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24.11.13

isabel marant x h&m.

No, it's not the second coming of Christ, it's Isabel Marant x H&M. Everyone hold your horses. 

H&M's newest designer collaboration with a favorite of the French fashion scene, Isabel Marant, hit stores with a bang earlier this month. Queues were the longest that H&M has ever seen, with people live-blogging their overnight camping experiences in front of all major H&M stores in London, published by The Guardian. Like every other collaboration with H&M, the mutually beneficial collection allows H&M all the consumer hype (and cash) that fuels high-end design houses, and it allows the designer collaborating with H&M a fair amount of exposure. According to popular belief, Isabel Marant was the least well-known designer to have collaborated with H&M; names like Maison Martin Margiela, Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Comme des Garcons were much more widely known to begin with. If you'd like an idea of just how much exposure H&M directs to its collaboration designers; the number of Google searches for "Isabel Marant" tripled during the month the collaboration was announced. 

I was actually supposed to go to a private press preview of the collection while I was back in Singapore, but instead I decided to make rice-a-roni and have a sweatpants-and-movie-marathon day with my boyfriend. This wasn't because I was firmly opposed to the collection and wanted to make a statement, but the whole idea of H&M's countless collaborations seem the furthest thing from exciting anymore. Daniel Kulle, president of H&M North America, firmly declared to Fashionista.com that "Isabel will sell out in less than a week." And he was right - the pieces sold like hotcakes, because everyone wants to own something with Isabel Marant's (legitimate) name on it. People will do anything to hop on the fast-fashion bandwagon that instantly becomes old news as soon as you've paid up and got your hands on the bloody things. But after reading this article by Fashionista.com journalist Alyssa Vingan, my eyes were opened to the true nature and adverse effects of these designer collaborations. Imagine saving up your first few paychecks to finally be able to splurge on the bag of your dreams from your favorite designer, only to find that in a few months, a dangerously similar knock-off of your authentic bag will be reproduced in low-cost materials to the masses at a fraction of the price you paid, but nonetheless with that designer's name smacked on it (next to H&M). Don't cheap replicas churned out in thousands only serve to devalue the image of a designer and dilute the magic of authentic, timeless visions and ideals that are synonymous with such revered designers? Marc Beckman, CEO of Designers Management Agency, put it perfectly: "There's nothing wrong with selling for the masses, but the design should be original." Leather pant knock-offs from Marant's Fall 2010 collection, fringed booties from Summer 2010, the list goes on. We know Marant has the artistic capability to create inventive new designs for any collaboration that comes her way; heck, we've seen 9 years worth of her collections already. So why was the easy road of replicating existing designs taken?

In some ways, it's hard to tell if these replicas/knockoffs are a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, the reason people fall in love with Marant is because of what they've seen on the runway, so do they love her existing pieces or her design aesthetic itself? The former calls for the easy job of producing thousands of identical runway pieces using cheap fabrics and low-cost production techniques (without so much input from Marant as signing a document allowing H&M to replicate her existing designs), but the latter calls for just a little more of Marant's authentic magic and undeniable skill in fashion design, in order to produce an exciting NEW collection for those of us who don't have the luxury of enjoying pieces from her own label. It's only when a comparison is made between copying and creating do we realize that perhaps something entirely fresh, new and from the chic depths of Marant's heart would've been a better choice to serve the hundreds of thousands of us who call the high-street price bracket our (only) sartorial home. 


What do you think of Isabel Marant x H&M?

20.11.13

four ways for fall.

