When kath is blogging

Get your dress tailor-made in Hong Kong

Posted in Fashion by Katharine on December 27, 2013

I am a fashion design graduate from the Parsons School of Design in New York. I have over 5 years of experience working for designer bridal and evening wear labels. I work with clients on an exclusive one on one basis. Currently, I’m looking into starting up my own made-to-order business. However, before I get my business up and running, I need to expand my portfolio. You get a quality made custom dress at an affordable price, in return I get experience and put my first step out in building up my business.

Here is what I am offering:

If you have a special design of a dress in mind, I can work with you personally and discuss about the design, fabrication and any concerns you might have. I can source the fabric option for you, or you can provide fabric for me. Then I’ll draft the pattern of your dress tailored to your measurement and needs. Before sewing your dress in real fabric of your choice, we will have 2 mock up fittings to check the fit and proportion. Then when the dress is being cut and sewn in your selected fabric, we’ll have 1 to 3 fittings at this work in progress stage. Everything will be made in Hong Kong by me, and fittings will be held at the comfort of your home. The whole process takes about 2 to 3 months at the minimum. Please note that since I do everything on my own, there is only so much I can do within the time period. So during busy seasons, more time will be needed.

What is special about my service?

I understand that it is not easy to find a unique dress off the rack, so I am willing to explore wild design details with you. You will be on a special journey to see your dress comes together. You get up close and personal with the process of creating your dress, and make decision on every details on it. I charge significantly lower than any other designer label you can find in Hong Kong, simply because I want to start my business somewhere. On the other hand, my service is much more personal than giving your drawing to a tailor across the boarder and hope for the best. You don’t have to worry that I’d cut corners and compromise the design, proportion and fabrication for convenience. This is not cookie cutter fast fashion, so please allow roughly 2 month time (but we can definitely work something out if you don’t have that much time.)

What I am charging: 

Starting at $4,800 HKD + Material cost (on your finished dress).

(This post was first published in 2013, please email me for a current cost estimation)

 Why am I charging that?

For a proper evening gown that fits like a glove, it requires roughly 60 hours of my time to make the pattern, do the fittings and sew the dress. To cut the cost down for you, you will be responsible for the cost of the material (fashion fabric, lace, trimming, beads used on the finished garment) and I won’t profit from it. I can source the material and let you make the decision.

Fabric cost reference: Simple drapery floor length dress with silk on the outside and lining would cost you somewhere around $1500 HKD. So if you want to go with polyester or cotton, your fabric cost would be lower.

me draping a chiffon gown. Please contact me for more of my previous work samples.

This is me draping a chiffon gown. Contact me for more of my previous work samples.

If you are interested in creating that special dress in your mind that fits perfectly, please email me at: kathereal@gmail.com . It would be great if you have some image reference for the design, and let me know when you need the dress by. Since I do run around town a lot, it may takes me a few days to get back to you. However if you haven’t heard from me in a week, please send me another email as it may have been lost in my spam folder.

As long as this blog is still up, I’m still taking on new orders.

Thank you 🙂



That New Year Resolution

Posted in Uncategorized by Katharine on June 25, 2013

At the end of year 2012, I made a promise to myself that I would go out more often. Put myself out there and meet new people. 6 months has gone by, I think I’m doing good. For this first half of the year, I met loads of new faces. Some come and go, some stay as good friends, some left a lasting impression in my heart.


Although there are lots of ups and downs like a roller coaster, one day I’m walking on the clouds and the next I fell so bad with a bleeding wound. However, I’m strong enough to pick myself up and went through all of those. I’ve learned so much more about myself and what I’m looking for. 


I think year 2013 is treating pretty well so far, especially the month of May. I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2013 has prepared for me. I really hope, it’s something I’m hoping for. I have faith.

My version of fried rice

Posted in Food by Katharine on July 12, 2012

My fried rice isn’t the traditional type you’d find in a chinese restaurant, it is just something I put together very quick with lots of flavor. It only takes me 15 mins to make this if you don’t count the time to cook the rice. Perfect when I’m home alone and don’t have much in the fridge.

The basic ingredient includes: 1 cup of rice, some meat, 1 egg, 2 leafs of lettuce, 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce. You can build up your own fried rice from here.

and here’s what I actually cooked with today:

3/4 cup of rice (cooked)
9 shrimps
1 egg
2 leafs of lettuce

2 tbsp of sweet soy sauce
1 tsp of homemade Sichuan hot sauce
garlic powder
dry rosemary
sesame oil

1. Cook the rice.
I use 3/4 cup of rice only, as I’m not a big eater. So if you are using 1 full cup, prepare a little more sweet soy sauce for frying the rice. Also there’s no need to use leftover rice or put it in the fridge for a few hours. As long as your rice is not too soggy, it’s all fine. Don’t ask me how to cook the rice, I only use a rice cooker.

