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July 28, 2011

Style on the Scene with Divia Harilela – Top 5 Beach Essentials

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…

Holiday season is officially underway. But before you jet off to your villa in Phuket or the crystal blue waters of Saint Tropez, stock up on these summer fashion essentials that will keep you looking chic on and off the beach.

Straw BagsStraw Bag
Kate Moss recently said that she always holidays with her straw bag. Well if it’s good enough for her… Luckily this summer’s styles are more chic than tacky thanks to modern details like colourful accents, intricate embroideries and new shapes. While soft totes are classic, structured shapes are ideal for activities off the beach. Try a clutch for the evening. Little details can go a long way so look for leather handles for a luxe touch or more unusual fabrics such as raffia, which gives a more casual, slouchy shape.
Top picks:
Rosa Tote by Marc by Marc Jacobs (The Landmark, Central, 2868 9782)
Lamotte Balinese Straw Clutch by Kotur

One-Piece SwimsuitOne-Piece Swimsuit
Pack away your bikini because the one-piece is back. On the catwalks designers transformed this conservative style and gave it a modern, sexy twist. Favourites include 1950s retro shapes that are inspired by glamorous style icons such as Marilyn Monroe. Look for suits with details such as ruching (great to hide tummies) and sweetheart necklines to create curves. On the other end of the spectrum are super sexy styles with geometric cut outs (only for the brave!). In terms of colour, jewel tones and bright shades rule. Steer clear of embellishments although jungle prints, including leopard, are bang on trend.
Top picks:
Halter Style Swimsuit by Norma Kamali, Bergdorf Goodman
Printed Swimsuit by MMissoni (Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2736 6621)

Pretty flats can take you from the beach to dinner in an instant. While jellies will withstand the sand and sea, I prefer feminine styles made from leather with intricate detailing such as weaving and interlacing. Gladiators are still classic, although avoid cage styles that cover the entire leg. Invest in a beige pair for an understated look that screams luxury, while metallic shades like gold will bring out your tan.
Top picks:
Multi-Strap Leather Flats by Tod’s (The Landmark, Central, 2810 8692)
Gold Leather Sandals by K.Jacques, Net-A-Porter

Cover UpsCover-ups
Floor length kaftans look glamorous but may not be the most practical beach attire in 40-degree heat. Go short with dresses and loose but tailored tops made from breathable fabrics such as silk, cotton and linen. Anything with crystals or jewels should be avoided – instead find styles with tone on tone thread embroideries or appliqués such as crochet (as spotted at Dolce & Gabbana). The sarong is also having a comeback, but avoid tacky Balinese prints. Experiment with summer’s must-have colours of yellow, coral and green.
Top picks:
The Goddess Dress by Tabla (Prince’s Building, Central, 2525 5590)
Tube Dress by Lisa T

Complete your summer look with a stylish hat (which fortunately will also shade you from the sun’s rays). On the catwalks, Prada’s wide brimmed striped style was a hit with editors and can add some fun to your beach look. More traditional panama styles never go out of fashion. Choose hats with printed ribbons for a vintage inspired yet feminine look.
Top picks:
Panama Hat by Pachacuti, Net-A-Porter
Wide-Brim Beach Hat by Rag & Bone

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