Olivia Lee-Davies

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S “tyle is a way to say who you are with­out hav­ing to speak,” says Olivia Lee-davies with an en­gag­ing smile. “It’s a quote by Rachel Zoe that I’ve al­ways loved be­cause you have noth­ing to lose and ev­ery­thing to gain from be­ing brave— so chal­lenge your­self to wear some­thing dif­fer­ent. If you don’t look good one evening, who cares?” This light-hearted ap­proach to life and fash­ion is not what one ex­pects from Lee­Davies, one of Hong Kong’s most prom­i­nent so­cialites and a lead­ing fig­ure in a num­ber of fields. But she got to where she is to­day by think­ing out­side the box. Com­ing from a big fam­ily with nine chil­dren, Lee-davies has al­ways be­lieved she was dif­fer­ent from her sis­ters, both phys­i­cally and men­tally. “I don’t have the look of a typ­i­cal Asian woman and I think I re­belled be­cause I al­ways felt I wasn’t the same as the oth­ers,” she says. “I started a ca­reer in advertising at 18 and mar­ried the fol­low­ing year, so I sup­pose you could say I was very busy from a young age.” A few years later, Lee-davies took a pause from advertising to look af­ter her four chil­dren. Af­ter the chil­dren had started school, she opened a se­ries of bou­tiques called Peggy Boyd and dab­bled in in­te­rior de­sign. “A few friends came to my apart­ment and loved it—and begged me re­design their places,” she says. “So I did one or two as a favour, and sud­denly I had 10 peo­ple ring­ing me up ask­ing me to give them styling ad­vice.” Af­ter build­ing a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in in­te­rior de­sign, Lee-davies was ap­proached by Bar­rie C Goodridge, the chair­man and

Jacket and gown by Ralph Lau­ren; Sch­lum­berger Bird on a Rock brooch in yel­low gold and plat­inum with mor­gan­ite and di­a­monds, bracelet in plat­inum with di­a­monds, ring in plat­inum with red spinel and di­a­monds (right hand), and ring in plat­inum with fancy in­tense yel­low diamond and di­a­monds (left hand), all by Tif­fany & Co.

CEO of Edi­presse Asia, who asked her to join the Hong Kong Tatler team as so­cial editor. “I ar­rived at Tatler in mid-au­gust 2006 and I had five weeks to or­gan­ise the an­nual ball— so it was a busy time as we had no venue or guest list,” she says with a laugh. “But some­one asked me the other day which of my ca­reers I en­joyed the most and I in­stantly said media—and I have Bar­rie to thank for that. It was lovely work­ing there be­cause ev­ery­body would come into the of­fice in beau­ti­ful de­signer out­fits and we’d chat about clothes on our cof­fee breaks. That’s some­thing I don’t have ac­cess to in my new job.” Lee-davies is cur­rently flaunt­ing her skills in the won­der­ful world of tele­vi­sion at TVB, but giv­ing up her post at a fash­ion mag­a­zine hasn’t stopped her from wear­ing all her favourite de­sign­ers to the of­fice. Cur­rently, they in­clude Roland Mouret, Gi­ambat­tista Valli, Mary Ka­trant­zou and Este­ban Cortázar. Af­ter all her years at Tatler Tow­ers, Lee­Davies also has some ex­pert style ad­vice to share. “The first thing ev­ery woman needs to un­der­stand is her shape,” she says. “For ex­am­ple, if you’re busty, then show your neck­line or you’ll look ma­tronly. By con­trast, if you’re slim with long hair, then round necks look beau­ti­ful. You also need to know what works for your age, and then you can look to dif­fer­ent cul­tures and eras for in­spi­ra­tion. But most of all, re­mem­ber that fash­ion is fun—so al­ways en­joy your­self.”

This page: Gown by Mai­son Rabih Kay­rouz; Sch­lum­berger Bird on a Rock brooch in yel­low gold and plat­inum with amethyst and di­a­monds, and ear­rings in plat­inum and white gold, both by Tif­fany & Co.

Open­ing spread: Dress by Gi­ambat­tista Valli, avail­able at Net-a-porter; neck­lace in plat­inum with di­a­monds by Tif­fany & Co.

Group photo: Dress by Este­ban Cortázar; ear­rings and neck­lace in plat­inum with di­a­monds, ring in plat­inum with green tour­ma­line and di­a­monds (right hand), and ring in plat­inum with sap­phire and di­a­monds (left hand), all by Tif­fany & Co.

Gown by Yolan­cris, avail­able at Cen­tral Wed­dings; neck­lace in plat­inum with di­a­monds and mor­gan­ite by Tif­fany & Co.

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