merry christmas!

I hope everyone had an excellent Christmas!
Massive apologies for not posting regularly, I'm in the midst of some intense exam preparation and haven't found much time for anything other than textbooks and revision notes! However there is one thing I'll always be able to make time for, and that's Christmas. The festive season sort of crept up on me this year; I've been incredibly busy this December and I didn't even notice how close we'd come to Christmas until I came home from school last week to find a beautifully decorated tree up in my living room! 

Enclosed are some pictures of my various festive experiences - I got some amazing presents this year (some of which are pictured above) and spent lots of time with the people I hold closest to my heart. A lot of food was consumed by yours truly (see jar of gingerbread above) on top of my annual Christmastime overdose on Starbucks, so over the next few days I seriously need to hit the gym! Some of the gifts I received include treats from Maison Martin Margiela, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Jo Malone, Bvlgari, Miss Selfridge, Warehouse, Hollister, and many more! The parents also promised an iPhone 5 in January (after my exams eek!), so I'm lucky enough to have yet another gift to look forward to. Although I feel like Christmas has been increasingly overwhelmed with commercial exploitation over the past few years (e.g "Christmas Sales" in every store just for the sake of it), I've always been able to connect with Christmas on a spiritual, religious level (going to Christmas Mass is something I actually really love!). I enjoy the season not for the presents or material things it denotes, but for the warmth it brings to my loved ones and the fond memories made each year in honor of this beautiful festive season.


fide #2 - gustavo lins & alexis mabille.

Gustavo Lins
From elbow length gloves to metallic outerwear; black on black (on black on black on black) to awkward puffy blue fur (sorry Gustavo), this collection was certainly a thought-provoking one with both strong and weak aspects. While I most certainly enjoyed the fabric choices, I felt that there was a lack of "wow-factor," despite significant technical proficiency on the designer's part. The color scheme was a little confusing (lime green to gold to black, and then every color in between?), but it was clean-cut and well put-together nonetheless. Favorites have to be the assymmetrical neckline dresses pictured with gloves, as well as all the black ensembles - call me a sucker for black, but seriously, those pieces were SO well done.

Black is one of the most challenging colors to work with, simply because it leaves such a huge margin for criticism. It's a color that can be outstandingly effective when utilized in appropriate doses, but when a couturier starts OD'ing on it, critics go wild with insults. I have something of a sympathy when it comes to black though; I think it's an elegant understatement which can be emphasized or amplified with the use of things like metallic accents and tailoring, both of which Gustavo has fulfilled to great excess. There's nothing more chic than a LBD with a gold cuff, so the statement necklaces which punctuate an otherwise "flat" ensemble bring up the "chic" factor by a couple notches. The swishy dress with a daring neckline (second from right) was another simplistic beauty, and the general mash-up of fabrics was executed brilliantly.
To be perfectly honest, the infusion of bright blue fur/terrycloth accents (as pictured above) into an otherwise refined collection was a huge disappointment and deterrent to the success of the runway presentation. I loved everything else Gustavo showed, but this just didn't make the cut. It was far too avant-garde for a subdued, chic collection, and the texture screamed "blanket" more than "haute couture" to me.

I couldn't help myself - I simply had to group these pieces together to achieve a somewhat Christmassy color scheme! Although I don't particularly agree on the erratic black splotches (second to the left), the leather lining (left) looked SO classy, as did the "cut and paste" nature of the dress furthest to the right. I've always been skeptical about dresses made entirely of leather (the only person I know who can always pull off leather is Rumi Neely), but the daring slit and v-neck (second from right) made the dress a no-brainer of a winner. On a side note, how beautiful is the model on the extreme left?! She's such a stunner. 
Probably one of the strongest points of the collection, the seamless intertwining of - yes, male models into the presentation. There's nothing more refreshing than seeing a slick-haired beau march down the catwalk after dozens of gaunt females have strutted their stuff (after a while they all begin to look the same, not gonna lie). Gustavo kept the menswear to a tight-lipped minimum, with lusciously dark hues and masculine proportions. While the shredded leather look (furthest to the right) doesn't quite hit the spot, the slouchy cape look (second to the right) definitely does.

Alexis Mabille
Ornate, embellished and absolutely breathtaking - I don't really know how else to translate the beauty of Mabille's collection into words without sounding like I'm having an affair with one of his dresses. But seriously, this man is an artistic, conceptual genius. There is something so pure about his work, something so cohesive and secure about the way he put this collection together. There's an undoubted sense of flow, yet each magnificent ensemble retains a glittering uniqueness unlike any other piece in the collection. Decorated generously with jewels - be it on headpieces or trimmings, the sheer radiance of the designs set the runway alight with the flame of fantasy as Mabille shared with us his escapades into the realm of the surreal.

