Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Shopping the side-street

In fashion terms, I am an insatiable omnivore constantly trying to reform my shopping habits and edit my wardrobe. For the last 4 years, I have kept strictly to a "project twelve piece" (not allowed to buy more than twelve new items a year, all others must be thrifted or hand-made, basic necessities excluded).

Er...yeah... not so much anymore.

In my defense, I have tried to shop mostly local, which entails much wandering around a little side-street called Granville Road in TST, Kowloon.

It's the kind of area that has an abandoned post-zombie-apocalypse feel in the day time, but come 4-5pm when the kids get off school, the lights come on in a plethora of local cheap&cheerful shops, like this market-style one, which cleverly organises things by print:

and sells, well, a little of everything as long as it's tacky and wacky and bling.

There are also little food stalls sandwiched in the 30cm or so of space between shops. This one offers piping hot griddle cakes with your choices of topping, filling and batter.

This my be Kowloon, but rents are sky-high here too, so some of the most interesting eateries can be found if you look above street level:

A new-ish addition is the G.I. (Granville Identity) mini-mall, three floors of stalls rented mostly to independent, newbie designers, set up by Hong Kong comedian and director Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle is probably his most famous film abroad and is a lot of fun, but I prefer the surreal and witty 90s cult classics A Chinese Odyssey Parts I and II).

It's fun to wander around nomming some Fro-yo from one of Hong Kong's most popular joints, Crumbs. Sorry, I think it's actually 'Crumbs!' Eh, anyway, the yoghurt is Japanese-style so very creamy, mildly tangy and soft-serve... and the matcha mochi sprinkles were 'interesting'. I'll be sticking with house crumbs (think crumble-topping :D) and blueberries in future...

Anyway, wandering schmandering, the main draw of Granville Road is actually an even tinier side-street off the side-street:

Which, I am told, is where budding designers straight out of fashion school like to set up shop for as many years as they profitably can before retraining as accountants.

At the end of Granville Circuit is this converted old office building, in which the indie designers who can't afford to keep up a shop rent stalls (most open after 5pm when they finish their day jobs. Possibly as accountants.) If you go around 6-7, you'll find most shop keepers having their dinner while ringing up customers.

The upper floors (there are 17, escalators only serve the bottom 4) offer much delicious Asian Random, and are worth the dank b-horror-movie climb:

Apart from numerous offices, dentist's practices, the dodgiest-looking collection of travel agencies and beauty salons EVER, you'll find:
the least sizeist dress shop ever?

a second-hand shop -- rarest of beasts in E Asia

and a handy wee chapel-kins

Back on floors Ground-4th, we have the usual mini-mall shenanigans as many shops specialising in Japanese and Korean imports have taken over.

but really, just a salesTORSO would do...

But there are still many local designer-owned shops, usually staffed by the owner/designer/maker and random friends, and organised by one unifying aesthetic.
This last shop offered custom-made shoes and tailoring. Only for the mens, sadly. Although I managed to pick these handmade leather brogues up for about £20 at a neighbouring shop:

Other cool bits: a lacy metal collar

a khaki crepe school-marmish skirt with a slight pouf and slit up the centre back (the shape is just brilliant, and it has deep pockets :D)

and a filmy print silk top which can be worn any number of ways, and makes a nice scarf too

Right, enough frivolity. Remember, you'll know it's streetstyle if there are random umlauts involved.


  1. 12 items A YEAR! Boy, I did get 12 items LAST MONTH! *dies*

  2. I am so serious! I need that Chanel sweatshirt! It is soooo me! I am SERIOUS! I love all your pictures :) They make me happy!

  3. This is so cool; HK looks like such a fun place to go shopping! :)

  4. M: I see at least 12 covetable items a DAY so drastic measures were required!

    LJ: I actually posted that for Mira, so it makes sense you love it too :D

    Kaide: oh hai! You come visit now?

  5. I love HK, wish I had more time to explore when I was there (short work trips suck - I went to HK for 36hs once!) :P

  6. Oh Nicole, what torture! Still, you can eat a lot in 36 hours in HK... ;)

    I suspect my Japan trip will be similarly tortuous this year... you can make me jealous then.

  7. My 3rd try at commenting :( Iphone and blogger do not get along. :D

    Loving that lacy collar! Think it will look amazing on you!

  8. Gingi, it has yet to turn my neck green, so thumbs up ;)