Architectural & Design

July 17, 2013

In Love With Hong Kong



Written by CARMEN CHAN | Photographs by Yudai Maruyama

Living in a city is a mix of love and hate. At some points, the crowd blends you in, if you know what I meant. It is suffocating in the way that it is so hard to stand out from the norm and be your true self. I used to be like everybody – finishing grad school, working in a big corporate, getting off work and waiting for the weekends. It seems like this is what the city expects you to do to be part of it. But at some points, the city is a gem itself that sparkles with wonders and surprises. When you truly learn to discover the beauty of it – and I meant truly open your mind and spend your time to go to the places you’ve never been to and get to know the people there, you will then be carried away. Living in my city, Hong Kong, for over twenty years, I am still falling in love with it. Sometimes, it pisses me off but just like your other relationships, the bitter-sweetness makes it even more… fabulous.

As much as I enjoy living in my city, I discovered a lot of great talents, designs, and places in Hong Kong. No matter you’re a new lover or long-term partner with Hong Kong, you should check these out and you might be carried away like I did.


1. Hong Kong fashion brand, TwS

I met the designer & founder of TwS, Maria Mak, at the Hong Kong Fashion Blogger party and by then discovered her brand. Her design reflects who she is – happy, easy-going, goofily adorable, and just someone whom you feel comfortable to be with. I was wearing the two shocking pink pieces for this shoot. It is a show-stopper and most importantly (at least to me) comfortable.

Phoeba Modal Bodysuit, USD139; Pamela Modal Asymmetrical Skirt, USD155 here

TwS fuchsia outfit

TwS fuchsia outfit

2. Hong Kong handbag brand, Mischa

Reinventing the vintage Japanese textiles and fine embroidery, the designer, Michelle Lai, transforms precious textiles into modern accessories. I especially love this silk Envelope clutch. I like the treatment of using traditional Japanese obi & kimono fabric but in a simple and modern envelope design. While everyone is carrying a typical clutch for a cocktail, hello I am carrying a gold kimono clutch.  Such a boss.

Silk Envelope Clutch – Gold & Green, USD333 233 here

Mischa Silk Envelope Clutch

Mischa Silk Envelope Clutch

3. Hong Kong jewelry brand, Carmen Chan Jewelry

Yes, this is ME! It will be awkward if I do not mention myself when I introduce Hong Kong designers. My jewelry is like me – explicit and sometimes a bit over-the-top. I designed the Messenger collection to remind wearers to live life and feel love everyday. To me, ring is something so personal that it should be more than just pretty but meaningful.

Feel Love | 18K Yellow Gold Plated Sterling Silver Ring, USD152 here

Carmen Chan Jewelry Feel Love Ring

Carmen Chan Jewelry Feel Love Ring

4. Hong Kong lingerie brand, Bubies

I am never a big fan of crazy lingerie but this is something impressive. Bubies is founded by a team of young Hong Kong designers in 2010, and supported by a factory that has over three decades experience in manufacturing European lingerie. To me, a nice lingerie should be provokingly sexy but not sexual. This one-piece with lace embroidery is just at the right fine line of sexiness.

B52 Embroidery 1-Pierce, USD97 here




5. Hong Kong getaway, Tai Long Sai Wan

I know what you’re thinking. This is Hong Kong? Yes! The lovely part of Hong Kong is that it has both the urban busy side but also the quiet natural side. Tai Long Sai Wan is a little getaway from the hectic city life. The sand and water are rarely clean (relatively) and there are only few people at the beach even in a sunny weekend! But of course there is a payoff for such a gorgeous beach – you will have to hike for 40 minutes to get there.

How to get there here (My recommendation is to take the the minibus (method D) in front of the McDonald in Sai Kung to get to Sai Wan Pavillion then walk for 40 mins to Tai Long Sai Wan. And you can return back to Sai Kung from the beach by speed boat, which you can reserve seat at the restaurant near the beach.)

Tai Long Sai Wan, Sai Kung in Hong Kong

Tai Long Sai Wan, Sai Kung in Hong Kong

6. Hong Kong café, Common Ground

Located in Central Soho, Common Ground is another getaway from the hectic city if you don’t want to hike 40 minutes to find your quiet corner. The café is very cozy with friendly staff. It is a perfect place to read a book alone or chitchat with friends. My favorite drink there is the iced lemon grass water, which is absolutely refreshing in a sweating hot summer in Hong Kong.

G/F, 19 Shing Wong Street, Central, Hong Kong

See more here

Common Ground, by Protest Design Company, in Central Soho

Common Ground, by Protest Design Company, in Central Soho


7. Hong Kong salon, Salon Nova

Finding a right hair stylist can sometimes be as hard as finding the right guy. It could take years and the process can be a nightmare. I met the founder and hairstylist, Ringo Cheung, the other day. Unlike many salons, Salon Nova aims to bring the character and beauty inside-out to be reflected in your hairstyle, as if crafting a sculpture from your inner art. They are also launching nail art service soon. Exciting!

1002-04 Century Square, 1-13 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong

See more here

Salon Nova in Central

Salon Nova in Central

8. Hong Kong art gallery, Spring Workshop

With a much bigger space than galleries in Central and Sheung Wan, Spring Workshop is definitely one of my favorite galleries I recently love. Located in the emerging art neighborhood at Wong Chuk Hang Industrial area, Spring Workshop is a non-profit arts space with different types of art and cultural events from exhibition to book launch. If you like art and want to check out more emerging artists, you should definitely take a good look.

3/F Remex Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong here

Spring Workshop, Wong Chuk Hang

Spring Workshop, Wong Chuk Hang

The beautiful photos were taken by Yudai Maruyama of UDAWG Production. I post my column here and every Wednesday. If you like what you see, make sure you give a LIKE at my page at

Many love – CARMENX


About the Author

Carmen Chan
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Carmen Chan is a designer, writer, dreamer, and lover of beautiful things. Carmen always believes that a modern woman needs to "be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.". She is currently the founder and jewelry designer of her own brand, Carmen Chan Jewelry, as well as branding & PR consultant based in Hong Kong.


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