S I N G A P O R E
Women’s Fashion Magazine of the Year 2016
BE COMFY IN YOUR OWN SKIN
A K-DRAMAWORTHY POUT
“IT’S ALMOST A CRIME TO PRODUCE UGLY THINGS”
WANT A FLING OR A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP? FAT CHECK:
HOW EFFECTIVE IS YOUR GYM WORKOUT?
$5.50 (INCL GST)
QUIRKY TRINKETS you’ll love!
GO DUTCH WHY NIKKIE PLESSEN SHOULD BE YOUR FASHION INSPIRATION
ELLE S I N G A P O R E
46 S I N G A P O R E
Women’s Fashion Magazine of the Year 2016
BE COMFY IN YOUR OWN SKIN
“IT’S ALMOST A CRIME TO PRODUCE UGLY THINGS”
WANT A FLING OR A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP? FAT CHECK:
GO DUTCH WHY NIKKIE PLESSEN SHOULD BE YOUR FASHION INSPIRATION
HOW EFFECTIVE IS YOUR GYM WORKOUT?
LA VIE BOHEME Dress to thrill in the season’s flirtiest boho dresses by pairing them with touches of boudoir chic and curious trinkets.
A F T E R DA R K From luxurious satin slips to frothy feather and lace trimmings, the season’s languid boudoir styles are completely dreamy.
$5.50 (INCL GST)
PHOTOGRAPHY AIK CHEN STYLING SHARON TULASIDAS STYLING ASSISTANCE DARYL ALEXIUS YEO HAIR & MAKEUP MARC TENG/ ATELIER USING SEBASTIAN PROFESSIONAL & CHANEL MODEL NIKKIE PLESSEN OUTFIT CIRÉ JACKET WITH FLORAL APPLIQUÉS, POPELINE TOP WITH COLLAR SASH, AND MATCHING POPELINE SHORTS, ALL BY MIU MIU. JEWELLERY OUT OF RETIREMENT STERLING SILVER CHUNKY RING, CHUNKY LOOP BRACELET AND OPEN CUFF; TIFFANY HARDWEAR STERLING SILVER BEAD CUFF, MATCHING BEAD RING AND DANGLE BALL RING, ALL BY TIFFANY & CO.
CU CULTURE 34
THIS MONTH #5MinutesWith # W comedian Kumar; famed Chinese writer You Jin’s memoir is translated into English; and more.
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B O S O M B U D DY Designers are saying it’s okay to wear your bra out.
DESIGNER GENIUS: SARAH GITTOES The co-founder of Australianbased jewellery brand Sarah & Sebastian shares how she retains a personal touch in a commercial business.
SUNKISSED SKIN Look like you’ve just spent a week vacationing on a yacht off the Amalfi coast with these glow-givers.
M A K I N G WAV E S Embody summer and surfer-girl vibes with gorgeously textured and tousled hair.
L OV E Y O U T E N D E R These specially formulated treats will coddle sensitive skin and minimise redness — all with a gentle touch.
QUIRKY TRINKETS you’ll love!
A K-DRAMAWORTHY POUT
BAD GIRLS’ CLUB Anti-establishment rules — every time.
CABINET OF CURIOSITIES The season’s most unusual trinkets we never knew we needed.
B E AU T Y WITH BENEFITS Introducing the makeup that actually makes skin better.
F R O N T R O W: DAY- G L O Neon-inspired shades champion the season’s positive vibe.
I N T H E PA C K The beauty essentials we can’t do without in our travel carry-on.
THE T H O RO U G H B R E D Hermès presents a new bag style that pays homage to its luxe equestrian roots.
S T Y L E TA L K : ZERINA AKERS The LA- and New York-based stylist behind Beyoncé’s best looks wants people to feel good about themselves.
ELLE S I N G A P O R E
64 FASHION 63
SWEET DREAMS ARE MADE OF THIS The season’s unapologetically bold styles are a nod to Eighties austerity coupled with after-dark glamour. S L AV E T O THE RHYTHM Pump up the volume and impact by imposing Eighties-esque shoulders, glitzy metallics and body-conscious numbers. KILLER QUEEN Anthony Vaccarello’s first collection for Saint Laurent sees the Spring/Summer 2017 accessories range champion the French maison’s street-chic sensibilities with touches of after-dark glamour.
OH, SMASH! Inspired by the rococo kitsch of Marie Antoinette, Fendi’s Kan I bag takes on a bigger, bolder look for Spring/Summer 2017.
A N E W G E N E R AT I O N The heritage and theatrical spirit of PlaceVendome serve Vuitton’s as inspiration for Louis Vuitton new Tressage Tote, Night Light Twist and Chain-It bags.
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RED HOT Christian Louboutin is more than just a maker of It heels — he’s a fierce advocate of female empowerment and beauty in everyday objects.
1 0 2 FA S H I O N M A S T E RC L A S S : I F I W E R E A B OY There’s no denying the cool, contemporary appeal of the season’s oversized menswear-inspired pieces. 1 0 6 FA S H I O N N E W S A unique partnership between Tod’s and tattoo artist Saira Hunjan; Bottega Veneta’s limited-edition butterfly-motif accessories collection; Longchamp opens its largest store in Singapore at Ion Orchard. 108 INTO THE FOLD The season’s pleat trend, worn two ways.
WATCHES & JEWELLERY 1 0 9 M A R K O F S TA T U S A name synonymous with prestige, Rolex is also widely recognised for its heirloom appeal. 111 SNAKE CHARMERS Bulgari’s magnificent serpents will put you yo under d r their bejewelled spell. sp .
1 1 2 B E YO N D P R E S T I G E Rolex watches are sought after for reasons other than that they’re a recognisable status symbol. We look at the qualities that make them smart investments. 1 1 4 T WO B Y T WO Van Cleef & Arpels recently embarked on a voyage of biblical proportions, taking with it over 30 pairs of intricately bejewelled animals. 116 URBAN EDGE Tiffany & Co’s HardWear collection is a celebration of New York’s non-conformist spirit and individualistic style. 1 1 8 WA T C H E S & J E W E L L E RY N E W S Patek Philippe’s new biographical book; Franck Muller’s new releases for this year; Boucheron’s Serpent Bohème collection gets a dose of colour, and more.
122 BEAUTY 1 2 1 T H E G R E AT E S C A P E We’ve got everything you need, from dealing with sebum to the sun, in our Summer Skin Special. 1 2 2 F O L LOW YO U R N O S E A fragrance update of the latest scents. 1 2 4 J OY I N A B O T T L E A pinch of salt may be all it takes for you to reach a state of euphoria, says Dior. 1 2 6 M Y T R AV E L M U S T- H AV E S Actress and face of SK-II Rebecca Lim reveals how she keeps her skin and hair healthy and moisturised when on the go. 127 NOW SMELL THIS Take a whiff of this fragrance that aims to recreate the scent of light. 128 FLOWER POWER Calendula flower petals hold the secret to soothing and revitalising tired or stressed-out skin, say the skin experts at Kiehl’s. 130 THE (RE)MAKING OF A LIPSTICK What goes into reinventing a best-selling lipstick? 1 3 2 T H E H E AT I S O N But that doesn’t mean you can’t look gorgeous in spite of it. 1 3 6 H E L L O, G O RG E O U S Looking cool despite the heat is a breeze. You just need the right products. 139 FUN IN THE SUN Sunscreen gets sexy with these two new formulas. 140 SMOOTH RESCUE ELLE readers put lip balms with SPF to the test. 24 ELLE SINGAPORE
ELLE S I N G A P O R E
1 4 1 B E AU T Y N E W S The latest limited-edition makeup to shop now; oil-control solutions for summer; the best new body moisturisers; and more.
LIVING 1 4 3 L OV E Y O U R S E L F Self-love starts with being aware: Of your own worth and how to block out negative influences – and not forgetting when to treat yourself whenever the mood strikes. 1 4 4 T H E I M P O RTA N C E O F # S TAY I N G W O K E Because staying wilfully ignorant of social issues in this day and age is getting so old. 146 HEY NIKKIE The celebrity boss behind the Netherlands’ fastest-growing fashion brand gives us a quick lesson on how to run a business in a social media-geared landscape. 1 5 2 C A N B O DY L OV E B E TA U G H T ? One woman’s journey to rewiring her self-esteem and finally making peace with her shape, after a lifetime of dieting. 1 5 6 B U R N B A B Y, B U R N Your new aerobics class may not be helping you torch as many calories as it claims to. Here’s what to really expect when you’re sweating it out at the gym. 158 IT’S NOT ME, I T ’ S YO U You may not just have a difficult boss or co-worker — you may be being gaslighted at work. We find out what makes this manipulation tactic so dangerous. 162 RAIL COOL Three reasons why a journey from Venice to Calais on the Venice Simplon Orient-Express should be on everyone’s bucket list.
162 1 6 6 W H AT TO E AT THIS MONTH A wine bar that serves drinks at happy-hour prices all day long; where to go for authentic Philly Cheesesteak; Morsels moves to Dempsey, and more. 167 HOT HOTEL: LIFE IN MONO Hotel Mono. 1 6 8 G O I N G AU NAT U R E L Bored of drinking the same old tipples? It’s time to get back to basics and discover the beauty of natural wines. 1 7 0 N O RT H E R N EXPOSURE Simplicity and understated elegance are defining characteristics of Scandinavian décor and design. Add these items to your home for that touch of effortless style. 176 LAST LOOK: N A TA L I A B A R B I E R I Having once dabbled in forex trading, this fashion entrepreneur has gone on to set up her own luxury shoe label, Bionda Castana, and business consultancy firm, NMB Ltd.
REGULARS 26 30 32 172 174
ELLE SOCIAL EDITOR’S NOTE C OV E R L O O K EVENTS Y O U R M O N T H LY H O RO S C O P E 175 SHOPPING GUIDE
10 BEST WEEKENDER BAGS TO BRING TO YOUR NEXT GETAWAY Plus, they’re all under $200.
I N S TA - M O M E N T Highlights from our Instagram feed — follow us at @ellesingapore! @vettyking shares the lowdown on her meetings with Oscarwinning actresses @ charlizeafrica and @ aliciavikanderdaily in our latest edition of #CelebSecrets.
Read the full elle.sg story at bit.ly/BestWeekenders A visual feast at @gucci’s FW17 collection.
C H A N E L PROV E S
We’d gladly put on the ball and chain if they looked as good as this edgy @tiffanyandco Hardwear necklace.
THE SHOE OF THE B A L L E R I NA F L AT It’s the shoe of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
#TUESDAYS WITHLARRY: HOW TO NOT SCREW UP YOUR BRIDAL MAKEUP A.k.a. how to pick the right makeup artist for your big day.
Read the full elle.sg story at bit.ly/ ChanelBallerinas 26 ELLE SINGAPORE
Read the full elle.sg story at bit.ly/ TWLGuideToBridalMakeup
TEXT CHIN CHIH LIN
FUTURE IS THE
S I N G A P O R E
Women’s Fashion Magazine of the Year 2016
MANAGING DIRECTOR JESSIE SNG GROUP EDITOR TAN LEE SUN
E D I TO R I A L
email@example.com | 6333-9888
DEPUTY EDITOR AUDREY PHOON @meaneggs FA S H I O N D I R E C T O R SHARON TULASIDAS @sharontulasidas @elle_singapore S E N I O R A RT D I R E C TO R CHONG LEE FOONG @leefisonline FA S H I O N S T Y L I S T DARYL ALEXIUS YEO @darylalexius SENIOR BEAUTY WRITERS MELISSA CHEW @melknowsbeauty LIEU WEI NING @wninglieu FEATURES & LIFESTYLE EDITOR TAN MIN YAN SENIOR WRITERS TAN WEI LIN CHIN CHIH LIN @chihsplatter SENIOR DESIGNER KAREN CHNG DESIGNER NG SHIQI A S S I S TA N T A D M I N M A N AG E R FARLINZAH MAHMOOD
C H I E F C O M M E RC I A L O F F I C E R JACK LIM VICE PRESIDENT YEO SIEW KIM SENIOR ACCOUNT DIRECTOR PRISCILLA LIM ASSOCIATE ACCOUNT DIRECTOR TAN MUI KIAN ACCOUNT MANAGERS JAMIE LOW KATHERINE SIM A S S I S TA N T A D M I N M A N AG E R GLADDYS LIM
EVENT MANAGEMENT A S S I S TA N T V I C E P R E S I D E N T JANET TEO A S S I S TA N T M A R K E T I N G M A N AG E R CLARA FANG SENIOR EXECUTIVE TRINA LEE
PH OTO G R A P H E R S
A D M I N I S T R AT I O N
CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER AIK CHEN EXECUTIVE PHOTOGRAPHER EALBERT HO SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER KELVIN CHIA PHOTOGRAPHERS HONG CHEE YAN, MARK LEE
VICE PRESIDENT ANGELA CHIA SENIOR MANAGER ANNE HONG A S S I S TA N T M A N AG E R BRENDA CHONG EXECUTIVE EILEEN KHNG
B R A N D S & P A RT N E R S H I P
C I RC U L AT I O N & P RO D U C T I O N
MARKETING MANAGERS JOEY WONG KELVIN GOH
SENIOR MANAGER ELIZABETH LOW MANAGER GARIS CHUA
INTERNATIONAL Chairman & CEO / Lagardere-Active DENIS OLIVENNES CEO ELLE France & International Constance BENQUE CEO ELLE International Media Licenses FRANÇOIS CORUZZI SVP/International Director of ELLE VALÉRIA BESSOLO LLOPIZ Director / Editorial Co-Productions CRISTINA ROMERO
LEADING FASHION MAGAZINE
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 OLIVIA CIARDI Copyrights Manager & Digital Syndication SÉVERINE LAPORTE
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INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR Nelly Streichenberger, firstname.lastname@example.org USA Jeffrey Molinaro, email@example.com UK Amandine Dufour, firstname.lastname@example.org CANADA Dana Francoz, email@example.com MEXICO arturocontreras, firstname.lastname@example.org CHINA Wendy Lin, email@example.com ELLE SINGAPORE is published by Mediacorp Pte Ltd, 1 Stars Avenue, Singapore 138507, under licence from Hachette Filipacchi Presse S.A. MCI (P) 036/01/2017. Copyright (c) is held by the publisher. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Distributed by Pansing Distribution Pte Ltd. Printed by Times Printers Pte Ltd, www.timesprinters.com; prepress managed by Times Printers Pte Ltd. Mediacorp also publishes I-WEEKLY, 8 DAYS, STYLE:, STYLE: MEN, TIMEPIECES, STYLE: WEDDINGS, MANJA, SMARTPARENTS BABIES, SMARTPARENTS JUNIOR and BODY SOS.
seek. Go forth and
n a recent flight to Canberra I met the most fabulous woman. She had a cloud of pure white hair and calm, brilliantly blue eyes, and was on her way home from a leopard safari in Sri Lanka. As we spoke, I discovered that I was getting a masterclass in perspective from someone who had seen much of the world and experienced it via many different roles – as a nurse in the Himalayas, a botanist in Argentina, a researcher in Australia. Clearly she had gleaned invaluable life lessons from being in so many different places, which had enabled her to overcome some tough situations (the loss of her husband, medical problems) seemingly unscathed by anger or bitterness. It got me thinking: Perhaps that’s the true magic of travel; the ultimate reward for seeking out and drinking the elixir of elsewhere, whether physically or through inspirational reads and images. In any case, that’s exactly what Team ELLE wishes for you in this ELLE Escapes-themed issue, where we whisk you off on a choice few enriching experiences. I’m talking seeing romantic Venice and Calais from one of the world’s most luxurious train journeys (page 162) with group editor Tan Lee Sun; heading to Taipei for an exciting lipstick launch (page 130) with senior writer Melissa Chew; and dropping by Hong Kong alongside senior writer Chin Chih Lin to get up close with shoe guru Christian Louboutin in an ELLE exclusive interview (page 98).