2. Prepare the meat
chop your meat into small strips, then it’s up to you to marinate it or not. Any marination is ok, basically I just throw whatever I found in my kitchen. Today I dumped in sesame oil, a bit of garlic powder and some dry rosemary on my shrimp. Otherwise, my mother usually season the meat with salty soy sauce, sugar, pepper and a dash of rice wine. Seriously, any sauce you like would work just fine. this is just to give the meat a bit more flavor.

3. Cook the meat
After the rice is cooked, start cooking the meat. I used butter to fry the marinated shrimps. After it’s just cooked, set the meat aside.

4. Egg
Depends on what’s left inside the pan, sometimes I’d wipe the excess oil off the pan first, but this time I didn’t since it’s some juicy butter…. So, beat 1 egg with a dash of milk and salt and pour it into the pan. Then it’s like making scramble egg. When the egg is starting to set, give it a stir and then put the cooked rice in. Then fry and mix everything well. Make sure there are no runny eggs insight, and the rice should get a bit drier by now. Medium heat would be fine for this step, try not to burn the egg or rice at this stage.

5. Soy sauce goes in.
I mixed 1 tsp of homemade sichuan hot sauce into the 2tbsp store-bought sweet soy sauce. If you don’t have sweet soy sauce, you can simply add honey or melt some sugar into regular salty soy sauce. (My mother don’t like fried rice to look brown, so instead she’d simply dash in salt and pepper onto the rice without soy sauce.) If you have some ginger, it’s great to mince a tiny little bit of it and add in at this time.  Keep the medium heat, then once all your sauce and seasoning goes on the rice, quickly stir fry the rice until the sauce is well blended in.  By this time, the rice should gets a little dry again: not as overly sticky and moist as when you first pour the seasoning in. The goal is to have the soy sauce well blended in with the rice evenly, so it’s adding flavor to the rice, not drinking soy sauce.

6. Meat and lettuce goes in.
Put in the cooked meat and lettuce. You can also add in some corns or beans too! Then I’d turn heat up and fry everything together until the lettuce looks cooked, about a minute. It’s great when a little bit of rice gets slightly burned, just slightly.


and it’s Done!

Best served with a cold beer.

so i was told

Posted in Uncategorized by Katharine on November 6, 2011

that I can get salmon at a VERY good price at Helsinki airport.
hmmm I wonder on my way back home, if the stores will still be opened…..

Preview of my trip

Posted in Uncategorized by Katharine on November 5, 2011

I’ve been spending lots of my free time searching around and planning my winter trip. I know I know, winter isn’t particularly the best time in the year to stomp around Europe. However, with the early bird ticket for winter, hell yaa. On the other hand, I thought, it would be nice to spend Christmas in Eastern Europe. It should be much more interesting than spending Christmas in Hong Kong, or even US. Anyway, I now have a much clearer picture of what I’ll be doing in each town. If you happened to come across this blog, you’re welcomed to leave me any suggestions.

It’s starting to become a habit of mine. Taking a non-direct flight, and make a at least 10-hours layover at the airport. Last time I did it was at the AMS-Amsterdam, took a 12 hours layover to see the Keukenhof garden and Leiden before heading to Rome. This time, I’ll be transferring at HEL-Helsinki. I never had the thought of visiting Helsinki, especially in December. But this is Christmas time, perfectly appropriate to see the home country of the Santa. Oh, I gotta send a Christmas card back home and sign it off as Santa.

The followings are what I’m expecting from my December trip!

1. Helsinki
My plan in Helsinki is to see the hallmark there (the church with the green dome), kick start my European Christmas Market trip at the square/park, and fill my stomach at the old market hall. I’m feeling the soup kitchen there, as I think after walking around in the cold, a hot soup would be like heaven. Too bad I won’t have time for a sauna, but that’s for another time.

