Friday, 31 July 2009

Happy Friday!

Have wonderful weekend! We're signing off until Monday... Not because we're going to go lie on a beach though unfortunately...

Image from Camilla Akrans

The Makeup Look Ahead

Today we're taking a peek at fall beauty inspirations... In Hong Kong where summer can seem as though it lasts forever (as anyone who has gone into the month of October still unable to justify pulling on a pair of jeans), an easy way to update our look is to switch up our makeup look.
At Versace, the look was edgy and glamorous with heavy dark lids smouldering with black and blue shadow, offset with picture perfect matte skin and nude lips. Pressed powder is an essential for this look, though it might not have been a staple for the past few seasons. Hair was tough-girl-chic, and definitely not pretty... I seem to manage to achieve this look fairly easily after a yoga class without any styling aids at all! While this look is definitely one to leave on the catwalk, it does give inspiration for mixing textures - slick crowns contrasting with backcombed ponytails.
At Bottega Veneta, a softer look was shown, to complement a sexy, romantic collection. Again, we see perfect matte skin achieved with liquid foundation and pressed powder, and a sultry eye with a swoop of black pencil liner and brown and taupe shadows. The lips are wine-colored and imperfect - what Pat McGrath called, "broken glamor".
Hair was slicked back with gel after being backcombed to give some volume at the front, and then the back was teased into a messy roll at the base of the skull. A little like you have rolled around on your hair do for a while!
If sultry edgy chic, or romantic glamor looks aren't really your bag, perhaps you will draw inspiration from the eighties inspired looks seen at the Marc Jacobs show. Francois Nars was lured back to the catwalk do his first show in more than 10 years, and didn't disappoint with his creativity. We once again see porcelain skin, this time paired with black-rimmed eyes paired with powder shadows taken right up and onto the brow.
Unlike the pale faces at Versace and Bottega Veneta, at Marc Jacobs cheek contours were striking. Lips were either nude or shimmering, and hair was truly gravity defying.
So... seems that items to really stock up on for the coming season are a liquid foundation and pressed powder, hair spray and a comb to backcomb. It seems serious makeup is back!

All images via style.com

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Getaway get the look: Paris

Alors, it's that time of the week again... we're escaping HK to get the look of another fun destination! Last week was Bangkok, this week PARIS!
Achieving the inimitable French style is not easy mes chéries... Some general rules to live by to achieve the French look are:

1) French women almost never wear prints. They choose block coloured garments in neutral or dark colours for easy mix-and-matching. This daytime outfit in nude and cream shades can be mixed up and accessorized in different ways, but will always look fresh and expensive.
2) A chic pair of flats can elevate a casual outfit. Be a little wary of ballet slippers as they can make your calves look a little chunk-a-dunk. A good way to avoid this is to choose a nude colour that will blend with your skin tone.

3) Always have a little something sexy... A top that slips down over one shoulder, a skirt that shows a toned flash of thigh, or a low-backed dress. Balance this with being very modest in all other areas - sometimes more is less, you know?
4) Black NEVER goes out of style, especially if it is figure hugging and good quality. Buy the best you can afford and see how you will wear it again and again. Try to keep from spilling your MacDo coffee on your outfit... not a good look.

5) Invest in good lingerie. It's the little touches of luxury that only you know about that will put a swing in your step and a glint in your eye.

So, some little hints to achieve the Parisien style... Bon chance!

Top Image: The Sartorialist
Day Look: Ted Lapidus Sunglasses from Loveworn; Stella McCartney top from Net-a-Porter; Ted Rossi Bangles; Ballet Flats from H&M; Chloe bag; Topshop Skirt.
Second Image: Source Unknown
Night Look: Miu Miu Bra; Boy by Band of Outsiders Tank; Givenchy chain & feather bracelet; Lanvin Choker; Alexander Wang Skirt; Michael Antonio Gladiator Booties; Madame a Paris Purse.