E - M A I L firstname.lastname@example.org
I N S T A G R A M @meaneggs
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This issue is packed with people and places that will hopefully inspire you to explore new horizons.
Or hear from our cover girl, the quintessential jetsetter Nikkie Plessen, who travels around the world to grow her eponymous fashion label (page 146). Whichever route you pick, here’s hoping it will bring you one step closer to your next adventure. Because as the French author and Nobel Prize winner Andre Gide once said, man (and woman!) cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. Happy exploring! ELLE
SPRING/SUMMER 2017 This season, Miuccia Prada’s message for fashion’s cool set is unusually simple and — dare we say it — self-explanatory. The fashion prophet normally offers convoluted explanations for her weird yet wonderful collections, but this time around, her motives are considerably more forthright: “I wanted to tell the story of a lighthearted season like the summer. In the summer, I am at the beach and the beach is something which no one talks
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about anymore,” she mused. In service of her purist vision, Mrs Prada opened her show with girlish cropped tops and playsuits adorned with embroidery and smocking details synonymous with ‘60s and ‘70s kidswear. There was even a subtext of glamorous water babies by way of Vargas girl-worthy swimwear styles — think belted halter maillots to modest two-piece biknis with retro-chic high-waist bottoms. But the pièce de résistance was the collection’s whimsical swim caps and chubby fur robes that showcased the 67-year-old creative director’s irreverent aesthetic. Fashioned from luxe materials such as calfskin and rabbit fur respectively, they are a reimagination of the Prada story, topped with a dollop of the peculiar and subversive. ELLE
TEXT SHARON TULASIDAS PHOTOS MIU MIU
ON THE COVER:
THINGS TO SEE & PLACES TO BE
People know who you are as a performer. What were you like as a student? I was very, very quiet and didn’t have many friends – I think half the time people didn’t even know I was in school. I was very sheltered by my dad, who didn’t allow me to hang out with anyone. I had to go home immediately after school every day. But while I didn’t have friends, my dad let me have five dogs. So they were my friends. Noose & Kakis 2: My PSLE Is Better Than Yours! runs from 19 to 21 May at the MES Theatre at Mediacorp. Tickets at $65 to $135 from Sistic. 34 ELLE SINGAPORE
What was your own PSLE experience like? I remember being very nervous because I knew I had to pass to avoid ending up in vocational training school, which at that time was – very harsh lah – considered very bad. I did okay – I got into the Express stream in secondary school. Then everything went downhill after that [laughs].
If you had it your way, what would you teach children in school? I want to teach children some social skills and basic courtesy! It’s not all about paper qualifications – everyone has them. But it seems as though when kids these days go into the working world, they can’t handle it – they’ve forgotten about basic manners and EQ. Sometimes even the parents are rude. Most of us like to complain about the local education system. Can you name one thing you actually like about it? I can’t really think about anything I like, but I admire teachers and their patience. They can’t scold the kids, they have to talk to them like they’re friends… Last time when our teachers hit us with a ruler and we went home to complain to our mothers, they’d say “should beat more”! Now if the teachers do that, lawyers are called in.
TEXT TAN MIN YAN PHOTO NATIONAL GALLERY SINGAPORE
W H AT C O U L D B E M O R E Q U I N T E S S E N T I A L LY S I N G A P O R E A N T H A N O U R E D U C AT I O N S Y S T E M ? B E F O R E T H E C A S T O F T H E N O O S E A N D T H E I R C O M E D I A N P A L S T A C K L E T H A T H O T T O P I C I N A N E W T H E A T R E S H O W, K U M A R S H E D S L I G H T O N W H A T H I S O W N S C H O O L L I F E WA S L I K E .
GET YOUR TICKETS Y O U R A RT S A N D E N T E RTA I N M E N T F I X , S O RT E D
MUST ! H WAT C
MEGADETH DATE 2 May VENUE Kallang Theatre TICKETS $108 to $158 from Sistic Get ready to head-bang together with hard rock and metal legends Megadeth as they take to the stage with a mix of classics and hits from their latest album, Dystopia.
SISTER ACT DATE 9 to 21 May VENUE MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands TICKETS $65 to $185 from Sistic
A NIGHT AT THE MUSICALS WITH THREE PHANTOMS DATE 12 & 13 May VENUE MES Theatre at Mediacorp TICKETS $68 to $118 from Sistic
The musical adaptation of the 1992 feel-good comedy box-office winner tells the story of a lounge singer who has to take refuge in a monastery when a mob boss puts a hit on her.
A lineup of acclaimed Broadway and West End performers presents an evening of backstage insights and songs from popular musicals such as Les Miserables and Miss Saigon.
20-21 FITNESS FEST 2017 DATE 20 & 21 May VENUE Bayfront Event Space TICKETS $69 to $99 from www.fitnessfest.sg Work out with fitness celebrities like Youtube star Cassey Ho, learn more about nutrition and indulge in clean eats at Singapore’s first fitness-focused festival.
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VILLAGE PEOPLE 40TH ANNIVERSARY DATE 18 & 19 May VENUE MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands TICKETS $55 to $155 from Sistic Brace yourself for a glitzy ’70s party with nostalgic hits like YMCA and Mamma Mia! as disco group Village People celebrates its 40th anniversary with ABBA tribute band Bjorn Again.
RUSSELL H O WA R D R O U N D THE WORLD DATE 28 May VENUE Kallang Theatre TICKETS $88 to $148 from Sistic One of the UK’s most successful comedians brings his highly lauded stand-up act to Singapore comedy fans for the first time.
PASS THE POPCORN! M OV I E S YO U SHOULDN’T MISS
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL WHAT The latest instalment in the liveaction adaptation of the book series sees a family getting into all sorts of hijinks and mishaps as they embark on a road trip. WHO Alicia Silverstone, Tom Everett Scott, Charlie Wright WHEN 25 May
B AY W A T C H WHAT Throw a good oldfashioned villainous plot in with a mix of sun, sand, skimpy swimsuits and slow-mo running, and you’ve got one guilty pleasure of a summer blockbuster. WHO Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra WHEN 11 May ALIEN: COVENANT WHAT A crew ship arrives at a seemingly uninhabited planet in the hope of colonising its lands, only to find it occupied by bloodthirsty, “face-hugging” Xenomorph aliens. WHO Katherine Waterson, Michael Fassbender, Danny McBride WHEN 10 May LIFE WHAT A reclusive young woman strikes up an unlikely friendship with her next door neighbour, a cantankerous, rich old man, after they bond over reviving her backyard garden. WHO Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Wilkinson, Jeremy Irvine WHEN 25 May
HOUSE OF CARDS SEASON 5 RETURNS TO NETFLIX Remember when tyrannical TV-president Frank Underwood was the scariest thing to have come out of Washington D.C. (instead of what’s happening in real life now)? In this new season, Kevin Spacey reprises his role in the addictive political drama alongside Robin Wright (who plays Claire Underwood, his wife and – spoiler alert! – running mate in the upcoming presidential re-election). The result: More mayhem and manipulation in the White House. “We don’t submit to terror, we make the terror,” intoned Frank at the end of last season. Chilling. 38 ELLE SINGAPORE
E O N T HL SMAL N SCREE
P I R AT E S O F T H E CARIBBEAN: SALAZAR’S REVENGE WHAT Captain Jack Sparrow and his motley crew of pirates must seek a powerful artefact that will grant them absolute power over the high seas in order to escape the murderous clutches of an old rival. WHO Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush WHEN 26 May
LETTING GO. IT’S TRUE, I DID LET GO. ALL MY LIFE, I HAVE TRIED TO LET GO, WHICH IS A PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE THAT LOOKS EASY, BUT IS ACTUALLY VERY DIFFICULT. ”
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On 29 July 1977, Fung Yee celebrated his first month. On the surface, there is not much difference in the behaviour of a one-month-old baby and a newborn. Aside from drinking milk, soiling diapers, crying and smiling, the baby did not do much. But the truth is, in leaving the mother’s womb for this strange world, he had already experienced and survived a very turbulent time, so the first month was a big milestone worth celebrating. Early that morning, my mother-in-law took a brand new pair of scissors and cut all his hair off, leaving him bald. According to our tradition, this represented giving him a fresh new start at his first month. Also, it is believed that shaving the head bald allows the new hair to grow back softer, thicker and shinier. After his haircut, Fung Yee seemed energetic, his eyes darting around to observe the world around him. We adults bustled about enthusiastically, dyeing eggs red, scooping steaming glutinous rice into exquisite containers, and sticking auspicious, festive red papers onto the boxes of cakes we had chosen carefully. Everyone was smiling. That sort of heartfelt happiness transformed into solid laughter, a strand here and a strand there, like stalactites in a cave, tangible and abundant. After we finished the one-month celebration, my mother-in-law took my little Fung Yee back to Ipoh. I packed my bags too, and flew to Australia. My friends thought I was crazy. They all said, “Your baby just celebrated his first month. How can you stand to let him go and then head off travelling?” What they said raised a very significant point: Letting go. It’s true, I did let go. All my life, I have tried to let go, which is a philosophy of life that looks easy, but is actually very difficult. Only if we truly know how to let go will we not forget ourselves when we succeed, nor go crazy when we fail. If we know how to let go, we will not indulge in our colourful success, or in losing ourselves on the way. In the same manner, we will not be overly hurt by the thorns of failure, sacrificing our dignity and goals. We must always move forward. We will achieve many things and lose many things. When it is time to let go, we must let go. Then, we move forward and let go again. Retails for $24.90 +GST at all good bookstores.
EXCERPT TAKEN FROM MUM IS WHERE THE HEART IS, PUBLISHED BY EPIGRAM BOOKS (JANUARY 2017, WWW.EPIGRAMBOOKS.SG)
M U M I S W H E R E T H E H E A RT I S , B Y YO U J I N. T R A N S L AT E D B Y S H E L L Y B R YA N T F RO M YO U J I N ’ S 1 9 9 6 M E M O I R
1 Million C E L E B R AT I N G
M O N T H LY P A G E V I E W S
E V E R Y T H I N G Y O U N E E D T O K N O W N O W I N T H E R E A L M S O F FA S H I O N A N D B E A U T Y
LA VIE BOHEME
Dress to thrill in the seasonâ€™s flirtiest boho dresses by pairing them with touches of boudoir chic and curious trinkets. Plus: Understanding the bralette trend, the best beauty travel essentials and more.
Silk rufﬂed slip dress, $1,557, by JONATHAN SIMKHAI from Farfetch.com.
Calfskin bucket shoulder bag with adjustable sling, by MIU MIU.
Silk-georgette straightleg pants with ostrichfeather trimmings, by PRADA.
AFTER DARK From luxurious satin slips to frothy feather and lace trimmings, the season’s languid boudoir styles can be summed up in one word: Dreamy.
Velvet evening slippers with crystal-embroidered snake appliqué and grosgrain piping, by GUCCI.
Seamless U-plunge nylon bra, $51, by FASHION FORMS from Net-a-porter.com.
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Fluffy gold-tone tinsel clip shoulderduster earring, $202, by ROSANTICA from Net-a-porter.com.
Calfskin anklestrap sandal with crystalembellished fringing, by GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI.
TEXT DARYL ALEXIUS YEO PHOTOS IMAXTREE
Donnelly satin shorts with viscose tassel trimmings, $300, by GANNI from Mytheresa.com.
JU JUNYA WATANABE E
BAD AD GIRLS’ CLUB
Smoking Heart multi-faceted crystal brooch, $1,700, by SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO.
Anti-establishment rules ules — every time time.
Calfskin military hat with patent leather brim and crystal encrusted salamander brooch, by SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO.
Calfskin ankle-strap sandal with removable latex sock, by GUCCI.
Leopard-print silk dress with gathered puff shoulders and knotted waist, $3,770, by SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO.
Check Star cotton applique midi shirt skirt, $849, by FAITH CONNEXION from Brownsfashion.com.
Viscose-lined calfskin fringed vest with silvertone studs, $1,750, by COACH.
J’Adior gold-tone chain choker, $870, by DIOR.
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Wool-trimmed stretch-crepe jacket with asymmetrical zip closures, by GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI.
Calfskin trompe l’oeil shoulder bag with zipped closure, $1,430 by MOSCHINO.
TEXT DARYL ALEXIUS YEO PHOTOS IMAXTREE
CO C COACH
H DER ACKERMANN HAIDER
WANDA NYLON O
HOOD BY AIR
Tinted acetate Cat Eye sunglasses with mother-ofpearl frame, by GUCCI.
Resin necklace with agate stone pendant, $830, by GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI.
Monkey Puppet calfskin charm with mink fur and zip closure, $1,890, by LOEWE.
CABINET OF CURIOSITIES From Loewe’s cloud-print Puzzle bag to Gucci’s chinoiserie paper fan, these are the season’s most unusual trinkets we never knew kne wee needed. eeded.
Nylon drawstring boot with lambskin ties and mirrored heel, $1,550, by LOEWE.
D-Fence silvertone mesh visor, $1,000, by DIOR.
Lantern calfskin shoulder bag with attached suede drawstring pouch, $8,690, by LOEWE.
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Blanket Square XL printed lambskin bag, by BALENCIAGA.
Gothic Gucci printed paper fan with silk tassel, by GUCCI.
TEXT DARYL ALEXIUS YEO PHOTOS IMAXTREE
Vinyl acetate Croc with assorted stones, $605, by CHRISTOPHER KANE from Christopherkane.com.
ENJOY YOUR FAVOURITE MAGAZINE ON THE MOVE! S I N G A P O R E
Women’s Fashion Magazine of the Year 2016
BE COMFY IN YOUR OWN SKIN
A K-DRAMAWORTHY POUT S I N G A P O R E
Women’s Fashion Magazine of the Year 2016
BE COMFY IN YOUR OWN SKIN
A K-DRAMAWORTHY POUT
“IT’S ALMOST A CRIME TO PRODUCE UGLY THINGS”
WANT A FLING OR A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP? FAT CHECK:
“IT’S ALMOST A CRIME TO PRODUCE UGLY THINGS”
QUIRKY TRINKETS you’ll love!
GO DUTCH WHY NIKKIE PLESSEN SHOULD BE YOUR FASHION INSPIRATION
WANT A FLING OR A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP? FAT CHECK:
QUIRKY TRINKETS you’ll love!
GO DUTCH WHY NIKKIE PLESSEN SHOULD BE YOUR FASHION INSPIRATION
HOW EFFECTIVE IS YOUR GYM WORKOUT?
HOW EFFECTIVE IS YOUR GYM WORKOUT?
$5.50 (INCL GST)
$5.50 (INCL GST)
Digital editions are available on both iOS and Android. To download, search for MEDIACORP or go to: Magzter at http://www.magzter.com/publishers/MediaCorp
Zaha h patent p calfskin, lf ki , ssuede d and d mesh h openp nttoe sandal, $1,098.98, 8, NICHOLAS by N C O S KIRKWOOD WOO ffrom o Themodist.com. T e od st.co .
G CCI GUCCI
Neon-inspired shades champion the season’s positive vibe.
Gold-tone ABClick Charm, $470, by FENDI.
Acetate frams aviators, by MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION.
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Summer is nothing without its sunny hues, but bold electric shades as punchy as bright neon, well, that’s a whole other story! Popping up at labels you’d least expect, these intense pigments have been spotted at Bottega B tt a Veneta in the form of vivid pink and yellow tones — the season’s go-to brilliant shades. Fashioning them iinto flashy shy ‘40s-style day dresses cut from buttery leather — no less ss — creative director Tomas Maier showed how ffuchsia a and canary yellow can triumph over the neutral cclassics ics usually seen at the Italian house. Elsewhere, Balenciaga’s B enciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia eexperimented p mented with an artist’s palette of primary colours, pairing p g buttercup yellows with cyan blues, violets with rradiant ant pinks and pretty much every other shocking sshadee in between. And at Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld has gone neon by way of digital-style prints on jackets and g swish-y sheer dresses, a judicious move that hints at the season’s sleeper trend: Rave fashion. ELLE
Patent calfskin clutch, by MIU MIU.
