Out of my closet: Vanessa Lawson makes her own look
"I seem to have always been pretty headstrong when it comes to most things, including my relationship with fashion," says DIY fan and blogger Vanessa Lawson, from lifestyle site allthingsindulgent.com It might explain why she went from criminology and law into fashion.
"I knew I didn't want to be a lawyer halfway through my degree, but I had to finish what I'd started," says Lawson displaying her dedication and determination - both good traits for any DIY lover, no matter how easy she makes it sound.
Her approach to fashion is as dynamic as her personality. "Fashion is a powerful tool of self-expression. I love varying my look."
A peek inside Lawson's walk-in wardrobe shows an eclectic mix of outfits. "I can sport different styles whenever I want. I might go from boho chic to classic to 1920s. Or I might go for leather and studs," the 24-year-old says.
Lawson's vintage fur coat collection stands out. "As a child I dressed up in my mum's clothes, so vintage appeals. I 'borrowed' two coats from my mother, but bought another from Mee and Gee in Prince Edward."
Now, Lawson's mother steals her funkier DIY necklaces. "She thinks the skulls ward off her mahjong opponents," she says.
Other pieces range from a series of monochrome tops to silver dresses and patterned silk dresses.
Lawson has an impressive shoe collection. "I love high heels, at least four inches tall. A slight platform is even better because it's more comfortable. If there are wedges, then sign me up," she says.
Half-Chinese and half-English, Lawson was educated in Hong Kong and Britain. "There's no uniform at the French International School and as a teenager you don't always want to stand out. Fashion is a personal expression, but people can be very judgmental," she says. "After my first term at boarding school I was very Jack Wills. When I travel my style also changes."
The ability to adapt has left her with a relaxed, open mind to fashion. "All those past styles still influence me."
Her favourite brands range from Twenty8Twelve to Clover Canyon and Sass & Bide. While high street stores such as Zara and Club Monaco also appeal, her favourite Hong Kong boutique is Polkadot on Hollywood Road.
"They carry numerous local or locally based designers and constantly have new stock, including jewellery. There are also a great number of Hong Kong online stores cropping up, which is fantastic. I love callixto.com because the owner sources her pieces from around the world.
"But once you start DIY-ing you'll see projects everywhere, like a belt buckle that can become a double ring. I often prefer DIY to buying a finished product. You can up-style and embellish clothes with old accessories - but start small so you don't get overwhelmed."
For those who want to give DIY a go, Lawson offers some handy advice. "You don't need many tools, I mostly use small pliers, my glue gun and contact adhesive. Sham Shui Po is an absolute Mecca. On more than one occasion, a favourite DIY project came about from an impulse purchase there."