Crispy leaves, cooler temperatures and the most breathtaking colors mark fashion's favorite season to experiment with: Fall. And why, you ask? Well, for a start, autumnal leaves in a variety of toasty hues provide the perfect backdrop to enhance just about any outfit (yes, fashion bloggers do take such things into consideration!), but moreover, the season is cool enough to layer up, but warm enough to actually enjoy flaunting those layers by leaving coats and cardies unbuttoned (and to forget worrying about the wool content of each layer till wintertime!). Basically, layers are great, but only if people actually get to see them, which doesn't really happen in the winter when zips are up and buttons are suffocating you all the way to your neck. Living out of Singapore for the first time has allowed me the privilege of experiencing this sumptuous season for the first time, and I've checked off almost everything on my "to-do during Fall" list (jumping in crunchy leaves included) besides shopping for some new seasonal additions to my wardrobe. I've categorized my numerous fall wishlists into four key themes: Fur, Leather, Army Green and Houndstooth. If you've got a few pieces from each, you're set for a stylish season! Read on to find out more about my specific picks.
luxe fur + leather
(disclaimer: faux leather and faux fur are the ways to go! You can be environmentally conscious AND dress chic). For someone who used to be violently opposed to anything excessively furry/hairy/reminiscent of a fur couch throw, I've grown pretty smitten for these cuddly wardrobe additions. They're beautifully soft, super warm and comfy, and bring brilliant textural diversity to any outfit. Hats, scarves, vests/gilets and coats with fur accents are, in my opinion, the best ways to introduce a little cuddly lovin' into fall outfit ensembles. Try and select fur pieces in neutral or organic hues to make them look more expensive and effortless (no one likes a lime green fur coat, let's be real), after all - layering up is about nailing that breezy, supermodel-off-duty attitude. These options comprise some of Fall's more daring pieces, so keep the rest of your outfit simple and let the spotlight shine on the fur! Throwing on a pair of jeans should never be accompanied by the dreaded question of "how do I make this look more interesting?!" because now you have your answer; a statement fur separate, for maximum style points and toasty insulation! 

Another big must-have for this season is faux leather, which adds another exciting layering possibility to your wardrobe! While boxy leather jackets might seem like a no-brainer for the season, I'm growing more and more inclined towards purchasing a luxurious, soft hobo bag like the Juicy Couture one above in a glorious shade of oxblood. Teeny satchels may fly for summer, but carryalls are a big must for this season. If I've learned anything from living in England, it's to always keep an extra layer with you for warmth (usually in the form of a folded up pashmina/shawl), and another extra layer for the rain (no, not a poncho, an umbrella). Select leather pieces in luxurious, rustic, deep shades of maroon, red, oxblood, chocolate brown, camel and rust (but not black - save the harshness for winter) to avoid the overly "biker" look that leather often suggests. Oh yeah, and leather boots are not an option so much as they are a staple for the season. Find your perfect pair now and hold those babies tight.

army green + houndstooth
One of the big sartorial cliches of the season is the military-chic look, which I always have and always will proudly jump on the bandwagon for. There's something about a muted olive green that exudes the most nonchalant, mysteriously captivating air. It's sophisticated but not unfriendly, trendy but exclusive, and undeniably perfect for the season. Don't limit yourself to typical army-style cargo skinny jeans and parkas/trenchcoats; why not try a cute suede ankle boot or scarf in olive green?

I am a self-confessed monochrome addict. Black and white is perfect, it's effortless, it's timelessly chic, it's universally suitable - it's basically everything except for suitable for fall, in my opinion. The harsh lines and geometric presence that black and white carries with it is too heavy and dismal for the hovering autumn temperatures. Leave the statement black-and-white till the warmer months, or even winter, but just not now. If you're still desperate to keep a bit of this two-toned glamour in your fall wardrobe, look no further than houndstooth. A sumptuously sophisticated, highly iconic and widely recognizable staple, this print is exciting enough to add a burst of detail to an outfit without that overdone, youthful, fluorescent "pop," characterized by most black and white prints. Houndstooth is mature, understated and very elegant, but should not be mistaken for granny-clothing. When worn correctly, it looks absolutely amazing! Like each of the "four ways" for fall, the key is to flaunt them in moderation. Houndstooth coats are beautiful, as are houndstooth skirts, but just not when they're worn together.

What do you think of these "Four Ways for Fall?" Let me know what your Fall wardrobe staples are in the comments below!

16.11.13

royals.