Satin crepe midi dress, $1,864.94, by JASON WU from Net-aporter.com.
Rubber wedge, by MIU MIU.
Perspex Tropical Lights Dolce box bag with iguana skin trim and silver-tone studs, $5,200, by DOLCE & GABBANA.
TEXT SHARON TULASIDAS PHOTOS IMAXTREE
Viscose-blend knitted mini dress, $825, by 3.1 PHILLIP LIM from Mytheresa.com.
Silk-blend cap, $1,040, by CHANEL.
THE THOROUGHBRED Hermès presents a new bag style that pays homage to its luxe equestrian roots.
TEXT SHARON TULASIDAS PHOTOGRAPHY EALBERT HO STYLING NG SHIQI
A functional and less-is-more design approach has always been championed at this French house but then again, so has creative irreverence. Enter the whimsical Toupet bag, a bucket-style tote that reinforces the house’s renowned stylistic ethos. Even the name of the bag is appropriately tongue-incheek — toupet in French refers to “toupee”, an artificial hairpiece. The three strips of horsehair, which trim and cover the bag’s entire body, are immaculately dyed and shorn to mimic a Charlestoninspired tiered dress. We can just imagine it dangling delicately off the fingers of French cabaret star Josephine Baker as she canters to the beat of Ram-Pam-Pam. ELLE
Toupet tote in Evercalf calfskin and horse hair, $15,400, by HERMÈS.
COLE HAAN SHOWCASE
Cole Haan’s new sneakers are a seamless marriage of trends and tech – the perfect shoes to take you everywhere. Stylish, comfortable and functional — New Yorkbased lifestyle company Cole Haan’s new sneaker ranges are the perfect addition to any fashionable woman’s wardrobe. Thanks to its Grand.OS technology, every Cole Haan sneaker is lighter than the typical trainer and provides increased comfort and performance. The stylish designs, including a textural play on weaves and stitches, and perforated animal prints, make each pair of kicks a versatile yet statement-making ﬁnish to any outﬁt — whether it’s for work or play.
First released last August, the StudioGrand collection was designed in collaboration with three dancers from New York City Ballet, including principal dancer Sara Mearns (left). The trio created a shoe that could fulﬁl their high demands and meet the needs of any woman who wishes to make the most out of their every step. Cole Haan has slimmed down its sole to make the StudioGrand Pack & Go Sneaker signiﬁcantly lighter than your typical workout shoe, which means you can wear them straight to dinner after your HIIT session. Its leather upper and perforated leopard print design work together to allow better breathability and faster evaporation. With statement graphic prints on knit juxtaposed with smooth leather panels, StudioGra d Knit Sneaker is a street-chic style made for those who want to show the StudioGrand m dge on the streets. oﬀ a little more edge
StudioG nd Pack & Go Sneaker StudioGrand Sneak in Marine Blue, Magnet and d Silver Pink, $299.
StudioGrand Knit Sneaker in Black, Rainy and Marine Blue, $359.
From work to weekend, the new ZeroGrand Stitchlite will take you everywhere.
The ZeroGrand Stitchlite collection features lightweight woven kicks with wingtip uppers adapted from the classic leather oxford. Unlike the traditional shoe, ZeroGrand Stitchlite sneakers are extremely lightweight and breathable, thanks to the use of knit fabric. Its stitching ensures that you go the distance in these stylish kicks without ever feeling stuﬀ y or sweaty as it uses geometric openwork to increase breathability while giving the kicks a feminine ﬁnish.
STYLE TIP: Make a classy all-black outﬁt pop with contrasting stripes and pristine white sneakers.
STYLE TIP: Work the athleisure trend in muted shades — be sure to step out in this chic neutral shoe!
STYLE TIP: Go girlie for your weekend look with a ﬂoral dress, layered necklace and bright kicks.
ZeroGrand Stitchlite in Optic White Knit, $239
ZeroGrand Stitchlite in Marine Blue Knit, $239
ZeroGrand Stitchlite in Nectar Knit Fog, $239
All outfits from American Eagle Outfitters.
Cole Haan is located at 02-11 Paragon and 01-473 Suntec City, North Wing. For more information, visit ColeHaanSingapore and @colehaansg.
The LA- and New York-based stylist behind Beyoncé’s best looks wants people to feel good about themselves.
Wool pullover with asymmetrical front ribbed panel and cotton ties, $716, by JACQUEMUS from Farfetch.com.
I’M FIRST-GENERATION AMERICAN… My family is originally from Panama. I was raised by my aunt and grandmother who have supported every dream I’ve ever had. Fashion happened to stick because it somehow incorporates every other artistic expression. HOW I STARTED OUT IN THE INDUSTRY… After studying at The Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, I landed my first internship at W magazine. After interning and freelancing with a number of publications and stylists, I decided to take a risk and venture out on my own as a fashion stylist. I LOVE WHAT I DO… I’ve been in the industry for 10 years. They say that whatever you do, you don’t really begin till you’ve reached the 10th-year mark… I’m now putting into practice everything I’ve learned over the years... When you do what you love, it doesn’t feel like work. GRACE JONES IS MY FASHION ICON… She’s a living legend that never compromised on who she is. She’s embraced every part of herself and shared it with the world. When you have genuine self-love, your life simply becomes a celebration of that. MY SIGNATURE LOOK… Experimental, classic and a little ghetto. NYC VS LA… In New York, my wardrobe has to be multifunctional, I never know where the day will take me. In LA, I get to be a little more laidback — I wear all of my fancy footwear that would get destroyed in New York! WHEN IN DOUBT… I wear a monochromatic pantsuit. MY DEFINITION OF STYLE… Who you are as a person, and how you choose to do things. It has nothing to do with clothes. It’s everything that goes unsaid. ELLE
Denim oversized folded jeans, $517, by Y/PROJECT from Farfetch.com.
Grace Jones’ Slave To The Rhythm album.
Akers’ favourite shopping spot in Los Angeles? The Fairfax ﬂea market on Sundays.
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Diletta velvet bow sandals, $888, by ATTICO from Brownsfashion.com.
Large Panier tote straw bag with calfskin handle, by BALENCIAGA.
TEXT DARYL ALEXIUS YEO
Cherry gold-tone brass earrings with resin pendants and glass stone embellishments, by GUCCI.
First bra invented by Marie Tucek, 1893.
track the trend
BOSOM BUDDY Designers are saying it’s okay to wear your bra out.
The Red Hot Fantasy Bra worn by Gisele Bündchen at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, 2000.
The brassiere was invented in 1893 and closely resembles today’s iteration. The key difference? The early brassieres came with a contraption that used both a metal band and cardboard strip to lift the breasts. Ouch!
The most expensive bra in the world that was seen going down a fashion runway is the Victoria’s Secret Red Hot Fantasy Bra. Worth a whopping US$15 million, this delicate piece of undergarment was encrusted with 1,300 gemstones and 300 carats of Thai rubies.
BURSTING WITH PRIDE
Titillating fact: Studies say that British women have the largest busts in the world — half of them apparently wear at least a D cup. IN THE NUDE
There’s now a bra company that offers the “nude” bra in a more inclusive range of skin tones, from pale to tan to chocolate.
TEXT DARYL ALEXIUS YEO
PEEK-A-BOOB The Spring/Summer 2017 runways saw many bralette styles worn layered on the outside — think wraparound to retroinspired styles, sporty crop bra tops and — O.M.G — actual brassieres!
ThirdLove’s New Naked bras available in five distinct shades. www.thirdlove.com
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Star 9K gold earrings with diamonds, $655.
Star 9K gold ring with sapphire stone, $322.
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HOW DID THE TWO OF YOU CROSS PATHS? Robert and I met whilst we were on a student exchange programme at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design; I had transferred from Sydney, Australia and Robert from Stuttgart, Germany. We formed a strong friendship and this was the foundation for our business partnership. DESCRIBE YOUR ROLES AT SARAH & SEBASTIAN. We’re both very creative and our individual skill sets balance and complement each other as we manage our business. In my role, I develop the Sarah & Sebastian aesthetic, design the seasonal collections and oversee all our branded marketing. Robert is fundamental to our business operations as well as bringing my designs to life through technical product development and computer-aided design. WHAT’S YOUR DESIGN PROCESS LIKE? Every collection begins with a conceptual inspiration, which we further develop through researching and referring to art and visual design. Once we’ve created initial sketches and CADs (computer-aided designs), we’ll collaborate with our inhouse jewellers to create wax prototypes and initial samples; experimenting along the way with the elemental design features of each product...
WHAT KEEPS BOTH OF YOU CONSTANTLY INSPIRED? Robert and I travel a lot for work and try to immerse ourselves in each city while we’re there, from visiting galleries and exhibitions to exploring vintage markets and boutiques. While we’re in Sydney, we find that our collaborative design process brings out the best in not only us, but our amazing team of jewellers too. CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CUSTOMER? IS DESIGNING FOR WOMEN VASTLY DIFFERENT FROM DESIGNING FOR MEN ? The Sarah & Sebastian woman and man are one and the same: They are fashion-forward, intelligent consumers who have a discerning approach to their personal style. The intricacies may differ with each collection, however the formula remains the same...
TEXT DARYL ALEXIUS YEO PHOTOS SARAH & SEBASTIAN AND NET-A-PORTER.COM
The creative director and co-founder (along with her partner Robert Sebastian Grynkofki) of Australian-based jewellery brand Sarah & Sebastian is big on retaining a personal touch in a commercial business.
WHAT’S THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR LATEST COLLECTION? Our Sol collection was inspired by the works of contemporary artists Sol Lewitt and Fred Sandback during a recent trip to Dia:Beacon gallery in New York. I have always been interested in geometry and its role in art and design, so Lewitt’s graphic work immediately sparked ideas to express in the new collection. YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE FROM THE COLLECTION? The Large Diamond Egg Earrings are a standout favourite of mine; they are a contemporary egg shape featuring an intricate pattern adorned with a scattering of white diamonds. It was truly exciting to continue with our limited-edition offering and I consider this piece a design achievement within the Sol collection.
WHAT ARE SOME MATERIALS USED FREQUENTLY IN YOUR DESIGNS? Our designs are handcrafted using solid gold or sterling silver, as well as locally and ethically sourced precious stones, such as diamonds, sapphires and garnets.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON BEING CATEGORISED BY NETA-PORTER.COM AS ‘DEMI-FINE JEWELLERY’, AS WELL AS THE IDEA OF OFFERING LUXURY PIECES AT AN ACCESSIBLE PRICE POINT? It was an honour to be included in Neta-porter’s curated edit of brands for this new category, and I believe the focus on this untapped market is a perfect example of why they are a fashion industry leader. ‘Demi-fine’ really is the best of both worlds: Where the modern woman can invest in quality, luxurious jewellery to express her personal style, but do so with affordable and approachable options.
YOU COLLABORATED WITH DION LEE FOR HIS SPRING/SUMMER ’17 COLLECTION — TELL US MORE ABOUT THAT. We’ve worked with Dion Lee for his runway presentations many times, and it was exciting to do so again in NYC. We were inspired by the clean lines and geometric shapes of the collection and created highsheen, sterling silver pieces which were almost a continuation of the garments’ buckles and vertical pleating. We also injected elements of the Sarah & Sebastian signature aesthetic, such as statement, singular earrings, unconventional details and subtle, optical illusions.
(Top) Nimbus 14K gold necklace with laser-cut pendant, $534. (Right) Nimbus 9K gold earring, $330.
ANY TIPS ON TRAVELLING/ PACKING JEWELLERY? We visit Paris and NYC multiple times a year to present our collections, so we’re very familiar with the challenges of travelling with jewellery. It’s imperative to invest in the proper cases to protect your pieces such as necklace rolls, padded boxes, etc. ANY EXCITING PLANS IN STORE FOR YOUR BRAND? We’re celebrating our fifth year in business and are exploring the idea of celebrating this milestone by opening our first flagship boutique. Watch this space... ELLE All pieces available on Net-a-porter.com. 57 ELLE SINGAPORE
SEPHORA Collection Sun Disk Bronze in Tint 1, $30.
NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer, $65.
You’ll look like you’ve just spent a week vacationing on a yacht off the Amalfi coast with these glow-givers. LA MER The Glowing Body Oil, $155.
CHANEL Les Indispensables de l’Ete Les Beiges Healthy Glow Luminous Colour, $86.
YVES SAINT LAURENT BEAUTÉ Sahariennes Bronzing Stone Solar Pop Edition, $79.
RMK Powder Cheeks N in Rose Brown, $49.
TOM FORD BEAUTY The Ultimate Bronzer in Gold Dust, $180.
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TEXT LIEU WEI NING PHOTOS IMAXTREE
LAURA MERCIER Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in #3, $68.
MAKE UP FOR EVER Pro Bronze Fusion, $64.
ZERO + MARIA CORNEJO
ORIGINAL & MINERAL Surf Bomb Sea Salt Spray, $35.
M C SA MARCHESA
DAVID MALLETT Australian Salt Spray, US$32, from Net-a-porter.com.
MAKING WAVES Embody summer and surfer-girl vibes vib with go gorgeously g ly ttextured t d and d ttousled l dh hair. i JULIEN MACDONALD
BALMAIN PARIS HAIR COUTURE Texturizing Salt Spray, $64.20
LUSH Sea Spray Hair Mist, $42.
GHD G D Soft Curl Tong, $330.
SACHAJUAN S J N Ocean Mist,, $34.
OUAI Texturizing xturizing Hair Spray, pray, $39.
TEXT LIEU WEI NING PHOTOS IMAXTREE
AVEDA Control Paste, $48.
T TONI & GUY Y Casual Sea Salt Texturizing Spray, $19.90.
HERBIVORE BOTANICALS Sea Mist Coconut + Sea Salt Beach Wave Hair Mist, $19.
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MOON YOUNG HEE
BIODERMA Sensibio Dermatological Water, $19.90.
OSCAR DE LA RENTA
La Solution 10 de CHANEL, $125.
LA ROCHE-POSAY Lipikar Fluid, $19.90.
AVENE Tolérance Extrême Emulsion, $69.90.
LOVE YOU TENDER
AVEENO Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion, $22.90.
Th se specially formulated treats will These ill coddle sensitive skin and minimise red redness ess — all with a gentle touch.
ERNO LASZLO Sensitive Cleansing Oil, $95.
DHC Medicated Sensitive Milk, $29.90.
CURÉL Moisture Gel-Lotion, $24.80.
REN Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask, $65.
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THE BODY SHOP Almond Milk & Honey Soothing & Restoring Body Lotion, $19.90.
LA ROCHEPOSAY Micellar Water Ultra, $32.90.
TEXT LIEU WEI NING G PHOTOS IMAXTREE
CETAPHIL Gentle Skin Cleanser, from $15.50.
BEAUTY WITH BENEFITS
TEXT LIEU WEI NING
Introducing the makeup that actually makes skin better. It’s official, Clarins makeup is back for good. The hype: Makeup infused with skincare benefits in the form of plant extracts. Yup, its more advanced take on standard formulas will do your skin more good. But don’t shelve your skincare routine just yet. These part makeup, part skincare treats do not replace your potions and creams. “While the makeup can protect and moisturise, it only stays on the skin’s surface. You’ll still need skincare for skin-deep results,” explains Clarins’ international artistic and training director Eric Antoniotti. What’s smart about these products is that they don’t just give instant results, they are an extension to skincare too. Case in point: Reach for a mascara and enjoy stronger lashes over time. Apply a primer and enjoy anti-pollution benefits. Trust us, your skin will thank you. Our must-tries: The Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base, $52, for healthy, dewy skin and the Mascara Supra Volume, $42, for fuller lashes — be warned, you won’t be able to stop at just one coat. ELLE
Prices range from $18 for an Eye Pencil to $65 for Extra Firming Foundation.
