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15.1.14

new year nostalgia.

It's hard to believe that mid-January has already swung around and ushered the magical festivities of bubbling champagne nights and countdowns out the door until next year. While there are a good 11 months until the next round of fireworks erupt to welcome 2015, there's absolutely no reason for you to stuff the hefty purchases you made to the back of your wardrobe until then. It's perfectly excusable to splurge on new clothes to welcome a new year; who doesn't love rocking up at a New Year's party donning a spanking new dress that they finally got their hands on? The glitzy frocks, the statement bags, the skyscraper heels - this annual time of merriment sure has an equally excitable reputation for being one of the most stylish on the calendar. Nevertheless, don't let go of those New Year's party pieces just yet - there's always a way to re-style them into a fresh, unexpected ensemble! Check out my tips for styling down a party frock and a party clutch below:

party frock
The dress: a fitted, black bodice with a feathery skirt full of flair. The outfit you wore to a glitzy New Year's bash: statement earrings, opulent finger-candy, glazed diamond stilettos, blindingly beautiful nail varnish, a party-sized statement clutch with slashes of color, an alluring red lip, your most sensual fragrance and a glow of happiness and excitement that was enough to knock 'em off their feet that night. Now I don't expect anyone to still be feeling remotely as radiant as they did that night; New Year's is a one-time celebration of epic proportions, and most of us are back to the daily grind, anyway - but don't tell me you're putting those stunning frocks away for good! Working party dresses in a concealed, daytime outfit is a lot easier than it sounds (this is where any of your oversized sweatshirts are instrumental!). Throw a sequined, cream + gold sweatshirt over your dress so that an illusion of a feathery black skirt is created. Slip on some black leggings/tights to protect your legs from the wintry wind, and don a smart pair of leather ankle boots, preferably in a muted dove gray hue to tone down the exuberance of the outfit. Classic, rosy neutrals are the way to go from here: a delicate rose-gold timepiece works wonders when combined with rose-quartz and precious heart-shaped rings. Place your essentials for the day in a dusty pink, structured leather bag, and keep makeup minimal using the nude hues of any of the Naked palettes and a sweet, peachy blush. Infusing pale, rosy aesthetics with the rich quality of gold sequins is executed perfectly when accompanied by a daring dose of feathers and black.

party clutch

The bag: an intricately patterned gold box clutch that looks like (and probably costed you) some biig bucks. While this gem might have made its debut against a sultry backdrop of a caged black-and-gold dress (there goes my black-and-gold addiction again), smoky kohl-lined peepers and architecturally astonishing gold platforms, its appeal is certainly not limited to ensembles of such a manicured calibre. Taking this baby on a daytime ride is easy-breezy with the presence of gently distressed denim, a billowy blouse and a couple of relaxed gold accessories. Unlike for New Year's night, which is arguably the most aesthetically fussed-over night besides prom, effortlessness in daily style is an indispensable key to looking good. The chillaxed silhouette of a loose chiffon top and baggy boyfriend jeans can easily be pulled smartly together by a pair of black and nude ankle-strap peep-toes; these are dressy enough to make you look significantly more affluent and well put-together, yet they still retain a daytime quality. So there you have it - that stunning clutch won't look a hair out of place wrapped in your resiliently manicured fingers! Shhh, no one has to know that clutch - and that manicure, were with you on New Year's just a fortnight ago.

What are some of your favorite pieces from New Year's and how do you plan to style them to keep them fresh all-year round?

10.1.14

december in singapore.

I've had an amazing, jam-packed three weeks back in Singapore and I'm amazed at how much I managed to squeeze into my brief, three-week jaunt back home! It's always such a pleasure coming back to my hometown (you've probably read enough about my insane love for the little red dot in my last post about a trip back to Singapore) - it'll always have a place in my heart. Below is a visual compilation of everything that the past three weeks has given me: a multitude of exciting experiences, business reconnection, family time, SAT studying (blegh) and wonderful memories with some of the best people in my life. Enjoy!