The Polite Umbrella


We all know Hong Kong sidewalks can be lethal in the rain - a million people crowding together wielding umbrellas can mean you need to keep an eye out, or you might get an eye poked out! If you're above 5ft tall, walking in central in the rain can be an exercise in ducking and weaving.

This "Polite Umbrella" therefore seems like the perfect Hong Kong invention. You can fold down one or both sides at once to avoid passers by. Shame it seems to just be a prototype currently - we would buy one immediately if it were for sale!

The Return of the Fashion T

We attended some of the Mandarin Oriental's "Fashion T" events earlier this year, so were thrilled to see that they will be continuing the tradition this September! Each Thursday a different designer will be showcasing their new collection, including Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo and Escada. From looking at the stills of the catwalk shows for each designer on Style.com, it seems the Salvatore Ferragamo collection in particular is a must-see.

The Fashion T's are so girly and fun - sitting down to tea and cakes with friends and watching a fashion show at the same time, what could be better? We're excited to see the creative ideas the Mandarin comes up with, as last time they had themed all the cakes and chocolates to feature truffles shaped like lipsticks and little handbags.

There are two shows each Thursday; one at 3pm and then another at 4.45pm. Tickets are HK$488 for two including the afternoon tea. You can book them by phoning 2825 4007 or email mohkg-clipperlounge@mohg.com.

See you there!

Image of Salvatore Ferragamo's Autumn Winter Collection via Style.com

We're trying to resist...

We're trying so hard to resist posting new season images when it's still the height of summer and hot outside, but this image from Vogue China's August edition is just too cool to keep to ourselves. As of mid-August we're probably going to crack and let it all out - we just LOVE winter clothes!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

The Golden Age of Couture

The hot, steamy and rainy weather we have been having lately has me on a search of fun things to do indoors. Throw in the recent boredom of my regular Central/Mid Levels routine I have decided to search for girly things to do away from Hong Kong Island. Lucky for me I discovered that the Hong Kong Heritage Museum has an exhibition called The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957, which will be showing until September 28th. I am planning on recruiting Hester and Natalie to join me on a day trip to Sha Tin someday soon and we will discuss all things couture (and of course Sassy too!)

The exhibition highlights post-war couture during 1947-1957, which is the decade that Christian Dior called the "Golden Age" of fashion. It examines the history of couture and its introduction into the fashion we see on the runways today. The exhibition showcases the works of Christian Dior, Cristobal Balenciaga, Pierre Balmain and Hubert de Givenchy in Paris and their London counterparts Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies. Also included in the exhibit are photographs, documentary film, textiles and archive material from this fashionable time period.

Not that you should need another reason to go but if you do I will give you one. You will see more than 100 dresses on display including daywear, cocktail and evening dresses made for the high society and royalty!

I am almost all set to go...I just need to figure out what I am going to wear!

Address:
1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin
Opening Hours:
10am-6pm (Mon, Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat)
10am-7pm (Sun and public holidays)
Closed on Tuesday
Admission:
$20 (Thursday to Monday)
$10 (Wednesday)

Sassy Addresses: Lams Season



It might be tiny, but it sparkles so you can't miss it! Lams Season is on Lyndhurst Terrace in what I suppose is technically Noho, and the outside of the shop is covered in shiny gold mosaic tiles, making it a draw for our magpie eyes. Inside, the light and airy shop space is a treasure trove for all things feminine and girly: lots of embellished floaty dresses and tops in pale colours, jewellery and a few carefully selected shoe styles.

Clothing is by Chailie Ho, a Hong Kong-born young designer who studied fashion at Cenral Saint Martins. Her ethereal and unstructured designs are effortlessly simple, but with a twist that elevates them to something special. For this summer season the collection has a Chloe-esque vibe, and prices are reasonable at around $500 for a dress or top.