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IN THE PACK
Don’t neglect your tresses – flying sucks moisture from them. This gel-cream is like a moisturiser for your mane. It pampers dry and damaged hair, leaving them soft and silky after. No rinse needed.
Even if you suffer from jet lag, this moisturising leave-on will leave you looking fresh and radiant.
A comforting aromatherapy blend of eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender and geranium that will revitalise your senses. Roll this over pulse points as and when needed.
LUSH M O U T H WA S H TA B S , $ 2 0 EACH. Knock out bad breath with these solid tabs that are like mini bath bombs for your mouth.
NIVEA 3-IN-1 CARE CLEANSING MICELLAR WIPES, $10.90. I’m a firm believer of flying without makeup. These wipes remove makeup, clean off sebum and are a great way to refresh skin in under 30 seconds. 62 ELLE SINGAPORE
TEXT LIEU WEI NING PHOTOGRAPHY EALBERT HO STYLING KAREN CHNG
L’ O C C I TA N E LIMITED-EDITION AROMACHOLOGIE OVERNIGHT R E PA I R I N G C O N C E N T R AT E , $48.
IOMA 2 ENERGIZE V I TA L I T Y SLEEPING MASK, $80.
COMOSHAMBHALA I N V I G O R AT E B A L M .
PHOTOGRAPHY CHEE YAN STYLING DARYL ALEXIUS YEO HAIR & MAKEUP RICK YANG/FAC3INC USING LA BIOSTHETIQUE & URBAN DECAY FASHION ASSISTANCE KATRINA CAPEL MODEL BOGLARKA/LOOQUE
YO U R P E R S O N A L P L A Y B O O K O N W H AT TO W E A R . . . A N D J U S T H OW TO W E A R I T
SWEET DREAMS ARE MADE OF THESE The season’s unapologetically bold styles are a nod to Eighties austerity coupled with after-dark glamour and more. Even sportswearinspired styles are imbued with touches of high-end luxury/couture refinement. Are you ready to get into fashion’s subversive groove? Silk-blend jacket with ostrich feather trim, by Prada.
SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM Pump up the volume and choose maximum impact by way of imposing Eighties-esque shoulders, glitzy metallics and bodyconscious numbers. P.S: Leave your inhibitions at the door. PHOTOGRAPHY CHEE YAN STYLING DARYL ALEXIS YEO
Purple nylon-rayon hooded dress with plunging neckline, by DKNY. (Opposite) Red silk-blend dress with asymmetrical fringing, by GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI. Tweed calfskin fingerless gloves, by CHANEL. Patent calfskin booties, by BALLY.
Gold lamé mini-dress with gathered bodice and peaked hemline, and LouLou gold-tone bobble earrings with silk tassels, both by SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO. (Opposite) Black quilted calfskin bustier maxi-dress with mesh bralette and printed elastane shoulder straps, by DIOR. Sterling silver earrings, by HERMÈS.
White cotton tunic with black trompe lâ€™oeil print, by MOSCHINO.
Yellow silk dress with thigh slit and back ties, by SALVATORE FERRAGAMO. Sterling silver chain necklace, by HERMÃˆS. Black platform pumps with white and orange crystal studs, by GUCCI.
Grey & blue checked silklined wool double-breasted jacket with elevated shoulder pads, and white calfskin over-the-knee boots, both by BALENCIAGA.
Blue shantung silk ruffled toga dress with thigh slit, by GUCCI. Polyamide-elastane over-the-knee boots, by BALENCIAGA.
Beige cupro-lined cotton trenchcoat with elevated shoulder pads, by BALENCIAGA. Orange Obi calfskin structured belt, by LOEWE. (Opposite) Blue cotton lace top with gold-tone tube studs, and matching lace pants, both by LOUIS VUITTON.
Green lambskin coat, by HERMÃˆS. Gold-tone cuff, by CHANEL.
STYLING DARYL ALEXIUS YEO HAIR & MAKEUP RICK YANG/FAC3INC USING LA BIOSTHETIQUE & URBAN DECAY FASHION ASSISTANCE KATRINA CAPEL MODEL BOGLARKA/LOOQUE
Green lambskin coat and black calfskin earring with silver-tone studs, both by HERMÃˆS. Lambskin striped patchwork trousers with front pockets, by FENDI. Black ankle-strap sandals, by MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION.
KILLER QUEEN Anthony Vaccarello’s first collection for Saint Laurent sees the Spring/Summer 2017 accessories range champion the French maison’s street-chic sensibilities with touches of after-dark glamour. TEXT SHARON TULASIDAS PHOTOGRAPHY KELVIN CHIA STYLING NG SHIQI
(Clockwise from top) Gold-tone Opyum crocodile-effect cuff, $940. Anja tassel bucket bag, $2,370. Sunset Monogram Saint Laurent chain wallet sling bag, $2,250.
Gold-tone Opyum YSL crocodile-effect brooch, $560. Calfskin Sac De Jour Souple, $4,250.
(Clockwise from top) Monogram one-sided earring, $850. Gold-tone LouLou tassel earring, $940. Monogram cuff $1,130. Gold-tone LouLou tassel earring, $3,590.
(Clockwise from left) Tuxedo box minaudiĂ¨re, $4,250. Patent calfskin Opyum 110 pump with steel heel, $1,700. Smoking crystal earrings, $1,510.
(Clockwise from top) Polished calfskin pumps. Smoking oversized crystal earring, $1,700. Calfskin Saint Laurent-print tablet zip pouch, $860. Classic medium Kate monogram Saint Laurent tassel satchel in crocodile-embossed calfskin, $2,250.
Charlotte messenger bag in crocodile-embossed calfskin $2,750. Patent calfskin Edie 110 Leaf slingback pump, $1,510.
SMASH! Inspired by the rococo kitsch of Marie Antoinette, Fendi’s Kan I bag takes on a bigger, bolder look for Spring/Summer 2017.
PHOTOGRAPHY FOTO HENRIK BÜLOW/BLINK PRODUCTION STYLING BARBARA GULLSTEIN/SCOOP ARTISTS
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Pleated bra top and matching pleated kneelength skirt, and earrings, all by PROENZA SCHOULER.
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Silk chiffon dress and perforated suede shoes, both by CHANEL.
Cotton hooded sweatshirt, by ACNE STUDIOS.
Knitted top and silk-blend shorts, both by SPORTMAX. Sockinspired shoes, by ACNE STUDIOS.
Cotton batwing blouse and matching maxi-skirt, both by CHLOÃ‰, Bracelets, by APROSIO & CO from Lot # 29.
Calfskin top, cotton jogger pants and calfskin belt, all by HERMÃˆS. Silver earrings, by ANISSA KERMICHE X ZOE KARSSEN.
Body stocking, silk-blend shorts and cardigan vest, all by BALMAIN. Ruched calfskin skinny belt, by ETRO. Sockinspired shoes, by ACNE STUDIOS.
Coat (worn over the shoulder), by BY MALENE BIRGER. Body stocking and gold-tone bracelet, both by BALENCIAGA. Cotton sweatpants, by ACNE STUDIOS.
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANCE CHRISTIAN HOYER FASHION ASSISTANCE LEO MARIBO HAIR LINE BILLE/SCOOP ARTISTS/LESS IS MORE MAKEUP GITTE GULDHAMMER/SCOOP ARTISTS/TROMBORG MODEL CORINNA/SCOOP MODELS PHOTO RETOUCHING WETOUCH
Cotton dress, elasthane bra, matching panties and calfskin boots, all by CÃ‰LINE.
A NEW GENERATION The heritage and theatrical spirit of Paris’ iconic Place Vendôme serve as the inspiration for the new Tressage Tote, Night Light Twist and Chain-It bags from Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection. Large enough to hold all your essentials, and with some handy extra spaces for secret stashing, these stylish carryalls are handmade with precision and crafted in modernistic styles that have rejuvenated the brand’s celebrated Monogram. Here’s a peek at the maison’s masterful coupling of smart design and meticulous skill.
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TEXT SHARON TULASIDAS ADDITIONAL REPORTING DARYL ALEXIUS YEO PHOTOS LOUIS VUITTON
It can be said that the Tressage Tote is an elongated rendition of the brand’s renowned Alma handbag, but only to a degree. For the Tressage Tote also boasts on its sides reinforced leather strips of contrasting colours, which are also used around the bag’s main body to give the bag its tressage (French for “woven”) appeal. The bag comes in two styles: The classic Monogram Canvas and its update, the Monogram Reverse Canvas (where the colours are reversed).
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One of the newest versions of Louis Vuitton’s Twist bags is the Night Light Twist shoulder bag, where cowhide strips in a graphical chevron pattern and starburst-flower motifs sit on Monogram Reverse Canvas. This day-to-night bag embodies the modernistic spirit of Nicolas Ghesquière’s Spring/Summer 2017 ready-to-wear collection.
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Artisans piece together the Chain-It handbag entirely by hand, right down to the decorative and tough-chic interlocking chain detail, which runs along the entire smooth calfskin flap of this functional, top-handle bag.
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Christian Louboutin is more than just a maker of It heels — he’s a fierce advocate of female empowerment and beauty in everyday objects. By Chin Chih Lin
hen it comes to shoe designers, Christian Louboutin is certainly at the top of the heap. His designs are invariably ingenious — you can almost always expect an element of surprise or a dash of humour in a Louboutin creation, whether it’s a lipstick-heeled pump or a staggering 8-inch ballerina heel. The Frenchman’s first design was inspired by Princess Diana — flat suede pumps with “LOVE” written in his signature red on them, “LO” on the left and “VE” on the right. He saw a photo of the late princess posing alone in front of the Taj Mahal and looking shyly at her feet, and wanted to make something that would put a smile on her face. Since then, the designer has amassed a lengthy list of fans from Kate Middleton to Beyoncé — the latter loves his shoes so much, she’s worn them when pregnant and gyrated
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in them numerous times on stage. So, what makes a woman sexy, according to Louboutin? “It’s a form of empowerment to be able to decide that you are desirable. It comes from the inside. To feel sexy is to feel at ease with your body — your voice, attitude and posture, and the way you move,” says the designer. Louboutin is sharing his thoughts with us in the suite of Four Seasons Hong Kong a day after Typhoon Haima hit the city. The weather cleared up before our interview, and thankfully, so did the designer’s mood (we heard he was tired and reticent during the previous interviews). He’s in Hong Kong for a series of events, including an intimate talk with industry insiders at The Upper House and a meet-and-greet cocktail at the Christian Louboutin store at Lane Crawford IFC, where a swarm of fans has gathered to meet the man behind the famous red-soled shoes.
EMPOWERMENT BEGINS WITH INCLUSION Those soles are not the only constant for the brand. Empowerment, in particular female empowerment, is ingrained in the DNA of Louboutin’s eponymous label. “It’s very easy for me to say that I have a lot of respect for women because I was brought up by women (Louboutin has three older sisters). Female empowerment is a very natural element to my work, and it has always been a part of my life even before I started working.” When Louboutin launched his Nude Collection in 2013, it was a pioneering move taken by a high-fashion brand to reclaim the term “nude”. His range of nude-hued heels embraced a wide variety of skin tones — from milky beige to rich dark brown — and introduced an all-inclusive meaning to the term “nude” in the fashion world. What would he design for women in the South-east Asian region specifically? Louboutin answers quickly. “A lot of high heels. I would avoid boots, snakeskin and closed shoes. There will be sandals, peeptoes and full-on f lat shoes that are airy. No patent — only softer leather. I would also go for Asian skin tones, so the shoes can completely disappear when you put them on and elongate your legs.”
TO FEEL SEXY IS TO FEEL AT EASE WITH YOUR BODY… ”
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY THINGS THAT ARE NOT BEAUTIFUL IN THE WORLD OF BEAUTY?”
Rouge Louboutin in Silky Satin.
“IT’S ALMOST A CRIME T O P R O D U C E U G LY T H I N G S ” Louboutin is one of the few independent luxury labels that can hold their own against global conglomerates, a rare achievement especially in the currently challenging retail climate. Perhaps it’s the designer’s uncompromising principle of sticking to his own vision that has contributed to the success of the brand. When he unveiled Christian Louboutin’s beauty line in 2015, a first for the label, the designer chose to collaborate with independent American beauty house Batallure Beauty, instead of the established beauty giants that approached him. Clearly, he feels strongly about beauty — he even has a mission to protect the idea of beauty in an era of over-consumerism and what he refers to as ugly things. “I entered the world of beauty with big expectations about building a world of beauty. There are so many un-beautiful things in the world — I don’t want to add another ugly box or object to it,” says the designer matter-of-factly. “The product needs to be beautiful and good, but so do the packaging, boxes, content and bottles — everything needs to make up the word ‘beauty’.
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Rouge Louboutin in Discover Rouge.
“Beauty means beautiful. And I sort of, for some reason, was always intrigued by beauty. Why are there so many things that are not beautiful in the world of beauty? All the packaging looks the same, the boxes are the same, everything looks the same! It’s almost a crime to produce ugly things.” This is why everything in the Christian Louboutin beauty line is more than just a product — they are pieces of art. The Rouge Louboutin nail polish, for example, features a slender 8-inch-tall cap inspired by the highest heel created by the designer — the Ballerina Ultima. Meanwhile, the range’s lipstick is packaged in a jewel-like vial with a crown that resembles a turret and references Middle Eastern antiquities and the Art Deco movement. While the range isn’t available in Singapore currently, you can immerse yourself in other parts of the Louboutin experience at the brand’s new Singapore store. ELLE
A LOUBOUTIN PANORAMA In February, Louboutin opened his latest boutique here in Scotts Square. The 1,668-sq ft duplex showcases a whimsical “forest in a city” concept that spotlights both the men’s and women’s collections. “It’s a part of my world — a large, panoramic experience of Christian Louboutin,” describes the designer.
The new boutique features quirky furnishings that reﬂect Louboutin’s personality.
SAMBA SPIRIT This Spring/Summer, Christian Louboutin introduces a vivacious collection inspired by Brazil’s lively, exotic carnivals.
PA T C H W O R K P E R F E C T I O N
Inspired by the rugged spine of a stegosaurus, the spiky Jurayoo in pastel hues is a sweet and sassy statement shoe.
No leather bootie has more showstopping colour and quirky charm than the Venecage.
S TA N D O U T S A N DA L
The Randonata is an edgy casual sandal that flaunts vibrant shades and bold embellishment. 101 ELLE SINGAPORE
IF I WERE A BOY
Viscose-lined cotton windowpane check jacket, by H&M. Cotton-blend slip dress, $1,229, by MAX MARA. Cotton turtleneck top, $69.90, by ZARA. Faux-leather mules with buckle details, $53.90, by CHARLES & KEITH.
There’s no denying the cool, contemporary appeal of the season’s oversized menswear-inspired pieces.
Viscoselined cotton windowpane check jacket, by H&M. Cotton gingham ruffled tube top, $35.90, and cowhide belt with silvertone eyelets, $45.90, both by ZARA. Denim wide-legged jeans, by COS. Silver-tone dangling earrings, by POMELO. Canvas-lined denim slip-on sneakers, $129, by ALDO.
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THE BAGGY WINDOWPANE CHECK JACKET Windowpane checks are a subtle way of embracing the geek-chic chequered-print trend. Layer a casual blazer over feminine slips or bralettes for a garçonne appeal, and for an added dose of femininity, top off the look with classic sneakers and dangling earrings.
BIG BOSS Arm candy is getting the upsized treatment this season too.
Cotton and calfskin-lined oversized shoulder bag with adjustable strap, by MARNI.
Elise denim large tote with calfskin handle, by 3.1 PHILLIP LIM.
Polyester-lined rafﬁa large shoulder bag with rafﬁa fringing, $643, by MM6 MAISON MARGIELA.
Beach jute large beach bag, $53, by ASOS.COM.
Metallic polyester-blend oversized tote, $99.90, by ZARA.
