Local is lovely

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 December, 2007, 12:00am

Try out little boutiques for locally made and designed products

Innovative designs, good quality and reasonable prices can be a difficult combination to find, but not impossible. Little boutiques selling locally designed and made products can be the source of some great buys.

Asian influences and contemporary styles are often the inspiration behind these designs. Alan Chan's outlet at the Peninsula Hotel (Alan Chan Creations, 5ABasement Floor) has a great range of T-shirts, photograph albums, stationery and neatly packed Chinese teas. Nostalgic references feature prominently. The photograph albums (HK$88-HK$108) are inspired by 1930s cigarette cards with images of Shanghainese women from that period reworked on the album cover. Other designs include Chinese acrobats, calligraphy and ancient Chinese symbols. Chrome and silver business card cases (HK$180-HK$208) feature tai chi and zodiac engravings, while T-shirts (HK$188) feature tai chi designs. Alternatively, Chinese teas (HK$60-HK$168) or packs of playing cards (HK$29.80) again with prints inspired by 1930s cigarette cards offer face-saving gifts.

Hong Kong Design Gallery (Level One, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Harbour Road) focuses on innovation and upcoming talents, though items from established designers can be found. Items range from gadgets and home and travel accessories to jewellery.

May May King (Xplus, LCX, Ocean Terminal) does a line in accessories (HK$100-HK$530) which includes print bags with new arrivals including the Kids Return collection totes with baby prints juxtaposed with duck and flower imagery. Other accessories include dumpling bags, purses and cosmetic bags. The online store (www.maymayking.com) carries a range including cheongsams, tops and skirts.

Morn Creations (34B Staunton Street, Central) is a tiny shop packed with its own original designs. New items follow an animal theme and include the cat bag series (HK$350-HK$390), a wide range of panda accessories from purses and bags (HK$75-HK$410) to panda T-shirts (HK$260), aprons and rugs (HK$90-HK$150). Other lines pay homage to sharks, dogs and rabbits. Retro-style home accessories can also be found at this outlet.

Melaine Living Arts (15Lyndhurst Terrace, Central) stock puts a contemporary twist on Asian pieces. Traditionally-styled furniture (stools, chairs and side tables) get a makeover in vivid blues, pinks and greens and vases are cast into the shape of a cheongsam.

Next door the boutique has a second outlet which carries a stock of locally designed clothes such as shirts (HK$598-HK$1128) with embroidered animals and birds across the back.

It also carries a new range of Alpaca shawls (HK$2,980) and aromatherapy candles (HK$198).