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1 February 2012 0:28 | 0 comment | Posted by

5 Things I Cannot Live Without… Sarah Rutson. Plus: A Peek Inside Her Closet

Sarah Rutson, fashion director of Lane Crawford. Photo courtesy of Lane Crawford

Sarah Rutson’s official title is fashion director of luxury department store Lane Crawford. She is tasked to set and realize the seasonal trends for the store, as well as to establish a relationship and create collaborative projects with international designers. Her unofficial title is street style muse, the subject of countless photographs on the internet and thousands of comments that celebrate and praise her incredibly chic personal style.

Below, Sarah shares the Five Things She Cannot Live Without…

1. Creme de la Mer. I’m the laziest person alive regarding anything beauty. Crème de la Mer hydrates so well. I’m sure I would look like a crocodile handbag if I didn’t use this as I love the sun.

2. My hairstylist, Justin Paul Chambers at Salon Chandler in Hong Kong.  He has done my hair and color for 18 years. He’s a great confidant and we talk about so many varied subjects when I sit in his chair

3. My daughter Eliza. She is my everything. She makes me smile and laugh and feel happy more than anything in this world could possibly offer.

4. Alaia shoes. I always work from my feet up and Alaias are simply heaven to wear on the feet and worth every penny I spend on them.

5. My rescue animals – dogs and cats. I couldn’t live in a home without animals, it would feel empty without them. They ask for nothing in return and give so much back. Please adopt from a shelter, don’t buy. I have two rescued dogs, Lola and Charlie, and five cats rescued from bins and drains around Hong Kong.

Last year Sarah opened up her closet to me for a column I do for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. An excerpt follows plus some photographs of her fashion treasures.

“You would be disappointed by my closet,” confesses Sarah Rutson, Lane Crawford’s infallibly chic fashion director as she opens her walk-in closet. This comes as a surprise as Sarah and her clothes are constantly discussed and dissected in minute detail in the blogosphere. “People come here and they are like, ‘Oh my god, you don’t have much!’ They expect me to have a wardrobe the size of an apartment,” she says.

Sarah’s closet is like a well-curated museum where the pieces are prized not only for their good design but also for their longevity and versatility. There are no standout pieces that are identifiable to a particular season. Make no mistake though, it is filled with designer labels from Lanvin, Givenchy, Celine, Helmut Lang, Haider Ackermann, Rick Owens, but the clothes work well with each other, transcending trends and the styles of their respective designer houses. Hers are solid, investment pieces that can be worn and reinterpreted over and over again. “It is a highly edited and refined wardrobe. It has a simple and clean color palette, mostly in solids with very few prints,” she stresses adding, “Everything I have is a design classic. This is why there is nothing in my closet that I ever regret buying.”

What Sarah has a lot of are shoes, beautiful and extravagant shoes that would make many salivate with lust and envy. Christian Louboutins, check. Nicholas Kirkwood, check. Valentino, check. Alaia, double check. “My shoe collection is 90 per cent Alaia,” she says. “I don’t scrimp on shoes. I don’t wear cheap shoes. And I am either in very high heels or very flat shoes.”

Watch this space every Wednesday for more Five Things I Cannot Live Without

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Sarah Rutson in her walk-in closet; a pair of Nicholas Kirkwood shoes with one of her DIY belts, a men's watch and vintage earrings. Photos by Earl Wan

Sarah's shoe closet that is filled with Alaias and Louboutins among many other designer labels; her bag collection and more of her DIY belts; Sarah with Thakoon in Hong Kong. Closet photos by Earl Wan