balmain ivoire fragrance launch!

"Ivoire is the name I gave to a dream. The name of a woman of sovereign beauty, draped in ultra-pale silk. We crossed paths for a moment on the staircase at the Opéra, before she disappeared into the night." 
- Pierre Balmain
 Last Thursday, a small cluster of fashion enthusiasts gathered at the Art Trove, a dazzingly crisp white location tucked in the outskirts of Orchard Road, to sample Balmain's gorgeous fragrance, Ivoire. Since Oliver Rousteing was named one of Balmain's designers in 2011, he has succeeded in reinventing the original Ivoire fragrance which debuted in 1979 by accomplishing a modern take on this wildly-famous eighties fragrance. This virginal scent is pure, powdery, and surprisingly long-wearing considering it's featherlight complexion. It's not simply a generic floral cocktail though; infused with slightly peculiar essences such as earthy Vetiver and musky Galbanum, the scent is full-bodied whilst maintaining a breezy, mild nature. 
Honestly speaking, this was one of the best events I've attended in a long time. It wasn't a huge publicity stunt with an overwhelming guest list, it was an intimate gathering of people in a simple setting (complete with a mini fragrance gallery containing artwork of the various ingredients found in "Ivoire"). It was nice to be able to have meaningful conversations with new faces too; it's not everyday you can say you went to an event and spoke to almost everyone there! We listened to a great speaker share her love for Balmain, as well as information on how the brand has evolved through its lengthy existence before enjoying some delicious canapes. There were also a few mannequins set up for guests to enjoy some of Balmain's most exquisite pieces up close and personal! Last but certainly not least, guests were each sent off with warm wishes in the form of their very own bottle of Ivoire - how generous!
"Ivoire is a tribute to beauty and women. A solemn and uncontrollable fragrance as the purest of ivories. I offer this perfume to all the women in the world who love Ivoire, as I do." - Pierre Balmain



A leading global retailer in luxury linen, cashmere and silk resortwear and the first (in the whole world!) to print on cashmere, Pashma has grown exponentially since it's inception in 1998 by design extraordinaire Shilu Kumar. As well as featuring a colorful, eclectic variety of lightweight scarves, shawls and ready-to-wear items, Pashma's range also extends to accessories, winterwear, home and travel items, all of which are produced in limited, exclusive quantities.  
Despite retailing in over 2000 stores across 40 countries, this humble label keeps close to its Indian roots in Ladakh, Changthang and New Delhi. What really resonated with me during my visit to the Pashma showroom (courtesy of Heat Branding!) was hearing about Pashma's social side. The brand has established concrete roots with the Changpa people residing in Changthang village, who are the meticulous hands behind the exceptional-quality cashmere that sets Pashma apart from the rest. As well as providing them with 5,000 changra goats just last year, Pashma has helped the Changpa people secure stable sources of income by buying the rare cashmere at suitable market prices, as opposed to the below-market prices that were previously paid by other businesses.
 Furthermore, Pashma's production process is limited exclusively to India, honoring the ethnicity of the designer and the source of the fabrics, as well as cutting transportation costs. All manufacturing is done under one roof in New Delhi, where the hand-spun cashmere is brought to watercolored life under rigorous quality control. Head designer and founder Shilu Kumar has 10 vastly capable designers under her, who also oversee the manufacturing process to ensure their visions are accurately, ethically and meticulously conveyed from paper to Pashma. The brand also showcased their more high-end capsule collection "Petanu" at Milan Fashion Week last year, which was undoubtedly a huge success. "Petanu" features vibrantly printed kaftans in light silk cashmere, flowy silhouettes printed with abstract textures, and an exotic palette of bold summer hues.
Pashma first opened its doors in Singapore 4 years ago, and has now expanded to four locations islandwide: two in Changi Airport (T2 and T3), an island boutique in the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, and their flagship store at Raffles Shopping Arcade, tucked into the quaintness of the Raffles Hotel. Be sure to check out Pashma's gorgeous items, priced from SGD$200-$2000!


james long x topman.

 I am an absolute fanatic when it comes to Topshop, but only after taking a stroll through the not-always-so-masculine racks of mustard skinnies and geeky Aztec shirts (that is Topman) have I realized that perhaps the two hand-in-hand stores have more in common than I thought. I’m the type of person who, upon finding out about designer collaborations, brushes them off with “yeah whatever not a big deal” - and then subsequently rushes home to my computer to complete a thorough stalking session filled with critical remarks hissed under my breath (or, on occasion, yelled at an outrageous decibel). But holy moly, James Long. Why hadn’t I heard that name before his collaboration with Topman hit the stores last November (yes, this is a little late)?! 
 Renowned for his fresh take on classic knitwear and boasting an MA in both menswear and accessories from the Royal College of Art, this British-born chap is nothing less than a sweater extraordinaire. His luscious 8-piece collection for Topman features hand-spun British wool and doesn’t exceed £100 per piece, and by golly are those designs delicious. Drawing inspiration from his “favourite jumper-wearing men” including Kurt Cobain and the Sex Pistols, his collection features an astonishingly eclectic series of punk-era knits, bold colors and polka-dots so awkward that they are suddenly cool. Do I want my boyfriend in a James Long sweater? Well, no, because chances are, I’d be wearing one too.
And we all hate couples who wear matching things.


kristine's collection.

