#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.

#theWanderlist: Happiness Is Just A NoLIta Morning

New York’s NoLIta district is a little area between Little Italy and Soho, which is defined by Houston Street on the north, Bowery on the east, Broome Street on the South, and Lafayette Street on the west. I discovered Nolita the other day at the strong advice of my friend, Katrina (someone who really needs a #Wanderlister blog of her own.)

Nolita was dubbed by the real estate community as such in the mid 90’s to reflect the neighborhood’s yuppy gentrification. The real Italians moved out, and instead moving in is a great selection of independent fashion boutiques, keeping NoLIta free of hideous Italian restaurant tourist traps, and Old Navy.

SOHO has turned into a mall (a long long time ago), while neighborhoods like the West Village or Madison Avenue may be a bit too label oriented… so people come to Nolita for an indie rare-finds shopping Saturday. On my itinerary the other day, I went to visit an amazing curated shop by Katrina’s friend, ate brunch at an I-cant-believe-its-a-vegan-joint called, The Butcher’s Daughter, and checked out some art at the New Museum on the Bowery. But first… best to start with the right foot with a much caffeine fix at the Nolita Gimme! Coffee.

+ DRINK // Gimme! Coffee

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Gimme! Coffee was a specialty coffee shop I treated myself to when a reward was in order during in college at upstate New York. Slightly more expensive than on-campus cups o’ joes, Gimme! Coffee’s highly rated roasts are just that much better than most everything in the market for low-key on-the-go coffee. Gimme! Coffee also makes their money supplying coffees to different restaurants and businesses, and sources their beans straight from a farm in Colombia, paying a competitive price, so the farmer can cut out abusive middle men. 

In 2006, Gimme! Coffee was awarded the best espresso bar in Manhattan by the New York Times, and Roast Magazine picked Gimme! Coffee to win last year’s Roaster of the Year. To me, it’s just damn great coffee that can give you the fuel for those long day urban adventures… which begins with…

+ SHOP // Creatures of Comfort

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Via an introduction from Katrina, I was able to get a great sneak into Creatures of Comfort, a quirky and niche shopping destination in the city for women who aim to dress for everyday simplicity with a statement. The store’s manager, Cath Martin, gladly showed me around, introducing the LA-based shop’s curation of the stylishly messy, easy, lazy, and elegant… (basically anything that resembles Isabel Marant.) Oh, there’s an area for bored boyfriends as well… at the guy’s section towards the front, also very well curated, as expected.

Designers at CoC include Norse Projects, J.W Anderson, Christophe Lemaire, Rachel Comey, Kara Walker, Common Projects, Cosmic Wonder, Band of Outsiders, Robert Clergerie, and many others, including the prominently displayed in-house lightweight womenswear collection, also called, Creatures of Comfort.

Founder, Jade Lai, wasn’t there the day I went to shop, but she’s from Hong Kong herself, educated at at Otis College, and learned what she could of the rag trade from her Dad, Jimmy Lai, founder of Giordano. (The parallels end there.) Check it out, it’s a neat place to shop, and if you live in New York, CoC always hosts different events and popups in collaboration with artists, creatives, and the brands they carry.

+ EAT // The Butcher’s Daughter

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The Butcher’s Daughter is great go-to brunch place any day of the week. Regular customers rate it very well, better than traditional media, but for what you get ie. healthy, vegetarian, vegan that doesn’t scream it, to me it’s impressive. I chose to sit in a stool at the corner of the shop so I can face the window and view outside to do a bit of NoLIta people watching. However, there are plenty of big communal tables here indoor and out if you choose to bring a big party of friends.

For lunch I ordered, “Spicy Kale Ceasar Salad”, at 14USD it’s a big hefty meal, which consisted of a bowl of local kale, a generous portion of avocado, delicious bits of almond parmesan, toasted almonds, shallots, croutons, and heaping side of tempeh (which basically made it taste like I was having some kind of grilled chicken on top.) I usually hate green grass juice that hippies drink, but I loved the “Green Simple Juice” they recommended, which was basically cucumber, Kale, and green apple…hmmm. Can still taste it now!

