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29.9.12

20bytwo.

 A couple weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a cross-cultural collaboration by Singapore-based fashion media startup FashionSpace and Malaysia's "definitive fashion platform" Tongue In Chic. It was a wonderful idea to bring together 20 of South East Asia's most promising design talents in a celebration of emerging potential, and meeting with many of these designers provided me with a wonderful, behind-the-scenes peek into the glorious world of fashion design. It's impossible to include the nitty-gritty details of every single one of the beautiful collections and designs I witnessed at 20bytwo, but I'll do my best to sum it all up in this lengthy post!


Lauren Jasmine - "World of Pure Imagination"
--> "It's that incredible feeling of losing yourself in another world, one that fascinates you, captivates your senses and leaves you enthralled." 
~  
Lauren Jasmine's stunning AW12 collection (their 5th collection to date!) was easily one of my favorites; showcasing a medley of enchanting separates, each with it's own authentic source of storybook inspiration. Each of the pieces are named after a bold female character (in most cases, a fictional one!) who has touched the lives of the Singapore designer duo in one way or another, namely Elphaba from Wicked!, Matilda from Roald Dahl's acclaimed novel, Coco Chanel, Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice," and several more. The collection remains true to the Lauren Jasmine identity of ladylike, work-appropriate silhouettes and fabrics, but draws a heavy dose of inspiration from the realm of fantasy and historical opulence. From the luscious fabrics to the daring asymmetrical cuts, this collection boasts formality for the office, effortlessness for daily wear, and a fairytale charm that complies with absolutely any dress code life throws at you. 
Amen {Femme} - "Transmission"
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 The daring plaid pantsuits and the gothic jewelry; "Transmission" certainly hit the spot for me. A local label run by couple Clinton and Nicole, Amen originally consisted of only menswear, and this AW12 marks the debut collection of their female line "Femme" and their jewelry line, both shown in the pictures above. The title "Transmission" suggests a seamless progression of the label from menswear to jewelry/womenswear, and the collection itself aims to break away from the stereotypes of mass-market womenswear, and cultivate a unique, edgy and androgynous persona with a strong sense of style. I don't know whether I could pull off any of the artistic extremities this collection possesses, however I thoroughly enjoy the understated glamor and muted palette of this stunning debut. 
 By Invite Only - "A Maritime Collection"
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I fell head over Sperry's in love with this deliciously nautical jewellery collection as soon as friendly Singapore designer Trixie Khong welcomed me to her booth and talked me through her stunning, handmade designs. I am SUCH a sucker for anything nautical and "boaty," and the fact that most of these pieces actually function (It's good to have a working compass around your neck, you never know when you'll need it!)... Gosh, I'm completely sold. By Invite Only brings jewellery design to such an authentic new level; the miraculous amounts of detail and precision in each unique piece almost resemble that of a Proenza runway look! I can only imagine the vast amounts of care and patience needed to hand-make such breathtaking pieces, so props to Trixie!
 
Al&Alicia - "The Girl From Back Then"
 
Easily another one of my absolute FAVORITES from the night, Al&Alicia's AW12 collection was brimming with nostalgia and wearable, down-to-earth pieces; perfect for anyone with a young soul and youthful spirit. The wanderlust-y shots were set against a sun-drenched backdrop of exposed tree roots and foliage as well as a grassy midnight setting, which couldn't be more perfect for the juvenile, tender theme. The wearability and aesthetic of the collection reminded me very much of Topshop (which is never a bad thing at all!), and it struck a perfect balance between "safe" pieces and slightly riskier ones, making for the perfect day-to-day wardrobe of an anyone seeking a little adventure or excitement.
Alia Bastamam - "Raya" AW12
Alia Bastamam's latest collection "Raya" was conceived with the goal of updating, modernizing and reinventing traditional Malay clothing in light of the opulent, colorful festivals of Hari Raya. While most of the clothes remain conservative to respect the Malay culture, a certain few pieces are injected with undeniable sex appeal through the use of high-leg slits, exposed backs and midriff cut-outs. This successful Malaysian brand caters to brides, celebrities, and sophisticated women with a concrete taste for beautiful clothing. Bastamam's proud signature is the crepe silk toga dress, which is recreated and updated in every collection. With a penchant for luxury fabrics which "feel as good as they look," Alia Bastamam is leaning towards the use of cotton-silk blend for their upcoming Resort 2013 collection, so be sure to keep your eyes open for that!
 