 Founded in 2009, Kristine's Collection has quickly expanded to be one of the most established go-to online stores for women in Singapore seeking fresh, fun and functional dresses (and occasionally separates) for work and leisure. With conservative cuts and feminine prints, Kristine's Collection offers weekly launches of clothing - all using the highest quality fabrics. Unlike many online stores in Singapore which source their apparels from wholesalers, every piece in Kristine's Collection is designed with love by husband-and-wife duo Kristine and Jason. Furthermore, every launch is accompanied by a limited number of bags and accessories - so fret not, if you're looking to complete your outfit, Kristine's got you covered!

Having done a handful of shoots with Kristine and Jason over the past month, we've grown to become good friends as well as business partners (bakkwa and cookies between outfit changes - yes please!). Although I haven't been working with them for long, I've already been dressed in a MASSIVE range of styles and colors over a mere few collections, showing the huge variety and diversity offered by this lovely homegrown label. I've also had the privilege of taking home a couple of courtesy pieces from their brand, and I've honestly worn most of those pieces far too many times to count - I love them!

For behind-the-scenes snaps from photoshoots, discount codes, sneak peeks and other updates, follow Kristine's Instagram, Facebook, Website, and Twitter!

This is a sponsored advertorial.


10qq with zack.

Meet Zack - an amazing singer, entertainment journalist, die-hard Taylor Swift fan and my best friend. With a job as Entertainment Editor for Popspoken and a worryingly large number of music gigs every week under his belt, Zack Hourihane is a social media butterfly (4.5K followers on Tumblr say what?!) with big dreams, overflowing talent and extraordinary potential. Check out what he has to say in this month's 10 Quick Questions segment! 

1. Favorite song of the moment:
Right now the song that's constantly on replay for me is a Miley Cyrus cover of a Bob Dylan song "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go." It's a beautiful guitar ballad about a summer romance coming to its inevitable demise. The thing that I really love about this cover is the intense emotion Cyrus pours into the tune. Bob Dylan is an excellent song writer but not the best vocalist, so covers of his songs are often more beautiful than the originals. Miley's country twang really adds another dimension to the song and accentuates the bittersweet dreaminess that the song exudes.

2. Elaborate on your crazy Taylor Swift obsession!
It's really difficult to articulate how much I love Taylor Swift! It's going to end up sounding stupid and immature, but I'll try my best not to make it that way. My adoration for Taylor is much more than a simple celebrity obsession. I feel like Taylor is an old friend of mine; someone who is constantly there for me, even when people fail to appease me. She has a beautiful, consoling, thought provoking song for every emotion you could think of, and I really appreciate having that instant access to immediate stress relief. I also generally think she has a beautiful soul - obviously I don't know her personally, but from what I can tell from her music (which says a lot about a person) is that she's thoughtful, intelligent, kind, and inspiring. I have so much to thank Taylor for, as her songs have helped me through a lot of hard times.

3. Biggest achievement of 2012?
Probably performing at Westport music festival in Ireland this summer! It's really fantastic to have the opportunity to perform consistently in Singapore, but it was incredible to have the opportunity to perform internationally. It really meant a lot to perform in my homeland too, as I got to have my extended family see me (who wouldn't necessarily get the opportunity to see me perform) do what I love. I also got to play a song by an Irish band, which was perfect and extremely apt given the circumstances. Getting partnered on my YouTube channel was an amazing thing to happen as well, I've been trying to get partnered for so long and when it finally happened I literally jumped for joy! Another highlight was getting signed on as an entertainment journalist for Popspoken! I've had such a blast working there so far, and I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for me with them.
4. Current food crush?
Salt and Vinegar Kettle Chips. I don't recommend trying them, they will ruin your life. 
5. Something you're looking forward to? 
Right now I'm really looking forward to finalising a contract with a management I've been in discussions with for quite some time now. I'm also looking forward to the end of this exam year, and with that - the summer! This summer I'm going to Ireland to see my family and then to America for some college scouting and a Taylor Swift concert. I'm stoked, it's going to be fantastic. 
6. Top two pet peeves?
I really hate it when people are too clingy with me. I love having friends around and hanging out with the people I care about, but when it becomes too intense and too full on with one person I get really annoyed and I pull back from the friendship a lot. Especially when I see the person a lot, like in class or outside of school. 

I also don't like rude PR people! This is one of my biggest annoyances. I don't like it when companies act like they're doing you a favor or they offer you some crappy product reward instead of a monetary compensation when asking to book you for a job. I need money to survive, I don't want your stupid vacuum cleaners! 
7. A goal of yours for 2013?
I really want to achieve good exam results! I've been working my butt off studying for our mock exams, and I hope that this level of studying and hard work is reflected in my grades. I'd like to make my parents proud, to thank them for all they've done for me in terms of my education. 
8. Favorite thing to do in your free time?
Make videos, play guitar, sing, read, watch TV shows.
9. Worst fears?
I'm deathly afraid of birds. I had a frightening encounter with a peacock when I was little, and the fear spread to every bird species and I just can't deal with them. I hate even being in somewhat close proximity, they make me feel really anxious and scared. 
10. Advice for aspiring singers?
It's important to develop an artist identity and not to lose it when you develop or become more successful. No matter what any person tells you, if your personal style or sound works for you and you like it, you should never change for someone else! It's totally up to you how you handle and conduct yourself too, so make sure you're always professional when around seniors who could better your career. 

+ Check out Zack's Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and Tumblr!
+ Sorry for skipping out on January's 10qq - exams left me with no time to pull together an interview!