+ VISIT // New Museum

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The New Museum, a building designed by Japan’s SANAA, is generally a mixed bag of programming, but whenever i’m there, I always luck out with good shows. Lucky me I guess. When all is said, done, and purchased in NoLIta, on the Bowery a few blocks down from the shops is the said museum at just the right boutique size that you can pretty much spend the last few pre-dinner hours getting your culture fill.

I really enjoyed the exhibition by Icelandic artist, Ragnar Kjartansson, who for his exhibit, displayed a looping video scene with a live guitar orchestral performance, titled Take Me Here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriage 2011/2014. For the whole day, and the duration of the exhibition, 10 musicians play a lose and live harmonic performance to accompany a video where a character (played by the artist’s mother) gets swept off her feet by a plumber (played by the artist’s father), when eventually they do the nasty. The musicians add the dialogue via music.

Also on display, a show by Camille Henrot, titled The Restless Earth. I’m a big fan of this Parisian artist’s body of research in regards to visual representation, digital archiving, and the documentation of artifacts of cultures and items found within the “natural world” and how it gets transformed physically and conceptually via modern desires, modern use, and modern science. I fit all of what she does in one sentence… so I guess I really am a fan.

Shows at New Museum rotate each month, so there’s always something to return to here, worth supporting. Even if you only have a hour.

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Before I forget, if you go to Creatures of Comfort, make sure to check out my friends, Katrina and Jason’s copy of BITE ME Magazine. It’s in New York (including all other cities in the world), and there’s just no excuse not to own one delicious bite of this amazing publication.

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DRINK Gimme! Coffee NoLIta . 228 Mott Street, New York City, NY . T: +12122264011 / SHOP Creatures of Comfort . 205 Mulberry St, New York City, NY . T: +12129251005 / EAT The Butchers Daughter . 19 Kenmare Street, New York City, NY . T: +12122193434 / VISIT New Museum . 235 Bowery, New York NY . T: +12122191222

JJ.

SG_WOMEN_615x100 New Season 

#JJStyle: Form, Shape, Colour, and Matter Matters

Look what i’m very much into at this moment. By the looks of the photographs of the latest products to come out of Hong Kong above… you can probably tell why. Modern Form? Check. Color Blocking? Check. Simplicity? Check. References to to Art and Architectural History like Art Deco, Post Modernism, the Bauhaus, Hopper, Warhol, Hockney, and Max Huber? Check.

The new Hong Kong based accessories label, Matter Matters, puts its fresh designer, Flora Leung, on the forefront of what and why “Design” really “matters” in Hong Kong, NOW. Since launching the brand at a pop-up shop at K11 end of 2013, Leung’s amazingly sharp and classic collection has been covered by the likes of Blouin Artinfo, Refinery29, Vogue Italia, and NOWFASHION. It’s really great that this is coming out of Hong Kong, and too an amazing testament to Leung, who’s had enough of a vision to get her act together to provide a niche product for the local market, which also happens to speak to a global fashion and design audience.

Years of working at a vintage shop selling Chanel’s and Hermes Kelly bags, allowed Leung to observe and see what it is that people are really into. And time and time again, they would always purchase classic bags over seasonal trendy styles. This got her thinking about her own label, Matter Matters, which she actually debuted and developed for her graduate show at the London College of Fashion in 2012. 

"Why do designers have to rack their brains and constantly come up with new designs," asks Leung in an interview, “You can pay a bit more effort and design something timeless that will run for years, even decades.”

The monogram and logo-free label now consists of fun bags… some an homage to the triangle shape, others an homage to dumplings, plus wallets, totes, and watches for both men and women fans of the label. Check out my own Matter Matters “Bay” Wristwatch via my Instagram account, below

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So talented…. and this is only the first collection!

SHOP Matter Matters Online . Matter Matters Gallery at K11 Select, Shop 101, No.18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, HK .T: +852 98894198 . For Stockists in Paris and Shanghai, Click Here

JJ.

SG_WOMEN_615x100 New Season

#theWanderlist: Menswear For All, New York City

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Going to New York City for work and play gave me a chance to make some visits to a few cool destination stores by my favorite brands, for men. If you’re a guy and you only have a day or two to fit in some shopping in the city, I strongly suggest highlighting Nolita and Bleecker Streets to your lists, since these two neighborhoods carry a good selection of casual menswear brands to fit most tastes.

