As the central business district of Hong Kong, Central has long been considered as the city's pulse - its collection of banks and related industry professionals form the city's financial hub; its restaurants and clubs serve as Hong Kong's playground - but in recent years, Central has also evolved into an avant-garde, cutting edge, fashion center. It should come as no surprise that, in the past few months alone, more than a few of the world's most iconic international fashion brands have ventured into Central; some of these brands, such as Spain's Uterqüe, Paris' MAJE and sandro, are making its Asia debut at ifc mall.
Aside from being a fashion and shopping capital, Central is also known for its heritage and unique blend of Western and Eastern cultures. Our new section, "outside ifc", looks to shine light on the beautiful, historic architecture in Central. When you're done shopping, take a roam around the district, and enjoy its distinct Victorian flavour in contrast to metropolitan Hong Kong.
We look forward to your visit this autumn, that you find the seasonal items you crave; and a short while after, we would love you to come and celebrate the Christmas spirit with us. Be prepared to be surprised.
It's not hard to find out six fashion trends when we look through these Fall / Winter collections. Navy Blue depicts a sense of authority on men, from men's cardigans to nightgowns to sports uniforms; Heritage Style combines today's modern sensibilities with traditional heritage; Sparkling Elegance makes you shine through the city, day or night, with an outfit that makes a statement, catches eyes, and most importantly - expresses yourself; Urban Classics - well-fitted blazer and a patterned button up shirt give you a hip, smart, and organised look that's perfect for casual or business; Leathering Ladies - whether it's jackets, boots, pants, or blouses, leather should have a place in any woman's wardrobe; Minimalistic and Simplistic - light-coloured, single layered, minimalistic pieces probably evoke images of an idyllic Sunday, lying on the grass and enjoying the sun.
A successful piece of design must not only please aesthetically, but it must also be functional. It's a seesaw with a shifting axis, requiring a delicate balance between two sides, and this is why a designer is more than an artist. Steve Leung (above right) and Tino Kwan (above left), two of Hong Kong's most renowned designers are, perhaps, real life personifications of this balance, for despite their occasional differing attitudes toward life and design, their views ultimately compliment one another to form a perfect partnership, and most importantly, a cherishable friendship.
They do, of course, share many things in common as well. When asked to describe each other with three adjectives, two of their three traits match: "Perfectionist" and "Knows how to enjoy life".
Leung, an interior designer, and Kwan, a lighting specialist, first worked together to design a Thai restaurant in Dubai. It was during this project that the two, both meticulous and demanding, realised they shared similar views on the philosophy and attitude of design. They've become partners, and more importantly, friends, ever since.
Although both men set the highest of standards for themselves, they have slight differences in beliefs. After all, Leung is a Gemini, while Kwan is a Libra - both featuring traits that help their designs work in their own way. What they both believe in, is a combination of aesthetics and relatable traits that makes for the best design.
Leung and Kwan's friendship goes beyond just business, for they take pleasure very seriously as well.
"I helped design Tino's home interior," says Leung. "And being the chef that he is, he wanted two kitchens! In the end we could only fit one in, but it's a professional sized kitchen that looks like it belongs in a restaurant."
Leung, of course, benefits from Kwan's big kitchen as well.
"Tino is a man of many talents; his cooking ability is top notch," he says. "I suggest everyone go try his cooking."
Kwan laughs, adding: "Well, Steve sure knows how to enjoy life, he's the ultimate ‘work hard, play hard' type of guy."
It is in their homes in which the two's differing personalities shows. Leung's home is minimalistic, dominated by an all-white décor, with big windows to take in the sea breeze from the shores near his home. Kwan's home is, according to him, more "homey", with "warmer colours". And, of course, there's that big kitchen.
The two have even opened their own restaurants in recent years, and like always, they are very hands on: Kwan and Leung have final say on every single detail, from the lighting to the seating to the way the food is prepared. "We didn't open the restaurants to make money," Leung says. "We really just wanted a place where we could go and enjoy our favourite food."
Despite their wide range of interests - they have recently collaborated on a lifestyle company - Leung and Kwan haven't forgotten their roots.
This September, the two, along with fellow jewellery designer Dennis Chan organised an exhibition titiled "Hong Kong Design ∙ Design Hong Kong", which showcased the trio's oeuvre.
They chose Oval Atrium at ifc mall as the venue because of its diverse customers, says Leung.
"All three of us, we're native Hongkongers," says Leung. "Hong Kong designers can, and have, excelled in all aspects of design. We want to hold it at ifc so that local Hongkongers, tourists and other expats can see what Hong Kong designers can do."
More importantly, Kwan adds, they hope to nurture and inspire the next generation of Hong Kong designers.
