Summer is here… at least it was at the time of going to press! The rain finally looks to be on the wane; the infamous Hong Kong humidity and heat have returned with vengeance, making you want to jump into the nearest pool faster than you can say “What a scorcher!” and even the thought of towelling underwear is appealing.
But back to the pool… how do you get poolside chic quick for less cash in the ‘Kong? This is a question I’m often asked and these would be my go-to options in the +852.
Often forgotten as a swimwear option, I was pleased to see that M&S have some good quality, and well-made swimwear options this season. The in-store range pretty much covers everything you could need – from bikinis via one pieces and tankinis to beach cover-ups – and the range is affordable, with plenty of mix n match options. Here’s a little taster from the Central store:
Swimsuit $529, tankini top $329 (also available in bandeau style bikini top) and bottoms $229
Zigzag print bikini top $299 and matching bikini bottoms $229
Zigzag print playsuit $399
Itsie Bitsie burst onto the swimwear scene last year with its range of affordable designer swimwear, shaking up the run-of-the-mill designs available on the Hong Kong high street. This brainchild of Cristina Wilkinson plays on her keen eye for design, and – inspired by her travels to Bali – each season she comes up with luxurious and elegant designs that flatter in all the right places without the hefty designer price tag.
Best of all, some designs are currently on sale! And you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your armchair as you can buy online, but if you prefer to try before you buy then pop into their store on Hollywood Road. The store certainly is worth a visit, packed with great one-off pieces of jewellery picked up by Cristina on her travels and other accessories that you can only get your little mitts on in-store.
Cheeky frill top in paisley $585 and matching bottoms $420 (now $210), Peek a boo Daisy May in Salem colour (also available in black) $390 and matching bottoms $350
Paperdoll cutout one piece $780, Lady Jo Bond top in turquoise $390 and matching bottoms $350
1/F 45 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong.
Tel: 6871 0201.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11am – 7.30pm Sun 12am – 4.30pm (closed public holidays).
You know what it’s like you find a print that you like but the cut’s not quite right or you don’t like the style of top… well Sabina Swims takes mix n match to a whole new level, offering both bikini tops and bottoms in seven different styles, plus they also stock an amazing array of “exclusive prints and delicious colours”. So if you’ve ever fancied turning your hand to designing your very own bikini, this is your chance! Buy online or visit their store on Lyndhurst Terrace.
Here are just a few of the designs and prints on offer.
Bikini tops from approx $530 and bottoms from $465
And we love their tip: “If you’re trying to draw attention to a certain part of the body, perhaps wear a print there, and for areas that you don’t want to draw attention to, select a solid colour (especially darker shades).”
7F, 12 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong.
Tel: 2115 9975.
Opening times: Mon-Fri 12-7.30, Sat 1-7pm Sun & public holidays closed.
Hailey & Sasha
For the uninitiated, Hailey & Sasha is a homegrown Hong Kong brand that began as a lingerie label, but we were pleased to find out that they have recently turned their creative talents to swimwear, so with their lingerie background, you know it’s going be well designed and a good fit in all the right places!
We are LOVING the “Santorini” bikini, designed to enhance your curves with its twisted halter top and matching one-sided ruched bottoms that promise to enhance your flirt factor… ooh la la! This bikini winner comes in a fabulous choice of colours, but if bikinis aren’t your thing, there are some show-stopping swimsuits, our favourite being “Miami” in black.
And if you just can’t make up your mind from all the lovely designs on offer or need different sized bottoms to your top half then check out the Mix & Match range. So, what are you waiting for? No excuses not to look cool by the pool!
Marseille twisted bandeau in raspberry sorbet $395 matching brief $185, Santorini bikini halter top $395, matching brief $185 in watercolour, Venice bandeau in Aqua $395 and matching brief $195
Barcelona bikini $265 and Marseille brief in abstract floral $185, Miami one piece in black $675, Barcelona triangle bikini in violet $265 and matching brief $185
Hailey & Sasha
9/F, 12-16 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong.
Tel: 2815 0883.
