#JJStyle: Erbert Chong Discovers A Black Metropolis, AW 2014

Ever since I went to check out Erbert Chong’s debut  starting with a SS14 collection this time last year, i’ve been a fan of his understated yet sharp work. “Fierce” is something I would describe Erbert’s overall directive since launch. As I reported before, Erbert is a graduate of no less than three international fashion programmes… Parsons, FIT, and then ESMOD in Paris. 

One year later, his AW14 collection (ie. second line), is about to go on sale. Dubbed Black Metropolis, the latest lookbook campaign, photographed by Rosemary Conway, does its best to give the looks… derived from turn of the century “Old-World glamour and dark occultism”, a proper stage. The looks are feminine, but with a very masculine and architectural raw edge. Of course, Erbert looks to Fritz Lang’s 1927 Futura-Art Deco film, Metropolis, an inspiration source, as are objects and other architectures like the Chrysler Building.

Still quintessentially a Hong Kong designer, Erbert infuses classic silhouettes of the traditional qipao into the mix to help give a sense of height and strength to the his clients who are always all too eager to wear his collection.

Other things to note, the fabrics used in this particular line are specially sourced from Beijing’s oldest historic fabric shop, Rui Fu Xiang, renowned for their history of making handcrafted Chinese silks for traditional cheongsam and qipao dresses.

WEAR Erbert Chong

JJ.

SG_WOMEN_615x100 New Season

#JJStyle: J.Crew’s Crosby Cuts Slim Suits For The Big Guy

Newly opened J.Crew has had a specialized suiting store for its successful “Ludlow” line of suits for some time now. The Level 3 Suiting Shop in the On Lan Street location has everything one needs from a casual suit to a black tie affair, plus a more personalized custom service if needed… that is if you look good in Ludlow. And fortunately for my friend, DJ Angus Wong, while it looks great on a long and lean guy like him, it looks awfully awkard on a big and stocky guy like me. And now that i’m working that much harder in the gym, the Ludlow suit won’t get closer to the ‘right’ fit.

This month, J.Crew finally makes a slim cut suit for the Big Guys like us, with hopefully a new iconic line… “The Crosby”. Now available in only 17 shops around the world (including Hong Kong) plus online, the initial line will come in 4 styles for the coming fall plus two Online-Only styles in a herringbone and wool flannel. Other things to note, the Crosby is especially designed for an Athletic fit (think Don Draper), which means extra rooms in key areas like arms, chest, legs, and a slightly wider lapel. Other details in the Crosby borrow from the Ludlow. The fabric in the suit come from some of the more respected mills around the world, with key details finished by hand.

For the first campaign, J.Crew suited up the New York Knights rugby team to show how great a Crosby suit looks on a bulkier body. The jackets are around 4,000 HKD while the pants are around 2,200 HKD.

WEAR J.Crew, The Suit Shop . 9 On Lan Street, Central, Hong Kong

JJ.

#JJStyle: Hong Kong’s Fierce Finest in Style-Off

This Sunday and for the next five Sundays after, the new PMQ (Police Married Quarters) in Hong Kong’s chic SOHO District, will be hosting the brand new Design Market @ PMQ, an initiative created to provide a platform for the city’s emerging independent designers to showcase and sell their products on a regular basis.

To support the initiative, Hong Kong’s fiercest and most stylish movers and shakers have banded together to create a “Style-Off” ad campaign, not only by celebrating the featured designer’s own creations, but also by taking part in an editorial shoot with PMQ’s architecture as a backdrop.

From top to bottom, the participating influencers include, amazing fashion blogger, CarrieBloomwood aka. Carrie Kwok, writer Christophe Wong, the Refinery’s creative director, Elizabeth Lau, Vogue China’s contributing fashion editor (my girl) Grace Lam, stylist Jasmine Smith, and Art Director Kenneth Wong.

