I was commissioned by Aquascutum to photograph stylist, blogger and good friend of mine Karlmond Tang aka Mr Boy for their digital content. Karlmond and I have always wanted to work together for quite a while, we’re familiar with each others work and our style of work, we even discussed ideas and potential collaborations over countless of dim sums, coffee and on our trip to Morocco earlier this year. Because my schedule is relatively unpredictable like a typical fickle English weather, where I’m barely in London and spend the majority of my time travelling overseas, and being committed to my regular clients, an opportunity like this has led to 2 years of waiting. So here comes my jazz hands, TADAHHHHH!
Photography by Kit Lee.
The first time I visited Venice I was about 16 or 17 years old when digital cameras did not exist, it was a 5 day school trip, in freezing cold winter, by coach. Yes, that’s correct, we travelled by coach for 24 hours with 20 or so students and couple of tutors. Never mind the stiff backs of the younglings, toilet that was completely jammed by human waste, our sleep disrupted in the dead of night to have our passports checked in the middle of nowhere. It was what we paid for, but all soon forgotten when we arrived in the Italian city, Venice!
Fast forward to 16 years, over a decade older, and my second visit to Venice! I was invited to stay 2 nights at the newly opened JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa in the middle of hot summer in June, it’s a new luxury retreat set on a private island in the Venetian lagoon, Isola delle Rose, away from the hustle and bustle, St Mark’s Square is just 20 minute shuttle ride away.
I may have left the world of fashion and style behind me, temporarily, I’ve been meaning to publish this post of my favourite autumn winter 2015 press day from March for many moons, even though I’ve only been to 4 so far this year! Turning up at press days were quite challenging and always unfulfilled. I’m guessing my passion for fashion and style has slowly disintegrated and irrelevant, so other interests lies elsewhere. By all means it’s about evolving and moving forward.
While my love for floral prints hasn’t left my heart, on September House of Hackney has recently launched a ground-breaking collaboration with William Morris. It’s the largest and most inspired House of Hackney collaboration to date, I have seen the pieces at press day and I’m thrilled to say I bloody LOVED it! William Morris was multi-talented English designer (textile, artist, writer, poet) and a social activist, better known for this Pre-Raphaelite and Neo-Gothic floral designs in the English Arts and Crafts movement in 19th Century.
Continuing the visual diary from my trip to Greece, part 2. It feels like a lifetime ago (almost four months ago) when I was in Costa Navarino, having a great time enjoying the sun, sailing, massage. I have been on many press trips after Greece, my visual memory and fondness for Costa Navarino is still fresh in my mind and I can still taste the octopus I had for lunch still lingers in my taste bud. It was that good.
The stunning Voidokilia Beach is located not far from Costa Navarino, the beach was named among the best beaches in the world, according to The New York Times. It reminds me of my family vacation time in Dipkarpaz (Golden Beach) in North Cyprus. The Voidokilia Beach’s is simply breathtaking, the panorama and its natural surroundings – clear and vibrant blue sea, fine sand and crystalline beach – the Navarino Bay, Nestor’s Cave and above lies are the old ruins of 13th Century Frankish Castle, and nearby is an archeological finds of its earliest civilisation, tombs and battle grounds, and Peloponnesian Hills covered with olive trees, sand dunes, and of course the amazing weather. And the area is considered of archaeological interest. Behind the sandy dunes lies the lagoon of Gialova, one of Europe’s most important wetlands and bird habitat, perfect for bird watching enthusiasts.
Luggage check, carry-on check, money check, passport check, vaccination check, travel insurance….ummm check? I have been a frequent flyer on long haul flights (from London to Hong Kong, vice versa) for nearly 2 years and have picked up some mistakes and tips along the way. What is the best way to endure long haul flights as pleasant as possible? There is no secret formula that works for anyone but preparation. I’ve only experienced 3 unfortunate events on long haul flights a few years ago, altitude sickness from dehydration, not paid attention to food intolerance and ended up being sick (I have to remind myself that I’m lactose intolerant to cold dairy desserts, come on a small spoonful of goodness won’t hurt my tummy. Yes it will), and sexual harassment with a fellow passenger seated next to me. It was a l-o-n-g story.
