ma laysi a
Change makers Malaysia’s most inspiring women on how they do it
on style, celebrity
and staying normal
Beauty’s new mood
Soft or strong? Pastel or pop? Find your look!
in the spotlight
what to wear your spring NOW fashion forecast!
The REAL Devil Wears Prada
The harsh, hilarious truth about fashion magazines
Behind The Cover
Style Chameleon Scha Alyahya: designer muse one minute, cool street style star the next
Bag, RM14,000, Dior
Earrings, RM1,300, Swarovski
Cartier Love bracelet in yellow gold with diamonds
Shoes, RM4,300, Saint Laurent
Maroón by Scha Alyahya Parfum, RM55
text: medina azaldin. Imaxtree.Com, tpg images/click photos
nly a select handful of local stars have the kind of magnetic pull that Scha Alyahya possesses. The camera loves her, as proven at our cover shoot this month. Her first lighting test shot was the stuff of dreams; eyes closed and humming, Scha was an absolute natural. Plus, she turned up with no entourage, just one assistant, sang between takes and was so relaxed and easygoing on set that we knew instantly: here was a real star. Scha’s style is also an instinctive, organic thing. Instead of playing it safe and opting for ‘pretty’ time and again, she’s not averse to taking risks. Case in point: the Dior suit and dark lips at last year’s Anugerah MeleTOP Era. And she wears boyfriend jeans just as well as she does gowns. Naturally, she was one of our first choices for the Woman of Style award at our first ever ELLE Style Awards last year. Her Instagram followers (all 3.5 million of them) agree – everything Scha wears turns to sold-out. With her beauty, charisma and intrinsic sense of style, Scha is the perfect woman to cover our March issue.
Need a good book to encourage, inform or expand your feminist beliefs? Turn straight to p107 for ideas.
This new Alexander McQueen fragrance smells like a tropical garden at night: magical, sexy, mysterious. (p117)
t’s always a joy for a magazine editor when she can shoot a runway look she has fallen head over heels for. You might think magazines can put any clothes they like in their pages, but for smaller markets such as ours, it’s not always the case. There are many reasons we can’t always get our hands on the clothes we want, even though tireless fashion PRs will move heaven and earth to accommodate us, couriering pieces halfway around the world and back or uncomplainingly adjusting their schedule when our model cancels at the last minute, for example. We shoot overseas when we can, not just because it gives us access to a broader pool of talent and locations, but because we have more samples to choose from. But then sometimes a rival magazine gets their hands on the dress we want before we do, and the cover you had in your head goes up in a puff of smoke. C’est la vie! So, you can imagine my buzz when we secured the Dior look
Scha Alyahya wears so fiercely on this month’s cover (read the story on page 88). It may be a humble T-shirt, but what a statement it makes. The second I saw it coming down the runway during Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior debut, I knew we had to get it. Because this is the ELLE woman: stylish and spirited. What I remember most of that September afternoon at the Musée Rodin was the feeling in the air. With Nina Simone singing “here comes the sun, little darlin’” and a galaxy of inspiring women in the audience, from Rihanna to a Thai princess to a Paralympian fencer, it was clear Maria was revelling in being Dior’s first female creative director. The show was as much a celebration of women as a celebration of beautiful clothing. It’s a mood we also hope to capture in this March issue, in which we cover both International Women’s Day and the arrival proper of the Spring/Summer 2017 season. Finding your look, finding your voice – what great aspirations for every woman to have.
Who needs a holiday? Phuket's Habita at Sri Panwa is just a short skip away, so what are you waiting for? See why we loved it on page 153.
I was introduced to Turkish designer Gül Hürgel via Instagram and I've fallen hard for her dreamy dresses (p55).
One of my favourite beauty trends this season is the duotone lip. Now I just need to work up the chutzpah to wear it outside my bathroom (p110).
kate guest EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
In the office, I'm all about the slide, and this month we have lots of gorgeous new options (p78).
I strongly feel that all makeup should come in pencil form. So easy! Nars lip pencils are my faves (p52).
Cushnie et Ochs
Editor-in-Chief Kate Guest Managing Editor Emma Chong Johnston Beauty Editor Grace Wong Senior Fashion Writer Florence Song Editorial Assistant Medina Azaldin
Vice President, Sales Nicholas Ng Sales Director Karen D'Cruz Senior Sales Executive Faten Suhaira Sulaiman
Executive Chairman Graham Paling Group CEO Patrick Brennan Chief Operating Officer Mark Harvey Editorial Director Muna Noor International Business Development Director Richard Beatty Executive Publisher Intan Shafinas Bte Meor Zailan
Chairman & CEO Lagardère Active Denis Olivennes CEO ELLE France & International Constance Benque CEO ELLE International Media Licenses François Coruzzi SVP/International Director of ELLE Valeria Bessolo Llopiz SVP/Director of International Media Licenses, Digital Development & Syndication Mickael Berret ELLE International Productions Charlotte Deffe Virginie Dolata Deputy Syndication Team Manager Thérèse Genevois Syndication Coordinator Sylvia Pelc Copyrights Manager & Digital Syndication Séverine Laporte
Art Director Sheila Cheah Senior Graphic Designer Kenneth Lee Production Executive Nor Faridah Mustafa
Associate Editor Andrea Tim Writer Verinia Khoo Editorial Assistant Lydia Chan Web Manager Elana Chee Assistant Web Manager & Senior Designer Vincent Chua Digital Marketing & Ad Ops Manager Averell Leiking Web Developer Puah Char Wee Digital Ad Ops Coordinator Abdul Azim Razali
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS firstname.lastname@example.org
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Head of Operations Camy Yee Sales Operations Executive Liyana Nadrah Accounts Executive Siti Fazillah Yunus Jr. Accounts Executive Norshakila Abdullah Accounts Assistant Nu’Man Hadi Mohamed Ashraf HR Manager Zubaidah Razak IT Support Engineer Reshwant Singh Dhillon Circulation Manager Ignatius JC Edwin Circulation Assistants Mohd Khairie Abdul Karim & Mohd Sukri Dispatch Muhammad Fitri Badrul Sham, Mohd Khairil Hafizie Mohd Zamzam
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CONTRIBUTORS Tanuj Ahuja, Eric Chow, Sonia Dutt, Gabriela Espadas Caturla, Azrul Hafis, Bunny Hazel Clarke, Alexa Horgan, Khir Khalid, Shallee Lee, Thea Lewis-Yates, Renyi Lim, Ckay Liow, Amity MacDonnell, Rebecca Newman, Emma Osborne, Colin Sim, Isha Singh Sawhney, Dan Smith, Gow Tanaka, Tengku Zai, Christine Thompson, Ting Yang Shan, Skye White, Andrew Woffiden, Joey Yap
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ELLE Malaysia is published by Mongoose Publishing Sdn Bhd (580051-K) under license from Lagardère Active. The views expressed in the articles published are not necessarily those of Mongoose Publishing Sdn Bhd (580051-K) or Lagardère Active. While every reasonable care is taken in compiling the magazine, the publisher shall not be held responsible for any omission, error or inaccuracy. Please notify the publisher in writing of any such omission, error or inaccuracy. Editorial contributions are welcome but unsolicited materials are submitted at the sender’s risk. The publisher cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage.© All rights reserved by Mongoose Publishing Sdn Bhd (580051-K). No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the publisher’s permission in writing. KDN PP 18321 / 12 /2013 (033718) ISSN 2289-6120 TRADEMARK NOTICE. The ELLE trademark is used under license from the trademark owner, Hachette Filipacchi Presse.
M a r c h 2 017
PHOTOGRAPHY Eric Chow. STYLING Colin Sim. MAKEUP Khir Khalid HAIR Ckay Liow. Scha wears dress, earrings, choker and rings, all Dior.
On The Cover 88 Sensational Scha Scha Alyahya stuns in Dior everything in this month’s cover spread 60 SS17 Runway Report The shows through ELLE’s eyes 84 From Florida to Fashion Why R.J Hernandez’s new novel is a must-read 98 Incredible Women Female figures taking over the world, one step at a time 110 Backstage Beauty The best beauty looks this season
Fashion 130 Dark romance Getting romantic in some of this season’s most beautiful dresses 140 The Twins Rachel and Michelle Yeoh model British designs
Radar 48 First Look: The Drape Life No restrictions. Time to conquer in airy, flowing clothing. 50 Hot List: Bigger, Brighter, Better 51 What Elle Wears: In the Pink A shade that’s better than the overused Tumblr-pink 52 Beauty Editor’s Picks: Level Up Cult favourites, new reinterpretations 53 Love from Lottie Girl-crushing on Bulgari’s new ambassador 54 Fashion News New catwalk stars, designer changes, and a boot trend we dare you to try
PA V I L I O N K U A L A L U M P U R
Style 70 Style Snaps Four cities, a multitude of fabulous looks
72 House of Fun Fendi's got a brand new bag 74 Muse: Nausheen Shah 75 Accessories: Petal Pushers
76 Workwear: Perfectly Suited
77 Weekend: Game, Set, Flash 78 Key Pieces: Slip On Mules Easy, breezy, and oh so polished 79 Key Pieces: Shapely Totes Your everyday bag gets a statement-making makeover
80 All About Anthony Saint Laurent’s new direction
76 Agenda 102 Heart to Heart Growing up with sisters isn’t always rosy 104 Creepshots Nothing glamorous about this paparazzi situation 106 Culture News Women in arts and the must-have books on every feminist’s shelf
116 Beauty Cupboard: Palette Party ELLE’s favourite makeup palettes 117 Inspiration: Scents and Sensability 118 No More Blues Chanel’s new serum is the new antioxidant powerhouse 120 Into the Light Skin that’s brighter than the future 122 Glossed Up A fresh look at lipglosses 124 Inhale, Exhale The science to proper breathing
126 Saving Face Power up your routine with the Kiehl’s releases 127 Beauty News Bloomsbury inspired scents, a chat with Supergoop’s founder, and blush-contouring tips from the pros
120 living 150 Travel: Turkish Delight The glutton's guide to Istanbul 153 Chic Hotel: The habita at Sri Panwa, phuket 154 Spaces: Life in Black and White A New Delhi apartment that is a black and white dream
158 Food Feelgood food at Agak Agak, and the cool new Japanese cooking school
117 EVERY ISSUE
30 Behind the Cover 34 Editor’s Letter 36 Masthead 44 They Made This 159 Horoscopes 160 Address Book 162 Instalove: Pandora sykes
Dan Smith Photographer Dark romance page 130
Juno Ko Hairstylist
Juno is no stranger to the local fashion scene. His work has been featured in numerous publications and he’s a favourite among brides and celebrities. He creates a bohemian, romantic updo for our bridal fashion spread in this month’s ELLE Brides. My first job was this one! I’ve been
London and New York-based photographer Dan Smith is no stranger to shooting fashion campaigns and high-end editorials. He takes on the beautiful light of Morocco in this month’s fashion spread on page 130. The perfect holiday would be somewhere windy, with a good swell, as I windsurf a lot. Pistol River in Oregon this year was great.
in the industry for eight years. Currently watching the science fiction drama Sense8. The best city in the world is Tokyo – except I haven’t been yet! I’ll be going very soon. The perfect shoe is always a sneaker. My favourites are from Adidas, Nike, Vans and Palladium. Go-to outfit is nearly always white. I like simple but innovative basics.
Favourite movie Bladerunner. It’s a classic. If I wasn’t a photographer I’d be making chairs, carpentry or something like that. I did start training as an architect doing architectural drawings. The best city in the world is whatever city I’m in at the time. Right now it’s New York. Best part about shooting this month’s spread was being in good company and the light.
Once upon a dream page 30 in ELLE Brides @juuu.ko
Shallee Lee Makeup Artist @s
what elle wears page 51
Shallee is a full-time freelance makeup artist. She began her dream career seven years ago and hasn’t looked back since. Shallee works a wide spectrum of makeup jobs, including bridal, event and editorial projects. This month she matched the season’s biggest colour, pink, with strong lip looks.
Favourite movie Cinderella because the costumes and set designs are pure fairytale magic. If I wasn’t a makeup artist, I might be a musician. The perfect holiday is on a beach with hardly anyone else, where I can just rest, eat and get massages! Go-to outfit T-shirt, leggings and sneakers. The best city in the world is London.
Ealways lle This month on elle.my
Wedding-worthy gowns seen at fashion month
ysi ala a
w @elle lo
International Day of Happiness
The science-proven ways to be happy
What does a feminist look like? And other FAQs
How to survive a whole day with glittery lips Versace
radar The fashion and beauty trends and talking points you need to know about this month
Text: emma chong johnston. Photography: imaxtree.com
Hello, Spring/Summer! The new season is here and we’re ready for a major refresh. Big, bright dresses, bold new accessories and the colour we can’t wait to wear: hot, hot pink. Plus, style inspiration from every fashion capital and news straight from the runway.
This new season Gucci bag has gone straight to the top of our wishlist
Radar First lo ok
The drape life
Forget constricting waistbands. The new dress shape is fluid, free-form and very relaxed Earrings, RM2,680, Saint Laurent Céline
Dress, RM450, Cos
Dress, RM4,350, CH Carolina Herrera
Bag, RM8,995, Bally Sneakers, RM2,800, Tod’s
Text & co-ordination: Emma Chong Johnston. photography: imaxtree.com
Activity tracker, RM399, Michael Kors
Radar Hot l ist
Stronger, Louder, Better We’re turning heads with these spectacular accessories. Simply add denim and a white shirt.
Emma Chong johnston MANAGING EDITOR
“Fresh new eyewear is key for a fresh new season, and highshine mirrored sunnies hide the fact that you messed up your eyeliner flick. “ Sunglasses, Louis Vuitton
Sheila Cheah Art Director
“This Chanel cap is one of the reasons I’m still not over the baseball cap trend. It’s perfect for a bad hair day. ” Cap, Chanel
Online Associate Editor
“Just don’t tell my plain satchels I’m cheating on them, okay?” Bag, RM10,100, Prada
Medina Azaldin Editorial Assistant
“I’m usually more into statement earrings, but Givenchy’s S/S ’17 oversized sliced agate necklaces in saturated, eye-popping colours have converted me.” Necklace, Givenchy
co-ordination: medina azaldin
“I’m a bit of a walking hazard whenever I’m in heels. But I’ll risk it for these amazing Gucci shoes. Also, how hard can it be to walk in platforms, right? Right?”
RADAR what ELLE wears
In the pink
Emma Chong Johnston tries out fashion’s new favourite colour
Skirt, approx. RM3,495, Roland Mouret at farfetch.com
Bag, Emporio Armani
Wrap dress (worn as coat), RM399, Warehouse. Top, RM2,490, Peter Pilotto at Club 21 Multi-label Store. Shorts, RM140 and shoes, RM399, both H&M Studio. Bag, RM99.90, H&M
Top (worn underneath), RM189, Warehouse. Dress, RM2,899, BCBG Maxazria. Shoes, RM315, Nelissa Hilman. Bangle, Loewe
Photography: Azrul Hafis/Shooting Star. Hair & makeup: Shallee Lee
Top, RM299, Thavia at fashionvalet.com. Pants, RM169 and shoes, RM155, both Topshop. Clutch, Loewe. Earrings, H&M
ABClick charm, RM1,410, Fendi Tarte Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint in Wannabe, RM95 Nars Velvet Shadow Stick in Siros, RM104
ink ruled the S/S ’17 runways, and for once it wasn’t the whimsical, dusty Tumblr pink that we’ve come to know so well. This pink was fuchsia, cerise, raspberry and magenta, even more saturated and vivid than Barbie pink – and not a stiletto heel in sight. No frills or ribbons here; the runways’ favourite way to wear it was top-to-toe (or with thigh-high purple stocking boots, à la Balenciaga) in solid sheets of colour, across draped dresses and high-shine patent coats. In real life, that much pink can be a little overpowering. I broke up my first solid pink look with a sporty knit crewneck and flat leather slippers, draping a wrap dress over the shoulders as a makeshift cover-up for if things get colder or more formal than expected. Fuschia trousers may not seem like the easiest thing to style, but a slim cut and rolled hem keep it modern. Add a slouchy sweater, skater shoes and slash of dark lipstick and suddenly they don’t look quite so ’80s. And if you’re still not convinced but want to try a flash of pink, rather than a block of colour, layer a bright blouse under a pinafore or sleeveless shift dress to add some light to your neutrals. Chunky mules and playful accessories keep the look lighthearted. Pink? It’s not even a question.
Jacket, La Martina
RADAR Beaut y picks
Cult makeup classics are constantly getting reinvented, retooled and upgraded (or just given new shades). Grace Wong plays favourites
Urban Decay Naked Flushed in Going Native, RM125 Complexion champ Naked Flushed bundles a bronzer, highlighter and blush in a compact case (sweet like ice-cream, but sugar-free). This month brings three new shades: Going Native, Nooner and Sesso. They’re cooler-toned than the original trio so the bronzers work across more skin tones, while the blushes are fresher and brighter.
Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Bronzed Bell, RM105 Magnificent Metals began life as a foil-type eyeshadow and a liquid mixing medium that had to be combined in a tray. End result: a heartbreakingly pretty foil finish. The new iteration comes in a tube with a doe foot applicator, banishing its only flaw.
Dior Vernis in 100 Spring Bud and 180 Lilas, RM99 each Dior makes some lovely nail polishes with even colour and a wide brush that does half the job. Spring’s two pretty pastels are a big incentive to expand your collection. 52
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Perfecting Wand, RM105
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dirty Mind, RM95 Densely pigmented and eco-friendly, NARS Velvet Lip Pencils are a pop of vivid colour, dabbed on as a tint or coloured in for full-on effect. The matte finish ensures this new shade of lush lilac can be seen from a mile away.
Flaky lip days are a tiny hell, but even I think it’s ridiculous to schlep a pot of lip scrub around. Meet Fresh’s scrub in a tube, a new extension of the Sugar Lip Treatments. Twist to dispense the mixture of butters (mango seed, cupuaçu) and oils (grapeseed, blackcurrant seed), and exfoliate your lips with the silicone brush-like surface of the applicator.
Benefit POREfessional Pore Minimizing Makeup, RM150 The original POREfessional primer is well-loved for its magically blurring properties, so a foundation is long overdue. The light-as-air liquid formula smoothes easily onto skin with the accompanying cushion, but applies just as beautifully with fingers or a brush, evening out skin tone and texture.
Lottie wears Bulgari Serpenti sunglasses, RM1,400
young hearts Lottie Moss brings verve and spirit to Bulgari’s newest campaign
Bag, RM18,900, Bulgari
ottie Moss is not your everyday 19-year-old. Yes, she has a very famous sibling (her name begins with ‘K’ and ends with ‘ate’) but since signing with an agency three years ago she’s slowly becoming a star in her own right. The model has fronted a slew of campaigns from Calvin Klein to Red Valentino, walked the Paris shows and starred in top editorials. But in spite of her stellar connections, Moss Jnr. flies relatively under the radar. She isn’t all over the magazines, her relationships don’t send the internet into a frenzy (unless you subscribe to British tabloids), and so when she does lend her doll-like beauty to a brand, the fashion world pauses to take notice. The brand in question this time is celebrated jewellery and fashion house Bulgari. Following in the footsteps of fellow Brit Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Moss models Bulgari’s latest accessories collection, lending a youthful spirit to the usually grown up, sensual images Bulgari is known for. Shot by Michael Avedon (you might have heard of his grandfather, Richard), Lottie cuts a fine figure in Rome matching her Serpenti Forever Floralia to the summer blooms and her B.Zero1 sunglasses to the romantic Roman architecture. Roman holiday, anyone?
Bag, RM9,150, Bulgari
Sunglasses, RM1,750, Bulgari
Backstage at Erdem S/S ’17
Stories from the sea Islands, mermaids and shipwrecks rise from the depths for two British designers
rdem begins every new collection with a story. For S/S ’17, the heroine was Jean Ker, the real life ladyin-waiting to Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, whose entire wardrobe was lost in a shipwreck off the Dutch coast in 1642 (one dress was found intact just a few years ago). In Erdem’s imagination, Jean and her cohorts wash up at French seaside resort Deauville 300 years later, and this would be their wardrobe. Ruffled dresses with oversized sleeves, floral prints grounded by black grosgrain ribbon ties, worn with platform sandals in the same prints. The palette was all about ocean blues, from shimmery silver to inky black, with one or two shocks of yellow and red. The masterpiece, however, was the ankle-length full skirt and matching top reverse embroidered with painterly florals. Inside out, they looked like a roiling sea of silvery blue. Over at Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton was inspired by Scotland’s Shetland Islands. The islands’ influence was felt in the Fair Isle knits and Shetland lace embroidered with wild heather and marine animals, but it was the islanders’ Taatit rugs, which women have made for generations, that most inspired Burton. When a couple marries, rugs from the bride and groom’s families are stitched together. “It’s beautiful in its imperfection,” Burton said. “It’s intimate, personal, touched by the human hand.” Burton’s own handmade pieces will become heirlooms too, especially the two staggeringly beautiful finale dresses, spun from black and silver threads, beads and sequins. The first was a sheer dress embroidered in jet black with a scene from the sea floor, a slice of life filled with starfish, sea horses and fish. The last had the foamy crest of a wave detailed in silver sequins with the black outline of a ship tossed against it. The verdict? Cast off your anchors and set sail on the stormy seas of the season.
The models who ruled the S/S ’17 runways
Ellen Rosa Faretta Nationality: Croatian # of shows walked: 36 Superstar moment: Opening Mugler @lafaretta
Vittoria Ceretti Nationality: Italian # of shows walked: 40 Superstar moment: At Alexander McQueen (Ceretti is also McQueen’s new campaign star) @vittoceretti
The two stunning finale dresses at Alexader McQueen
Nationality: Brazilian # of shows walked: 28 Superstar moment: Booking Dior, Valentino, Chanel, and Prada... all in her first season.
Noemie Abigail Nationality: French # of shows walked: 18 Superstar moment: Opening Valentino
Hoyeon Jung Nationality: Korean # of shows walked: 7 Superstar moment: The unmissable redhead booked Fendi and Louis Vuitton in her debut season
ONES TO WATCH
New Gül on the block
The new go-to name for elegant, effortless dresses
ül Hürgel is perfectly qualified to dress the jet-setting, multiple address-owning women who love her clothes. She was born in Istanbul, studied in Switzerland and polished her craft at Parsons School of Art and Design in both New York and Paris. And while many other up-andcoming designers get caught up in a race to the edge, Hürgel has made her name making clothes that women simply love to wear, and feel great in. Her dresses, shirts and skirts are mostly in feminine silhouettes, romantic colour schemes and light, breathable fabrics. (Plus, pockets!) They’re favoured by street style mainstays Kate Foley and Caroline Issa and swimwear designer Lisa Marie Fernandez and stocked by some of the giants of online shopping. Here she brings us into her world and tells us more about the Gül Hürgel woman. How would you describe your designs? Sophisticated and comfortable. What is your earliest fashion memory? I was about four or five and I remember my mum going to the theatre wearing a red coat with red lipstick. Those were times when people really dressed really chic to go out. Who are your style muses? Lee Radziwill and Rina Rochas. Inspiration comes from… Nature and other cultures.
Who would you love to see wearing your clothes? I love when I see just a regular non-celebrity woman wearing my clothes. But I would love to see Cate Blanchett, Beyoncé and Blake Lively wearing them too. Can you recommend anywhere to shop in Istanbul? Grand Bazaar, Kurtuluş flea market and for designer clothing, boutiques like Beymen or Midnight Express. What are your wardrobe must haves? A white linen shirt and linen highwaisted pants. Your designs are very feminine and bring a modern twist to classic silhouettes. Why have you chosen this style specifically? I have chosen this style firstly because any woman from any age can wear my clothes and feel both feminine and modern. I also have jumpsuits, shirts and skirts in the collection. Recently, I collaborated with a very well-known jewellery designer, Tohum by Verda Alaton, for a series of organic olives and rosebuds pieces. your Favourite fashion book and film? My favourite fashion book is Elegance: The Seeberger Brothers and the Birth of Fashion Photography and my favourite movie is The Talented Mr. Ripley.
A look into her eponymous clothing label
Brand Philosophy “Sunny and feminine, embodying timeless elegance yet practical and light.”
Shop the pieces at
gulhurgel.com and matchesfashion.com
2 tickets to the Beauty and the Beast Preview Contest ends March 7, 2017
Tale as old as time Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star in the spectacular new live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic Beauty and The Beast. When Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a mysterious Beast, life changes in unexpected ways for both of them. Forty lucky ELLE readers will each win a pair of tickets to the preview screening of this highly anticipated film at TGV Sunway Pyramid on March 15, 2017.
IN CINEMAS MARCH 16
For a chance to win, go to elle.my/club Follow @elleMalaysia For the latest fashion, beauty and celebrity news Available on
RADAR News Every season has its drama and S/S ’17 was no different. Here’s who had finales and debuts at the major fashion houses
Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior
The new season’s sock/boots sit right at the intersection of comfort and crazy. At Fendi, they took the shape of cosy socks propped up with curvy Marie Antoinette heels. At Emilio Pucci, printed uppers gathered round the ankle; at Céline Phoebe Philo mimicked the effect with crumpled leather socks tucked into pointy mules. But Balenciaga took the cake, delivering us a leggingstocking-boot that manages to be both the ultimate lazy-day footwear and intimidatingly difficult to wear. Book that spin class now.
Hello, too, to the feminist T-shirt we can’t get enough of (see page 65). Grazia Chiuri’s debut for Dior was sporty, spirited and undoubtedly sexy. Raise a glass to Dior’s new dawn.
Jonathan Saunders for Diane von Furstenberg
The Scotsman’s first collection for DVF signalled the arrival of fresh, cool energy at the label.
goodbye Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy
After 12 years and countless Met Gala masterpieces, Tisci exits the house after presenting his S/S ’17 haute couture collection.
Peter Dundas for Roberto Cavalli
This is the second exit Dundas has made from Cavalli (he first served as the brand’s creative director in 2002). Will it be his last? At least we have Beyoncé’s Lemonade dress to remember him by.
Jonathan Saunders’ debut collection for Diane von Furstenberg signalled a fresh perspective for the dresscentric brand. While dresses are still the focus, Saunders’ signature cleverness with prints and colour can be seen in everything from tartan to peony prints and polka dots on handkerchief hemlines. Off the runway, Saunders made his mark by introducing a brand new logo, created in collaboration with creative director Jonny Lu. Sleek typography replaces the black serif typeface previously used, which will roll out across all the brand’s marketing. A second emblem, inspired by a Massimo Vignelli-designed brand mark from the DVF archives, will be used on the label’s architecture, product and future categories.
Text: Medina Azaldin, Emma Chong Johnston, Kate Guest. Photography: Imaxtree.com
Stripped back, shiny and heavy on ’80s references – that’s how to summarise Vaccarello’s first outing at one of the world’s most revered houses. Oh, and a sparkly nipple pastie on model Binx Walton.
Alexis Martial and Adrien Caillaudaud for Carven
The designer duo parted ways with the French label late last year. But we expect nothing but exciting things ahead for them.
Consuelo Castiglioni for Marni
It’s hard to imagine a Marni without founder Castiglioni. But after 13 years, she leaves it in the safe hands of Prada alum Francesco Risso.
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne for DKNY Despite receiving rave reviews for DKNY, the designer duo announced their exit after a few short seasons to return to focus on their own label, Public School.
Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent
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style Hero pieces, fashion features and trends to know (plus how to wear them)
text: emma chong johnston. photography: imaxtree.com
The story of the season was one told in thrilling, colourfilled chapters. Dive into the action over the page for tales of girl gangs, futuristic female warriors, chic geeks and MarieÂ AntoinetteÂ coquettes.
Dries Van Noten Spring/Summer 2017
The stories of…
SPRING/SUMMER 2017 Front row faces
The ELLE verdict
“The clothes tell a story steeped in wonder, phantasmagoria and unorthodoxy. Such stories don’t mimetically represent reality. They rather act as magic lanterns, as distorting mirrors, altering languages, signs and consolidated codes.”
In 75 looks, Alessandro Michele traversed time and culture, lifting from his encyclopedic references to deliver a collection that was more theatrical than ever. Dynasty-style cocktail dresses straight out of the Eighties shone alongside rich brocades, embroidered dragons, leather epaulettes, tiered organza and blouses bearing Jayde Fish’s animated illustrations. Michele also drew on the Far East, with Chinese-silk fans, cherry blossom prints and a novel two-in-one slipper wedge sandal with rose-strewn insoles. And of course, accessories were heavy on the embellishment. We're in.
