This morning, I landed in Hong Kong.
It’s a city that’s captivated me ever since I watched the Bond film, ”The man with the golden gun,” with scenes at The Peninsula Hotel and Victoria Harbour.
I’ve only been here for five hours and I’m already smitten with the place.
Feeling a little ‘gritty’ after taking full advantage of the in-flight beverage facilities, I felt a massage (calm down dears – not ‘that’ sort of massage) would make a fine start to the proceedings.
The concierge at my hotel recommended trying a pressure point massage at a place called ‘Soul Feet.’
Oh. My. God. Different level.
At one point, I’m pretty sure I was levitating.
With my muscles pummelled and chakras realigned, I devoured a bowl of soup with spinach and shrimp dumplings, and then headed off to meet a Hong Kong tailor I’ve been following for years, WW Chan.
Arguably one of the finest tailors in the city, they are one of the few ‘Shanghainese,’ or, ‘Red Gang’ tailors that descended from Shanghai, and the first school of Tailoring in China.
I’d arranged to meet one of their cutters, Ryan Che Chung, pictured below.
The quality is everthing you’d expect from a top notch company on Savile Row.
Full canvas, everything sew by hand, including hand-padded lapels (see the front pictured below) and wonderful Milanese buttonholes.
Every customer has their own bespoke paper pattern made, they provide at least two fittings and here’s some of his work in progress on the cutting table – not a bad view, eh?
I was interested to hear that their house style, like ours, has become much softer over recent years, reflecting the trend towards more informal tailoring.
I tried on one of their ready-to-wear blazers with unstructured shoulders, super-light canvas, patch pockets and hand-sewn buttonholes.
At around £800 it’s not cheap, but the quality of construction is the same as their bespoke offering, which starts at around £1600 for a two piece suit.
I loved the fact that despise flying halfway round the world, they have the same Italian and English bunches as myself, and I always get a buzz meeting fellow tailors who are fighting to earn a crust in the sartorial trenches.
I’m now back in the hotel, dressed in my Michelsberg linen finery, waiting for my brother from Melbourne to land, so as well as business, I can indulge in some family bonding.
We’ve lined up some belting restaurants, rooftop bars, a shopping trip to ‘The Armoury’ and I’ve even found a place I can go surfing, Big Wave Bay.
This city is electric. It buzzes, sparkles, has glamour in abundance, smells of wonderful food, and I have to say, there’s a lot of VERY well dressed people about.
As Sinatra said, ‘It’s my kind of town!’