Stylish season

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 December, 2011, 12:00am


Hong Kong style guru Eve Roth Lindsay's path in life was perhaps decided before she was even conceived. With a world-renowned American photographer father Arthur Rothstein and seamstress mother Grace she was practically born with style in her veins. Growing up, Lindsay says her life was 'very visual'.

'Our holidays were often combined with a photography trip or story for a magazine, so my parents made sure we always looked the part,' she says. Her parents dressed Lindsay, her three siblings and themselves in the same clothes. 'We had blue jeans, a white tee and a red parka which made it easy for them to spot us in the crowds - we were doing the red, white and blue look way before [it became fashionable].'

Lindsay now runs her own business, Savvy Style, Colour Me Beautiful Hong Kong, which specialises in making people look good, whatever their lifestyle or budget.

When Lindsay turned eight, her mother taught her to sew. 'The first thing I made was a leopard corduroy skirt. I loved that skirt and loved wearing it all through the holiday season.'

In secondary school, sewing began to consume every minute of her spare time. 'I was sewing dresses for school but saved my really special outfits for the holidays. I remember them all and can remember the holiday by what I wore,' she says.

At 16, her parents were invited to Russia where her father was to receive an award. Her mother needed a wardrobe for the trip and made a deal with her. 'If I designed and made her wardrobe, I could also use the fabrics to make my own clothes. She bought the most beautiful fabrics I had ever seen. I made myself a mini silk-satin leopard-printed party dress with a floor-length leopard faux fur coat.'

When Lindsay's eldest brother, Rob Stoner, joined Bob Dylan's band as musical director, she designed a red leather cheongsam with red and black brocade platforms to wear at their concerts.

Lindsay went on to study fashion design at New York's Parsons School of Design. Her tutors were icons of American fashion - Ralph Lauren and Oscar de la Renta - while classmates included Anna Sui and Donna Karan. One of their first assignments was to design for a rather dowdy fashion house. 'I was 17 and definitely not into dowdy. I couldn't figure out how to do it and asked Ralph. He said to design for someone I admire and dress them.'

Her choice was Audrey Hepburn. 'Have you ever seen her wear anything at all that you didn't like? That is the sign of real style. I've moved on a bit now and admire Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston. They know what looks good on them and dress brilliantly for their shape.'

After being tutored by Lauren, it is no wonder that Lindsay also admires the fellow New Yorker. 'He has a vision that sees real people wearing elegantly stylish clothes. He creates a world you want to live in. I feel he has a very American feel about his clothes that are timeless.'

Lindsay was also heavily influenced by one of her favourite designers, Azzedine Alaia. 'Once you understand the thoughts that go into design, you can really appreciate the skill it takes to create the beautiful styles Alaia makes. His clothing suits any age and that is a real testament to a truly talented designer.'

One of Lindsay's favourite male style icons is Allan Zeman. While working as head fashion designer for his company, Jump, Lindsay says Zeman taught her how to design for real people in a real world. 'I believe people should dress well but be comfortable. There is really nothing attractive about seeing someone suffer for fashion.'

Lindsay says pleats, cashmere and sheer fabrics are making a comeback this season. 'It's all about matching your delicates with your wools so wear a feminine long-length pleated skirt with a cashmere [or wool] jumper and you're good to go. The same goes for wide-legged pants that skim your boot or shoe.'

Tactile fabrics combined with leather, suede, faux fur and pearls will take you into the holiday season. Add one of the bolder jewel colours to stand out. Mix your layers, fabrics and even your eras. It's a little 1940s, '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s all pulled together in one, Lindsay says. 'Spice up your look with a bit of flash. A sparkle in your top, an amazing necklace or drop earrings - holiday season is the time when you get to do it and it looks good. Accessorise as if you were Cleopatra, cuffs, bangles, jewels and high-voltage glam - perfect for parties.'

Lindsay says men's trends are stepping away from highly-tailored suits this season. 'More material and less stitching shouldn't mean looking lazy though - we're not condoning slobbish street wear. Wear these items as outerwear only.' Blazers and coats should drape loosely over the shoulder but still reveal the tailored trousers and dapper shirt underneath.