 Bag c/o wholesale7.net
Top + shorts set c/o Dahlia
Earrings c/o Lovisa
Studded Bracelet from Urban Outfitters
Studded booties c/o ClubCouture


I've never really experimented with athletic playsuits-which-are-actually-just-matching-separates, but when I visited Dahlia's flagship store in London to select some of my favorite pieces from their new collection courtesy of their generous management (more about my exciting visit to Dahlia coming soon!), I fell in love with the silhouettes, the patterns and the versatility of this two-piece dream. The top is cut to a slouchy fit, which adds a touch of tomboy appeal and balances out the rather teeny athletic-inspired matching shorts. While the detailed design in varying shades of blue is luxurious enough to be teamed with sophisticated additions such as blazers and heels, the astonishing level of comfort tempts me to wear these pieces while lounging around the house on a lazy weekend morning. Sunday lie-ins have never looked this good! Initially I was inclined to shoot these separates with non-matching tops/bottoms and add complexity to the ensemble with bold accessories, but, being someone who rarely plays the matching game while getting dressed, I figured these pieces would be the perfect place to start being a little more cohesive with my dressing. It's hard to even tell that they're actually separates - they look so seamlessly perfect for one another!

Black is the boldest of all statements in my opinion; it floats airily above any fluorescent color combination you could ever concoct with the firm knowledge that, through its silence and apparent understatement, it reigns supreme. I am head over spiky black heels in LOVE with my gift from wholesale7.net - a black crossbody carryall. With lovely gold accents interspersed between all the perfect leathery slouch, this bag can hold my hopes and dreams and look effortless the whole time. Definitely a new staple of mine, considering I've been looking far and wide for my Prince Charming that takes the form of a slouchy black bag for quite a while now.


And of course, who can forget these shoes. With plenty of spikes and studs to ward off annoying unwanted people (please don't quote me on that), they add that extra edge that black leather alone lacks. They are also astonishingly comfy; they feel just like an elevated pair of Converse I swear. Snap these up on ClubCouture.cc! I wore these babies to the ONE day of FIDe Fashion Week I was able to attend - I literally hopped off the plane from London and into makeup and heels to catch the last couple shows of this year's fashion week. Is it crazy that I feel a bit like Chiara Ferragni, jetsetting from London to Singapore (albeit in an economy class seat and minus paparazzi) in time for fashion week? With this easy breezy playsuit, no-fuss bag and the comfiest pair of heels I own, traveling in the style of the world's top bloggers has never felt more within reach.


 current tune: royals // lorde

12.11.13

NYFW SS14 | rodarte.



When asked to describe their impeccable Spring Summer 2014 Ready to Wear collection, the sisterly dream team Laura and Kate Mulleavy only had two words: Los Angeles. On first thought, perhaps that loose, vague "definition" strikes one as too brief or lacking precision. After viewing the collection, one realises that there really isn't a more succinct way to put it. Think Nasty Gal amped up thirteen notches, with provocative assymetrical hemlines, Cali-girl bra tops and the absolute best and boldest use of black and white this season has seen. Rodarte's darkly whimsical and unshakeable attention to artistic detail is given a facelift as the duo experiments with some of the most modern silhouettes their career has seen. Geometric clashes between spherical necklaces and grid-lined cropped sweaters add punch to an already bold statement, topped off with animal-print flat booties that nods to an existing albeit successful trend. Thick, metallic embellished belts hang loosely from slim waists, lending a slightly raunchy, "borrowed from the band-boys" look. And yet despite all the tassels and the vibrant prints and the surprisingly original silhouettes, some absolutely perfect classics can be witnessed; a simple white mink miniskirt and an equally pristine ivory blazer subtly interpose the loudness of Los Angeles.

If there was an award for how many different ways black and white could complement each other within the confines of each runway look, Rodarte would surely bag it. Mermaid-y assymmetrical hems flow organically beneath polished stripes, colorblocking, tiered texture, modern plaid, animal print, or a mix of all of the above. Triangular necklines become teardrops, which become pyramid-esque high necks which fall to drapey low v-necks. The combinations, and effortlessness with which they are exuded, are astounding. While I'm not a fan of the awkwardly sea-creature/lettuce resembling hems (I only said mermaid initially to be polite), the sharp precision of the patterns are executed without fault. With architectural design and print being this damn good, who even needs color?