Gucci SOUNDTRACK & Set
Florence Welch reciting William Blake poems; a smoky room doused in pink light.
Front row faces
Caroline de Maigret
Banks of servers, with coloured cables and blinking lights were the Boomerang hit of fashion week.
The ELLE verdict
The tech-dedicated show was called 'Data Center Chanel', but it's a label that could just as easily suit Lagerfeld himself (prodigious output, tirelessly processing inspiration). After two Storm Trooper-like 'robots' came a parade of colour and light (were those prints information superhighways?), worn over romantic slips. "It's armour for the outside world and something much more refined for the private world," said Karl. And the caps? Because everyone wears them, Karl wanted a Chanel version.
A girl who’s running out the door, late for something, picks up clothes from the floor and throws them over what she’s already wearing. Soundtrack
Patrick Cowley's techtastic remix of I Feel Love.
Chanel the Set
All-white, with giant letters spelling out ‘Fendi Roma’ winding around the outside of the space.
Front row faces Show notes
“We were inspired by the haute fourrure show in Rome… and the idea of legends and fairy tales; we have thought to a legendary woman like Marie Antoinette, whose clothes were strict, but who was very open to break rules.”
The ELLE verdict
Legends, fairytales and Marie Antoinette were key inspirations this season, albeit with an athletic twist. Scalloped organza blouses, babydoll dresses in sorbet hues and apron skirts inspired by the type Marie Antoinette wore to garden at Trianon took centre stage alongside ribbed neon knits, utilitarian jackets and sporty stripes. The common denominator? The covetable hybrid sock bootie with rubber soles, and the cute new ABClick bag charms.
The ELLE verdict
“Instead of exploring the history of women, which I have for a while, I decided to take care of now, the present, and trying to find elegance,” said Miuccia Prada. The first look, a black tank and culottes worn with a hip bag and flat, electric blue sandals, was elegant in a fuss-free, get s**t done way. But then followed geometric print shirts, checks worn on stripes worn on solids, retro, retro print bikinis and a lot of marabou. The conclusion? Draw your own. It’s what Mrs. Prada would want. the Set
Blade Runner meets the International Space Station, with metal cages and a perspex runway.
Miuccia Prada loves to collaborate with artists and filmmakers, and this season it was director David O. Russell (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook) she teamed up with for a multi-screen 'cinema poem' installation.
Prada the Set
Balsam wood walls covered in geometric cutouts of suns, clouds and mountains in a beach-hut colour palette
The Italian Riviera at its glam post-war peak. Show notes
“The beach is something beautiful and something that’s now waning. Who knows how long we will have beaches?”
Miu miu The ELLE verdict
Miu Miu whisked show-goers off on a Fifties seaside holiday. Neopin ups were decked in modest swimsuits, deckchair-striped trouser suits, terry-towelling skirts, fuzzy bathrobe coats with wallpaper patterns and halterneck smock tops. Clear wedges with shell-embossed soles (a pattern repeated on the clutch bags), candy-coloured pool slides and gingham print headscarves completed the resort-ready wardrobe. Oh, and those bright rubber bathing caps sealed the deal!
Front row faces
The second floor of Louis Vuitton's new headquarters on Place Vendôme.
The ELLE verdict
Easy. That was the word. Nicolas Ghesquière lightened up on the stiffness and structure and instead gave us his version of Parisian weekend wear, namely haute sweatshirts and tees, and draped jersey dresses. Even the leather was soft, fluid and bodyfriendly, as were the double-breasted suit jackets. But if you read ‘easy’ as unsexy, you’d be wrong. There were multiple hip and midriff cut-outs, and sheer evening dresses with clever panels. Get ready to feel as good as you look. .
Bohemian bourgeoisie at work and play. muses
Alicia Vikander, Michelle Williams, Jennifer Connelly, Sasha Lane.
Front row faces Alicia Vikander
Scaffolding strung with floodlights bathed the runway in a wash of purple light.
Sporty is the new sexy. Show notes
“This is a collection that is all about a woman’s freedom: freedom of movement, freedom of activity, freedom to fight for their ideas, freedom to be whoever you want to be.”
The ELLE verdict
A Versace anorak and matching track bottoms? You may not know it, but you’ll want them soon. Donatella inhabits Versace’s new incarnation of sportswear-informed fashion as joyfully as she did drop-dead glamour. These pieces aren't just a token nod to our obsession with activewear; they’re energy-filled and forwardmoving. And sexy. Just look at the nylon dresses ruched with drawstrings, sparkly dresses grounded with Teva sandals and zip-up blousons tucked into skirts with thigh-high slits. Front row faces
Serena Williams Chiara Ferragni
Front row faces
Bianca Brandolini D’Adda
“Charmani: the lightness of the body, seductively revealing itself, finding a new balance between discipline and freedom.”
Moody blue lights lit the Teatro Armani, and 'Charmani' was written in light across the background curtain.
The ELLE verdict
Mr. Armani has built his decades-long career on his knack with tailoring, but even today his suits can surprise. There was a fresh lightness to the floaty silk skirts and shorts, not to mention the marine and cool grey hues. The relaxed silhouettes in sheer, romantic georgette move as if underwater. Still skeptical about blazers for evening? The shimmery silver number with micro sequins and a plunging neckline will seduce you into trying them.
The regular venue, the Tennis Club de Paris, was fitted with a mirror installation by American artist Dan Graham.
Modern women going about their lives in organised chaos.
The ELLE verdict
Bras over shirts, a visible safety pin and a model carrying her shoes in her hand: Phoebe Philo gets busy women. Silhouettes were loose and hemlines below the knee. There were plenty of sleeve options, and the bags were big (as in, big enough not just for gym clothes but a toddler). In other words, it was all very useful, in the fresh way Céline does so well, while the unorthodox light/dark colour pairings and mismatched shoes were a nod that powerful Céline fans remain rulebreakers at heart. 64
I am woman, hear me roar. Show notes
The notes referenced the sport of fencing and Grazia Chiuri's historic appointment. the Set
Raf Simons' floral fantasies were out. Instead: raw pine bleachers in a lowceilinged gallery at the Musée Rodin.
The ELLE verdict
Despite the buzz circling Dior’s first female creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri's debut, like the woman herself, was relatively calm. The collection was at once both practical (hello, T-shirts!) and ethereally beautiful (more than a few observers were glad she brought her knack for a dreamy evening dress with her). Olympic fencing was also an influence, delightfully, but the biggest statement was the one on our cover. One small step for Grazia Chiuri, one giant leap for women in fashion. Front row faces
Karlie Kloss Rihanna
Models walked through a sundrenched, airy and bright space at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild in Paris.
The ELLE verdict
In his debut as Valentino's solo designer, Pierpaolo Piccioli laid to rest any fears that the label might have lost its romantic allure. A collection based on fantastical medieval art, particularly that of Hieronymus Bosch, has the potential to be dark, but thanks to quirky hand-drawn prints by British designer Zandra Rhodes, frothy gowns in every shade of pink and red and delicate ankle-strapped suede slippers, the effect was just as Valentine as Valentino. Dreamy.
A fairy tale world filled with flower children and forest fairies. Show notes
“A new beginning”, “Pleasures of metamorphosis”. Front row faces
Jessica Alba Olga Kurylenko
The ELLE verdict
This season Stuart Vevers propelled his Americana obsession to new heights, sending out a girl gang in deconstructed floral dresses (so far, so Vevers), topped with moto leather jackets: short-sleeved, studded, belted, patchworked, ribboned or fringed. Surprisingly dainty bags and thick-soled creepers and boots liberally sprinkled in studs completed the looks. The dresses are bound to become favourites, but our vote goes to the Elvis T-shirts edged with embroidered roses.
The collection was all about “the symbolism of rebels, beatniks and an Elvis fan club”. Mood
If Hell’s Angels were a decorative girl squad.
Front row faces
Models worked their way around rusted, retro cars surrounded by fluffy painted clouds. Emma Roberts
Coach the Set
Portraits of Hollywood icons competed for attention with a Vanessa Beecroft-led installation of dancing feet in Tod's Gomminos.
Tod’s Show notes
“Tod’s celebrates the eternal modernity of the timeless icons, of a lifestyle untouched by trends but that sets its own trends, which stay modern and unchanged over time.”
The ELLE verdict Front row faces
Chloë Grace Moretz
For the first show since creative director Alessandra Facchinetti's departure, the design team returned to what they know best: leather. Jackets, of course, but also long, draped suede coats, wide culottes and boxy T-shirts, and even cheeky little halter tops that twisted round the neck. These new classics slotted in around the season’s visual theme of ‘Timeless Icons’, which was illustrated by portraits of the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Lauren Hutton and Bianca Jagger.
The ELLE verdict
Kors updated his vocab of casual elegance with unlikely jolts of colour. An acid green sweater vest over a ’60s floral print dress was literally shocking, but charming too. Preppy jackets and summer-ready suits strode alongside DayGlo pink shorts and juicy orange florals, and in each case Kors directed eyes to the waist with a series of noticeable belts. Best in show was a slouchy sweater dress with ‘LOVE’ across the chest. A visual reminder to focus on the good stuff in an increasingly unpredictable world.
Forties silhouettes in Eighties colours Show notes
“Love is in the air...” Front row faces
Soo Joo Park
Models walked down an all-white runway, soundtracked by Rufus Wainwright singing ‘Get Happy’ live
Front row faces
Michael Kors Mood
Clothes to wear for the end of the world Show notes
‘A solutions-based foundation to the millennial wardrobe.’
New York’s High Line Park at sundown; a surprisingly romantic backdrop for a dystopianinspired collection.
The ELLE verdict
This was creative directors’ Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow’s last outing for the brand, and a shame, because it was one of their strongest showings. The two continued their theme of taking everyday, utilitarian items – hoodies, anoraks, bumbags even – and elongating lines and exaggerating proportions to create futuristic but familiar shapes. Bandagestyle bra tops layered under sheer, elaborate anoraks were slyly sexy and blazer dresses nipped at the waist celebrated DKNY’s continuing commitment to the urban woman.
The ELLE verdict
In Sarah Burton’s genius hands, the beauty of the Shetlands was captured in languid woollen dresses, Fair Isle knits, airy ruffles and meadows of wildflowers on clothing and boots. Leather bralets, jangling chokers and plaid suiting provided the attitude the McQueen woman craves. The final five looks were pure McQueen fantasy: sheer gowns embroidered with marine life, silver sequins and white ruffles in a tribute to the ocean and its foam-crested waves.
“The wild and magical coastal landscapes of the Shetland Islands were the origin of this collection. Their natural beauty has inspired local artisans who have passed their skills down through generations of women for centuries.”
Alexander McQueen the Set
Front row faces
Flowers were projected onto pristine white walls before the show.
Traditional Taatit rugs lined the runway and the sound of crashing waves formed the show's soundtrack.
The ELLE verdict
This season’s collection was led by the head of design for women’s readyto-wear, Fulvio Rigoni, following Massimiliano Giornetti's departure. The result? Wearable clothes with florals, flouncy hems and versatile separates to please the Ferragamo clientele. Most notable were the python print cropped shirt, and smart navy vest with an alligator pocket. The classic layered cork heel shoe was given an athletic spin via mesh and rubber soles, while this season’s Sofia bag came in exotic leathers. 68
“The collection reconnects with its stylistic heritage and progresses with contemporary experimentation.”
The ELLE verdict
Agate crystals were the star of the show, both worn on giant resin necklaces and printed on the clothes. And while the Givenchy woman is no stranger to lacy camisoles or thigh high boots, this season she finds power in statement suits accented with mesh bags and squashy totes, portrait necklines and slip dresses with an air of athleisure. Colourful mix prints were in full force making this one of the most upbeat Givenchy collection to date.
Front row faces
Outside, in Paris's Jardin des Plantes. Guests were given aluminium Mylar blankets to beat the night chill.
“Inspired by the spirituality of nature, Riccardo Tisci creates a collection celebrating femininity.”
Plush cream carpets on the runway, sheer cream curtains and front row only. Mood
The ELLE verdict
Grandma takes a trip. The Wolf of Wall Street is a woman.
Never underestimate the power of unexpected colour on the runway: Barbie pink, vivid aqua and discotastic purple all made us happy at Balenciaga, whether in clashing solids or fantastic florals. From the spandex boots-cum-leggings, to the latex raincoats, Wall Street-on-speed shoulders and plastic ‘duvet bags’ (christened thus before they were even off the runway), subversive thrills were rampant too, but it was the draped dresses and new pinstripes women will want to wear again and again. Salma Hayek Kim Kardashian-West
Front row faces ELLE.MY
The NYC style set likes it ladylike, but never precious.
Whether in New York, Milan, London or Paris, the real world runways this season were a tour de force. Take a trip around the world
Identical prints in contrasting colours will break up the monotone to create a high impact look.
Volume is still the buzzword, and they do it best in London.
< Oversized sleeves were a big S/S ’17 street trend. Wear them under an oversized hoodie in a bright, signal shade.
Marry statement pieces with cool, everyday staples. These women show us how.
text & co-ordination: medina Azaldin. Photography: IMAXTREE.COM
< Pare back aÂ brocade coat by teaming with a simple white tee and denim combo. Classic, but fabulous.
When in Paris, take a chance with unexpected pieces.
The varsity jacketâ€™s day is far from over. Pair with a sheer skirt for extra polish. > ELLE.MY
Welcome to the house of fun The new Fendi Kan I knows how to have a good time
Kan I with scalloped edges and red plexiglass studded bow details, RM13,890
Bella Hadid holding the printed canvas Pequin Kan I with bow embellishments
text: medina azaldin
tyle rulebooks generally dictate that the wisest fashion purchases are timeless investment pieces that fit seamlessly into your wardrobe. But we say all navy and black makes Jane aÂ dull girl. And although in times like these we may be tempted to reach for sober palettes and conservative shapes, what we actually need most in our lives is some frivolity. After all, savvy shopping doesnâ€™t have to exclude fun buys that bring happiness and joy to our wardrobes (and wellbeing). The house of Fendi was built on exactly this sort of playful luxury. This season Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia
Kan I with scalloped edges, RM7,760
Kan I with floral embroidery, pastel studs and monster eyes, RM25,010
Customise the Kan I with Fendi charms and Strap You
Venturini Fendi shaped their playground into an exuberant world of rococo with a touch of athleisure via striped knits and sock boots (perhaps influenced by the off-duty styles of campaign stars Gigi and Bella Hadid). It is a diorama populated by grown-up dolls with glittering pouts and, of course, fabulous accessories. “We were very much inspired by the legendary woman, Marie Antoinette,” said Venturini Fendi. “The collection is based on opulence and femininity,
“We were very much inspired by the legendary woman, Marie Antoinette. The collection is based on opulence and femininity.” The Catalan mirror Kan I with floral embroidery and monster eye details, RM25,010
Kan I with scalloped edges, RM15,030
but also on contrast and incredible accessories.” Which is exactly the mood captured in Fendi’s latest bag, the Kan I, first introduced in Resort 2017. There it appeared in subtle shades but for S/S 2017 it’s been given a kaleidoscopic makeover and adorned with studs, 3D leather flowers and enough bows to make Marie Antoinette jealous. In a slight departure from the mainstay Peekaboos and Baguettes, Kan I is unfussy and compact in its shape, so the standout colours and motifs can take centre stage. Still, if you’re stuck on neutrals you’ll appreciate that the Kan I also comes in simpler colours, with the options to add Fendi’s cultish keychains for a little fun. Wear it like they did on the runway, with looks that are loud and proud, or team with more sedate work outfits to hint at your playful side. It’s one for women both stylish and spirited.
Kan I... get a close up The square plexiglass closure inspired by Fendi’s signature rainbow studs is set to be a new house classic. palladium Multiway chains allow the bag to be worn as a crossbody or on the shoulder. Make it completely your own by adding charms. Our favourite? This season’s fluffy fruits. Let your imagination run free. Mix it up with straps from the Strap You and Mini Strap You range. Staying true to tradition, each bag is crafted in Fendi’s atelier using soft calfskin leather.
Sunglasses, RM1,150, Prada
Say bye to belts and opt for an elegant waist-tied shirtdress for work and play. Writer and style star Nausheen Shah shows us how.
Bracelet, RM845, Les Néréides
Crop top, RM195, D.D Collective
Dress, approx. RM5,870, Tome at farfetch.com
Lucea watch in steel with cabochon cut pink stone, Bulgari
text & Co-ordination: Medina Azaldin. Photography: Imaxtree.com
Dior Addict Lacquer Stick in Melrose, RM125
Text & styling: Florence Song. Photography: Tommi Chu/Blink Studio
Put a spring in your step with big, bold and blooming accessories. Shrinking violets need not apply.
clockwise from top: Tote, RM1,450, Kate Spade; Pumps, Dolce & Gabbana; Flats, RM3,025, Jimmy Choo
STyle Workwear OUTFIT ELEVATORS
Blouse, RM599, Michael Kors Collection
Blouse, RM269, H&M Studio
Blouse, approx. RM3,880, Haider Ackermann at net-a-porter.com
Bag, RM13,770, Saint Laurent
Dress, RM299, Mango
Dress, approx. RM420, Asos, asos.com
Jumpsuit, approx. RM3,295, Joseph at farfetch.com
Rings, from RM289, both Pandora
Pumps, Louis Vuitton
Sandals, RM490, Aldo
Contrast a tailored dress or jumpsuit with a classic striped blouse and luxe leather sandals for a winning combination of masculine-feminine appeal.
Chanel Les 4 Ombres eyeshadow in Codes Subtils, RM230
Text & co-ordination: Florence Song. Photography: IMAXTREE.COM
STyle Weekend OUTFIT ELEVATORS
Jacket, approx. RM1,715, Perfect Moment at matchesfashion.com
Ring, RM1,450, Dior
Skirt, approx. RM2,805, Rick Owens Drkshdw at farfetch.com
Skirt, Sacai at Club 21 Multi-label Store
Sandals, Marni at Club 21 Multi-label Store
Sandals, RM250, Yoke & Theam at Fabspy
Game, set, flash
Team sporty basics with chunky sandals and graphic accents for a stylish head start.
Watch, Michael Michael Kors
Marc Jacobs Matte Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon in Over (night), RM110 Paco Rabanne
Esteban Cortázar ELLE.MY
STyle Key Pieces
Flats, Kate Spade
Flats, approx. RM1,805, No.21 at matchesfashion.com
Flats, approx. RM2,000, Malone Souliers at net-a-porter.com
Flats, Stuart Weitzman
Flats, Giuseppe Zanotti Design
Flats, Sergio Rossi
Flats, RM550, Cos
Flats, Emporio Armani
Flats, Marni at Club 21 Multi-label Store
Flats, approx. RM3,130, Sanayi313 at luisaviaroma.com
Whether a caged silhouette, embellished with studs, or folded into a pretty origami bow, these slipper mules are made for showing off.
Flats, Alexander Wang at Club 21 Multi-label Store
Wear it with
Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Gel lipstick in Anais, RM125
Clutch, RM11,500, Céline
Coat, RM16,495, Burberry
Rings, RM175, Wanderlust & Co at Fashion Valet
Tote, RM4,790, Emporio Armani
Tote, RM9,650, Anya Hindmarch
Tote, RM21,160, Fendi
Tote, Louis Vuitton
Tote, RM319, Guess
Tote, Max Mara
Tote, RM9,550, Versace
Tote, RM10,130, Tod’s
Tote, Dolce & Gabbana
Elevated from a classic staple to a statement-making piece, these top-handle totes will add style and polish to your daily rounds.
Tote, RM11,950, Prada
Wear it with
Earrings, Giorgio Armani
Blouse, approx. RM4,100, Hensely at modaoperandi.com
Sunglasses, RM1,229, Michael Kors Collection
Tarte Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint in Bestie, RM95
New day How does a fashion designer announce his arrival at one of the worldâ€™s most revered and watched fashion houses? Like this. By Kate Guest
he fashion crowd’s questions had been swirling since news of Anthony Vaccarello’s appointment at Saint Laurent broke last spring. Thankfully they only had to wait until day one of Paris Fashion Week in September for answers, and they started getting them within moments of arriving at Vaccarello’s debut show. Not only had Saint Laurent taken over a new slot on the PFW schedule, they’d also found a new venue: a construction site, in fact, complete with scaffolding. As if that wasn’t symbolic enough of new beginnings, hanging from a crane overhead, swinging ever so gently, was a giant neon ‘YSL’ logo, the original one reborn and back in business. Once seated, the audience learned that this hollowed-out 17th-century hôtel particulier and former abbey was on its way to becoming Saint Laurent’s new global headquarters. As for the logo, it was never, in fact, completely decommissioned. Still, there is no question that Vaccarello has decided to raise its profile: in addition to dangling it from a crane he also, thrillingly, used it for the heels of stilettos, in earring form and on stockings. If his intention was to usher in a new era for one of the most storied and important French fashion houses, while also showing us he’d kept contact with its past, mission accomplished. And that feeling only intensified once the show began. From the first look, it was clear Vaccarello had been having fun in the
Saint Laurent archives, particularly in the section devoted to the Eighties. The opening look was an extreme mini dress in soft black leather, belted, with gentle leg-o-mutton sleeves that slipped insouciantly off the shoulders and a sweetheart neckline from which all sweetness was sapped by the subcleavage depth of its plunge. Next up, the same dress but slashed into a top and worn with blue jeans – perhaps another wink to Monsieur Saint Laurent, who once famously said that he wished he’d invented them. These ones were a slouchy boyfriend style, in washed blue and were worn rolled up the calf. If you still haven’t banished your skinnies, these could be the jeans that make you finally do it. Vaccarello said before the show that he wasn’t thinking of the Eighties as such, but rather a particular dress Yves Saint Laurent himself made in 1982, and which hangs next to his office today. But there’s nothing literal about the reference, he was keen to stress when speaking to media. Sure, he took the big shoulders, the shirring, the metallics and the asymmetrical hemlines of the decade, but his interpretation is really a nod, or perhaps more of a sexy wink. “He [Yves Saint Laurent] did so many things,” Vacarello told a journalist. “I don’t want to repeat the things he has done. It’s not about the garments. My idea of YSL lies in the attitude and how we handle things.” He also said he was inspired by an
“Vaccarello had said before the show that he wasn’t thinking of the Eighties as such, but rather a particular dress Yves Saint Laurent himself made in 1982.”
Photography: Virginia Arcaro; Jason Lloyd-Evans.
image of Paloma Picasso, who was Yves Saint Laurent’s muse for the adored 1972 ‘Scandal’ collection. As for Vaccarello’s muses, those were, he said, the young rebel women of today. They are the daughters of women who would have worn YSL in the Seventies and Eighties, and now rediscover their mother’s hallowed clothes in attics or thrift stores, and reinvent them in their own louche way. “Twisting bourgeois conventions and flirting with bad taste,” said the show notes. We shouldn’t be afraid to hack off a sleeve, was the message in the one-armed silhouettes. Of course, Vaccarello brings his own established reputation for tiny, cool, sexy clothes to Saint Laurent. That last descriptor is one of the most overused and subjective in fashion, but if this collection had to be summed up in just one, no other would come close. The sheer black chiffon blouses, acres of leather and,
unforgettably, Binx Walton with just a rhinestone pastie over her bare nipple were all brazenly sexy. The other ‘S’ word Vaccarello knows how to wield, however, is ‘sophisticated’. His take on Le Smoking – the most iconic design in the Saint Laurent cannon – proved it. Whether sleeveless, worn as a jacket only, or one-armed, his interpretations were respectful but fresh. The weight of expectation bears heavily on any new designer at one of the major fashion houses, but few present bigger shoes to fill than this. Yves Saint Laurent was not only one of the great couturiers, he also steered ready-to-wear into more exciting, fashion-forward waters. Feeling that history without being weighed down by it is a talent Vaccarello seems ready to grow into. “I wanted to have fun,” he said. Fun is not something that’s been high on the agenda at Saint Laurent in recent years. It was good to see it back on the runway.
“Vaccarello has his own reputation for tiny, cool, sexy clothes. That last word is one of the most overused and subjective in fashion, but if this collection had to be summed up in just one, no other word would come close.”
ast August, I was in a state of euphoria from the publication of my first novel, An Innocent Fashion, when a text message from a friend jolted me back to reality. “Stop what you’re doing. Google your name.” I did, and my hand flew to my mouth. My book is the drama of a small-town boy of modest means, not unlike me, who struggles to make it at a prestigious fashion magazine. I’d been buoyed by initial reviews, which cited its “poetic precision” and generously compared it to the coming-of-age tales of Salinger, Plath and Fitzgerald. Yet now I was discovering that a notorious New York gossip column had received a tip that a former fashion “minion” had written a sensational fashion-industry takedown à la The Devil Wears Prada. It supposedly had my former colleagues up in arms (though none of them ever contacted me), and within an hour of the story hitting the Internet, a succession of fashion blogs had picked it up, like dominoes falling. I’d known comparisons to Prada were inevitable, but sucked into the online maw, the two books had become indistinguishable. Completely lost, for example, was the fact that my main character was a person of colour, queer, and the opposite of rich – factors that had allowed exploration of social themes that mattered to me. I grew up in an unprepossessing suburb of South Miami, a palm-studded cluster of dilapidated malls and grime-wreathed swimming pools, a place where the beating sun combined with the constant hum of a thousand air conditioners to create a sense of indolent stasis. My father was an airplane mechanic, my mother a public school teacher. In our Cuban neighbourhood, white tank tops and jersey knit sheaths were the wardrobe, while my own clothes were culled from the sale rack at Kmart: R. J. Hernández’s passion for fashion knew no ill-fitting plaid workmen’s shirts, cargo shorts, Skecher knock-offs. bounds, but then he got a job in the business and Hopelessly unathletic, I was always lost in a book or staring into space, as if with that, an unsentimental education I was hoping something exciting might suddenly materialise. It was during a trip to the nail salon with my mother that fashion entered my my junior year I dared to push a sartorial limit by consciousness. While she had her nails polished, wearing a pink polo shirt to school – I had my first I perused fantastical couture spreads in wrinkled girlfriend and was feeling uncommonly secure in old magazines, the goddesses in their pages aswirl my manliness – the blowback was swift. Although in otherworldly colour and texture. The richness of I’d yet to truly begin questioning my sexuality and the fabrics, the opulence of the settings, was unlike was a long way from coming out, the word faggot anything I’d ever seen. followed me all day. I never wore that shirt again. Weekly salon visits were my frugal mother’s The movie version of Prada came out right before single indulgence, and after a time, mine as well. my senior year, when my sole preoccupation was I didn’t dare tell anyone how much I loved those getting into college – I was hellbent on being the first glorious magazines: machismo reigned in my from my high school to attend an Ivy. I watched in milieu, and so I resigned myself to a subscription awe as Miranda Priestly ran the fictional Runway to Esquire, the men’s alternative, full of grey suits magazine with more authority in the subtle purse and boardroom-appropriate neckties. When during of her lips than a general bellowing out commands.