Please note, nothing in my NYC #wanderlist covers formalwear or suiting, but there are some selections available at a few of these stores that can offer a full range of styles for most any occasion. (For bespoke suiting, I recommend the NYC outpost of Hong Kong’s iconic menswear tailor, The Armoury.)

+ FINE THREADS // Black Fleece on Bleecker Street

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In 2007, Brooks Brothers launched a youth oriented label,Black Fleece, in collaboration with Mr. Thom Browne, who won the 2006 CFDA Award Winner for menswear just a year before. Yearning to break free aesthetically, from their main Brooks Brothers line, the Black Fleece label allows for the brand to offer a selection of menswear for a new generation of guys who may not be so familiar with the traditional Brooks Brothers suiting, but are ready to embrace elements of “dandy” suiting in their day-to-day lives. With Black Fleece, designer Thom Browne gets to make clothing for a wider demographic of men who seek to embrace his modern look, underpinned by the Brooks Brothers level of quality and craftsmanship.

The corner store on Bleecker Street is intimate, carrying both men and women’s. Customers and staff know each other there on a first name basis, and when I went, everyone who showed up at the store, were pretty much return customers. This is a good thing for me to notice, especially because the clothes are so playfully quirky and a-traditional. I suppose the intimacy in shopping experience for Black Fleece is really about the support of their customers who just “get” the brand concept from the get-go. (And FYI, the service quality in Hong Kong’s flagship on Wyndham Street is absolutely the same level. Top notch and personal. I hope they keep it up!)

+ STREET STYLE // Saturday’s Surf NYC on Crosby Street

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Yes, Saturday’s is an urban shop in New York City for those into surfing culture. I know… crazy right, because where can you actually surf in Manhattan!? While I was there, twice, during my last trip, I did witness a guy purchase a surfboard and then packing it up on the spot. So yes, in New York City, surf sells at Saturday’s Surf NYC.

Saturday’s is essentially a casual men’s shop selling “street style” with a splattering of elegant buttoned down looks and up-market T’s and sweatshirts. The reason why I support this local brand, which first opened its doors in 2009, is that while it speaks to a particularly niche and quirky customer (urbanites who are engrossed in surfing culture), its collection… from apparel, to bags, to shoes, to accessories, pretty much have a strong and consistent aesthetic base line which a broader design-focused demographic can appreciate. Everything is either grey, black, or primary colors in palette, and for the patterns or stripes that appear in their collection, it’s pretty bold in a pop art kind of way… yet clean and modern. This kind of stylistic integrity is a great position to be in, especially for a young brand wanting to make a mark in casual street wear.

Some of my favorite things about the shop… browsing Saturdays Magazine, the brand’s modern take on the classic surfer magazine and checking out the back garden where you can just sit and chill with a cup of delicious La Colombe coffee from their destination coffee shop in store.

+ ARMED CANDY // Miansai on Crosby Street

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Miansai’s Crosby Street location in Nolita has only been operating for less than a year (opened in December 2013), but already it seems like the flagship has been there since the establishment of its brand in 2008. Founded in Miami, by New York born, Michael Saiger, Miansai’s men’s jewellery is now coolly retailed in 40 US States and 36 countries, including Mr. Porter (which ships internationally), and Kapok, Harvey Nichols, and Lane Crawford, here in Hong Kong.

The Crosby street location offers the full array of Miansai’s products, plus leather goods, with all items Made in the USA by its team of 30 craftsmen. If you’ve been shopping in Asia, and think you’ve seen all of what Miansai has to offer re: nautical themed bracelets, think again, this tiny shop in New York carries everything you’ve seen and so much more, including new designs, fixings, and clasps, recently launched for its 2014 collection of wares.

My favorite is the cuff design,  made of .925 Sterling Silver, 14K Gold and Rose Gold, and for some items, 18K Gold. Have a sip and sit in the in-house tea room as you enjoy browsing and the trying on of all things Miansai. (FYI. You can also build your own bracelet.)

+ CURATED STYLE // Odin New York on Lafayette

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10 year old menswear boutique, Odin, has been on the curated menswear scene way before menswear became a staple on everything from everyone’s Pinterest and TUMBLR boards, to their multiple-broque closets. Founded by partners, Paul Birardi (ex-buyer at Macy’s) and Eddy Chai (ex-advertising art director), Odin has held their own, courting working gents from all walks of life who care about fashion and style, plus now college students and even some female shoppers.