What makes a suit - or a pair of shoes, or a diamond bracelet, or anything else you wear - special isn't simply the material with which it was constructed. Sure, the finest material is important, but without equally fine craftsmanship - the art of meticulously pieceing various materials together - it would all be for naught. Then, of course, there's the fitting. Once considered a luxury for special occasions, bespoke clothing and accessories have nevertheless become relatively affordable in recent years. And when you combine the finest craftsmanship with expert tailoring, the result is - you looking your best.
The BVLGARI Serpenti series of jewellery is meticulously constructed using traditional techniques to present the Serpent – a symbol of eternal youth and immortality in the mythological bestiary.
The meticulous process first sees a series of highly detailed sketches, showing the design from all angles, followed by the creation of an exact 1:1 ratio wax replica. A team from the material department then examines the replica, to ensure that every slot and every cut fit the original design specification. Only when every single feature is spot on, does the team proceed to the next stage.
The master craftsmen behind the rigorous crafting process understand the characteristics of each gem - how these stones fit into each clap, how they're cast, cut, and polished, and how they fit and accommodate the human body. At the core of the jewellery is an internal spring in white gold that was expertly put in place. This small but important detail gives the piece its snake-like characteristics. It is a painstaking process that combines technology, expert craftsmanship, and genuine care. That is why, despite around 60 years in the market, the Serpenti is still a trendsetter.
Building the right suit for a gentleman is a lot of work, even for a company that's been doing it for 241 years, like GIEVES & HAWKES.
The client first meets with a sales consultant and "the cutter" - the man who oversees the entire production of the suit - to describe exactly what he wants. Then a cloth is selected, measurements are taken, and hand-drafted patterns are created.
"All this is to ensure the cloth falls naturally on the person," explains Richard Lawson, a GIEVES & HAWKES Bespoke Cutter in London. "Once the cloth's fit is perfected, we do a round of stitching before passing it on to the specialist pressers, who would press the garment and its linings into its final form."
It takes up to 12 weeks and several fittings to create the suit for a first-time customer (half that time for returning customers). This might seem like a long time, but it makes so much sense - one doesn't become the longest running bespoke tailoring company in the world and the pride of Savile Row by taking shortcuts, and for GIEVES & HAWKES, every step to building a suit has to be treated with precision.
Since its inception into Swedish luxury brand BALLY's line in 1951, The Scribe collection has developed a reputation as one of the most luxurious leather shoes in the world, and so it should come as no surprise that BALLY has added to the legend of Scribe by introducing a bespoke Scribe service.
After a customer has selected a model and size, the bespoke process will then be carried out in Switzerland - a meticulous process that takes up to three months. Each shoe starts with the finest quality of natural hides, then hand-moulded into leather, followed by hand-dyed and polishing to create its specific colour and antique effect. The other parts of the shoes, from the sole to the tongue, are all seamed with full leather lining for a finishing touch.
What makes each Scribe unique in its own way is the handwritten note inside each pair of shoes, a mark left by the craftsman signifying the shoe's model and size, that is the epitome of flawless craftsmanship.
As we bid farewell to another sunny and humid summer, ifc mall's many fashion brands have begun unveiling its Fall / Winter line, and for many fashionistas, this is the best time of the year. For as much as we all enjoy the sun, Hong Kong's notorious humidity over the summer might sometimes leave little room for creativity with which we plan our outfits. But as September rolls around and the weather cools, the fashion-savvy of Hong Kong returns in full force. Whatever your style, fall and winter is the best time - the twilight of the fashion year.
Close your eyes and imagine this scenario: It's your day off, you're nestled away inside a comfortable, serene room, surrounded by aromatherapy candles and your own personal masseuse. How relaxing would that be?
Let's change the scene: It's a busy workday, you've just finished work but have a slew of appointments, errands, and dinner to attend. You have less than an hour of free time and you want to rewind, de-stress, and recharge.
Whether it's a weekend long spa getaway, or a convenient between- meetings quick-fix facial or massage that you look for right in the middle of Central, ifc has just what you need.
To spend a weekend afternoon away at a spa may be a luxury to many of us, but the idea of a total unwind is just too tempting to pass up. The Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong features 17 private treatment rooms, with most of these rooms offering a panoramic sea view - imagine the tranquility of enjoying a six-star spa and beauty service while overlooking Hong Kong's harbour.
The Spa uses only high quality products, such as French brand Biologique Recherche - available only here in Hong Kong - whose products feature over 20% botanical, marine, and biological extracts, with no artificial fragrances.