WHO FELL TO EARTH
I was incredulous that someone like her existed to champion the values I held dear: beauty and glamour, the expectation of greatness – all of it underscored by the clatter of those fantastic stilettos, so unlike the sluggish thwack of plastic sandals in the soundtrack of my own youth. Somewhere far away from me, people were moving forward – fast! Acceptance to Yale was the first step to achieving my dream. By that time I’d come out as gay, and among my liberal-minded classmates I finally felt free to develop my personal style. That I was on a scholarship, with a limited allowance from my parents, didn’t stop me from amassing an impressive new wardrobe from the local thrift store. The clothes I bought were cheap – I drew the line at $10 (approx. RM45) and shopped on Wednesdays, when everything was half price – but priceless to me: cherry-red leather loafers with brass horse-shaped buckles; an oversize mustard-yellow cashmere cardigan with tortoiseshell buttons; belts and neckties studded with embroidered little boats and whales and prep-school coats of arms. They were hand-me-downs from the Connecticut WASP grandparents I never had. More than anything, I loved uncommonly hued suit jackets – pink and turquoise and forest green – because they made me feel like I took myself seriously but not seriously at all. I wore them to class and parties alike; I also grew out my wavy brown hair and acquired round tortoiseshell glasses – looking, in the end, like a Wes Anderson character. Despite this welcome shift in my identity, I noticed that even at Yale, I perceived fashion quite differently from others. While I wasn’t persecuted for my choices, I was half-affectionately/halfcondescendingly dubbed a hopeless romantic by my J.Crew-clad classmates bound for law school or Goldman Sachs. My professors, too, were unimpressed. One told me that a series of fashionoriented photographs I’d taken didn’t qualify as “serious” art; another deemed designing dresses for a sculpture class “frivolous.” The rejection only made me more determined to follow my own course. I switched from majoring in political science to art; wrote a dozen papers on the historical/philosophical/artistic significance of costume and adornment; started my own fashion magazine; and, when graduation neared, applied for a dozen publishing internships, landing one at a prestigious fashion magazine. I moved to New York with all the enthusiasm of a young Candide, for whom this new world would be “the best of all possible worlds.” I was prepared to work hard, but also to discover a place where others were as exhilarated as I was by the promise of fashion. In anticipation of my first day on the job, I’d splurged on a trio of three-piece custom suits. As much as I loved my thrift pieces, I couldn’t exactly
parade around in them in one of the most glamorous offices in New York City. I spent the bulk of my savings on garments made of toile and Oriental silk. Spectacularly, my introduction to fashion came from a living icon, a thundering editor-at-large who was living the vague fantasy that I entertained for myself. I didn’t know what I wanted to become – a photographer or a writer or a stylist – but I knew I wanted what he had: a life filled with photo shoots and fashion shows, swooshing through the world’s most beautiful set pieces, amid its most celebrated personalities. Given his notoriety, I hardly expected this man to even look my way, yet he immediately took a liking to me. While he kept me busy with an endless crush of intern-level tasks like transcribing interviews (the editor always hailed me over to “fix” his hulk of a computer: “How do I print? Can you make the font bigger? Smaller? Bigger?”), other times he just wanted to comment on my latest outfit. He flung opinions into the air like petals off a lily, musing as exuberantly as a modern Oscar Wilde about society swans with soigné and the genius of Oscar de la Renta. Not that he couldn’t be terrifying. When, during my first fashion week, I made an error on his schedule, he looked me up and down dismissively and sputtered: “Fashion isn’t just about the right look! Fashion is about hard work!” Then: “What are you doing later? Would you like to meet Carolina Herrera backstage at her show?” While he was mercurial, his bold, larger-than-life character was the exception around that office. No one was dumb (do people still really write off fashion lovers like that?). To the contrary, everybody seemed smart, businesslike, intensely focused on the task at hand. Cubicle after cubicle of silence: The scene conjured kids taking the SATs. Where was the beauty and the art? The passion? Andy Sachs had been seduced; I was more than a little bored. At the very least, though, working at a fashion magazine gave me an excuse to experiment with what I wore. Or so I thought. The conflict between my mundane day-to-day existence and my glamorous ambitions became clear when an assistant confronted me about my fantastical custom suits. She reminded me that I was an intern and told me that if I wished to continue working there, I should reconsider my peacockish wardrobe – and personality: “Consider it a warning.” I was
She reminded me that I was an intern and told me that if I wished to continue working there, I should reconsider my peacockish wardrobe – and personality: “Consider it a warning.”
“It was an act of defiance: That boy who got himself out of suburban Florida was nothing if not set on doing things his own way.”
perplexed, but after a halfhearted attempt to “tone it down,” I doubled down instead: I began to wear women’s heels with my suits, an idea I’d gotten when androgyny became that summer’s biggest buzzword and every other fashion story featured a dude in a dress. It was an act of defiance, yes: that boy who got himself out of suburban Florida was nothing if not set on doing things his own way. When I was let go not long after, I couldn’t help but think that my footwear had something to do with it. Not that fashion didn’t have a place for me. I wore the heels to my next interview and got the job. For the next two years, working for two magazines’ accessories departments, I kept track of shoes, handbags and jewellery flowing in and out of the fashion closet. It was dull but necessary work, and gave me a behind-the-scenes look at how those magazine images that had so enchanted me were made. This was also the time fashion began to go digital. To me, it seemed as if the sumptuousness of fashion was being eclipsed by the anti-luxury of social media; the pursuit of magnificence reduced to 140 characters and 3.5-inch screens, to a pixelated carousel of click-beseeching “content.” Although I considered working for a designer instead, I feared things wouldn’t be any different. 86
photography: hacker pitchon; ally lindsay
An Innocent Fashion by R.J. Hernández, RM87.80 at Kinokuniya
Obviously I was naïve, probably in the extreme, but this is my coming-of-age tale, and the crushing of illusions is part of that. After a while, I stopped wearing my heels and my eccentric suits in favour of grey and black. The fast pace of the city that I’d once romanticised now echoed with an existential threat: that drum of high heels was really just the sound of a 9-to-5 machine. It was at this time that I entered what I’ve come to think of as my “quarter-life crisis,” in which I angsted over my dream and my life’s purpose. This vexed, despondent state will sound familiar to many twentysomethings, but I was lucky: My crack-up had a sizable word count. Growing up as an introspective only child, writing had always been a private pastime; by the end of college, unbeknownst to my peers, I’d already written several novels: globespanning adventure tales, largely unrevised, and probably not very good. But now I had a real story. An Innocent Fashion centres on a starry-eyed fashion intern who unravels as he comes to grips with the reality of life. Writing it began as a therapeutic exercise – big mind maps scribbled on a flattened-out cardboard box with a crisscross of arrows connecting scribbles like Why am I unhappy? Is it just me? My job? The fashion industry? I shuttered myself in my dingy storage closet of an apartment, as one week of madness and frustration turned into two weeks turned into months. I ate ramen noodles and canned soup, and my beard grew scraggly, while fictional characters arose from my own experiences like skeletons – who with every new sentence gained a layer of muscle and tissue and nerves and skin. Hence my elation when I sold my deeply personal book to Harper Collins (I’d found an agent through a handful of blind submissions), and my disappointment – I knew it was too good to be true! – when the online chatter reduced it to the level of gossip. My dejection was short-lived, however. Anybody who actually read my novel would understand that at its core it wasn’t a Prada-esque foray into the underbelly of fashion but an effort to explore questions of identity and, indeed, the limitations of dreams. And if there was a target of my criticism, it wasn’t a specific person in fashion, or even a group of them, but a way of life that seemed to stand in opposition to aesthetic pursuit. It turns out that books are as much of a bottom line business as fashion – not surprisingly, I suppose – but the experience of writing and publishing An Innocent Fashion has still made me happier, more at peace. These days, I spend less time lamenting the unromantic state of the world, and more appreciating it for what it is. Perhaps this is maturity; more likely it’s the stubbornness of an idealist who won’t take no for an answer.
Photographed by Eric Chow Styled by Colin Sim
The camera loves Scha Alyahya. So do millions of Malaysians. Emma Chong Johnston meets the actress and soon sees why
Dress, bralette (worn underneath), earrings, RM1,600, choker, RM1,550, ring (left hand, ring finger), RM1,300 and rings (left hand, middle and index fingers), RM1,300 for set of three, all Dior
Jacket, RM9,700, bralette (worn underneath), pants, RM5,600, shoes, RM7,500, earrings RM1,600, choker, RM1,500, ring (right hand), RM1,100, rings (left hand), RM1,300 for set of three and ring (left hand, ring finger), RM1,300, all Dior
hen Scha Alyahya steps onto the set of our cover shoot, it’s the typical early morning chaos. Assistants are milling around the edges, taping down cables, adjusting lights, steaming clothes. A trio of directors is huddled around a computer screen. There’s already a small crowd of stained coffee cups and nasi lemak wrappers gathering around them. It’s going to be a long day, and caffeine and carbs are the timehonoured champions of the weary. When Scha Alyahya steps onto the set, hardly anyone notices. This is a scene we’ve played through thousands of times before, and everyone knows their part. “We’ll just test the lighting first,” someone says. Scha stands in the centre, hair pulled back, lips painted a deep, glossy red. She’s got her eyes closed, and she’s humming, her head tilted back ever so slightly. A flash goes off and everyone instinctively leans forward. The first shot of the day lights up the screen. There could be a million technical things wrong with it. (There usually are.) The light will be too bright, the backdrop scuffed, a collar rumpled. And so it is this time: the light is harsh, the shadow’s too crisp. These are adjusted immediately, an assistant wordlessly turning a dial and repositioning a lamp. But Scha, shoulders relaxed, not even consciously posing, eyes closed as if she’s trying to remember something funny she heard on the way here, is luminous. No one needs to say a word to her; she has a face that was made to be photographed, and the poise and energy to communicate that beauty across pixels. Another flash goes off and, imperceptibly, everyone relaxes. It should come as a surprise to no one, of course, that Scha Alyahya is a natural in front of the camera. Her origin story is the stuff of legends, the kind more commonly heard in Hollywood than KL. Eleven years ago, Scha was a fresh-faced AirAsia flight attendant when, on a whim, she entered the Dewi Remaja beauty contest. Dewi Remaja is a Malaysian institution; past contestants have included Tiara Jacquelina, Irene Santiago, Rozita Che Wan. Scha won, of course. Photos show her standing on stage, brows thin and fringe artfully feathered, clutching her winner’s bouquet with a trace of shyness on her face. Little did she know – this was just the beginning for the Kedah girl. “Everything was unplanned!” Scha says, laughing. She’s 33 now, and a world away from that girl who never planned to find herself onstage. “I never thought I would win Dewi Remaja; I thought eh, why not, just give it a go. All my life, I’d wanted to be a flight stewardess. I think I’d still be flying if I did not enter Dewi Remaja!” Of course we know now that there was no chance Scha would go back to flying but at the time she hardly knew it herself. “Honestly it took me a long time, almost a year, thinking and contemplating, trying to decide if I wanted to become an actress.” Why the hesitation? “I’m quite a shy person, I don’t really talk much. I didn’t know anything about the entertainment industry until I started. I was unsure; I was too young. And 10 years later, here I am! Still acting. Still contemplating, actually
[laughs].” She could have fooled us; because if she had her doubts about the entertainment industry, the entertainment industry had none about her. Scha has had a movie, television series or hosting gig on every single year since she won that pageant in 2006. Even in 2012, when she married Awal Ashaari; even in 2014, when she gave birth to the world’s cutest baby, Lara Alana. (But more on those two later.) Her big breakthrough came in 2008, when she was handpicked by director Azizi ‘Chunk’ Adnan to play the title role of Dania in his new television series Awan Dania. Dania was a tomboy with big dreams of becoming a flight attendant. Our girl knew the material like the back of her hand. It was a sure win, and introduced Scha to legions of new fans across the country. “People still call me Dania, to this day!” she tells us. “It wasn’t like a typical Malay drama that you had to bercinta and drama and all. It’s what I knew, I was a flight stewardess. When I got the role I was like oh yes, I can do this.” Scha’s Dania was funny, engaging, unafraid of physical humour and the viewers could not get enough. Three seasons, a movie tie-in, and the ammunition Scha needed to walk into any role of her choice. If Awan Dania introduced Scha to the world and a newfound love of acting, it was a hosting gig the following year that led her to Awal Ashaari. These days, ‘Scha and Awal’ trips off the tongue as easily as ‘Kim and Kanye’, but when the two first met as co-hosts of reality television series Sehati Berdansa in 2009, it was a revelation. They had an instant, easy chemistry, literally and figuratively dancing around each in a routine that was sometimes playful, sometimes combative, but always fascinating to watch. Viewers started shipping right from the first episode. “I kenal Awal through his perfume!” Scha laughs. “I was at Astro and I smelled something, and just thought, ‘Eh wanginya!’ What smell is this? Oh Awal just walked by. Hmm, Awal.” Soon they were dating, a move that surprised precisely no one. Every subsequent chapter of their relationship has been so impeccably choreographed that in our post-truth world it seems it must be staged. Except if you’ve ever seen Scha and Awal together, on screen, on stage, in photos, you know it’s impossible to fake that live thrum of energy buzzing between them. Awal proposed live on TV in 2012 and the two were married months later; the bride wore Syaiful Baharim and so did the groom. Awal surprised Scha at the wedding by performing Anuar Zain’s heartbreaker Sedetik Lebih; Scha returned the favour by proxy with Ning Baizura and Kau dan Aku. Tears were shed on stage and in the reception hall; in homes across Malaysia, millions of fans were trawling Instagram for updates on the celebrity wedding of the year. There have been few relationships in Malaysia subject to as much intense, unyielding speculation as that of Scha Alyahya and Awal Ashaari. Critics have said they courted the attention, but when your meet-cute happens to be on national television, and your every subsequent interaction broadcast to the country, there isn’t much scope to demand a modicum of privacy. Between the two of them, Scha and Awal have 6.5 million Instagram followers. Factor in another 2.5 million
“I’m quite a shy person, I don’t really talk much.”
Dress, RM17,000 and shoes, RM4,200, both Dior. Opposite: visor, ring (right hand, index finger), RM1,300 for a set of three and ring (right hand, ring finer), RM1,100, all Dior
people obsessed with the couple’s adorable daughter, Lara Alana and you have nearly 10 million Malaysians scrutinising every candid, posed or sponsored photo of the picture-perfect trio. They’re a family of the digital age; neither Scha nor Awal are coy about sharing personal moments. When Lara’s baby pictures inspired thousands of likes, they gave her her own Instagram. People were going to look; the social media phenomenon known as #SchAwaLara might as well control the narrative. Because it’s not all heart-eye emojis. “I get nasty comments almost every day,” Scha says, resignedly. “I try not to think about it. When I first started, in zaman Twitter, it did affect me. I was still naïve and young, I didn’t know how to control my anger and I took it out on my social media. But now I handle it better. It’s easier said than done, but you just have to ignore it. You always have to be the bigger person. You can’t explain yourself to everyone. It’s a waste of time to try to prove to them that you know, you guys are wrong about me.” In any case, none of this is holding Scha back. For someone so busy all the time with just her primary job, acting, Scha has a surprising amount of energy for extra projects. Her own boutique, Garderobe. Her newly launched fragrance line, SchaxAwal. Lara’s YouTube channel. She wonders out loud if this will be the year she launches her own label, Scha. Where does she find the motivation? “It sounds clichéd, but my favourite thing about work is that I get to meet a lot of new people. I get to travel, I get to play different characters. I hate routine, and everything is new every day.” We ask her which female icons she looks up to. “You know what?” she asks. “Tun Siti Hasmah is my number one!” The soft-spoken, bright-eyed, badminton-playing wife of our former Prime Minister. “I just love looking at her. I bought her books and everything. To me she is so strong. She has achieved a lot of goals in life, I can see that she is fun, she is cheeky but also calm. I adore her.” Which leads us to the million-dollar question, the one posed on our cover, where Scha shines in statement-making Dior. Does Scha Alyahya consider herself a feminist? There’s a pause. “Honestly, I don’t really know what a feminist is. Nazim Othman called me a feminist, because he said I always want the same opportunities as men in all aspects of life. Is that correct?” Yes, and that you don’t think you should be discriminated against on the basis of your gender. “Yes. We are always told to be less aggressive, and less vain, like you should care more about your appearance, or you should care less. You can never win. I think I can be a feminist, sometimes.” So Scha’s views on feminism may be complicated, but if you’re looking for her to lead by example, she’s already ten steps ahead. Here’s a powerful woman who has carved out a successful, fulfilling career. She commands the attention and support of millions, has a happy, stable relationship with a man she respects, and is always looking for new opportunities to test herself. “My dad once told me: If you want to be in a battle, you have to be prepared to lose. What he meant is, you may want everyone to like you, but some people love tomato sauce and some people hate it. You can’t have everything.” But from where we’re standing, it looks a lot like Scha does.
Hair: Ckay Liow. Makeup: Khir Khalid. Art direction: Sheila Cheah
“You can’t explain yourself to everyone. It’s a waste of time.”
Top, bralette (worn inside), RM4,000, pants, RM3,900, shoes, RM4,200, earrings, RM,600, choker, RM1,550, ring (right hand, index finger), RM1,100 and ring (right hand, ring finger, RM1,300), all Dior
a set of Biotherm Light Up Life PlanktonTM Essence and Blanc Therapy Total Brightener worthÂ RM565
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Earth Heir’s Sasibai Kimis with the artisanal pieces she sources from around Malaysia and the region
text: emma chong johnston.text: photography: emma chong andrea johnston. tim photography: paolo roversi
This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the women who are lifting others up. Plus: how having sisters can change your life, the women making waves in the art world, and the feminist books you need to read now.
Can’t stop won’t stop Women who talk big, and back it up with their actions. Women who are leaders and teammates. Women who are making a difference. Happy International Women’s Day! to make a sustainable difference when she found a community of artisanal weavers in Cambodia. (While building toilets.) She was struck first by the beauty of the products, and then by the stories of the women who made them. They had to keep weaving to earn a living, but were hardly making anything due to middlemen who took most of the profits. So Sasi created Earth Heir, a fashion brand that, in its own words, celebrates craftsmanship, sourcing handcrafted bags, jewellery, textiles and clothing from around Malaysia and the region and bringing them to a market that did not exist for them before. “When you’re working with real people, you see that this is the kak, or the auntie, or the uncle that made what you’re using,” Sasi says. “You have that connection with the clothes or the product. We’re the first to admit there aren’t enough choices or variety yet to buy only from ethical brands. Even I can’t say all my clothes are completely ethical. But I look at the labels: mission ↓ Founder, Earth Heir and I look at where it’s made. I try to buy natural Fashion Revolution fabrics as much as I can. And you can start Start an ethical fashion revolution asking the brands that you buy from for more information. Where are their clothes made? They’re not going to change unless we ask them. used to be one of those people. I used to go into H&M Because otherwise it’s just business as usual.” and Zara and buy four or five bags every weekend, When you buy from Earth Heir the impact of your just to have something new,” Sasi says, sitting in Earth purchase will be immediately tangible. Ten per cent Heir’s colour-filled emporium. “I never thought about of Earth Heir’s profits go towards helping the artisan where my stuff came from, and then when Rana Plaza communities it works with, as well as planting trees happened it was a clear confirmation to me that really, and tiger conservation. “A university ordered 400 there needs to be a change in the fashion industry.” She’s handwoven bags from us for a conference. And we told referring to the collapse of the Bangladesh garment them: ‘Do you know what the impact of your order was? factory building in 2013, a disaster that caused more than You helped this artisan Nelly earn eight to nine months 1,100 deaths and sparked worldwide concern about the of income. She moved to a bigger house, she paid the ethics of the fast fashion industry. school fees and for her children.’ They just said, ‘Wow. So Sasi started trying to be that change. Having We have never heard that kind of story from any of our packed in a job in finance for work in non-profits, but procurement decisions.’ So that was an eye opener.” not really finding satisfaction in either (“One is focused on money, and the other is focused on doing good but earthheir.com doesn’t have any money”) she was looking for a way
Managing director, Girls in Tech Malaysia
Give women the tools they need to lead a digital-led future
“There are so many barriers that hold women back from technology. I think women tend to feel like they’re alone. You’re not alone.”
el ove .
his new era that we’re going into, jobs are being displaced, skills are being replaced, things are transforming the way we live. If we don’t do something about using technology effectively, then we’re going to lose out. Especially women. A lot of the jobs that are going to be displaced are currently being held by women.” You’ve never heard such chilling words being said so cheerfully. Because to Nadira Yusoff, managing director of the Malaysian chapter of global organisation Girls in Tech, this is not an ominous prediction but a simple statement of fact. And motivation to keep moving forward and helping other women. Girls in Tech is an NGO dedicated to helping women at any stage of their lives acquire and use technological skills that will help them in an increasingly digital-led world. “We look at different groups of women: those studying in college and university, those in professional fields, those who are in technology-based companies but not necessarily working with the technology themselves. We want more women to be exposed to the whole business of technology, so that they start to become leaders in those businesses,” Nadira says. “There are so many barriers that hold women back from technology,” she continues. A lot of Girls in Tech’s focus is on helping women entrepreneurs bring their ideas to fruition and a competitive market. “I think women tend to feel like they’re alone. ‘Am I the only one who feels that?’ So this will enable them to know that every other founder has the same problems, and these are the ways you can solve them. You’re not alone. So that helps to build confidence in other women who want to come into the sector. We guide them in the whole process: from idea conceptualisation to building teams. How do you find a team? How do you talk to them? What kind of lingo do you use with the techies?” And not just that – Nadira and her team at Girls in Tech offer support for the actual social and cultural impact of entrepreneurship. “Who’s going to deal with my kid when I’m starting something? Who’s going to look after them when I go for a pitch? How do I meet investors? How do I get into the big boys club?” These questions are all answered in a series of ongoing workshops, classes, events and online courses, all of which are free for any women to join.
Beatrice Yong and Shao-Lyn Low Directors Eats, Shoots & Roots
here’s a growing global trend towards eating and growing local, but Beatrice and Shao-Lyn aren’t here for the Instagram likes. Five years ago, Eats, Shoots & Roots was set up with the intention of reconnecting an increasingly disengaged urban population (that’s you and me) with the idea of growing their own food. So far, so radical. But for Beatrice and Shao-Lyn, along with original co-founders Sabina Arokiam and Juergen Soecknick, it was nothing more than a very necessary shift in perception. “We feel that food is a connecting point for a lot of Malaysians,” Shao-Lyn says. “People obviously have a lot to talk about when they talk about food, and it’s a great gateway to learn about nature.” It was an obvious pathway – get people excited about food, then get them interested in growing it themselves. There’s a whole culture of local plant lore in danger of being lost as more and more Malaysians move to the cities and become disconnected from where their food comes from. Through Eats, Shoots & Roots, Beatrice and Shao-Lyn conduct classes, build gardens and
“We feel that food is a connecting point for a lot of Malaysians. It’s a great gateway to learn about nature.” 100
Shao-Lyn Low and Beatrice Yong
Reconnect urban Malaysians with growing their own food reintroduce people to the joys of cultivating plants. “We’re here to consciously build awareness about food and get people to relate,” Beatrice says. You can pick up one of their seedboxes and grow your own ingredients for a stirfry, or commission the duo to build a garden for your home or office. And more and more people are coming to them. “In the first few years I think people who were already switched on would come to us, and now we’re seeing people who are like fresh converts, who have zero experience,” Shao-Lyn says. “They’re like, I really want to learn more, for the sake of their health, or their kids,” Beatrice adds. “And there are more healthy food bars, and juices, just people wanting to eat cleaner.” “People always say oh I have black fingers, oh my cactus died,” laughs Shao-Lyn. “But it’s a learning process. If your cactus died then maybe your place is not suitable for cactus. Try something else.” “Also, in life and in gardening, you learn more from your mistakes than successes,” Beatrice says. “If something doesn’t work you just have to try and figure out what happened. Cannot just stop there, you have to continue!” eatsshootsandroots.org
Text: Emma Chong Johnston. Photography: Ting Yang Shan, Andrea Tim. Hair & makeup: Joey Yap, Shallee Lee
e love. nw
Suzanne Ling, Kim Lim, Tanasha Suhandani and Teoh Min Chia Founders and members Hands of Hope
ands of Hope began life nearly four years ago as two university students volunteering and teaching English at refugee shelters. Today, it has two branches: the original university organisation as well as a registered NGO, and organises regular events, fund-raisers and campaigns that work with and support the refugee community in Malaysia. “In 2013 I started volunteering in a refugee school alone – it was just out of a personal interest to contribute,” says Suzanne Ling who, along with Tanasha Suhandani, is one of the two founders. “After that I organised a refugee awareness exhibition in UCSI University. We raised some funds and visited the school, but realised a one-off visit won’t create much impact. So we decided to build a long-term volunteering programme.” The university association has grown in strength and impact, recruiting more and more students every year to teach refugee children who have no access to formal education, and raise funds for their families. And upon graduation last year, Suzanne and committee member Kim Lim have also formed an NGO under the same name. “The university branch didn’t have the resources to solve financial issues or food shortages or health issues. So we try to solve them with the NGO,” Kim says. The two have also established social enterprise The Picha Project, a catering company in which refugee families are able to earn a sustainable income by cooking their national dishes. “To think of a community or someone else’s life – that burden is not an easy one to take on. It’s too much for one person to carry. That’s why gathering people together is so important, because only then can we solve the issues. No one can solve the issues alone.” Hands of Hope Malaysia mission ↓
Support the refugee community in Malaysia Left to right: Suzanne Ling, Tanasha Suhandani, Teoh Min Chia and Kim Lim
Karen Siah Founder Kia Kaha Fitness
Spread the love of fitness
otivational fitness stories aren’t thin on the ground these days, but Karen Siah’s is different. As a personal trainer and fitness advocate, she’s all about creating an inclusive and non-judgmental fitness community, working with everyone from serious athletes to those just peeling themselves off the sofa. Through her own fitness journey (she races regularly, completed an Ironman Triathlon two years ago, and is gearing up for her next one this year) as well as her community Kia Kaha Fitness, Karen works to inspire Malaysians to get moving. Not to look better, but to feel better. “I started out just wanting to be an instructor for anything at all,” she tells us. “My own forte is endurance sports, anything that goes on for kilometres and kilometres [laughs]. But general fitness is what the majority of the population needs, so when I coach people it’s mainly push-ups, calisthenics, bodyweight exercises. I get clients who come from completely sedentary lifestyles, who have problems in their backbones or knees, or people who are very, very fit and just want to improve their sporting performance. Which is what I really like about personal training: how can I help them overcome this challenge and reach their goals?” Barriers between Malaysians and fitness: time and confidence. “I know people who, because they’re overweight or feel they don’t look good in exercise clothes, shy away from working out in public. Which is really sad, because I think these are the kinds of people who should work out with other people who can motivate them. And in turn they can inspire other people.” To that end, Karen provides a range of fitnessrelated services: an educational blog; inspiring talks that will inspire you; instructive workshops. Because we’re in this together. kiakaha.com.my
sisterhood Three writers divulge the rivalry and revelry that comes from growing up with female siblings
At a recent dinner party I was seated next to a man I’d
met briefly once before. Knowing I was a writer, he told me he belonged to an all-male book club; a generous gesture on his part, as there’s nothing I like more than talking books. In my enthusiasm to provide him with must-reads for his group, I told him, “You’ll have to do The Member Of The Wedding by Carson McCullers.” I pointed my finger. “And you must read The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane.” I saw him recoil, as if a laser beam had shot from the tip of my extended finger and burnt through his shirt. “You’re an elder sister, aren’t you?” he said in a quivering voice. Big sister issues, obviously. I’m the eldest of six. Two girls, two boys, two girls in a birth order of neat same-gender pairs. All two years apart at school, to make things even neater, though in fact I’m just 16 months older than my next sister, Justine. And my younger sisters, Antoinette and Gabrielle, are 18 months apart. Sibling rivalry? Leave that to the boys. Sorry, dear brothers, but I distinctly remember the two of you, red-faced and sweaty, wrestling on the family floor. We girls had to step over you to turn on the TV. As the eldest, I was, for a brief time, the organiser. I drew up a school sandwich roster – not that Mum asked for it, but my 14-year-old self knew exactly how things should be done. Six rows, one for each kid, by five columns for the days of the week, and a different sandwich filling in each. A tilt at some sort of constant sandwich heaven, but it never quite worked out that way. The more “gourmet” fridge contents – ham, chicken loaf, iceberg lettuce – inevitably dwindled with each passing day, and by Thursday and Friday we were back to the predictable binary of peanut butter or Vegemite. As a girl, Justine was industrious, rational and calm. Her bedroom was an exercise in military precision. She was a deft hand with the sewing machine, creating intricately pleated dresses while I sewed things back to front and inside out. She’s now a senior lawyer with a large multinational, just as at home in London as she is in Shanghai. Her organisational skills are frightening – she could have made the sandwich roster work. Gabrielle, at age eight, told Mum she’d like to play the viola. By age 12 she was playing in adult orchestras, and during high school she’d get up at 6am to practise. The rest of us knew she’d
become a musician. She’s now a violist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. And Antoinette, perhaps by dint of being the youngest of six and at grave risk of lack of attention, found her inner performer at an early age. At first she starred in neighbourhood concerts, singing and dancing on a makeshift stage at the end of the street. By high school she was nabbing lead roles in school musicals. She’s now an operatic diva, performing with major companies all over the world. I became a doctor, all the while yearning to write. I was a bookworm as a kid; dreamy, overly sensitive, prone to worrying – traits common to writers, I’ve learned. Now, to my poor sisters’ discomfort, I turn my writer’s eyes on them. I see in all of us a common steely spirit, a determination to do things to the best of our ability despite – or perhaps because of – the critical voice in our heads. My sisters are tough, funny, selfdeprecating and courageous, and worthy of many more fine words than this article allows. Jacinta Halloran is the author of The Science Of Appearances
photography: johan avedal
AGENDA memoir You’re born when I’m eight. A fat May baby who looks 100 per cent white, though only your dad is. Your dad is my dad. Your mum isn’t my mum. Your mum’s mum, a tiny figure in pastel robes and headscarves, isn’t my grandma. I watch your grandma pray to Mecca in the spare room; watch her massage your baby pigeon toes with telon oil until they grow normal. I run feral with the little girl who lives in the same block of flats and whose dad, like our dad, works in South-East Asia. I return from play with messy hair and blackened feet. Your grandma dubs me anak kambing. I’m no longer the cute one. At the end of each weekend, I go back to Mum’s, which isn’t as neat and where there is no dad – just the boyfriend who looks like Jesus. Aunties, and women who call themselves aunties, give you clothes, toys, money. Your mum dresses you in OshKosh B’Gosh, takes you to be photographed naked in a basket of flowers. She takes you to swim classes, slathers you in sunscreen so your skin doesn’t darken. When your hair grows, it comes in ringlets. Your eyes are the only thing that look Indonesian. They take you to Indonesia. A stranger, struck by your beauty, stops your mum in the street, offering to buy you for $50,000. I’m jealous when I hear the story. You start talking. We communicate in a babyish pidgin. I learn the song Burung Hantu and sing it to you when no one’s listening. Your Indonesian surpasses mine. You invent cute words: heart-love, shadow-kid. I read dictionaries and make myself the daughter with the best vocabulary. You turn four. You learn of princesses, wicked sisters. Your mum takes you to church where you shock the ladies with tales of whiteskinned sisters who beat you. Our dad laughs at your flair for drama. In private, I cry about it. You start primary school. I start high school. You take classes: singing, dancing, swimming. I coast along, pluck my eyebrows to pencil-thin lines, stop eating. Your mum praises my slim body, makes fun of your moon face and chubbiness in lycra. I graduate. I move to the other side of the country, return for a few days each year and stay in the spare room, reading Nabokov and Greek tragedies. You go to a Catholic high school, wear the kind of uniforms I always wanted. You get Facebook. You’re popular in a 1,000-plus-friends way that baffles me. I scroll through photos of you at dance recitals; at a wedding in Indonesia; in ’90s-inspired festival-wear, peace-signing the camera. You finish school. You start your law degree. You turn 18. Every weekend, you dress up like a baby goddess. You know how to contour, wear your hair in double French braids, eyebrows on fleek. You dance to music I don’t know, learn to like the taste of cheap pints as well as cocktails. You’re good at saving. You book a fight to my city and text me. I’m so glad to meet you here.
