It goes without saying that Hongkongers are among the most discerning, well-travelled and quality-focused people on the face of this Earth. In ‘The Hit List’ — an original Lifestyle Asia interview series — we ask the city’s tastemakers and cultural arbiters to reveal their various ‘best-of’ lists: from where to reserve a table, book a spa day, bask in local culture and more…
For our inaugural edition of The Hit List, we tracked down Hong Kong stylist and image consultant Veronica Li. If you’ve ever admired the style of celebrities and models such as Grace Chan, Louisa Mak, Anjaylia Chan and Fiona Sit, chances are, Veronica Li has lent her savvy fashion sense to their appearances, whether at public events or on the glossy pages of magazines. Originally from Vancouver, the Hongkonger is a seasoned hand at editorial and commercial projects, and has worked with brands such as Lane Crawford, La Mer and Calvin Klein.
Fresh from launching her new web portfolio, veronicali.co, we caught up with Veronica Li, who is currently juggling several styling projects as creative director, guest lecturing online college classes for the University for the Creative Arts in the UK, and also,working with conscious fashion house Hula to teach others how to style pre-loved fashion items.
From her number one watering hole in the city to where she sates her healthy appetite, to hot tips for where to find the most photogenic decorative pieces for around the house, Veronica Li spills about a few of her favourite things.
Name: Veronica Li
Occupation: Stylist and Image Consultant @veronicali.co
Neighbourhood: New Territories
I love having breakfast at Green Waffle at Yoho Mall. They have gluten free waffles which is perfect for my diet. It’s a bit hard to find healthy food around my neighbourhood but I managed to find this place.
My favourite spot for a power lunch is Asaya Kitchen at Rosewood Hong Kong. I love their touch of Japanese flavours and gluten-free dishes. A lot of people may feel that ‘power lunches’ are a Hong Kong Island thing, but there are a few good ones on Kowloon side too, and Asaya is one of them.
When I need a breath of fresh air, I like to go to Nam Sang Wai Fishpond Education Kiosk. It’s just 15 minutes’ walk from my home. I like to go early in the morning as it’s quieter, during sunset hours it may get a bit busy. There’s also a mini boat ride which is pretty cute for an outing.
To stay active, I love creating little dance moves wherever I am. Even when I am cooking I like to burn a bit of calories. I love playing Just Dance at home, especially during this period of social distancing.
For me, a spot that always brings back fond childhood memories is Aberdeen Marina Club. My family and relatives used to spend the weekends there in the karaoke room and hosting fancy dinner parties. I also got married there a few years back, so it’s definitely a place full of memories from when I was young ’til now as a grownup.
My pre-boarding ritual consists of matcha latte, fresh fruits and a quick call to my loved ones (my parents, sister and hubby) to tell them I am boarding.
A store that I always visit when I’m abroad is West Elm. I used to love fashion brand stores but now I’ve started to enjoy home decor places for inspiration.
My favourite bar outside of Hong Kong is Bemelman’s Bar at The Carlyle. The live jazz and the atmosphere is just priceless. It brings you back to the 50s with real live music. In Hong Kong I get a bit disappointed when I see other people playing on their phone, with no sign of enjoying the live music. You won’t spot that here, and instead, everyone is drawn to the performance.
I buy all my wine when I’m travelling to different vineyards. We just bought some wine from Audrey Wilkinson Winery in Hunter Valley.
If I had to pick my favourite place to eat when I’m abroad, it would be The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay. The oysters are amazing, and there’s a great view of the Sydney bay area.
To primp and prime…
I always get my hair done at my one and only hairstylist, Tim Lee at Hair Culture on Ashley Road. He does Chow Yun-fat’s hair too!
A perfect self -care day would be a jade stone massage at The Spa at Four Seasons and going home to a nice bowl of soup. I love to make my own Chinese wellness soups. It heals the body from within and I feel great after drinking it.
My skincare routine follows in the footsteps of Victoria Beckham: Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream and Vitamin C Powder. I realised that a simple skincare routine really helps my skin to heal itself without relying on too much product. I’ve also started to look more into scientific products the past few months.
I have the sleep routine of a Disney princess: I go to bed by 11pm (Cinderella hours) and wake up around 6am in a positive mood, humming like Snow White in the morning to start the day.
I’ve decked out my bedroom with silk. Think silk pillow cases, silk PJs, a silk sleeping eye mask and tons of (silk) bed cushions, which kind of annoys my husband!
On the note of style…
If my personal style could be summed up in a single store, it would be Hermès. I tend to go for a more timeless style, and the house is all about art, craftsmanship and objects of desire, and when I can, I splurge on investment pieces such as my Kelly, Birkin and vintage suits.
The favourite part about my apartment is my living room. I’ve framed my favourite scarf on the wall and with its primary colours it feels like it brings life to the whole room.
I recently shopped from Isabel Marant for shoes and accessories. The Lasteen ankle boots are my must-haves, all year round. I love the soft leather and narrow toe line that elongates my legs. Also their runway looks are perfect for the summer with an effortless Parisian touch. Their belts are pretty nice this season as well, with silver details that work well with florals or oversized vests.
For that perfect piece of statement furniture, you should definitely visit Bowerbird at Horizon Plaza.
Wardrobe from Isabel Marant
Photography by Angela Leung