Style check: resolutions for 2014
Starting off with the best of intentions, 2014 might be the year where we remedy some of the fashion sins of 2013. Last year brought into question issues such as sustainability, the explosion of luxury fashion and Instagram selfie overload. And with self-education about the industry at an all time high, there are several New Year's resolutions we could all take into consideration when it comes to the rag trade.
Firstly, we vow to focus on local fashion more - China has been rapidly developing its own creative industry and the results are impressive if you look closely. I've never encountered more small fashion start-ups, whether they were independent boutique owners or designers, than I did last year.
Hong Kong and the mainland are looking more attractive as a base for local and foreign fashion talent. Sophisticated consumers are no longer focused solely on old European luxury and are more interested in curating their own styles than taking their cues from marketing campaigns.
The message here is to mix high and low fashion, small local labels with big international ones - and don't be dictated to.
This year should also be about reducing your sources of information to a selection that you trust. Blogging and Instagram fatigue means that we are all following more people just for the sake of it, or because we don't want to miss out. This has led to an explosion in social media, where everyone wants an audience and to be a social media star. Be ruthless and skip the ones you don't enjoy. Don't muddle your own sense of style by paying attention to irrelevant sources. There are some very stylish and smart people producing high quality stuff, so don't let it get lost in the flood of nonsense.
This year buy with the long term in mind. Trends, by nature, change several times a year, and looking for something that will tide you over seasons, and years, is important. It also means giving up some of those fast fashion indulgences and opting for quality over quantity. With eco-movements and sustainability high on the agenda, your purchasing power can make a statement about the current state of the fashion industry.
You don't want to be the girl who is all studs and punk this season, and then clad in minimalist romantic pastels the next. Staying on trend is one thing and wardrobes often need a refresher, but you don't want a style that is so capricious that it has no sense of continuity.
Of course, it's easy to say this a few days into the new year. Like many other resolutions such as "getting healthy", "saving more money" and "cutting down on the cocktails", there will be times when we falter, or fall off the wagon completely.
I don't want to get too preachy because fashion is also largely about fun, but we can definitely go into 2014 with good intentions.