5th Dec 2013. Rose petals literally fell from the sky at the star-studded grand opening of Hong Kong’s new Timothy Oulton gallery, nestled nicely at home in the heart of Wanchai’s quirky, creative community.
Film star Michael Wong, model and actor Carl Ng, and socialite and fashion blogger Tina Leung were among a vibrant crowd of over 200 friends, customers and press.
The excitement had already started days before the big event, with a customary bowler hat march. Our boys in black strode through the bustling city streets, while an entourage of colourful Minis turned some heads, driven by some rather stylishly dressed ‘English gentlemen’.
The new gallery is situated on St Francis Street, one of the interesting lanes that make up the trendy Star Street Precinct, a centre for culture and the arts. Full of history, the site was once home to Hong Kong’s first power station in 1899. Entrepreneurs and artisans have now lined the leafy streets with stylish galleries, cosy cafes and eclectic boutiques.
With its outside façade of 300 bowler hats and more than 200 square metres of space spread over three floors, the gallery aims to set a new standard for creating a unique, quirky retail space; an intention Timothy Oulton aims to expand throughout Asia.
At the grand opening night, we started as we mean to go on – it’s all about the detail. 1200 rose petals were showered upon guests as they walked in, with a further 1000 red roses inside. Two British guards stood to attention at the entrance, next to our now famous bulldogs who showed off a dash of canine style in their own bowler hats. To mark the occasion, a magnum bottle of Veuve Clicquot was smashed against the wall in a celebratory fashion.
Inside, guests were treated to a true Timothy Oulton experience. Our signature scent filled the air, British rock and roll music played, and stunning models in Chinese dresses, made from British tweed, handed out champagne. East met west with a delicious mix of bowler hat and Union Jack cupcakes, and fortune cookies containing the message ‘life is better with a bowler hat’.
And to prove the point, we gave out bowler hats to everyone at the party. Fashion blogger Tina Leung pulled off the look exceedingly well, as she posed next to our pillar of knowledge.
So let’s wander through the gallery, because excitingly this is the first time Hong Kong will be presented with our best range of furniture, following the select sample available at our Gough Street inspiration store. From the bottom up, the ground floor is home to a ruggedly sophisticated range of bags and personal accessories, displayed in our much loved signature drums. The top two floors showcase a range of our best Timothy Oulton furniture, including the kitchen collection.
A trove of treasures is discovered around every corner, including our collection of authentic vintage pieces, like these fabulous old riding boots, and the mesmerizing spectacle of our moving drum display suspended from the ceiling.
Tim Oulton said of the opening: “We are thrilled to open our next store in Hong Kong. It is dear to our heart, and where our global expansion first started. This place is very special to us, both because of its distinct British background and uniquely fast-paced environment. There is an unmistakable connection between Hong Kong and Timothy Oulton.