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July 5, 2012

Style on the Scene with Divia Harilela: 5 Must Haves for Your Summer Suitcase

Exclusively for Dim Sum & Then Some, Divia Harilela, Hong Kong’s premier international fashion editor, Senior Fashion Correspondent for SCMP and creator of leading luxury and fashion blog The D’Vine (, brings you an up to the minute update of her personal favourite hot off the runway styles, trends, lusts and loves, plus a few “must have” pieces for your wardrobe now…

Holidays are in full swing and the sales have just begun. It’s also the perfect opportunity to indulge in this season’s hot trends at a fraction of the price. Here are five must-have items that will prove your fashion worth on the beach this summer.

Style on the Scene with Divia Harilela: 5 Must Haves for Your Summer Suitcase Tribal Clutch
Put your straw tote away because it’s all about the ethnic clutch. Choose a colourful style that captures the exotic cultures of Africa, Asia or Mexico.  Fun embellishments are key to this trend (think subtle beading) as well as natural materials such as raffia. Don’t be afraid to experiment with tribal prints like ikat, in bold colours like yellow and orange. But keep in mind that the look is more Hermes and less Chatuchak market – pick one-of-kind styles handcrafted by local artisans and you can’t go wrong.
Top picks:
Kotur Barnes Tassel Clutch
BCBG Tribal Envelope Clutch

Tropical Print Dress
Probably one of the easiest ways to add a bit of summer into your wardrobe is with a tropical print – every designer from Givenchy to Stella McCartney has created their own version. Styles can range from tropical birds to colourful blooms such as orchids. If you want to make the look more modern opt for digital prints or mirror image prints, which are more elegant.  Just make sure you leave your lei at home.
Top picks:
Givenchy Tropical Print Dress
Zara Floral Print Dress

Chiffon Pleated Skirt
Trust Miuccia Prada to coin the trend of the summer. The pleated skirt has become ubiquitous and suits all sizes and shapes. And while Prada’s runway pieces come in pastel shades (think sky blue and icy lemon), don’t be afraid to go bold. Knee-length is the most flattering, but experiment with high-low styles that are short in the front and long in the back. Although I am not a huge fan of maxi dresses, a maxi pleated skirt will look fabulous paired with a simple tee. Choose one with a thigh high slit if you dare.
Top picks:
Alice & Olivia Pleated Maxi Skirt
TopShop Fluoro Pleat Calf-Length Skirt

Colourblock Shoes
It was only a matter of time before colour blocking hit our feet. And thanks to one of my favourite designers, Pierre Hardy, it’s become a hot trend for the summer. The combinations you can try are endless – for a fun look try bold primary colours or go for a feminine take with sorbet-worthy pastels. The look works best with chunky styles such as wedges and platforms with no embellishments – let the colours do the talking.
Top picks:
Charlotte Olympia Isla Shoes from On Pedder
Diane Von Furstenberg Colourblock Wedge Sandals

Anything Neon
Everyone is going gaga over the Olympics, which explains why designers went down the sporty route this summer. But if getting out your tracksuit doesn’t appeal, take the easy route by incorporating anything neon into your wardrobe. While tees and dresses are easy, I am loving neon bottoms such as trousers or denim. Also handy are accessories such as bags and shoes (Kirsten Stewart was spotted recently wearing a pair of very chic neon yellow and plastic Louboutins).  Or take a leaf out of Tom Binns oeuvre and try colourful necklaces and earrings paired with a simple white tee.
Top picks:
J. Crew High-Waisted Pants
Ann Taylor Neon Lights Necklace
Noir Tube and Cord Earrings

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