It is essential to enjoy your long haul experience in anyway you can, whether it’s cattle class (I don’t mind) to upper class, long haul or short haul, preparation is key to hassle-free smooth, and comfortable flight.
I love visiting countries or cities I’ve never been and people I’ve never met, even if it’s not on my bucket list I love exploring. But this trip to Costa Navarino in Greece was particularly special to me, one of my favourite films of all time, Before Midnight (2013) directed by Richard Linklater, has a close connection with Costa Navarino, it was partly filmed in one of the two hotels and much of the filming took place in the Peloponnesian region of Messinia including Kardamili, Gulf of Messenia, Pylos, the ruins of Mycenaean Palace of Nestor and many more. Those who have not heard of the film, it’s an American romantic drama film, the third in a trilogy, following Before Sunrise (1995) filmed in Vienna, and Before Sunset (2004) filmed in Paris, and third one in southern Peloponnese. It’s the film’s longest love story and centres around a couple (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) engage in a long, discursive conversations. When a PR emailed me an invitation to this trip, read the subject line, I immediately said yes without hesitation! You wouldn’t believe I already planned a perfect quote from the film’s famous scene to end the post.
From the moment I arrived at The Romanos, after a four hour car journey from the airport, my thoughts were ‘My gosh this place is huge!’, ‘I’m dyslexic I’m going to get lost.’ Costa Navarino is home to two luxury hotels, The Westin Resort Costa Navarino and The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, as well as the award winning Anazoe Spa, alluring natural sceneries – extensive grounds with olive groves, indigenous trees and plants as well as golf course, recreation centre, restaurants and shops, even a tiny chapel. Perfect for a romantic getaway or a holiday wedding, perhaps?
Oh Paris, you do bore me to death sometimes. What can you offer me in return besides great luxury hotels, mouthwatering hot chocolate and sugar-high macarons, Colette, nitty-gritty street corners and the oh mighty Sephora?
An annual trip to Paris feels like taking a trip to the enclosed estate with the same sort of common scenery. B-o-r-i-n-g. I do admire its traditional, romanticism architecture in Paris but having been spending more time in fast paced city in Hong Kong, I was used to seeing its incredible skyline’s contemporary and innovative buildings, you barely see fluffy white clouds between the gaps of neighbouring buildings, shapes and forms that tells a story of its own and the inspiration behind it all. My recent visits to Singapore and Doha were incredibly breathtaking, if you’re a fan of contemporary architecture I highly recommend visit all three cities.
A brief trip to Fondation Louis Vuitton with The Peninsula & co somewhere in Paris, started in 2006, an art museum and cultural centre designed by Frank Gehry. In awe of it’s in-depth construction from wall to wall, floor to ceiling, it’s like a giant ship shaped almost like a mutant bug with beautiful intricate scales. To see the structure from afar, it could easily be an exquisite bejewelled pendant. Or an ark from outer space.
Imagine you’re staying at a 5 star luxury hotel in Paris and you’ve been treated like a one of a kind smoked salmon canapé topped with premium caviar and 24 carat edible gold leaf, paired with Russian Bellini. Sounds ravishing, a bit snooty but rarely experienced in London. I’m not the type of person who require special treatment, I prefer the ‘treat me like a friend’ vibe. After all I’m after the first class experience.
Back in early spring this year, us, friendly press-ladies* arrived in style at The Peninsula Paris via Eurostar from London, shame that I was dressed in the certain style (unprepared for the hotel arrival outfit) that did not bode well with the exquisite entrance, ripped boyfriends jeans, chunky boots, loose shirt and thick leather jacket. Totes Brit’n’grunge style, yo! The grand entrance in the lobby speaks for itself, understated, the epic centre of activity, designed for arrival in style. The stunning belle epoque restaurant The Lobby located next to the hotel reception reminds me closer to home. The Peninsula Hong Kong. It’s the oldest luxury hotel in Hong Kong (and the founding hotel group which operates ten hotels across Asia, Europe and the United States), it’s well worth a visit.
A spot of afternoon lunch at the aviation-theme restaurant L’Oiseau Blanc on top floor of the hotel, (see image slide above) with spectacular views looking across Paris from the roof top terrace and restaurant. How are you doing, Paris?