 Our family has a Christmas tree every year, but it's usually one that we lug up from our basement and reassemble each December due to my mom's allergic reaction to real Christmas trees a couple years back. This year, we decided to give a real tree a shot, and my mom suffered no allergic reactions or discomfort! It makes a huge change to have a real tree, as it smells so divine and fills our living room with authentic Christmas spirit! We spend Christmas Eve every year with some good family friends of ours, and this year was no exception. We ate, drank and were merry the whole night long; not many things in life beat a 5-hour food marathon interspersed with trivia, Christmas crackers, charades and other festive traditions!

 To balance out the insanity and superfluousness of Christmas feasting, Singapore's very own juice cleanse company HICJuice sponsored me a 3-day Reboot cleanse (more details about their various products can be found here). 3 days, 6 500ml bottles of goodness each day, 18 (rather weighty) glass bottles delivered to your doorstep so you don't have to get off your bum except to put all your beautiful juices in your fridge. It's simple! Some of the greener juices were tough to stomach, but I thoroughly enjoyed all the fruitier, sweeter options like the Coconut Water, Nut Milk, etc. I wouldn't recommend these cleanses for fussy eaters or those who dislike the invasive flavors of celery and kale, but if you're an adventurous eater with a love for fruits and veggies, HICJuice is for you! Choose from three levels of intensity (Reboot is the lowest level lol how would I ever manage with the other levels) and track your progress in your Cleanse Journal; it's a fab way to start the new year on the right foot! On a slightly more indulgent note, I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting one of Ethan and my favorite brunch destinations a few weeks ago: Strangers' Reunion! Cue the delicious buttermilk waffles, warm artisan coffee and happiness off the charts. 

 My style in Singapore operates on an entirely different level than my style in the UK, simply because the magnitude and quantity of clothing required in such a sweltering climate cannot even compare to the heavy-coat-and-layers weather that is the UK for most months each year. On the far left is a picture of me in front of all the pretty Christmas decorations at Ion Orchard, wearing a Topshop crop top, necklace c/o FemmeX, watch c/o Juicy Couture, Urban Outfitters pants, Pazzion flats, and a bag c/o wholesale7.net. On Christmas day, mom and I opted for similar red + black printed dresses to celebrate the festive day. I styled my Kristine's Collection frock with a pair of the comfiest wedges I own, courtesy of Melissa Shoes Singapore, and a red lip. I really enjoyed shooting with Fiona of Smittenpixels and Rebecca from Fabfad - how cute is that beige jacket? Check out all Fabfad's cool new arrivals on their site. Another #foodpic was taken with my bub at P.S. Cafe, a restaurant that will forever be at the top of my list of culinary destinations in Singapore. Whenever we're there, we end up sitting and enjoying our food, drinks and dessert (and truffle fries!) and talking for hours on end.
It's always amazing to see my best friend Zack again - I saw him twice for meals at Chilis (which is a hugely fatty new addiction of mine!) followed by delicious Starbucks Christmas drinks. These selfies were taken with the backdrop of my beloved Tanglin Mall and its annual Christmas tree! The picture on the right is of Bell and I at a New Year's party - I'm wearing a gorgeous "Draw Me Closer" dress c/o FemmeX (follow the link to check out the dress!) which I absolutely adore. The mesh neckline and monochrome panelling make it a flattering classic in any girl's wardrobe. Lastly, the stunning panorama shot in the bottom image is the view from the China Club, where Dad and I went for a dim sum lunch one day. Amazing Chinese food combined with a killer view is a sure recipe for a lovely afternoon. If you get a chance, definitely try and check out the China Club for a classy date tucked away in one of the CBD's many skyscrapers (this one's at the top of Capitol Tower).