“I learn the song Burung Hantu and sing it to you when no one’s listening.”
Laura Elizabeth Woollett is the author of The Love Of A Bad Man
For most of our childhood my sister and I shared
everything. She was only 18 months younger than me and we lived in a remote Welsh village where our mother attempted to home-school us for a few years. It was only when we enrolled at the village school that our friendship began to fray around the edges. We both needed to spread our wings and assert our independence. We did this in very different ways – she found a best friend in whom she confided everything, while I became part of a jostling gang of cool kids. But I needed to impress my newfound friends, and that meant never revealing the facts of our home life. I was mortified by my family’s frugal, hippie-ish lifestyle. All my cool friends watched TV regularly, ate sliced white bread from a plastic bag and had mothers who wore curlers under headscarves. We had no TV. My mother never curled her hair and spent her days making brown bread that turned out like bricks. Even more cringeworthy, my father was a poet. Forced to confess that my father was a ‘poet man’, the teacher helpfully asked if I meant ‘a postman’. Relieved, I nodded, and from then on pretended my father was a postman. My friends watched TV every night, for hours and hours it seemed. Every morning the talk was of the previous evening’s viewing. I was desperate to be part of my new crowd of friends so I lied – shamelessly and blatantly. For weeks I pretended that I too had watched Starsky & Hutch, Scooby-Doo and whatever else they had watched. One morning my sister happened to be with me when my new friends began discussing the latest episode of Starsky & Hutch. I shot a nervous glance at my innocent, honest sister. Would she blow my cover? A friend asked me which bit of the show I’d most enjoyed. I paused, waiting for my sister to blurt out that we had no TV, that we’d never seen Starsky or Hutch, that I spent my evenings pressing wildflowers. But my sister said nothing, just eyed me curiously. I felt my cheeks redden. My friends stood watching me, waiting. I ran through my options: I could confess and lose my friends or I could brazen it out. But if I brazened it out and my sister then revealed me as a liar, I would lose my friends and my reputation as a cool girl. For a brief second I considered collapsing with a feigned heart attack or epileptic fit. But then I heard my sister’s voice. “We liked the bit where all the cars were going really really fast and Starsky looked really, really brave.” I stared at her, my mouth falling open. She prompted me. “Didn’t we, Annabel? You remember when his hair was all sticking up?” “Yeah that was the best bit,” agreed my friend. Then the bell rang. From that day, I knew that whatever happened between us, my sister would never let me down. And she hasn’t.
“From that day, I knew that whatever happened between us, my sister would never let me down. And she hasn’t.”
Annabel Abbs is the author of The Joyce Girl ELLE.MY
Cheap shots It’s invasive, upsetting and not at all flattering — so why are women expected to tolerate
Renyi Lim turns a wide-angle lens on
a highly disturbing practice
icture this: you’re in a café or a mall, minding your own business and keeping to yourself, when you hear the familiar clicking sound of a camera shutter from a smartphone. You look up, assuming someone’s having a moment in the spotlight with their selfie stick, only to spot a man with his phone notso-subtly aimed in your direction. Surprise – you’re the one in the spotlight. You’ve just been creepshotted. This was exactly what my best friend, Flavia, experienced several months ago while waiting to catch a flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. I’d known she was whiling away her time with a cup of coffee, but didn’t expect to receive a WhatsApp from her shortly afterwards that read, “Some asshole just sat next to me and took a selfie with me purposely in the background. When I looked up and glared
at him, and he realised, he got up and ran out of Starbucks. What the actual f**k.” When I wrote a Facebook post expressing my anger at this man who’d thoughtlessly – brazenly, even – taken Flavia’s photograph without her consent, what dismayed me wasn’t just that some people viewed it as a hilarious incident (“Hahaha – fap, fap, fap!” one male Facebook friend responded, implying that the man had taken my friend’s picture for masturbatory purposes). It was that many other women in Malaysia had also found themselves being creepshotted in the past, and felt similarly violated in the process. Bianca, for instance, was at a mamak in Genting when a middle-aged man pretending to take a selfie zoomed in on her in the
What dismayed me wasn’t just that some people
viewed it as
a hilarious incident
background. “I could see him sending the picture to a group chat. Worse still, he didn’t stop at one photo – he continued taking more pictures of me. I was shocked, disgusted, and creeped out, but didn’t want to confront him because he was with a big group of male friends. All my two friends could do was block me from his view, but not before I saw him show my photo to his sniggering friends. I was so uncomfortable that I didn’t finish my meal – I just wanted to leave. Also, not that this matters, but I was wearing a jacket and baggy jeans, so there was nothing ‘explicit’ for him to capture. This made it all the more disturbing as I honestly don’t know why he wanted my photos.” The ever-evolving advances of smartphone technology and social media have, unfortunately, given would-be creepshotters a plethora of opportunities to raise and spread their game. An active Twitter account called Peepers Creepers boasts 109,000 followers, retweeting contributors’ images of women (or rather, their yoga pants and cleavage) at the gym, on the subway, or standing on the sidewalk. Such is the proliferation of voyeuristic photography in Japan (especially on public transport) that the shutter sounds on all camera phones sold within the country now cannot be disabled. Other creepshotting networks offer tips on how to download silent camera apps or surreptitiously snap photographs. Discussion website Reddit had to ban a ‘CreepShots’ forum with 14,000 subscribers, which encouraged its community to capture candid shots of their ‘unsuspecting, chosen target’. “We may be immoral, creepy, sinister (some may even accuse us of being ‘disturbed’) individuals, but there is nothing here that breaks any laws,” its welcome message stated smugly. “When you are in public, you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. We kindly ask women to respect our right to admire your bodies and stop complaining.” Therein lies the problem for women in Malaysia, and most other countries too: that creepshotting is not strictly illegal. “Unfortunately, creepshotting is not against the law or an invasion of privacy,” explains Foong Cheng Leong, chairperson of the Kuala Lumpur Bar Information Technology Committee. “To be an invasion of privacy, there must be a reasonable expectation of privacy. A person cannot reasonably claim expectation if that person is in a public area, and pictures taken of that person involve parts of his or her body that can be seen by anyone in public, like their face or body.” While a provision in Malaysia’s Penal Code – section 509, for the record – is used to prosecute upskirt photography, legislating against creepshotting risks churning up tricky legal
technicalities surrounding our right to take photographs in public, such as when in a crowded area or even of a specific individual while you’re on holiday. This is of no help, of course, to the women who’ve been targeted by those looking to take advantage of that right for a nastier, insidious purpose, but that’s how things stand – legally – for now. “What upset me most was the simple fact that I didn’t have the chance to say ‘no’,” says Flavia. “To have this guy very obviously take my picture without my consent is violating and troubling. I don’t know about a new law, but I think it should be included as a form of harassment. We should also look after each other. If we see someone taking creepshots, and the target is either unaware or too scared to say anything, we as bystanders should step up and call the creep out. We can’t wait for the law to revise itself and catch up with this new form of unsafe behaviour.” “In our opinion, every case of creepshotting counts as a violation of privacy and personal space,” says Evelynne Gomez, Information Communications Officer at the All Women’s Action Society (AWAM). As she quite rightly points out, however, laws can only go so far – perhaps there are better, more effective ways of combatting creepshotting. “Even when there are laws, they are not always followed or implemented because people’s mindsets have not changed. “It would be more helpful to have preventative awareness programmes so that people can be aware of how their behaviour is damaging and sexist.” For now, Evelynne advises, “If you find yourself being creepshotted and want to confront the person, only do so if you feel safe enough. It would be easier if there are many people around or if you’re with a group of friends you trust. It can be very hard to confront people because you don’t know the ways in which they are going to react, but putting your safety first is always paramount.” Bearing in mind that we, too, have cameras (and we sure as hell know how to use them – often at lightning speed), one wonders how creepshotters might feel if they find themselves being photographed straight back by their targets. Somehow, we suspect they wouldn’t enjoy their time in front of the lens any more than one of their unwilling subjects might.
“I was so uncomfortable that I didn’t finish my meal –
I just wanted
Talking art Pearl Lam
Owner of Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong/ Shanghai/Singapore
Xiao San #2 (2016), oil on canvas by Li Tianbing
Untitled 4 (2016), oil on canvas by Zhu Jinshi
The Dempsey Hill Gallery is one of four Pearl Lam galleries across Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong
“I like abstract art. From the very beginning, my mother would say to her friends, ‘I don’t know why she likes anything that doesn’t look like anything.’ I don’t know why I do. Maybe it’s something in a past life. I think I’m one of the few gallerists who’s never in the gallery. I’m not good in management and administration. I recognise my weaknesses, and I employ people to do things I’m not good at. I know what I’m good at. I’m good at strategy, finding artists, placing artists in institutions and building their careers. “I think in Asia the attention to art started in 2004–2005 because the biggest change is that fashion designers are using artists to create products, so it becomes this cross discipline. By the time fashion brands use artists, fashion designers become collectors, consumers look at art differently. People want to collect art for the status. In Asia, we love fashion brands. We start thinking ‘Maybe we should start looking at contemporary art.’ “We have a whole team of people to select artists. Usually artists are recommended by curators, then we do the research and discuss. I just went to Korea to see the artist Kim Tschang-Yeul, who just paints waterdrops. He’s been painting them from the 1970s, just waterdrops. It’s a revelation to see artists like this. For (personal) collections, if I like something, I just buy it. It’s all about feelings, not anything else.”
Singapore Art Week brought 131 international galleries to Art Stage and a Biennale event themed An Atlas of Mirrors. We spoke to two female leaders in the Asian art scene
Sharmiza Abu Hassan Artist, Malaysia
“As a Muslim, mother, daughter, wife and a Malay woman, there are a lot of circumstances which influence my work. I create The Covenant on display at the Singapore Biennale works that communicate about origins, female experiences and autobiographical statements that reflect my culture and practices. I have explored wire mesh as a material since 2000. For me it has a quality of softness but at the same time the fine gauge structure creates strong, firm planes that can stretch, pull and roll in a flexible way. An association with women is suggested in the notion of the fibrous quality of the mesh being woven like a textile. The myth and legend narrative has been my central interest because it resembles the memory of our past life and history of our ancestors that is significantly being acknowledged by society until present time. The main idea of my work The Covenant is to revisit, through Malay literary heritage, some of the Malay belief systems and cultural practices adopted in the past by both the ruling elite and the common people. By representing these systems and practices in new, creative approaches, I attempt to give them modern interpretations and readings for the benefit of a contemporary audience.” text: medina azaldin
Inside the Pearl Lam Gallery, Dempsey Hill, Singapore
FEMINIST READING LIST Bookshelf ambitions! Eight women share their favourite pro-women reads. Emma Watson Actor and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador
Lena Dunham Writer/ Actor
The Vagina Monologues Eve Ensler
Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
(Virago Press Ltd.) “This book isn’t strictly just a book – it’s a play that became a political movement that became a worldwide phenomenon. Just say the title The Vagina Monologues and, even now, 20 years after Eve Ensler first performed her ground-breaking show, the words feel radical.” Hari Nef Model
Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity Judith Butler (Routledge) “It’s like gender theory 101. I read it when I was a student, and it was the book that broke down exactly how and why gender is a construct, a performance and not an inherent biological fact.”
Life Sdn Bhd: People March 2–5, 2017, KLPAC. klpac.org
The Handmaid’s Tale
Lindy West (Hachette Books)
Margaret Atwood (Bloomsbury)
“Lindy deftly moves between painful personal recollections, assessments of the sorry state of body positivity and a clear eyed view of what the feminist movement needs to do so that sisterhood doesn’t kill off its sisters.”
“This is a powerful , therefore disturbing, exploration of what could happen in a society that is taken over by religious fundamentalism, and where women are totally subjugated to men.”
Shamaine Othman Actor
Bossypants Tina Fey (Little, Brown and Company) “This book is funny and inspiring for those of us who work in male-dominated industries. My favourite quote relates to something I battle with at work. ‘Some people say: Never let them see you cry. I say, if you’re so mad you could just cry, then cry. It terrifies everyone.”
HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY!
Ahead of Dato’ Faridah Merican International Women’s Day on March 8 (although it should really be our day, every day), KLPAC is staging Life Sdn Bhd: People, a play directed by Dato’ Faridah Merican. For more than a decade, the Life Sdn Bhd series has been exploring hardhitting topics such as abuse and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This year’s cast includes Roshinee Mookaiah, Veshalini Naidu and KLPAC cofounder Joe Hasham.
Selina Siak Chin Yoke Author
Sharmaine Lovegrove ELLE UK Literary Editor
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
Kate Guest ELLE Malaysia Editor-in-Chief
The Beauty Myth
Naomi Wolf (Penguin Vintage Classics) “This was the book that got me woke, opening my eyes to the harsh truth that many industries make money by selling women things they don’t need to fix insecurities they needn’t have. I was 17, starving and vain. I became a feminist because of this book, and it influences decisions I make every day. “
Shamini Flint Writer
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Jeanette Winterson (Vintage)
Maya Angelou (Penguin Random House)
“A passionate plea for all women to be themselves despite the hardships we may face. This book will be read by women for generations to come.”
“Maya Angelou is bowed by her experiences but not broken in this moving and uplifting tale. Required reading for all women in the age of Trump.”
this month’S HitList hear see BEAUTY AND THE BEAST As if we couldn’t love her more, bookworm Belle is also an inventor in this 2017 live action remake of the Disney classic. The film also features Dan Stevens (Beast), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts) and Ian McKellen (Cogsworth). Talk about star power.
Divide Ed Sheeran Ed Sheeran dropped two new singles this year after taking a year off to “travel and see everything I’ve missed”. The 12-song album includes a love letter to his childhood Suffolk home and the catchy Shape of You.
read Difficult Women Roxane Gay (Grove Atlantic) A collection of compelling short stories about various women of privilege and poverty, in love and in trouble, facing difficulties the only way they know how: with endless supplies of wit, hope and resilience. ELLE.MY
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For a chance to win, go to elle.my/club Follow @elleMalaysia For the latest fashion, beauty and celebrity news Available on
Beauty Your guide to Spring/Summer 2017’s biggest eye, lip, hair and nail looks and how to wear them
Text: kate guest. Photography: Azrul Hafis/Shooting Star. Art direction: Sheila Cheah
The new Chanel Blue Serum, inspired by the fabled ‘blue zones’. Read more on page 118.
This season’s beauty trends celebrate romance – and couldn’t we all use a little of that now (and always)? Whether it’s gleaming skin, tumbling braids, flower appliqués for the face or pastel brows, a new kind of pretty awaits. Just turn the page! Also this month, we tell you how the simple act of breathing properly can change your life, dive into 2017’s next-gen brightening products and share our favourite makeup palettes.
Amazing face J.W. Anderson
Clear out your beauty cabinet to make way for a fresh new season of makeup trends. These are Spring/Summer 2017’s biggest and boldest looks. It’s time to play By Grace Wong
Graphic colour blocks as a study in less-is-more
TRY it out
Sephora Easy Smoky Eye in Gleaming Green, RM56 Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Relish and Spike, RM75 Marc Jacobs Beauty Matte Highliner in Deja Blue, RM110 Dior 5 Couleurs 637 Petals, RM260 Shu Uemura Soft Gel Liner in Intense Black, RM105 Eyeko Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner, RM105 M.A.C Studio Eye Gloss in Noticeably Noir, RM9
There were four eye looks that stood out dramatically this season: pastels, shapes, the wet look and bright colour. Eyeliner was either vivid and taken from every colour of the rainbow, one shade at a time à la Haider Ackermann, or pure black, sketched in liquid into sharp, twisty takes on graphic wings or smudged in kohl underneath. Styles ranged from Salvatore Ferragamo’s thick swooshes to Ports 1961’s overlapping rectangles, glossy watercolour sheers at Dion Lee and every imaginable variation in between. Softer milky tones created a prettier, more subtle effect, most memorably as the centrepiece of Gucci’s pale, alien faces and in frosty butterfly gradients at Jill Stuart. If you think that it’s all sounding a little ’80s, you’d be right. You might be able to resist the clothes, but we defy you to hold out against the makeup. ELLE.MY
Alex Box created geometric circles trailing across the angles of the face Max Mara Kenzo Tome
TRY it out Barely there
THE SKIN THAT’S IN One lipstick is all it takes. Opt for a burnt sienna like the NARS shade wielded at both J.W. Anderson and Erdem, which makeup artists Mark Carrasquillo and Val Garland smudged into lips, eyelids and cheeks. The result: a warm, radiant finish on models of all skin tones. Not to be outdone, Lynsey Alexander’s team at Kenzo conjured early ’80s flashbacks via expertly blended red cream, creeping from cheekbones up to the eyelids and temples. Theatricality continued with increasingly abstracted shapes at Issey Miyake, Tome and Max Mara. A chain of silver circles for the next music festival, anyone? Yet it wasn’t all high drama. No makeup-makeup soldiers on, this time with more moisturiser and genuinely less actual makeup.
Nars Lipstick in Kiss Me Stupid, RM96 Shiseido Rouge Rouge in Murrey and Coral Shore, RM103 Burberry Lip and Cheek Bloom in Orange Blossom, RM120 M.A.C Lipstick in Russian Red, RM78 Lancôme Cushion Blush Subtil in Sparkling Framboise, RM165 Benefit Cosmetics Fine-One-One, RM145 Chanel Coco Code Blush Harmony, RM250
Press a bright pigment over lipstick for shifting textures
TRY it out
Hourglass Girl Lip Stylo in Icon, RM168 By Terry Crayon Lèvres Terrybly, RM129 Dior Rouge Gradient Lip Shadow Duo, RM125 Moonshot Lip Feat. in The Red and Vintage Wine, RM85
Cushnie et Ochs
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Fendi Molly Goddard
POWER OF THE POUT Giambattista Valli
Runway beauty is experiencing peak minimalism, so the scores of Carmex-coated, nude lips were only logical. But when models wore colour, they really wore colour. Fendi and DKNY were doing glitter lips well before the year-end holidays, with the latter’s chocolate pouts executed by makeup queen and chief instigator of the trend itself, Pat McGrath. Duotones were the slightly more practical statement lip (but only just!). Achieve them with two shades of lipstick, or steal a trick from Jason Wu’s backstage makeup artist Yadim and layer a neon orange pigment, mixed with water, over an orange-red hue. Elsewhere at Molly Goddard and Mother of Pearl, models sported smudgy post-makeout lips. They’ve got the right idea, somewhat. Against sharp lines, diffused edges on lipstick have a decidedly worn in, far cooler appeal. ELLE.MY
Matched with tonal looks, dolly fringes come off cool, not costume
Marc Jacobs Brock Collection
Consider postschoolyard headbands and ribbons
Matrix Style Link Matte Definer Beach Clay (Strong Hold), RM60 Original & Mineral Surf Bomb Sea Salt Spray, RM92 Hanz De Fuko Gravity Paste, RM93 Redken Guts 10 Volume Spray Foam, RM75
braids 3.1 Phillip Lim
NEW ROMANTICS Emporio Armani
Side parts were deep, natural texture celebrated and enhanced, and fringes – when they appeared – were doll-like 1940s victory rolls. But we need to talk about the miles and miles of braids. Hair wizards including Guido Palau, Rudi Lewis and Eugene Souleiman created homages to art: Hieronymus Bosch at Valentino, Botticelli at Gucci, Frida Kahlo at Creatures of Comfort, and real girls: skaters at Dior, travellers at Emporio Armani and witches at Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. While they covered plenty of ground, finish-wise, it was the messy, textured plaits that were most represented. Accessories maintained their moment from the last season, delivering such gems as Rodarte’s inspired use of the collection’s leftover fabric, draped and pinned haphazardly to create a naive, ethereal effect.
TRY it out
photography: imaxtree.com; istock.com
OPI Get Rydof-thym Blues, RM79.50 Inglot Nail Enamel in 21, RM55 Orly Color Blast in Rose Chrome Foil, RM49 Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure With Keratin Complex in Hooked on Onyx, RM26.90
NEXT-GEN NAILS Nails offered something for everyone on the runways this season, whether you’re into over-the-top drama or elegant nudes. The ostentation of 3D embellishments, the modernity of windowpane accents and the freshness of subtle metallics will appeal to a broad church. The plain old french manicure was probably the only look that was not a look. Instead try the primary-coloured iterations at Opening Ceremony and Creatures of Comfort, Michael Costelloe’s burgundy-to-gold gradient, or House of Holland’s understated shiny tips.
Beauty Cupb oard
Palette party A tiny, solid edit is often a greater feat than a sprawling case of single-use shades. These are the ELLE team favourites
KATE GUEST, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Eyeshadows are not something I buy a lot of, so when I do I like a palette. Chanel Les 4 Ombres Jardins Eclatants (RM230) is perfect for either green or brown eyes and the colour goes on like a dream. FLORENCE SONG, SENIOR FASHION WRITER: For days when I wake up with blah-looking skin, all I need to do is hit my c-curve (end of eyebrows to the high point of cheekbone) with any one of the three highly pigmented Urban Decay Naked Illuminated Trio highlighters (RM155) for a glow that’s worth eight full hours of sleep. MEDINA AZALDIN, EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Every time NARS comes out with a gorgeous, limited edition palette, like the NARSissist Unfiltered II Cheek Palette (RM230) I just have to have it. I might be broke, but at least my face is winning. GRACE WONG, BEAUTY EDITOR: The Four Horsemen of my skin are broken capillaries, under eye darkness, sallow tones and visible veins which take about a pouch of products to conceal. Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette Professional Corrective Shades’ (RM180) streamlines the process with a dream team of purple, green, orange and a light and dark fleshtone. LYDIA CHAN, ONLINE EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Just one swipe from the IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Vol. 1 Matte Luxe Transforming Eyeshadow Palette (RM185) can take me from day to night. EMMA CHONG JOHNSTON, MANAGING EDITOR: The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (RM420) is my desktop and travel bag MVP. The shades double and triple up as highlighters or setting powders, and look beautiful blended out into the socket line. VERINIA KHOO, ONLINE writer: theBalm’s autobalm Hawaii palette (RM114) has everything I need for a quick eye and cheek look, freeing up valuable bag real estate. ANDREA TIM, ONLINE ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Two years after my purchase, I’ve still not even dented the surface of The Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick (RM195). It lasts forever and is great for bronzing and highlighting. SHEILA CHEAH, ART DIRECTOR:
since December, but I love its high-pigmentation and versatility for eyes, brows and highlight. On lazy days I just dip a wet-angled brush into any of the shades from the second-to-last row for eyeliner. 116
Compiled by: Grace Wong
Tarte’s Tarteist PRO Amazonian Clay Palette (RM240) has only been out online
in the air
A new season is the ideal time to give your signature scent a rest and experiment with something new
Annick Goutal Tenue de Soirée RM599 (50ml)
Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Essence de Parfum
Some scents inspire those around you to say “you smell lovely,” rather than “what’s your perfume?” Refined and light, Tenue de Soirée delicately envelops the skin. And, bonus, it looks beautiful on your dresser.
Who can forget the shapely bust bottles of Gaultier’s perfumes, originally introduced in 1993. The new revamped version has notes of jasmine sambac and cedarwood – sophisticated with a hint of sweetness.
Paco Rabanne Lady Million Privé EDP RM478 (80ml)
Sensuous hints of vanilla and cocoa bean make this updated version of Lady Million just as seductive as its predecessor, with an added Oriental bite by way of patchouli.
La Femme Prada RM585 (100ml)
Conventional notes, when placed in the hands of a skilled perfumer, can produce exceptional results. Take La Femme Prada; a mixture of vanilla, beeswax and frangipani creates an elegant scent with excellent sillage.
M.A.C Shadescents RM250 (50ml)
Inspired by M.A.C’s cult favourite lipsticks, the Shadescents bring the colours to life in fragrance form. Feeling girly? Try Candy Yum-Yum. In the mood for love? Spray a little Crème d’Nude.
Alexander McQueen parfum Eau De Parfum text: medina azaldin
Composed of the scents of nightblooming flowers such as tuberose and ylang ylang, McQueen’s debut fragrance perfectly reflects the house’s dark, romantic design ethos.
