Rounding the world in jet set fashion is Mischa designer Michelle Lai. This Hong Kong based designer finds inspiration in all four corners of the globe. She is as comfortable riding an elephant in Thailand as she is shopping in London. When we need to satisfy our own wanderlust we log on to her worldy instagram account (see for yourself here!) and pretend we are traveling along with her. We recently caught up with Lau and ask her to share her favorite spots in her hometown. Get ready for a big envy attack when she mentions retreating to her private island in Thailand. Dear Michelle, please can we come along!
How does travel influence your style?
When I travel, I like to people watch and pick up the style of the women surrounding me. I love to discover local designers, local crafts and specialties. I get inspired by the effortless chic of women in Paris, the uber feminine woman in Rome, the elegant minimalism of women in Kyoto, the healthy sun-kissed appeal of woman in Sydney or Miami and the cosmopolitan style of woman in New York.
What city do you have an endless love affair with?
There?s a tie between Paris and Kyoto. They are at the heart of what inspired my debut collection in 2004 and continue to fuel Mischa. Embracing Asian aesthetics in a uniquely Western context. Whenever I visit these cities, I am inspired by all the architecture, art, culture, food, fashion and energy of the people. They give me a lot of material to work with and I have to retreat to my secret island in Thailand to create my designs.
Can you share your top three favorite spots for eating, drinking, and shopping in your hometown?
Yardbird. It?s a modern izakaya with great atmosphere and excellent cocktails. My favourite is Yaki Lime. 33 Bridges St, Hong Kong
Ping Pong Gintoneria. It?s an awesome converted table tennis venue with tapas and delicious gourmet gins. 129 Second St, Hong Kong
Kapok, they have a great eye for unique designers from all corners of the world. 10/f Hysan place, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
What is your most desired passport stamp?
Morocco. I have fantasies of living in a riad, napping under palm trees and getting lost in the souk.
Best trip so far?
Scuba diving in Bali. Everything was perfect, the company, the weather, the amazing food and the underwater wonderland. It inspired my Spring Summer 2013 collection.
Favorite form of transport?
I like high-speed trains. They give you a sense that you?re really going somewhere and the beautiful scenery helps me to be contemplative.
Always in your suitcase?
My soft cashmere wrap
Favorite hotel that you wouldn't mind staying in forever?
Alila Uluwatu, Bali
Most beloved souvenir?
Evil eye bracelet from Greece
Favorite shop, market or souk?
I love Borough Market in London. They?ve got farm fresh produce, cheeses and cured meats and vendors selling the most tasty chorizo sandwiches.
Describe your travel style?
I like to wander around on foot/bicycle/elephant.
Ultimate escape fantasy?
In the middle of the ocean in the Maldives with no wifi and just my dream man.
Photos of Alila Uluwatu, Bali courtsey of mrandmrssmith.com