PHOTOGRAPHY KELVIN CHIA STYLING DARYL ALEXIUS YEO HAIR GREGO OH/INDIGO ARTISANS MAKEUP LOLENT LEE USING URBAN DECAY FASHION ASSISTANCE KATRINA CAPEL MODEL SI JIA/MANNEQUIN
Plaid polypropylene tote with rafﬁa effect, $242, by TRUSS from Neta-porter.com.
GET THE LOOK
ILIA Tinted Lip Conditioner in Jump, $46, from Sephora.
Viscose-lined polyester windowpane jacket, $627, by EMPORIO ARMANI from Farfetch.com.
Marietta wool-blend pleated knee-length skirt with calfskin buckle fastening, $233, by IRIS & INK from Theoutnet.com.
Silver-tone beaded choker, by FOREVER 21.
Clinger stretch nappa-leather sockinspired bootie, by STUART WEITZMAN.
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Cotton pinstriped deconstructed patchwork shirt, $155, by RYE from R-y-e.co. Linencotton wrap skirt with contrasting panel, $839, by SPORTMAX. Gold-tone brass ring, by COS. Faux-suede laceup espadrille flatforms, by CHARLES & KEITH.
Cotton pinstriped deconstructed patchwork shirt, $155, by RYE from R-y-e.co. Linen widelegged trousers, $99.90, by H&M. Cowhide shoulder bag with front-flap closure, $295, by MASSIMO DUTTI. Faux-suede ankle-strap pumps, by ALDO.
THE NEW PINSTRIPED SHIRT The classic pinstriped button-down gets a refreshing update by way of crafty patchwork. Think asymmetrical shirt hemlines and voluminous silhouettes for maximum impact.
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SNEAKER HEAD Chunky platform sneakers are as functional as they are elevating. Race Runner cowhide and suede sneaker with neoprene trimming and rubber platform, by BALENCIAGA.
Rayon drawstring sneaker with rubber platform, by MARNI.
Islay cowhide and polyspandex knit sock sneaker, by UGG.
Astral cowhide sneaker with velcro fastening and rubber platform, $619, by Y3.
Calfskin-lined satin knot slip-on sneaker with rubber platform, $671, by NÂ°21 from Mytheresa.com.
Zeaven neoprene and rubber sneaker, by ALDO.
Calfskin sneaker with buckle details, by MOSCHINO.
RAG & BONE
Metallic faux-leather sneaker with rubber platform, $79.90, by ZARA.
GET THE LOOK
MARC JACOBS BEAUTY Gel Eye Crayon in Sunset, $38, from Sephora.
Cotton pinstriped deconstructed patchwork shirt, $169, by BOUTIQUE from Topshop.
Polyester-viscose palazzo trousers with attached sash, $79.99, by MANGO.
Straw bucket hat with grosgrain trim, $495, by DSQUARED2 from Farfetch.com.
3D calfskin tote with detachable shoulder sling, $1,335, by LONGCHAMP.
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Claire Waight Keller at her ﬁnal Chloé collection — Fall /Winter 2017-18.
THE NEW ORDER
D R AW I N G C L A S S A unique partnership between Tod’s and tattoo artist Saira Hunjan has produced a one-of-akind accessories capsule collection for both women and men. The collaboration highlights the Italian label’s Double T collection and boasts a cool/edgy Asianinspired tattoo print by Hunjan. Prices start from $850 for a pair of the label’s iconic Gommino loafers or slip-on sneakers to $3,060 for the messenger bag.
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MADAME BU T T E R F LY
Bottega Veneta is launching a special limited edition collection, designed by the Italian label’s creative director Tomas Maier. Available in Asia only in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore – and only at selected stores – it can be found here exclusively at its Ion Orchard boutique. The capsule collection (priced from $2,940) features the house’s butterfly motif first introduced in the late 1970s. We recommend the Cabat for its immaculately woven craftsmanship, which boasts 58 leather butterfly appliques, as well as the Intrecciato Nappa Baby Olimpia, a girlish chain sling handbag that comes in mauve pink, burgundy and black.
TEXT SHARON TULASIDAS
French fashion house Chloé has revealed that Natacha Ramsay-Levi is the brand’s new creative director. A former working partner of Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, Ramsay-Levi will oversee Chloé’s ready-to-wear, leather goods, and accessories categories, and debut her first collection (Spring/ Summer 2018) at Paris Fashion Week in September. Before Louis Vuitton, Ramsay-Levi had worked with Ghesquière at Balenciaga and was considered his successor – until Alexander Wang nabbed that position. In other 2017 fashion news, former Chloé creative director Claire Waight Keller has replaced Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy, while Jil Sander’s Rodolfo Paglialunga has left Jil Sander after three years as creative director. Also, Serge Ruffieux, who led the Dior team after Raf Simons’ departure, has joined Carven and will present his first collection for the French label during the Resort 2018 season.
LONGCHAMP’S NEW STORE French brand Longchamp has opened its largest South-east Asian store in Singapore (2,960 sq ft) at Ion Orchard. The boutique’s décor takes its inspiration from the brand’s renovated Paris flagship on rue Saint Honoré, with a well-lit interior that complements its wood, leather and fabric fixtures. Key collections include the full range of women’s and men’s ready-towear pieces plus luggage. Longchamp fans will also appreciate Made-toMeasure Atelier, a new service that offers initials customisation on the Le Pliage Cuir Crossbody bag and handbags. Longchamp Spring ‘17
Longchamp Boutique, Ion Orchard, #03-15A, 6509-1605.
Pleated polyester Else dress, $825.90, by SOLACE LONDON.
1970 Intarsia merino wool sweater, $406.29, by BELLA FREUD.
C O N S E R VAT I V E C H I C Modest fashion has taken off in recent years, thanks to trailblazers like designer Anniesa Hasibuan and model Halima Aden. Now, one site is determined to bring luxury modest wear to the mainstream: Dubai- and London-based e-commerce store, Themodist.com, which launched in March this year and touts itself as a first-of-its-kind “global online retail destination for modest fashion”. Offering labels from Mary Katranzou to Marni, The Modist stocks a wide selection of clothes, shoes, bags and jewellery, catering to women who have to or choose to wear modest fashion. The pieces may sport conservative hemlines, necklines and sleeves, but the designs are often anything but dowdy or boring. As a matter of fact, expect bold details, colours, prints and embellishments. — Gwendolynn Lee
Nuova Orchidea gold-tone tassel necklace, $512.85, by ROSANTICA.
Cotton shirt, $646.06, by PALMER// HARDING.
This article first appeared on Elle.sg
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Double Link Chain silver-tone choker, $703, by JENNIFER FISHER from Theoutnet.com.
Mirrored acetate bobble earrings, $15.90, by MANGO.
Glam Spirit stainless steel watch, $349, by THOMAS SABO.
Polyester-blend top with deconstructed hemline, $89.90, by BOUTIQUE from Topshop.
Polyester pleated asymmetrical midi-skirt, $49.90, by ZARA.
Torrance plissé-satin pleated one-shoulder maxi-dress, $846, by SOLACE LONDON from Net-a-porter.com.
Bryony glitter cottonblend sock boot with wooden heel, by ALDO.
MARC JACOBS BEAUTY Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner in Over(night) 61, from Sephora.
INTO THE FOLD
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Acrylicblend woven net bag, by H&M.
Julia espadrille sandal with polyester ties, $38, by ASOS.COM.
TEXT DARYL ALEXIUS YEO
MAKE UP FOR EVER Water Blend Face & Body Foundation in Yellow Alabaster.
Faux-leather crossbody bag with acrylicembellished tweed ﬂap and silver-tone chain sling, $59.90, by ZARA.
The season’s pleat trend, worn two ways.
T H E C O N V E R S AT I O N P I E C E S TO OW N A N D F L AU N T
& Jewellery MARK OF STAT U S
PHOTOGRAPHY MARK LEE STYLING NG SHIQI
A name synonymous with prestige, Rolex is also widely recognised for its heirloom appeal. But there are other reasons why it should be one of your top choices for an investment piece â€” find out more in our feature within this section.
SNAKE CHARMERS Bulgari’s magnificent serpents will put you under their bejewelled spell.
TEXT TAN WEI LIN PHOTOGRAPHY EALBERT HO STYLING NG SHIQI
With the makeover of its Serpenti collection last year, Bulgari’s iconic snake has been reborn in striking new forms that render the creature more seductive than ever. The high-jewellery interpretations have us thoroughly enchanted with their modern design, which retains the distinctive hypnotic quality of the Serpenti pieces over the years. Our favourite styles? These rings — the serpent’s sinuous form twines beautifully around the fingers, so you never have to let it go. ELLE
(Clockwise from top) High-jewellery Serpenti rings in pink gold with rubellite, emeralds and pavé diamonds; with amethysts, emeralds and pavé diamonds; and with coral, emeralds and pavé diamonds, all by BVLGARI.
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BEYOND PRESTIGE Rolex watches are sought after for reasons other than that they’re a recognisable status symbol. Tan Wei Lin looks at the qualities that make them smart investments.
n the sphere of luxury timepieces, few names have the kind of cachet that Rolex boasts. For many who are looking to purchase a serious watch — be it their first or not — the brand is invariably among the immediate few names that one thinks of. We are well acquainted with the value-appreciating advantages of acquiring a Rolex watch, but what other qualities does the brand possess that allow it to command an appeal that transcends age, gender, culture and generations? We delve deeper into the making of its timepieces.
IT’S A CLASSIC Rolex watches are never about trends, but rather the most timeless designs that are as boardroom-appropriate as they are elegant when worn with a cocktail dress. The Rolex aesthetic may be understated but is always recognisable via the unmistakable hallmarks of the brand, such as the signature f luted bezel on many of its models. 112 ELLE SINGAPORE
O N LY T H E F I N E S T Every component that makes up a Rolex watch is meticulously selected to ensure that the end product is of the best quality possible. Only 904L steel, a highly corrosion-resistant alloy harder than other steels, and 18K gold, which offers enhanced “polishability” for better maintenance of its shine, are used to craft a Rolex piece. The company also has a massive gemological department in charge of sourcing and verifying the finest diamonds and gemstones.
STATEME NT OF POWER
PUSHING LIMITS Rolex watches come with the green seal, which signifies its status as a Superlative Chronometer. This exclusive designation attests that the watch has undergone a series of final controls conducted by Rolex, which exceeds watchmaking norms and standards set by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute. All Rolex watches, since 2015, come with this in-house certification.
The world’s most celebrated celebr ted and inf luential people wear Rolex. Rihanna and Jennifer Aniston have been seen with their Datejust on multiple occasions, while whil the late American actor Paul Newman wore his Daytona so often that his h name became attached to this specific watch model. mod Rolexes, in particular the t Day-Date, were also favoured by past presidents presid of the United States including inc g Dwight Eisenhower and an John F Kennedy, so much so that the Day-Date is now known as “the presidents’ watch”.
CONVE RSATION PIECE There’s a great story behind every ery Rolex. Cases in point: The T e GMT-Master, used by the t e crew of the famous Pan American merican World Airways to t navigate on the first non-stop n n-stop inter-continental f light ght between New York and a d Moscow in 1959; and the t 1956 Oyster Perpetual Milgauss, lgauss, a magnetic fieldresistant model that was worn rn by scientists of the European ropean Organisation for Nuclear N clear Research, one of the t world’s most respected centres for scientific research. TEST OF STRENGTH Every Rolex is stress-tested to extremes. For example, its new-generation Oysterlock watch clasp was put through 26 drop tests during its development. It was also immersed in tanks of chlorine and salt water with added sand, where it was opened and closed tens of thousands of times to ensure it will remain fully functional even in the harshest conditions. ELLE
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TWO E BY TWO
Van Cleef & Arpels recently embarked on a voyage of biblical proportions, taking with it over 3o pairs of intricately bejewelled animals. By Tan Wei Lin
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ver the master storyteller of the world of jewels and fine timepieces, Van Cleef & Arpels never fails to enchant us with the fascinating ways in which it showcases its precious creations. For the unveiling of its new high jewellery collection in Hong Kong this March, the maison created yet another magical setting to present over 60 diamond-studded animals to an audience that included the public as well as Asia’s media. Invoking the well-known tale from the Bible, the jeweller created its version of Noah’s Ark in a stunning showcase at the Asia Society Hong Kong Centre in Admiralty. Besides its creative backdrop, what’s unusual about this new fauna-inspired collection is that each species is presented in a pair, in keeping with how Noah was told to bring two of every kind of animal — a male and a female — onto the vessel.
The only creatures to be presented singly are the unicorn, phoenix and Pegasus (not pictured) — collectively entitled the Mystery Set.
f ue feature
A vibrant duo of owls — one in indigo-toned sugilite, a stone rarely used by the maison, and brightgreen chrysoprase on its mate with wings in ﬂight.
Toucans in ebony, with beaks set with gems in a dazzling gradation.
Entitled L’Arche de Noé racontée par Van Cleef & Arpels (Noah’s Ark, as told by Van Cleef & Arpels), this 17-day showcase brought together a massive and magnificent menagerie of animals from every continent, in habitats ranging from the lush countryside to thick jungle, from the earth to the sky. Rabbits, elephants, koalas, owls, toucans, iguanas and other species were housed in pairs within an experiential space designed by American scenographer Robert Wilson, brought to life by lighting that emulates the look and movement of water and sounds of a thunderstorm at sea. A special trio of imaginary creatures — the Pegasus, phoenix and unicorn — is also part of the collection, identified as the Mystery Set by Van Cleef & Arpels. These are the only pieces to be presented singly, as whimsical additions that imbue the L’Arche de Noé collection with an element of fantasy.
The jewellery masterpieces that make m ke up the L’Arche de Noé collection ttake ke the form of clips, distinguished ffrom m brooches by their double fixing pins. pi s. As a canvas of a good size, the clip aallows ows craftsmen to better express the details d ails of each design and maintains cconsistency nsistency in dimensions across the entire ire collection. “Because they are aall of a similar scale, you can really appreciate the different interpretations and craft that was put into each piece to bring out the best of every animal. What is also nice [about this exhibition] is that they are all under one roof, so there really is this sense of a family. You don’t always to get the chance to have this variety in front of your eyes… to appreciate the [range of ] crafting techniques and stone colours,” said Catherine Rénier, president of Van Cleef & Arpels, Asia Pacific.
Diamondencrusted koalas with onyx noses and emeralds and sapphires for eyes.
These whimsical elephants are carved from lapis lazuli and malachite, in stylised lines evoking the appearance of traditional wooden children’s toys.
Rénier cited the elephants elepha as one collection.. of her favourites from the collectio different ffrom “They are completely diffe the rest because they are ccrafted f d ffrom a single block of gemstone. They stand out for their simplicity — it’s quite a new look for the brand and a true symbol of how diverse our jewellery interpretations can be,” she explained. If these dazzling creatures were to emerge from Van Cleef & Arpels’ ark into an imaginary new world, we’d love to be a wanderer on the beautiful place it will surely be. ELLE
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f feature e
URBAN EDGE Tiffany & Co’s HardWear collection is a celebration of New York’s non-conformist spirit and individualistic style. By Tan Wei Lin
magine the spirit and energy of New York encapsulated in a jewellery line — would it be bold and edgy or chic and refined? Tiffany & Co has brilliantly captured all these qualities that define two contrasting sides of the city in its HardWear collection, a new range that expresses the Big Apple’s unique character and style. Based on the design of a unisex Tiffany bracelet from 1971, the HardWear pieces are composed of hardware elements such as gauge links, padlocks and ball bearing-like spheres, and thus bear a distinctly industrial vibe. While these may be a departure from Tiffany’s typically more feminine designs, they are equally polished and versatile creations that go as perfectly with a leather jacket as they do a sleek evening gown. To launch this bold and youthful collection, Tiffany has picked the most iconic and appropriate of modern rebels as its new spokesperson — Lady Gaga, who epitomises the elegantly subversive character of HardWear. She is the latest subject in the jeweller’s long-running Legendary Style ad campaign, which has over the years featured women of confidence, beauty and substance the likes of model Christy Turlington and actresses Elle Fanning and Lupita Nyong’o.
