Eclectic Retro

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 10 June, 2011, 12:00am


From rockabillies, hipsters and bohemian types to chic fashionistas, the triumph of retro has reached dizzying heights. What stemmed from style movements rooted in music and culture has become one of the biggest influences in fashion.

Everyone from Miuccia Prada to Marc Jacobs is looking to past decades for inspiration. Vintage and retro offer a taste of authenticity in an increasingly ephemeral, fast-paced industry.

The look doesn't have to stick to one decade, though we recommend not mixing it up too much. A 50s-inspired circle skirt might match well with a cropped 70s T-shirt and leather sandals. Sixties mod tunic dresses are in, but the matching heavy make-up is not. Everything 70s is one of spring-summer's biggest trends, and pretty print dresses from the 40s and 50s have also claimed their turf. Worn brown leather accessories are an easy and effective way to recreate the look, as are brightly coloured retro prints and patterns.

The trick is not to look overdone. You want to convey an air of casual defiance of mainstream pop culture, not look like a cheap imitation of some retro TV show character. Going retro is serious business, and with few good vintage shops in Hong Kong, we turn to contemporary labels (like the outfit pictured by Eternal Child of Harvey Nichols) that give the look added edge. Show imagination and let one or two items speak louder than the others.


Replace big, flashy, classical designs with vintage, hand-made, costume items such as a Lulu Frost vintage brooch (HK$1,650) or this unique Winnie Liu gold cuff (HK$8,900), available at On Pedder.


The good news is that shoes tended to be more comfortable back in the day, heels were lower and chunkier, and flat shoes work terribly well with this look. Of course you can also opt for 40s- and 50s-inspired high heels, but we prefer this red canvas lace-up by Pedder Red (HK$855).


Go for arresting vintage colour combinations and a strong, simple pattern or print. Anya Hindmarch's Tocco straw clutch (HK$4,100) features a cute tassel and a red, blue, white and yellow zigzag pattern.