Amazing collection is one for the books

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 September, 2011, 12:00am


Ning Lau could put many self-proclaimed fashion collectors to shame with the sheer wealth and breadth of her collection. Her three-bedroom flat is filled with an amazing array of Hermes loot, Dries Van Noten garments, Givenchy shoes, vintage Chinese jewellery, hats in all shapes, styles and colours, and antique dolls. No table surface, cabinet or drawer is left empty in her home. 'I have four warehouses where I keep the rest,' she says.

With a personal collection that is so huge and all-encompassing, Lau, the vice-president of marketing, communications and creative at Joyce, has been working on a book that chronicles and catalogues all the pieces that she's accumulated for more than a decade. Before landing her job at Joyce, she held various fashion-related positions. She's run a magazine, been a stylist and a visual merchandiser.

What will be in this book of treasures and curiosities? There is her amazing collection of Kelly bags, more than 10 in all, and other assorted Hermes goodies. Her bedroom is littered with those coveted orange boxes. 'I've always liked the Kelly because to me it is more casual than the Birkin. I like that it is not as popular as the Birkin. It is also easier to match with different outfits.'

There are also her hats, some fanciful from Philip Treacy and Stephen Jones, others quirky like the cherry hat by Piers Atkinson that's been made famous by fashion editor Anna dello Russo.

For autumn, she's already picked out her must-have pieces. It helps that she goes to fashion week and works for a boutique that is at the forefront of high fashion. Her new season investments include a bomber-style jacket made from yards of swirling tulle and chiffon from Givenchy. The other is a shift dress that looks like a collage of prints and colours from Dries Van Noten. 'This is the most colourful piece in my wardrobe,' she says of the dress that's in a deep shade of hunter green sewn in with gold, and black and blue polka dots. 'I really don't wear colour. I like black, grey and brown.'

Lau describes her style as classic and timeless, hence her no-holds barred approach to spending on designer wares. 'I really don't mind spending money on pieces that I can wear forever. There are pieces on my wardrobe that are more than a decade old and I still wear them constantly. If I want to wear trends, I go to Zara and H&M because those are disposable,' she says.

Just as Ning opens up her closet to reveal her shoe collection, her son Hiu Yu Kong, also opens his cupboard to show off his shoes. Looks like style is in the genes.