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Style & BeautyPost Category - Style & BeautyStyle & Beauty

Even when I was due to fly out to the good old U of K, I managed to fit in the launch of Fifi, a new fashion label hitting the 852 with a mighty punch of glamour… you see Instant Goddess is always at your service looking for your perfect glamorous shortcut!

Fifi is a tale of friendship, one very busy Hong Kong Mama and a keen shared passion for fashion.

The VERY busy Mama is Fiona Sobek who, since she came up with the idea of Fifi, has not only had her second child but created a fashion label from scratch all in the space of 12 months! The friend is Josie Holyoak, an experienced fashion designer, and together this talented creative duo have come up with a noteworthy collection available here in HK and definitely one to watch.

Creative duo: Josie Holyoak and Fiona Sobek both wearing Fifi

The Spring/Summer collection “Love in Idleness” plays on flirty florals and perfect pastel hues, often mixed with a pop of metallic, a dash of lace or a swathe of animal print. The idea was always to produce glamorous day to nightwear with an edge, which I think you’ll agree they’ve achieved; my fave picks of the collection are…

Maxi delights to begin with:

Silk tropical print maxi $2600, snakeskin maxi $2400

As you may have figured with my jewel addiction, I am always partial to a bit of beading and all that glitters, so these tops ticked all of my boxes and would look equally good teamed with jeans or pants if shorts aren’t your thing.

Snakeskin print top with beaded neckline $1200, top with embellished shoulders $750

And, I always love a ruffle too…

Silver and white stripe top with beaded shoulder straps $850, silk ruffle tropical print top $1400

Not forgetting the all-important shorter frock, and last but not least a floral playsuit too!

Dress with lace $1800, silk floral playsuit $1600

The launch was held at the Fringe Club and Fifi chose to use friends to run the catwalk gauntlet, proving that “real women” can wear their designs.

Here you can really see the gorgeously rich fabrics to their full print potential; for me, the combo on second from right was the catwalk winner, whilst the outfit on the far right drew the most audible gasps of delight from the FROW.

Floral maxi dress $2400, silk tropical print maxi $2600, green beaded skirt $2200, dress with lace top layer $1800

Good job, well done Ladies!

Fifi is currently available in Hong Kong at Polkadot on Hollywood Road and internationally through Marketplace on ASOS.

Polkadot Boutique, 2/F, 29 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2521 0636

Beauty

What with all these summery designs and the mercury being on the up in HK, it’s time to bare more flesh than we’re used to… so with this in mind, favourite make up artist Jaime Smith of Smudge Make Up Artistry has turned her attention to making us bronzed, beautiful and ready for battle!

Jaime says: “Though the sun hasn’t been able to shine through these storm clouds of late, our wintery pale skin is dying for a little glamorous glow. Bronzer is a great tool to help warm up your complexion, sculpt your cheekbones, highlight features and add a light sun kissed touch. Make sure to choose your colour and formula wisely or things can go terribly wrong, fast. Follow these simple recommendations.

– Steer clear of formulas with an orange or red base, which gets too close to an obvious fake tan.

– A big mistake some women make is to apply it with an extra large brush and all over the face, like a mask. Apply powders with a smaller angle brush for better control and contouring. Liquid or cream formulas should be applied with a sponge or your fingers.

– Bronzer should only be applied to the areas where the face would naturally catch the sun – along the forehead, nose bridge, chin and cheek bones.

– If you are struggling to find your perfect colour, choose a duo or trio bronzer that you can blend.

– For a subtle glow, pick one with soft pearl particles. For contouring, choose matte formulations.

– To compliment your beach babe complexion, add a pearlescent liquid highlighter to your foundation or to your cheekbones, brow bone and cupids bow for added lustre.

– Take this look from daytime to night glam, by adding golden-toned eye shadows that compliment tanned skin. Add smoky brown liner, a few coats of mascara, a sweep of apricot blush and a great pink-gold lipstick.”

And there you have it… bronzed and beautiful, no excuses now goddesses!

Mid-week meal inspiration

Spring Chicken in a pot

Well, my little Spring Chickens… it has to be Nigella Lawson’s Spring Chicken to put a spring in our step… ok I know, enough of the spring! This recipe is from her book Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home, which I’ve just discovered and love.

Serves 4 to 6

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
140g pancetta cubes or streaky bacon chopped into pieces
12 chicken thighs (or 6 breasts)
1 leek, cleaned and quartered
1 stick celery, quarterd lengthwise and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons freeze dried tarragon
1 teaspoon of sea salt flakes or ½ teaspoon of pouring salt
good grinding of white pepper
1 x 500ml bottle of dry cider
300g of frozen peas (petit pois if available)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 cups of romaine lettuce shredded (or 2 little gem shredded)
2 x tbsp fresh tarragon

1. Heat the oil in a large, wide casserole that has a lid. Add the bacon/pancetta cubes and cook until they begin to give off their juices and start to colour.

2. Add chicken thighs (skin side down if you’ve plumped for skin) tossing the bacon/pancetta over the meat (to stop the bacon/pancetta burning and to make space) as you put the poultry in the pan, and cook for about 5 minutes over a medium heat

3. Turn the thighs over and tip in the prepared leek, celery and garlic. Season with the dried tarragon, salt and pepper, then stir everything around a bit, let it cook for another 5 minutes.

4. Pour in the cider, then sprinkle in the frozen peas. Bring the pan to a boil then cover, and turn down to a very gentle heat and cook for a further 40minutes. Do check after 30 minutes though, to see if the chicken is cooked through and if you are disobeying me and going boneless, then 20 minutes should do it.

5. Remove the lid, stir in the mustard, then toss in the shredded lettuce over the chicken, letting it wilt in the hot sauce for a couple of minutes.

6. Scatter the chopped fresh tarragon if you have it over the dish, and take the steamily fragrant pot to the table with quiet pride.

Make ahead note (which we love!)
The chicken, without lettuce, can be cooked one day ahead. Transfer to a non-metallic bowl, then cool, cover and refrigerate as quickly as possible. To reheat, return to the casserole dish, cover and reheat gently, for around 20 minutes, until chicken is piping hot all the way through. Add a little water or chicken stock if pan becomes too dry. Add the lettuce and continue as directed in the recipe.

Pasta sauce
If there are any leftovers, remove the bones from the chicken, shred the meat and refrigerate as soon as possible. Reheat in a saucepan until piping hot and turn into a sauce for pasta, adding a little chicken stock, water or some cream as you reheat. Even if you have only a ladleful of cidery bacony peas, it’s worth keeping to reheat likewise. But do use up any leftovers within two days.

Yogi tea saying of the week: “It’s not what you can see, it’s what you can’t see that matters.”
Instant Goddess saying of the week: “When will it stop raining? I can’t see anything in this rain!”

Until next week Goddesses and remember you are always, always worth it!

Check out all of Katie’s Instant Goddess columns here.

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