Into the blue
Can a serum capture the secrets of the world’s ‘blue zones’, where people live
t’s a delicious but underappreciated fact that the secrets to living a good life – eating well, drinking a little red wine, exercising outside, hanging out with your friends and loved ones – are also the secrets to living a long life. We know that, but we forget it. We get caught up in alarm clocks and rush hours and meetings. We skip meals, or eat things that are convenient rather than good for us. We go too long without seeing our friends and family, instead reducing our social interactions to a few lines of WhatsApp emojis. We don’t spend enough time outside. We can go months without our toes touching grass or sand or sea. And then we wonder why we’re sick all the time, or have terrible skin, or can’t sleep through the night? Please. We know exactly why. Yet there are places in the world where people do live the good life, and are rewarded for it by living longer than the rest of us. These fabled ‘blue zones’ (thus named purely because the
longer than anywhere else on earth?
researcher who first linked them used a blue pen to circle them on his map) include Icaria in Greece, Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan and Nicoya in Costa Rica. Communities here have a life expectancy that’s up to 15 years longer than the Malaysian average of 74.7 years, and more centenarians per capita than anywhere else on earth. Their quality of life is better too, with significantly lower rates of cancer, heart disease and dementia. Not surprisingly, the zones have been the focus of many studies since they were first identified around 20 years ago, and a number of common elements have been found. Firstly, blue zone residents eat well. Their diet is largely made up of natural, minimally processed food that they cook and often grow themselves. They eat a lot of vegetables and not so much meat. They exercise, preferably outdoors and in a natural, instinctive way, such as walking or working outside (it helps that all the blue zones are in hilly areas). They connect with one another, across generations. And they don’t suffer from stress. The first research about the blue zones was published in 2002. Five years later, Chanel began an unprecedented study of 524 women, cross-referencing their results with a bibliographical study carried out on 801 healthy centenarians. This allowed them to pinpoint the similarities between the
TEXT: Kate Guest
Beauty Feature behaviour of centenarians, and the behaviour of lastingly youthful skin. For example, daily physical exercise can be compared to cellular energy, and a balanced diet can be compared to cellular metabolism. The studies led to the creation of Chanel Blue Serum, which uses three ingredients endemic to the zones: the green coffee of Costa Rica, olives of Sardinia and lentisk of Greece, which you may know better as mastic gum. “Nature is an incredible source of inspiration,” says Nicola Fuzzati, Chanel’s Research Director of Active Ingredients. “It is my playground. Since always, mankind and nature have been very close, and we have lost this bond. But the inhabitants of the blue zones have preserved this strong bond that binds them to nature.” Chanel Blue Serum is an allrounder skincare product that can be used alone or added to your existing skincare regimen. The serum works by invigorating the mitochondria – the energy factories of the cells – correcting cell stress, and assisting in protein synthesis, among other things. The clinical studies have shown exciting results. The serum was tested for a month by women between the ages of 30 and 60 in China, France and Sardinia. All experienced significant improvement in wrinkles, firmness, radiance and pigmentation. Skin was up to 21 per cent firmer, wrinkles and fine lines were reduced by up to 35 per cent and skin tone was up to 38 per cent more even. The skin was 43 per cent more moisturised on application, but what was really impressive for such a light serum is that it stays moisturised, only dropping to 38 per cent eight hours later. The overall effect? Women looked and felt younger. Armelle Souraud, Chanel’s International Scientific Communications Director, says the serum sums up Chanel’s holistic approach, and should be used as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. “It’s something we’ve got in our DNA, and the philosophy of Chanel. We speak about the mind/body connection. We know the way we are living has an impact on our beauty and the way we age,” she says. Maybe it’s time to shift the conversation focus from ‘anti-ageing’ to ‘ageing well’, like our friends in the blue zones.
THE POWER OF THREE secrets of the Blue Serum’s 3 key ingredients
Armelle Souraud, Chanel's International Scientific Communications Director (above). Lentisk shrubs in Icaria, Greece (left), a view of Sardinia (below) and Costa Rica (opposite)
Green coffee from Costa Rica “I had been studying coffee all over the world for years,” says Fuzzati. “It is like a dream for a researcher. In this green coffee I have indeed discovered the longevity molecules called cafestol and kahweol, which have anticancer powers; I had never been able to find them so far.” The coffee is grown on a hill of the Nicoya peninsula by a local cooperative then harvested by hand and dried in the sun. Chanel then uses its own unique extraction technique to obtain coffee oil extracts that are five times more concentrated in cafestol and kahweol.
Lentisk from Greece Lentisk is a gum that’s collected from a shrub. It’s rich in oleanolic acid, which has regenerating powers. The lentisk is sustainably harvested by a cooperative of Icarian growers, then put through a cold extraction process that preserves the properties of the oleanolic acid, which is very sensitive to heat. Olives from Sardinia “While many cosmetics use olive oil in their formulas, Blue Serum features an absolutely unique olive tree extract,” says Fuzzati. “We knew that the olive tree leaf contained hydrophilic antioxidants, including polyphenols. Yet, they only exist in infinitesimal amounts in olive oil derived from cold-pressed olives. Our idea was to come up with an extraction method able to combine the antioxidant power of these leaves with the rich Omega-3, -6 and -9 content of the oil. We used a patented French technique called oleo-ecoextraction. The olive oil serves as a solvent in this extraction technique. The cryopreservation of the leaves, as well as the use of microwaves and ultrasounds, makes it possible to insert polyphenol-rich micro-droplets in the oil.”
Bright ideas Make room for the latest in brightening potions to even out complexions, prevent damage, restore radiance and nourish – yes, nourish! – the skin. By Grace Wong 120
ow to tell you’ve landed a good beauty sales assistant? They ask about your skin concerns first, not skin type or whether you’ve tried the latest serum. They’re the ones who take the time to ask, “What are we dealing with?”, rather than just doling out free samples (although those are wonderful too). But how to tell the person you’re trusting with your skin is very, very good? They recommend brightening products for anti-ageing. Their trainers back at HQ might not be too happy with this flagrant scriptflipping, but think about it: in this part of the world, brightening is a subset of anti-ageing. Whether pale, yellowbeige or deep brown, Asian skins become uneven and dull years before the first crow’s feet appear. Unlike our Caucasian counterparts, for us the first signs of ageing manifest when melanin-producing melanocyte cells, aggravated by UV rays, turn rogue, revealing pigmentation and dark spots. There is always going to be a cost to enjoying year-round sunshine, but vanity doesn’t go down without a fight. After decades of research and development there’s now a stable of brightening ingredients to call on, such as Vitamin C, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), lactic acid, retinoids, licorice, hydroquinone, kojic acid and azelaic acid. They target different stages of the skin discolouration process, inhibit melanogenesis, suppress melanosome transfer and exfoliate the skin. Some are not without controversy: kojic acid and hydroquinone, while effective, have experts divided on their safety.
On the cutting edge of innovation are promising new botanical ingredients, which are constantly being discovered and developed. The latest innovation in the Chanel Le Blanc Sérum range includes ume flower extract, a pure potent active ingredient programmed to repair damaged skin and increase cellular vitality while suppressing the effect that stress protein mortalin has on melanin production. The house’s R&D combined the ume extract with TXCTM molecule, an innovation from a previous serum that helps reduce stress around melanocytes while targeting the essential factors of pigmentation. For Melvita, white star lily extract is the floral source of choice in its Nectar Blanc line. It protects the skin against pigmentation as a reaction to oxidative stress and, along with vitamin C, promises to lift dullness for a natural radiance. Meanwhile L’Occitane’s Reine Blanche range takes advantage of the extract of small white meadowsweet blossoms and their naturally exfoliating salicylic acid. Other formulas look to the farm – to fruit and vegetables to be exact. Clarins’ newly expanded White Plus Pure Translucency range contains an extract of acerola cherries, rich in antioxidant polyphenols that help plants defend themselves against UV rays, while Sisley bundles a modified rhubarb extract with hexylresorcinol and vitamin C to target dark spots. The addition of moisturising ingredients to maintain the skin’s fragile acid mantle, even as strong brightening actives do their work, means that brightening treatments have never been more nourishing than they are today. Melvita’s nectar has a reparative lily oil, rich in essential fatty acids, while Lancôme’s UV Expert Aqua protects with moringa and vitamin E, while other formulas include squalane, white licorice and hyaluronic acid, among others, to condition and soothe. It’s skincare that’s better than ever, for your best ever skin.
10 new-generation brightening treatments to try 1
1. Chanel Le Blanc Sérum Healthy Light Creator, RM460 Its gel melts into a highly spreadable, absorbable liquid, leaving a beautiful velveteen complexion primed for makeup. At night, hydrated, normal skin can even do without lotions, but may still need a cream after. 2. Diorsnow Fresh CC Crème SPF50 PA+++, RM240 If you’re lucky enough to suit the admittedly small shade range (just two in all), this is a fabulous all-in-one solution for daytime, offering SPF, colour correction and edelweiss extract for long-lasting radiance with a hypernatural finish.
3. Clarins White Plus Pure Translucency Brightening Revive Gel, RM285 This cooling and comforting cream-gel texture brightens with a vitamin C derivative and a slew of botanical extracts, namely lady’s mantle, sandspurry, huang qi and red jania, which work to revive skin clarity. 4. SOS Multivitamins+, RM169 Arbutin is the key brightening ingredient in this multitasking ultra-lightweight serum of vitamins A, C and E, peptides and botanical extracts for a well rounded anti-ageing superhero. However, we would recommend keeping the clear bottle in a drawer to prevent the vitamin C from oxidising.
5. Clinique Even Better Brighter Moisture Mask, RM155 Clinique wants to stun us with science with the naming of their Infinite Bright™ Technology, yet it’s a pragmatic blend of correcting vitamin C derivative, and calming extracts of shaded green tea extracts and white licorice to prevent irritations that potentially trigger excess melanin production.
6. L’Occitane Reine Blanche Whitening Rich Cream, RM285 Dull, parched skins can look to this thick, unctuous cream enriched with meadowsweet flower extracts and white mulberry for a mild exfoliating action as it hugs the skin with moisture.
7. Sisley Phyto Blanc Brightening Daily Defense Fluid SPF 50 PA++++, RM1,100 The French heavyweight’s first foray into day cream, this SPF and brightening moisturiser is comfortably thin, soothing, and won’t pill under foundation. The talcum powder scent thankfully fades soon after application.
8. Lancôme Blanc Expert Mousse Lotion, RM240 This exfoliating lotion with salicylic acid preps skin for subsequent whitening by removing dead skin cells, and soothing inflammation with its immediately cooling and comforting mousse formula. 9
9. Clé de Peau Beauté Concentrated Brightening Body Serum, RM380 Faces are more than covered in the brightening game, but if you’ve ever wanted to spare some brightening magic for your arms or legs, try Clé de Peau’s body serum. 10. Melvita Nectar Blanc Brightening Duo – Oil & Water, RM150 This bi-phase brightening booster relies on old faithful vitamin C paired with white star lily extract to limit pigmentation, as well as lily oil to restore and replenish moisture. Shake up and pat on skin for an instant refresh.
Rise of the Shine It’s time to revisit your teenage dreams because lip gloss has
T Peter Philips applying Dior Addict Lacquer on campaign star Jennifer Lawrence
here’s nothing quite as divisive in beauty as lip gloss. It’s practically impossible to feel nothing about the shiny, gloopy symbol of youth, glamour and sex. You can love it, as Britney, Mariah, and teens of the early naughts do, or you’re 100 per cent appalled, like a large swathe of men, and teens of the present day (more fond of papermatte liquid lipstick kits). Even committed lip gloss wearers would have to admit it’s been stuck with a reputation of the boundfeet sort. That’s because gloss demands tiny bites of food, limited talking, and an avoidance of the outdoors lest a rogue breeze threatens to send loose
hair flying across the lips to paint a shimmery pink smear on the cheek. “Flytrap for hair,” a friend uttered when asked to describe the stuff. Not the most alluring image, and unfortunate, given the leaps and bounds that lip gloss has made since its silver screen beginnings. Lip gloss was never meant to hold women back. Its very invention for black-and-white moviemaking was a cinematic statement. In the 1925 manual The Art of Makeup, for the Stage, the Screen and Social Use, author Helena Chalmers lamented the use of heavy rouge on screen, which, in the age of blue-reactive film, created flat, blackened lips. Instead, she encouraged painting on glycerin, which “applied over the lip rouge makes the lips appear not only shiny, but more prominent.” Five years later, Maksymilian Faktorowicz, the personal-branding
TEXT: GRACE WONG; photography: tpg images/click photo
returned, but better, and you will love it all over again
“Lip gloss’s very invention was a cinematic statement.” genius and film makeup pioneer behind Max Factor, released the first ever real lip gloss, exclusively for use by actresses. The product was later released commercially, and cheekily named “X-rated” in a likely send up of Hollywood’s then prudish moral guidelines. Lip gloss has since undergone close to a century of rebirths, appearing in tubes with wands, squeezy tubes without wands, click pens with sponge tip applicators and all. As for colour, the clear sheen of glycerin has made way for every shade imaginable, with and without shimmer and glitter, in varying opacities. Now, if you’d let us take a moment to practise our soothsaying skills, we’ll wager that gloss is the next comeback kid. We’ve wrung the ’90s playbook dry, and the current spate of ’80s high blush, glitter and gloss is ripe for segueing into the other most conspicuous of decades: the 2000s, when beauty was sparkly and everybody wore lip gloss. Perhaps now is the time to revisit the glossy side. Gloss lends depth and dimension, and unlike matte Dior Addict Lacquer Stick, RM125 each
Match your lips to your nails with polishes that correspond exactly to the Dior Addict Lacquer Stick shades
counterparts, most forgiving towards dry lips. New oil-bases have made lip glosses actually comfortable, less sticky, and more long-wearing. Yesteryear starlets would be incredibly jealous. How to take a dip in the shiny, shiny waters of gloss? See the new Dior Addict Lacquer stick. The pioneering gloss-in-stick formula combines a pop-art lacquered finish, the intense colour of its big sister lipsticks and a comforting smoothness, in one perfect tube of unrepentant shine. A blend of five ultra-light oils means your lips will have a light-refractive index similar to that of glass, blended with beeswax to keep the colour going for up to six hours.Choose from 18 colours, grouped into four colour trends: Pastel, Neon, Classic and Wild. For a high-voltage hue, swipe on Turn Me Dior, a punchy raspberry that Jennifer Lawrence wears in the campaign images. Wear your nostalgia for MTV reality shows in Sun Valley, and ramp up Friday night face with Sauvage, a decidedly unorthodox chocolate shade. To accurately signal what’s inside, the lacquer sticks come in a glossy black tube with pink neon highlights. All the better to reapply in public with.
Gloss Icons The Hills
Sure, Lauren Conrad and co discovered lip gloss back in Laguna Beach, but it was here in their first jobs that vinyl pouts truly proved their power.
If nothing else, teenhood instructional video Clueless taught us that a shiny pink lip is the height of fashion.
The eternal diva wore a glossy red lip like no other. Bonus goals: being able to sing and dance in a corseted dress.
The face of Dior Addict, JLaw consistently wears gloss on the red carpet, paired with sumptuous gowns and her always killer hairstyles.
“I’m standing at my locker, and all the boys keep stopping.” ELLE.MY
We take 20,000 breaths a day, yet most of us are doing it wrong.
challenge of motherhood I had not expected was postnatal depression. I’d never been depressed, and I didn't think I ever would be. Around the birth of my baby, Luke, last spring, things were hard. On a bad day I felt sucked underwater, struggling for air. It’s getting better, but it has evolved into a less-stifling but persistent anxiety: if the baby gets sick, then maybe I won’t do a good job on this story and then… Throughout this time, I've noticed in myself a kind of breathlessness.I feel the air getting stuck at the top of my chest, as though I don’t deserve to take in more of the oxygen around me. It was, therefore, with some excitement that I started to read about the restorative power of better breathing. It sounds so simple. While resting, on average adults breathe about 12-20 times per minute, yet many of us might be doing it ineffectively. Advocates, including Lena Dunham, Karlie Kloss and a host of medical experts, believe that a minute of regular, mindful breathwork can bring calm, lower blood pressure, greater mental acuity, better health and help improve fitness. Apple, Fitbit and newcomer Vinaya have created breathing apps to encourage regular practice. “If I had to limit advice on healthier living to one tip, it would be [learning] how to breathe correctly,” says LA-based medical specialist Dr Andrew Weil. So I book in to see Transformational Breath (TB) facilitator Rebecca Dennis (yes, that job actually exists). I arrive at her London studio armed with loose trousers and moderate expectations. I’ve tried meditations where the focus is breathing in and out, but my mind wanders. And
anyway, who wants to be the creepy yoga person with the ostentatiously groaning exhale? Dennis radiates calm, all big grins and glowing skin. It is hard to see her as the person she describes in her recent book, And Breathe: The Complete Guide to Conscious Breathing, so beaten down by years of depression that she attempted suicide. She says breathing is what brought her back. “As babies, we breathe deeply from our belly,” she tells me. “But most adults breathe with just their chest. Often this is down to stress – we feel too busy to breathe, and get by on halfbreaths.” These shallow breaths send messages to our brain that we’re in a ‘fight or fight’ survival mode, spiking levels of the primary stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, and leading to health complaints, such as poor digestion, anxiety, and impaired immunity. TB is designed to take you back to breathing deep, diaphragmatic breaths, to improve both physical and mental health. By strengthening your diaphragm, it can also give you a flatter stomach, though frankly these days I’d settle for a more even blood pressure. When Dennis asks what I’d like to achieve in the session I answer, “Serenity.” Lying on the floor, I follow her instructions to open my mouth wide and breathe in for two counts then immediately out in a ‘rolling’ breath. It requires full focus: I can’t think about anything else, and soon I feel a peculiar tingling in my hands. As I breathe, Dennis massages acupressure points on my body to release tension and whispers encouragement. As the tingling gets stronger, my body seems to float; I’m gleeful, teary. It is a peculiarly emotional journey, and when we finish
text: rebecca newman. photography: istock photos
Learning to breathe properly may transform your life
I feel oddly, deeply renewed. I had not expected this at all from simply breathing in and out. Who, I ask Dennis, will benefit from it? She reels off satisfied clients: a CEO with panic attacks, a lady with fertility issues (who, on learning TB, became pregnant), a boxer who improved his fighting skills. “Anyone,” she says. “This is why there is a surging interest in breathwork, because so many people are stressed.” Belief that breathing is good for you has, of course, been around for centuries. Buddha, for example, stated that mindful breathing “developed and repeatedly practised, is of great fruit, great benefit.” He left instruction on breath meditation in a text, the Anapanasati Sutta. Following on from Buddhism, some branches of yoga are more focused on breathing. In Kundalini yoga, energetic breathwork – pranayama in Sanskrit – is the bridge between the mind and body. “Breathing makes you immediately calmer and connected,” says Maya Fiennes, the yoga teacher whom Elle Macpherson dubs inspirational. In Kundalini yoga, breath techniques are used to arouse the Kundalini energy said to rest coiled round the base of the spine, like a serpent. “Your breath brings your Kundalini energy from the lower chakras and bursting up through the crown of your head.” I'm still not convinced about chakras, so I look up Dr. Emma Seppälä, a Stanford University-based psychologist. Her TEDx Talk, Breathing Happiness, refers to a study that found not only do emotions have their own breathing patterns (anger summons short, fast breaths, while happiness is associated with long inhalations and exhalations), but also that if you breathe according to the pattern associated with anger, or calm, or happiness, you’ll trigger that emotion. “It’s revolutionary,” says Seppälä. “We can change how we feel using our breath!” She’s right: it transpires, should your friend’s dog pee on your suede boots, deep breaths can transmute the most murderous intent (trust me). Seppälä set up a yogic breathing workshop for Iraq combat veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Exercises included ujjayi (victorious) breathing, a slow breath where you consciously experience the breath touching the throat, and bhastrika (bellows) breathing, where air is rapidly inhaled and forcefully exhaled. “After six days, veterans who said they had felt ‘dead’ since returning from Iraq said they felt alive again,” says Seppälä. “Several studies suggest yogic breathing has immediate positive effects on psychological wellbeing, blood pressure and heart rate. By activating the parasympathetic nervous system, in charge of ‘resting and digesting’, breathing can train the body to be calmer.’ If it can work on ex-soldiers, then surely it could work for me. But yogic breathing can also make a big difference when working out; once you’ve practised “learning to breathe” through your nose, it might be a good idea to apply the technique to exercise, as oxygen
HOW TO BREATHE by Rebecca Dennis, Transformational Breathing Facilitator and carbon dioxide are thought to → Prop yourself up on a bed be best exchanged nasally. On the with pillows behind you, so in-breath, the diaphragm contracts, your chest is higher than expanding the lungs and drawing your legs. air through the nose. It’s then pulled through the windpipe into the lungs’ → Make sure you are warm tiny air chambers. The oxygenated and comfortable, and that your head and neck are blood flows to the heart and is supported. pumped around the body enabling cellular respiration (needed for → Place your hands on most cellular activity). More oxygen your lower abdomen. Relax in and more CO2 out equals more your jaw and widely open energy generated. your mouth. But it’s not all science. During sex, conscious breathing can → Take a deep inhalation – heighten intimacy if you synchronise your belly should rise like your breath with your lover’s. a balloon – and exhale with In resistance training, breathing can a quick sigh. be used as away to hold the torso → Stay present: inhalation correctly. “Exhalation engages the should be twice as long core, which supports the spine, as the exhalation, which reducing chance of injury,” says should be quiet like Neil Dimmock, Head of Fitness at a soft sigh. Ten Health & Fitness in the UK. Breathwork can also give us better → Keep the breath control and focus, according to connected with no pauses. Michael Townsend Williams in his Repeat for 1–2 minutes. book, Do Breathe: Calm Your Mind, Rest for one minute as Find Focus, Get Stuff Done. Townsend you return to a normal breathing pattern. Williams was an advertising producer who was “managing an alcohol addiction that imperfectly masked a life out of control.” He reached a nadir when his brother died falling from his apartment balcony, but his salvation was breathwork. The book explains how using the breath as an anchor can improve our focus, flow and productivity. “Awareness of our breath enables us to get in the zone to do our best work,” he tells me. The response to the book was so strong, Townsend Williams launched an app, BreatheSync, with Lululemon, designed to “help us all breathe a bit better.” He notes, “So many different people enjoyed Do Breathe, from entrepreneurs to someone who bought a copy for a friend who was breathless because of lung cancer, who told me the book kept her going until the very end.” Breathing is free. And you can begin to practise it properly just about anywhere. I do it at work, in the stationery cupboard. I swear it makes a difference to how much I achieve in a day. You can even do it on the tube or in the checkout line. It might just transform your life.
Belief that breathing is good for you has been around for centuries. Buddha, for example, stated that mindful breathing “developed and repeatedly practised, is of great fruit, great benefit.”
Prime and prep your way to perfect skin with these new skincare additions
Kiehls’ Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil, RM160 (175ml)
Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Clearly Corrective Brightening and Smoothing Moisture Treatment, RM210 (50ml)
Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution, RM230 (30ml)
A radiant complexion starts from within, but an external boost never hurts. Enter Kiehl’s latest Dermatologist Solutions Clearly Corrective Brightening and Smoothing Moisture Treatment – an innovative moisture treatment that aims to rescue your skin from dehydration, discolouration and roughness. A trio of potent brightening actives – Activated C (a high-performance Vitamin C derivative), white birch and peony – combined with exfoliating glycolic acid make this lightweight cream the perfect antidote for dull, sallow-looking skin. Unlike other glycolic acid-based products that can irritate sensitive skin, “this formula uses lower, precise concentrations to help soften surface skin rather than to aggressively peel it,” says Dr.Geoff Genesky, Kiehl’s Head Chemist. “The nourishing and protective properties of peony and white birch also provide skin with 24 hours of hydration to balance out the keratolytic properties of glycolic acid so that the treatment can be used twice a day or even applied in a thicker layer as an overnight masque.” Supercharge your skincare routine further with the complementing Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution. Besides diminishing the appearance of existing discoloration and reducing the appearance of new ones, it also reduces fine lines and wrinkles resulting in clear, youthful-looking skin.
The all-in-one cleanser
If your skin (or mind) is overwhelmed by the number of steps and products you think you need to remove a day’s worth of makeup before bed, take comfort. Kiehl’s is simplifying your nightly cleansing routine with its new Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil, an extension of the classic and well-loved Midnight Recovery Concentrate. The cleanser is formulated with the same potent, skin-nourishing ingredients: squalane (a botanical lipid derived from olives), omega-rich evening primrose oil and relaxing lavender essential oil, and removes all traces of makeup – yes, even waterproof mascara – and sunscreen in just one step, no double cleansing required. Even if you have oily skin. “This lightweight formula gently cleanses skin without leaving behind an oily residue and also maintains the skin’s barrier,” explains Cammie Canenella, Kiehl’s Vice President of Global Education. It won’t be hard finding excuses to wash your face with this lavender-scented formula, but here are a few suggestions: massage three to four pumps over your dry face, including your eye area, then add water to emulsify the solution into a gentle cleansing milk before rinsing with warm water. Follow with a drop or two of cult favourite Midnight Recovery Concentrate on post-party skin to remedy the sins of the night before.
Text: Florence Song. photography: istock photos
the brightening duo
Sunny Horizons Sunscreen evangelist and Supergoop founder Holly Thaggard on why SPF matters
In Good Company
Supergoop is available on Sephora.my and will be in Sephora stores this June.
Who: Holly Thaggard, founder of Supergoop Where: Sephora Press Day What: Introducing Supergoop to Malaysian press after 10 years in the US Product philosophy: “Multi-function is huge because if it’s not multi-functional, people aren’t going to apply it, and if they don’t apply it, they’re not wearing their SPF.”
TEXT: GRACE WONG
“Using a cream formula in a darker shade, apply along your cheekbones and blend. Follow that with your usual blush colour. Pinks or corals are the most flattering. My all time favourite? NARS Orgasm, of course.”
“Just a pinch of blush can make you look healthier, dewier and more youthful. Place powder blush along the cheekbones and sweep upwards to slim the face down. To make your face more angular, apply blush on the underside of the cheekbone. For a fresh face, place blush on the apples of the cheeks – just smile to get the right area.”
Try: NARS Blush in Bumpy Ride, RM127
Try: Bobbi Brown Guava Illuminating Cheek Palette, RM206
Jo Malone The Bloomsbury Set colognes (30ml), RM260 each
Poey Chong Emilia Wickstead
Still baffled by complex contour palettes? Three makeup artists show you how to easily shape your face with just blush
The Bloomsbury Set were a circle of influential cultural figures in Britain in the first half of the 20th century – artists, writers and thinkers including John Maynard Keynes, E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grantwho lived and worked together in Bloomsbury, London and their famed country retreat, Charleston House in Sussex. The group inspired Jo Malone’s latest collection of colognes, the Bloomsbury Set. Old books and absinthe come alive in Leather & Artemisia, lush gardens are painted in Blue Hyacinth and Garden Lilies and Whisky & Cedarwood recreates the warmth of hearth and home.
“Layer a cream blush before using powder blush. Blush shouldn’t be placed higher than the corner of the eye, or lower than the nose, as it causes the face to appear as if it’s sagging. Dab three dots on both cheeks, make sure it’s balanced, and blend outwards.” Try: By Terry
Glow Expert in Terra Rosa, RM215
hen I launched this brand, it was impossible to get beauty editors to even write about SPF outside of May and June. That’s how much SPF has changed. That’s how much more savvy we are today. It’s still a little baffling when people are like, ‘You mean every product on this table has SPF?’ and I’m like, ‘Every single one of them has a foundation built in of high efficacious UV protection.’ I used to be a teacher and I feel like I’m still teaching, to be honest. “A friend of mine was diagnosed with skin cancer, and it occurred to me that when kids were outside playing, never did I see sunscreen. That was really the inspiration for creating a fun, playful brand. “We’ve had a lot of really good breaks. I feel like being in the right place and the right time has been one of the things, like meeting Maria (Sharapova, co-owner of Supergoop since 2014). She was buying the everyday formula at Sephora for years before we were introduced, and she needed something that could protect her skin on the court. “I feel like I’ve always seen another benefit each year as the brand has grown, and never did I realise until this year that this brand has meant empowering women and role modelling to my daughter that you can find your purpose.”
a RM500 Toni&Guy voucher and a Label.M Diamond Dust shampoo and conditioner set worth RM168
The diamond shine TONI&GUY are world-renowned for their creative and fashionforward way with hair, and we’re giving 10 ELLE Club members RM500 each to spend on their excellent hair services. You’ll also win a set of Label.M Diamond Dust shampoo and conditioner – diamondinfused hair products that will give your hair the strength and shine of a polished diamond. toniandguy.com.my
fashion The new shapes, shades and statement-making looks of Spring/Summer 2017
Dress, Dolce & Gabbana. Earrings, Cornelia Webb at net-a-porter.com
styling: thea lewis-yates . photography: dan smith
We flew to Morocco to shoot Spring’s darkly romantic gowns, then to London for a vibrant course of the city’s most exciting designers.
