My friend Kim is possibly the most fashionable person I’ve ever met, much less been lucky enough to call a friend. She always looks like a million bucks… and the other day she let me in on her secret: her fashionary.
You know those days (and for me they are truly once-in-a-blue-moon) where you feel like everything you are wearing is just working together perfectly? I know it’s trite to say it, but your day feels perfectly collected because you are perfectly collected. Well, every day Kim has a day like that she records exactly what she was wearing in her fashionary, including details like how she styled her hair or what specific black-t she was wearing. She records the date and the occasion she wore the perfect look to and then draws a little sketch of the whole ensemble.
Then whenever she is packing for a big work trip or just having one of those days where you just have nothing to wear, she can flip through her fashionary and find just the perfect outfit that she can put together in two snaps. Pure genius!
Everyone who visits Hong Kong has heard all about the amazing shopping here. And it is amazing if good shopping to you means an Hermes or Gucci store on every corner.
Visitors will also be depressed to find that all the luxe brands here have gone up-market, pricing everything here at at 30% premium, meaning you would be better off buying that bag in the States. And not surprisingly, the crazy boon in Hong Kong real estate means that a lot of the inexpensive things that you think you would be able to find in China have been pushed out.
Similarly, there really are not a lot of Hong Kong-based designers. I think there are literally like five. So I was excited to find Kanchan Couture. They are all about color as you can see, which is quite refreshing compared to all the black that business people where all the time here.
Kanchan Panjabi (above) has a small studio right on Wellington Street and you can make an appointment there to try on her small assortment of very reasonably priced things–she sells most of her things through boutiques. Unfortunately she doesn’t stock too many sizes, but the prices make up for that. Plus it’s a lot of fun to get styled by these ladies. She is very influenced by her Indian heritage and many of her textiles are sourced from Bangalore and Delhi.
I brought Amy Anderson, a matchmaker who I profiled a couple of years back for San Francisco magazine. (By the way, I think a lot of the trends in dating that I wrote about then, apply here in HK in a major way…) She was in town with her husband who was teaching a short business course for Hong Kong CEOS and I had the pleasure of showing her around for an afternoon!
The girls at Kanch taught us some tricks on how to tie scarves!
Doesn’t Amy look great in this top? She ended up getting it. Here we are antiquing a bit later on in the afternoon on Hollywood Road.
Kanchan is at 108-110 Wellington Street, 2nd Floor. By appt only: 852 2117-1782
I really love seeing the qipao [chengosam] reinvented in modern day clothing and Taiwanese native Peggy Tan does just that with Mandarin & General.
A traditional qipao fits insanely snuggly so I can see why she relaxed the fit and made it short enough to take a full step–much more wearable for everyday. I have a traditional qipao and I can barely take a bite or sit down in it!
Unfortunately like most Asian designers, to really make it you have to be in NYC where Tan and her husband have set up shop. I’m excited to see what she comes up with next–I really would like to see this tradition live on.