Couture Basics

Denise dress, Raja jacket and Tandie tank top – Improv’d spring/summer 2011 collection

I am always looking for what I like to call basics with a twist. These are wardrobe classics such as tees, tank tops and blazers that come with some form of cool detailing like chains, exposed zips or drapes – basically anything that transforms it from plain and simple to fashion forward and covetable. In the past I’ve gone to brands like A.L.C, Helmut Lang and Sharon Wauchob but my latest find is New York based label Improv’d. 

I first spotted their distressed leather jackets at Maxfields, my shopping mecca in Los Angeles. At the time the shop assistant didn’t have much information on the brand but it reminded me of Rick Owens Lillies with its deconstructed basics and luxe fabrics. On a shopping trip last week, I was thrilled to see it hanging from local racks at Sonjia on Sun Street.

Owner Sonjia Norman also gave me the lo-down on the brand. Launched last year by Sam Ben Avraham (founder of New York boutique Atrium) and ex-Diesel exec Valentino Vettori, the line is all about “couture” basics at a great price point. So expect timeless, minimalist pieces that have an avant garde look whether it’s in the distressed fabrics or raw trims.  

The spring/summer collection has several cool pieces but standouts include the Tandie, a cowl neck tank with a leather trim along the sleeves and the Denise wraparound dress with contrasting satin panels. Their leather jackets are beautiful but I have my eye on the Raja linen jacket with zip detailing. It will make the perfect cover up for spring.

Prices range from HK$800 to HK$3,000 so get there quick.

Sonjia is at 2 Sun Street, Wanchai, tel: 2529 6223.

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