2. Vienna
I remember the last time when I walked out the Centraal station in Amsterdam, I looked to the left and saw an old church/building under a beautiful lightings. For a second, I thought I could be in Vienna. But this time, it’ll be for real! Beautiful palaces and art are filling up my itinerary, I’m very excited to get the chance to stand in front of a Klimt painting, or pretend to be a princess standing inside the Schonbrunn. Also filling up my schedule are the Viennese desserts and coffee. I’m not sure if I’d love the schnitzel, but I guess I should give it a chance… I always thought Chritmas in Vienna sounds very romantic, we’ll see. It’s going to be full of art, culture and food.

For some reason, I expect Prague to be very different from the rest of my trip. I think it’s going to be very Eastern European, and more of a medieval feel…. Apart from the Prague castle and the lesser town, I think what I’ll be doing here will be less of a attraction hopping trip. More of a strolling around and take in the medieval eastern european vibe. I’m also looking forward to see the church decorated in bones, and the Mucha museum.

4. Dresden
This wasn’t in the plan, but it is on my way from Prague to Berlin. Plus, I read the Dresden got a good Christmas Market there. I think it could be nice to visit this famously once destroyed city. There’s something about visiting a historically significant site, even there’s not too much around to see. I’ll also see the green vault, and compare to what I saw in Vienna I guess……

5. Berlin
This is pretty much the whole reason of my trip. I’ve been always wanting to visit Berlin. But it’s so out of the way from other European Cities I visited previously. So I told myself, next time I’m going to Europe, I have to see this city for its design scene. There’s something so nice about German design. Clean lines, minimal, functional with a good quality. Everyone kinda told me it’s not that interesting to see the wall, but I surely think it’s a must-do on my list. Again, it’s historically significant. (I even been to the Omaha Beach in France, so how can I miss this wall?) Culinary wise, I’m hoping to try different bits of everything. A bit of German, plus a lot of ethnical food. I’m going to be in Berlin over Dec 24 and 25, So I surely will get a nice christmas dinner over there. But so far, the place I’m interested is an Italian Restaurant…. it feels a bit wrong to spend Christmas in Berlin, eating Italian food……

6. Copenhagen
A bus will take me to Copenhagen overnight. Not going to stay here long, as it’s hell expensive there. I can hardly find a decent hostel in my budget. so at the end, I decided what the hell, I’ll shorten my stay into two nights, and splurge a little on accommodation. Not an extremely fancy place, but will be a nice change from hostels. I was thinking of a visit to the home of Hamlet, or a day trip to Sweden. However, it seems there will be enough to keep me busy in Copenhagen alone. Palaces and some art with shopping trips in between. But what gets my heart pumping is the food there. I’ve heard so much about Copenhagen’s food revolutionary.All the fresh fish and sandwiches seems very delicious on my screen.

1. Can’t afford a meal at Noma in Copenhagen
2. Hard to find any reasonably priced restaurants that intrigue me in Prague.
3. A bit hard to plan what to do in Berlin as it’s the week of Christmas.
4. Not sure if I can handle visiting all those Christmas Market.
5. Can’t get over point #1

Hotels.com… you mada me so angry today.

Posted in Uncategorized by Katharine on October 19, 2011

For every business trip, I’ve always search for rooms from the hotels.com, and booked through them several times. Really liked the special deals they have going on, as i often found better price from them. So for my personal trips coming up this December, of course I searched around on their site and found that I’d like to spend a little more than usual for a 2 night stays in Hotel 27 at Copenhagen.

At hotels.com, they are advertising the room at 117euro per night (with a “save 10%” discount included). Compare to the 133euro at hotel27’s official website, it seems to be a great bargain. Since I trust the website, I went ahead and booked it on hotels.com without double checking the maths…

Right after my, I realized the Tax and FEE is 58 euro! So I quickly went to hotel27.dk and didn’t see them charging any tax……

in short :
Hotels.com charged me 292.5 euro
vs Hotel27.dk would only charge me 265.91 euro

It’s about 30 euro of difference. Why on earth are they charging 58euro for tax and fee when the hotel itself doesn’t even charge a dime?!I know it’s not a huge amount, but enough to make me angry and don’t want to use them again. As the whole experience just makes me feel that hotels.com isn’t being that honest with their customers: while advertising special discounts, they’re totally making it up through their rather expensive “fees”.

Why should anyone use hotels.com when you can simply book right from the hotel? What’s the point of Hotels.com when they are not even trying to save you money?!



up coming trips!

