suited office crowd and can be broken apart to take on after hours activities. Let Sarah Lai elevate your everyday wardrobe and get ready to bask in the compliments that will surely come your way!
Uber cool Scandinavian designs found right in the heart of Sheung Wan! Here you will find the perfect gifts for anyone who loves the simplicity in life. Clean crisp VOID watches are sparse in distractions but big on style. You can also find bags and wallets designed in-house and made locally alongside prints form local artists! Be sure to check out their very cool and super comfy line of shoes as well!
Square Street, 15 Square Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2362 1086, www.squarestreet.se
Founder Tania Mohan started her shop after being inspired on a trip through India in the late 90’s. Her line of high-end women’s resort wear features delectable silks and intricate hand embroidery of the highest quality. Traditional artisans in India make all of the products you see in store.
Tabla, Shop M31, Mezzanine Floor, Prince’s Building, Central, Hong Kong, 2525 5590, www.tabla.hk
Talk to any of the artsy crowd in HK and they are sure to own a piece from Tangram. Designer and Sassy That Girl,Paola Sinsterra has sewn her way into the eclectic hearts of many of this city’s creative power players! These are wearable pieces that make you look and feel instantly cool! Be sure to take a peek at the huge bon-bon necklaces as well as her new lingerie and swimwear lines, too! Will the creative energy that surrounds Paola never cease?
While we love all of the brands on offer at Tikka we are especially fond of the in-house brand Doris Q. These are the clothes for the fashion blogger in all of us. Huge tulle skirts and dresses and pants showcasing sheer elements and the two most classic colours- black and white! Urbanites rejoice because Doris Q has you creatively covered for yet another season!
Tikka, G/F, 18 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong 2884 1111, www.tikka-boutique.com
Twisted Sister aka TwS
Instantly up your cool quotient by sporting a TwS ensemble! Simple yet edgy pieces liven up any look in an instant. Choose from neon pink asymmetrical tops to electric yellow oversize cardis and set off the look with one of the basic black uber cool skirts in the line up. There may be an underlying element of grunge to the look but you will feel anything but grungy!
What the Frock?!
Nearly every Sassy girl I meet admits to owning a What the Frock?! dress or two! Started by two friends, Maria and Lauren, who met in Hong Kong and lamented over the fact that there were no everywhere dresses for a reasonable price point beyond the Zara doors, WTF was born! The line consists of an ever-changing variety of dresses that can take you anywhere you need to be – brunch, beach, boardroom, baby playgroup? Done! Save yourself the trouble and stock your HK wardrobe with these babies!
On the hunt for that perfect blouse and always coming up empty handed? No more! Newcomer Vaughan is only in its second season but are turning the heads of everyone in the HK fashion scene! The blouses are mostly classic and named after fab females of the past! But beware… once you have one you will want it in every colour. BONUS: have your top monogrammed with your own initials in the colour and typeface you desire and never get the wrong shirt back from the dry cleaner again!
Hong Kong summers have just met their match! Zero Noir delivers dresses and rompers full of punch that will have all the girls asking where you got your garment! Personally, I can’t decide if I’m more in love with the flirty floral rompers or the ruffled silk wrap dresses which are all 100% silk! Start RSVP’ing to all those summer bashes because you now have your perfect party wardrobe!
Available at Polkadot Boutique, 2/F, Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2521 0636 and Dboutique, G/F, 63 Stauton Street, Soho, Central, Hong Kong, 3483 3499
Here in Hong Kong, we are incredibly proud of all of our local talent. We hope that you will help keep them around and in business by supporting these brands! We’ve tried to introduce you to a range of prices and styles so that every reader can find something that fits their budget and lifestyle. Have you spotted any other local brands that you think we should know about? Let us know!
Check out this and more over at Sassy Hong Kong!