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Instant Goddess: Where to buy fascinators in HK and more!

Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily LifeStyle & BeautyPost Category - Style & BeautyStyle & Beauty

Instant Goddess is simply fascinated

This week’s blog has an unplanned but very welcome Australian theme running through it. First off I attended the Australian Society’s annual Melbourne Cup live screening down at the Happy Valley racetrack. As with all great race days, race goers were expected to dress the part… and the ladies of Hong Kong did not disappoint. The next day I was off to the launch of new Australian brand about town: Sambag and the opening of its fabulous new store in Sheung Wan. One thing’s for sure though – the Aussies know how to party and have a very good eye for design.

Melbourne Cup Day

So back to the Melbourne Cup. The fashions and the hats or more to the point – the fascinators. Quite amazingly, I’ve never donned a fascinator before. I’ve always plumped for a hat but nowadays it seems the vogue for wearing hats has slipped by the wayside and it’s either no hat or the fascinator reigns. So, where do you get a fascinator from in Hong Kong? My first port of call was Golden Plaza on Nathan Road in Prince Edward. This place is packed with wedding paraphernalia and if you’re after a fascinator, then you’ve struck gold… after all it is called Golden Plaza. Check out some of the designs we plumped from designers/shops in the Golden Plaza.

Address: 745-747 Nathan Road, Kowloon. Nearest MTR: Prince Edward

Pink fascinator by Kendy Fok, shop 308. $200 | Cream fascinator by Dickie Workshop (love this name) shop 334. $480 |  Black fascinator by Make Up Square shop 122. $100

According to fellow blogger in the know: “Pseudo Tai Tai” (check out her blog here) another good place to find fascinators is Sham Shui Po and Tammy is your lady. Below are some of Tammy’s creations. What I like about Tammy, is that you can take your dress and ask her to create something to match and what’s more you can even lend your creative input… if you have any. But most importantly Tammy is reasonably priced.

Yellow & white feather fascinator | Navy and peacock feather fascinator | Black feather fascinator
all by Tammy.

Address: Shop 11, Yau Nam Mansion, 97 Nam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon.Tel 2429 8399.

Beware: Her shop is not exactly on Nam Cheong St, it’s actually on a side street called Ki Lung Street. Take MTR to Sham Shui Po exit A2 and proceed with patience. And check out Tammy’s handwritten map below. If in doubt, call her. Also, Pseudo Tai Tai recommends the two shops to the right of Tammy… look out for a crystal fronted shop across Nam Cheong Street from Tammy, which has lots of readymade fascinators for $100. Thank you Pseudo Tai Tai.

So, as I said I had never worn a fascinator until the Melbourne Cup! Crazy I know. So I was a little lost when it came to plonking it in one’s hair. Mine was also on a comb which I think is a little trickier than the other arrangements of clip and hair band. If you’re a fascinator novice I would definitely try and plump for a hair band or clip first time around. As tradition goes, you’re supposed to wear it on the right – this harks back to the days of courting when you were supposed to be able to see your beau without having his eye out at the wrong turn of the head.  The top tip I learnt from my fascinator research was that backcombing is key – not only to create friction so your hair sticks to the comb keeping it in place, but also because backcombing equals volume, which not only hides ugly fascinator fittings but also allows the hair to be incorporated and swirled around your fascinator so it becomes part of your hairdo… rather than just stuck on like a bird’s nest.

If you’re in need of more guidance, I found these videos not only amusing but actually helpful, especially for fascinator virgins like myself. Check them out here and here.

So back to race day, before the main event, there was the small matter of Best Dressed Woman, Best Hat and Best Dressed Man to be fought out.

Best Dressed

Best Dressed went to a monochrome asymmetrical silk number teamed with a black fascinator (in shot 1 below) and following on are the best of the rest according to the judges… if you were worthy, you were given a tap on the shoulder to strut your stuff on the Best Dressed catwalk.

Best Hat

Again and interestingly won by monochrome but this time to the style icon Audrey Hepburn number (close up below), and although the photos that follow on were not actual winners on the day these were certainly noteworthy. Special mention must go to the blue and white porcelain number handmade by its wearer who looked stunning in a matching blue & white print dress and only 10 weeks after giving birth so hats off to her!