IN NEW YORK, YOU’RE BORN KNOWING THAT TIFFANY IS THE BEST, AND THAT IT IS WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS. THE BRAND IS DEFINITIVE AND ICONIC, YET CONTINUES TO PUSH AND EVOLVE WITH THE TIMES.” — Lady Gaga
“For more than 180 years, the world’s chicest women have chosen Tiffany jewellery as a powerful expression of who they are. This [new] campaign celebrates Tiffany’s rich legacy and the modernity of Tiffany style. Lady Gaga, and her originality, creativity and courage, ref lects the spirit of this collection,” says Tiffany & Co’s chief brand officer, Caroline Naggiar, of the brand’s new ambassador. In the 60-second commercial directed by Tiffany’s in-house team
INDUSTRIAL ZONE T I F FA N Y & C O V E N T U R E S T O B O L D E R T E R R I T O R I E S WITH THE HARDWEAR COLLECTION.
in partnership with Vogue’s legendary creative director Grace Coddington, Gaga appears looking her most pared-down ever, wearing a simple black ensemble, with her hair pulled back in a casual bun and little makeup. It’s a surprisingly minimal direction to take, since most people would expect to see Gaga all glammed up. But watch the commercial and you’ll see that the restrained styling is truly a brilliant set-up, as it serves as a showcase not just for the pair of HardWear triple-drop earrings that Gaga wears in the film but also her innate confidence and style. In the commercial, the pop star shares her thoughts on self-expression and empowerment, and also talks about how Tiffany is a name close to her heart. “In New York, you’re born knowing that Tiffany is the best, and that it is where the magic happens. The brand is definitive and iconic, yet continues to push and evolve with the times. To me, Tiffany represents timeless American jewellery,” she says. Besides 18K gold, the HardWear collection will also be available in sterling silver, which means it will be accessible to more people and appeal to a broader spectrum of tastes at the same time. There are the chunky bracelets and double-wrap necklaces for those who love statement pieces, and slim cuffs for others with subtler preferences. Yet each piece bears the recognisable industrial-inf luenced aesthetic that marks it as a part of this edgy collection. ELLE
CHAIN ME UP
ON THE BALL
Gauge links look tough but, when gilded, are surprisingly polished and refined.
Spherical accents add a touch of playfulness to these otherwise sleek designs. and minimal designs
Ball hook earrings in sterling silver.
Bead cuff in sterling silver.
Wrap bracelet in 18K gold.
Link earrings in 18K gold.
Ball dangle ring in sterling silver.
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JUST ADD COLOUR
A HOROLOGICAL LEGEND A new tome detailing the history of one of the world’s most prestigious watchmakers has just been launched. PATEK PHILIPPE’s The Authorized Biography, by Nicholas Foulkes, details the brand’s history from founder Antoine Norbert de Patek’s early life in Poland and his meeting with gifted watchmaker Jean Adrien Philippe, to the 1932 purchase of the company by the Stern family, which, over four generations, have turned it into the legend that it is today. At $330, from the Patek Philippe Customer Service Centre, #16-01 Wheelock Place.
INTO THE BLUE The LOUIS VUITTON Escale Blue collection comprises three timepieces – (clockwise from far left) a tourbillon, a Spin Time and a World Time model – with aesthetics that play on blue accents. These complications, developed by the watchmakers of La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, build on the great tradition of travel dear to the Maison and are designed for the stylish globetrotter.
TEXT TAN WEI LIN
Almost 50 years after its launch, BOUCHERON’s captivating Serpent Bohème collection has been reinvented with coloured gemstones. These new creations, set with citrine, onyx, mother-of-pearl and lapis lazuli, complement the existing Serpent Bohème diamond pieces and can be worn in different combinations to suit every mood and style.
WINNING TRIO FRANCK MULLER MULLER’s releases this year cover a spectrum of styles for women — from the classic and the sporty to the unapologetically feminine. The star is undoubtedly the Cintrée Curvex 25th Anniversary (top), launched in celebration of the manufacture’s 25th birthday, while the Backswing Lady and Flower Collection are outstanding in distinctively different ways — one is clearly designed for the golf enthusiast and the other for ladies l dies with delicate delic te tastes. t stes.
W E A R YO U R S U P P O RT
DAMIANI’s Metropolitan Dream by H Nakata collection sees new additions this year, in the form of these bracelets and cross pendants crafted in silver and a unique black-finish silver. Created in collaboration with former Japanese footballer Hidetoshi Nakata (who’s also the founder of humanitarian association Take Action), this special collection supports global humanitarian initiatives via a portion of its sales proceeds.
The compass rose is the central motif of DIOR’s Rose des Vents collection, a growing range which welcomes new earrings, rings and bracelets this month. Green malachite also makes an appearance in several of these new designs, adding a pop of colour to this elegant line.
Alongside the launch of its Spring/Summer collection, PANDORA has launched a new campaign titled “Do”, to motivate women to be true to themselves and their personal beliefs. The campaign features inspiring women such as Mamé Adjei, entrepreneur and an America’s Next Top Model contestant, and others who are doing good by mentoring young women and pursuing humanitarian work — all in the name of promoting confidence and building a better world.
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“II treasure all our quarrels!” quarre
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- FELICIA CHIN
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TEXT LIEU WEI NING PHOTOGRAPHY EALBERT HO STYLING KAREN CHNG
We’ve got everything you need, from dealing with sebum to the sun, in our Summer Skin Special. Take a sensorial trip with the latest fragrances and find out what joy smells like. Also: Rebecca Lim’s travel must-haves, a soothing and hydrating mask that’s perfect for jet-lagged skin and the lipsticks that will give you a K-drama worthy pout.
Mon GUERLAIN EDP, from $98 for 30ml.
FOLLOW YOUR NOSE A fragrance update of the latest scents.
ELIE SAAB Le Parfum Resort Collection Spring 2017 EDT, $125 for 50ml. A floral-citrus combination of frangipani, orange blossom, pomegranate and patchouli, this fragrance is everything about a beachfront getaway.
hoosing a fragrance is a very personal experience. Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, who owns his own maison, compares it to a love affair. “Are you looking for a long-term relationship or a flirt? You have the love at first sight and the love of your life, and they are rarely the same.” A signature fragrance will be yours for many years to come while what he describes as a ‘one-night stand scent’ is more like an accessory that completes your look or is dependent on your mood. It takes time to find the right scent for you as notes differ from juice to juice. And there’s no denying the power of fragrance. A scent can evoke memory and even change your mood instantly. “The right fragrance can make you feel good and when you do, you’ll put up a better fight in life,” says Guerlain’s in-house perfumer Thierry Wasser. Can fragrance empower one? Totally. ELLE
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CHLOÉ Love Story Eau Sensuelle, from $103 for 30ml. An elegant cocktail of orange blossom, heliotrope and sandalwood notes gives this feminine scent the perfect citrus, woody and floral balance.
SALVATORE FERRAGAMO Signorina In Fiore EDT, from $96 for 30ml. Nashi pear, sorbet and pomegranate notes – this fruitywoody scent smells every bit as yummy as its ingredients.
ISSEY MIYAKE L’Eau d’Issey Pure EDT, $169 for 90ml.
ALAÏA EDP Blanche, from $105 for 50ml. An idyllic blend of white flowers, vanilla, powder and musk, this fragrance is everything velvety and sensual, bottled.
ABERCROMBIE & FITCH First Instinct for Women, from $67 for 30ml.
Spiked with a marine accord and notes of mandarin, rose, lily-of-the-valley and cashmeran, this combines the freshness of a sea breeze and woody sensuality.
Grapefruit, magnolia and amber notes make this floral-oriental fragrance sweet, sensual and definitely date-worthy.
MIU MIU L’Eau Bleue EDP, from $103 for 30ml.
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Lily of the valley, white flowers, green notes and an akigalawood accord conjure springtime in a bottle.
TOM FORD BEAUTY Private Blend Sole Di Positano, from $330 for 50ml. One spritz of this citrus-floral scent with notes of lemon, shiso leaf, neroli and green moss is all you need to be transported to a sun-drenched Mediterranean daydream.
NARCISO RODRIGUEZ For Her Fleur Musc, from $107 for 30ml. If you have a thing for pink, this passionate fragrance that evokes charm and grace with pink flowers and pink peppercorns is for you.
JOY IN A BOTTLE PHOTOS PARFUMS CHRISTIAN DIOR
A pinch of salt may be all it takes for you to reach a state of euphoria, reports Lieu Wei Ning.
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hat does happiness smell like to you? For me, there’s always something about clean, powdery scents that invoke delightful childhood memories. For Dior perfume-creator François Demachy (above), it’s something a little more salty. The nose cites fleur de sel (French for flower of salt) as something that’s modern in style and literally smells of joy. The type of salt, harvested only in France and frequently used as a finisher to garnish dishes, apparently rekindles delicious memories for him — so much so that he added it to the latest Dior J’adore in Joy juice. The brand new scent is nothing like the clichés I’ve smelt before. Get this: It is floral, fruity and salty rolled into one. Perfectly balanced, never cloying. Sitting at its heart are jasmine sambac, neroli and tuberose notes — the floral pillar of the J’adore brand. The additions of fleur de sel, ylang ylang and peach give the fragrance a new fruity-salty dimension, which shines an entirely different light on the existing white flowers. On my skin, the refreshing scent wears like salty, honeyed nectar. It’s also interesting how the salty taste seems to sit at the tip of the tongue after application. It’s definitely lighter than the other fragrances in the range and is so easy to wear that it has earned a place in my go-to fragrance rotation. They say there’s no formula for happiness but who’s to say it can be as simple as finding the right fragrance match? If you give it a chance, joy might just be right under your nose. ELLE DIOR J’adore In Joy, from $134 for 50ml.
THE NOSE CITES FLEUR DE SEL (FRENCH FOR FLOWER OF SALT) AS SOMETHING THAT’S MODERN IN STYLE AND LITERALLY SMELLS OF JOY.”
MY TRAVEL MUST-HAVES How does actress and face of SK-II Rebecca Lim keep her skin and hair healthy and moisturised when she’s on the go?
(From left) TANGLE TEEZER On-The-Go Detangling Hairbrush, $35. “It’s compact and gets tangles out painlessly.” SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, from $99. “I can’t live without it.” KATFOOD I’m In Love With The Coconut Oil, $16.90. “I apply any organic coconut oil as a body moisturiser, as well as on the ends of my hair and on my feet.” CHANEL No. 5 EDP, $237 for 100ml. “My go-to fragrance.” KEVIN MURPHY Smooth Again Wash and Rinse, $40 each. “This combo does wonders to keep my hair soft, healthy and shiny.” CHANEL Hydra Beauty Nourishing Lip Care, $58. “I leave a thicker layer on during ﬂights and before going to bed to keep my lips soft and plump.” DIOR Diorshow Brow Styler Ultra Fine Precision Brow Pencil, $38. “I don’t wear makeup when I travel, but I always ﬁll in my eyebrows.”
(From left) SWISSE High Strength Vitamin C, $29 and Hair Skin Nails Supplement. “Beauty needs to be maintained from the inside out.” SK-II R.N.A Power Essence, from $156, and Power Cream, from $149. “This duo ﬁrms, hydrates and brightens.” CLOVERSOFT Anti-Bacterial Bamboo Organic Wipes, $1 for a 15-sheet pack. “I freshen up post-ﬂight with these.”
NOW SMELL THIS Take a whiff of this fragrance that aims to recreate the scent of light.
The Flower By Kenzo fragrance franchise is built on the feminine and sensual Bulgarian rose. At first sniff of any of its juices, the poppy symbol on each flanker instantly comes into mind. As it turns out, the poppy has no scent. Just like light. Instead, these symbols evoke a sensation of beauty and strength. Light to the latest Flower By Kenzo juice is the right blend of rose, jasmine, bergamot and musk that gives the wearer something modern and feminine. Post-spritz, you’ll get a breezy freshfloral with a soft sensual dry-down that feels like you’ve just stepped into the warm morning light. It might just be the only thing you’ll need to brighten your day. ELLE
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KENZO Flower By Kenzo Eau De Lumière EDT, from $83 for 30ml.
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FLOWER POWER Calendula flower petals hold the secret to soothing and revitalising tired or stressedout skin, say the skin experts at Kiehlâ€™s. By Melissa Chew
Calendula Herbal Extract Toner, $59 for 250ml.
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Kiehlâ€™s started off as an apothecary in 1851, and has always been known to source for and use the most efficacious natural ingredients from around the world in its formulations. The brand first introduced calendula flower in the 1960s when it launched the now-iconic Calendula Herbal Extract Toner. To this day, its formulation remains unchanged, having won over countless customers and retained loyal users, thanks to its unbeatable soothing and refreshing properties. Celeb fans of this Calendula classic include Kylie Jenner (right) and Vanessa Hudgens (above right).
insider SIX FACTS A B O U T K I E H L’ S CALENDULA 1 The flowers are sourced from multiple locations around the world, including Egypt and India. 2 For centuries, its anti-inflammatory benefits have made the flower a powerful healing ingredient in both ancient Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. 3 Kiehl’s calendula products boast hand-picked calendula flowers, cultivated without pesticides and harvested once a year.
Calendula Deep Foaming Face Wash, $47 for 230ml.
4 To keep each petal intact, the plucked blooms are hand-sorted and sun-dried in the open, so as not to subject them to extra processing or artificial heat.
SECOND STORY In 2014, the Calendula Deep Foaming Face Wash joined the iconic Calendula toner. This facial wash is a gel-based cleanser that makes light work of removing surface dirt and oil, while skin-loving calendula keeps the skin supple by calming irritation and protecting its natural barrier function.
5 For the new Masque formula, the sun-dried calendula petals are slowly added to a transparent, colourless aloe vera base. Then the petals begin to infuse the formula with its golden colour and skin-soothing, hydrating and revitalising benefits. 6 There are approximately 150 calendula petals in each jar of the new Masque.
MASKED HERO Continuing to harness the benefits of the calendula bloom, the brand has now launched the new Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque, a cooling gel face mask that combines calendula flower petals and aloe vera. There’s so much to love and rave about this mask, so let us count the ways.
Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque, $62 for 100ml.
It was formulated It feels and tested for amazing all skin types, on the skin including the moment sensitive skin, you smear it so anyone can on — cooling, use it, anytime calming, (well, up to the refreshing and recommended hydrating. three times a week, that is).
It is a washoff mask that only takes five minutes to impart its full skinrevitalising goodness.
Added chamomile and lemon essential oils both soothe and refresh the skin and senses. So good after a stressful day or a long flight.
The formulation is free from nasties like colourants and parabens.
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THE (RE)MAKING OF A LIPSTICK What goes into reinventing a best-selling lipstick? Melissa Chew finds out in Taipei.
MAKING HISTORY Laneige’s original Silk Intense Lipstick was first launched in 2012. The brand’s senior vice president, Claire Jin, calls it an iconic lipstick that represents the Laneige brand. The lipstick made its TV debut on the 2013 K-drama That Winter, The Wind Blows, which starred South Korean actress and Laneige ambassador, Song Hye Kyo. Although the lipstick made just a couple of cameo appearances,
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it quickly flew off the shelves the world over, and also became known as “The Song Hye Kyo Lipstick”. You would think the brand would continue riding on the lipstick’s success, but just five years after its launch, the K-beauty powerhouse is revamping this bestseller. We found out at a recent global media launch in Taipei just how the brand is making sure the Silk Intense Lipstick is better than ever before.
