As editors at Lifestyle Asia, we’re privileged to get a first look at the most exciting new luxury goods every day. 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 fashion must-haves of the moment to lust-worthy watch releases, scroll through to see what our editors are obsessing over this week.
Ninety Percent one-shoulder ribbed stretch-organic cotton midi dress
We all likely have an elegant LBD in our wardrobes, but as the summer heat hits I want a version that is more weather-appropriate — and ideally with a bit of a sportswear vibe to match the summer energy.
This one-shoulder ribbed dress by Ninety Percent (HK$510 from Net-a-porter) is just what I have in mind. It’s made of organic cotton for maximum breathability, complemented by a silhouette reminiscent of a sporty tank top. It also features ribbed knit details and a fitted midi style for a classier touch, giving a dose of pared-back elegance to an otherwise basic design.
For an easy everyday style, simply wear it with a chained necklace and sneakers to achieve a sport-luxe appeal, or switch into a pair of heeled sandals for more sophistication. —Cindie Chan, Style Editor
Penhaligon’s The Favourite
If you were entertained and enthralled by Yorgos Lanthimos’s 2018 period drama The Favourite, you’ll want to take a whiff of this enchanting perfume that was inspired by that very same bond between Queen Anne and childhood friend Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough.
An ambitious, wily woman who dominated over Queen Anne’s meeker disposition, Churchill is said to have shadow-ruled the kingdom (at least in the earlier part of Queen Anne’s reign), growing to be one of the most influential courtiers of her time. Penhaligon’s 2020 perfume (HK$1,700) sets the scene at Blenheim Palace — the estate was gifted from Queen Anne to the Churchills in 1705 — a name that Penhaligon’s devotees will recall from its iconic second fragrance, Blenheim Bouquet, created in 1902.
The way the storied perfume house illustrates a persona of powerful invisible influence is equally intriguing: the scent opens with what appears to be sweet, coy and innocent notes of mimosa, freesia, violet and mandarin. It hits you like a girly bouquet of wildflowers at first, but the dry-down turns it into a truly addictive, powdery, musky ‘boudoir-esque’ scent, tied together with a big velvety bow — figuratively and literally — of Indian sandalwood. It’s no wonder Queen Anne was totally hooked, despite Churchill’s domineering ways. —Evelyn Lok, Deputy Editor
The Armoury ‘Model 101’ wool gabardine suit
If you’ve got a wedding coming up, or just fortunate enough to work in a casual office environment, consider a suit cut in wool gabardine this summer. Once deemed entirely too casual for anything but resortwear, gabardine is a densely woven twill: bringing with its chosen fabric method crease-resistance and superior drape.
Over the decades, the best way I’ve seen it worn is as part of the classic Café Society uniform (think a tan two-piece, matched with crisp white oxford, knit tie and dusty brown loafers). It’s a fabric style which seems anachronistic at first but that’s surprisingly flexible once you start wearing it.
I think The Armoury’s take demonstrates this admirably: when worn as a full suit the ‘Model 101’ (approx. HK$21,700) balances its squared-off collar and strong shoulder line with a louche fabric and softly-cut chest. Thanks to gabardine’s aforementioned qualities, the 101 trousers are also a fantastic element to add to most casual outfits. Post-wedding, they would look great over a polo and simple espadrille. — Randy Lai, Watches Editor