Image and Lifestyle

Fashion, Style, and Professional Impression in Hong Kong

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Friends! I hope you and your loved ones have arrived home safely to relax and enjoy a few days of delicious treats, twinkling lights, and the warmth of a home decorated with care and charm.  Take delight in long walks, restful nights of sleep, and those pleasures that make you smile so you start 2011 out with a bang!

Best wishes to you for a very, merry Christmas!

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Filed under: Uncategorized

My New Love….

I am now officially in “love” with a new man in my life who knows my curves, hugs me in all the right places, and knows just what I need: Michael Kors.  Truth be told, I’ve never paid much attention to Michael Kors’ collections and I suppose I dismissed his designs as conservative and basic.   That is, until the below peach-colored dress caught my eye last Friday in NYC Bergdorf Goodman department store and I slipped it on along with the LBD above.  A-Mazing!  Now, I’m a real dress-person and wear them all the time… walking the dogs, casual dinners out, fine-dining… I know dresses.  And, I have just discovered that Michael Kors makes dresses that fit better than any other dress designer I’ve tried.  Of course, it is all subject to individual tastes and body type, but if you typically enjoy wearing Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, and Donna Karan… give Michael Kors a try.  Once the zipper was up, it was mine… promising timeless elegance and vowing to behave out on the town.  Was it an epiphany?  Not really… it was just dress shopping… but now I absolutely adore Michael Kors for dresses.

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2010, Shopping Advice, Spring 2011 Fashion, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New York, New York!

While Hong Kong is home, America has my heart and welcomed me back for the holidays… and is there any place as magical in the lead-up to Christmas as New York City?  From Rockefeller Center to the displays at Saks 5th Avenue to the wondrous excitement of shopping for my nieces and nephews at FAO Shwartz… New York is definitely alive with the holiday spirit.  I hit the shops yesterday armed with free-time and comfortable shoes, but was caught off-guard by my lack of shopping enthusiasm until it really hit me around 5pm as I sat in a cafe listening to a German family sing Christmas carols with their kids “Oh my goodness… it’s Christmas!!!!”  This year, like never before, I need the warmth and cheer of the holidays!

Bright and early this morning my eyes opened with new-found giddiness that I was indeed going to shop, drink the holiday flavored fancy high-calorie drinks at Starbucks, find stocking stuffers for my parents, go back to Rockefeller center to see the tree and ice-skating, and buy a ticket for the Radio City Rockettes, my all-time favorite show.  Today I feel the magic!

If you haven’t been swept into the holiday spirit yet, put on a CD of carols, spend the day out and about, call your Mom, and before you know it, the cheer will warm your heart and you’ll be tasting eggnog and wrapping gifts for your loved ones before you know it.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

 

Radio City Rockettes

 

 

Filed under: Shopping Advice, , , , , , , ,

7 Back to Basics Health and Fitness Tips

With the holidays upon us, it is easy to over-eat and feel a bit guilty about all of the snacks and glasses of wine.  Instead of wasting time on guilt, consider the changes you can make to help kick-start your health and fitness.  The following is a list of tips and information from NYC personal trainer Diane Williams at http://www.kidsonlinestories.org/misc/nyc-personal-trainer-reveals-7-back-to-basics-health-and-fitness-tips.  While I generally write my own blogs, I thought the below info pretty much sums up the essentials for good health, which is key to looking and feel terrific:

1. Eat your green veggies. Can you hear your Mother in your head with this one? Rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, these leafy deals will help lessen your risk of cancer and strengthen your immune system. Think swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, and kale.

2. Avoid certain foods. This will help in a gradual and steady change. What are the things to avoid? Anything fried, salty, sugary, and processed.

3. Build some muscle. I’m sure you’ve heard this for quite some time but it’s never too often. Resistance training is miraculous. It will increase your metabolism, burn fat, increase bone density, and help correct postural distortions.

