La Perla Largest Flagship Opening

La Perla opened its biggest flagship store in the world at Russell Street, Hong Kong on Thursday 29 October, 2015 and celebrated it with a Grand Opening party that took place in a specially made structure lit up and prepared like a film set, at Pier 4.

The massive party hosted 500 guests including brand ambassadors Liu Wen – the Chinese top model who stars in the La Perla advertising campaigns and actor and model Hu Bing – considered one of the leading fashion influencers in China.

Guests were welcomed with a performance from the choreographer Bianca Li, who brought together 8 models and 14 dancers, recreating the emotions of a film from the ’50s and ’60s, as they sampled Italian limoncello and artisanal gelato.

The store is their largest flagship in the world and will feature the most comprehensive selection of La Perla’s collections, spread over four levels. The boutiques pièce de résistance is the huge 13×9 metre screen erected outside the facade, which presents clips and images from La Perla campaigns and collections and can be seen from one of/if not THE most famous shopping space in Hong Kong: Times Square, Causeway Bay.

La Perla Flagship Party

La Perla Flagship Party

Impressive structure just for a party…good thing weather behaved

La Perla Flagship

La Perla Flagship Store

Doctor Strange World Premiere

Alert! Alert! Work Perk! Work Perk!

I absolutely love, love, love a movie premiere and occasionally (ok, maybe all of twice) I have been able to attend one. Add in to that, as HK is no LA, these are incredibly special events when they do happen.

As more Hollywood blockbusters film scenes in China and the SARS (Hong Kong and Macau) to attract the huge mainland audiences and revenue, these events are slowly but surely increasing. (see my previous Transformers post here:  Transformers: Age of Extinction World Premiere )

In the case of Doctor Strange, the movie was filmed in Nepal, shortly after the catastrophic earthquake of 2015, while also taking place in England, Hong Kong and in the United States. In fact, a few sequences were shot on the streets of Hong Kong, although most of what is seen in the film was built on a service road at Longcross Studios.

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Doctor Strange and one of the Hong Kong scenes

This did not dissuade Disney from holding the World Premiere of the movie in Hong Kong, which for media folk (considered me in this work-perk instance) was a 2-week long event, held in stages:

Part 1 – Media screening on Wednesday 12 October, 2016 at The Grand Cinema, Kowloon…turned out to be a couple of extended scenes, equating to about 40mins of footage. I was concerned why they weren’t showing us the entire film?

Part 2 – Press Conference at the Ritz-Carlton ballroom early morning on Thursday 13 October.

Part 3 – Red Carpet at Hong Kong Cultural Centre at 8pm on Thursday 13 October.

Part 4 – Finally, getting to watch the actual movie! Media screening at isquare Imax on Thursday 27 October.

Doctor Strange PC

I’ve got the cred

Doctor Strange PC

Doctor Strange PC

Hanging with the pale ones at the Doctor Strange Hong Kong Press Conference, at the Ritz-Carlton

Doctor Strange PC

Random Chinese superstititions

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Doctor Strange bobblehead (magic mushrooms not included)

Doctor Strange PC

Who wore it better?

Doctor Strange

With the coolest chick in cinema..Tilda!

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It’s that Cumberbatch bloke

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Doctor Strange

Cast selfie

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Doctor Strange

Money shot

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange

Playing entertainment journalist

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Doctor Strange

Finally getting to watch the movie

In the film based on the popular, but less-well-known Marvel comic book series, Benedict Cumberbatch plays an egotistical neurosurgeon who has lost the use of his hands in a horrific car accident and in his search for a cure, discovers a world of sorcery. In a controversial casting move, accused of “whitewashing” Tilda Swinton plays his mystical mentor, The Ancient One – although she is probably the best acting in the film.

But this is no ordinary Marvel film. The comic book came to be after the majority of Marvel characters had already been established and delves into the supernatural and magic – which director Scott Derrickson said “defies explanation”.  I even got to ask Benedict Cumberbatch a question at the Press Conference “If he was familiar with the source material?” which in moment of full transparency, he said “No”. When probing further if a comic book Marvel fan at all, he said “Yes, of course. My favourite film was the latest offering ‘Captain America: Civil War'”.