Perhaps one of the greatest things about this collection is Mabille's fluency at honing all aspects of the female form. Androgyny has taken the world by storm in the last few years, and it's so rare to see a collection so abundantly filled with girly silhouettes and delicate structural choices. Mabille didn't do anything to dilute his authentic flavor with a dose of masculinity - he chose v-necks over boxy shoulders, and pieces that emphasized the bust and waist in true female fashion. Masculinity has been terribly overused and abused in the female fashion sector, that it came almost as a shock to see clothing that wholeheartedly embraces a woman's form. From sweeping lace to dramatic tails, simply looking at these stunning ensembles makes me feel so in touch with my feminine side. These clothes aren't provocative, edgy or attempting to make some sort of revolutionary statement, yet they still retain a fierce quality worthy of a double-take.

+ All photo-credits to Fide Fashion Weeks.
+ Check out my first Fide Fashion Week post here!
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dear laura | beyond the field.

 Here are some snaps from the Dear Laura lookbook/website launch shoot a couple months ago. Dear Laura embodies all the things a young woman should be: adventurous, sentimental and daisy-fresh. From rosy peplum to mustard pleats, Dear Laura's feminine separates retain innocence while showing evidence of aesthetic exploration. Although tiring, it was an amazing day on a set complete with polaroids, lots and lots and lots of flowers, macaroons, cupcakes, (yes, I devoured them all while shooting!). It took a solid seven hours under the sun to get this nostalgic, dreamy masterpiece done, but I'm grateful to have been surrounded by such a hardworking team of passionate, professional individuals. Claps go to Amanda from Beautiful Adieu for turning a beautifully delicate concept into reality by taking control and pulling the whole shoot together, Melvin from Multifolds Photography, my stellar make-up artist Pari and all the fabulous folks at KJ Empire for all the awesome freebies, love and support!
Till next time.

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10qq with fiona fussi.

Referred to as "confident," "leggy," "fresh-faced" and "stunning" by the number of publications she's graced, Fiona Fussi isn't one you can miss. Whether you recognize her from magazine covers like HerWorld/Nylon Singapore, you happened to be taking a stroll through Ion a couple months ago only to see Fiona posing in a Kikki.K paper dress, or - get this, you happen to have spotted her face on Singapore's public buses, Fiona has achieved leaps and bounds after her 2011 victory of Elite Model Look Singapore. After a life-changing experience at the Elite Model Look World Finals in Shanghai, Fussi returned to Singapore and, quite simply, took the modelling scene by storm. With thousands of loyal followers on each of her social media platforms and a career that has made her a local household name, dubbing her "Singapore's Sweetheart" suddenly sounds like a vast understatement. Read on and find out more about what it's like to live in Fiona Fussi's shoes!
Photo credits to Fiona Fussi/

1) What was your first modelling experience?
My first experience was at the Elite Model Look Singapore 2011 competition, I had never done any modelling before that. 

2) What made you apply for the Elite Model Look competition in Singapore?
I had always been interested in the entertainment industry, being in front of the camera, communicating with people; whether it was modelling, singing, acting or hosting. I first saw a Facebook page about the competition which intrigued me, and because there was an application process where I could apply on the website in the comfort and convenience of my own home, I decided to apply online. 

3) Tell me about your time in Shanghai during the World Finals:
It was such an amazing experience, the best way to describe it would be a hundred times better than camp. To have 60 girls from different countries come together for a common ambition and to be the first person to represent Singapore in Elite Model Look was pretty incredible! What surprised me the most was how open and kind many of the girls were, especially the girls in my chaperone group. We were sorted depending on the continents we came from - the ‘Asian’ group ended up becoming a family!

The Finals was at the Mercedes-Benz stadium with 1,500 people watching, so I learnt some tricks and tips about making sure heels that were too big for us didn’t slip off! My linguistic skills also came in handy when speaking to make-up artists and hair stylists from  from different places and cultural groups. The toughest part was probably leaving Shanghai and saying goodbye to my friends. Even though I made friends from different parts of the world that I still keep in touch with, it was definitely the hardest to leave my ‘Asian’ group. We all became sisters, and when we left the hotel one by one there were tears and hugs, it was very bittersweet.