According to Design Market, the campaign was formulated to raise awareness of young and emerging designers and to give advice to the general public on how to “Change Your Fashion Perspective” by experimenting with new styles and designs (aka. HK there’s more to fashion than Giordano and Comme Des Garcons!) 

Different Designers’ key pieces are mixed and match to create unique bespoke looks for each of the influencers in the shoot.

Future dates for Design Market @ PMQ, are Sunday August 24, October, 5, October 12, November 2, and November 9, 2014.

VISIT Design Market @ PMQ . 35 Aberdeen Street Social, Central Hong Kong

JJ.

#JJStyle: Three Words. MISCHA. Camo. Collection.

As a long time fan, friend, and supporter of MISCHA’s founder/designer, Michelle Lai, i’m very pleased to announce the arrival of an amazing new capsule line she’s created that’s adventurous, innovative, yet still very “on-brand”, dubbed The Camo Collection. 

The Camo Collection retains MISCHA’s signature hexagonal graphic prints, but splatters it all with a new fluid camouflage motif defined by a traditional muted green, but with vibrant pops of color to mix it up. With the new Camo Collection, MISCHA not only breaks out of the brand’s two-tone japanese-inspired motif of the full-on hexagon shape wallpapering the bags, but she may also have to get used to a new kind of clientele… men.

While there have been talks about a 100% menswear collection from MISCHA for a long time (and there still might be in the foreseeable future), this Camo Collection does a great job catering to both women and men who are already big fans of the MISCHA product and aesthetic. That said I expect the line to gain a few MORE fans as well. Much More. The look and the print is something I have not seen in the market, which I think only works here because of the hexagon pattern giving the whole print a really cool base to play off of.

To further celebrate the arrival of the capsule line, MISCHA collaborates with both Lane Crawford and Kapok to supply the shops with limited edition pieces designed exclusively for each store. A limited edition Messenger Backpack (not shown on this post) will be available at all Lane Crawford stores from August 2014 and a special Kapok version of the “Jet Set Tote” featuring Kapok-exclusive colourways and details will also be available at the same time.

I know what I want…  definitely “the Voyager Duffel”, its the best way to escape in style. 

WEAR MISCHA

JJ.

#JJStyle: 200 Steps With Canali - Behind The Scenes

JJ Acuna interview for 200 Steps, Canali.com from Canali on Vimeo.

Before I procrastinate even further this month, since i’m (as of today) quite backlogged on so much work in general… I wanted to put everything on hold and take a moment to give a big warm THANK YOU and show my gratitude to the Italian suiting brand, Canali, for reaching out to us all the way here in Asia for a secret project that we’ve been working on together since March 2014 this year... a profile collaboration for their global web portal, Canali.com.

The project, part of Canali’s 200 Steps series of videos and interviews published on L’Edizione, the brand’s editorial platform, aims to interview “male professionals” like myself from all around the world in a monthly series of videos and oral interviews examining each gentleman’s processes and craft. Each of the talent interviewed is dressed by Canali in tailored wear for that season, and is focused less on the 80-year old brand and more on the interviewees, their work, and inspiration.

Each 200 Steps story is created within a day’s shooting, and culminates in a 2-3 minute interview film, a 30-second “Word Association” film, and a full Q+A article explaining the full context behind each gentleman’s work. I was told that brand director, and a third generation Canali, Ms. Elisabetta Canali, picks the interviewees herself for the global website. I, for one, was surprised to have met her myself at the interview shoot here in Hong Kong. She’s quite cool in person, and was very “hands-on”… really overseeing the whole entire process.

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For my story, Canali’s team wanted to focus on a designer-blogger’s thinking in relation to curation and the formulation of a story or perspective for the digital space. In order to express what I do and how this translates with tactility on film, their production team imagined a large square white canvas to hang centrally within the space… and throughout the two minute video, that canvas get’s filled with images i’ve taken over the years that have been placed on my various social media outlets thus far.