With the leading man himself not previously acquainted with Doctor Strange, the film unsurprisingly sits separately (at least for now..I fully expect to see Iron Man traversing time and space soon) from the expanded universe we have been used to seeing in countless films. Adding to that, the times in which the source material was written (the psychedelic 1960’s), when the writers were obviously experimenting with a lot of LSD and Magic Mushrooms is quite evident in not only the story line, but in the well-used CGI visuals..yep, this is one trippy film.

The visuals are indeed amazing in this film (one, that I highly recommend watching in IMAX or the very least in 3D), with nods to the mind-bending cityscapes in Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception’, but the story line in itself is hard to keep up with, with multi-dimensions, astral planes, third eyes, mandalas, space-time continuum and the like.

The film covers a lot of ground – which after speaking to fans of the comics – is a way to introduce the character to a non-comic book savvy audience (i.e. me) and provide set up for future installments. However, the basic premise has Doctor Strange, with his newly acquired knowledge of alternative dimensions and time-bending, chasing down former Ancient One pupil and now-villain Kaecilius (You were an ex student, I was an ex student too..wow, something they have in common. As well a nifty accessories: Doctor Strange and his humorous cloak and Kaecilus with his purple glitter make-up), who has stolen pages from The Ancient One’s sacred texts in the search for eternal life. In this pursuit, characters jump through portals, travelling from ancient lands to modern-day cities in an instant.

With a typical end-showdown set in Hong Kong, it becomes apparent why the World Premiere was held here.

An enjoyable, if not immediately forgotten film, with surprising comedic touches, I would recommend watching for Benedict, Tilda and the trippy visuals and forgo the crazy space stuff and Chiwetel Ejiofor’s terrible performance. But overall a perfect popcorn movie out.

Milan Fashion Week FW 2016/17

With SS 2017 Fashion Week’s having just finished up and collections always being shown 6 months in advance – something that some designers, e.g Tom Ford & Tommy Hilfiger are trying to change – I am going to recap my fabulous Milan Fashion Week experience in February this year, just as the pieces trickle themselves into magazines, online and in-store currently.

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Journey begins on board fabulous Emirates Business Class with a copy of my favourite Vogue cover ever, Zoolander

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Dolce (earrings) at the Duomo

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The Last Supper

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My last supper…with more Dolce (bag) at dinner (Trattoria Ottimofiore)

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Aperitivo Aperol

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Peter Lindbergh Exhibition

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Cheapest Gucci you can buy..

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Milan marvel

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La Gelateria della Musica..some Miley for the road..

Gedebe

By chance, the Gedebe FW 16/17 Presentation was being shown in in our hotel, Hotel Straf. It was a small space, but was covered in gorgeous red rose petals, with all the shoes and bags giving off a decidedly Miley Cyrus (again?! after having just eaten a Miley gelato, she was popping up everywhere this weekend) vibe with extra jewels and humorous nods.

Marina Rinaldi

Legendary Japanese fashion designer Tsumori Chisato (Issey Miyake fame) produced a capsule collection for the ready-to-wear, plus-size women’s clothing brand of the Italian Max Mara Fashion Group, Marina Rinaldi. Presenting at the intimate, yet striking Teatro Arsenale in Milan, performance artist Claudia Losi also produced a performance for the brand around the premise “What my shape says”.

Marina Rinaldi posed the question to their fans with around 1200 sentences between irony and despair, collected in different countries (Russia, Holland, UK, France, and, of course, Italy). Meticulously the artist reported by writing the answers by hand, on coloured ribbons, which performers folded and stretched on the night. The ribbons were meant to symbolise and show the emotions and moods of the women who participated at this project of participatory art.

The performance was definitely a “stretch”, so decidedly girly Cosmopolitans were also distributed liberally around the space for those who were a bit lost by the concept.