The store on Lafayette Street, a 2000 square foot, ex-Chinese Noodles factory, was a hands-on experience for the founders, building and designing everything themselves to house menswear multi-brands from the ground up. Since establishing the boutique, Odin has collaborated with American retail giants like Target, the Gap, and boutique labels like Matsuda, Rag & Bone, Common Projects, Mark McNairy, Alex Mill, Todd Snyder, and Engineered Garments.

The Lafayette Street shop offers personal styling services for a wide range of products available from the house’s own label to the likes of Thom Browne’s main line, which I bought a few pieces on sale.

+ ALL AROUND STYLE // Club Monaco Men’s on 5th

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Not quite in Nolita and Bleecker (we’re talking 5th Avenue), but just a walk away from the iconic burger joint, Shake Shack in Madison Square Park where my friend Andy and I had our lunch, is the heaven that is Club Monaco’s 5th Avenue store. I don’t know about you, but I’m obsessed about all things Club Monaco (and its been a few years now), since I’ve done style collaborations with them in Hong Kong years ago and since their menswear line was taken on board by Menswear designer, Aaron Levine.

The 5th Avenue store is indeed a mecca for those who are “Club Monanites” (okay Made this moniker up) offering a full selection of CM classics, essentials, and specialty seasonal items in playful prints, colors, and elegant (ie. non baggy) and fitting menswear silhouettes. Accessories and outerwear complement easy to wear CM items from the brand and partner “Made-In-America” labels. Shoes include a great selection from Grenson and New Balance. The huge two-story store looks like an old-time Department Store from the turn of the century, and also fits a florist, a bookstore by the Strand, and an outpost by my favorite Williamsburg café, Toby’s, for those inclined to stay awhile after a full shopping experience.

+ GROOMING // Fellow Barber on Crosby St,

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On Crosby Street adjacent to Miansai and Saturday’s, be sure to check out, Fellow Barber, one of four of these barber locations in New York City and Brooklyn. Fellow Barber is committed to offering all patrons a traditional barbershop experience without the pretense of a salon. Because everything is “traditional”, all Fellow Barbers are expertly trained to provide classic men’s cuts with straight-razor shaves.

The shop on Crosby Street carries a wide array of products, including shaving kits, body soaps, and moustache/beard wax for the discernible gentleman.

SHOP Black Fleece West Village . 351 Bleecker Street, New York NY 10014 . T: +12129292763 /  SHOP Saturday’s Surf NYC . 31 Crosby Street, New York NY 10013 . T: +12129667875 / SHOP Miansai Nolita . 33 Crosby Street, New York NY . T: +12128589710 / SHOP Odin New York Nolita/SOHO . 199 Lafayette Street, New York NY . T: +12129660026 / SHOP Club Monaco on 5th Avenue . 160 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010 . T: +12123520936 / VISIT Fellow Barber Nolita . 33 Crosby Street, New York NY . T: +12129296014

JJ.

SG_WOMEN_615x100 New Season

#JJStyle: Climbing High, the Kapok Bracelet Collection

Those who follow me on Instagram and on this blog, know that for this year i’ve completely re-feng-shui’d my life. And Because of this… i’ve got a few additional style items in the home and on me that I have to incorporate and get used to. For example, like I need to make sure that I have a continuously running water feature on the South corner of my flat, and having to constantly wear blue (or white or black), avoiding red at all costs on my persons, and (this one I like) getting used to wearing gold, silver, or metallic jewellery… and lots of it. 

Before this I never used to wear jewellery because I thought it was silly and lacked purpose (I used to be more of a no-bracelet-flair-one-watch-guy). Boy have I changed.

If you’ve seen my Instagram the last two months alone, you’d notice some newfound arm candy that i’ve been hooked on to since discovering certain brands, like Miansai, which are considered jewellery, and have real gold and silver elements which matched my whole dapper look. The best thing about Miansai is, it doesn’t look like traditional jewellery, but it counts towards my feng shui prescription, and looks great in a suit or on the beach. I purchased my first Miansai at Hong Kong’s curated shop, Kapok, just a couple of months ago… a golden cuff.