4. Get your heart pumping! Walking, biking, jogging, and dancing are just a few cardiovascular activities that will not only keep your heart healthy, but will increase circulation, burn fat, and help manage stress.

5. Stay Hydrated. Many of us go throughout our day in a state of dehydration. Staying dehydrated will decrease energy, may increase likelihood of kidney stones, affect critical thinking abilities and worst case scenario cause kidney failure. So drink up!

6. Get some rest. Stress can kill you girls and boys. It has cost Americans roughly $300 billion dollars a year because of the adverse effects such as depression, acute anxiety, heart disease and obesity. Learn meditation or yoga to help train our brain and body to relax. Don’t forget your 7-8 hours of sleep a day.

7. Get some support. You are influenced by your environment so it’s wise to choose people close to you who are focused on health and fitness. Hire a personal trainer. Join a fitness club with a friend; anything that will help you with your shift to a healthy lifestyle.

Diane WilliamsNYC Personal Trainer is a dreamer, a boxer who could knock out a grown man, and an always evolving Curvy Goddess. She was a former plus-size model for the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency and now a fitness expert and advocate for women who wear sizes 10s and up. For more information on health, fitness, and fat loss visit http://www.CurvyGoddessWorkout.com.

 

Filed under: Exercise, Fitness - Motivation, Health, Healthy Eating, Losing Weight, Manage stress, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Psstt! Let’s Talk…

Hello there ladies,

This week signals the flow of champagne rivers as holiday parties get into full swing, and that means lots of dresses, heels, manicures, blow-outs, and… SPANX.  If you’ve just raised an eye-brow of confusion, don’t worry.  Many women still are not familiar with the contouring under garments which help smooth and slim your bits and bumps into mounds of perfection.  Forget about looking super skinny or trying to squeeze into a tight dress, the purpose of control under garments is to create a smooth line beneath your clothes and improve your confidence on a big night out.  Several brands make control undergarments:

Wolford is sexy + function+ premium.  Sold in Lane Crawford, Harvey Nichols, and Prince’s Building boutique shop

Spanx is all function + not so attractive.  Sold in Lane Crawford, Harvey Nichols, and internet delivery

Marks and Spencer undergarments are functional + well-priced + less comfortable

Victoria’s Secret, H&M, La Perla, and many other brands offer body suits in sexy patterns which also help keep everything in check.  My advice: try to exercise 5x/week, eat well, drink lots of water, get your beauty rest, buy a fabulous wardrobe, and then wear Spanx from time to time on those evenings you need to wear a slinky white silk dress to the holiday party.  The point is, unless you’re hitting the gym to perfectly tone your tush… a bit of under garment magic will work wonders on your special occasions and Christmas parties.  Have fun this weekend!  x

Filed under: Beauty, Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2010, Hong Kong, Image advice, Shopping Advice, Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

My Blue Jean Rebellion

The right pair of jeans with the right t-shirt is classically hot and I’ll always love denim.  Sometimes though, a girl just wants to slip into a pair of comfy trousers for everyday life – jetting out to buy milk for example – which are not yoga pants.  Skinny jeans make “slipping into” an impossibility, they flatter so few bodies, and they aren’t comfortable.  Bootcut denim these days is all about looking great  with a 4″ heel due to pant length and the aspect of hip-leg length proportions.  I could just give in and wear jeans and running shoes like Jennifer Garner for the Soccer Mom look… but this doesn’t feel too removed from the aforementioned yoga pant.  I’m a bit tired of blue jeans being all about the backside and less about the freedom to move and relax on the weekends like they were when I was 16.

So… I’ve decided that I will hugely embrace the new upcoming trend of silk trousers.  I feel liberated!  They look pulled together and elegant, while extremely comfortable and lovely for Hong Kong’s tropical climate.  Sure, they verge on pajama territory, but DVF at left shows how it’s done and Marc by Marc Jacobs (see below trousers) has at  least 3 pairs  in IFC Lane Crawford which I spotted last night at their 160th birthday bash ( in for a quick look-see, a flute  of bubbly, and glancing the new Spring collection arrivals).

