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A designer’s guide to Hong Kong, with Vivienne Tam & Anabela Chan

  • Written by Design Anthology
Vivienne Tam & Anabela Chan

Hong Kong is a unique cultural hub filled with amazing energy.

Vivienne Tam

Hong Kong is well known as a feast for the tastebuds, but it’s also a city replete with visual inspiration — so who better to ask what to see, where to shop and where to relax than two designers?

 

Hong Kong fashion doyenne Vivienne Tam made the East-meets-West style famous, drawing on her upbringing in the city to create modern pieces that fuse Hong Kong Chinese influences with Western themes. Famed haute jewellery designer Anabela Chan came from a family of cinematographers; travelling regularly, she has always been inspired by her time in Hong Kong and other exotic locales. The two know the city intimately, and remain frequent visitors from their respective bases in New York and London.

See

The designers agree that part of the city’s charm stems from the proximity of stunning natural features to hubbub of city life, with Tam finding inspiration from the “miles of beautiful natural trails”.

Tam says: “I enjoy hiking the MacLehose Trail in Sai Kung, while Long Ke Wan is a dream destination for hiking and going to the beach with friends. I love the breathtaking views of Hong Kong from Lion Rock , and catching dragonflies there in the evening. There are many lovely old villages in Tai Po, and you can take a ferry from there to Tap Mun, a fishing village full of fascinating local stories. Meanwhile, closer to the city, there are excellent galleries, magnificent murals and inspiring culture like Man Mo Temple with its signature incense cones hanging from the ceiling.”

Hong Kong has the most beautiful city skyline by night, and that harbour view never gets old.

Anabela Chan

Chan says: “I love that within 30 minutes you can be transported from the hustle and bustle of Central to a secluded, pristine beach such as Half Moon Bay. The hiking trails amongst the mountains have the best views of both worlds. But I’m a big foodie — growing up, my family always had Sunday lunch at Luk Yu Tea House and dinner at the China Club . I love the bar at The Upper House and the terrace at Sevva — though I love the street food best of all!”

Shop

antique markets

Hong Kong Island’s antique markets and galleries around Hollywood Road and Upper Lascar Row , known as Cat Street, are favourites of visitors and locals alike, Tam and Chan included. Long-standing markets of all varieties abound on the Kowloon side of Victoria Harbour as well, especially around Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po. But as well as institutions, there’s innovation to be found.

Tam says: “The fabric market in Sham Shui Po has always been a place of inspiration for me: there are endless possibilities, from beading to all kinds of embellishments and fabrics. I love seeing all the next generation’s new insights into arts and creativity, and there are always innovative events. The Mills  is a favourite too. Vanessa Cheung has turned her grandfather’s textile empire into a destination for the community: there’s CHAT, which is a textile and art museum; The Mills Shopfloor, an experiential and experimental shopping mall; and The Mills Fabrica, where talented innovators can meet the biggest names in the apparel and textile industry. And Hollywood Road is a phenomenal place for antique street markets — I always find great gifts in Cat Street.”

G.O.D

Chan says: “I love wandering the streets and browsing the boutiques of Soho Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info , from the market stalls on Cat Street to the shops on Hollywood Road. I love flowers from Ellermann, and I always visit Joyce and Lane Crawford — Lane Crawford has been around since 1850, but its fashion, accessories, cosmetics and homewares are entirely modern, and I’m always excited to see its unique collaborations with designers and craftspeople all over the world. I also love G.O.D Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info ’s tongue-in-cheek designs, which incorporate everyday Hong Kong sights with just the right dose of nostalgia.”

Relax

The converse of the business hub’s often-whirlwind pace is the relaxation and hospitality it offers the weary traveller.

Mandarin Oriental

Tam says: “I adore the Mandarin Oriental, especially for its sustainability. I always feel a sense of peace and tranquillity there, and the caring staff make me feel at home. The amazing decor has always made it a place of inspiration.”

 

Chan says: “I stop by The Nail Library for a great manicure, and I love the spa at the Mandarin Oriental for massage and reflexology — it’s the best place to combat jet lag.”

Overall, say the designers, it’s Hong Kong’s fusion of contrasts that give the city its inspiring character. “I’ve always loved its perfect fusion of East meets West — its modern way of life with traditional culture,” says Tam. Chan agrees: to her, the city represents “the perfect mix of East and West, city and nature, old and new.”

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The Hong Kong Tourism Board disclaims any liability as to the quality or fitness for purpose of third party products and services; and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy or reliability of any information contained herein.

Information in this guide is subject to changes without advance notice. Please contact the relevant product or service providers for enquiries.


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