July 5th, 2012

Hong Kong (A Fashion Designer’s Guide).

Rebecca McGeoch designer and owner of Gasparre Cashmere knows Hong Kong almost as well as she knows her cashmere. She shares her secret addresses, must-visit shops, restaurants and some hidden locals-only haunts in one of my favourite cities in the world. Print this one out.

The Designer.

Describe your fashion label in three words.
Innovative, functional and luxurious.

Describe your personal style in three words.
Timeless, tailored, feminine.

What’s the most treasured piece of clothing in your closet?
My wedding dress by Steven Khalil.

Confession time, what’s in your closet that you’ve never worn?
When I was in Paris I saw the burlesque show at ‘Crazy Horse’ and fell in love with the Christian Louboutin shoes the dancers were wearing and I bought a pair. But as there is no platform, combined with a super skinny 6 inch heel, I can barely walk in them, and as such have never worn them. I just admire them in my closet.

What are the three pieces you find yourself wearing & constantly?
J-Brand denim, Gasparre Cashmere crew neck (of course!), and Rag and Bone ankle boots.

Thing you miss the most about Australia…
Family and friends.

The Destination.

What made you decide to move to Hong Kong?
A desire to expand Gasparre Cashmere throughout Asia and strategically, to have a local base in Hong Kong as it is easier to manage relationships with our suppliers and Asian retailers as well as quality control. Hong Kong enables travel. Within 2-3 hours you are in cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo etc. The location provides so much leverage to the growth in the luxury goods market, which is really amplified throughout Asia.

What have you discovered about Hong Kong since living there that you never knew when you used to just visit?
A great sense of community. A new way to manage business.

What is it about Hong Kong that inspires you?
I get inspired every day by the fashion/visual merchandising. Hong Kong has such contemporary, fashion-focused retail spaces. The amazing window and shop floor displays in high end outlets such as Lane Crawford, IT, Harvey Nichols etc. Harvey Nichols recently teamed up with a local artist to create sculptures out of coat hangers in shapes of elephants, giraffes and zebras. I also get really inspired by street style along with the underlying elegance of the city. People are very fashion forward, yet very classical in their approach.

What are five must-do’s in Hong Kong?
1. Explore The Peak. Combining a walk along Luggard Road and down the morning trail. You’ll find an amazing view of the city and a good sense that Hong Kong isn’t just a concrete jungle. If a single image could encapsulate Hong Kong, it would be the panorama from the peak.

2. Eat at City Hall. Hong Kong’s most famous Dim Sum restaurant, City Hall is also one of the few remaining restaurants in Hong Kong that still deliver Dim Sum on traditional carts. 

3. Take the Star Ferry to Kowloon. This is Hong Kong’s iconic cross-harbor ferry that takes under ten minutes. Amazing views of the Hong Kong Island coastline. If you catch the ferry just before 8pm the ferry stops mid-harbour for a few moments so that you can watch the nightly ‘Symphony of Lights’ show; starferry.com.hk.

4. Visit the laid back beach village of Stanley. This is a very popular seaside village with the famous ‘Stanley Market’, which is where you can find lots of bargain items and souvenirs. You will find the western atmosphere in this small Chinese town. It provides a perfect contrast to the city side of the island.

5. A day trip to Lantau Island. Hong Kong’s largest island, Lantau Island is a great place visiting remote beaches, traditional fishing villages, wilderness trails, and monasteries, which includes the giant Buddha.

Tell us three things most people wouldn’t know about Hong Kong?
1. It’s green – lots of hiking tracks, which promotes an active lifestyle.

2. There’s remote/pristine beaches, wilderness trails, small traditional fishing villages, lush valleys and mountains.

3. It’s very safe, no matter what part of the city you are in, or the time of day.

Hong Kong is the best place to buy…
Shoes! Lane Crawford has just opened the largest shoes and accessories showcase in Asia. The new ‘Shoe Library; which is 25,000 sq ft, features over 200 brands. It even has a Library Café with shoe -inspired pastries.

The Favourites.

Local haunt… The Genie Concept.

Place to eat… The China Club.

Spa… The Grand Hyatt Plateau Spa.

Hotel… Mandarin Oriental.

Fave thing about HK… endless restaurant options.

Local dish… Deep fried seafood wonton in a sauce filled with peppers and onions.

Place to go… The Peak.

Place to shop Harbour City (Tsim Sha Tsui).

Inspiration hot spot… recently the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

Best time to go to HK… Either coming out of winter or going in, so early November or late February. That way you should avoid most of the extreme humidity. Christmas is also a beautiful time here with the decorations a real feature.

The LifeStyled List.

Tea or Coffee? Coffee.
Favourite Flower? Hydrangea.
Heels or Flats? Heels.
Style Crush? Giovanna Battaglia.
Signature Scent? Diptique Eau Rose fragrance.
Favourite City? Tokyo.
Favourite Cocktail? Frozen Margarita.
Beauty product you can’t live without? Mascara, and YSL under-eye concealer.
Every woman should own… a dog.
Reading… Japanese Summer by Todd Garlington; and Luxury China: Market Opportunities and Potential.
Listening… My Mandarin tapes.
I need… new luggage.
I want… to visit Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

  • Sasha

    Aaah the rat race that is Hong Kong..not my cup of tea and could never live there but good shopping! I went using the Luxxe guides a few months back..horrendously hard to follow…any one else have the same problem?

  • Sasha

    Looked nice and was keen to buy until I saw the awful furs draped over the models :( . No thanks!

  • Karinliebling

    I LOVE Hong Kong – a fascinating city – it s such a civilised place – things for the points of interest!

  • Janie

    I just found this old blog. I’m off to Hong Kong as part of a China business trip. Thanks for the insider tips. janie http://www.mybestfriendisabag.com.au

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