Dress, approx. RM4,245, Zimmermann, zimmermannwear.com
Dark Spring’s most ethereal dresses meet surf, sand and a twist in the fairytale
Romance Photography by Dan Smith Styling by Thea Lewis-Yates
Top and skirt, both Sharon Wauchob at farfetch.com Opposite: Dress, RM16,310, Alessandra Rich at modaoperandi.com. Earrings (worn throughout), Cornelia Webb at net-a-porter.com
Top, Dress, Versace. Valentino. Briefs, Opposite: approx. RM580, Jacket,Wolford, RM8,680; wolfordshop.com cardigan, RM2,520; Opposite: belt, DressRM2,180; and briefs, skirt, both Dior RM5,540 and shoes, all Miu Miu
Dress, approx. RM18,620, Erdem at net-a-porter.com Opposite: Top and skirt, both Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, preenbythorntonbregazzi.com
photography: dan smith/supervision NY. Makeup: Emma Osbourne/One Represents using MAC Cosmetics. Hair: Gow Tanaka. Model: Rianne Haspels/Viva. Styling assistant: Gabriela Espadas Caturla. Photography assistant: Alexa Horgan. Casting: Prana Production
Coat, Givenchy. Briefs, approx. RM580, Wolford at wolfordshop.com Opposite: Dress, Zimmermann, zimmermannwear.com
On Michelle: Corset, approx. RM36,890, jeans, approx. RM13,850, earrings, approx. RM6,630 all Alexander McQueen, alexandermcqueen.com On Rachel: Dress and earrings, approx. RM6,630, both Alexander McQueen, alexandermcqueen.com
Alexander McQueen Michelle: I am a huge fan of Sarah Burtonâ€™s work at Alexander McQueen. She continues to pay tribute to Lee in the most flattering and generous way, by making each collection more refreshing and exciting than the last. Her attention to detail is phenomenal and her creations are truly pieces of art.
t wi the
Alexander McQueen Rachel: We were 13 when Sarah Burton was appointed creative director at the brand and the reinvented hyper-sense of life, romanticism and femininity she brought to the brand resonated strongly with me.
ins Michelle and Rachel Yeoh are twins, patrons of the British Fashion Council Trust and two of Malaysiaâ€™s most stylish young women. Who better to wear the hottest edit of Brit labels?
ERDEM Michelle: Erdemâ€™s S/S â€™17 collection was incredibly beautiful. More than anything it seemed to project a very specific idea or character of a woman; she is as mysterious as she is elegant, secretive and romantic.
Dress and shoes, both Erdem
On Michelle: Dress, Mary Katrantzou at Aseana On Rachel: Dress, Mary Katrantzou at Aseana
Mary Katrantzou Rachel: We have adored Mary from a young age and have worn her collections for many years. She is so bright and talented. The looks we are wearing here are very psychedelic and I like that she has explored layering different opacities over one another. Michelle: I really admire how Mary uses bold and colourful prints in a way that is complementary to a womanâ€™s body. I particularly like that this collection takes inspiration from her Greek heritage and although this is not very obvious at first glance, it becomes more fascinating the closer you look at it.
DAVID KOMA Rachel: David has an incredible instinct when it comes to precision and sensuality. He mixes them both in a very dynamic way. When I put on a David Koma piece I feel like I’m stepping into a batsuit, assuming a more amplified and sexy version of myself without having to try at all. Michelle: I admire the complexity and contradiction in David’s collection – the eyecatching embellishments and colours are complemented very cleverly with feminine shapes and silhouettes.
On Michelle: Dress, David Koma at luisaviaroma.com. Shoes, Christian Louboutin at net-a-porter.com. Ring, approx. RM10,205, Delfina Delettrez at modaoperandi.com On Rachel: Dress and skirt, both David Koma at luisaviaroma.com. Shoes, Rupert Sanderson at rupertsanderson.com
On Michelle: Dress, approx.RM12,530, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi at preenbythorntonbregazzi.com On Rachel: Dress, approx. RM7,760, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi at preenbythorntonbregazzi.com
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Rachel: I love Preen! The A/W â€™16 collection was a bit of a revelation for me. Seeing the show in person I was able to grasp the true aesthetic of the line and it made me crave something different. I wanted every piece of its romanticism and fantasy. Michelle: Preenâ€™s collection was very whimsical yet punk-ish; almost as if a princess had met her prince in the character of Edward Scissorhands.
Top, Versace. Opposite: Jacket, RM8,680; cardigan, RM2,520; belt, RM2,180; skirt, RM5,540 and shoes, all Miu Miu
Christopher Kane Rachel: I am mesmerised by Christopher’s pieces because they are unconventional and feel incomplete. A girl in Kane is as involved in the narrative of the piece as Christopher is: she decides what they should mean or say about her and she is in control.
Dress, Christopher Kane. Shoes, RM6,390, Manolo Blahnik.
Peter Pilotto Rachel: Designers Peter and Christopher’s collections are so fun. They embody a spirit of youth, adventure but sophistication as well – a combination that might not always co-exist in one generation or in one person. Michelle: It is very exciting that Peter and Christopher are exploring different textures and combinations of colours this season.
On Michelle: Top, approx. RM3,865 at mytheresa.com, skirt, approx. RM6,650 at stylebop.com, both Peter Pilotto. Ring, Lara Bohinc. Shoes, approx. RM2,635, Malone Souliers at malonesouliers.com On Rachel: Dress, RM8,870, Peter Pilotto at stylebop.com. Earrings, approx.RM1,510, Delfina Delettrez at modaoperandi.com. Shoes, approx. RM2,635, Malone Souliers at malonesouliers.com Makeup: Bunny Hazel Clarke using Givenchy. Hair: Gow Tanaka. Nails: Christine Thompson using Essie. Fashion assistant: Amity MacDonnell. Production: A&R Photographic.
E l l e Accessories special NEXT MONTH
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Spring/Summer’s key bags, shoes and jewellery
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The 10 hero pieces every wardrobe needs now
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EXCLUSIVE! photography: imaxtree.com
Malaysia’s next star model, Soraya Jansen, in black and white
living Inspiring interiors, top travel recommendations and your monthly stars
a study in monochrome
text: emma chong johnston. photography: tanuj ahuja
Take a trip to a stylish New Delhi abode, appointed in black, white and multiple textures. Plus, a whirlwind tour of Istanbul’s best eats and an inside look at Bangsar’s most exciting new opening.
The glutton’s guidE to ISTANBUL This Turkish jewel’s appeal lies not just in its historical buildings and fantastic markets, but also on its plates, writes Tengku Zai The Hagia Sophia
T The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque
he vibrant city of Istanbul is full of architectural and historical marvels. From Dolmabahce Palace, with its ornate crystal chandeliers and tall baroque columns, to Topkapi Sarayi’s harems replete with floor-to-ceiling floral mosaics, the city’s tourist spots are a sight to behold. But, beautiful as they may be, we’re not here to talk about markets and buildings, because you’ve probably read that story before. We’re here to show you how to Pac-man your way through some of Istanbul’s best eateries, in 48 hours. The Turks, much like Malaysians, love their food. As in, they really love their food, take pride in it, and know how to serve up amazing eats, savoury and sweet. So here’s where to eat if you have 48 hours (or less) in Istanbul. Just be sure you land with an empty stomach so you can hit the ground running.
Brunch Start your foodie adventures at Hamdi Restaurant in the bazaar district of Eminonu. Founder Hamdi Arpaci serves up some of the best Turkish, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in the city. What began as a street food stall selling Urfa-style kebabs in the 1960s has grown into a series of restaurants spanning an entire three-storey building. The place to be is the main restaurant on the top floor, where you’ll find stunning views of the Bosphorus and Old City. Needless to say, Hamdi boasts some of the best kebabs you’ll sink your teeth into. Normally kebabs are made from minced lamb meat, but Hamdi does a mix of half veal and half lamb. For starters, order the hummus that comes with a basket of fluffy homebaked bread and olives on the side. If you’ve got a hankering for
travel feature The Birecik Kebap at Hamdi
Fluffy bread and hummus at Hamdi
The view from Hamdi Restaurant
something spicy, opt for the Birecik Kebap, meat rolled with salt, sweet peppers, paprika and black pepper. Admittedly, a Malaysian probably wouldn’t find it spicy at all, but it definitely has a kick compared to the rest of the menu. If something different (read: not spicy) is what you’re after, the Fistikli Kebap is a lovely mix of meat and pistachio with a pinch of salt. Finally, you can’t go to Istanbul and not have baklava. Hamdi’s baklavas have perfected that delicate balance of crunchy puff pastry and chewy, syrupy goodness. The ground floor is where you’ll get your fix. Another unmissable foodie experience, of course, is Turkish delight, known locally as lokum. Although it’s a dessert dating back to the 15th century, the OG in Turkish delight is still easily available. The creator of modern Turkish delight is Haci Bekir Effendi, a confectioner to the Ottoman royal family in the late 1700s, who made Turkish delight as we know it today using starch and refined sugar. After your Hamdi lunch, walk through the Spice Bazaar and over to Haci Bekir’s unassuming corner store. It has much to offer: almond pastes, hard candies, jams, nougat and even candy floss. But the pride is in the lokum. They Baklava at Hamdi
stick to the traditional flavours of rose, pistachio, hazelnut and plain – chewy but not sticky, sweet but not sickly. After all, they perfected the technique 300 years ago. I’m also happy to report that they’re very generous with the testers, so knock yourself out. Tea It’s a given that first time visitors to Istanbul need to see the Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque and Basilica Cistern, all in the Sultanahmet district, a 15-minute drive from the bazaar district, so squeeze these in after an early lunch. Then, since you’re in the area, keep an eye out for a vendor that sells traditional Turkish ice cream. It stands right in front of a traditional hammam (in the square between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia) and is hard to miss. The Italians may have gelato, but the Turkish have dondurma. It’s not uncommon to see crowds gathered in front of these shops, as churning and serving these frozen scoops is quite a spectacle. Expect to see the ice cream man interact with the crowd while preparing the ice cream, almost dancing as he churns it. What sets dondurma apart from regular ice cream, sorbet and gelato is its texture and slow melt. It’s made with a flour called salep and a resin called mastic and the combination, that gives it its chewiness and resistance to melting. A personal favourite flavour? The pistachio, for certain. On the off-chance that you’re too tired after all that walking around Sultanahmet, having tea back at the hotel is fine too. But might I suggest that while you’re at it, sampling some of your previously bought Turkish delight alongside a pot of traditional mint tea. Though uplifting, its minty flavour is not as pronounced as typical peppermint tea, and the two go together beautifully.
Traditional Turkish delight at Haci Bekir
Nusr-Et’s selection of meat
Kile restaurant is in the upmarket neighbourhood of Ulus
Top: kanafeh, below: pide
Dinner Wherever you’re staying in Istanbul, please go to a Nusr-Et. If you haven’t heard of Nusr-Et, where have you been? Now also known as #saltbae, Turkish chef Nusret Gokce is the man behind the biggest meme of 2017 thus far. You may be familiar. Gokce has been plying his kitchen theatrics for years, with an entire chain of Nusr-Et Restaurants that’s now gone international. All Nusr-Et’s have an open kitchen, so you’re able to watch a mini show of sorts, but the original Nusr-Et Restaurant is in Etiler. So what does one order when they’re at a Nusr-Et? Everything. Order every single last thing on the menu. Simply because that’s where Turkey’s best meat goes. According to #saltbae legend, Gokce was a butcher’s assistant who moved to Argentina to learn more about the meat industry. That life-changing trip saw him bringing Argentinian lambs back to his own farm in Turkey, eventually supplying the best meat to his own restaurants. So Nusr-Et is where a meat lover’s dreams come true. It’s a place where when your waiter lifts a rib, the meat literally falls off the bone (because it was slowgrilled for eight hours). It’s also where sushi isn’t wrapped in seaweed, but in finely sliced pieces of meat (which waiters will hand feed to you if they’re not too busy), and where spaghetti isn’t actually pasta, but thinly cut beef.
Brunch: So little time, so many kebabs to eat. Another restaurant worth a visit is Kile, situated in the neighbourhood of Ulus. It’s a pretty place to be, especially in the summer, and they too serve up a mean meaty meal of Urfastyle kebab. Try the Adana Kebap, one of their highlights on the menu, made purely of minced lamb, hot peppers and green peppers. But if you’ve already had your fill of kebab and are craving something different, order something from the stone oven. Like a local pizza, pide is a flatbread sliced open and topped with local cheeses and meats like sucuk (the Turkish equivalent of salami). Finish your meal with another must-try dessert: kanafeh. It’s syrupsoaked dough with a layer of hot melted cheese (usually ricotta), baked till crispy on the outside and served with a drizzle of pistachio. Sinful. Tea: As you’re doing your last minute shopping before you jet off, pay a visit to Zorlu Center’s Eataly. Zorlu Center is one Istanbul’s premier shopping malls and is also in the Beskitas area, a stone’s throw from Kile and Ulus. Eataly is a food hall, and like most food halls, you’ll find a plethora of good eats aside from groceries (hoard the figs). The best way to experience a city? Definitely through its food. Excuse me, there’s some Turkish delight that requires my attention.
Baklava pie at Nusr-Et
ELLE’S FAVO U R I T E SPOT The newly refurbished Cool Spa is not to be missed. We recommend the Heavenly Bliss, a massage combining traditional Thai, Swedish and Balinese massage techniques performed by two therapists in unison.
Text: Florence Song
The Habita (made up of 30 new pool suites and penthouses) is nestled among Sri Panwa’s 52 other original villas atop the south-eastern tip of Cape Panwa Peninsula. Due to Sri Panwa’s remote location (a 45-minute ride from Phuket airport), you won’t find any touristy spots here aside from the Phuket Aquarium situated outside the resort’s entrance. Nevertheless, between the numerous infinity pools and host of activities – from sunrise yoga to Thai boxing – to partake in, you’ll never need to leave resort grounds.
The Habita at Sri Panwa Phuket
Looking for paradise? This way, please.
It’s the thoughtful touches that win us over – from the handwritten notes and chocolates left on our pillows to the chilled towels and sun-care products at the Olympic-size waterfall pool. The Habita is also home to two new restaurants: Baba Chino, serving contemporary Chinese cuisine, and Baba Hot Box, a gourmet barbeque and grill restaurant. Then unwind over shisha, cigars and cocktails at Shishi Lounge.
Rooms at The Habita are massive – each one boasting its own private infinity pool and open-plan living room, pantry and master bedroom. Rooms at The Habita are designed in a contemporary vein utilising natural materials in neutral tones. While we love the room’s customisable lighting (settings range from ‘sexy’ to ‘romantic’) and pre-loaded iPod playlists, the winning feature of each room is hands down, the breathtaking panaromic views of the Andaman Sea that you can enjoy from your plush king-size bed.
The Habita, Sri Panwa, Phuket 88 Moo 8, Sakdidej Road, Vichit, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand; +66 7637 1000; from THB22,253 (approx. RM2,850) per night. thehabitasripanwa.com. ELLE.MY
Laurence operates in a restrained, refined colour palette of whites, blacks and every grey in between
Life in & WHITE
A strict colour palette helps unite flea market finds
and bespoke pieces in a New Delhi villa.
ike KL, New Delhi is a city in the grip of a building frenzy; a place where heritage buildings are pulled down weekly to make way for homogeneous flats that leave gaping holes of historical proportions. So it’s a small miracle when somewhere like the home of French fashion designer Laurence Dolige manages to survive, while also undergoing a modernising renovation. Walking up the winding staircase into this haven from the chaos of the city, the first thing you notice are two black-and-white photographs by Oliver Saurabh Sinclair on the wall positioned above a collection of animal horns and curios on a console table. The effect is instantly calming.
“My friend called me one day and said, ‘Lolo, I have found the residence for you... it’s very special, and has huge potential,’” Dolige explains. “I chose this home because of the possibilities. When I walked in, I immediately envisioned all the options, which I got after many renovations,” she laughs. “The landlord was nice enough to let me do what I wanted.” The large livingcum-dining space was once a boudoir ELLE.MY
An antique mirrored chest of drawers offers a sleek point of contrast
Animal skulls displayed in the living room – her father’s hunting trophies – stand out against the pitch black wall
and living room, with the kitchen housed separately across the palmcovered courtyard. In the remodelled kitchen, a kadappa stone island takes centre stage while a floor-to-ceiling glass cabinet displays Dolige’s gorgeous collection of black and white crockery. Dolige’s love of duality comes across in a dozen ways. A dark rug leads into light jute carpets in the sitting area, noir and blanc blocks of marble serve as coffee tables, and the ebony walls create
drama against the high ivory ceiling. On the partitions, more photographs, some from archivists Tasveer Ghar, are highlighted with vintage chandeliers from New Delhi store MoonRiver and light wooden artefacts. The hallway where Oliver’s photographs hang opens onto a palm-filled outdoor space, living area, guest bedroom and kitchen, then leads upstairs to the master alcove. Although Dolige herself designed much of the furniture, many accent pieces in the living areas and bedroom are from local boutique and jeweller En Inde. “I love Anupama Sukh Lalvani’s [founder and creative director, En Inde] aesthetic,” says Dolige. “Her necklaces are like pieces of art! Her works are inspired by Africa, where she grew up.”
The owner ensured every room had large windows to maximise the house’s natural light, and Dolige is grateful. “My enemy is tube [fluorescent] light – it’s like a hospital!” she exclaims. “I have lots of candles, small electric and antique lights, and chandeliers,” she says, which are a mix of industrial and vintage pieces from local shops and Parisian bazaars. Dark wood Nagaland furniture and black Keralan rugs, all from En Inde, interrupt the whites of the bedrooms. Matryoshka dolls and a white glazed ceramic Astier de Villatte smoking cat sit behind the bed, near a pile of Naga women’s combs stacked under a bell-shaped lampshade and a random assortment of photographs. Dolige has filled the balcony outside the master bedroom with plants and enclosed it with white painted bamboo. Every morning she and her partner Ryan Rooks wake up to a view of green, a cool, calm way to start the day.
PRODUCER: Sonia Dutt. WORDS: Isha Singh Sawhney. ADDITIONAL REPORTING: Kate Guest; Photography by Tanuj Ahuja
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
GET THE LOOK
Want to steal Laurence Dolige’s chic and simple interior style for yourself? Vintage glass chandeliers Scour the markets and consider shipping home next time you’re in Europe, rather than buying new. Glitzy new chandeliers can look OTT; vintage ones have a chic patina. White linen sofa covers This entryway with curved walls leads to the courtyard as well as the dining nook. On the light wood table rest souvenirs from Laurence’s father’s hunting trips and on the wall above, black and white photographs by Oliver Saurabh Sinclair
You can cover any old sofa in white linen and it will instantly look better. But a word of warning: if you have pets or kids, Scotchgard it first to make inevitable stain removals painless. Black and white photographs Invest in the real deal if you can, but the joy of black and white is that it can make even Ikea prints look artsy and expensive.
This chair was designed by Laurence and draped in vintage fabrics
Right: An intricate ceramic vase created by Laurence’s mother. Far right: Another Oliver Saurabh Sinclair photograph
White ceramics and objets d’art Local ceramics make great holiday mementos (hand luggage only, please), but once they’re home and all jumbled up together the effect can be messy. Sticking to white means that even diverse styles can create an artfully curated collection when grouped together. Clever use of plants & natural fibres Jute rugs, rattan chairs, and wooden knick-knacks help to help ground a monochromatic palette and stop it from being too clinical. Likewise, indoor plants.
LIVING Fo od
Feel good food
Miso caramel brownies
Two women, one delicious initiative
Ili and Basira
serendipitous meeting between Dish by Ili founder Ili Sulaiman and Basira Yeusuff of Root Cellar KL led to the creation of Agak Agak, a cosy restaurant in APW Bangsar that has fast won a loyal following of diners. The duo takes Malaysian dishes to new heights by incorporating Western influences and aesthetically pleasing (read: very Instagrammable) plating. The chilli pâté mee makes for an indulgent take on the popular chili pan mee dish, with a generous serving of handmade rye noodles, buttery chicken pâté and perfectly spiced dry chili oil. For those after something refreshing, ulam and quinoa with seasonal greens and sweet potato begedil, topped with a coconut and palm sugar dressing will please your tastebuds. The sandwich selections range from beef brisket (a must-try) to sambal tempe and limau-cured salmon. Finish off with any one of the signature bundt cakes and try the one-of-a-kind sodas with homemade syrups. And the best news: opening hours will soon expand from the current 10am-6pm gig to include dinner. Look out for that in the next month or two. Agak Agak is also committed to social entrepreneurship, with a portion of their profits supporting the Agak Agak Initiative, an apprenticeship scheme offered to 18-30-yearolds from underprivileged backgrounds who’ve shown a passion for the food and beverage industry. The oneyear programme covers kitchen, service and leadership training to produce well-rounded graduates. Consider it the ultimate in feelgood food.
As easy as ABC You might have tried calligraphy, candlemaking and pottery, but how about learning a practical new skill that you can actually use every day? Step in, ABC Cooking Studio. Japan’s biggest cooking school, newly opened at Pavilion Elite, offers classes in Japanese home-style cooking, breadmaking, baking and wagashi – the impossibly cute, Instagram-friendy desserts. Class sizes are no more than four, and the serene, zen-like studio offer professionalstandard facilities and endlessly patient tutors. Get ready to impress at your next dinner party. abc-cooking.com.my abccookingstudio.my
Agak Agak, APW, 29 Jalan Riong, Bangsar. Tables at Agak Agak fill up quickly, so go early
February 20–March 20 Your birthday month is going to be a good one, Pisces. You are feeling centred and sure of yourself for the first time in a long time. Your natural radiant personality shines through and your presence creates a flow of contagious positive energy that magnetises great opportunities and the right people who can help you achieve your goals and dreams. After months of reflection and inner work, you are now feeling a surge of confidence that allows you to make clear, quick decisions that will move you forward in your life and work. Your health is good too as long as you listen to your body and allow yourself to rest whenever you need to.
March 21–April 20 Expect a little drama in your love life. This may manifest as small but annoying squabbles with your significant other related to finances and shared responsibilities. It’s just a phase that will soon pass. The single Aries will enjoy an active social life but is unlikely to find romance.
April 21–May 21
May 22–June 21
June 22–July 23
July 24–Aug 23
Aug 24–Sept 23
Venus is in retrograde and you are one of the most affected signs in the zodiac. You are likely to feel confused. You may feel inadequate especially in certain work-related situations. Allow these emotions to move through you and don’t make too much of them.
Take time at the start of the month to find clarity around what you truly want and need because you are likely to achieve it. You will find that you are able to easily impress people in positions of power, sometimes even without trying. This will create opportunities in all areas of your life.
Your career is about to take off in a big way. The most important thing to do is create space in your schedule for tasks and activities that will come your way. Your finances are also good. There may be an opportunity to create a new income stream that will greatly reduce debt.
Your inner life (emotions and thoughts) is fairly stable. But friends and family may be going through challenging times and there could be some chaos at your workplace. Be extra careful with financial decisions. Things may not be as they appear on the surface.
Venus, your financial planet, is in retrograde this month. Thankfully, financial complications are not tied to reduced earnings but to various frustrations and annoyances regarding money such as delayed payments, misplaced documents and lost cheques.
TEXT: Skye White
Sept 24–Oct 23
Oct 24–Nov 22
Nov 23–Dec 22
Dec 23–Jan 20
Jan 21–Feb 19
You may feel that your current job or business is not providing you with the satisfaction that you desire. Do not be disheartened. Now is a good time to take stock of where you want to be and how you can include more time for the people and activities that bring you joy.
Now is the time to strengthen your relationship with others. This includes your family, friends and colleagues. Make a conscious effort to spend time getting to know them on a deeper level. Time invested doing this will pay off in a big way very soon.
You will feel drawn to spend time with yourself and look within for the answers to questions that have been on your mind. This includes your true purpose at work and in your personal life as well as your plans for this year. Take time to journal and meditate.
Find ways to improve how you communicate with others. Look for classes and books that help you with negotiation, writing and body language. You will be involved in a very significant negotiation at work or in an important relationship, in the near future.
Money is the theme this month and it’s all good news. This is a great time to invest and to ask for a pay increase. Partnerships will also be financially fruitful. Your potential for prosperity knows no bounds so make the most of it by consulting with a financial planner. ELLE.MY
Address B o ok A Adidas Originals 4.51.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan
Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 8198 Aesop 3.01.02, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 4261 Aigner 2.14.00 & 3.16.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 0808 Aldo 2.60.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 8189 Alexander McQueen G03B, Ground Floor, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2171 2812 Alia Bastamam 14, Jalan Chempenai, Damansara Heights, KL. 03 2095 3232 Annick Goutal P2.13.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 0149 Anya Hindmarch 3.42.00, Level 3, Pavilion, 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2382 0877 Armani Exchange 2.11.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2148 3448 Aseana G16-G19B, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2382 9988 Audemars Piguet UG29, Adorn Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2144 8639 August Store S7&S8 Level 2, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Jalan Maarof, KL. Balenciaga G02-G02B, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2162 1881 Bally G36, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2163 2076 Bao Bao Issey Miyake 3.49.01, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 0389 BCBG MaxAzria 3.42.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 0717 Bedat & Co UG31, Adorn Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 7881 Belif G1.82, Sunway Pyramid, 3 Jalan PJS 11/15, Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya Benefit Parkson, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. Bershka G-027, Mid Valley Megamall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, KL. 03 2282 3957 Biotherm P3.01.03, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 1296 Bobbi Brown 2.46.03, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 5405 The Body Shop G-05, Fahrenheit 88, 179 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. Bonia 206B, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2161 0119 Bottega Veneta 2.30.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 7880 Boucheron UG16/16A Adorn Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 1313 Breguet LL1, Main Lobby, JW Marriott Hotel, 183 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 3788 Bulgari 2.23.00 & 3.25.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2145 6055 Burberry 2.16.00 & 3.18.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2148 1681 Burberry Beauty Isetan, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2026 1022 Burt’s Bees K-G26-D, The Curve, Mutiara Damansara. 03 7725 4006 Calvin Klein 2.12.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 0019 Calvin Klein Jeans 4.36.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 6292 Calvin Klein Underwear F219, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, KL.
03 2201 9907 Carrera y Carrera G12, Indulge Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2148 2669 Cartier 3.14, Level 3, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2303 5088 Cassey Gan 53 C, Jalan Desa Bakti, Taman Desa, KL. 03 7971 9087 Caudalie Boutique Spa Lot S127, Level 2, Bangsar Shopping Centre 03 2095 0001 Céline 2.35.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 1086 CH Carolina Herrera G40B, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2161 0632 Chanel LC-G06-LC-G07, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2726 1818 Chanel Fragrance & Beauty Boutique F328, 1 Utama, 1 Lebuh Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya. 03 7710 1313 Chopard 2.24.00 & 3.26.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2145 3611 Clarins Skin Spa 401C, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2382 6800 Clé de Peau Beauté Isetan, Suria KLCC, KL. 03 2164 6096 Clinique 4.45.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 3622 Club 21 Multi-label Store 3.34-3.36, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2173 3000 Coach 3.12.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 7799 Cole Haan 2.39.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 6088 Cortina Watch 112 & 113, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2166 6355 COS 2.108.00 & 3.105.00, Pavilion Elite, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2110 6799 Cotton On G10A-G12 & M10-M11A, Avenue K, 156 Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2163 1818 Crabtree & Evelyn 212, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2382 1300 Cuevolution B2-1-9, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, 1 Jalan Dutamas 1, KL. d.d collective UGF-19, Bangsar Village 2, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, KL. 03 2284 3066 Damiani G32, Indulge floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 3110. De Beers G39A, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2166 8863 Decléor S-009, second floor, Mid Valley Megamall, KL. 03 2284 1198 Denim & Supply 127 & 128, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2382 1668 Designer Bridal Room 9.10.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 6003 Diane von Furstenberg G03C-G03D, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2163 5028 Dior Indulge Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 1886 Dior Beauty Boutique G-007, Mid Valley Megamall, KL. 03 2202 1882 Dipped Row 26 Jalan Setiabakti 1, Bukit Damansara, KL. 03 2011 0192 Diptyque P3.01.02, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 6009 DKNY 2.44.00 & 2.45.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 9770 Dolce & Gabbana 241, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2382 2838 Dorothy Perkins G071-072, Mid Valley Megamall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra,
KL. 03 2287 9309
E Emilio Pucci 2.42.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit
Bintang, KL. 03 2143 5588 Emporio Armani G21-G22, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2166 9714 Estée Lauder Isetan, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2163 0488 Fabspy T-008 Level 3, Mid Valley Megamall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, KL. 03 2202 3080 Fashion Valet 29-30, Level 1, Bangsar Village 2, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, KL. 03 2201 8283 Fendi G39A-G40A, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2166 0882 Forever 21 4.25.04, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 9940 Fossil 4.48.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 2163 Furla 3.61.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 7726 9381 Garrard G31, Indulge Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2148 9966 Giorgio Armani LC-G03, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2166 7003 Giuseppe Zanotti Design 2.31.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 5757 Givenchy 2.39.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 6088 Gucci 2.21.00 & 3.23.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 6988 Guerlain Parkson, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2163 7186 Guess 2.56.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 3316 H&M Lot 10 Shopping Centre, Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL. 03 2146 0360 Habib Jewels 106, Lorong Mamanda 2, Ampang Point, KL. 03 4252 7777 Hermès 2.27.01 & 3.29.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 0048 Hublot UG15(B), Adorn Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2148 0830 Hugo Boss G08-10, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2161 8340 Innisfree 4.02.02, Level 4, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2110 68561 Isetan the Japan Store Lot 10 Shopping Centre, 50 Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL. 03 2141 7777 Jaeger-LeCoultre Indulge Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2144 2848 Jimmy Choo 2.55.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 3999 Jo Malone London 3.01.03, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2145 0188 Judith Leiber P2.14.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2118 8833 Karen Millen 135A, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2161 1721 Kate Spade 3.09.02, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 9339 Kens Apothecary F321, 1 Utama, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya. 03 7727 6004 Kenzo G4 & G5, Indulge Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2144 1799 Khoon Hooi F18, Explore Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 6032 Kiehl’s 2.46.04, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 7160 L’Occitane 115, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL.