Now, months later, Kapok (also a fashion and accessories label) is releasing their own line of bracelets which basically gives Miansai a run for its money. Dubbed the Kapok Bracelets Collection, the collection, produced in limited quantities, is really tailored for guys and gals who love the rougher things in life like sports and being outdoors. The collection was launched by Kapok’s co-founder, Carlos Granon, who himself is an avid rock climbing enthusiast… hence the bracelet’s rock climbing inspired details like the incorporation of rope knots methodology, pulley systems, and harness clasps. Two styles, the Kalymnos and the Yosemite, are named after two renowned climbing spots in the Aegean Sea in Greece and in California, respectively.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a few. Bye Bye Miansai! (maybe?) 

Enjoy the photos of the bracelets on actual rock climbers, set against the Hong Kong skyline’s gorgeous backdrop.

WEAR Kapok Bracelet Collection . Kapok Online / Kapok on 5 St. Francis Yard, Wanchai, Hong Kong . T: +852-25499254

JJ.

SG_WOMEN_615x100 New Season

#JJStyle: Urban Tropico. Tangram for Goods of Desire x Glenn Eugen Ellingsen, Photographer

A second collection unveiled two weeks ago for Hong Kong based, niche fashion label, Tangram in collaboration with the iconic G.O.D. Goods of Desire boutique. Tangram’s Colombian designer, Paola Sinisterra, is again on form here for the Tangram for Goods of Desire collection, using her signature hand picked materials, and some with unique prints. The line is quintessentially light and comfortable, and defined by modern shapes and cuts derived from traditional Chinese pattern making. 

Photographer, Glenn Eugen Ellingsen for Parasol Studios took the collection’s aesthetic cues and narrative to formulate a fictional character; a female half urbanite and half jungle dweller, taken in a forested area only steps away from Hong Kong’s busy industrial district. 

Via Paola Sinisterra

"We took cues from the lively urban landscape of Hong Kong and its close entwinement with nature. The flavor of this collection is summery and jungle-like, urban and green, wild and fun, hot and humid and full of unexpected adventures - an exploration of Hong Kong’s more tropical side."

WEAR Tangram for Goods of Desire . G.O.D. Hollywood Road, 48 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong T: +852-28051876 . G.O.D. PMQ, Corner of Aberdeen Street and Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong / DESIGNER Tangram / PHOTOGRAPHER Glenn Eugen Ellingsen

#theWanderlist: Electric Bombay. Design and Style in Mumbai NOW.

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Above: Shirt by MILK Shirts, Sun Glasses and Watch by Triwa, Bag by Gel Jamlang via Society6, Shoes by Riviera, Love Mumbai Books via Bungalow Eight Bombay

After arriving in Mumbai’s fabulous new Terminal 2 Airport for a long three day weekend… I knew that any fears I had for visiting India for the first time would be allayed.

The futuristic airport, designed by SOM (Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill), recently opened its doors this January. Gone are the days of dealing with long insane queues (apparently I wouldn’t know) at immigration and having to dodge cows to get to the taxi. Nope, this airport, called the Chhatrapati Shivaji, defined by its sculptural concrete shells of its parametric architecture, creates a feeling of a calm forest. The shells are meant to represent an arrangement of a peacock’s feathers, the national bird of India. But we don’t care. It’s beautiful, it works as an international airport where most other countries fail, and best of all… it’s such a serene airport to arrive to and leave from. (If only if the staff were a bit chipper though!)

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Of course things only got better as we discovered the rest of Bombay throughout our long Easter’s weekend. As it was our first time there, my strategy was to “Wanderlist”, by visiting heritage and cultural destinations, while also spotting the new, the cool, the modern, the NOW… which basically means its design spotting and shopping in parallel. (You can check out my previous post on Mumbai heritage here.)

