As editors at Lifestyle Asia, we’re privileged to get a first look at the most exciting new luxury goods daily, but with so many new releases rolling out all the time, it’s all but impossible to cover every single lust-worthy find we have our eyes on. That’s what you’ll find in Weekly Obsessions: a running list of highly covetable items we’re currently mad about — because if it’s on our radar, it should definitely be on yours, too. From the must-have shoe of the moment to age-defying beauty products, scroll down to see what our editors are obsessing over this week.
Bottega Veneta Arco 56 bag
Though he’s only presented one runway presentation to date, Daniel Lee, the 32-year-old English designer now at the helm at Bottega Veneta, has already managed to delight many with his contemporary take on the brand’s heritage icons. One of the standout examples is the signature intrecciato, which has now been magnified, resulting in a refreshing new look that still very much represents the house’s much-celebrated DNA. While everyone is talking about the Maxi Cabat (one of the first bags designed by Lee for Bottega Veneta), I have my eyes on the Arco 56 bag (HK$39,000) for its beautifully arched top panel, curved handles, and of course, the supersized intrecciato. It is also rather big in size, which, in my book these days, means maximised practicality. —Cindie Chan, Style Editor
dunhill Aquarium lighters
Most of you might know dunhill as a luxury menswear brand today, but over a hundred years ago, Alfred Dunhill actually produced an extended range of motoring accessories before gradually shifting his focus to create gadgets in relation to the art of smoking. In 1949, he introduced a range of extremely beautiful Aquarium lighters assembled from four panels of Perspex featuring nature-inspired motifs that were meticulously carved on the inside, before being hand-painted using a highly skilled ‘reverse intaglio’ technique. Each of these high quality lighters were truly one-of-a-kind, and gave a dreamy appearance of a large fish tank.
For those who appreciate the beauty of these highly decorative but also entirely practical masterpieces, the brand has now reissued a limited quantity of 30 Aquarium lighters (HK$95,500) using the same hand-carved and hand-painted techniques as the originals. As a modern update, the Perspex is being applied to a signature Turbo lighter with 102 engineered components, before finishing off with palladium or 18 carat gold plating for a luxurious touch. Each piece is engraved and individually numbered. Whether you’re a smoker or not, this is certainly a gorgeous artistic piece to have in your home. —CC
Loewe lambskin leather jacket
A few years ago — neolithic times, by fashion industry standards — the idea of wearing a leather blazer would have been absurd. Such garments achieved widespread popularity during the 90s: a period which is frequently held up as the heyday of gormless low-brow attire. Thereafter however, the style went through a period of decline as aesthetically ambiguous suburban clothing waned in appeal. But fashion is cyclical, and in 2019 we find ourselves riding a wave of renewed interest in all things functional, nostalgic and conspicuously frumpy.
Loewe’s latest spin on leather tailoring (HK$14,752) certainly doesn’t conjure the satire of a Gvasalia tee nor the paternal warmth of Patagonia fleece, but its plethora of 90s references (e.g. high notch lapels, cognac colourway) make for a design that is either the world’s most or least on-trend piece of leather outerwear. Depending on your perspective, possibly both. —Randy Lai, Staff Writer
Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Compact Foundation Balm
All makeup brands tout that their foundations are longwearing, offer amazing coverage, and make your skin look smoother than a baby’s bottom, but often that dream fades when it faces Hong Kong’s challenging climate. With the spotlight currently on Giorgio Armani as the makeup sponsor for the recent 38th Hong Kong Film Awards, the brand has launched a limited gold edition for its older My Armani To Go compact cushion, while also unleashing a brand new foundation item that — in my book — should be flying off the shelves over its predecessor.
The new Power Fabric Compact Foundation (HK$590) is a balm that dries to a powder, which sounds drying as hell at first, but I was pleasantly surprised when a recent full-face trial left my oily T-zone balanced and matte, while my dry cheeks smooth and supple-looking, well into the evening. Where my forehead would normally look shiny after only a couple hours in this muggy humidity, it was still dewy and velvety, even after 5 hours of errand-running after work (I almost didn’t want to wash it off at home). The texture that partially melts into the skin and keeps it looking soft and smooth is certainly swoon-worthy — for uneven skin and complicated areas, just be sure to pat, rather than drag the formula. It’s no wonder HK celebrities stayed flawless under hot studio lights for the recent film awards. —Evelyn Lok, Associate Editor
The Brown House linen sportcoat
Although Hong Kong’s rainy season has already arrived in earnest, it isn’t too late to get ahead of our hot and inclement climate. One of the most effective means I’ve found of combating the heat involves having things made up in seasonally specific fabrics. Short of perpetually remaining indoors, proponents of classic clothing ought to get themselves a handful of jackets in natural fibres like linen. The primary draw here is practical: it wears extremely cool, resists moisture and is generally more breathable than a summer staple like fresco. Due to its weave structure, linen also appears distinctively slubby — an effect that’s appealing to those who prefer their tailoring more informal.
That relaxed appeal is most prominent when you see linen made up into garments like this bluish gray sportcoat, courtesy of Central tailor The Brown House (approx. HK$6,000). The fabric’s wrinkles are offset by its natural weight and body; and together, these factors coalesce into a garment that is stylish without ever being stuffy. Details such as the patch pockets and waterfall shoulder help to tease out the smart casual connotation even more — certainly not a bad thing in my book. Wear yours with olive trousers in cotton for a muted tonal look. —RL