I am the luckiest girl in the world in so many ways: my lovely boyfriend got me a mint-colored satchel from none other than the Cambridge Satchel Company! I am in love with the beautiful color and iconic structure of this timeless classic. It's made of such good leather (quality you can smell!) and I just love it so so so much. Here's a selfie of me expressing my excitement about the bag (wearing a floral top c/o Kristine's Collection) right after Ethan gave it to me during our P.S Cafe date. Next is an OOTD shot of me on Orchard Road before an evening of ice-skating, wearing a two-piece c/o Dahlia, Urban Outfitters boots and a bag c/o wholesale7.net. Again - love me some Starbucks! #addict. On the right is a selfie with my mom and little brother right before our family's New Year's Eve party hosted at our house.

I hope everyone else had an excellent December and a great start to the New Year too!

5.1.14

threepurs.

 Once upon a time, there were three lovely sisters, each with a unique yet equally vibrant enthusiasm for getting dressed up. To cut the long (and wonderful!) story short, "Threepurs" (pronounced "triples") is Singapore's newest online store run by these three ladies who I absolutely adored working with during the shooting of their debut campaign. Scroll down for some of the Images shot and edited by my darling Amanda (visit her blog here!).

 Threepurs conscientiously caters for fashion lovers through a holistic online buying experience, and offering unparalleled service and excellent quality apparels are at the top of their list of priorities. Threepurs strives to be a hallmark of fashion, creating and providing a wide selection of fashionable and trendsetting apparels as well as accessories for everyday wear. From fashion news, hot styles to the sisters' own editorial picks, Threepurs hopes that every shopper will be able to realize their own individual style through their online store.

 As I mentioned earlier, I had a total blast shooting this campaign. With a great makeup artist, my favorite photographer and the prettiest shoes and clothes I've been lucky enough to wear in a long time, it was a sweltering hot afternoon of lots of giggles and fun in the sun. The two looks you've seen in the pictures above are both uniquely glamorous in their own way. The ruched floral dress is perfect with beachy sandals for a sunny vacation, or paired with a cropped blazer and heels for a sparkling night out. As for the slinky black top and fitted white skirt, Sherlyn couldn't have chosen a better footwear option to match this ensemble than good ol' Jeffrey Campbells! Who says you need a crazy color palette to nail a killer outfit? (P.S. Never try walking on an uneven rock surface in heels, it's not nearly as glam as these pictures suggest. It took us more than a few goes to nail these snaps without me toppling over!)

 After an exhausting but exciting day shooting at various locations dotted around East Coast Park (see the goofy behind-the-scenes pictures above!), I went straight to shoot a video with Zack (bottom left image) and was so chuffed to be able to take home this gorgeous black off-shoulder blouse and wear it to my video shoot. It's such a comfortable, versatile piece that shows just the right amount of skin - instantly a staple in my wardrobe!

ALSO, be sure to follow the three simple steps above to stand a chance to win an iPad Mini in celebration of the launch of Threepurs! Make sure you encourage all your friends to take part too, as the contest is only running if they hit 3,333 likes before September 30th. Stay tuned to all the exciting Threepurs action by following their social media platforms here; you'll have a bigger chance of winning the iPad Mini if you follow them on Twitter and Instagram too!


This is a sponsored advertorial.

#LFWEnd

Organized by London Fashion Week's title sponsor Vodafone, Vodafone London Fashion Weekend was such a perfect way to end the massively successful LFW. The idea: to allow all fashion enthusiasts a glimpse of the priceless atmosphere, actual location and fashionable feel of the ultra-exclusive London Fashion Week itself. With amazing talks held all weekend long by some of the greatest names in fashion, hourly runway shows hosted by the charismatic (and Irish!) Angela Scanlon showcasing this season's freshest trends and so much more, LFWEnd was a weekend to remember. Somerset House is unbelievably beautiful in real life, and the buzzing (and slightly overcrowded) fashion-ness made it that much more alluring. The event was brimming with some of the most fashion-forward, well-dressed Londoners I have ever seen, and whether guests were browsing the carefully curated London designers' booths or enjoying a latté in the pop-up coffee shop, the opportunities for Instagram enjoyment (aren't they the same thing?!) were endless. 