Lams Season
G/F 23-31 Lyndhurst Terrace (Opposite Dymocks)
info@chailieho.com 2851 8636

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Rabbit Food

Apart from Dressed in IFC, which is great, it can be hard to find tasty, fresh and affordable salad options in Hong Kong. Which is why we're thrilled to have found this article in the New York Times listing 101 recipes for Simple Salads. The best part is that they're not even really recipes, just serving suggestions containing few ingredients and simple preparations. Print it out and stick it on your fridge - there are some unusual combinations, and plenty of vegan and veggie suggestions too. Bon Appetit!

Chanel from Vogue Paris

Happy to have found the Chanel page from the Vogue Paris spread I blogged last week - we're still going through all the answers we received about style influences, but it's amazing how many girls cite Chanel.

Wow - two Chanel posts in a row... we need to mix it up!

Sassy Address: Dining Wok




When my husband and I were living in the States we dedicated every Sunday night to Chinese take-out. Usually that meant crab ragoons, wanton soup, egg rolls, General Tao's Chicken, and of course finished off with a fortune cookie! I have discovered that American Chinese Cuisine is basically a style of Chinese food that is not usually found in China! Deep-fried, stir-fried, and smothered in salt and oil seems to be the trend in American style Chinese food. Oh, and of course I don't want to forget about the MSG (although I think that most places are trying to offer the no MSG menus)! While I absolutely love the Chinese food here in Hong Kong, I actually have discovered a restaurant that prides itself on creating American Chinese Cuisine, The Dining Wok.

The Dining Wok is located on St. Francis Street in Wan Chai (very near to Star Street). The tables are decorated with the Chinese Zodiac Chart making for great conversation, I am the year of the Sheep. The menu is loaded with pictures and descriptions of all the dishes (very helpful to me!). We began with the pork pot-stickers and spring rolls, followed by wanton soup---and yes, the wantons were the fried wantons, sweet and sour chicken, and to my surprise we even had fortune cookies with our bill! I would say that the Dining Wok (which actually means "Big Trouble" in Cantonese) was a good match to our Sunday night take-out from the States.

The Dining Wok, G/F 12 St. Francis Street, Wan Chai, 2861-2722

Monday, 27 July 2009

Lily Allen for Chanel

I love Lily Allen, despite, and perhaps a little bit because of, her tendency to get inappropriately drunk and disorderly at important events. I double-love her in the new ad campaign for Chanel's new cocoon handbag range, where she has been styled a la Audrey Hepburn.
What I can't get on board with are the actual bags... Take a look at the colour photo above! Eeewwww.... We'll have to hope they're prettier in person. I guess at least they look nice and comfy!

Sassy Addresses: Vickie

We had meetings in Central today, and found ourselves with 10 minutes to kill by browsing around the shops on Queen Victoria Street (running between Queen's Road and Des Voeux Road). We wandered into this little shoe store and found a hidden gem. Featuring lots of "interpretations" of brands like Valentino and Jimmy Choo, Vickie shoes can customize any of their styles with different heel styles and heights. They stock larger sizes too in all the styles we tried on (e.g. 39-41), and will punch extra holes in your straps for no extra charge.

With prices between HK$350-500, they're reasonably priced too. Maura and I each picked up a pair so decided to pose with our bags outside the store while Natalie almost got run over standing in the road taking our picture.

A productive day!

Vickie
3, Queen Victoria Street, Central
Tel: 2525 6402

Feeling Film Noir

We're feeling very film noir today... we've been working on the design for the flyer for our Sassy Hour next week, and we've been inspired by the glamorous location! More news coming later this week.

We had so much fun at belly dancing on Saturday evening, and were surprised how much of a workout it was. Our sides were aching the next day because it seems to use muscles you don't know you have. We drank wine and honored our inner goddesses! We'll be putting up pictures here and on our main website later today. Thankfully we couldn't make a video!

We were going to post about beach fashion today, but waking up to the driving rain soon put that idea out of our minds. It was a struggle to even get out of bed today, right?

Friday, 24 July 2009

Which designer/label most inspires your style?

