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November 5, 2009

Special Dish: Love Actually

Whenever we get gloomy about the state of. . . our wardrobes, we think about some of Britney’s worst wardrobe mishaps and malfunctions, and realize things aren’t actually as bad as they seem. That being said, it never hurts to lavish your closet with a bit of love. We found the latest objects of our affection in the most unusual of places (as all great love stories begin!). Nestled in the bustling atmospheric lanes of the Gage Street wet market is LoveIt, a secret boutique filled with exclusive pieces from international designers not sold anywhere else in Hong Kong. Your next affaire d’amour starts here. . .

The Set
LoveIt is styled as a dream apartment, complete with an even dreamier closet. Start with champagne or cappuccinos in the cosy chic living room and a consultation with the lovely owner Catherine Martsch and director Stephanie Slater. They can choose a few pieces that they think you will adore or leave you to dive head first into the colours and prints, fluttery dresses, slippery silks and cosy knits that abound. Next it’s off to the tranquil Balinese inspired bedroom, where all the potential pieces of perfection have been laid out on the bed to give you the full princess experience, no hangers or harsh lighting to be found. The store has been reserved all for you, so try on your top picks and twirl around in front of the full length mirror as many times as you like. We have a feeling it will be love at first sight!

The Script
Remember the scene in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts is waited on hand and foot and emerges with a bevy of beautiful purchases that allow her to glide effortlessly into any situation? This is exactly what Catherine and Stephanie had in mind when creating LoveIt. They aimed to combine their favourite ten shopping experiences from around the globe, from the Krug bar at Selfridges in London to the lounges at highly acclaimed New York, Paris and Sydney boutiques, giving soft styling and personalized service to each lovely lady that walks through the doors ensuring they emerge feeling boundless, beautiful and ready to stop traffic. Their philosophy is that you should only buy something if you feel that you “love it, need it, have to have it” and “when in doubt, leave it out.” It’s like shopping with your best friends (or your mom!), with advice that is candid and colourful, and guarantees you go home with only the best pieces for you. Make an appointment for yourself or a group of friends to get the full LoveIt dream shopping experience. Buy a LoveIt certificate as an unforgettable x-mas or b-day present for the style-lover in your life. Or drop in on Monday evenings (6-9pm) or Saturday afternoons (1-5pm) to check out the latest collections, or quickly pick up a dress for that night’s party, when nothing you have seems quite right. Chances are, you can strut straight out of the store and into the evening’s escapades feeling as beautiful as Julia. . . and leave your thigh-high pleather boots behind!

The Costumes
We’ve all experienced the classic Hong Kong horror of turning up to a party with three girls in exactly same dress. It won’t happen when shopping at LoveIt, as this is the only place in HK that you can find these specific fabulous brands and they carry only one size in each style, or sometimes only one single stunning statement piece. Designers they stock (and we covet!) include LA-based VOOM, a red carpet fav of Paris Hilton, cult denim brand AG Jeans renowned for their outstanding fit, super sexy Alexia Admor dresses from New York and cosy winter layers from Paris-based Hartford and Tequila Solo. Selections range from printed silk dresses to rocker chic fringed tees to beaded evening ensembles to staples accessories and tanks, in sizes to suit various body types, and prices ranging from HK$450 to HK$3800, so you can shop to your heart’s content, without buckling your bank statement. If you are looking for something specific, the LoveIt ladies will make a note of this and choose potentials for you on their next buying trip, no commitment required. We told you this would be a dream relationship!

A new favourite hidden shop with glamorous yet affordable pieces right in the heart of Central. . . If you look for it, we’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.

LoveIt, 3/F, 10 Gage Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2545 2162,

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