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+ MARKET // Chor Bazaar and Elephanta Island Markets

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First off, in terms of “cool markets” it’s a tough call. There’s a bunch of tourist traps in the city you should avoid… ie. The Colaba Causeway Market adjacent to the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. The goods on offer there, a mixture of metallic globes, religious ganeshes, candle stands, and oil lamps, are produced on the cheap, and a hassle to get anything of good quality. May I suggest you visit the Elephanta Island Markets (on the pathway up to Elephanta Caves) if you want any of these kinds of gifts (which DUH… we did). All of the kitschy gifts are on offer and at a much better quality than Colaba Causeway… without the horrible hustlers bothering you. Elephanta IS a religious UNESCO world heritage site after all.

As it turns out, the most pleasant shopping experience we’ve had in the city, was a market that locals told us to avoid… the Thieves Market aka Chor Bazaar. We heard all the horror stories… ie. watch your pockets and they all sell stolen goods. Be that as it may, no one bothered us while we shopped endless alleys for vintage items, junks, and knick knacks you can’t find anywhere else. It was a sunny Sunday, and a generally calm and relaxed shopping experience. Everyone was respectful, polite, and friendly. I highly recommend the Chor Bazaar.

This is the place I got great silver and marble boxes.

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There are no guard dogs… just guard goats… vicious they are.

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You like glass and porcelain?

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Tins and vintage signs?

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Movie posters? It’s all here at Chor Bazaar.

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SHOP The Thieves Market (Chor Bazaar) . Grand Building, Haji Miyaz Road, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai -5, India / SHOP The Elephanta Island Markets . Elephanta island, Colaba, Mumbai, India

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+ VINTAGE // Bungalow Eight

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I had a good quarrel with Jim over whether or not we should be “wasting” time visiting Bungalow Eight in Bombay. In his mind he didn’t see the point of coming all the way to Bombay if only to see the likes of Lindsay Lohan or Nicole Richie stomping around drunk. However, when I finally got him to look it up, he realised that it’s not the Bungalow 8 (as in the club in New York City), but Bombay’s “Bungalow Eight”, the first with the moniker in the world… an interior design haven of re-appropriated antiques and modern turn-of-the-century pieces, plus a dress and accessories shop of original Indian design.

When I asked the helpful staff where the name “Bungalow Eight” came from (since there are so many ridiculous nightclubs in the world which have since tainted the name), they told us that it was named after founder, Maithili Ahluwalia’s family home in India, having have no comments on the other establishments… meaning they must be copycats.

On offer at the brand’s three-level 19th Century shophouse, are vintage homewares and furnitures on Level 1, childrens wear and textiles on Level 2, and fashion on Level 3 designed by a former group designer of Lanvin and Saint Laurent, Mathieu Gugumus Leguillon. The Jewellery on Level 3 is the work of Maithili’s mother, the iconic Jamini Ahluwalia. There’s not much here for menswear, but word on the street is… they will be launching a collection soon.

SHOP Bungalow Eight . Grants Building, 17 Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba, Mumbai -5, India . T:+91-2222819880

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 + FASHION // Bombay Electric

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Around the corner from Bungalow Eight is Bombay Electric, by far the coolest and most stylish independent fashion boutique we’ve visited in Bombay. The shop, which carries inspired styles in bold colors and prints for both ladies and gents, really captures the youthful energy of the city in its curated goods of Ready-to-wear items, costume jewellery, bags, and other design oriented gifts.

Around four people told me to check out this shop before shopping here, and i’m glad I did. Menswear had a buy 2-get 1 free deal that day and we just couldn’t resist.

According to their staff, Bombay Electric is a platform for design ideas and intersection for style exchange. Products on offer include fashion by great independent Indian designers such as Manish Arora Paris, Bodice, Pero, and jewellery by visionaries such as Aunterra, Amrapali, and Nitya Arora.

My pick? This great carry-all envelope bag by 11-11 made of recycled plastic for the exterior skin, and a nice quilted seersucker for the interior padding.

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Definitely you can’t leave Mumbai without getting a dose of style at Bombay Electric.

SHOP Bombay Electric . 1 Reay House, BEST Marg, Colaba, Mumbai -1, India . T: +91-2222876276

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+ DESIGN // Design Temple

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Thanks to friends in both Hong Kong and India, we were lucky enough to be introduced to amazing designer, Divya Thakur, the founder and creative director of Design Temple. Divya launched Design Temple in 1999 and has since been represented by global design media as well as exhibiting her work in shows around the world. A darling of London’s Wallpaper* Magazine and a staple at Milan’s Salone Del Mobile, Divya’s work extrapolates Indian mythologies and brings these themes to life in her furnitures and prints, catering to a new generation of design aficionados both in India and abroad. When we met up with her at her shop, Divya was in preparation to set up an exhibition of new furnitures at the Nordic Hotel in Stockholm, which runs from now to the end of June this year. 