Today at Sassy we have this important question on our lips! As part of the event we're working on to preview Lane Crawford's new Autumn/Winter collection (sorry girls, all full up already), we're asking our guests to tell us about their style inspirations. As the answers are coming in, we're loving reading them - it gives such a great insight into personality somehow!

It therefore couldn't have been more timely to find this Vogue Paris fashion spread with models dressed in an exaggerated way in the vision of famous designers. Unfortunately I'm not sure I find my style inspiration amongst them - I'm more of a Miu Miu/Marc Jacobs girl in my heart, though I love the Bottega Veneta image.




Images via I Know What You Wore

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Getaway get the look: Bangkok

Sawadee Ka!

"As Calcutta smells of death and Bombay of money, Bangkok smells of sex"... or so goes the famous Paul Theroux quote! We're not sure about all that, but we LOVE weekend getaways to Bangkok, and enjoy strolling around and soaking up all the sights, colours and sounds.
The Friday evening Emirates flight leaves at 22.25, meaning if you are a slave to your desk you don't need to take any time off, and you can be at your hotel by 1am (our faves so far have been the Grand Hyatt or the Four Seasons) - perfect for grabbing a quick drink at the hotel bar before hitting the hay. You've got a whole Saturday of shopping ahead of you!

We've picked out these gold gladiators which will keep your feet comfy while you're mall-ratting, and then this sky blue dress and bright accessories (steer clear of wearing certain colours like red or yellow in Bangkok). We recommend you head to Central World if you're craving those western stores we don't have in HK, like Topshop, Miss Selfridge or Dorothy Perkins. This mall could keep you busy for hours! Then the area around Siam Paragon is packed with cool boutiques crammed with funky bags, accessories and vintage-style clothes.
Once you've had your fill of shopping, book yourself into Healthland for an AMAZING and super-cheap two hour Thai massage. It's not the most fancy of spas, but it's spotlessly clean with a mix of traditional and modern decor, and as it is also a massage school, the technique is fantastic. Bangkok residents swear by it.

You'll now be nice and ready for some evening fun... We've picked out this ensemble for you to wear in a sultry purple, with this silver lace cuff and funky feathered purse. You're ready to hit the Sukhumvit area (take the sky train - it's cheap, easy and fast) where many of the trendy bars and restaurants are. Sassy recommends the Lan Na Thai/Hazara/Face complex, which is a converted Thai villa which is home to a few of the coolest eating and drinking spots in town.

When you wake up on Sunday, you might even feel like taking in some culture, like a wander round the Erawan Shrine or a baking trek around the Grand Palace (shoes on, shoes off, scarf on, scarf off, repeat). Or perhaps just MORE shopping, eating, massages, repeat. That sounds like more our speed!

Day Outfit: Clutch from Mad Imports; Dress from Eruca; Vintage sunglasses from Love Worn; Bracelet and Necklace from Fantasy Jewelry Box; Sam Edelman Glads from Chick Downtown.

Night Outfit: Aurelie Biderman Cuff from Luisa Via Roma; Chloe Dress from Net-a-Porter; Earrings from 1928; Clutch from Peeptoe Shoes; Fendi Shoes from Far Fetch; Dior Eye Shadow from Saks.

Manicure Monday Recap and Pics

At Sassy we always look forward to Manicure Mondays. Not only is it a great time to get our nails in shape but it is perfect because we get to mingle with friends at the same time! One of my favorite parts of the evening is seeing what nail color everyone picked...I am so indecisive (and safe!) when it comes to choosing a nail color so it definitely helps me with deciding what color I am going to get!! We had 3 lucky draw winners this month. Elena won an express facial, Laura won a pedicure and Yoko won a cookbook from Gingers Catering!

Pictures are now posted in the Sassy Pics section of our website.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Sassy Addresses: The Brunch Club



Sometimes we all need to slow down and enjoy a meal with friends. That is exactly what we at Sassy did yesterday. We spent our Tuesday morning over eggs and toast at The Brunch Club. We turned off our mobile phones, put our blackberry's out of sight, and kept the conversation far from business. In the hustle and bustle of life here in Hong Kong it is sometimes so easy to get caught up in work and deadlines. It is so important to step back and simply enjoy good company!