Best Dressed Man

The line up for Best Dressed man… all at ease it seemed. A lot of grey but probably not 50 Shades.

Shoes and best of the rest

And so there you have it… Melbourne Cup Day 2012 done Hong Kong style. Alas the Instant Goddess didn’t foresee Green Moon (the winner) but it was a superb day nonetheless.


So, on to my next welcome brush with Aussie fashion… and this came in the form of Sambag – a delightful new shopping space in Sheung Wan. Totally unexpected and slightly off the beaten track on Po Yan street (just past 208 on Hollywood Road) there lies Sambag, a very welcome breath of fresh powder blue against the grey concrete. Also, totally unexpected in the fact that we can now all finally breathe a sigh of relief, yes, the quest has come to an end. Thanks to Sambag I am the proud owner of a brand spanking new pair of leather pants! This said in the wrong order could take on a whole different but interesting meaning. There I was thinking that Sambag was just about ballet flats but I got that completely wrong. They do indeed carry a conclusive range of flats but they also carry clothing, bags, boots, scarves and jewellery. If it’s not yet on your shopping radar then realign your satellite now, Goddesses!

Sambag was set up in 1996 by Sam Wagner (above) and the lifestyle brand has come a long way since Sam’s early days of selling bags from a stall in Sydney’s Paddington Markets. Now Sambag boasts 8 shops in Australia. Hong Kong has been chosen as Sambag’s first independent foray into the international market. Sambag not only offers “affordable luxury” but designed by a busy Mama of two now teenage girls, a comfortable and practical theme runs through the brand but in no way boring. For once it’s function and fashion running hand in hand with ballet flats in over 60 different colours from patent to pony skin, you name it! Im loving the cigarette jeans in a soft stretchy denim, lush slouchy leather bags (with enough room), ankle boots with a mid heel so you can still run for that toddler… And the list goes on.

Celeb fans include Nicole Kidman, Elle Macpherson and Hilary Swank.

Here are Sam’s top 10 picks again proving it’s not all about the ballet flats, in particular note the leather pants at no.3, which also come in charcoal and navy. Oh yes they are good:

And what caught the eye of the Sassy girls?

SAMBAG, 6 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, tel 2968 1285, [email protected] 
Opening times: Mon – Fri  10am – 7pm, Sat 10am – 6pm, Sun 12pm – 6pm


This week Andrea Clark, Creative Director, of The Mandarin Salon at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong talks about the Current Climate.

The current financial situation may or may not affect your mood but I know that no matter what your concern, we all like a bargain. Therefore, have you ever considered how to get longevity out of a haircut and particularly, out of a colour?

All clients when visiting their stylists should receive, even if they have been to the salon dozens of times, a thorough consultation on what is needed and what the options are, especially when times are tough.

The most important information that has to be given to colour clients is that a colour cannot be guaranteed if the stylist has no control over the products that are used on the hair at home. Great salons should offer as much home care advice as possible to prevent fading.

Hard selling is not necessary, as a good stylist will have the facts and will be able to recommend shampoos and conditioners that close the hair cuticles and lock in the colour to prevent fading. Sprays that protect the hair before blow drying or styling to ensure less damage from heat should also be recommended. I also urge clients to use products that reduce the effects of sun, sea and chlorine on the hair when travelling or on holiday.

I colour my hair too and when I forget to take my products to the gym I can see evidence of my hair colour suffering immediately. Blame your salon if it fails to give you the advice you deserve. The rest is up to you. You will find that you can save in the long run.

Midweek meal inspiration

Given we’re having a bit of an Aussie moment this week, this recipe is from one of my favourite Aussie chefs: Bill Granger. I give you his Stir Fried Chilli Pork ready in a matter of minutes… and it’s delicious. What’s not Instant Goddess about that? Full recipe here. Tip – if Pork isn’t your thing, then try it with chicken.

Yogi tea saying of the week: “It’s better to slip with your feet than your tongue”.

Instant Goddess saying of the week: “Fascinated Aussies!”

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

more sassy mama

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