The Coveteur: Lily Kwong

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Dolce_Gabbana_Lily_Kwong-73Model, Designer. New York

She graduated from Columbia with full honors, calls none other thanJoseph Altuzarra family, has her own non-profit organization, has a place on every best-dressed list and is practically a 21st Century Audrey Hepburn. No, seriously—we dare you to take one look at her delicate, gamine-like features and that perfectly polished yet just-undone-enough braided updo and tell us otherwise. If she wasn’t so nice, we might just have to hate her. Kidding! Kind of.

If it wasn’t entirely obvious by now, we’re talking about none other than Lily Kwong, who we caught up with over at the Soho Grand Hotel (along with our pals from ELLE Magazine). And while we may have previously convinced Kwong to divulge the details of her beauty cabinet (hint: there was a lot of Clarins involved); this time, Kwong brought along a suitcase that exercised her penchant for ultra-feminine all-Dolce & Gabbana-everything. Think: sky-high, polka dot wedges, dramatic gilded gold jewelry, impeccably tailored, Monica Bellucci-appropriate shift-dresses and intricately-embroidered clutches. Oh, and one seriously lush, full-length fur coat that practically had us floored with a mean case of holy-sh*t-we-need-that-right-now-syndrome.

Over the afternoon, we chatted everything from cinematic style crushes (“Lady Brett Ashley, the ‘damned good looking’ heroine from The Sun Also Rises—she’s my kind of sexy tomboy.  A woman that is self-possessed, witty and intelligent”) to international travels (“I’m dying to go see the botanical gardens in Singapore. My favorite city to travel to is Paris, it feels like a second home”) and just about everything in between. And as we downed cappuccinos, we watched as Kwong frolicked in front of our photog Jake’s camera, her proclivity for all things polka dots, sky-high pumps and cocktail frocks on full display. Not bad for a supposed reformed tomboy, right? Kwong confessed, “I’m a tomboy at heart—I vaguely remember my cousin Joseph Altuzarra teaching me how to walk in high heels at the tender age of 19.” We mean, is that a Kwong Kodak moment or what?


Dress and Watch, Dolce & Gabbana


“I studied Urban Planning [at Columbia University] because I’m so passionate about travel and development. The juggling act wasn’t always graceful, I remember hiding full ready-to-wear looks under big coats to class before red carpets and taking a red-eye from Paris to make a Monday morning ‘Global Urbanism’ class—but I managed to pull it off somehow.”

Coat, Dolce & Gabbana


All, Dolce & Gabbana


“My favorite city to travel to is Paris, it feels like a second home. I am always inspired to write and explore there. My favorite Parisian haunts: Musée Rodin, Boulangerie Poilâne, Archives de la Presse, and La Palette. I’m also dying to go see the botanical gardens in Singapore.”

Dress, Dolce & Gabbana


Dress and Watch, Dolce & Gabbana


All, Dolce & Gabbana


“My first ever modeling gig was pretty humorous. Theo Wenner shot me for Dossier Magazine with his friend, Zac Posen, who has since become a friend of mine. For them it was just good fun. I remember running around Theo’s place in the Hamptons in a blonde wig, with Zac even doing my make-up. I was so nervous at the time… it really cracks me up looking back!”

Shoes and Earrings, Dolce & Gabbana


“My favorite moment of Fashion Week is the Altuzarra show. I love supporting my cousin Joseph—It is a real family affair. My aunt and uncle come from Paris, my 83 year-old grandma flies in from San Francisco, my brother shows up to support, and Joseph’s brother comes all the way from Singapore. We follow up the Saturday night show with a family brunch on Sunday morning. It is a special event for all of us, especially Joseph!

My least favorite part about fashion week? How little sleep I get!”

Watch and Bracelet, Dolce & Gabbana


Dress and Watch, Dolce & Gabbana


“These days I’m doing a ton of travelling, so every day is a little different. I work with a landscape/urban design firm that has projects in fourteen countries and on five continents, so I’m a busy woman! In between meetings, writing and research, I carve out time to work on my product lines, LK Collection cell phone cases and sunglasses, and sometimes am able to squeeze in a fashion shoot. As for routine, I can say my day always starts with dark coffee and ends with a good sweat. JetSet Pilates, AeroSpace and Equinox group classes are favorites.”

Shoes and Bag, Dolce & Gabbana


“I’m a tomboy at heart. I vaguely remember my cousin Joseph Altuzarra teaching me how to walk in high heels at the tender age of 19.”

Shoes, Dolce & Gabbana


All, Dolce & Gabbana


All, Dolce & Gabbana


“I like to keep it simple. The best beauty products in my opinion are clean food, lots of sleep and regular exercise.”

Watch, Dolce & Gabbana


Dress and Watch, Dolce & Gabbana


“There are so many people [I want to work with], but given that I just finished ‘The Eye Has to Travel’, I would say for the moment, Diana Vreeland. This book left me with the impression that she was a vivacious, inspired and sincere woman—all beautiful qualities to work with!”

Bag and Bracelet, Dolce & Gabbana


Dress and Watch, Dolce & Gabbana


“Biggest guilty pleasure? 90’s R&B.”

Clutch, Dolce & Gabbana


All, Dolce & Gabbana


“In my bag you can always find: my Moleskine notebook, SmartWater, Blackberry & iPhone, Clarins UV Plus sunscreen, Tumi mobile charging pack, and a good book—right now Frederick Law Olmsted’s ‘Landscape into Cityscape.'”

Shoes and Bag, Dolce & Gabbana


“Candice Lake and I roaming the streets of Shanghai when we were shooting a story for Vogue Australia, was a pretty wonderful mis-adventure. We didn’t have a translator and at one point, a tuk-tuk driver didn’t understand our request for a shot on the back of his little rickshaw and started driving off with me! The entire Vogue fashion team running behind him trying to get him to stop in China’s traffic was a very memorable moment.”

Skirt, Dolce & Gabbana


All, Dolce & Gabbana


“I can’t start my day without reading the paper—I have so many notebooks it’s a little crazy. I still write most of my notes longhand, otherwise it just doesn’t seem to stick.”

Shoes and Watch, Dolce & Gabbana


All, Dolce & Gabbana


“Lady Brett Ashley, the ‘damned good looking’ heroine from ‘The Sun Also Rises,’ she’s my kind of sexy tomboy. A woman that is self-possessed, witty and intelligent—that combination never goes out of style.”

Shoes and Coat, Dolce & Gabbana


Dress and Watch, Dolce & Gabbana


“We’ve developed a line of luxury tech accessories (LK Collection) after much research and development. The materials include ostrich, pony, fine leather and precious metals. The line was inspired by my super fashion-forward friends – they always had their iPhone in hand but these crappy rubber cases. We developed a really beautiful product and I’m excited to unveil the next season.”

Watches, Dolce & Gabbana


All, Dolce & Gabbana

Source: The Coveteur


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