Just Cavalli

On Saturday night, February 27th, 2016 I headed to the happening neighbourhood of Navigli for the Just Cavalli fashion presentation and party – the first show for Peter Dundas as artistic director of Roberto Cavalli’s more reasonably priced diffusion line.

Navigli is Milan’s equivalent of NY’s East Village about a decade ago before total gentrification took over, so it was only fitting that a warehouse space was used and dressed up with band posters like CBGB down on the Bowery, interjected with colours and model styling befitting even a few decades before that and the swinging 60’s Andy Warhol Soho Silver Factory era (in so far as referring to the party as the ‘Just Cavalli Factory’ on the invitation).

Indeed there was a few Edie Sedgwick clones spotted in the presentation, with the Cavalli muse indeed copying the original model muse herself (full circle irony there)…none more so than lead singer of British band Black Honey, who channeled Edie as well as self -proclaiming its lead singer, Izzy Baxter, as a new Debbie Harry for 2016.

The band played a 40-minute set as models circulated in late ’70s/early ’80s punk-meets–new wave clothes. There were printed one-shoulder party dresses, rhinestone-spangled jackets, lurex dresses and leopard-spot or fuchsia pink coats for the ladies and shrunken Perfectos, printed shirts, and super-skinny jeans for the dudes.

Overall the collection came down to lots of leopard print, lots of glitter and lots of fuchsia pink – a colour that would be prominent at the D&G show the next day.

As for the after party, while rocking out to Black Honey’s set, there was plenty to keep any jaded wannabe happy – an old school black and white photo booth, pinball machines, a silver glitter carpet to replace a mainstream red one, neon lights, old school band posters and strong cocktails – mixed by Peter Dundas himself, who showed his man-of-the-people side by playing barmen for most the night.

Guests also left with a lip print t-shirt from the new collection, complete with smoking motif, alluding to the 70’s where elicit activities were not so frowned upon perhaps? Definitely not in the smoky rock dens like CBGB that this collection was trying to evoke.

*NB – 1 day after posting this, it was announced that Peter Dundas is leaving Roberto Cavalli after only 19 months at the brand.

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The goodie bag t-shirts can be purchased on Farfetch

Dolce & Gabbana

Always theatrical, D&G is THE quintessential Italian show. The maestro’s of Milan were at it again on Sunday 28 February, 2016 showing a beguiling princess fantasy at the Metropole.

Channeling Cinderella, the show began with the invitations, themselves opening up like a fairytale book and also harking back to childhood delights (those pop up singing birthday cards you would get so excited about when 9 years old), the singing invite serenaded you with “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” when opened.

The day of the show was dreary and bordering on torrential rain in Milan, but never fear, our two Princes of Italy were here to save the day, because as soon as you walked into the pre-show foyer you were whisked away into a modern fantasyland. Even this foyer space was decorated with all kinds of fantasy signifiers from a starry blue (not red) carpet, apples and roses. You could even pose inside a large golden pumpkin, or stare into a mirror exclaiming “Who is the most beautiful?”.

The catwalk space itself had candelabras covered with roses and vines, and at the end of the runway, the pièce de résistance: a carriage worthy of Cinderella.

As for the clothing itself, clock and cat motifs featured heavily on the tight and sexy silhouettes D&G do oh-so-well. Think Sophia Loren meets Alice in Wonderland.

There was even glass slipper stilettos!

Sequins also featured heavily, as it had all fashion week at various shows, culminating in sequin Mary-Janes and the spectacular finale look of a never ending parade of models in light pink, fuchsia pink and silver sequin frocks invading the catwalk like a gorgeous sequin stampede. Note: if anyone can spring for one of these dresses for me, you can purchase all colours for a cool $6,000 USD on Farfetch.

One day my Prince (and hot pink sequin D&G dress..) will come..

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Dior Homme Fashion Show

Following runway presentations in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in 2015, Dior Homme staged it’s fourth international runway show in Hong Kong at Shaw Studios on Friday 22 April, 2016. Creative Director Kris Van Assche was in Hong Kong and presented his show centred around the theme of “The Art of Falling Apart.