One of the highlights of the sprawling shopping opportunities at LFWEnd was London's own Blake LDN - a deliciously fresh, modern knitwear line by a Central Saint Martin's graduate (and an ex-assistant knitwear designer at Rag&Bone!) Alice Ashby. With ultra-soft, wearable and simple pieces perfect for Britain's nippy weather, a cosy sweater or winter hat from Blake LDN is definitely on my winter wardrobe wishlist! These cuddly separates stick to the lovely European tradition of fine knitwear, but ditch the granny connotations for a breezy, urban vibe that any girl can adapt into her personal style. I just checked; there's nothing in this world that is cuter than a baby blue beanie by Blake LDN.

 Another insta-worthy display was that of Sophia Webster's. She is, quite simply, fashion's favorite new shoe designer, boasting a quirky imagination that knows no bounds. Her shoes are absolutely to die for - they're just the type of thing that would contribute to an amazing street style photograph by the likes of Tommy Ton or Scott Schuman outside the Lincoln Center or Somerset House. Sophia showed her latest collection at LFW this year as well; entitled "A Bug's Life," her latest designs can also be described as the product of "an insect sleepover" (she's talented AND she's funny!). "To top it all off, her designs were also showcased alongside J Crew's SS14 collection shown during NYFW. Talk about colorful multitasking! Rich, loud graphic themes and kaleidoscopic color compulsory.

 One of the most entertaining aspects of shopping at LFWEnd was scouting out blogger-extraordinaire Susie Lau's "edits" of the season; Britain's favorite fashion blogger did her rounds of the brands available for purchase at LFWEnd and assigned a Style Bubble tag to her favorite pieces! I'm proud to say that while we mightn't share the same level of eccentricity, I would've chosen almost everything that she did! Meeting her would've been the absolute icing on the cake, but I did meet someone else very worthy of note...

I was super lucky to nab a front row seat at Hilary Alexander's mindblowingly brilliant talk on the Fashion Journalism industry. To be up close and personal with one of the greatest, most achieved women in an industry I hope to be a part of was unforgettable, and hearing her inspirational words on her experiences travelling the world as a journalist opened me up to how multifaceted and holistic a career in fashion journalism is. It isn't about wearing expensive clothes and jet-setting to Milan, New York and back again, it's about "climbing Machu Picchu at the crack of dawn wearing the couture dresses we were going to try and shoot at the peak, with all the shoes and accessories jingle-jangling in our pockets." Yes, in an attempt to avoid paying a ridiculous amount to the authorities just to shoot a couture spread up on Machu Picchu, the 4-man team of model, stylist, photographer and Hilary each wore a Vivienne Westwood dress, concealed it with coats and sprinted up the mountain and managed to get a few good shots before scrambling back down again to avoid being caught. She spoke about technology's impact on fashion, the influence of bloggers, the importance of belief in yourself, fearlessness, and the non-quantifiable worth of hard work, and I was so utterly engrossed in this tiny woman and all the big things she had achieved (and has yet to achieve!). The ultimate queen of hilarious anecdotes and a wise woman of infinite substance and style (and absolutely NO snobbery or diva attitude whatsoever), it's safe to say that Hilary Alexander is my absolute idol.

The event sponsors also had many exciting things to share, including a complimentary manicure service for Vodafone customers, a Maybelline hair and makeup booth and a label.m hair salon for free styling services! Canon set up an amazing 360 degree camera booth which you stood in the middle of while various futuristic rotating screens and cameras engulfed you for a few moments in order to produce a true, all-encapsulating OOTD picture of you (I didn't try this out, so my description hails merely from my imagination). The event spaces were absolutely buzzing with people making full use of all the fun opportunities available at the event other than retail therapy - it was a lot of fun sharing the LFW experience with other bloggers and fashion enthusiasts alike.

Until next time, LFWEnd!
Check out my Instagram video to see snippets of the runway presentation!

#instadiary - halloween!

