Introducing a new column of finds for New Yorkers. No special focus but from the eyes of someone that is a “discoverer”....

Edition Number 6

On the Road from Hong Kong:

This city is back in action! A little positive U.S. stock market and Christmas and the town is once more happening. The Chinese have brought a Las Vegas feeling and look to the town at this holiday time. They have gone all out with the Christmas lights. Whole gigantic building towers are lit up and with dancing lights and music. There are so many new buildings and they are all huge and beautiful.

There are two new restaurants that everyone is going to. The scene is now at Cipriani's. Located one floor down from the China Club... this is the place to be seen both at lunch and dinner. Fabio who ran both Downtown and the Cipriani's at Grand Central in New York is here to see that every one gets Bellini's and pasta in the smallest portions ever...consistent with Venice and New York...and for the most expensive price.The other new eatery is Spoon from Paris and is located in the Hotel Intercontinental....did not have time to go, but hear it is happening.

And now to the important news for the fashion die hards. A day trip to Shenzhen.For those not in the know, this is a city about an hour by train outside of Hong Kong.It is right over the border where China begins. Even though HK is the land of every designer brand known to us fashionistas....this little town is the world of perfect copies of all those brands one hour away. I spent the whole day with my great friend shopping the four floors of the main building of this immense shopping center. Think of a large shopping center but where each shop is at the most 10 by 10 feet. There are at least 200 shops on each floor. So you can imagine. I went on Sunday which is the worse day to go but every day is busy here and we managed.

So here goes....every designer bag has a copy here, some bad and some you can not tell the difference. Before the U.S. got tough with fakes and copies these vendors were much more free to show any customer their wares. But now they have to be sure you are not the law before they show you certain merchandise. You name it they have it here. LV, Prada, Dior, Hermes, Celine, Tod's and down to Kiplinger and Le Sport Sac. My Tod bag was A quality...that is the buzz word...and real leather and $40.00. "A quality" is the buzz word in every category...means the best and most expensive copy.

Watches and shoes and printed t shirts were the other hot classifications. There is a fabric section also on one of the floors and around the perimeter are tailors and custom sewers that will make anything. My friend chose a Chanel type tweed wool jacket with all fringed borders and made to fit her perfectly for 120 HK less than $20.00 US.It takes a few days so she will be lucky to be able to return. Next if you want a printed t shirt the hot ones were Dior, Celine, Custo, Vivienne Tam and Miss Sixty. All priced around $10.00 US.

Oh I forgot to mention, each price is negotiated. They love to shout and go back and forth. If you leave because they don't want to accept your price you walk out and the match goes on down the hall and usually you can win. One place let us walk when we wanted an Hermes travel wallet but that was the only one. Next was the shoe category. Puma is the hot sneaker to knock off and there is one shop that must be the cousin of Jimmy Choo or Manolo. A dazzling diamond and gold sandal for $22. Carrie would even approve.

So here goes some of my favorite shops:

5th fl- #35 for t shirts-ming fa dress #5030 duo zi duo cai -for handbags 4th fl-chang hui pi ju hang #4388A07 handbags #4099a-tang han sen -LV suitcase-they have a secret room 3rd fl-#3122 xing da pi ju hang for handbags 2nd fl-#2012 handbags with a warehouse outside #247 ji xiang shon line-shoes #2044 - shen zhen ya du-jeweled shoes.

Travel Tips::

Tip: If you plan to go try to get your visa in the US, it avoids you having to fill out endless paper at the border. You can get a visa there but the whole procedure adds about 40 minutes and that is 40 minutes you could be shopping. Also Americans have to pay more than any other country for your day visa.
Tip 2: Bring something on rollers to carry all your goodies. Or buy it before you enter the a grocery cart. We bought one for $5.00 US and it was in Burberry plaid....what else would you expect. Best bring a car and driver and keep going back to the car with your things or let him follow you and carry.
Tip 3:Take the train from Hung Hom station....KCR train to Lo Wu and walk over the border.
Tip 4: Don't carry a heavy anything. Walk light with comfortable shoes.
Tip 5: Bring a light snack and Kleenex for the bathroom.

Last tip: If anyone says come to the back room with them.Go! It usually means that they have better stuff hidden and they trust you to show it to. They don't let you out so quickly but I pretended to faint and they let me out without buying.

You will love it. You will be asked if you want a manicure/pedicure 100's of times.All also say that "you are ma friend" constantly. Also there are lots of DVD's and software there but we are into threads. So if you go have a great time shopping like the locals do.

Next stop Bombay and Dubai...

"Better bets #5" Column

"Better bets #4" Column

"Better bets #3" Column

"Better bets #2" Column

"Better bets #1" Column

continue to DFR: Daily Fashion Report

Are you a member of lookonline yet? Click here to find out about our premium subscription areas.