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sur Originating in Kuala Lumpur (hence the KL in "KLutched"), KLutched proudly brings forward a glittering series of highly crafted, exclusively designed bags and accessories made entirely of exotic skins and leather. Ranging from bold box clutches to iPhone cases, soft totes to oversized envelopes, KLutched is the one-stop place to go for anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind statement piece! Designs range from youthful and spunky to understated and classy, but one thing that's always present in all of KLutched's designs is the ability of each creation to bring a refreshing dose of eye-catching edginess to every thread of your attire.
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 Chic Yamada - "Summer Paradise"
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Chic Yamada's stunning "Summer Paradise" collection encompasses everything that a youthful summer girl should be - colorful and noticeable, yet eco-friendly and demure. Light kaftans to throw over your swimsuit, ethereal skirts for evening walks, neon belts for the ultimate statement cinch - it's your whole summer wardrobe in a sumptuous collection. I especially like the voluminous, flowy pants which can double for daytime and nighttime looks.
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Thanks so much to FashionSpace, Tongue in Chic, and all the participating designers for coming together and forging such a great pop-up event! And props to Qin for her incredible devotion to the event: she was running around like a crazy person the whole night and STILL looked good!

23.9.12

simplicity.

 A shapeless silhouette in a snowy hue, complete with a modest hemline and beautifully braided straps - this is just about as simple as it gets. A gift from my mother, this humble LWD has rooted itself firmly in the depths of my closet, and is definitely here to stay. With simplicity comes versatility, and I can only begin to imagine the infinite clothing combinations I could concoct with this hushed canvas of a dress. Although this isn't quite the ivory statement a la Alexander Wang SSRTW13, it's definitely a piece that can be easily manipulated to inspire a medley of looks. This time round, the dress spoke for itself in all its innocence, and was complemented with natural makeup, a refreshing lack of accessories and gloriously bare feet. As for the next time I decide to take this dress out for a not-so-voluminous spin, I'll definitely don a leather jacket, a pair of chunky boots and a skinny belt for good measure.



Many thanks to local freelance photographer Jess Gomes-Ng for the wonderful 
shoot - be sure to check out her facebook page!

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What's your newest wardrobe staple? What do you think of LWDs?

19.9.12

beauty in slow motion.

There's something so eerie yet so undeniably dreamy about the winter months. Howling winds and limited daylight hours might sound like a drag to some, but winter comes with it's own poignant seductiveness and magic. It's a temporary state of dormant absence, it's the time of stagnant snowflakes and elegantly frail trees, of beautifully soft cardigans and layers upon layers of warm, cuddly clothes. It's full of those beautiful moments where you stomp through fresh carpets of powdered snow and you listen to the silence and the steadiness of the breeze, and curl up in a ball by the crackling fire with a steaming mug of cocoa and the latest issue of Vogue. Speaking in the context of weather, it's a serene, slow time of year, where temperatures frolic in the sub-zero extremities.

Pat McGrath described Gucci's Fall 2012 beauty look as "dark romance." Her signature bleached brow lent an ethereal, faerie-like feel to the collection, as well as contrasting perfectly with the deep, berry-stained lip trend. Eye makeup was kept to a minumum with translucent, coral shades for a wintery, snow-kissed look. Au naturale seems to be the recurring theme here, with only the slightest use of colour to mirror the freshness of one's cheeks after a day spent in the cold, biting wind. Simple, windswept waves and no-fuss twirls and braids pulled together each look, keeping things simple yet sophisticated.
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What do you think of Gucci's Fall 2012 "Dark Romance?"

13.9.12

topshop personal shopping AW12 preview.

