The treasure's all mine

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 10:54pm


Despite her protests that she is not a big shopper, Lumen Kinoshita's wardrobes (note the plural) tell a different story.

In the second bedroom that has been transformed into a walk-in closet, walls covered in bags, fur coats and moon boots are evidence to the contrary.

Behind the white canvas drapes past her bed's headboard are more wardrobes, which you can disappear into. Move on to her bathroom and strewn on trays and in one of the two sinks are bejewelled watches, chain necklaces and evening clutches.

'I don't go around looking for things to buy,' insists Kinoshita. 'When I go to a store I know what I'm going to buy. I also do destination shopping. When I go somewhere, I always have to buy something.'

She fishes out a fringed leather skirt she bought in Tokyo, several accessories from South Korea, jackets from New York's Meatpacking District and shoes from Paris.

'I don't shop online. I am a very tactile person; I like to touch and feel things. Plus, I am not a standard size, so I have to try on clothes.'

Kinoshita, a regular face in the society pages alongside her husband, architect Andrew Kinoshita, was born in Hong Kong and educated in Canada and Britain. She works in the strait-laced world of finance, although you wouldn't guess this from her edgy and slightly punk style.

Her arms are laden with spiked bracelets and there are layers of spiked rings on her fingers. She's drawn to black, as seen in the Balmain jacket with beaded fringing she's wearing today. But she is not afraid of colour, either, and shows us a soft pink python jacket. She also gets glam with gowns and dresses for black-tie events.

Although it is still mid-summer, Kinoshita has already begun stocking her wardrobes with autumn-winter items, mostly leather and lace ensembles from Valentino and Roberto Cavalli.

She confesses to investing in multiples of pieces she loves, like her collection of Judith Lieber bags, Rick Owens leather jackets, Andrew Gn and Valentino frocks.

'I almost always buy from designers,' she says. 'Designers become famous because they break boundaries and push the envelope.

'Buying from designers is my little tribute to support someone with an idea, someone who has something new to say.'

How does she keep track of everything that she has?

Kinoshita says she works closely with her helper so she's familiar with care instructions and designer names, making it easier for her to help locate certain clothes.

Her helper is a fabulous woman who drops names like Alaia, Jil Sander and Dries Van Noten. It looks like Kinoshita had better guard her closet keeper lest she be poached by fellow fashionistas.