— Hong Kong Fashion Shows Which Lila Organised

After the war mom decided that it’d be better for the Linen Chest to branch out into ladies’ fashion and accessories and what better way to start than hosting fashion shows for various charitable events!

The window into the Linen Chest – there is a photo of Lindy modelling something on the right hand side 😉 (Click to enlarge)


The Linen Chest became Paquerette in the early 1950s and it remained so until it was sold to Joyce Ma in the early 1970s.


1948 – Fashion Show to Restore the Library of KGV School

In 1948 the Linen Chest sponsored a fashion show on the Roof Garden of the Hongkong Hotel in order to restore the library of KGV School.  Lady Grantham opened the show and the music was provided by dad, Victor Orloff and A Krassoff, with Jenny as vocalist.


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Program KGV

Those involved with the fashion show to raise funds for KGV’s library (Click to enlarge)


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I have a suspicion that this photo was in some way connected to the fashion show, only because it shows mom (on the left) and Joanna Ramsey (2nd from right in white) and a mother who’s hugging her son in KGV’s summer uniform! 😮

Perhaps it was a cocktail or tea party either pre- or post- show?

As you can see from the list of acknowledgements, Ronald’s wife, Joanna, was MC and if my memory serves me well, she would have been a hoot! She was really such a character and had a very dry sense of humour 😀

According to the news article which dad saved, mom trained all the models and she also designed three of the gowns shown there! What a talented lady! 🙂


1949 – Fashion Show at Eucliff

Then a year later in October 1949, the Linen Chest organised another fashion show at Eucliffe, a castle which was built in the 1930s on the rocks of Repulse Bay.


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dad repulse bay

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Eucliffe article

The only ones I can identify in the photo below are my mother (lady in black 😉 ), my aunt (2nd from right), and Miss H Anderson (standing next to my mother on the left of this photo).


1949 October 12 – the models for the Linen Chest’s fashion show standing on the front porch of Eucliff


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Photo of Jenny in Eucliff during the fashion show (Click to enlarge)



1949 – “Fight for Sight” Charity Ball

There was another show which was put on by the Rotary Club to raise funds for the Trachoma Clinic, where mom not only designed the outfits but had them made locally.


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I typed out the right hand article as it was very faint so you can read it HERE.


Mom modelling her dress at the anti-Trachoma ball held at the Gripps (Click to enlarge)



1949 April … mom and her models for the charity ball in aid of the anti-Trachoma Clinic held at the Gripps, HK Hotel (Click to enlarge)

Models : Miss H Anderson (sitting in front), Mrs A R H Esmail, Mrs J W Harper, Mrs M Muskett, Mrs P Pike, Mrs G Parks (left side of photo with black gloves), Mrs D Walker and Mrs M Yatskin (right side of photo in white gown).  I’m afraid I can’t put names to the other models 🙁

It was pretty good to see that the organisers of the event managed to get the ferries to keep running till 2am so that those who attended the show could get back home without having to suffer the indignity of clambering onto a wallah wallah!!


1950 – “Kamp for Kids” Charity Ball

Another fashion show which the Linen Chest organised was for the Kamp for Kids in 1950 …

Kamp for kids_1 Kamp for kids


Kamp for Kids program cover

I see that Mr D S Hill was the president of the Rotary Club.  He and his wife Naomi became great friends of my parents and their daughter, Deidre, was a good friend of my sister.



FashionShowProgram_Cover FashionShowProgramFront

(1) Constance Crew | (2) Eva Kilbee | (3) Luba Skvorzov | (4) Ira Smirnoff | (5) Lila Parks |
(6) Jenny Yatskin

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You can read what the China Mail said about the fashion show HERE.


1953 – Fashion Show in the Aid for the Sea Training School

Lindy was a very attractive young girl so when mom had fashion shows, Lindy was always happy to model for Paquerette’s.

These photos were taken at a fashion show at the Sky Room in 1953, when Lindy was 13!  The Master of Ceremonies was John Wallace, a well known radio announcer who had a part in the 1959 film “Ferry to Hong Kong” as a police inspector  😉

The fashion show was in the aid of the Sea Training School and was a huge hit with all the society ladies!  Lindy and her friends from KGV were showing off new styles of dresses from the States.  As well as all the adults who modelled their gowns, they also had youngsters, all around my age and whom I knew, showing off their dresses.