03 2164 8948 La Martina Lot 2.01.08, Level 2, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 9777 La Mer Isetan, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2161 0390 La Prairie Isetan, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2161 4834 Lacoste GF9, Bangsar Village 2, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, KL. 03 2201 3573 Lancôme Parkson, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2381 2337 Laneige G1.126, Sunway Pyramid, Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya. 03 5612 7800 Laura Mercier P33.01.01, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 8641 Leather Avenue M-1D & M-2, Avenue K, 156 Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2181 8268 Les Néréides S-K03, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, KL Levi’s 4.47.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 4645 Loewe 2.35.01, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 0262 Longchamp 3.58.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 9411 Longines 2.01.04, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 1832 Lorna Jane 1F-1C, Bangsar Village 2, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, KL. 03 2714 5998 Louis Vuitton G19 & G23, Indulge Floor, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Starhill Gallery, KL. 03 2141 8790 Lyn C62, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2181 5066 M Missoni UG3, Adorn Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 0675 M Pavilion 3.52.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2282 0093 M.A.C C50, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2161 0023 Mango G053, Mid Valley Megamall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, KL. 03 2938 3901 Manolo Blahnik 2.43.00 Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL Make Up For Ever Pro Boutique Sephora Starhill, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2148 5593 Marc Jacobs G03B, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2171 2812 Massimo Dutti 229A-231A Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2181 1943 Max Mara G03B, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2166 1322 MCM 2.69.02 & 2.69.03, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2148 9299 McQ Alexander McQueen Adorn Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 1413 Melvita G001A, Mid Valley Megamall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, KL. 03 2282 2166 Michael Kors 2.17.00 & 3.19.00, Pavilion, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2145 8855 Milky B 48-2, Jalan 5/20 D, The Strand, Kota Damansara, PJ. Mimpikita 15, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, KL. 03 2282 2284 Miss Selfridge G071, Mid Valley Megamall, Lingkaran Syed Putra, KL. 03 2287 9308 Miu Miu 2.13.00 & 3.15.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL.
On Michelle: Top and culottes, both Mulberry. Shoes, Jimmy Choo. Earring, Lara Bohinc, larabohinc.com On Rachel: Top and skirt, both Mulberry. Shoes, Malone Souliers, malonesouliers. com. Earrings, Lara Bohinc, larabohinc.com
Monki 29/42, Nu Sentral, 201 Jalan Tun Sambathan, KL. 03 2631 6731 Montblanc G29, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2166 2886 Moschino 2.33.03, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2148 5588 Mulberry 128A, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2171 1102 Nars 3.06.01, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2110 4806 Nelissa Hilman GF-27, Bangsar Village 2, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, KL. Neubodi F063, Mid Valley Megamall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, KL. 03 6150 1288 Nike C5.03.00, Pavilion,168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 6930 Nurita Harith 31A, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar, KL. 03 2201 9920 Omega 2.38.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 7885 OPI K42, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2161 2199 Origins F225, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra KL. 03 2287 4662 Oris GK105, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, 1 Lebuh Bandar Utama, PJ. 03 74928665 Pandora 2.11.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 8544 Paul Smith Lot 3.31, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 0139 Pedro 4.40.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Piaget G07B, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL.
03 2078 7078 Prada 3.24.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2144 3608 Presence Paris UGF-33, Bangsar Village 2, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, KL. 03 2287 9733 Pull & Bear 4.13.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 4484 Puma Lifestyle 5.05.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2145 1008 Ralph Lauren G03P-R, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2161 0945 Red’s Revenge GF-19, Paradigm Mall, 1 Jalan SS7/26A, Petaling Jaya. 03 7887 6868 Reliance Optical Centre 27 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru. 03 2284 9906 Roger Vivier 2.32.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 8885 Rolex Menara Dion, 27 Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL. 03 2072 2709 Saint Laurent 2.32.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 8885 Salvatore Ferragamo G32, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2382 0868 Sasa 1.22.00,Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 4806 Sephora Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 6688 Sergio Rossi G2A, Indulge Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 32141 1064 Shiseido Isetan, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2161 9405 Shoes Shoes Shoes 21-2 & 22-2 Jalan Telawi
3, Bangsar Baru, KL. Shu Uemura C54A, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2166 3838 Sincere Fine Watches UG19, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 8848 Sisley Parkson, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 0608 SK-II Parkson Grand, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 012 697 6352 Sothys UG-69, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, 1 Jalan Dutamas 1, KL. 03 6207 9280 Stuart Weitzman 2.50.00, Pavilion, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 5188 Sulwhasoo Parkson, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2110 6218 Swarovski 3.47.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2145 3185 Tag Heuer 3.44.00 & 3.45.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 5159 Thavia B2-3A-3, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, 1 Jalan Dutamas 1, KL. 03 6419 3086 Three 4.01.04, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2110 1199 Tiffany & Co. G25B, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2282 2233 Tod’s Parkson, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 8808 Tommy Hilfiger 2.07.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 7121 Topshop C52-C53, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2382 4056 Tory Burch 2.69.01, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2148 1028
Triumph F-083, Mid Valley Megamall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, KL. 03 2282 0410 Tsyahmi D7, Sentul East, KL. 019 202 6757 Tumi G11-G12, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2162 8787 Ulysse Nardin & Reuge UG22, Adorn Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 1322 Under Armour 335, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2181 6737 Uniqlo G1.01.00, F1.01.00, F1.02.00, S2.01.00, Fahrenheit 88, Jalan Gading, KL. 03 2145 8852 Urban Decay C27, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2165 1188 Valentino G2B, Indulge Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 1348 Van Cleef & Arpels G15, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 8669 Versace 2.25.00 & 3.27.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 0677 Versus Versace 3.51 Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2110 1708 Victoria’s Secret Beauty & Accessories 2.01.13 & 2.01.14, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 7999 Violeta by Mango G049 & G050, Mid Valley Megamall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, KL. 03 2938 3901 Warehouse 2.64.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 0886 Zara 2.10.01, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 0182 ELLE.MY
Th ere are tennis wh ites and th ere are hygge wh ites. Th ese are hygge wh ites
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Creepy cat keeping guard o ver my beautiful flowers you kind larabarrr
Feeding a m eaty lolly to Indi s Japanese cousin wh o has intriguingly sh ort legs
Pandora Sykes This London-based writer, stylist
and consultant has an aesthetic as bright as her personality. Follow Pandora on Instagram for more @PandoraSykes
Cura ao ch ildren 1979, Slim Aarons. Thank you for our best wedding present E V ER
s tin A ugu n a S Casa ht by n ig
Sake barrels at th e MejiSh rine Tokyo marking respect for ensh rined deities
ma l a y s i a
Your FREE guide to finding your wedding day style
Find Your Forever
Jewellery to fall in love with
Expert guides to Invites Flowers Venues The Cake
Dresses (and suits!) to make you feel like the most beautiful bride ever
MODERN ROMANCE Not for separate sale
The art of packing a clutch is one that has eluded me ’til now – on page 28 you’ll find our breakdown of bridal bag essentials, including this great Laura Mercier lipstick.
wedding, so all you have to do is make a few calls to get your best skin (and hair and lashes and teeth) ever for the day. True to the times, we’re also shining a light on Malaysia’s growing artisanal scene. While putting this issue together we met so many talented local creatives who are bringing personality back to the wedding industry, from custom letterpress invitations to hand-painted wedding cakes. Because your big day shouldn’t be about following a commercially determined template, it should be about you. Happy planning!
very year, weddings get bigger and splashier as the pressure mounts for brides (and grooms) to put on a multilocation, Hollywood-rivalling bridal production. We’re all for doing all it takes to create a day you’ll remember forever but in the midst of the planning madness, don’t forget to carve out some personal moments just for you. Whether that’s taking extra time to find (or make) your dream dress, choosing flowers that mean something special to you, or just slipping away whenever you need to for an amazing facial, make sure you enjoy the process as much as you can. Inside this issue we have ideas for brides both traditional and modern, and those who want a bit of both. Dresses, jewels, bridesmaids and beauty – flip through for inspiration and expert tips that will take the stress out of decision-making. We’ve even plotted out the six weeks leading up to your
Wedding jewels should be pieces that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. We have a few ideas on page 18, like these Chopard sparklers.
Naked cakes = less icing, more space for macarons and edible flowers. More beautful cakes on page 41.
Emma Chong Johnston Managing Editor Having spent far too many angst-ridden hours with my husband attempting to design our own wedding cards, if I were to do it all over again I’d definitely go to a professional. We’ve got expert tips on the matter on page 38.
If you can resist the beauty of a frothy princess gown, you’re a stronger person than me. But how about a wedding suit (page 16)? Seriously tempting.
Working with floral designer Dianthus Goh on our cover and fashion spread set design (page 30) was a dream come true, and as a bonus, we all took armfuls of flowers home after.
Behind the cover
Behind the scenes
Masses of hydrangeas, roses, peonies and foliage arrived at Blink Studio the morning of the shoot for our romantic floral backdrop
O Reem Acra
ur Brides issue this year is as fresh as the floral set up created by Dianthus Goh, owner of Bouquet Garni and the woman behind the blooms on our cover and fashion spread. Dianthus designed organic floral arrangements for us, in soft pastels and wild greenery that appear as though they’ve just been gathered from the woods. Of course, romance is in the air, as always. Dresses take a gentler approach, with plenty of movement courtesy of fringing and lightweight organza alongside mile-long veils placed just so. Beauty takes a little breather too, with wispy, undone hair adorned with florals and glowing skin with just a little tint of blush. Because the best wedding look is one that makes you feel like you.
Blouse and skirt, both Khoon Hooi. Bulgari Bulgari earrings in pink gold with diamonds and mother-ofpearl, Bulgari
photography: imaxtree.com, eric chow/blink studio
Time to shine
Oscar de la Renta
PA S S I O N F O R H A P P I N E S S
BRIDES PHOTOGRAPHY Eric Chow. STYLING Colin Sim. MAKEUP Cat Yong. HAIR Juno Ko. JANICE WEARS Dress, Pronovias at Designer Bridal Room. Diva’s Dream high jewellery earrings in white gold with pavé diamonds, Divissima white gold ring with mounted setting pavé diamonds, both Bulgari.
On The Cover 10 Go Your Own Way The gowns and finishing touches to help you (and your bridesmaids) take centre stage 24 Get Pretty Four looks to inspire your big day beauty 26 The Perfect Skin Plan An advent calendar for your best face yet 38 The Little Extras Delectable desserts, impressive invites and beautiful flowers. Bookmark them now.
M a r c h 2 017 4 Editor’s Note 6 Behind the Cover 18 Spotlight: shine bright Sparkles to last a lifetime 20 Celebrity Wedding: Ellie Norman 22 News Must-have apps and a chat with designer Silas Liew 28 In the Bag Essentials to keep close, from day to night 30 once upon a dream Breathtaking dresses to walk the aisle in 36 find your happy place Put your venue woes to rest. ELLE rounds up some of the most picturesque ones around.
42 a year of yes Breathe, and check these boxes as you go along
Editor-in-Chief Kate Guest Managing Editor Emma Chong Johnston Beauty Editor Grace wong Senior Fashion Writer Florence Song Editorial Assistant medina azaldin Art Director Sheila Cheah Senior Graphic Designer Kenneth Lee Vice President, Sales Nicholas ng Sales Director Karen D'Cruz Senior Sales Executive Faten Suhaira Sulaiman Production Executive Nor Faridah Mustafa
ELLE Malaysia is published by Mongoose Publishing Sdn Bhd (580051-K) under license from Lagardère Active. The views expressed in the articles published are not necessarily those of Mongoose Publishing Sdn Bhd (580051-K) or Lagardère Active. While every reasonable care is taken in compiling the magazine, the publisher shall not be held responsible for any omission, error or inaccuracy. Please notify the publisher in writing of any such omission, error or inaccuracy. Editorial contributions are welcome but unsolicited materials are submitted at the sender’s risk. The publisher cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage.© All rights reserved by Mongoose Publishing Sdn Bhd (580051-K). No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the publisher’s permission in writing. KDN PP 18321 / 12 /2013 (033718) ISSN 2289-6120 TRADEMARK NOTICE. The ELLE trademark is used under license from the trademark owner, Hachette Filipacchi Presse.
Oscar de la Renta
Ruffles have long been a bridalwear staple, but this season the look veers to two Francesca Miranda
extremes: architectural power ruffles or soft,
Christian Siriano for Kleinfeld
brides trends MOODBOARD
Clé de Peau Beauté Cream Blush in Perfect Peach, RM180
Short & sweet
Mini dresses are just as bridesmaidready as their floor-length
counterparts (and work even better at the after party!)
Dress, Self-Portrait at Club 21 Multi-label Store
Dress, approx. RM1,610, For Love and Lemons, forloveandlemons.com
Necklace, RM173, Wanderlust + Co, wanderlustandco.com
Necklace, Tory Burch
Shoes, RM2,850, Jimmy Choo
Dress, approx. RM3,920, Marchesa Notte at farfetch.com
Scarf, RM830, Diane von Furstenberg
Shoes, Stuart Weitzman
Cardigan, RM1,990, CH Carolina Herrera Bag, RM35,000, Dior
Rose Dentelle bracelet in pink gold with pearl and diamond, Piaget
Isabel Sanchis David Fielden
The little white dress Kleinfield
Skip, waltz or run down the aisle inÂ aÂ high-low skirt or a shimmering fringed
Oscar de la Renta
number. Just keep it short and sexy.
brides trends MOODBOARD
Urban Decay Brow Box in Brown Sugar, RM118
Bright ideas Bring the fun in bright, feel-good colours and dramatic
silhouettes with plenty of flair. The bolder, the better.
Christian Siriano Dolce & Gabbana
Dress, approx. RM8,920, Narciso Rodriguez at net-a-porter.com
Dress, Delpozo at Club 21 Multi-label Store
Earrings, RM410, Carat London at Presence Concept Store
Heels, Emporio Armani
Tiffany T Smile earrings in yellow gold with diamonds, Tiffany & Co.
Heels, Emilio Pucci
Necklace, RM479 and charms, RM229 each, all Pandora
Heels, Miu Miu
Bag, RM8,595, Bally
Rendez-Vous Sonatina watch in pink gold with diamonds and alligator leather strap, Jaeger-LeCoultre
She wears the pants Be a bride less ordinary by opting for tailored trousers, tuxedo pants or a sheer lace
Lela Rose Isabel Zapardiez
jumpsuit in place of a traditional dress. You do you.
...and bridesmaids Antonio Berardi
Dior Diorskin Forever Foundation, RM205
Modern classic Nothing spells sophistication like clean,
minimalist pieces in pared down metallic hues. Jill Stuart
Top, approx. RM2,000, Christopher Esber at farfetch.com Top, Zara Top, Pleats Please by Issey Miyake at Club 21 Multi-label Store
Text & co-ordination: Florence Song & Medina Azaldin. Photography: IMAXTREE.COM
Pants, approx. RM2,110, Tibi at net-a-porter.com
Pants, HelmutÂ Lang at Aseana
Heels, Sergio Rossi Heels, Jimmy Choo
Possession earrings in white gold with diamonds, RM11,800, Piaget
Clutch, RM309, Chic Initiative, chicinitiative.com
Heels, StuartÂ Weitzman
Bra, approx. RM2,635, garter, approx. Imperiale Cocktail bracelet RM1,935 and panties, approx. RM1,340, all La Perla, laperla.com in rose gold with amethysts, RM7,600, Chopard
So many breathtaking beauties, so little time. Where does one even begin? Consider the cushion-cut diamond as a regal alternative to princess cuts. As for traditionalists, never doubt the classic allure of a simple (but far from basic) solitaire ring. This is the one adornment youâ€™ll cherish forever, so go for rings that mirror your personality before talking about carats. A multi-stone ring, an unconventional band and touches of colour will hold gazes without being ostentatious.
text: medina azaldin. Photography: Azrul Hafis/Shooting Star. Art Direction: Sheila Cheah
Clockwise from top: ring in white gold with yellow diamonds and diamonds, RM183,300, Habib Exclusive Collection. Integrity Hearts on Fire Three Stone Engagement ring in white gold with diamonds, RM72,000 and Serenity Select Engagement ring in white gold with diamond, RM52,500, both Hearts On Fire. Ring in white gold with diamond, RM38,780 Habib Jewels. Brielle Diamond Engagement ring in white gold with diamond, RM66,375, Hearts On Fire
BEAUTY Inspiration Scale back on excessive, flashy jewellery and instead opt for charming pieces just like the Happy Dreams pendant by Chopard. The circular design mimics a cloud delicately suspended from a double chain, with brilliant prong-set diamonds dancing against the mother of pearl disc. Finish with matching Happy Dreams earrings. Itâ€™sÂ time for you to shine. Happy Dreams earrings in white gold and diamonds, RM26,950 and Happy Dreams pendant in white gold with diamonds and mother-of-pearl, RM120,930, both Chopard
Sparkling jewels to get you through the engagement, the big day and the rest of your life
Ellie in love
Four gowns, three venues and one very beautiful couple. The fashion designer behind My Apparel Zoo, Ellie Norman, tells us all about her special day(s)
“He [Azril Ghaus] proposed to me in Japan in the snow. It was so surprising! When he got down on one knee, I didn’t think he was kneeling, I thought he fell, because the snow was so high and you can’t see! It was freezing. His whole family was in on it. We finished skiing, we’d dropped our equipment off and then the whole family said ‘Can you buy this and that?’ so we had to go to the supermarket. Then he says, ‘Let’s go take pictures in the snow.’ And my husband never wants to take pictures with me. It was behind the trees, like in Beauty and the Beast. Then seven months later we had our engagement at my house, with the cherry blossom theme.
“I had InnaiRed for the engagement, Nurita Harith for the akad nikah and reception [on my side], and Rizalman for the reception for my husband’s side. I wanted the gown for my engagement to be traditional and a very light, airy colour, inspired by sakura. For the solemnisation, I wanted it to be all white, and Nurita added shiny embellishment that you could only really see up close. The look was inspired by an English garden theme so there were a lot of flowers in lots of different colours. I wanted the gown to be whimsical and Nurita really got it. We sort of designed it together but I always told her to put her own spin of elegance and glamour into it. “For my reception, I sourced all the fabrics myself because I had a specific idea of what I wanted. There were actually three different layers of lace on the dress! It was also a princess, whimsical theme – a lot of petals, a little off-shoulder. The theme was a little Moroccan, but I didn’t want my dress
Ellie walks down the aisle at her solemnisation wearing Nurita Harith
Ellie and her husband Azril Ghaus at the solemnisation ceremony
to be Moroccan. And I’ve been working out a lot so I wanted it to be fitted! “For the second reception, my motherin-law wanted me to look like a queen, basically. She told Rizalman it had to be glamorous, a little 1920s, a little Gatsby, very Oscar-ish, as regal as possible. Rizalman was the right person to do it. My Rizalman gown was gorgeous. When I first saw the fabric, it was just a piece with beading on it. But he added so many more layers to it.”
As told to: Medina Azaldin. Photography: kudegraphy, qippy photography, the photoz
The wedding video
“My in-laws wanted to give us the gift of time. So they hired a production team, Manggis, we outsourced a director, and we were aged (using makeup) for a wedding video! We had makeup artists from The Walking Dead who did our makeup and made us look different ages: 40, 60 and then 80. It took a whole day. The makeup alone took two to three hours and we couldn’t see each other until we turned around. It was quite emotional.”
my husband that I didn’t think we could get the song or Afgan at the reception. He was really sad for me, so he went to his family and said ‘Wouldn’t it be crazy if you actually got Afgan?’ But actually his sister had already called Afgan, because they knew I was a big fan! And it was all a surprise. At the reception we all suddenly heard this beautiful music. The doors opened and two or three bodyguards came in, but I couldn’t really see because I wasn’t wearing my contact lenses. Suddenly somebody was singing and I thought, ‘Oh my god. Is that an Afgan song? Are they singing an Afgan song?’ I was looking at my husband and he was looking at the door and I asked ‘Who is that?’ My husband was in shock. He said, ‘Oh my god, that is Afgan.’ And I was like ‘Why am I married right now? I think you should keep this seat free and sit there with the guests! Let Afgan sit here next to me!’”
Ellie’s favourite moment
“Definitely Azril dancing. I’ve always wanted to see him perform, because he used to perform in his university days. I’ll remember his performance forever. And my father singing too. My father sometimes sings but he never dances – this was the father of the bride dancing with two of his brothers to Ride Sally Ride!
Her best advice
“It’s difficult advice to take, but you just have to let go. You’ll enjoy it more. The most important thing for me was to savour the moment and be as happy as possible with the people around me. Worry less. You want it to be perfect, but if you let go of the whole perfection thing, it’ll be perfect.”
The big performance
“I wanted the song Percayalah, by the Indonesian singer Afgan, for my walk-in. But my father thought Percayalah didn’t quite go with our Moroccan theme, and chose a different song that he thought suited the theme better. I wasn’t upset but I told
Ellie descends the staircase in her sakura-inspired Nurita Harith gown
Ellie in a regal ensemble by Rizalman
Indonesian singer Afgan performs at the groom’s reception. Below: Azril and his groomsmen in a surprise dance performance
Behind the seams
How to turn your dream dress into a reality
Apps to ease your wedding planning
“Usually I ask think about the about budget wedding venue: if Wedding Happy first. Certain the bride is going Consider this a pocket PA, helping you keep track of tasks, kinds of dresses to walk through timelines, and even payment reminders. Say goodbye to can only be grass we can look traditional wedding binders! iTunes, free achieved if you at treatments spend money to waterproof Pantone Studio on materials, and stain-proof There are more variations of white than you’d believe especially when the dress. (pearl? ivory? cornsilk?). Pantone’s app allows you to Who it comes to a very “You need to scan any colour to get its exact Pantone match. iTunes, free Silas Liew sculptural design. know what your If it’s a couture body type is; these What Joy dress, you need things come out Things your bridal From managing RSVPs and adding travel details to features couture fabrics. in the consultation designer needs to know that allow guests to upload wedding images direct to the “Secondly we process. But really design app, Joy will help you keep every detail of the wedding in talk about what the easiest way philosophy one place. iTunes and Google Play, free kind of wedding is to go try on Keep your dream dress they’re having – gowns. Because practical Pinterest what’s the family then you know Can a wedding even work without Pinterest? The app like, are there any for sure whether lets you keep your moodboard, so you need never miss expectations? It’s also good certain styles make you look another inspiring image. iTunes and Google Play, free to know who’s funding the old or don’t provide enough dress, because that person support for your boobs. might want to have a say. “It can be really hard to Bfab I know that most brides have trust the designer because Make all your spa, facial, manicure hair and makeup been thinking about it for you’ve never seen the dress, appointments whenever, wherever. Check out ratings, get quite a long time, so I don’t but if you try to see every prices, and book instantly. iTunes and Google Play, free hype it up too step, you’ll get so sick much, I try to be of the dress. There’s very grounded. no surprise anymore; “Comfort is there’s no mystery.” very important @nuritaharith – some people don’t like showing their arms, some people don’t like This year will mark the first ever ELLE International emphasising their bum. Bridal Awards, in collaboration with Sì Sposa Italia So we’ll decide all that Collezioni Milano Bridal Week and 11 ELLE editions before we start. And also
And the award goes to...
from all over the world, including us! Bridal designers local, international, upcoming and established will be honoured at the awards ceremony in May during the Milan Bridal Week trade show. We can’t wait for the world to see the incredible work of our Malaysian nominee, Nurita Harith.
Marchesa Vera Wang
Classic weddings never go out of style
et among rainforest reserve and limestone mountains, the Templer’s Ballroom is a space straight out of a fairytale. Pillars without, soaring ceilings within, and nothing but beautiful scenery as far as the eye can see, this is the stuff wedding dreams are made of. A standalone property surrounded by natural beauty, the Ballroom is an elegantly appointed ballroom that can host up to 700 guests. For a more intimate occasion, the space can be divided into two smaller ballrooms that cater for 250 guests each. Choose from a range of all-inclusive wedding packages to suit the scale of your celebration down to every last detail, from traditional and cultural elements to the best Chinese, Malay and Indian cuisine for a feast your guests won’t forget.
1 Jalan Ipoh - Rawang KM-20, Taman Rekreasi Templer, 48000 Rawang, Selangor. 03 6092 1555
The look of love Softly goes it. Swap harsh contours and intense lines for an understated, delicate take on bridal beauty PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHOI MOON HYUK STYLING BY KIM YOON MI
Serenity now Encourage windblown glamour at a garden or beachside reception with wispy bangs. Pair with a glossy pout, satin skin and youthful, structured brows. TRY Shu Uemura Brow:Sword, RM145. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Glow, RM220. Lancôme Shine Lover, RM95.
R a s p b e rr y c r u s h Who’s afraid of colour? The bold bride picks a glossy, peppy pink lip for a day to remember, set against a radiant complexion with diffused highlights. TRY Son & Park Air Tint Lip Cube in 04 Peony Violet, RM59. Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base, RM185. By Terry Glow-Expert Duo Stick, RM215. Urban Decay Diffusing Highlighter Brush, RM118
At first blush Recreate the glow of shy early dates with a gloriously flushed cheek complemented by an eyeliner flick in a soft brown. Velveteen nude-pink lips tie it all together.
Model: Jin A Reum. Hair Stylist: Baek Heung Kwon. Makeup Artist: Ko Won Hye(Kowon). Florist: Jung Hee Yeon (Botalabo). Fashion Assistants: Lee Hwa, Kim Si Ae, Jung Yeon Ju, Jung Hye In
TRY Lancôme Cushion Blush Subtil in 022 Rose Givrée, RM165. CLIO Kill Brown Waterproof Brush Liner, RM59.25. Chanel Rouge Allure Ink in 140 Amoureux, RM115
Earth angel Mother Nature is the ultimate muse in this palette of warm tones of dusky rose and brown. Liquid highlighter is key to brighten up the muted colour story. TRY Sigma Beauty Liquid Highlighter, RM200. Tarte Tartlette Tease Palette, RM95. Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Eyebrow Gel, RM115. Make Up For Ever Kohl Pencil, RM95.
Schedule your makeup trial as early as possible, “in case the makeup or artist isn’t suitable and she needs to shop for another one,” says bridal makeup artist Ferra Rossa (@ferra_rossa). Request a portfolio to review the makeup artist’s work and signature looks, and put together a Pinterest board. When browsing for inspiration, look for faces similar to yours in shape and colouring, Ferra recommends.
countdown Future bride, the primping of your life is about to begin
ever will you be as moisturised, plucked, kneaded, pampered and polished as in the weeks leading up to the big day. There’s a lot to remember, so we’ve compiled a guide to ease you through this socially sanctioned whirlwind of vanity, from your makeup trial to teeth whitening. Do you have to go through everything? Not at all, but we’ve kept the list comprehensive so all you need to do is to choose the services, book all your appointments in one sitting, and still have time for this evening’s #WOD.
6 weeks BEFORE
Expert hands extract blackheads, increase blood circulation and cleanse the skin deeply for a rejuvenated complexion. International training director of Sothys Institut Isabelle Villey recommends starting six weeks before the wedding. “[I would suggest] three treatments, each separated by two weeks. One should be two weeks before the wedding to have a very deep cleansing treatment and then one just a week before for brightening,” says Isabelle.