Posted in Uncategorized by Katharine on August 25, 2011

I’ve always wanted to go to see Beijing, the capital of China. I mean being a chinese, I really should head up north and see it, right? I’ve never been to anywhere in China further north of Shanghai. Which I have to say was slightly disappointing to my taste. It was a little too commercial, people a little too rude…. anyway. But I’ve heard Beijing has more old historic stuff, and a bit more artsy. I hope it won’t let me down. ok, I know the Peking duck won’t…

So the Style HK @ Beijing exhibition is kind of like trade show i guess. My Mandarin sucks. I hope I can survive thru it. urgh. I hate speaking mandarin. bu hopefully the sale will be well. maybe I can get a bonus after the show haha.

After the show in October, I’ve booked myself a ticket to Europe for December 😀 Can’t wait. and it’ll be my first time flying with Finnair. Went with this airline was because of the promotion. I’ve been hearing lots of great stuff about this airline. I really look forward to get on their plane and see it for myself. Ha, I really hope they would have ipads for passengers by then. hahah

Making a long transfer stop at Helsinki, which should be enough time for me to run into the city, grab some good food, and check out one or two spots to get a feel of this city. It better not to have a snow storm.

Then Finnair will take me to Vienna. Some people told me they don’t really spend much time there. but I really can’t see how can i cut it down below 4 days. There are just way too much museums and palaces I want to see… After days of world class museum at Vienna, I’ll head north to Prague. I think the old town would be very lovely to see, and I got to see that skeleton church nearby.

Then my journey continue to Berlin. A place I’ve been wanting to visit for a while, for the amazing design and art scene. God, I wish Maximilian will be playing in a bar by then. I don’t even care if he’d be just playing in the street. If he’s out playing, I’ll be there.

After the Christmas day, I’ll be at Copenhagen. Damn this city is expensive. So I’ll be staying for 2 nights only before catching my flight home.

So here’s a summery:

Oct 2- Oct 8 : Beijing
Dec 10: Helsinki
Dec 11-14: Vienna
Dec 15-18: Prague
Dec 19-20: Dresden
Dec 21-25: Berlin
Dec 26-28: Copenhagen

Now need to look for hotel,
and bus tickets.


Thoughts on “good design”

Posted in Uncategorized by Katharine on August 20, 2011

One of my favorite things to do on a train is to read, and recently I love reading feedly through my beloved HTC phone. This morning, I came across an article from the blog of 2Modern.com talking about “What is good design?

This question is always fun and inspiring to think of. Because as you keep on thinking, examples of well designed stuff starts to appear in your head one after another. It’s just so nice to remember all those things that had wowed me and amazed me before.

Then, I looked at my Tweetdeck, and there’s a tweet from @2Modern asking their followers about what they think a good design is. Here is my answer:

I think good design roughly falls into 2 categories: The kind that makes your life easier, and the kind that makes it happier.

So far, that is how I identify good design. It could be some world changing (and life saving) idea such as the needle-free vaccination from IDEO; or it can simply be a spray bottle with wild fun pattern on from Pylones. It either makes our life easier and make this a better place to live, or it simply put a smile on our face.

I love basic t-shirts

Posted in Fashion by Katharine on August 11, 2011

Sometimes it puzzles me a little when I look at people’s blog, seeing the fashionistas spend lots of time and thoughts into mixing and matching their clothes to create an outfit to wear for the day. Nothing’s wrong with that. In fact, as a fashion designer, I need to thank everyone who do that everyday. Otherwise fashion wouldn’t be sort after, and I wouldn’t even have a job.

But then, I just can’t understand what motivates people to dress up every single day. Unless I’m going to meet any clients, all I want to do is just to put on a basic t-shirt with jeans and run off to the studio and work. No one really cares what you’re wearing when you’re drafting patterns and fitting garments. The guys wouldn’t be all hitting on me all of a sudden if I changed into heels (nor I am seeking attention from anyone at this point).

Compare to creating clothes, I don’t quite care as much on what clothes I’m wearing. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with stripping down to the basic pieces, and focus on the more important stuff. Sometimes I think people need to prioritize things a little better. Do your job first, and pretty up yourself after.

Actually I don’t even spent more than 10mins to put make up on. I find it a little ironic that I’m in the fashion industry as I’m one of those girls who don’t like to dress up and get all dolled up everyday.

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Posted in Uncategorized by Katharine on June 21, 2011

It was very interesting that we got a Justin Bieber look-alike at my work’s building. People talked and the words spread out so fast that by the end of his first day at work, pretty much everyone working on the same floor knows about it. lol.

The weather was really nice in the morning. Clear blue sky, all the colours around me just looked really vibrant under the sun. But then it started to rain in the afternoon -_-