At first I was unsure, since i’ve only known my work to exist in a certain format online, and certainly not on a “white canvas”, however once i’ve spoken with their London team on the phone, and after they themselves have sent me mood board pegs of example “treatments”, portrait shots, and other reference concepts, I quickly got around to enjoying playing around with how they wanted to frame this whole thing to fit both me, my story, and their format.

Anyway, the rest is history as they say!

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Some Behind-The-Scenes Photographs from our shoot….

The “White Canvas” at the start of the evening….

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Gradually filling up slowly…

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The canvas wasn’t allowed to sway back and forth, so the crew really took great pains to secure it on the set.

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Each time a photograph was placed on the canvas, it was captured on film… sometimes two or three times.

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The Director, Jon Clements, was really detail oriented as to the composition of the photographs on the canvas…

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The production team at London’s Spring Creative, plus the brand team at Canali, picked out the all the photographs from all my social media accounts to be placed on this White Canvas. To be honest, when I started the website and the whole “Wanderlister” thing a few years ago… placing all these images online, there was no way I would have anticipated any of this to come to fruition from the content, that up to this point… i’ve only kept on the Digital Space.

Their team picked out the photographs to cover the five topics on my website; Architecture, Art, Design, Food, and Life/Style.

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Taking a step back, seeing it all up there (I put up each of the photographs myself)… it was really something to see. 

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To step back and have all these things jump out from the computer, and be composed in the physical space like this was really cool, weird, strange, and in a way… a general cosmic affirmation of the whole thing that I do. Very interesting how it takes a collaboration with a big global brand, to really force one to assess and define their work. I definitely did some soul searching by doing this interview with Canali. Most of what I said was off-the-cuff, which surprised even myself. It’s like “A-ha”, so that’s what being an Architect by day, and a blogger by night in Asia is all about. It’s even news to me.

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So for that, I thank Elisabetta Canali, the whole Canali House in Milan, and the guys Spring Creative in London for such a great opportunity. I really learned about myself though all of this as well.

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Other 200 Steps profiles include the brand’s new Creative Consultant, fashion designer, Andrea Pompilo

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Design duo, Barber and Osgerby

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Stage actor, Tony Stephens

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And Typographical artist, Job Wouters.

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Check out our FULL INTERVIEW with Canali via 200 Steps plus our “Words Association” Video.

WEAR Canali . Wheelock House, Shop C, Ground Floor, 20 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong . T: +852 2918 1745

JJ.

#theWanderlist: A Style Revival at Bangkok’s Hotel Muse

Thanks to The Luxe Nomad, me and two friends were able to take a summer pause in order to refresh and revive with a quick three-day escape from one urban jungle… into another at Bangkok’s quirky Hotel Muse, part of the “M Gallery” brands of hotels under Accor group. Hotel Muse has actually been in operation for about 4-5 years, and is situated right in the centre of it all, but a little ways away from the actual hustle of Bangkok’s central shopping district, Siam Square, only some stops away on the elevated train. 

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Speaking of elevated train, Hotel Muse is less than a block away from the Phloen Chit stop, which is connected to both, Central Chidlom and the brand new silvery and shiny, Central Embassy Mall. (I was too busy relaxing, so I didn’t even get to go.) That said, who cares about malls, my friends just wanted to get rest, eat, spa, and go to JJ-Market. Thats it. And who can blame them… Hong Kong is already full of malls!

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Hotel Muse, part romantic getaway-part business hotel, is all about “dark sophistication” which is due to its Rama-V era concept, and houses 174 rooms, 11 suites, a sitting library, a full gym (with two bored trainers), a sitting pool (swimming is difficult in there), and a few destination restaurants. People come to Hotel Muse’s Medici restaurant for the best in modern-rustic Italian fare that apparently makes some really great steaks and wine pairings. The Speakeasy is the Muse’s answer to an old-style mixology bar, but with a rooftop view of the city. Su Tha Ros, hosts the hotel’s morning breakfast (which is so-so), but transforms into a wonderful Thai restaurant in the evening that a bunch of my local high-society friends who live there go because it offers a private and more intimate dining experience with authentic Thai fare.