Each treatment starts with a consultation, in which the spa specialists find just the right product for your specific skin type, followed by application using specially trained techniques, created by renowned skin specialist Doctor Philippe Allouche, such as resculpting, plumping, and lifting.
Aside from facial treatments, the Spa also offers a package for couples, "Romantic Reflection". This indulgent couple's treatment begins with a red-wine bubble bath while sipping a glass of champagne. It continues with a customised full-body polish and a relaxing steam shower. This reflective journey finishes with a Four Seasons Fusion Massage, leaving you both feeling tranquil and stimulated.
There're several beauty treatment rooms in ifc's Lane Crawford offering different types of services for those in a hurry, taking Sisley as an example, ranging from Phyto Aromatic Facial Treatment to Waxing Depilatory Treatment to, of course, professional makeup services.
Chanel Espace Beauté was designed to offer the Chanel brand of luxury skincare inside a quiet, relaxed environment. A specialised team of beauty experts and fragrance specialists offers a series of high quality skin care treatments such as the Sublimage collection that helps fight skin aging, wrinkles, and skin pigment issues.
La Prairie specialises in treatment for the eye area, from wrinkles to oily or loose skin. Using a series of advanced treatments, the specialists there provide skin cleansing, skin analysis, eyebrow shaping, and facial and neck massage. Of course, there's also the now famous Skin Caviar Crystalline Concentre, a high quality lotion extracted out of the sturgeon roe that improves the human skin's elasticity, reducing wrinkles, yet allowing customers to resume their shopping right after!
More quick-fix services available at ifc mall include BOBBI BROWN, Clinique and Dior Beauty makeup lessons, ORIGINS free mini-facial, BEYOND ORGANIC and SHISEIDO facial treatments, shu uemura eye mask treatment and Estēe Lauder hand spa treatment for VIPs. It's now time to take a break from all the hassles.
It is perhaps ironic that cheese and tofu, respectively such crucial ingredients to Western and Asian cuisines today, are products of random experimentation and plain luck. Both products go back thousands of years, and are shrouded by murky details and folklores - both the Arabian nomad and the Chinese monk took a bite of their mutated product, and, like many of us today, fell in love with its taste on first bite. And so began cheese and tofu - which originated from occidental and oriental accidents.
Someone said, tofu was invented when a monk from Northern China seasoned his soybean soup with an unrefined sea salt containing natural nigari. The soup solidified and formed curds.
Legend has it that cheese was stumbled upon by an Arabian nomad some 5,000 years ago, when the milk he stored inside a pouch made of ruminant skins hardened into a yellow substance from the scorching heat.
Poached Fillet of Garoupa and Bean Curd with Fish Broth in Casserole Cuisine Cuisine
Every morning at 9:30am, the chefs at Cuisine Cuisine prepare this broth - finely sliced garoupa meat and bones boiled together for three hours - that would serve as the backbone of several key dishes, most notably the Poached Fillet of Garoupa and Bean Curd with Fish Broth in Casserole. And all that hard work is needed, as the broth soaks into the fillet, bean curd, and soft tofu to produce a mouthful of flavour.
Tofu with Sakura Shrimp sen-ryo
With its soft shell, juicy meat and high nutritional value, Sakura shrimps (or, more traditionally, "Sakura ebi") are the pride of the Shizuoka prefecture, a coastal region of Japan. Paired with a special type of Japanese "silk" tofu that's tender yet solid and topped with shavings of dried Japanese tuna (Katsuobushi), this is one of the healthiest dishes around.
Regular H Burger G Bar
Regular H Burger features a juicy, luscious piece of M4 Wagyu beef patty that's grounded and seasoned in-house by G Bar's chefs, topped with high-grade US cheddar cheese and a special sauce that combines a mixture of mayonnaise, taco sauce, lemon juice, and vinegar. You'll have to try it to believe it.
Goat Cheese Salad, Capsicum, Garlic, Smoky Eggplant, Basil, Mint and Leaves H one
Filled with healthy source of antioxidants and nutrients such as basil, fresh thyme sprigs, and walnuts, H one's Goat Cheese Salad is that rare health dish that tastes like a treat. The cheese's heavy milky flavour is balanced with Australian honey, layered with the aforementioned goodies, then slow- baked to perfection.
Tofu Ensemble Lei Garden
The first impression of this dish, to many, will be the colourful mix of tender barbecue pork, green and red peppers, and Chinese ginkgoes, which sits on top a pedestal made of tofu. But make no mistake; the tofu is the foundation - and the centrepiece - of this dish.
While the meat of the dish is seasoned and stir-fried, a full block of fresh, beancurd-heavy tofu is meticulously sliced into thin layers by the skilled chefs at Lei Garden. Then, the tofu slices are spread out into a circular formation via a technique in which water is poured down the middle of the seams.