 Last Saturday morning I had the privilege of attending an exclusive Topshop event hosted by Fashion Fast Forward (F3), a company which oversees the likes of Ben Sherman, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, and most recognizably; Topshop and Topman in Singapore. Two of Topshop's wonderful Personal Shoppers, as well as one of the most noted bloggers in the region: X-Wen of Fash-Eccentric, hosted the wonderful morning event, with a series of talks about AW12 trends, tips on how to infuse key pieces from Topshop's latest collection into your wardrobe, and a wonderful preview of Louse Gray's collaboration with Topshop, which are hitting Singapore stores soon!
After picking up a quick drink at Starbucks, I headed over to Topshop Knightsbridge (the largest Topshop in Singapore), where a whopping queue of eager Topshop enthusiasts snaked far from the entrance of the store, perspiring in the humid morning sun. After a quick browse through the store, my friend Ayla and I were lucky enough to nab some seats before blogger X-Wen ("real name Xiao-Wen, although X-Wen sounds more mutant!") and two gorgeous personal shoppers Melanie and Anny began their presentation.
Hearing what the personal shoppers had to say about the AW12 trends was incredibly interesting. I've never really given much thought to the fact that people actually make a career out of dressing and catering to the personal style of individuals - but after further contemplation and an excellent impression made by the shoppers, personal shopping and styling definitely seems like a rewarding, dynamic facet of the fashion industry. The two shoppers, with their sharp eye for contrast and sixth sense of trend-forecasting, demonstrated easy ways to work Topshop's key AW12 pieces into your existing wardrobe. From deconstructed denim to sequin-saturated crop tops, there's no avoiding the iridescence and WOW-factor that this season holds. Whether you choose to pair your studded denim chambray shirt with vibrantly printed cigarette pants, or are more of an A-line skirt and oversized cardigan type of girl, Topshop's AW12 collection has the most versatile, chic separates which have a way of seamlessly falling into place amidst the rest of the treasure trove that is a fashionista's closet. 
{X-Wens face: Priceless!}
Everyone who came to the event enjoyed 20% off the whole store - and after such a great talk (which almost gave me enough motivation to buy the entire store, not that I lacked any motivation in the first place...), there were long lines to the changing rooms, lines which I honestly couldn't be bothered to join. I opted for a lovely gold geometric necklace that didn't require a changing room and a mirror to fall in love with, which will be featured in an outfit post soon! I browsed the racks of gorgeous collars and "Freedom" jewellery with Ayla, and was lucky enough to hang out with X-Wen for a bit! #bloggerbonding
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Seriously, she made it to the top of my "cool people list" looong ago, all it took was a glance through her stunning site day in day out... and then I met her. #starstruck
At such a deliciously fashionable event, it was only natural that I witness the most incredible street style - from the likes of bloggers, fashion enthusiasts, and the Personal Shoppers themselves! Which of the three outfits above do you like the best?
"Fashionable Brunch Date with a dose of Topshop" wasn't exactly a difficult dress code to follow - I loved putting my outfit together for this stylish event! I had a mini panic-attack when this gorgeous geometric top came in a parcel and landed at my doorstep (who doesn't love getting snail mail?!), courtesy of OASAP.com, a reasonably priced online store that I just stumbled across with an astounding variety of quirky pieces! This shirt was somewhat of a DIY project (or not really) for me; it came with a ladybug-like layer over the shirt that you see in the pictures above, and although I thought the extra layer was really cool - I was DYING to wear it to this event, and I knew I had to whip out my scissors and snip goodbye to the ladybug layer if I wanted this sheer button-down to work with my ubersoft A-line Topshop shorts. It was a spur of the moment thing; and I've never really just got out my scissors and shredded up a brand-new piece of clothing on a whim, but there's a first time for everything, isn't there? I'm glad I didn't make a mess of my brand new shirt, considering my competence with DIY artsy stuff (or lack thereof).
Shorts // Topshop -- Blue Wedges // Primark -- Geometric Shirt // courtesy of OASAP -- Leather Wristlet // Coach -- Jewellery // assorted
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Did any of you guys attend this event too? What do you think of Topshop and the collaboration with Louise Gray?