Swim & Fitness
Currently with up to 70% off in their summer sale, this is definitely one to check out, Goddesses! Again you can either buy online or pay a visit to their Johnston Road store in Wanchai. They also have a design-your-own bikini option.
Swim & Fitness is your one-stop shop for everything you need for a spot of beach or poolside action – swimwear, beachwear, goggles, hats, accessories and plenty more for mums, dads and kids too! Although they stock favourites like Speedo and Arena, it’s their in-house signature brands Kissin’ (a bit more funky and fun) and Gourami (a little more luxe and elegant) that always catch our eye.Blooming Floral Bikini, Gourami was $699 now $349.50, Paparazzi bikini was $799 now $350
Avant garde underwire bikini was $699 now $349.50, Jewel swimsuit was $699 now $349.50
Swim & Fitness
G/F Shop 1, 1/F, Chung Wui Mansion, 176A Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
Tel: 2838 6303
Calling all mini goddesses (and gods… !)
This week, Zosia Zacharia is sharing her top photography tips to get your kids looking their best in front of the camera. So, without further ado, I hand you over to Zosia, of Zosia Zacharia Photography:
“Some children love the camera and give big cheesy grins, while others are shy and don’t like their photo being taken. For natural expressions, the best time to capture photographs of children is when they are bored of seeing you with the camera – which could take a while but in the meantime help is at hand!
1. Make taking photos of your children fun and interactive, rather than just asking them to smile at the camera. Give them something to concentrate on such as eating an ice cream or lollipop, blowing bubbles, holding and showing off a favourite toy or even a camera of their own to take photos of you.
2. Get on their level, rather than just pointing the camera down towards their faces looking up. Crawl about on your knees and you will get much more natural looking photos. Be prepared for them not to follow your instructions (but you’re probably used to this anyway!), go with the flow while they have their fun and you will get the best, most natural looking photographs.
3. For the technically inclined: If you have a camera where you can interchange the lens, invest in a 50mm fixed lens. Shoot on A or AV, meaning aperture priority mode with the smallest number i.e. 1.4/1.8. Your subject will be in focus but the background blurry. A 50mm lens is close to how the human eye sees. If I only had one lens then then this would be it, as there is very little distortion and it’s a great all-rounder.
4. Avoid logos on clothing. Neutrals such as stone, white and denim are good for the whole family, BUT don’t be afraid of brights and patterned prints. One of my favourite photo shoots is of a family where the little girls only wanted to wear pink and floral prints, so I brought along brightly coloured chinese umbrellas to make the shoot really colourful and interactive – see the photo above.
5. Avoid the midday sun as it adds shadows to faces. If very sunny, seek the shade of a tree. The tree will defuse the sun, making it softer and more flattering. Cloudy, rainy days are perfect photography days! The light is great, as the clouds defuse the sun and there are fun puddles for the kids to play in. Remember the background shouldn’t be too busy, so head to the grassy area of the park or a beach or even a plain white wall in your apartment next to the window.”
Lights, camera, action… there you have it!
Midweek Meal Inspiration
In the name of Instant Goddess research, I keep abreast of current (fashion!) affairs in the UK with my weekly haul of mags, and there I came across a promotion for Tenderstem Broccoli with loads of quick and easy recipes, all available online.
Tenderstem Broccoli is a cross between asparagus and broccoli, taste-wise, but was actually developed by crossing broccoli with Chinese kale a while back in Japan… confused? Yes, I know you might not be able to readily lay your hands on Tenderstem here, but we do have broccoli, asparagus and Chinese kale in abundance, so just substitute with these or go the whole hog with traditional broccoli.
I am LOVING their Ready in 10 section, which showcases recipes that you can make in 10 minutes. Monday night Tenderstem & Chicken Peanut Noodles caught my eye… full recipe here. But there are heaps more here if this one doesn’t tickle your taste buds.
Yogi tea saying of the week: “Bliss is a constant state of mind, undisturbed by gain or loss.”
Instant Goddess saying of the week: “What a scorcher!”
Until next week Goddesses, and remember you are ALWAYS, ALWAYS worth it XX