PA C K A G E DEAL
To develop new shades for the lipstick’s revamp, the brand conducted consumer tests across South Korea, China and South-east Asia, getting women to pick their favourite shades. In South Korea, corals, pinks and purples were the hot favourites, whereas in China, light pinks and beiges won out. For Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore, the preference ranged from intense reds to nude pinks. The brand then narrowed down all the picks to 35 shades across the various colour families — reds, pinks, nudes, browns, corals and purples. Exciting news for us in Singapore: We will have all 35 shades available here, whereas all other countries will only carry a maximum of 30 shades.
The lipstick’s texture, too, has been enhanced. A silky, glide-on sensation and a lasting feeling of soft, supple, moisturised lips are the top priorities here, so the brand zoomed in on a silk-like polymer to give the lipstick just that. It feels like a weightless, silky fabric floating on the lips, even a couple of hours after application. Lips feel comfortable and smooth all day and never dry, thanks to heavy-duty moisturisers in the formula.
Sheer lipsticks and lip tints are well and good — for the teenage crowd or for casual weekends, that is. “But lipstick-wearers tend to want bolder, more intense colours that look the same on the lips as they do in the tube,” said Jeongmin Cho, Laneige’s makeup brand manager. For this, Laneige formulated the new Silk Intense Lipstick with not just smaller colour pigments, but made them ultra micronised — super small so that the lipstick colour goes on evenly in one swipe, and looks true to shade in rich, vivid hues.
The packaging of the Silk Intense Lipstick has gone through an overhaul as well. It’s shed its former silver and clear plastic tube and now sports a classy, white glossy case with silver accents. A nice plus is the magnetic cap so it stays put in your makeup pouch and shuts with ease too.
Laneige Silk Intense Lipstick in Exotic Yellow and Forest Fantasy.
LANEIGE L GE new ne Silk S k Intense Lipstick, Lp , $36.
The two most attentiongrabbing shades out of the 35 have to be a yellow shade called Exotic Yellow and a greyish-purple hue called Forest Fantasy. The two unique shades were developed as mixing colours, to subtly transform any of the more regular colours. Layered on top a classic red lipstick, Exotic Yellow changes it into an orangey shade, whereas Forest Fantasy switches it up to a deeper burgundy. “The colour possibilities with these two innovative colours are endless, really,” says Cho. “We wanted to give this lipstick an edge, something extra for women who are more experimental with their makeup.” ELLE
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THE HEAT IS ON But that doesn’t mean you can’t look gorgeous in spite of it. By Melissa Chew
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SOAK UP THE SUN Well-protected skin glows with health. No need to hide from the rays when you have a good full-spectrum sunscreen on, plus you can safely get your dose of Vitamin D too. For the face, apply as much as a teaspoonfull of sunscreen, and just make sure every inch of skin is covered. On the face, try CLINIQUE Even Better City Block Anti-Pollution SPF 40/PA+++, $64. On lips, try FRESH Sugar Bloom Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen, $36.
THE RIGHT FOUNDATION Pick a good makeup base and foundation that’s made to withstand heat, humidity and sweat, and if they boast SPF too, that’s a nice bonus. Apply as little as possible, in a light, even layer, because thick makeup just doesn’t do well when the sun is blazing down on you. For the face, try YVES SAINT LAURENT BEAUTÉ Top Secrets CC Crème SPF 35 – PA+++, $90, or SMASHBOX Photo Finish Foundation Primer SPF 20 with Dermaxyl Complex, $79.
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COLOUR POP Stay away from richly pigmented makeup colours — lipsticks and eyeshadows especially — if you’re spending lots of time outdoors. They tend to melt and look like a molten mess. For a pop of colour, try bright nail polish instead. On nails, try CHANEL Le Vernis in Coquillage, $39, or DIOR Vernis in 873 Sudden, $39.
HELLO, GORGEOUS Looking cool despite the heat is a breeze. You just need the right products. By Melissa Chew
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SLEEPING LEEPING BEAUTY
For stressed-out F essed-out or sun-damaged skin, ski try the latest overnight masks — BIOTHERM Aquasource Aq ource Everplump Night, $75; and IOMA Vitality Sleeping Mask, $80. Both boast refreshing gel textures that melt into skin, promising to soothe, energise, hydrate and revitalise skin when used overnight.
GREASE PROOF Skin tends to feel oilier when the weather is warm because heat makes sebum less viscous so it spreads more easily. Cue SISLEY’s Purifying Re-balancing Lotion with Tropical Resins, $110, and Deep Purifying Mask with Tropical Resins, $150. The products have purifying and mattifying powders from tropical resins to balance and clarify p a c fy skin.
Warm, sunny weather is the best excuse to flaunt shapely pins in the shortest shorts. Keep your legs smooth and well-contoured with SISLEY White Ginger Contouring Oil For Legs, $215. It has rosemary and white ginger extracts to improve circulation and shea butter to hydrate skin.
The perfect hot weather multipurpose oil — AVEDA Cooling Balancing Oil Concentrate, $32 for 7ml — imparts a much-needed cooling sensation on the skin, thanks to a blend of certified organic peppermint and blue chamomile. It delivers a relaxing aromatherapy massage when applied on the body, anywhere from the neck to the feet, or just rub onto the temples for instant tension relief.
Despite your best sun care intentions, sunburns sometimes do happen. Slather FIRST AID BEAUTY Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum, $67, on your face and BANANA BOAT Aloe After Sun Gel, $6.90, on the rest of your body for quick skin-healing.
If you must apply foundation, pick one with high SPF and sheer coverage with the lightest of textures so it won’t streak when you perspire. The latest foundations that fit the bill — SMASHBOX Camera Ready CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF30 Dark Spot Correcting, $77; SK-II Atmosphere CC Cream SPF50, $115; and RMK Liquid UV Foundation SPF50, $70.
BODY OF WORK
Don’t neglect the skin from your neck down when it comes to applying sunscreen. These latest body lotions with SPF boast quick-absorbing textures, non-sticky finishes, plus skin-smoothing hydration: CLÉ DE PEAU BEAUTÉ UV Protective Emulsion Very High Protection For Body SPF50+/PA++++, $110; and SUPERGOOP Forever Young Body Butter SPF40, $28.
To fade tan lines, try CLÉ DE PEAU BEAUTÉ’s new Concentrated Brightening Body Serum, $120. And ALBION’s Exage Whitening C Charger, $99, will give skin a boost of pure Vitamin C to help it regain its even tone and radiance post-sun. 138 38 ELLE SINGAPORE A E
Thorough facial cleansing is imperative to keep skin breakout-free. But it also needs to be gentle so as not to strip skin of its natural, protective oils. Try THE BODY SHOP Drops Of Light Clarifying Foam Face Wash, $24.90, and SEPHORA Cleansing Cream Coconut Water, $10.
FUN IN THE SUN
TEXT MELISSA CHEW PHOTOGRAPHY EALBERT HO STYLING KAREN CHNG
Sunscreen gets sexy with these two new formulas. By Melissa Chew Sunscreen is a necessity, but many of us often forget to slap it on because, well, it’s not the most exciting product, is it? Enter these two new versions from Shiseido. BB For Sports SPF50+/PA+++ is a tinted sunscreen that doesn’t just stay on during sports, but makes you look better too. The sweat-proof formula comes in three shades and harnesses the Japanese brand’s makeup expertise via a special contouring powder that gives your skin an even tone and a healthy glow. Then there’s the Perfect UV Protector Hydrofresh SPF50+/PA+++, which feels as refreshing as a soothing gel lotion on your skin. Even better: It doesn’t get sticky, even in the hottest, sweatiest weather, thanks to an emulsification technique that keeps its texture ultra-lightweight. On top of all that, both formulas boast Shiseido’s amazing Wet Force technology, which boosts the sunscreens’ effectiveness on moist or wet skin. Basically, the minerals in water (or even perspiration) reinforce the sunscreen’s ionic layer on the skin, upping its UV shield efficacy — and leaving you to enjoy time in the sun as you will the lightweight feel and lasting effects of these exceptional formulas. ELLE
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tried & tested
SMOOTH RESCUE ELLE readers try lip balms with SPF to see if these formulas can really keep your puckers supple, smooth and safe from sun damage.
T H E B O DY S H O P V I TA M I N E L I P CARE WITH SPF15, $10.90.
“This instantly soothes my perpetually dry, chapped lips. I can even wear matte lipsticks now because my lips are so much smoother.” — Dewi K, 28, civil servant 4/5
NIVEA LIPS MED P ROT E C T I O N SPF15, $5.10.
— Jacqueline Huang, 28, self-employed 3.5/5
SHISEIDO P ROT E C T I V E L I P CONDITIONER SPF10, $35.
“This glides on and leaves my lips very moisturised and supple. But I have to blot it off a bit if I’m applying lipstick on top so that the latter stays on better.” — Goh Huey Fen, 32, analyst
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C L E D E P E AU B E AU T E U V P ROT E C T I V E L I P T R E A T M E N T, $ 8 5 .
N E U T RO G E NA N O RW E G I A N F O R M U L A LIP MOISTURIZER SPF15, $5.90.
“The texture of this isn’t waxy or sticky and it keeps my lips super smooth all day long. Feels like skincare for my pout.”
“This doesn’t feel waxy although it leaves lips feeling moist, soft and protected for up to three hours if I am not eating or drinking. It glides on in a thin, even layer so a little goes a long way.”
— Nurliyati Abdul, 29, teacher
— Jessica Saron, 34, freelance designer
TEXT MELISSA CHEW PHOTOGRAPHY EALBERT HO STYLING KAREN CHNG
“If you hate the feeling of a waxy film on your lips, this weightless balm is for you. You don’t feel a thing after applying it, yet it keeps parched, flaky lips at bay.”
LOOK BETTER NAKED GEAR UP FOR BIKINI SEASON W I T H T H I S T R E AT M E N T – NO WORKOUT REQUIRED. CLARINS Contour Shaper Body Treatment, 90 minutes.
A therapist painstakingly carries out a 100 per cent manual body-shaping massage using new ClarinsPro (read: in spa only) formulas to soften skin tissue and stimulate lymphatic circulation. The treatment targets cellulite, firms the skin and tones the thighs for a more sculpted silhouette. Did we mention that this spa also has one of the best treatment beds to bliss out in? Clarins Skin Spa, #05-05/06/07 Wheelock Place, 6838-5060
GREASE-BALL NO MORE YOUR SUMMERTIME OILY SKIN WOES, SOLVED.
NO TIME TO INDULGE IN A SHOWER TREATMENT? Your new mane BFFs will nourish, add shine and fight frizz without weighing strands down. KÉRASTASE Aura Botanica Essence d’Éclat, $50.
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YOUR 7 - D AY PLAN FOR GLOWING SKIN Use these in tandem for brighter, smoother and firmer skin.
PERCY & REED Perfectly Perfect Wonder Treatment Oil+, $50.
MURAD MATTEFFECT BLOTTING PERFECTOR, $68. Think blotting paper in the form of a cushion compact but with a skin-loving formula to absorb oil and minimise the appearance of pores. INNISFREE JEJU VOLCANIC M E LT I N G C L AY M A S K , $ 21. This warms up and melts upon contact with skin, causing pores to open up for a deeper cleanse. Bonus: It gets rid of excess sebum too.
TWC ACNE FACIAL, $220 FOR 90 MINUTES. Designed for acne-prone or oily skin, this high-tech treatment deep-cleanses, lightens blemishes, hydrates, reduces inflammation and keeps acne at bay. The Wellness Clinic, #04-09 Camden Medical Centre, 6887-3073
SOS ACNE+, $49.90. You get the best of both worlds in one easy bottle – a pore-clearing gel plus a sebumcontrol gel.
CLEANSE Do not eat these individuallypacked sachets that look like supplements. They really are vitamin C infused facial powder cleansers.
BOOST Just like taking a juice shot to power up, think of this vitamin C packed formula like a booster shot but for your skin. 141 ELLE SINGAPORE
ELLE SHOW SOME SKIN Moisturise your body in seconds.
GET THEM BEFORE THEY SELL OUT T H E L I M I T E D E D I T I O N C O L L E C T I O N S T O S H O P N O W.
AMBUSH X SHU UEMURA This cult Tokyo brand, created by musician and producer Verbal (above, left) and graphic designer Yoon, captures the city’s distinctive aesthetic. JERGENS Hydrating Coconut Lotion, $8.90.
BIORÉ Extra Moist Anti-Pollution Body Care Serum SPF50+/PA+++, $12.90.
Eye foil in AMB Dreamcatchers, $48.
Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in Ambush Life, $38.
AMB Square Custom Quad Palette, $22.
CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG FOR NARS The British-French actress/singer (above, left) is the daughter of actress Jane Birkin and singer Serge Gainsbourg. Lip Tint in Éphélid, $40. Hydrating Glow Tint, $55. Hydrating Glow Tint, $55. Velvet Duo Eyeshadow in Old Church Street, $52.
BY TERRY Baume de Rose Body Cream, $115.
S C E N T- S A T I O N A L IRRESISTIBLE FRAGRANCES FOR YOU AND YOUR S.O. FOR HIM
HUGO Iced EDT, from $92.
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Mr. BURBERRY EDP, from $112.
H&M Conscious Perfume Oils, $59.90 each.
CARTIER Baiser Fou EDP, from $139.
FOR YOUR STRANDS
DIOR J’Adore Hair Mist, $70.
JO MALONE Star Magnolia limited edition Hair Mist, $97.
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Self-love starts with being aware: Of your own worth and how to block out negative influences — and not forgetting when to treat yourself whenever the mood strikes. This month, learn how to be comfortable with your body shape and size, and how to protect yourself from gaslighting at work. Plus: A great new wine trend you’ll adore.
THE IMPORTANCE OF #STAYINGWOKE Because staying wilfully ignorant of social issues in this day and age is getting so old. By Tan Min Yan
hen actress Meryl Streep issued a blistering takedown of Donald Trump in her acceptance speech for the Cecil B DeMille Award at this year’s Golden Globes (“Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose”), reactions came hard and fast. As can be expected, many people were supportive of her sentiments. But some weren’t — no biggie, except for the fact that a good segment of the latter group disagreed not because of ideological differences, but because they just didn’t want to hear it. “Why does everything have to be politicised?” some wailed. “Keep Hollywood fun!” lamented others. The fact that people want to deliberately wall themselves off from the happenings of the world is discomfiting. I get that you don’t want to be constantly bombarded with news, but how can something as innocuous as a celebrity calling for some mutual respect be considered too much? Is empathy such a precious commodity these days? We live in a technological age where (unless we subscribe to nothing but 9gag and Tasty Facebook pages) global and social issues are continually thrust in front of us — on our social media feeds, on the news, in our inbox. Being socially aware now comes with its own catchy hashtag #staywoke. Heck, even Buzzfeed, champion of cat gifs and celebrity listicles, has set up a respectable news arm, making it easier than ever to have a serving of world news alongside your Ryan Gosling gif and morning cuppa. And yet, this designed disconnect is growing. Case in point: When I bring up issues like racial privilege and rape culture in conversation with friends, it’s common for their
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responses to range from a shrug to an “Aiyah, where got?”. I don’t believe that lack of awareness or interest comes from a bad place, mind you. It’s just that many of us Singaporeans have been brought up to not question or probe into the issues around us, and most are living in relative safety and comfort compared to the rest of the world. Unless you experience something for yourself, it’s all too easy to be lulled into a false sense of security. And here’s why that’s to be avoided: Staying aware can safeguard you against being blindsided should you or a loved one ever become the target of someone else’s prejudice or privilege. Staying aware helps create empathy and allows us to understand situations better and with broader perspective. Yes, it’s tough to avoid news fatigue — a The New Yorker cartoon summed it up perfectly with the line: “My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.” But consider this parting shot from Streep’s speech: “We have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy.” It’s a privilege to have empathy and to be socially aware — and the great thing is, it’s a privilege that’s not too difficult to gain. ELLE
STAYING AWARE ALLOWS US TO UNDERSTAND SITUATIONS BETTER AND WITH BROADER PERSPECTIVE.”