9.9.12

best friend tag video!

 Hello everyone! 
A relatively snappy, self-explanatory post for you today: one of my best friends (who also happens to be an incredible singer and youtuber) Zack Hourihane selected me to appear in one of his videos: A Best Friend Tag! We filmed this late last week, and I think he did an awesome job editing it in record time. In the video, we're answering a set of questions set by famous beauty blogger/youtuber JuicyStar007 - also known as Blair Fowler, and we're just generally rambling about life. It would mean a lot to both Zack and I if you took 7 minutes of your time to watch the two of us being stupid!



And for those of you who have never met me/live halfway across the world/are curious to hear what my voice sounds like: this is the video for you!
~
Keep up with Zack through Youtube, Twitter and Tumblr, and if you watched the video, thank you!

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5.9.12

paper crown | fall 2012


{images from paper-crown.com}

I was extremely skeptical of LC's new clothing line Paper Crown when it launched it's first debut collection in Fall 2011 - I immediately brushed it off as a run-of-the-mill Kardashian stunt; a celebrity dabbling in numerous industries and succeeding merely because of their wealth/celebrity status. However, after a further look into the collection, a browse on her gorgeous website laurenconrad.com (which strikes a perfect balance between earnest fashion blogger and hairflicky celebrity) and a read of her personal wardrobe tips&tricks book entitled "Style," I quickly dismissed all the superficial impressions I had of her. She really is a hard-working young entrepreneur, and although she has the luxury of wealth and an impressive resume of star-studded experience, her work really does speak for itself - and for a 26 year old, she's succeeded tremendously in countless fields of the fashion and entertainment industries. She started off doing bits and bobs; guest-judging on ANTM Cycle 13, being named the first official spokesperson of beauty brand mark., doing cameo appearances on popular sitcoms, and landing a role on MTV's hit series The Hills. Clearly the decision of only a prudent, business-savvy individual, Lauren took a break from most of the aforementioned projects such as representing other brands, and armed with her extensive experience, she began one of her own. 

To start off with, Paper Crown is just such a perfect name, I can't get over how many wonderful connotations it has. It's not trashy, excessive teen royalty a la Juicy Couture, nor is it literal royalty for the refined, pantsuit-donning millionaire mama. It's a crown made of paper; it's almost a juvenile perception and interpretation of the elite few that the fashion industry seems to constantly strive to impress. It almost feels like child's play - an endless exploration of fashion, dimension, design, color and aesthetic. It's a wonderfully dynamic yet sugary-sweet concept, and it reminds me very much of one of my favorite Taylor Swift songs: "Long Live." 
 ~
"We are the kings and the queens, you traded your baseball cap for a crown."

"I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you."

"Cause for a moment a band of thieves in ripped up jeans got to rule the world."
 ~
(full lyrics here - please read/listen to the song if you haven't already done so, you seriously won't regret it!)

Okay so I got a little carried away; it's really only the first song lyric (bolded) that is relevant to the whole "crown" theme, but the whole song is full of nostalgia for younger days - when everything seemed conquerable and manageable and life was so full of restlessness and sheer moments of victory, however small. The same theme of childlike innocence and sense of infinite success and capability is reflected in Paper Crown's gorgeous Fall 2012 collection; the vast range of styles and trends reflected in so few looks is truly mind-blowing. From voluminous dresses to everyday shifts smothered in pretty bows, this collection expertly retains a playful sense of childhood and relaxation while maintaining a high street appeal, thanks to the versatile, million-dollar color scheme (brick red, muted mocha and light cream, definitely a yes). As well as having a cosy, homewear side to it (think Zara/H&M basics), the collection definitely proves compatible with a chic city-hopper too; the shift dresses and floral button-downs are very Marks and Sparks!

Yeah, and we thought Lauren Conrad's reign would end after The Hills drew to a close. Apparently she's only just found her crowning glory.