Hiyayakko with Sea Urchin Inagiku Japanese Restaurant
A popular dish during the days of summer in Japan, the Hiyayakko - "hiya" means cold, and "yakko" refers to ancient servants of Samurais for whom they prepared food - features chilled tofu with various toppings. Inagiku's version offers a distinct Hong Kong twist: soybean soup is seasoned with salt-water and formed bean curd overnight, which is then paired with fresh, raw sea urchin for a refreshing taste.
Potato Omelette with Ham and Rosemary GREYHOUND Café
This traditional breakfast plate is a perennial favourite in the US and the UK, and it's not hard to see why. Slow baked, sliced potatoes mixed with bacon, tomato, mushroom, and rosemary herbs, all topped with eggs and melted Gryuere cheese. This hearty meal comes with coffee or tea on the side, for the full western breakfast treatment.
ifc mall is not only about shopping, but it is also a place where art and culture inspire everyday life. For the very first time in Asia, ifc played host to an international treasure this year when it became home to Lyuba, a baby mammoth that had been buried in permafrost of the Yamal Peninsula, Siberia for nearly 42,000 years. This 84cm tall, 50kg female Siberian specimen got top billing in the exhibition at ifc mall's Oval Atrium and shared the stage with a two-tonne, 17-meter-high exact replica of a steppe mammoth skeleton. The exhibition and museum-in-mall had garnered much attention as thousands of local and overseas media and visitors marvelled at the epic scope and scale of ancient wildlife.
On the day of opening, ifc invited guests including Tsang Tak-sing, GBS, JP, Secretary for Home Affairs, and Evgeniy Koltunov, Director of Department of Culture of Yamalo-Nenetskiy District, Department of Foreign Economic Relations, Russia to welcome Lyuba. ifc also collaborated with the Stephen Hui Geological Museum at the Department of Earth Sciences of The University of Hong Kong to provide guided tours to the public. And during this period, shoppers were treated to scented candles by diptyque, or a pair of Aviator sunglasses by Giuseppe Zanotti Design, upon purchases in the mall.
As one of the most prominent structures in the world's iconic skyline, ifc was the ideal place for Pritzker Prize-winning British architect Richard Rogers and his practice, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) to showcase their brilliant work. This world class exhibition was not only easy on the eyes, but offered ifc visitors an insightful journey into how architecture has shaped cities and transformed lives around the world.
Over 40 years of Richard Rogers' work - including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Lloyd's of London building and Terminal 4 at Madrid's Barajas Airport was on display, from early design sketches to miniature models to personal notes that offer insight to how architecture shapes cities.
In collaboration with the British Council, RSHP held workshops and talks with aspiring architects in Hong Kong, and many eager minds turned up, hoping to shape Hong Kong's future for the better.
Italian luxury brand BVLGARI upgraded its store at ifc mall with a new, gorgeous décor this summer, and celebrations came in the form of an exhibition highlighting its Monete gemme nummarie jewellery and accessories collection.
BVLGARI's Country Managing Director of Greater China, Lelio Gavazza, ifc's General Manager of Retail Leasing, Karim Azar, and all-time film icon Cherie Chung opened the ceremony, with the actress wearing the High Jewellery Collection.
An award-winning Italian artist Sissi visited ifc mall as part of the "Candy-brissima Show for FURLA and I", with four students from the Hong Kong Design Institute, "working on" the CANDY bags, mixing and matching various elements for an eclectic style.
Local fashion icon Hilary Tsui, Taiwanese actress Annie Liu, and actress Aimee Chan, turned up to create their own version of CANDY bags.
Towngas uniforms from the last century and a half were on display at ifc mall as part of the company's official 150th Anniversary celebration. Company officials, joined by Hong Kong's former Secretary for the Environment, Edward Yau, opened the exhibition with a ceremony, celebrating Towngas' achievement with the theme "Warming Everyday Life". Aside from uniforms, the exhibition showcased the company's history with photographs, old advertisements, and prototypes of early Towngas products.
With the opening of CHAUMET's boutique at ifc mall, 80s Hong Kong film royalty Cherie Chung joined company President Thierry Fritsch to open "The Art of Tiara Making" exhibition.
Showcasing a collection of over 20 signature tiaras, "The Art of Tiara Making" offered a look back at the company's 232 years of history, a time capsule of French royalty.