I doubt mom would have asked me to parade and if she did, I would have said an emphatic NO. I was not model-material and was as gawky as can be 🙂

You can read the newspaper report about the show HERE.

1953 : Lindy with some of her school friends sitting in the front row. L-R: Helen Feldman, Lindy, Lyn Ramsay and Sheila Dyer

Mom on the microphone next to John Wallace



1955 – High Styles for the High Seas on the m/v Victoria

Mom organised a fashion show on board the “Victoria” featuring summer dresses from Paquerette’s and one of the models was Lindy.



1958 – Concours d’Elegance

In 1958 mom designed a black and turquoise dress and hat for Lindy to wear in the Concours d’Elegance –  go with the Studebaker Champion which had the same colours – black and turquoise –  driven by Ian Donaldson, who, like Lindy, worked for the Bank.

Lindy won first prize 😀

You can read the SCMP article about the Concours d’Elegance HERE.


1960 – April Affair

L-R : The entrance of the Miramar Hotel, my mother welcoming Lady Black, my father, Alex Wu (Jaycee president), Lady Black and Lady Bastyn (Click to enlarge)


On April 6, 1960, mom had a fashion show at the Miramar Hotel in Kowloon. It was to raise funds for the Jaycee World Refugee Year project and Lindy was a model in the show. Three other names which I remember were Flora Henningsen, Kiki Norman and May Alveres, all friends of my mother.

The newspaper account of the fashion show was hard to read when scanned so I’ve made a transcript of the article, which you can read HERE  😀


Mom was involved with several other fashion shows over the years and they included …

amongst others  😀



Home » -- Hong Kong Fashion Shows Which Lila Organised » 1947-1960 ~ fashion shows which Lila was involved in

1947-1960 ~ fashion shows which Lila was involved in

My mother was involved with many fashion shows in HK during the late 1940s to the mid-1960s

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Home » -- Hong Kong Fashion Shows Which Lila Organised » Eucliffe Fashion Show - Oct 12, 1949

Eucliffe Fashion Show - Oct 12, 1949

A fashion show which mom organised for the Linen Chest which took place at Eucliffe

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Home » -- Hong Kong Fashion Shows Which Lila Organised » "Fight for Sight" Fashion Show @ the Gripps in the HK Hotel

"Fight for Sight" Fashion Show @ the Gripps in the HK Hotel

Pictures of some of the models who were also at Eucliffe practising for the "Fight for Sight" fashion show at the Gripps at the HK Hotel

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More interesting information about Eucliff …

This castle was built by Eu Tong Sen, one of three castles he built in Hong Kong during the 1930s.

Apparently he was told by a fortune teller that, to ensure a long and healthy life, he should keep building.

I guess he thought three castles were enough but he kept on improving his castles, so that the building was ongoing! His other castles were Euston Castle on Bonham Road, Mid-Levels, and Sirmio on Tai Po Road in the New Territories.

Unfortunately there were some very ugly happenings in Eucliff when the Japanese invaded 🙁

“The prisoners were taken to Eucliff, a Chinese millionaire’s castle on the north shore of Repulse Bay. Having been beaten up by rifle butts, their hands were tightly bound behind their backs and they were prodded forward with bayonets to the edge of the cliff. They were then forced to sit facing the sea with their feet dangling over the edge. “We knew that we were going to be shot because on top of the bank were pools of blood and at the bottom of the cliff there were dozens of bodies,” stated Company Sergeant Major Hamlon of the Royal Rifles at the post-war War Crimes Trial. “It was evident that they had been shot on top of the cliff and fallen down. Then a firing squad came forward and we were all shot. Owing to the fact that I turned my head to the left as I was being fired at, the bullet passed through my neck and came out of my right cheek. I did not lose consciousness and the force of the bullet hitting me knocked me free from the others and I rolled down the cliff.” He lay at the cliff’s foot bleeding all day until dark when he moved “a mess of blood” into a dank cave where he remained shivering as Japanese sentries patrolled above. Later 54 bodies were found in the area. Many had been shot, others bayoneted to death and the rest beheaded.”
[Source: “Not the Slightest Chance” by Tony Banham]

HISTORY – The Long-Lost Haunted Castles of Hong Kong – learn about Eucliff and the other two castles Eu Tong Sen built in Hong Kong.

The Ghost of Eucliffe


A video clip of Repulse Bay and Eucliffe taken in the very early 1950s…











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