 And now ring in the separates; namely the bustier which is naturally every Californian chica's dream. While the shape of these cropped pieces are inventive and refreshing, they lack wearability as the pointy cups distort the appearance of shoulders and thus make the rest of us who aren't model-thin look a tad wonky. Nevertheless, I am 100000% in favor of these no-nonsense pointy toed shoes. They're a little like Tavi Gevinson: they know they're weird and unconventional and a bit out-there, but they're proud of it and hold their heads high and werk it (I am still talking about shoes fyi). Points awarded for the 1st and 3rd bustiers for edgy sex appeal (from left to right), points deducted for that satiny nightdress worn by Lindsey Wixson that seems to be missing the rest of its sleeves and skirt (might be biased by the fact that Lindsey isn't my fave but oh well).

Noooooow we're talking. The fact that no one's thought of filling a skirt slit with sexy tassels before worries me, because that might just be the best new revolutionary fashion idea this season has graced us with so far. Teamed with a sultry mesh underlay, scorpion motifs and delicate earrings, that 1st look is ah-mazing. The lack of tottering stilettos helps round out this collection as one with athletic, casual potential and flexibility - the models aren't overly made-up in rainbow eyes a la Chanel, and the way they pull off beautiful clothing in simple, rather generic-looking shoes brings Rodarte's previously untouchable kingdom of elegance down to a sexy and accessible level.

As the show progressed, hemlines sneaked higher and higher into a final culmination of a marginally more sophisticated reworking of the traditional booty-exposing daisy duke short. Do they look amazing on the models? Definitely. Are the designs and embellishments with regards to these shorts successful? Sure. Do I like the fact that they're teamed with equally revealing bustiers? No. Are these at all wearable? Probably not. A style statement for sure - but one that is hard to translate into daily wear (unless you're Cara Delevigne, Liu Wen, or possess the legs and the swagger of a "model-off-duty"). Either way, I'm too caught up in those gorgeous blazers, which douse the collection in sexy, carefree masculinity. Few things are more effortlessly chic than soft blazers with pushed-up sleeves, but that sleeveless leopard and leather piece on the far right is a tiny notch above its sleeved counterparts. But blazers are delicious however they are consumed: sleeved, oversized, boxy, embellished, etc.

So there you have it! What do you think of Rodarte's Spring Summer 2014 collection?

10.11.13

#WILDFORJUICY

On the 24th October during my short trip home to Singapore, I was fortunate enough to attend Juicy Couture's newest store opening in Singapore in none other than the prestigious "Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands" on the Canal Level of the glitzy shoppe-ing mall. Occupying a luxurious 1,800 square feet of decadence, femininity and Los-Angeles cool, all media representatives and fashion enthusiasts at the event enjoyed delicious refreshments, catchy tunes by the one and only Linda Hao (owner of YESAH, half of DJ TWOFACE) and a preview of the sparkling store space. The interiors are characterized by a much more directional aesthetic, including highlights such as crystal chandeliers, herringbone floors and stunning decorative moldings which add a high-end touch of refined elegance to an otherwise youthful, spontaneous brand. Another focus of the event was Juicy Couture's latest fragrance, Viva La Juicy Noir. A more sensual, smoky and dark expression of the original sweet notes of Viva La Juicy, this fragrance is a definite must-have for those who express their iconic personal style loudly and proudly - it certainly ain't for the faint-hearted!
A spectacular event is never complete without an equally star-studded guest list, and leave it to Bless Inc Asia to bring along Singapore's biggest fashion icons such as Daniel Boey, Sheila Sim and Asia's Next Top Model runner-up Sofia Wakabayashi to the event. Hosted by an equally fabulous pair of MTV Asia VJs Alan Wong and Hanli Hoefer, there couldn't have been more excitement and charisma overflowing in any event - plus, they were all dressed to kill. My two girlfriends and accompaniments for the event were a little (or a lot!) smitten for Alan, and I hit it off really well with Hanli, who is just as sweet as she is beautiful. We went to the same school (each for ten years) so we had plenty to talk about! She also gave me some enlightening, professional advice about my modelling career, which I thoroughly appreciated and was honored to receive.

