Let me introduce you to Coco Ribbon. It is a one-stop-shop full of heavenly pieces. The perfect fusion of colourful fashion (think prints and sequins galore) and adorable home and giftwares. You could tick a lot off your Christmas shopping list in this shop.
When I meet Coco Ribbon’s founder, Alison Chow this week, she was everything you would expect. Bubbly, kind and gifted at pairing three different prints all at once.
Describe your personality in three words.
Gregarious, manic, idealistic.
What inspires you?
The exquisite beauty in nature, extraordinary colours and visual juxtapositions.
How did Coco Ribbon come about?
It kick-started the boudoir chic revolution in London with a luxe fashion and lifestyle boutique in Notting Hill with all the best Aussie designer brands under one roof.
I relocated there from Hong Kong to live indefinitely and I had always wanted to start my own business so I put together a plan that would incorporate sourcing beautiful things, combining fashion and travel.
Tell us about your new store.
It’s Aladdin’s cave of Coco Ribbon fashion, beauty, jewellery, accessories and gifts – a place to come discover and explore trinkets and gifts to treasure. Adding to the mix, the Coco Ribbon store will also stock labels such as L’avion illustrated scarves, exotic skinned accessories by Tan & Brown and Cochine Saigon Candles, which are exclusive to Coco Ribbon in Australia.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
Creating bespoke prints and seeing them through to fruition as beautiful garments.
If you weren’t a fashion designer, what would you be?
I would love to dabble in interior design and get involved in helping underprivileged people through hands-on charity work.
Describe a typical week for you.
It really changes week to week. Right now it’s all about the shop. I think I’ve been here every day for the last 14 days in some capacity either setting up or serving customers.
What’s your favourite way to spoil yourself?
Treating myself to small, expensive and delicious boutique chocolates on a regular basis.
What product can’t you stop raving about?
The new Cochine Saigon Candles sold exclusively at our Coco Ribbon store. They are the new candle of London Fashion Week and were recently ordered by the British Royal family!
Her Fashion Style.
Where did your love for fashion come from?
Picking through mum’s dress-up basket of sparkly fabulous things in the 70’s.
How would you describe your own style?
Has your style changed since having a baby?
Yes, I find myself wearing ballet flats a lot more.
Who’s your celebrity style crush?
What’s your favourite trend right now?
Neon yellow – I love wearing tiny flashes of it for an instant wardrobe update.
What trend do you hate?
I’m not a big fan of super futuristic fashion and shiny fabrics.
What are the three pieces you find yourself wearing constantly?
Coco Ribbon silk capes, Watson and Watson black leather pants, Issac Vivier Japanese silk tee.
What is the most treasured piece of clothing in your closet?
Does an accessory count? It has to be my Chanel 2.55 red and white tweed bag.
What’s the best piece of fashion advice you’ve ever heard?
Coco Chanel: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off”.
What piece in your wardrobe gets you from season to season?
My Burberry trench coat – it’s a classic that never goes out of fashion.
Is there anything in your closet that you’ve owned for more than five years, and still wear to this day?
My chocolate brown cropped leather jacket which I bought in London from Topshop years ago.
What would we never see you wearing?
Tartan – I had to wear it every day for six years at school.
What’s in your closet that you’ve never worn before?
A temperley sheer blouse with a gold printed detail on the fabric – I love it but have never found anything for it to go with.
What are your top five style tips?
1. Less is more when it comes to accessorising.
2. Show off only one thing at a time – your legs, your décolletage, your back.
3. Too much make-up can be ageing.
4. No tartan.
5. Know what colours suit you best, what shapes suit you best, what your best assets are and work with these.
What key piece should everyone own this season?
A Coco Ribbon chameleon silk dress which you can wear five ways.
What is one piece of clothing every woman should splurge on?
A fabulous pair of red high heels.
What’s your favourite piece in your current collection?
Floral Eden Long sleeved blouse teamed with the gold snakeskin sash.
Do you design for a certain woman?
Yes, one that likes to stand out from the crowd.
What are your top tips for shopping online?
Tip #1: Make sure you pick a reputable site.
Tip #2: Don’t impulse buy.
Tip #3: Shop around for the best price.
What was your most recent purchase?
A luxe navy dressing gown and pair of Rayban sunnies for my husband on Mr. Porter.
A Note About Accessories.
What are your tips for accessorising?
1. Less is more.
2. Choose between a statement necklace or a pair of earrings.
3. An outfit is never complete without the perfect accessory.
What are five pieces of jewellery every woman should own?
- A magnificent cocktail ring.
– Pretty chandelier earrings.
– Chunky gold cuff.
– Coco Ribbon butterfly charm necklace.
– Tiny gold heart motif earrings.
Home Styling Tips.
How would you describe your home’s style?
What’s your most treasured piece in your home?
A zebra print ottoman which I had custom made in London.
What homeware pieces do you stock in Coco Ribbon?
Artwork by Sian Faber, framed butterflies and beautiful Cochine Saigon candles exclusive to Coco Ribbon in Australia. We also have our own range of Coco Ribbon lifestyle products online.
What are your top tips for adding personality to our home?
Buy something precious and unique every time you travel for your home and gradually you’ll build up a collection of pieces that add character to your home and tell a personal story.
Where do you love to shop?
Donna Hay’s flagship store in Woollahra for cupcakes and kitchenware.
Where’s your favourite place to shop overseas?
Clignancourt markets in Paris for antiques and collectables and ABC Home in New York.
The LifeStyled List.
Tea or Coffee? Coffee to wind up for the day, tea to unwind.
Favourite Flower? Big and open pink peonies.
Heels or Flats? Heels.
Favourite Cocktail? Absolute pear vodka, dry gingerale and mint (not sure what it’s called but I make it at home).
Style Icon? Kate Moss. Who else comes close?!
Signature Scent? Coco Ribbon Eau de toilette and Jo Malone Lime, Basil and Mandarin.
Favourite City? New York.
Reading… 50 shades (still on the first book).
Guilty pleasure… William street chocolates who are now just up the road which means trouble!
Biggest fashion weakness… I’m a bag hag.
Every woman should own… a good strapless bra.
I will never wear… crocs.
I need… a pair of nude Pigalle Le Boutin heels.
I want… a Burberry Prorsum leather biker jacket for next winter.
Coco Ribbon has an online store - www.cocoribbon.com.au. Or you can check out their new Summer Concept store at 37 William Street, Paddington NSW.