We met at The Brunch Club tucked away on Peel Street (SoHo). An extremely cozy spot with magazine lined walls and comfy sofas. The menu features breakfast, brunch, afternoon teas, supper, wine, and cocktails. Open daily from 8am-11pm. The Brunch Club believes in fair trade, and that is obvious throughout the menu! Maura and I both had the scrambled egg whites with toast and fruit, while Hester had the yogurt with fruit. The food was delicious....and spending a Tuesday morning with two friends at a quaint restaurant was the perfect way to start the day!

The Brunch Club, 70 Peel Street, SoHo

The perfect dress solution?

We're all about dresses this week at Sassy! Following on from our post on Monday thinking about fun accessories to take a summer dress from day to evening, we're now turning our attention to how to get that perfect made-for-you dress. We've always talked together about trying to get a tailor-made dress in Hong Kong, but for some reason always shied away from actually executing because we're not sure how it would turn out, or whether tailors will be able to exactly recreate a dress from a magazine or photo. 


Now we've found Collette Patterns, which sells seasonal and fun patterns which allow sewers to make their own dresses, or those of us in Hong Kong to take the plunge to buy a pattern and take it to a tailor! Designed especially to be flattering to us girls with curves (available for US sizes 0-14), the patterns are just $16. You can choose your style, go to the Western Market to pick out your fabric, then take to a tailor and be sure to get a great result! 

I especially love the Parfait pattern (top), which I think would look super-cute in a little floral print. 

Pink Lemonade Day

Looks like the day promises to be another scorcher... When you ride the escalator down in the mornings from mid-levels to hit central you can feel the temperature climb by several sweaty degrees up the thermometer and the air feels thick like bath water as the buildings get higher and closer together. 

We're mixing up a batch of Ina Garten's pink lemonade to enjoy in big chilled tumblers for our Sassy meeting today - perfect for a sweet hit of refreshment when a frappucino is too slow to hit to the spot! 

Ingredients
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (5-6 lemons)
1/2 to 3/4 cup superfine sugar (caster) to taste
1 cup crushed ice
4 cups water
2 teaspoons grenadine (or 1 cup cranberry juice)
Maraschino cherries - for that kitschy touch! 

Directions
Place lemon juice, ice, water and either grenadine or cranberry juice in a blender and whizz until it's completely smooth. Put a cherry at the bottom of your glass and pour the pink lemonade over. Serve, sip and mop your brow. 

Wouldn't you like to spend more of your life outside?

We know we would... It's SO hot outside, but we just found this Hong Kong site that gives us a little inspiration to brave the great outdoors this weekend.

(Images from the Pastel & Dreamy Set on Flickr)

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Why we're happy Aldo came to Hong Kong...

It's pretty hard to find affordable and fashion-forward shoes in Hong Kong, especially if you have Western-sized feet, e.g. big! We're doing our own version of Marie Claire's Spree vs. Steal with the above fab shoes - on the left, Nicolas Kirkwood Python Web Suede Sandals at HK$10,600. On the right, Aldo HK$542. 

Of course, the Nicolas Kirkwood ones are AMAZING, but we'd certainly be leaning towards the Aldo version! 

How to be green(er) in Hong Kong


It's so easy to become blas√© about the environment here as it feels like here in South China we are right on the forefront seeing how the Eco battle is being lost... We live amongst swirling pollution, accept the lack-of-recycling status quo, and turn our eyes away from the debris-strewn beaches. The problem can seem so huge, and the steps that one individual can take are so small, that it can seem easier to do nothing.  Here at Sassy we're trying to change our ways one small step at a time, so here are some real-life-friendly tips on going green(er) in Hong Kong:
1. Use a reusable tote bag for your grocery shopping:
We're all moving in the right direction on this, thanks to the measures supermarkets like Wellcome and Park & Shop have put in place where they're making us pay 50 cents for each plastic bag. Keep a foldable tote in your handbag for those unplanned trips to the grocery store. Even better, use one of these great bags from Bez & Oho, which are made from feed sacks. 