Rue Madame in IFC and Lee Gardens has a HUGE assortment of silk trousers (I bought a pair in burnt orange/red last week).  Expect to see a huge number of designers carrying these trousers for Spring 2011.  However, lighter colors will make your bum and hips look bigger and will reveal cellulite if you have any.  Wear darker colors and pair with cute flats and a slimmer fitting top so the whole look isn’t baggy.  Buy a pair, wear them, love them… and feel a bit relieved from the skinny jean and leggings trend.

Aside from silk trousers, dresses are a feminine and liberating option.  Have fun with your fashion and try new  things.  Why not?  🙂

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2010, Hong Kong, Image advice, Shopping Advice, Silk trousers, Spring 2011 Fashion, , , , , , , , , ,

Best Shopping in Hong Kong – Department Stores

Harvey Nichols shop in The Landmark, Central, ...

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People often ask me “where is the best place to shop in Hong Kong?”  My personal preference is Central – blissfully surrounded by convenient suspended walkways connecting the power hubs of Landmark and IFC shopping malls which boast Lane Crawford and Harvey Nichols… with Princes Building, Alexandra House, and Chater House dotted along the way with their luxury Chanel, Prada, LV, Armani, etc.  In terms of the best area to shop, my answer is Central.

In terms of where to shop?  Oh my… thought you’d never ask!

  • Lane Crawford, is my first-born and favorite because it feels easy.  I love shopping in either the Pacific Place location in Admiralty or the IFC location in Central because the layouts are welcoming… and their accessories are presented well with extremely helpful staff.  I would say the layout seems more American… which feels comfortable to me and it is busy, hip, and less intimidating than other HK department stores.
  • Harvey Nichols in Central is for a unique taste level and a confident shopper will do well in this mecca of a department store.  The costume jewelry section and ladies’ dresses are particularly different with slightly off-beat, yet very hot labels.  It is more European … and the store is never busy which means that while the staff will hound you, the service is excellent.  Worth a walk-through at the very least… particularly the beauty floor with refinement not found at other department stores in Hong Kong.
  • Joyce is a totally different kind of shopping experience for someone who has a little bit of time to appreciate the unique quality and selection chosen by their buyers.  I really enjoy shopping here… and I always find myself inspired to try something new and  different because when I shop here, I feel more fashionable.  I think that is important – to feel fashionable when one shops.  Joyce offers a wide selection of carefully chosen clothing labels.  Beyond that, Joyce Beauty is the place to find premium cosmetics, perfumes, candles, and all things lovely for gifts and spoiling oneself by labels such as Eve Lom, Diptyque, Annick Goutal… and my favorite parfumeur  – L’artisan.  Yes, Joyce is a fun place to shop and explore.
  • The “IT” and “it” stores in Hong Kong offer totally unusual and special designers.  “IT” carries more European brands, while “it” carries causal Japanese jeanswear and young street clothing.  My experience is that the staff, sizes, and brands are tailored for the fashion savvy and artsy local Hong Kong population.  Go in, look around, and don’t feel bad if you don’t find anything because some of it is hard to wear and difficult to integrate into your wardrobe.  It takes time… but try because you’ll find many gems in these stores.  My favorite designer – Isabel Marant is part of the IT group and her shop is located on Fashion Walk in Causeway Bay and sold within the IT stores.
  • Seibu – I’ve very rarely found success shopping in Seibu, a Japanese department store.  It is definitely tailored for the local market, though the brands are international and interesting… I must be on a different wave-length with the buyers for this company because it genuinely feels like I’m looking in someone else’s closet and I don’t like anything they own, though it might be full of well-designed pieces.  The fitting rooms, music, staff, and lighting all feel dated and somewhat stale – not my pick unless I need a particular brand sold here.

Filed under: Fall Fashion 2010, Hong Kong, Shopping Advice, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,