This sounds so bad, and I guess that's because it IS so bad, but I have to say it: I hate Halloween. Always have and always will. I know tons of people, young and old alike, have some of their fondest memories dressing up and trick or treating and carving pumpkins and decorating their houses, but I just don't see the appeal. I love Christmas for the festive, familial feeling in the air, the presents (of course) and the intimate connection the season has with my religion (Catholic), and I feel like it's okay for me to enjoy all the 'superficialities' such as Christmas clothing sales and yummy food because I know that I am also fervent towards the season in a more meaningful way. I'm not saying that every festival or "reason to celebrate" has to be deeply rooted in religion or history to be legitimate or enjoyable, and maybe I don't really know what I'm saying and my hatred is just an immature, irrational one. I just hate Halloween (except candy corn, I like candy corn). Okay party pooping rant over.

Anyway, all my social media platforms have been spammed with all things Halloweeny, creepy and black-and-orange over the past few days, which has made me a bit more tolerant towards this annual spook-fest. I'm not going to launch into a Halloween Style Guide (god no), but instead, I thought I'd collect some of my favorite Halloween moments shared with the Instagram world from our favorite bloggers, companies and editors around the globe. See this as my attempt to conform to society's unstoppable enjoyment of a rather frivolous occasion. Enjoy!

Blogger Royalty Bryan Yambao (@bryanboy) rocked the cutest Anna Wintour outfit this year; she mightn't be spooky, but she certainly sends some seriously scary chills down the spines of fashion's elite from her front-row perch. Brownie points for that wig and those glasses! Chiara Ferragni (@chiaraferragni) of another major blog, "The Blonde Salad," looked amazing as usual and accessorized with a funky magenta wig and a nose ring (let's hope she never actually gets that pierced for real...), while Australian teen singer, brother of Cody Simpson and outrageously insta-famous Alli Simpson (@allisimpson) snapped a cute pic of lit pumpkin decorations with her signature hazy, faded filters (Secret's out: I stalk her quite a bit).

Blogger/model Hanneli Mustaparta (@hannelim) captured a posed picture with some friends, rocking minimal makeup and a cute bow in her hair. I love the simplicity, but I prefer the wild eye-makeup of her fellow party-goers! Company Magazine (@companymagazine) shared an adorable #instanailart picture, complete with pretty rings too! Nail art is definitely the way to go if you're not big on dressing up real insane. Teen Vogue's Andrew Bevan (@bevansburg) boasted elaborate makeup and a ghoulish complexion, posing with Rebecca Minkoff and Gavin Bellour.

 More nail goodness courtesy of major teen fashion mag Teen Vogue (@teenvogue) and a stunning flapper/Daisy Buchanan-esque selfie from actress Jennette McCurdy (@jennettemccurdy), but the real highlight here is Aimee Song's (@songofstyle) hilariously adorable Loofah costume. I have a feeling we'll see the same ingenious idea pop up on numerous occasions next Halloween, because this is what happens when you're one of the world's most successful individuals in the fashion industry: when you wear a loofah, you'll find that soon enough, everyone will wear a loofah. #TeamAimee

Parkncube (@parkncube) took the cutest photo next to an ASOS photowall, Teen Vogue Ed-In-Chief Amy Astley (@amytastley) captured an adorable moment on the subway of a little girl dressed up to go trick-or-treating, and fashion's all-time favorite designer Jason Wu (@jasonwu) clearly had a roaring good time (he attended the same Halloween party as Bryanboy!), decked out in winged eyeliner and even spookier friends on his arm. Maybe Halloween isn't so bad after all...

2.1.14

10qq with dahlia.