Set in the historic Churchill Chambers building also in Colaba behind the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Divya’s shop carries a good selection of design items she’s created either alone or with collaborators, ready to take home as gifts for others or for yourself.

Jim and I both purchased Divya’s Lingam Candles to bring back to Hong Kong, however we also wanted to get our hands on her various cheeky prints and rugs… as well as a set of these cool stackable “Pillar Pods” which transform from a table and chair set, to one tall table.

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Alas… maybe we’ll just have to wait until Divya sets up a global online store for these bigger purchases! We definitely thank Divya for her time chatting with us!

SHOP Design Temple . No2 Churchill Chambers, 32 Mereweather Road, Colaba, Mumbai -1, India . T: +91-2222821001

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+ SHIRTS // Obataimu

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A few blocks away at the cool Kala Ghoda district behind the Prince of Wales museum, we made sure to have a delicious seafood lunch at Trishna’s (the best), and afterwards  walked on to check out this really cool new shop called, Obataimu, which is Japanese-Engrish for “over time”.

Obataimu is the brainchild of its founder, designer Noorie Sadarangani, whom we met at her store. Heavily influenced by her travels and studies of the Japanese philosophy of “Wabi-Sabi”, an aesthetic movement celebrating slow art and individuality, Noorie’s 600 sq.ft. shop also houses an atelier and tailoring school where customers can work with in-house tailors to build a wardrobe of easy to wear shirts, trousers, and dresses of a cotton-viscose mix. All fashion items in the store are samples only, and new ones for you can be produced only after measurements have taken place.

Of course this all part of her “Obataimist” way of life, a focus on using the time beyond the building of the product itself to transfer information, knowledge, and study, from shopkeeper, to customer, to tailor, in an effort to elevate contemporary consumption towards a level of an artisan relationship.

Unfortunately if you want something to-go and purchase clothes on-the-spot, it won’t work since that consumist attitude will have to be set aside. According to Noorie, the making of a shirt can take an average of up to five days. Goods can be picked up at the shop or delivered to your home… in India or anywhere else in the world.

Oh yes… she also produces furniture and light installations. 

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SHOP Obataimu. Shop G3 Machinery House, 11B. Bharucha Marg, opposite The Pantry, at Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai 400023 . T: +91-84548445854

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+ The Rest Of The Best // Other cool places you need to check off on your ultimate Bombay #wanderlist…

Support the local design industry and purchase their naughty greeting cards from FILTER at the Kala Ghoda District…

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Cool off with a signature iced coffee at The Pantry Cafe also at Kala Ghoda…

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Have a bite of an epic vegetarian kebab at the historic Bademiya stand behind the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel…

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And pamper yourself with an ultimate “Warriors Massage” at the Jiva Grande Club Spa at the Taj Wellington Mews.

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That’s not all that’s available TO DO in Bombay, but if you follow this #Wanderlist, visiting these places and neighborhoods is a surefire way to get acquainted with all that’s cool in India’s best modern metropolis.

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Emmanuel Balayer Consultancy Services in Mumbai and Fe Valvekens of A Day With Fe in Hong Kong for introducing me to the amazing people that made for a wonderful Mumbai itinerary. Also thanks to Sheetal Pritmani from MILK Shirts for more cool advice on where to go and what to do in the city.

SHOP Filter Shop . 43 V.B. Gandhi Marg, Kala Ghoda, Behind Rhythm House, Mumbai -1, India . T: +91-2222887070 / EAT The Pantry Cafe . Yeshwant Chambers . GF, Military Square Lane, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai -1, India . T: +91-2222678901 / EAT Bademiya . Shop No. 7,8,9 Botawala Building, Horniman Cir, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai -1, India . T: +91-2261612371 / SPA Jiva Grand Club at the Taj Wellington Mews . No.33 Nathalal Perekh Marg, Colaba, Mumbai -1, India . T: +91-2266569494

JJ.