THE BRIGHT AGAINST THE GREY

Grey-Marle-&-Fluoro-Jewels

 

1 Tom Binns Riri painted Swarovski crystal and stone earrings > 2 Chinti and Parker Leopard-intarsia cashmere sweater > 3 Tom Binns Riri painted Swarovski crystal earrings > 4 Tom Binns A Riot of Color glow-in-the-dark Swarovski crystal necklace > 5 Markus Lupfer Metallic-sleeved top > 6 Tom Binns Electro Clash Nova painted Swarovski crystal necklace > 7 Tom Binns Faux Real Swarovski crystal, faux pearl and safety pin earrings > 8 Richard Nicoll Color-block cashmere sweater > 9 Tom Binns Soft Power painted Swarovski crystal earrings (All available on Net-a-Porter).

 

During my visit to Hong Kong, a city whose architecture and urban landscape is predominantly grey, hints of bright colour would pop up every now and again. I found colour in graffiti, shop fronts and windows, neon signs and of course street style outfits. I fell in love with the contrast of the bright against the grey.

PHOTO DIARY : HONG KONG

whats the goh hong kong

whats the goh hong kong

whats the goh lane crawford

whatsthegoh anish kapoor art basel sml

whatsthegoh hong kong art basel street style

whatsthegoh hong kong art basel street style

whats the goh hong kong

whatsthegoh-hong-kong-outfit-lace-sml

whatsthegoh-hongkong-urban

whatsthegoh hong kong outfit smallwhatsthegoh hong kong aerial small

 (Architecture / Friends / VM at Lane Crawford / Anish Kapoor reflections / Street-style at Art Basel / Junya Watanabe jumpsuit, Issey Miyake Bao Bao bag, Toga boots / View from hotel room / The Whitepepper dress, Bao Bao bag, Toga boots / View from HK’s highest rooftop bar)

 

I’ve fallen in love with Hong Kong. The mix of old and new architecture, the food, the shopping and the endless list of things to do have all contributed to me falling for the city. The highlight of the trip was the Art Basel. Two levels in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre were filled with art by emerging local and international artists along with pieces from modern masters. It was so incredible to see works by the likes of Yayoi Kusama, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anish Kapoor, Pablo Picasso and Damien Hirst.

 

Another highlight; shopping. Joyce, IT and Lane Crawford are definite go-tos, they were by far my favourite stores. Their selections are daring and their visual merchandising inspiring. Joyce, IT and Lane Crawford all have outlets in Ap Lei Chau; about half an hour out from central, it is well worth a visit (labels such as Comme des Garçons, Dries Van Noten, Junya Watanabe, Undercover, Rick Owens and more are priced at over 50% off). Also nearby is the Prada and Miu Miu outlet which stocks ready-to-wear, as well as shoes, bags and accessories. The shopping in Hong Kong can be pretty overwhelming at times due to the vast amount of choice and there are still so many stores and independent boutiques to discover. I can’t wait to go back.

RENÉE FARINA SHOES

reneefarina

 

Melbourne-based shoe designer Renée Farina is definitely one to watch. Her debut collection was very recently launched in Australia’s east coast. The extremely focused and highly wearable collection is made entirely in Australia. Her collection is currently exclusively stocked online and at Melbourne’ and Sydney’s Zomp Shoez stores. The collection is due to arrive to their Perth stores in the next few days.

 

I contacted Farina to ask her a few questions regarding her collection and her love for shoes and fashion…

 

> Renée, tell us about the moment you realised you wanted to become a shoe designer. Was it a childhood dream, or was it something that happened by chance?

 

I always liked being creative – but it wasn’t until after I finshed uni that i made the decision to pursue shoe design. I HATED my course, so much so, it took me 5 years to complete a 3 year degree. Each boring class in business management, accounting and business statistics brought me closer to realising i wanted a career in a creative pursuit. After finally finishing, and feeling like i had really missed out on the “uni experience”, i decided to tryout some short courses in fashion. Looking at the CEA and RMIT short course guides for millinery courses, I stumbled accross “footwear production”. I couldn’t believe that you could actually learn how to construct a shoe – something I, like most people, believed to be a dying art. So that was it, I booked myself into a short course, and have never looked back! That was 5 years ago.

 

> What is it about shoes that draws you to them?

 

Unless they are some gross overused gym sneakers, people tend to hold on to their shoes, regardless of if they are the fashion of the moment or not. The longer someone has owned a pair of shoes, the more individual that piece becomes – the leather creases and moulds to that persons foot, making it perfectly unique.  I try to create shoes that have parts that can be replaced easily, so they’ll be wearable for years to come. I really hate the growing trend of disposable fashion. I don’t think that people buy the same way our parents did. Most stores now are flooded with cheap knock offs of more expensive designer styles, and are only expected to last the buyer a season. That’s the part of the fashion industry I despise, but i guess there is a place for everything.

 

I also feel like i’m drawn to shoes because of some weird cosmic link – my great uncle was a cobler back in Sicily. I only found that out after i started the course. I guess it runs in the family…

 

> Are there any particular designers that inspire you, if so which ones and why?

 

I know that he’s not the creative director anymore, but I’ve loved Martin Margiela for so many years. He just seems to meld classic with modern, chaotic with calm and ridiculous with perfectly sensible. I also love the way that designers like Walter Van Beirendonck and Bernhard Willhelm use colour and print to the max. It’s inspired me to become a little more adventurous with the use of colour in my upcoming designs.

 

> Tell us about your current collection…

 

My current collection only comprises of a couple of styles ‘Minnie’ and ‘Roman’ in a monochromatic palette. They are both a combination of classic dress boots and hi-top sneakers. I think they are the perfect complement to any woman’s wardrobe as they go with everything!

 

> Favourite style in the collection…

 

Roman in white. People need not fear the light colour – a good white polish does the wonders!

 

> Can you give us some hints to what is to come for the next Renee Farina collection?

 

Nothing but square toes and sensible heels!

 

reneefarinawhite

reneefarinablackminnie

 Minnie (Zomp Shoez)

 

reneefarinawhitelace

reneefarinablackroman

 Roman (Zomp Shoez)

 

The Minnie and Roman are very strong styles; each highly wearable in both versatility and practicality. I have always had a soft spot for all-white shoes so naturally I am in love with the white Minnie; the painted sole being my favourite feature. However, I also love the contrast between the natural wood sole and the leather in the black colour-way…it’s a tough choice!

Renée Farina is one talented woman and I can’t wait to see what her next collection brings!