Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A bit of humidity and day-glo jewelry

On a warm and humid Hong Kong evening, my friends and I headed to OnPedder to meet Tom Binns, the jewelry designer who is famous for his mixture of elegant and tough- luxe non-conformist designs. His celebrity followers include Daisy Lowe, Daphne Guiness, Renée Zellweger and Michelle Obama. His eye-catching pieces are often featured in fashion editorials in publications such as Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, etc.  
Mr. Binns and I caught up over a few glasses of champagne (me) and vodka tonics (him). As usual, it was drinks galore as the event was hosted by OnPedder, or 'church' as me and my group of friends call it. Mr. Binns mentioned that it was his fist time in the territory and having just flown in from LA the day before- where it was slightly cooler- complained a little bit about the humidity. I sympathised. I told him if I hadn't tied my hair up in a bun, I would have had a giant afro for a head instead. I deliberately avoided asking him about his jewelry collection as he had spent a lot of time talking about it over and over to the press earlier during the day. So we talked about the colour of my dress instead, which he said 'suited my skin tone'.
'Why yes', I said, 'it's a few shades brighter than your average jaundiced footballer's wife'.
He added, 'I bet you could see it from the moon. It's like it's had a few bottles too many of radioactive St. Tropez'. He meant this in a good way. Of course. 
We talked a little bit about David Lachapelle, who was also in town that week, and discussed his pop-art take on photography. Mr. Lachapelle, by the way, has shunned life in the fast lane and now lives on an organic farm in Hawaii.
As per tradition, I played with merchandise and found a Lanvin steampunk collar sitting beautifully on the display stand. It sat beautifully on my collarbone too. It's HK$ 5,000 worth of leather and crystals. Mr. Binns noticed and said 'Hang on a minute, where did you get that from? You didn't walk in with that...' I should've really worn something by him but the last piece of Tom Binns jewelry I bought, I lost. Or gave away. So there.
OnPedder had a giant 'dark room' in the middle of the shop floor and inside was an array of Tom Binns day- glo jewelry on display. Like kryptonite, the neckpieces glowed in the dark. I nearly did, too. A few sprinkling of zinc sulfide laced with copper and I would've glowed along with the jewelry. I told you, my dress was bright.
Mr. Binns' assistant Dean, a tall and dapper Englishman, who looked like a character out of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, told me that the OnPedder team were taking them to Zuma for dinner. I asked if they had anything planned for after dinner and they both said 'no, nothing at all...', so I invited them to a party that evening. Mr. Binns looked tired and a wee bit red. His cheeks were glowing. Maybe it was a heady mix of alcohol and humidity. Needless to say, neither of them turned up to the party. Oh well, I didn't expect them to. At least I tried.

The evening ended in an underground space in the hood of Sheung Wan, where great music mixed with cool people and free vodka  And as for the dress, it fuckin' glowed all night.

With Mr. Tom Binns

Almost identical tatts

Glow-in-the-dark neckpieces