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Generally everyone was happy with their stay. What really made it was that everyone slept so well in Hotel Muse’s beds… ie. could be the best part of the hotel. Everyone, including I, has been so stressed out within the last few weeks that we all agreed, a separation from Hong Kong in general, is a plus… tack on a nice quality bed and you’ve got a winning trip.

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The owner of the Hotel is really into historical nostalgia ie. he has a few personal antique pieces throughout the property. Additionally he loves the word “muse”, because it reminds him of these other words… “music”, “Museum”, “musing”, “amusement park”, etc. which harks back to the concept of creation and exhibition, which to me pretty much describes the hotel’s quirky and showy Asia-Euro-inspired decor. The letter “M” is also everywhere in the hotel, which is tied to this branding with the word “muse” and the “M” Gallery group.

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Whether the style of Interiors is for you or not is dependant on your taste, but the design direction is whimsical where it’s necessary (in the public areas and restaurants) and restrained when needed (in your bedroom.)

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All I know is, anywhere with a DIY Bloody Mary station for breakfast is fine by me.

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When in Bangkok, make sure to make a stop at JJ Market ie. Chatuchak / Jatujak, which I absolutely love. I go there all the time, and I post about it on this blog each time I go because you know what… there’s always something new to see, something new on offer, and the Thais really have style and trends for next year already figured out NOW and have it on offer at Chatuchak. My friends who live there think i’m so silly because they fly to Hong Kong and Japan to shop. That said it’s a different kind of shopping, and it’s not only Thailand… every country I go to, I don’t buy souvenirs… I buy local designer pieces. You know, I’m all about supporting local style ecosystems! If its something you can keep for more than two years (wherever it’s from), then it’s worth it.

Some of the new shops/concepts at Jatujak (Chatuchak) I discovered on this trip include, A Laboratory, a casual his/hers boutique with a bar/cafe adjacent.

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This casual shirts shop called, Kook, with really nice prints.

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This place made great shirts and accessories for men. It’s called, does mondays have an apostrophe before the s?. I kid you not.

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My friend bought two pieces here at Tar Mafia. Who knew?

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I love the ceramic and brass jewellery on offer at Mary Lou.

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I bought quite a few shirts here at SM Object.

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They also had simple accessories on offer.

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This one was my friend’s take home from JJ Market. Insanity.

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We again thank The Luxe Nomad booking website AND Hotel Muse for our wonderful two-night stay in their property. Hotel Muse plus other properties are available at cut rate costs at on that amazing website which specializes in relaxing and tasteful getaways in the region.

Where to next?

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BOOK The Luxe Nomad / STAY Hotel Muse Bangkok . 55/555 Langsuan Road, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand / DRINK The Speakeasy Rooftop Bar / EAT Medici Kitchen & Bar / WEAR A Laboratory . Jatujak Weekend Market, Section 4, Soi 49.2 / WEAR Mary Lou . Jatujak Weekend Market, Section 4 Soi 2, Shop Number 083 

JJ.

SG_WOMEN_615x100 New Season

#JJStyle: Blast Off Cosmonaut, Jonathan Liang’s AW14 Collection

One of Asia’s hottest designers, Jonathan Liang, is busy at work in his Paris studio making the most out of the best opportunities, not only as a young 26 year old making global waves in fashion via his own namesake line, but also as the new Creative Director of Malaysia’s “IT” label, Dude & the Dutchess.

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On offer in stores now is Jonathan Liang’s Fall-Winter 2014 collection inspired by the Cosmonaut. Before fashion, Liang was an illustrator. The narrative as concept is obviously on full display here stating that the collection is “an adventure starting from the Big Bang through the cosmos - a life of space suits worthy of Jane Fonda’s Barbarella.” Signature Liang is at play with each item’s form dependent on function and utility, yet defined by refined feminine silhouettes and innovative use of various fabrics and textures. 