2. Use air conditioning thoughtfully:
The Hong Kong government recommend you keep your air con no lower than 25 degrees, and switch it off in rooms you are not using. This will also save on your electricity bill! Make sure the air con is efficient by blocking gaps under doors and sealing window frames. 

3. Get proactive about waste disposal:
Electrical waste and old appliances and computers is managed by the St. James Settlement, with multiple collection locations around Hong Kong. Encourage your building management to introduce a waste separation system. Some of the costs of setting up such a system can be reimbursed by the government. 

4. Return coat hangers to dry cleaners:
This is one that I definitely need to work on! We go through tens of the wire hangers each week, and while some are reused for hanging our clothes, I also put a good amount in the trash. This will be a resolution for me. 

5. Eat less meat:
The production of meat for us to eat is extremely energy intensive, and also causes massive deforestation. Join the Meat Free Mondays cause! 

6. Use reusable drinks containers:
For your coffee, and for your water while you're out and about. Plastic bottles can take up to 700 years to begin composting. We LOVE Sigg water bottles, which you can personalize with your own name or design... a great gift idea. 
7. Clean up our beaches:
If you're a hiker or a lover of the outdoors, you will have seen the shameful state some of Hong Kong's beaches are in. The ICC will be holding their annual Coastal Cleanup in September this year. Last year nearly 5,000 volunteers removed 25,000kg of waste from Hong Kong's beaches.Sign up as a group of friends or colleagues to participate. 

8. Plant trees:
ABLE (A Better Living Environment) is a Lamma-based charity which is the custodian of Lamma Forest, which is growing daily thanks to the tree-planting initiatives they fund. Visit their website to donate or participate.

9. Cut down on your flying:
This is an extremely hard one for us in Hong Kong who love our jet-setting weekends away. Instead of Bali or Phuket, how about looking into somewhere you can get to by train or boat? Or take advantage of the amazing outdoors we have on our doorsteps to spend a weekend in Hong Kong

10. Learn more tips from Catherine Touzard:
DB resident Catherine Touzard's book "Going Green in Hong Kong" aims to shake us out of our "affluenza" and offers compelling reasons why we need to take action now. It's a book every Hong Kong household should own. Available in Dymocks etc. 

Monday, 20 July 2009

Manicure Monday Tonight!

We've had a bit of the Monday blues here at Sassy today, so we're extra excited about Manicure Monday tonight at The Feel Good Factor on Wyndham Street. For just HK$100, you can enjoy an express manicure, a couple of glasses of wine and a lovely bit of chatting about the weekend gone by. 

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Summer Dress Dreaming

Anticipating the summer heat still to come, today we're searching for those perfect summer dresses that can work for both day and evening in the city... Not a sleeve in sight! From delicate and girly with frills galore, to strong prints and nautical numbers... There's nothing like a dress to make you feel instantly put together - no worries about matching and matching, you just need the perfect accessories to take you from dressed down to dressed up.   

During the day we'll be accessorizing with cute, pastel colored jewelry, slouchy bags and gladiators for pounding the pavements... 

While in the evening we'll be jingling with Tory Burch bracelets, clutching a buttery-soft purse, and slipping on this sharp Balmain jacket to protect us from blasting air con... well, a girl can dream! 

Dresses (from Left to Right):Paul & Joe at Net-a-porter.comH&M online, Sharp Roses Dress, Topshop.com, Sailor Dress, Shopruche.com
Day Accessories (clockwise from Left): Bracelets from Juicy Couture; Hello Earrings, Hannah Zakari; Chloe Tote; Gladiators from Charlotte Russe
Night Accessories (clockwise from Left): Clutch from Misguided; Tory Burch Bracelets; Balmain Jacket; Badgeley Mischka Shoes.