The fashion show had elite members of Hong Kong clambering for invites, with many piling on to specially marked mini buses from Causeway Bay and Central to make the trek out to Shaw Studios.

Following the fashion show, the backdrop was lifted to reveal the afterparty setup behind the stage, with French electro group Club Cheval taking to the DJ booth to ensure guests were dancing well into the early hours of Saturday morning – although the bar did run out of champagne (quelle horreur!). While the huge warehouse space replicated the feel of the fashion show with massive LED screens, metal beams and on-theme red lights for the Winter 2016 show, the piece de resistance were the 100’s and 1000’s of transparent balloons decorating the space, branded with simple Dior lettering.

Starting from the tartan invitations a reoccurring black, white and red colour scheme complemented the male models who walked down the runway with an modernised 80’s twist. Monochrome printed suits were perfectly matched with sweaters. The 80’s new wave and skater vibe was hanging in the air, leaving behind some of the house’s skinnier cuts and replacing them with wide trousers.

“The collection is about taking elements of the past, but bringing them into the present and reflecting on where we are now, in the situation of today,” explained Kris Van Assche. “It’s a moment in time for a contemporary generation.”

Zadig & Voltaire – This is Zadig Party

Zadig & Voltaire celebrated the launch of their new ‘This is Her!’ and ‘This is Him!’ fragrances with a cocktail party at an edgy warehouse in Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong on 18 August 2016.

The perfumes, which can be interchanged and worn unisex, come in either black or white bottles, which provided the monochromatic styling cues of the event, with guests instructed to come in ‘Be Rock! Be Zadig!’ dress code.

Reflecting the edgy and hip french brand, the party wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Lower East Side or Brooklyn, with the space filled with all things required in a hipster home. Exposed bulb lighting – check, vinyl records – check, leather couches – check, guitars (electric & acoustic) – check, polaroid photos – check and even a motorcycle which served as the ultimate prop for the video booth. 

Entertainment was provided by Canto rock band Supper Moment as guests sipped on champagne and whiskey.

Both fragrances have top notes of sandalwood, with the white bottle “This is Her!”also containing jasmine, pink pepper and chestnut cream and the black bottle, the men fragrance “This is Him!”including grapefruit, black pepper, incense and vanilla. The fragrances go on sale to the public September 1, with guests at the event lucky to take home a full size bottle as gift.

SHOW Beauty Hong Kong Launch

With yesterday’s post going back to November 2014..I have another one from the archives for you…

Hong Kong’s highest pool —the W Hong Kong’s 76th floor Wet Deck — hosted the Asia launch of luxury British hair styling brand SHOW Beauty on Wednesday 12 November, 2014.

Unfortunately the weather put a dampener (see what I did there..) on the proceedings, as the gorgeous outdoor space around the pool with the best views of Hong Kong was suitably rained out. This didn’t stop the fashionistas, designers and beauty bloggers from sipping on free flow Veuve Clicquot as they mingled with the label’s founder, model and socialite Tamara Ecclestone (F1 giant Bernie Ecclestone’s daughter).

Tamara describes the brand as ‘a new opulent hair styling collection that brings back decadent glamour. A luxurious range that embodies timeless elegance and sophistication.’

Local PR company Genavieve.Co supplied guests with full size products of the brand as goody bag take away’s, delighting all the girls in tow.

Pradasphere Hong Kong

After yesterday’s Prada post, I remembered an even grander event the Italian brand threw in Hong Kong nearly two years, that I never wrote about. It was a huge event that heralded the arrival of the Pradasphere exhibition to Hong Kong.

The free exhibition on the history of the Italian fashion institution was housed in a structure on the roof of Central Ferry Pier 4 for 2 weeks, having been shown in London earlier that year.

While the exhibition was open to the public, the opening party was strictly invite only – but being an empty ferry pier it seemed like a cast of 1000’s packed in to the party that Prada specially flew in (then) 18 year-old singing superstar Lorde to perform an exclusive 10 song set at their opening party on Tuesday 18 November, 2014.