Hairstyle test Bridal and production hairstylist Cindy Wong says that booking early is key. “You need time to adjust the haircut or colour if it doesn’t work for the desired style,” she says. “Also, don’t straight iron your hair the day before the trial
or the wedding day unless you want it straight.” Many hairstyles require texture to work, which means fresh, unstyled hair. If your hairstylist and hairdo person are different, be sure to communicate the style you’ll be doing at your final hair trim, armed with photos from the test. Grow out your brows
Everyone wants a fresh, clean eye look these days and the simplest road to take may just be great brows. If you’ve over plucked or want a fuller look for your wedding, give them time to grow out so the brow stylist will be able to see what they’re working with. Ring a salon and schedule three to four sessions of brow shaping between then and the big day.
fillers “A popular prewedding procedure is dermal fillers for the tear troughs,” says Dr. Jinly Wong of the Sloane Clinic, who advises to do them four to six weeks pre-wedding. “They give great results and help to reduce the appearance of dark circles.”
teeth whitening Dr Yoganjali Dorairaj, Aesthetic Dental Surgeon at Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre, says that the most appropriate time for a bride to whiten her teeth is about one month to a week before her wedding, so there is no risk of sensitive teeth on her big day. “Prior consultation is very important,” she notes. The immediate brightness is life-changing, but you need to be disciplined for 72 hours after. No food or drink that stains: that’s everything from sugary juices and soda to wine, soy sauce, berries, dark chocolate, ketchup, curries and, yes, coffee. (Dr. Yoganjali recommends sipping through a straw if you must.) No dark lipstick and coloured toothpaste, gel or mouthwash (or any mouthwash with chlorhexidine) either. Waxing If you’ve never had a bikini wax before, don’t start right before your wedding. That stuff hurts, but gets less painful each subsequent wax. Work your way up to it by waxing a month in advance to leave room for any sensitivity issues that may crop up. Eline Chang, waxing therapist trainer at Strip Bangsar, says that some first timers with very sensitive skin might incur slight redness or blotchiness. “Do follow up with another waxing session two or three days prior to the big day,” she says. She recommends using the salon’s M+G Ingrown Hair Cream (MYR103.88) once a day after the treatment for two weeks.
This is a nonnegotiable. Layering all the hydrating serums will do squat if you’re shrivelling up from the inside out. You don’t have to do eight glasses but listen to your body and sip regularly throughout the day.
Drink more water
1 week BEFORE
3 weeks BEFORE
Lasers are a quick, effective way to tackle an array of skin concerns, whether you’re looking to brighten, reduce fine lines or refine pores. Dr. William Hoo from Anna Hoo Clinic suggests starting at least three weeks before the wedding as “collagen regeneration after the laser treatment means it will take some time to see the effect.” Recommended options include non-ablative laser treatments such as Q-switch Nd Yag laser for skin brightening and tightening, to even the skin tone, reduce pore size, and reduce pigmentation. If you’ve got pigmentation related-concerns, be prepared to go in for repeat sessions.
text: grace wong. photography: istock.com
AHA P e e l s With any in-clinic peels, you want to give your skin ample time to recover from redness, which lasts anywhere from 24 to 48 hours, and mild flaking that may last up to five days. It’s all worth it – nothing exfoliates and clears up your skin like a dose of acid. Just remember to slather on at least SPF30 and stay away from the rays.
you’ve tried it before, however, Jessica recommends two to three days before to minimise shedding, with a touch up scheduled right before the big day. The usual rules apply: no swimming, no heavy eye makeup before the wedding (overzealous cleansing may cause extensions to fall out), no eye-rubbing and don’t sleep face down.
Cut back on salt
If you don’t want to risk crying through mascara and want a natural, fluttery lash that lasts into the honeymoon, give extensions a go. Jessica Jo, lash technician at Nails Extreme, recommends that extensions newbies start one week before, so there’s time for any allergies to surface and heal in time. If
When you’re up late working on those personalised placeholders, you’re likely to be tempted to snack. Put those thoughts away. Salt retains water and causes bloating. We’re recommending for you to fast four days before but if you’re more disciplined, start two weeks ahead.
3 days BEFORE
Massage & body scrub If you’ve received one of those bridal spa packages as a hen’s night gift, put it to use now. Done well, deep tissue massages leave the body a bit sore, so this way there’s some recovery time, plus the exfoliating effects of the scrub will banish ingrown hairs.
Final hairstylist appointment
William Wong, Director of TONI&GUY Hairdressing recommends two to three weeks before for your final cut and colour. “This allows hair to sit in a natural way without looking too raw,” he says. “Colour, straightening and cuts are not recommended within a week of the actual day as there isn’t sufficient time to recover from any colour choices or textures gone wrong.”
1 day BEFORE
Manicure & Pedicure Get your mani and pedi the day before to minimise any chance of chipping. Throw in a couple of comforting scrub and wax treatments for supple handshakes and soft heels.
In the Bag
Day Shiseido Veiled Rouge in Rosalie, RM96.46
How to pack your bridal clutch to handle everything from minor emergencies to zippy touchups between neverending photos.
Kiss the groom in a romantic, translucent shade of pink.
All the essentials to keep you present, relaxed and at ease
Aveda Blue Oil Balancing Concentrate, RM85
Tradition dictates that brides never find time to eat on their wedding day. Refresh by applying this invigorating blend of peppermint, menthol and blue chamomile on your wrist and inhale.
The History of Whoo Cheongidan Radiant Essence Cushion, RM440 (part of a set)
An ornate compact makes even DIY touch ups photogenic.
IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara, RM60 Reapply this defining, separating mascara after the ceremony and before photos for longer, more volumnised lashes.
MUJI Cleansing Cotton Buds, RM8.90 for a pack of 10 Carry a few of these remover-soaked buds to keep your liner crisp.
Rohto Eye Drops Aqua, RM14.90 The most comforting of eye drops for the first bit of “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”
SK-II Midday Essence Spray, RM276
Clu tc h , Ju dith
Outdoor weddings can get a little muggy. Spritz this on for a skincare pick me up.
Diptyque Eau Rose Solid Perfume, RM229
This compact of sensuous centifolia and damask rose keeps it classic and fuss-free.
BEAUTY Inspiration Laura Mercier Joie De Vivre Collection Velour Lovers Lip Colour in Happy, RM129
Pick a gorgeously pigmented, endlessly comfortable lipstick for a full evening of smiles and laughter.
La Mer The Powder, RM370
Gently buff this gorgeous powder on for a velvety finish, then decant a little into some tissue for touchups.
Lovisa bobby pins, part of a bun kit, RM29.90
Just a few of these thwart any updo predicaments.
Dior J’adore EDP Purse Spray, RM475 for one purse spray and two refills
Double up on core memories with a purse spray version of your all-time favourite fragrance.
Bobbi Brown Blotting Papers, RM33
L’Erbolario Indian Jasmine Fast Absorbing Hand Cream, RM74
Throw in a tin of hand cream for post-dinner handshakes. Bonus points if it echoes the notes in your perfume.
Night Focus on touch ups for pictureperfect snaps
Will there be spotlights and a stage involved? Blotting sheets soak up the shine when it’s inconvenient to powder.
Zoeva Cosmetics 88 Luxe Powder Buffer, RM180 A big buffing brush works powder firmly into the skin for traceless perfection.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Feather Noir Ultra-Skinny Lash Discovering Mascara, RM110
C l u tc
tte g a
TEXT: GRACE WONG; PHOTOGRAPHY: BRYAN ONG; STYLING: KENNETH LEE
This clutch-perfect mascaras makes waves for maximising the sparsest sets of lashes.
once upon a dream Something old, something new, and a dress that blends modern-day movement with old-world glamour
Photography by Eric Chow Styling by Colin Sim
Dress, Celest Thoi. Bulgari Bulgari earrings in pink gold with diamonds and mother-ofpearl, Bulgari. Opposite: Dress, Pronovias at Designer Bridal Room. Bulgari Bulgari earrings in pink gold with diamonds and mother-ofpearl, Bulgari
Dress, HaydenÂ Koh, haydenkoh.co. Juste Un Clou earrings in white gold with diamonds and Juste Un Clou small bracelet in white gold with diamonds, all Cartier
Dress, Brian Khoo, briankhoo.com. Shoes, stylist’s own
Dress, Nurita Harith. Bulgari Bulgari earrings in pink gold with diamonds and motherof-pearl, Bulgari
HAIR: Juno Ko. MAKEUP: Cat Yong. SET DESIGNER: Dianthus Goh. MODEL: Janice Low. ART DIRECTION: Sheila Cheah
Dress, Fiziwoo. Bulgari Bulgari earrings in pink gold with diamonds and mother-of-pearl, Bulgari
Find your happy place Le Méridien Putrajaya
Transform the Hilton Kuala Lumpur ballroom to fit your wedding theme
Hilton Kuala Lumpur
Whether you’re going for all-out glam or a boho chic soirée, there’s a venue for every wedding
Personalise the space with linen and lighting options Build the pelamin of your dreams
Location Located just across the road from KL Sentral station, this hotel is especially ideal if you’re expecting many out-of-towners or guests who don’t want to worry about being the designated driver. Vibe One step into the ballroom will make your guests awestruck (and forget the traffic they may have endured on the way over). Hilton has a grand ballroom that fits 800 people, three smaller ballrooms and a Grand Suite that fits 120 people. If you’re looking to do a cocktail reception Boardwalk on Level 8, overlooking the pool and palm trees, is a great option. Packages All the wedding packages include specially crafted menus by Hilton’s chefs, wedding favours and special room rates for wedding guests on Fridays to Sundays. The bride and groom will receive a complimentary stay in Hilton’s Lifestyle Suite (with macarons for breakfast, if you fancy) and most packages come complete with a spa treatment for two because if anyone deserves a day of relaxing, it’s you (and maybe your mum). Food and drink Fairy Tale and Bliss packages include three bottles of Hilton’s sommelier-approved wine or a bottle of house spirit. Hilton caters all weddings, but menus are customisable. Parking Over 400 parking bays available at a flat rate of RM8, plus valet service.
Location Le Méridien is situated within IOI Resort City, just outside of the KL crush, but still convenient for your city friends. Vibe The hotel is less than a year old, so expect shiny new interiors and high quality amenities. The pillarless ballroom fits 680 guests and is equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual systems. For smaller parties, the semi-al fresco Atelier Hall sits 120 guests and Le Mei serves Chinese cuisine with a modern twist, perfect for a party of 200 guests. Packages Wedding packages are tailored to every couple’s needs, including flowers, backdrops, audiovisual equipment and a stay in the Executive Bridal Suite, plus special rates for guests. Food and drink While clients aren’t allowed any outside caterers, rest assured that the culinary team is happy to tailor the menu for every wedding and provide a decorative cake for your ceremony. Free-flow soft drinks are provided before and during the reception. Parking There are approximately 250 parking spots at the hotel as well as valet service. Additionally, guests can also park at the nearby mall.
Templer’s Ballroom can seat up to 700 guests
Templer’s Ballroom, Setia City Convention Centre
Four Seasons Resort Langkawi
Location Set against the backdrop of lush green hills is the Setia City Convention Centre (SCCC) in Setia Alam. Have your guests mingle at the foyer before the wedding begins, to get their fill of the gorgeous view. Vibe Serene and secluded, Setia City is perfect for those looking to get away from the city, but who still prefer a modern, spacious venue. Packages SCCC offers three packages created specifically for Malay, Chinese and Indian ceremonies. Each of these customisable packages includes food and beverages, decorative cake, registration tables, floral arrangement for the bridal table, PA systems and LCD projectors, wedding favours, and use of the bridal suite. Alternatively, the team can plan the event around your specific requests. Décor Bring in your own decorators, or make use of the inhouse events team to deck out the ballroom.
Location The resort is located in Tanjung Rhu, a 25-minute drive from the Langkawi International Airport. There are six outdoor venue options, and three indoor restaurants. Vibe Say your vows on the private beach with a sunset backdrop. Packages There are two packages available and both come with a wedding specialist service to coordinate and plan your perfect wedding, flowers for the aisle and arch, a massage treatment at Geo Spa and a ceremonial wedding celebrant. Food & drink So much more than just banquets: shoose from a traditional fourcourse dinner, Malaysian serving set, barbeque and bonfire buffets, canapés and cocktails. (Wedding cake included.) Décor Leave it to the resort’s wedding experts or come equipped with ideas. Either way, the events team is happy to accommodate and bring your vision to life. Parking Airport transfers and limo service can be easily arranged. Should your guests drive to the resort, valet parking is available.
Book out the private beach for your ceremony
Or take the road less travelled… Enderong Resort Tanarimba The Enderong Annexe is a double-storey building with an open-air space perfect for intimate weddings. Book the threestorey Enderong House for family and friends. enderong.wixsite.com/ enderongresort
Tamarind Springs Ampang Moody and romantic, Tamarind Springs is perfect for small, intimate receptions. The Indochinese food is stellar, of course, but it’s the hushed private location that wins it, and only 20 minutes from central KL. tamarindrestaurants.com
Jim Thompson Cottage Cameron Highlands Perched high up in the cool highlands, the Jim Thompson Cottage offers stunning views and surrounds, and is the perfect setting to bring your bohemian dreams to life.
Suffolk House Restaurant Penang
K’Seena House Kuang
This Georgetown gem is also Malaysia’s only remaining Georgian mansion. Host a dinner reception in its impeccably restored interiors, or create a magical garden wedding on the lawns outside. And get booking, fast: Suffolk House is in such high demand that they take bookings up to two years in advance.
Nestled in the little lanes of Kuang is K’Seena House, a traditional Malay home with shady trees and a yard big enough for canopies and picnic settings. kseenahouse.
Zeejay operates the letterpress machine
How to make your wedding invitations stand out? Turn to a centuries-old printing tradition
Cliff Leong and Zeejay Wong, Alphabet Press co-founders
Letterpress printing has existed since the 15th century and its use continued, in some shape or form, until the 1980s. The rise of personal computers and printing was a blow to the letterpress industry, but recently craft printers have been bringing it back into fashion. What sets it apart from digital or offset printing is the way the printed areas have a debossed effect, which doesn’t appear on the other side of the thick cotton paper. The Alphabet Press offers bespoke stationery, ranging from greeting cards and business cards to postcards and calendars. The company also has extensive experience in designing wedding invitations, and we took notes.
Text: Andrea Tim. Photography: Bryan Ong
e may live in the digital age, but wedding invitations don’t. Physical invitation cards, posted or hand-delivered, are your guests’ first hint of what to expect on your big day. There’s been a revival of traditional printing methods in Malaysia and across the world, and the proof of the pudding is in the increase in unique, bespoke wedding invitations. “People love personalised stationery, especially for weddings,” says Cliff Leong, brand strategist at The Alphabet Press. “You want everything to be perfect, even your invitation card. Letterpress lets you have this detail that normal digital printing doesn’t offer. When someone receives the card, they can see the effort the couple put into making it special.”
Brides stationery Previous wedding invitations the Alphabet Press team has designed and printed
How it works From idea to invitation 1 Letterpress requires fewer colours than digital printing. Once finalised, the design will be converted into polymer plates that will be used to press designs onto the paper. A separate plate is produced for every colour printed.
How to get your dream letterpress invite “Extra colours cost more when printing via letterpress,” Cliff says. So if you’ve got a tight budget, consider keeping ink colours to a minimum. “Designs with large areas of solid colours are not recommended as the ink may appear slightly uneven and mottled – this appearance is called saltiness.” It’s a small flaw in letterpress, but one that you can use to deliberately give your card a rustic look. “Impressions on smaller text, patterns and details can be achieved more successfully than big solid areas of colour.” ... although too many patterns can be a bad thing. Large areas covered in patterns may cause the sheet to curl. “We call this the ‘potato chip’ effect,” Cliff says. Make your design too fancy and the final printed piece might not lie completely flat. Plan ahead and allow your printer to have a margin of time for production. “Our average turnaround time is three to four weeks, but two to three months before the wedding is a comfortable time to work with.”
2 The paper is cut to size, the ink is mixed by hand, according to the colour recipe, and the machine is inked up. 3 The plate is aligned to a metal base and locked into the press. 4 After the paper is fed into the tray, printing begins. 5 The machine picks up the paper as the rollers ink up the polymer plate. Then, each paper is fed into the section where it is pressed hard against the plate – the paper gets printed on and pressed at the same time. 6 Checks are made on the first dozen or so pieces to ensure impressions and coloured areas are clear. 7 Once all the prints are dry, the paper pieces are cut to their final sizes.
First bloom The floral designer behind our cover shoot,
Peonies are some of Dianthus’s favourite flowers to work with
The flower business is the family business, and I’ve been doing it for 15 years now. I came straight out of school and took over the family business in Johor. I wanted to be a lawyer, actually! As time went by I realised I did have a natural knack for it. Then I came up to KL because I felt that Johor’s pace was a little too slow for me, and I wanted to do more modern things. “I always think that wedding flowers are something you can decide on and just get out of the way, so you can concentrate on other parts of the wedding. Six months to a year is best. Sometimes you might think, is my florist overcharging me? But they’re not – it’s hard to Who Dianthus Goh, give a definite price because it’s so dependent floral designer and owner on the market. And when it’s wedding season, of Bouquet Garni particular colours become more expensive. If you can get flowers in that colour locally, Where it becomes a lot cheaper. But if you have no On set at our choice but to get imported, then the price bridal fashion shoot really fluctuates. What “The most important question for a bride How to decode the world is: Do you have a favourite flower? If you of wedding flowers do, then obviously that’s the one you want to work with. If you don’t have a favourite Floral philosophy flower then we have to look at colours. Then Work with the flowers, what look are we going for? A minimalist look not against them requires a lot of props; a more flower-oriented design will need a bigger budget. “Now everyone’s into this whole vintage dianthus.my rustic look: teal, and mint, and khaki colours. @flowersbydianthus One trend I want to go away? Rustic vintage [laughs]. It’s pretty and it’s been going on for a while, but I want that opulence to come back. I like the fact that everyone now is so Playing favourites
into DIY and wanting to do it themselves and get everyone involved. But the work does involve technicalities and you need to know what you’re doing. “If you like that rustic vintage look but want to update it, foliage is now playing a very large part. Use foliage as a character on its own, as opposed to just using the leaves that come with the flowers. Look at more washed out colours; some eucalyptus colours are almost grey, and you can incorporate that into the palette. “You can’t have too many colours in your palette. You need to be disciplined, say ‘These are the colours I’ve decided on,’ and that will determine everything else. Then you won’t get carried away with all the other pretty things you see; there are so many beautiful designs out there, but you can’t have everything. I always ask brides: What is the look we’re going for? Even down to the silverware: is it silver? Or grey or copper or bronze? It’s so easy to get carried away. “Trust is very important. If you hire someone, and you love what they do, you must give them a little bit of creative license. Trust that they are making the best decision for you. No one ever thinks that there’s a second chance at the most special day. But sometimes certain changes need to be made at the last minute, the flowers may not bloom on time – you can’t force them! “I always think it’s nice to give the flowers to your guests. A lot of people don’t buy flowers for the luxury of something pretty to look at, so it’s nice to give them away.”
“Peonies are very big, voluminous flowers, I like that.”
“Hydrangeas really add volume to a floral arrangement.” Brides
“Eucalyptus leaves can come in such a range of beautiful, washed out shades.”
“I love orchids, even though they’re hard to work with. A lot of people arrange them in a very stiff way but not every flower grows the same.”
as told to: emma chong johnston. Photography: Jose Villa; istock.com
Dianthus Goh, tells us how to get the bouquet of your dreams
brides cakes ha
The fun, imaginative bride
Is there anything more mouthwatering than the sight of icing dripping down the sides of a cake? Drip cakes are piled high with toppings such as macarons, flowers and even doughnuts. Baker Shaun Teo’s creations are as inventive as they come with fanciful colours and designs. Bonus: he also makes unicorn cakes!
The craze for all things marmoreal has reached its peak: wedding cakes can now look like they’ve been carved from a slab of marble. The effect is achieved by kneading two or more colours of icing together.
Step away from the mock 10-tier cake. These new trends are next level eye candy Perfect for The sophisticated bride
Consider this the ‘no-makeup makeup’ version of cakes. The naked cake, thus named because there’s no icing covering the sides, has overrun Instagram thanks to its appealing rustic charm. Add fresh blooms and berries for a romantic feel.
Your dress is a work of art, so there’s no reason why your cake shouldn’t be too. The new crop of hand-painted cakes are almost too pretty to eat. Skilled bakers use fondant cakes as a canvas and create masterpieces using food colouring.
Perfect for The artistic bride
Perfect for The bohemian bride
These cakes feature crystal-like formations crafted from coloured sugar, and will induce many, many #cakephotos. Win Nie Peh is one of the few local bakers to get on board this fantastical trend. Get ready for the onslaught of “How did they make that?” TR
Perfect for The adventurous bride
text: medina azaldin
Ideal for a sunny outdoor wedding, pavlova wreaths taste refreshingly good and look pretty as a picture. Have them either in full size or as mini bites.
Cake Posy makes life-like flowers out of buttercream icing that look great and taste even better. It’s a garden on a cupcake!
That Last Slice makes an assortment of tarts that work perfectly on a dessert bar; we predict you’ll find guests parked there all night.
Brides Final Checklist
A year of yes We can’t promise you a stress-free wedding, but we can break down a year of planning for you 12 months Start conceptualising your ideas, find your wedding planner if you need one and book a venue! The best ones go fast.
11 months Do up your
guest list. If you’re planning a destination wedding or have out-of-town guests, get those
10 months Bite the bullet and book your photographer,
Save the Dates out now.
videographer, florist, caterer, printer and decorator. Especially if you’ve got pelamin and hantaran to sort out.
9 months If you’re planning any DIY projects, start them.
8 months If you’re planning to start seeing a dermatologist, do it now. 7 months Organise tailor visits and shopping trips with your bridesmaids for dresses and accessories. Prep them on their bridesmaid duties.
6 months Start
talking to your dressmaker. “It’s not too far from the wedding, so your body won’t change so much that you’ll need too many alterations, and it’s close enough that you’ll know how much money you have to spend on the dress,” advises designer Silas Liew. Start booking your hair and makeup too.
5 months Send out invites.
4 months Take
a break from planning while still, technically, planning: do your food testing, suss out your
3 months Build some HIIT
favourite cakes, plan a wine-tasting afternoon.
sessions into your workout routine to tone up and beat stress. Speaking of which, make sure all your paperwork is in order and book your marriage officiant.
Do a test run of hair and makeup. “(Remember) to take photographs with and without flash in natural and artificial light to make sure your skin looks great in all situations,” says makeup artist Lisa Eldridge. (More on page 26!) party, but remember to stay hydrated.
1 month Cut loose at your hen
2 weeks If you’re planning on tanning, this
your shade right now, then come back two days before the wedding for a reapplication.
1 week Power through final dress fittings, rehearsals and last-minute RSVPs, and remember to double and triple check all bookings.
2 days Nearly there!
Take a breather and spend some time with your fiancé. Ellie Norman, who marathoned her way through four separate wedding events, said it best: “Learn to just let go.”
Text: Medina Azaldin. Photography: Istock.com
is the best time to do a test run, according to Leagha McMahon of The London Orchid. Get
Address book A Alexander McQueen G03B, Ground Floor,
Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2171 2812 Alia Bastamam 14, Jalan Chempenai, Damansara Heights, KL. 03 2095 3232 Anna Hoo Clinic D-1-51, Block Dahlia, 10 Boulevard, PJ. 03 7726 7626 Aseana G16-G19B, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2382 9988 Aveda 3.05.01, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 0537 Balenciaga G02-G02B, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2162 1881 Benefit Parkson, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre Kenanga Tower, 237 Jalan Tun Razak, KL. 03 2118 2888 Bobbi Brown 2.46.03, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 5405 Bottega Veneta 2.30.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 7880 Bouquet Garni Ben’s Independent Grocer, Publika Shopping Gallery, KL. 012 7057999 Bulgari 2.23.00 & 3.25.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2145 6055 Burberry 2.16.00 & 3.18.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2148 1681 Burberry Beauty Isetan, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2026 1022 Cartier 3.14, Level 3, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2303 5088 Celest Thoi RT-2A1, The Gardens Mall, Lingkaren Syed Putra, KL. 03 2202 1026. Céline 2.35.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 1086 CH Carolina Herrera G40B, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2161 0632 Chanel LC-G06-LC-G07, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2726 1818 Chanel Fragrance & Beauty Boutique F328, 1 Utama, Petaling Jaya. 03 7710 1313 Chopard 2.24.00 & 3.26.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2145 3611 Clé de Peau Beauté Isetan, Suria KLCC, KL. 03 2164 6096 Clinique 4.45.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 3622 Club 21 Multi-label Store 3.34-3.36, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2173 3000 Designer Bridal Room 9.10.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 6003 Diane von Furstenberg G03C-G03D, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2163 5028 Dior Indulge Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 1886 Dior Beauty Boutique G-007, Mid Valley Megamall, KL. 03 2202 1882 Diptyque P3.01.02, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 6009
Dolce & Gabbana 241, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2382 2838 Emilio Pucci 2.42.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 5588 Estée Lauder Isetan, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2163 0488 Fendi G39A-G40A, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2166 0882 Fiziwoo D7-1-13A, D7 Sentul East, Sentul, KL. 03 4065 0425. Gucci 2.21.00 & 3.23.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 6988 Habib Jewels 106, Lorong Mamanda 2, Ampang Point, KL. 03 4252 7777 Hermès 2.27.01 & 3.29.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 0048 Jaeger-LeCoultre Indulge Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2144 2848 Jimmy Choo 2.55.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 3999 Jo Malone London 3.01.03, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2145 0188 Judith Leiber P2.14.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2118 8833 Kens Apothecary F321, 1 Utama, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya. 03 7727 6004 Khoon Hooi F18, Explore Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 6032 Kiehl’s 2.46.04, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 7160 L’Erbolario F-227A, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, KL. 012 411 2255 La Mer Isetan, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2161 0390 Lancôme Parkson, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2381 2337 Laneige G1.126, Sunway Pyramid, Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya. 03 5612 7800 Laura Mercier P33.01.01, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 8641 Louis Vuitton G19 & G23, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 8790 Lovisa 103A, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 21610714 Mango G053, Mid Valley Megamall, Mid Valley City, KL. 03 2938 3901 Make Up For Ever Pro Boutique Sephora Starhill, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2148 5593 Mimpikita 15, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, KL. 03 2282 2284 Miu Miu 2.13.00 & 3.15.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. Moschino 2.33.03, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2148 5588 Muji 6.103.00, Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2110 5238 Nails Extreme 22 Jalan USJ 10/1B, Subang Jaya, PJ. 03 5631 9877
Dress, Pronovias at Designer Bridal Room. Juste Un Clou earrings in white gold with diamonds and Juste Un Clou small bracelet in white gold with diamonds, all Cartier
Nars 3.06.01, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2110 4806 Nurita Harith 31A, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar, KL. 03 2201 9920 Omega 2.38.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 7885 OPI K42, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2161 2199 Pandora 2.11.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 8544 Piaget G07B, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2078 7078 Prada 3.24.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2144 3608 Presence Paris UGF-33, Bangsar Village 2, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, KL. 03 2287 9733 Rolex Menara Dion, 27 Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL. 03 2072 2709 Saint Laurent 2.32.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 8885 Salvatore Ferragamo G32, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2382 0868 Sephora Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 6688 Sergio Rossi G2A, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 32141 1064 Shiseido Isetan, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2161 9405 43
U V Z
Shu Uemura C54A, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2166 3838 SK-II Parkson Grand, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 012 697 6352 Sothys UG-69, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, 1 Jalan Dutamas 1, KL. 03 6207 9280 Strip 28 Jalan Telawi 5, Bangsar, KL. 03 2283 6092 Stuart Weitzman 2.50.00, Pavilion, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2143 5188 Sulwhasoo Parkson, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2110 6218 Swarovski 3.47.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2145 3185 Tag Heuer 3.44.00 & 3.45.00, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 5159 The London Orchid Aman Beringin, Persiaran Beringin, Bukit Damansara, KL. 017 306 0706 The Sloane Clinic 79 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, KL. 03 2288 1788 Tiffany & Co. G25B, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2282 2233 Urban Decay C27, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, KL. 03 2165 1188 Valentino G2B, Indulge Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2141 1348 Zara 2.10.01, Pavilion, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL. 03 2142 0182