This collection is complimented by a collection of exclusive footwear designed in collaboration with Nelissa Hilman.

WEAR Jonathan Liang

JJ.

 

#JJStyle: Lane Crawford A/W 14, A Focus On ‘Modern Living’

For the latter half of 2014, Lane Crawford based in Hong Kong, renews its focus on the elements which enrich and inspire our daily lives. The latest visual campaign by the prolific Laurent Segretier with Hair & Makeup by Katsuya Kamo, expresses the season’s must-have looks and edits, frames fashion and accessories amidst a backdrop of set pieces, animations, and installations by six of China’s newest generation of smart style thinkers; namely Gautier Chen, Cui Dan, Leaf Greener, Lucia Liu, Naihan Li, and Zhoujie Zhang.

Zhoujie Zhang brings a world of digital objects to Lane Crawford, using a special technique to create 25 women’s bust forms made of hexagonal steel formations. Furniture maker and architect, Naihan Li, will present four crates reflecting the modern gentleman’s apartment living. Street style star and ELLE China Senior fashion editor, Leaf Greener and stylist Lucia Liu, will each formulate an exclusive fashion collaboration with Lane Crawford. Esquire China’s fashion director, Gautier Chen, and GQ China’s fashion director, Dan Cui, will each formulate an exclusive collaboration as well that will focus on Menswear.

For the coming season, expect shearlings, tailored classic winter coats, thick cozy knits, and fringes contrasting with soft fluid skirts for women. For men, Sartorialist looks are still quite strong, with a touch of rock and roll look in dark tones and sporty fabrics. Also for men, more custom costume jewellery will be on offer.

SHOP Lane Crawford

JJ.

#theWanderlist: Fashionistos, Design Junkies, and Carnivores at ED1TUS

Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong’s rough industrial district on the West Side of town may at first seem like a collection of junky old factory buildings right now, but in a couple of years time, one may just have to say that this area could be the city’s closest contender to a “true” design centre. And by Design Centre, i’m not talking about consumer focused centres like PMQ, i’m talking about the area in town where design, fashion, food, and art can converge organically due to a healthy and well supported creative business eco-system. Mix that in with the need for REALLY sizeable and open loft-like spaces that creatives generally yearn for… then you’ve got an organic business enclave.

The Lane Crawford headquarters are located here and so is the SPRING Workshop, and a handful of designer’s showrooms in The Factory…  all beautiful, contemporary, and very in the moment. This week, I wanted to highlight a new addition to the neighborhood… a menswear-focused showroom for distributors dubbed, ED1TUS, located a few doors down from Lane Crawford.

David Wakely, the company’s co-founder and head curator, toured me and my friends around one Saturday and we basically stayed for a couple of hours checking out everything since sample sales were on live.

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ED1TUS responds to Hong Kong’s evidently strong Menswear market in relation to all of Asia, which is apparently twice the size of the Asian womenswear market. FYI, Menswear sales in the region including China also account for 20% of the global luxury market.

Here’s the thing, until the last few years,  just when the “Sartorial Dandy” became a thing for all guys, “Menswear” as a sector used to be safe, boring, utilitarian, and formal. Now guys feel that it is okay to dress more fashionable, and men are being educated by bespoke suiting shops like The Armoury and Moustache. David, a seasoned ex-menswear buyer for Lane Crawford, saw the opportunity for more brand awareness, diversity, and further education for the region, catering to an ever growing “Middle Luxury Market” composed of young men always in search of the new, the cool, the interesting, and the different… ie. labels not yet readily available in high end department stores, but with a style clout and price range above the likes of Zara and the Gap.

The ED1TUS showroom is roomy and spacious, with nothing for sale but a few menswear accessories, knick knacks, and magazines. The showroom is not closed and is open to the public as evidence of its shared space collaboration with modern furniture destination Casa Capriz (who picked up from Chai Wan and moved front end operations here in this showroom), and the inclusion of a deli dubbed, The Butchers Club, a restaurant open to the public for lunch and dinner, and has become a destination in Hong Kong for many looking for great deli sandwiches and amazing steak dinners.