4) How did you get involved with the Audi Fashion Festival?
The Managing Director of Audi was interested in having me as the face of the Festival; he thought I was fresh and well suited for the role and he believed in my potential. It was a great experience and an honour to be able to walk in all of the Future Fashion Now shows because it was my first professional show and I got to work with amazing designers and models. 

5) You were on the cover of NYLON Singapore and HerWorld Magazine (twice!) - What was that like?
I really enjoy doing cover shoots because I love to see the final product in stores, and I actually get to see where all my hard work has gone. Even though they are pretty short-term since they’re only up for a month, I think it’s a great privilege to be the cover or face of a magazine.  

6) Juggling high school with a full-on modelling career must be difficult. What do you do to relax? What's the hardest part of balancing your two separate worlds?
To relax I like to hang out and have sleepovers with my best friends, watch TV shows, sing or go for a run or swim. The hardest part of balancing my modelling and high school life is definitely having the energy to do both. In the beginning I thought the biggest issue would be having enough time, but after that, I’ve realised it’s also physically having enough energy to wake up at 6am, go to school for 7 hours and then have a 5 hour shoot, and then do homework afterwards! I managed to walk in the Audi Fashion Festival during my IGCSE exams, but I can already predict that managing my IB diploma with modelling will be even more challenging. 

7) Who do you have to thank for helping you come this far?
I would thank the Elite Model Management Singapore team for believing in me and presenting me with so many opportunities, especially my booker, Bonita, who has been incredibly kind and understanding towards my schedule. Also, my mum and dad who allowed me enter the Elite Model Look Singapore competition in the first place - without their support I wouldn’t have made it this far. I also would like to thank my friends at school for being so encouraging and positive towards all the new assignments I’ve been doing and everything I’ve been going through.

8) If you could change anything you've done in your modelling career so far, what would you change?
I am very happy with the course my modelling career has taken, but if I could change something, I would somehow find a way to have made it to Paris Fashion Week Fall-Winter 2012, because I was given the opportunity to, but had to reluctantly turn it down because it was during a school week. 

9) What would you christen as your proudest moment in your modelling career so far? 
It would have to be my first magazine cover, which was my Her World March cover, or being chosen as the face of Audi Fashion Festival 2012. 

10) Any advice for aspiring models?
I would say that if you’re doing it for the right reasons, and you know that it’s not as glamorous as it seems, you should believe in yourself and keep trying because anything is possible.

+ Check out Fiona's agency Basic Models here, and like their Facebook page here too!
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fide #1 - silvian imberg & anne fontaine.

Silvian Imberg's substantial presentation was everything a swimwear collection should be; luxurious, exuberant and sexy. From sheer poolside kaftans to bikinis accentuated with frills, tassels and the like, Imberg showcased a medley of looks that communicated one essential message that is often forgotten in the low-cal hype of the industry; every woman, regardless of their body shape, has the potential to be absolutely beautiful. Seeing smiley models donning Imberg's exotic creations was a touching change from the sullen, rail-thin skeletons that dominate runways worldwide. There was a prevalent geometric emphasis, which was continually reincarnated and reinvented as the show progressed. Watercolor pieces were accentuated with metallic rings, futuristic monochrome bikinis were held together by weaves of fabric, and the magnificent flowing kaftans brought the runway to life with it's bold hues and recurring patterns. The only piece of criticism I had for this show was the lack of cohesion in the pieces. Although I appreciated the long show (talk about value for money!), seeing so many polar opposites depicted on the runway suggested that the inspiration for the designs was blurry and lacked solidarity. Innovation, glamor and sex appeal? Definitely. But a concrete aesthetic and a defined source of inspiration? Not so much.

Anne Fontaine
Anne Fontaine: the curator of chic, the queen of quintessential French design, the master of monochrome, and so much more. It's not often a designer can pull off a collection fashioned entirely from grayscale, yet Fontaine seems to have accomplished this feat with startling ease and immense delicateness. By infusing refined, McQueen-inspired accents of a theatrical nature (see the cloud-like shoulder puffs in the image above) into her otherwise simplistic designs, Fontaine was able to bring what is often perceived as office-only fashion to a refreshing new level. Black blouses were doused with texture, volume and effective tailoring, and white pieces became not-so-angelic as transparent fabrics were introduced. Standouts from this ready-to-wear collection have got to be the strapless black dress with a ruched skirt and gold detailing, as well as the beautifully simple white dress (which I got an action shot of in the first picture!).

Apologies for the great delay, but there are more Fide Fashion Week posts to come, and that's a promise!