Things that go pop

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 May, 2012, 12:00am


Mandy d'Abo lives in a colourful world. As founder and owner of The Cat Street Gallery and The Space, she is constantly surrounded by collections from some of the world's leading contemporary artists. Her expansive home on Hong Kong's south side is a natural extension of her galleries with artworks - from paintings to sculptures to installations - in every wall, corner and table surface, all curated with an expert eye.

The colours and imagery that draw d'Abo's eyes to works of art can also be found in her closet. Closets, that is. Because in the master bedroom that she shares with her husband lie a massive wall of floor-to-ceiling clothes and shoe cupboards with reflective doors that she keeps all to herself. Open the doors and you are treated to a burst of bright hues and prints. There are paisleys, florals and geometric prints, most of them on easy dresses and loose prairie tops.

D'Abo, who was born in Zimbabwe but has lived in Hong Kong for 11 years, describes her personal style as luxe bohemian. On a day-to-day basis, she is in shorts or skinny jeans and a dressy top. She favours bright colours because she likes things that pop.

'It's pretty casual. I like clothes that can transition from a day at the gallery to a client dinner,' she says, fishing out pieces from such well-known labels as Tory Burch and Lanvin and little-known brands Wondaland and Magnum & Tse.

'I also like vintage pieces,' she adds. She accessorises her look with multiple rings on her fingers and long chain necklaces with statement pendants, and she has the distinction of having a Kotur clutch bag named after her.

What she treasures most, though, are her shoes, which come from such designers as Jimmy Choo, Nicholas Kirkwood, Christian Louboutin and Rupert Sanderson. 'I've known Rupert for a long time. We both worked in advertising in London ages ago,' she says.

Picking out a pair from her collection, she regards them as one would a museum piece. 'You could put these in a Perspex box and display them as a work of art,' she says of a pair of neon green Choos.

'I am not that anal about how I organise my closet, although I love seeing how anal people can get,' says d'Abo, although her wardrobe looks as if it's been colour coded and arranged by hem lengths.

An admirer of the styles of model Agyness Deyn, 'It girl' Poppy Delevigne and stylist Charlotte Stockdale, d'Abo is at a sartorial stage where she's found what works for her and what doesn't. 'I don't make any fashion faux pas any more,' she says. 'I only buy what I instantly like. It's the same with art. I only ever choose artists whose work I absolutely love.'