 One of the best parts of relocating to London is basking in the glorious abundance of undiscovered labels, clothing stores and thrift flea markets that can't be found anywhere else in the world, and knowing that I have another year and a half to uncover a whole city's worth of hidden treasures at my leisure. Hardly hidden but definitely a treasure is London's own Dahlia Boutique, which has now firmly nestled itself in the top spot on my list of favorite fashion spots in the city. Boasting a charming boutique on Fouberts Place and retailing in the Topshop of gargantuan proportions on Oxford Street, if you're looking for a carefully curated selection of stylish pieces, Dahlia is the place to be. The size of each collection and the range of items available in store appears only slightly varied, but do not mistake their selective size for selective style. Upon closer inspection, the variety of apparels, though small, basically ticks all the boxes for the perfect wardrobe. Whoever you are and whatever clothing you love, you'll find something special at Dahlia; take my word for it!

 my outfit before trying stuff on | two-piece playsuit | monochrome printed jacket | gold jacket

On a rainy Sunday afternoon a few weeks back, I made my way to Fouberts Place in London to visit Dahlia's flagship store, meet the team and try on some of their fabulous clothing (as you can see in the selfies above!). In one afternoon, I was transformed from donning a dreary winter coat/scarf/jeans ensemble to a cute, athletic playsuit (full outfit post here), a sexily structured monochrome coat with PU leather sleeves/collar, and a lightweight, glitzy gold zip-up that begs to be worn to a fashionable party. So much love for all of these gorgeous pieces! The generous Dahlia team let me pick a couple of my favorites to take home, and I selected the gold jacket and the two-piece playsuit, along with two other pieces which you'll see featured soon!

Because I enjoyed my experience with Dahlia so much and LOVE their clothing, I decided to feature its owner, Leigh Littlechild, in the first 10qq segment of 2014! It's so much fun to hear about the lives and passions of interesting individuals throughout the industry on a monthly basis; I hope you guys enjoy these features as much as I do! Read on to find out more about Dahlia founder and designer Leigh:

1. What are your top music artist fashion inspirations?
My inspiration comes more from real life. It comes from street style, the things you see every day. Although I do have a real passion for old school pin ups: Twiggy, Bardot and even Barbara Windsor in Carry On films.

2. Give us a sneaky hint about the direction of Dahlia's next collection (as well as when it'll be launched!):
For SS14 we have gone back to our roots, easy, everyday wearable dresses alongside some amazing macs and new twists on our best pinafores. It will start to feature in store and online from January.

3. Personal favorites from Dahlia's current collection:
This season is full of personal favourites for me. I am loving our oversized dresses like Alana and our cuddly cardigans like Georgina. I am also wearing a few key pieces that you will see in store over the next few weeks. Watch this space for some very cool shorts and skorts.

4. A wardrobe must-have for the chillier (and wetter!) winter months in England:

I am a big person for accessories and they really help to personalise an outfit. I had a rather large earmuff collection at one point! A good hat is essential for winter in London and helps to set you apart.
"I would never wear Primark. Working in fashion, I know nothing good can be made so cheaply. I think fashion should have a conscience."
5. A British movie star you'd love to dress:
I love Juno Temple. She really caught my eye in Atonement and I love her now she is all grown up. She would be great to dress as I think she would try anything and I am envious of her hair.

6. A beauty product you dislike:
Chanel mascara. A very huge let down for me. A real lesson in "expensive doesn't mean good."

7. Favorite London fashion bloggers:
I like Le Cool London for general things but for fashion I like the outfit section on park and cube. I just find it well put together.

8. A place you'd love to take the Dahlia team on holiday:
We are an eclectic bunch but one thing we share is our love of fashion, clothing and shopping. I think a trip to LA to visit the Rose Bowl vintage market would really tickle all our fancies.

9. Something you would NEVER wear:
Never say never; I have worn some funny things in my time (all very hot at the time!). Let's just say Buffalo trainers! I would never wear Primark. Working in fashion, I know nothing good can be made so cheaply. I think fashion should have a conscience.

10. Favorite fashion reads?
I am not keen on mainstream fashion mags, I feel they are really behind the trends. I prefer Japanese mags for looking at pictures! I also love Accidental Chinese hipsters on Facebook and I want to borrow Grace Coddington's book from my sister.

Visit Dahlia's website here to check out their latest pieces, or head over to their flagship store at Fouberts Place! Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year.