"I believe deeply that the course of history can be changed through the teaching and spreading of creativity to everyone on this planet." These are the words of renowned sculptor and Tangle Master Richard X Zawitz, and Oval Atrium of ifc mall was his chosen spot to spread such creativity. Larger than life and awe-inspiring, these never-before- seen stainless steel sculptures by Zawitz captured the imagination of ifc mall shoppers. Alongside the exhibition, ifc has further collaborated with Richard X Zawitz on an exclusive redemption programme of his iconic "Tangle Chrome" gift sets.
Citi celebrated its 200th anniversary with the opening of a high-tech pop-up concept store inside ifc mall. Offering interactive banking services from 9am to 9pm everyday - including Sundays and holidays - the "200 Years Citi Celebration Store" could be the most advanced bank in the city.
Citi's global CEO, Vikram Pandit, together with Citibank's senior executives and ifc's General Manager of Retail Leasing, Karim Azar, officiated the opening ceremony, kicking off a celebration of Citi's successful bicentenary.
If you've visited ifc recently, you may have seen these adorable dogs around. They're no ordinary doggies though, for they are part of ifc's security team, patrolling ifc mall, One ifc and Two ifc towers, on a daily basis. These canines, partnering their trainers, are highly trained and are here to ensure our safety. As the saying goes: dogs are man's best friend.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of Britain returning Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty, and while many of the city's British-influences have since been retired gradually, some still remain on our architecture, and none more visible than in Central.
The British Army landed at Shui Hang Hau of Sheung Wan 170 years ago. Developments were then started in Central and Sheung Wan; while at the same time, Central was turned into the "City of Victoria" as Hong Kong's political and commercial centre. Until now, that's where many of the Victorian and Edwardian buildings erected during the colonial era stand, including Central Police Station, the former Central Magistracy, and the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences.
So yes, aside from being an international financial hub and a fashion avant-garde, Central is an architectural wonderland - a mishmash of Eastern and Western cultures, and Hong Kong's past and present.
Join us for a heritage architectural walk through Central.
This six-storey redbrick building has a distinct Chicago School architecture influence. Not surprising, since it was built in 1918 with funding from Chicago's YMCA. This eclectic structure of western Neoclassical - the red bricks, for example, and Chinese vernacular elements - green glazed tiled roofs, gave Hong Kong its first indoor gymnasium, jogging track, and swimming pool.
Built in 1906, the Old Bacteriological Institute was the first medical laboratory built in Hong Kong, in response to a plague outbreak in the late 19th century. As a British architectural design that drew references from both the Edwardian period and Chinese cultures, it was a symbol of Hong Kong architecture and modern medicine studies, in the first decade of the century.
This three-storey structure was originally built in 1893 as a shelter for a group of missionaries from London known as the "London Missionary Society". With arched verandahs and Doric columns that are typical of the classical colonial architecture in the late 19th century, the London Mission Building is now a private club and one of the most respected heritage sites in the city.
It's quite hard to believe that the Fringe Club and the Foreign Correspondents' Club we know today were originally constructed to store meat and ice. Built in 1892 by the Dairy Farm company, the structure features a strong Neoclassical influence, with a polychromatic bandaged brickwork.
When it was originally built in 1864, the Central Police Station was three-storey tall. But the growth of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force led to an additional storey being added to the block in 1905, followed by a horizontal expansion in later years. There may be the new police headquarters in Wan Chai now, but with its long history and antiquated architectural style, the Central Police Station remains as one of Hong Kong's proudest monuments, and one of the lasting physical reminders of Hong Kong's colonial heritage.
The Former Central Magistracy was constructed from solid granite blocks in 1914. Featuring grandiose columns bold, protruding lettering modeled from Greek architecture, it was designed to inspire respect and fear for the law, and as a symbol for justice. Together with the Central Police Station, it is collectively known as the Central Police Station Compound and has recently become the site of many arts and cultural events.
|agnès b. LA LOGGIA||3089-97||Inagiku Japanese Restaurant||4001-07|
|ALFRED DUNHILL||2081B||Juicy Couture||3077-78|
|ANTEPRIMA / ANTEPRIMA WIREBAG||3079-80||Lane Crawford||3025-26 /
|BEYOND ORGANIC||1091B||La Prairie||1083|
|BOBBI BROWN||1085||Lei Garden||3008-11|
|Chanel Fragrance & Beauty||1060||PATRIZIA PEPE||1052A|
|Dior Beauty||1076||shu uemura||1086|
|Ermenegildo Zegna||2050-53||The Box||4010|
|ESCADA and ESCADA SPORT||2066||Tiffany & Co.||2058|
|Estēe Lauder||1078||TORY BURCH||2065|
|GIEVES & HAWKES||2025||The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
6/F, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong
|Giuseppe Zanotti Design||2072-73|
|HENRI J. SILLAM||2034|