"Famous for ascending the pink tracksuit to its status as a casual luxury icon, Juicy Couture has grown today into a global hit, with an assortment of fashion apparel for women, girls and babies, including handbags, shoes, intimates, swimwear, fragrance, accessories, jewelry, sunglasses, and small leather goods. The brand continues to evolve, bringing the same confident and feminine attitude to everything it creates." - Bless Inc Asia
As well as mingling with all the famous names in fashion, I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with some dear friends I hold close to my heart, namely Sara-Ann K, Katherine of Bubbamama, Kara Bensley of WYLD Agencies, blogger Yovani Turner and more. I wore a geometric printed blazer courtesy of wholesale7.net, a white blouse courtesy of Threepurs, wedges from Primark, lucite clutch courtesy of style.in.kind and a blue skirt from Lace and Ebony.

The fun didn't stop at fashion celebrities, a directional new store and the clothes themselves - there were also a series of super fun games, activities and lucky draws for guests to enjoy! Whether you wanted your initials in rhinestones on a hot pink Juicy Couture badge, or you fancied taking a guess at the missing scent (sandalwood or cinnamon) from Viva la Juicy Noir in order to stand a chance to win a bottle of the delicious perfume, there was so much to do and we had so much fun doing all of it. My favorite aspect of the event was the insta-printer, which provided memorable little printouts of any Instagram pictures hashtagged #jcsingapore and #wildforjuicy. There was an Instagram competition run as well, and the lucky winners would each receive a Juicy Couture watch! I couldn't believe my luck when I found out that I was one of the lucky winners! 
What do you think of Juicy Couture? If you're in Singapore, make sure you stop by and check out the gorgeous new store at the Canal Level of The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands!

7.11.13

10qq with yvette.



With a winning smile, looks to kill for and a bubbly personality and charm to match, it's no wonder Australian-Korean beauty Yvette King is taking Singapore's media and fashion industry by storm. Both a model under Cal-Carries and an event host under Beam Artistes, if there's any good fashion happening on the Little Red Dot, you can be sure Yvette King is right in the middle of all of it, either armed with a microphone as a host, or a camera as a blogger at tanjongbazaar.com. With a glamorous sense of style and the friendliest personality amidst her raging success, I sat down with Yvette and asked her some of my most itching questions. Read on to find out more about this host/model/blogger extraordinaire!

1. Favourite beauty product right now: Any kind of moisturizer - my skin just drinks it up! Right now I'm using Nars but I also love Premier Dead Sea.

2. Best piece of advice given to you by your parents: Be free and explore.

3. If you could have one designer item absolutely free right now (it could be anything!), what would you pick? Chanel 2.55 in Caviar. Or a Hermes Kelly... If you're reading this, Chanel or Hermes: Help a girl out!

4. One of your favorite bloggers: Shine By Three.



5. Two things you always have with you: My smile and my phone.

6. Another big interest of yours besides fashion: Surprisingly, football (as in soccer). Fashion and football - what a combination!

7. Your least favorite part about your job: The fact that it's fickle. It's a rollercoaster - one minute you have your dream gig, but it sometimes feels like a fleeting second. Then you need to hustle and get to your next one - and repeat!

8. A movie you'd be happy to watch over and over again: Love Actually!

9. Your culinary vice: Carbs!

10. Your favorite places in Singapore: Club Street or Duxton Hill. I love that the old shophouses are converted into restaurants, cafes and hole-in-the-wall bars.

What do you think of Yvette King's gorgeous sense of style? Check out her website, blog, Twitter and Instagram!