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Brands on offer include a casual Italian contemporary brand, Mauro Grifoni, cashmere styles by Drumohr, olive oil finished leathers by Stewart, and handmade footwear by CM Made In Italy. Some items from ED1TUS I also love include men’s bags by Meilleur Ami, fragrances by Mirko Buffini, bath and body products by Australia’s Gentleman’s Brand Co.

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For those gents looking for items for the home, the Casa Capriz showroom offers masculine unique and vintage items for the home with emphasis on the 1950’s to 1970’s modern era, and amazing lamps designed by Lumio. 

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Check out the showroom, because one of the three founders are always there. If not David, then his partners Jino Khidir (ex-Tom Ford) and Jules Shah (ex-Monocle and Konzepp) will be there on hand to assist. For Casa Capriz, founder, Irene Capriz, will always be there.

Speaking of Irene Capriz… I’m really loving these table selections from her curated furniture shop… if Only Hong Kong had larger living rooms in general!

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I’m a big fan of this sweat style from Mauro Grifoni.

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I also would like to thank my dear friend and art advisor, Zoe Pena (right) for the amazing lunch she hosted at her gallery, LIGHTBOMBS Contemporary, located a few doors down from Lane Crawford and ED1TUS. Through the lunch, I met the really cool editor and home stylist, Kissa Castaneda, who is the sole reason why I subscribed to all issues of ELLE Decor Philippines (obviously I’m a fan), and is now bringing a bit of the magic she brought at ELLE Decor for us here in Hong Kong via her new gig at Home Journal.

Welcome to Hong Kong, Kissa!

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All of us ended up rummaging through ED1TUS and Casa Capriz for a couple of hours to burn off that lunch. It was good times. 

Nice to see the Wong Chuk Hang hood buzzing and doing so well!

VISIT ED1TUS (with Casa Capriz + The Butchers Club Deli) . Shui Ki Industrial Building, 16th FL No.18, Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong . T: +852 9760 0437 (ED1TUS) . T: +852-2884 0768 (The Butchers Cub Deli) . T: +852 9318 1730 (Casa Capriz)

JJ.

#JJStyle: Good Girl Gone Bad, JOURDEN AW14

Hong Kong’s hottest womenswear line, JOURDEN, is going global and will be the upcoming line soon at Opening Ceremony stores in New York City and Los Angeles. Their Autumn-Winter 2014 collection is an evolution of a JOURDEN girl growing up.

Via JOURDEN:

The collection presents a number of distinctive silhouettes, including shell & polo tops, sheer ribbed jumpers, pleated, trapeze and marquee skirts, dresses, high-waisted shorts, perfecto bikers and hunter jackets. AW ‘14 showcases the label’s signature skirts manifested in new shapes of trapeze and marquee. While the flimsy confetti fabric is transformed into thicker, stormy black and navy versions, the quilt motif also reappears in white and blue interpretations. Continuing a strong yet subtle love of uniform aesthetics, the looks are completed with polo tops trimmed with prominent zippers, a unique adornment displayed throughout the collection, or crude shell tops embellished with sharp yellow, green, red and navy stripes.

JOURDEN shies away from an overt sex appeal, focusing instead on reinstating elements of strength from the original perfecto biker jacket. It is offered in variations of cashmere wool, quilted confetti and duvet motif, as well as mohair fun fur paired up with shimmer fabrics.

via Creative Director, Anais Mak:

“The JOURDEN girl is crusty, candid and determined, but also introvert at times. Every season, I try to make the girl speak up a little bit more. The contrasts between the disciplined, time-honored blocks, and the bold fabrics in each piece exhibits unexpected juxtapositions of the girl. In our times, to be proper means very rebellious.”

The rest of the collection will be available at Liger Hong Kong, along with select premium retailers in Tokyo, Shanghai & Taipei.

WEAR Jourden

JJ.