INSIDER H E R E â€™ S YO U R C H A N C E TO B E A M E M B E R O F O U R B Y- I N V I T E - O N L Y C L U B Every month, members will get first-hand news of Insider-only exclusive shopping deals, fabulous beauty partnerships and exciting workshops and events that you can ONLY access through ELLE Singapore!
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Cotton printed shirt, chiffon Mandarin-collar top with sequin embellishments and feather trim, both by PRADA.
HEY NIKKIE Tan Wei Lin meets the celebrity boss behind the Netherlands’ fastest-growing fashion brand, and gets a quick lesson on how to run a business in a social media-geared landscape. PHOTOGRAPHY AIK CHEN STYLING SHARON TULASIDAS
e don’t blame you for not having an inkling who our cover girl for this month is, but here’s what you should know: While in Singapore, one may walk past her without so much as a passing glance, but in the Netherlands, she is the subject of public attention wherever she goes. Allow us to introduce Nikkie Plessen — Dutch actress, TV presenter, model, but first and foremost, the founder and chief designer behind Nikkie, her eponymous fashion label. Nikkie, the clothing brand, landed in Singapore just two years ago. With just two points of sales (at Robinsons The Heeren and Takashimaya) on our shores to date, it’s hardly a household name compared to other mass-market European brands which have invaded practically every mall on our land. But that is set to change in time to come, as Plessen aims to expand her business here — slowly but surely. Come May, she will be cutting the ribbon to a new Nikkie flagship store at Suntec City, and more outlets are in the pipeline. Popular for its youthful, edgy and trendy clothing that plugs the gap between high-end and high-street labels, the brand has already established a strong foothold in Europe and its home country, the Netherlands. There’s no denying that the label’s success is in part boosted by the fame of its owner, who fronts each of its ad campaigns. But the fact that the brand is also doing well in our market, where Plessen is not yet a familiar face, testifies to its global relevance.
CHANGING TRACKS It’s not unusual for celebrities to parlay their fame into a profitable clothing label, but Plessen is different because she doesn’t see it simply as a sideline to her TV career. “My clothing line is No. 1, and television is No. 2. I’d only do TV work when I think it’s good for my clothes,” she shares, revealing that she devotes the bulk of her time to overseeing as much of her fashion business as she can manage. The 31-year-old has always had an eye for fashion but only uncovered a real passion for it in the later part of her TV career. As a TV personality, Plessen’s career path was a whirlwind one — she started acting at the tender age of 13, and progressively scored roles in sitcoms, soaps and even movies throughout her teen years. She had planned to go on a break after completing high school, with the intention of enrolling in the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. But as luck would have it, bigger TV contracts came knocking at her door, and so instead of furthering her studies, she found herself hosting lifestyle shows for MTV Netherlands and subsequently, RTL, a leading European entertainment group, for the next five years. “It was when I was hosting Holland’s Best Fashion Designer — it’s like the Dutch version of Project Runway — that I realised I’d much rather work in fashion than be a host on TV. With encouragement from my partner, I decided to make it happen and started Nikkie, and now [I’m so happy] this is what I do seven days a week — live and breathe fashion,” she says with all the enthusiasm of a fresh fashion grad.
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U N C O M P L I C AT E D FA S H I O N As CEO of the company, Plessen has a packed calendar. Yet she makes it a point to be highly involved in key functions such as the design process. Each year, together with her team of designers, she works on six collections each for Nikkie as well as Nik & Nik, a secondary clothing line for infants, children and teens. Plessen is very clear about her design direction, sticking close to a formula that has worked well for the brand: “I think a big part of the success of Nikkie is due to the versatility of our clothes. Any girl can take any piece of clothing out of our store and create her own look and feel with it. Every piece needs to stand by itself; it has to be easy to wear; it has to be understood by the customer who’s just seeing it on the hanger.” She’s also gleaned some valuable insights from taking Nikkie out of the Netherlands to cities in other parts of the world (the brand is now in 15 countries, across Asia, Europe and the Middle East). “Every market is unique — you need a base [in each], you cannot simply manage your business overseas from your headquarters. There needs to be your own people sitting there, instead of distributors and agents. [At the same time,] you need to familiarise yourself with each market, and the only way you can do that is to work with the locals there,” she says. M O D E L B E H AV I O U R Jetting from city to city on a regular basis, Plessen is away from home for a good part of the year. As a mother of two young children, 6-year-old Jolie and 2-year-old Alain, she cherishes every minute spent at home and makes maximum use of it. “It’s hard work, yes. I work seven days a week. Thankfully, my office is really near my home, so when I say I’ll be home at 6, I’ll be there on the dot to spend time with my kids. But when they go to bed at 8, I’ll be answering emails on my laptop again. That’s how I make it work, and I’m happy with that.”
Her partner, whom she’s been with for almost 15 years, helps hold everything together — both at home and at work. He takes care of staffing issues at her company and, at the same time, manages his own career as an investor in other businesses. Plessen finds time in her busy schedule to keep fit, although a workout for her is an easier-to-accomplish halfhour run in the park rather than a solid hour in the gym. Like many women, she finds it hard to get moving, although her morning runs always end up being a great way to start her day. “I don’t enjoy it, to be honest, but I know I have to do it. When I’m not travelling, that’s what I do five days a week, and then on weekends, I do absolutely nothing!” she says, laughing. “When I started Nikkie, we didn’t really have the kind of budget to engage a big-name model. So since I was already known in the Netherlands, we thought it was a good idea to put myself on the ad visuals. We received good feedback from other markets around the world, and that’s why it has not changed over the years,” Plessen explains. Come this fall season, however, there will be a new, yet familiar, face on Nikkie’s ad campaign: Kate Moss, who has worked on a special collection with the brand. Scoring this collab is a major coup for the brand, since the supermodel is highly selective about her endorsement deals these days. “Kate Moss personifies precisely what I want to express through my fashion label — she is cool and tough, yet feminine, and can carry off any style. What’s more important is that she has character and everybody knows her — from my mother to my little sister. You see a lot of the younger, new-generation models like Cara Delevingne and Gigi Hadid, but when you are a real icon, you are not there just for three or five years… you are there until you are old, and you stay at the top all the way,” says Plessen, who’s clearly a big fan of the veteran supermodel.
ANY GIRL CAN TAKE ANY PIECE OF CLOTHING OUT OF OUR STORE AND CREATE HER OWN LOOK WITH IT. EVERY PIECE NEEDS TO STAND BY ITSELF…IT HAS TO BE UNDERSTOOD BY THE CUSTOMER WHO’S JUST SEEING IT ON THE HANGER.” 148 ELLE SINGAPORE
Embellished cotton-viscose lace knit dress with crepe de chine slip, by BOTTEGA VENETA.
CloquĂŠ swimsuit with acetate embellishments, cirĂŠ swim-inspired cap with acetate appliques and leather belt with enamel buckle and crystals, all by MIU MIU. (Opposite) Silk-blend slip dress, by NIKKIE. Tiffany HardWear graduated link necklace, dangle ball chain-link necklace and dangle ball wrap bracelet in yellow gold, all by TIFFANY & CO.
A LOT OF PEOPLE STILL WANT A MAGAZINE IN THEIR HANDS. ONLINE CONTENT IS SOMETIMES SO EPHEMERAL, IT DOESN’T MAKE AN IMPACT. YOU NEED PRINT AND YOU ALSO NEED THE ONLINE PLATFORM — THEY GO HAND IN HAND.” S O C I A L S TAT U S The savvy businesswoman is also a fan of social media, which plays a big role in boosting the visibility of her brand. “Young people these days want to see what’s cool, not in one month or even a week, they want it now. And social media has grown so quickly, I knew I needed to get on it as well. It’s proven to work — I announce the arrival of new collections on social media and I see immediate results [in sales] on my website,” she shares. Her favourite social media platform? “It’s definitely Instagram (her account @nikkie_official has a following of 264,000). But YouTube is also getting bigger and bigger. Which is why I’m starting a Nikkie channel very soon, with content for a range of age groups from teens to adults, covering fashion and lifestyle. I’m a strong believer in YouTube — it’s all about information on demand. “But despite the rise of these new platforms, I don’t agree that print is dying; a lot of people still want a magazine in their hands. Given a choice of having an interview featured online or in print, I’d take the latter because it somehow feels more tangible. Online content is sometimes so ephemeral, it doesn’t make an impact. You need print and you also need the online platform — they go hand in hand.” These are wise words indeed, coming from someone who is constantly being featured in all forms of media and knows the fashion business in and out, front and back. ELLE
life & love
CAN BODY LOVE BE TAUGHT? After a lifetime of dieting, what Marisa Meltzer wants most is not to be thin, but to rewire her self-esteem and finally make peace with her shape.
hange your world. Love your body!” reads the movie theatre-size screen looming over a standing-room-only crowd in the auditorium of Pima Community College, site of the second annual Body Love conference. Three hundred people have spent US$25 (about S$35) to attend, mostly women: Suburban-mom types, pierced-septum alt-college students and what appears to be a handful of walk-ofshamers decked out in sparkles and miniskirts at 9am. There are a lot of sundresses and there is a lot of skin. Most of the people attending are fat, or at least chubby, including me. I imagine that many of the other attendees wouldn’t mind being called chubby. I can’t count myself among them. Jes Baker, the 29-year-old founder of the conference, stands to begin her keynote speech on “the social impact of body love”. Baker is a blogger, activist, and, as of this past November, an author, with a manifesto-cum–selfhelp book called Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living. To the crowd, she proclaims: “I’m the reason people obsessively count calories, go to the gym, create thinspiration…. But I chose to love my body. How many of you feel comfortable looking me in the eye and calling yourself beautiful?” The crowd claps and hoots in agreement, but I stay silent. Baker has hit on exactly what I’m here to find out: Can “body love” be taught ? The idea of accepting one’s shape as is has percolated in feminist circles for decades, but lately f laws-and-all — if we’re even allowed to call stomach rolls and thighs that rub together “f laws” at this point — self-acceptance has gone fully mainstream. Witness the inarguably gorgeous size 16 Ashley Graham on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue. Body love has also become a thriving memoir genre. In the past year, at least three women who blog about their weight have released books — Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting & Got a Life, by Kelsey Miller, who writes Refinery29’s popular Anti-Diet Project column; Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin...Every Inch of It , by Brittany Gibbons; and It Was Me All Along: A Memoir, by Andie Mitchell. Each follows a familiar narrative: Girl hates herself; girl tries everything to stop being fat; girl finds peace (and a book contract) in self-acceptance. 153 ELLE SINGAPORE
life & love
MORE THAN ONCE, I’VE FOUND MYSELF JEALOUS OF MY BULLDOG, WHO IS FREQUENTLY PRAISED FOR BEING CUTE BECAUSE SHE’S SO CHUBBY. ” Except for that last part, I’m just like them. My relationship with my body has been fraught since my parents put me on my first diet at age five. Two years ago, after decades of yo-yoing, I lost 75 pounds (34kg) from my 5’7” (1.7m) frame, then gained some 30 back, and then, just before the Body Love conference, lost 10 on a Draconian plan involving meal-replacement shakes. I constantly compare myself to friends, to women in yoga class, to plus-size models on Instagram. More than once, I’ve found myself jealous of my bulldog, who is frequently praised for being cute because she’s so chubby. I want my body to look good to me first, and to the rest of the world second. I want to be, in short, someone whom I’d aspire to be, or whom I would desire if I were a man. Loving my own body, just as it is, feels elusive. And no matter how unattainable perfection may be, working toward it—as opposed to working toward selfacceptance—is satisfying in its own way. There’s action involved: Counting calories, working out, weighing in. At least you’re aiming for something tangible. Not that most of us ever get there. Statistically speaking, weight-loss diets don’t work very well, especially in the long run. In a 2007 meta-analysis of 31 long-term diet studies, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that one- to two-thirds of dieters gain more weight within four or five years than they’d initially lost.
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Those numbers exhaust me. As I close in on my 39th birthday, there’s something I now want even more than the svelte form I’ve tried for so long to achieve, and that is a way out of this constant struggle. I want to reach some level of acceptance of the body I have now, today, regardless of my weight. Otherwise I risk being the kind of person who — 50-odd years from now, I hope — leaves instructions to bury me in a dress that has sleeves because I still hate my upper arms. On her website Stop Fighting Food, Isabel Foxen Duke, a former dieter-turned–nutrition coach, proclaims: “I help women stop feeling crazy about food…. No yo-yo dieting, no drastic swings; just me, having a life, and not letting food ruin it.” In 2015, I enrolled in her 16-week online course, the program agreement for which specifies that Duke is not a doctor, dietitian, therapist, nutritionist, or psychologist — that she is not, in fact, any kind of licensed professional at all. I read this, and then I plunked down US$1,275 (about S$1,800) — because when I called Duke to discuss signing up, she said: “I think my program can help you.” That’s all it took for me to tune out my analytical mind and any natural skepticism in hopes of finding some peace with my body. Phase one of the class involved a few online lectures a week; three conference calls in which Duke, my 20some classmates and I could discuss roadblocks; and a Facebook group I was encouraged to join about Intuitive Eating — more or less the idea that when you remove “good” or “bad” stigmas around specific foods and give yourself permission to eat anything you want, cravings and bingeing fade away. After three months of that, I learned I will unfailingly choose fried chicken or pizza over salad, and that, given a green light to eat what I want when I want it, I will gain 15 pounds and won’t feel any better about myself. The second phase of the class was about body acceptance, which, naturally, involved Instagram. I was instructed to follow attractive women who were larger than me, in order to reset my eye to a different standard of beauty. I was also asked to give my body a name and to treat “her” well. I couldn’t do it. When I made a half hearted attempt to look in the mirror and praise, say, my well-shaped lips, I kept thinking that people who are truly beautiful don’t need to do remedial exercises to know they’re beautiful. I felt more frustrated than when I’d begun.
life & love
Then, on a holiday to Paris, two different strangers called me fat. Changing my self-image felt difficult enough, but changing it while getting external feedback that confirmed the worst things I believed about myself felt impossible. I may be my own worst critic, but my critical view is shaped by a society I am very much a part of. Following perfectly proportioned plus-size models on Instagram was a token effort, but not the answer. Body love seemed a long way off. At the conference, Jes Baker ends her speech by saying: “This body is significantly larger than I was before, but I have a super-hot boyfriend, I am successful, I am happier than I have been in my entire life.” I corner Baker at lunch and ask how she achieved her blissful, body-loving state. She tells me she’s a big fan of Tumblr accounts such as Stop Hating Your Body, where selfies proudly display stomach rolls and stretch marks — though at first, just looking at these un-airbrushed and un-ashamed women required some adjustment. “My brain did not know how to process these bodies,” she says, but she kept going back to look, kept trying to find beauty in their f lesh and her own. Eventually, “they became less weird and my body became normal.” Her advice to me: Concentrate on positive thinking, even just “I’m okay”, and, yes, try affirmations, which she admits are “very uncomfortable”. At a breakout session called No More ‘Weighting,’ a dietitian and a therapist advise the audience to “focus on health and self-care, and let your body sort it out”. “Worthiness,” they say, “does not come from behavioural changes.” A girl asks: “I want a plan for not making a plan.” It’s the question I was intending to ask: If you give up dieting and all its attendant actions, what do you do next? How do you make it through the period that comes between quitting dieting and, well, loving yourself ? The answer is deeply unsatisfying: “That’s the work,” says the nutritionist. “Say, ‘I’m taking a pause from this dieting paradigm; I’m going to focus more on healing than changing.’ Focus on radical self-care.”
I felt…unmoved. Ideologically, I believe that the very act of loving oneself is political. But a day-long conference, or even a four-month online course, wasn’t enough to change how I feel about my own body. Harriet Brown, the Body of Truth author, is the first person who tells me to ditch the methods that don’t feel right. And when I put my quest to her — how am I supposed to love my body? — she’s equally blunt. “That’s the wrong answer to the wrong question, really. You can’t just decide to love anything. The process before you can get to that is to let go of self-loathing. You might end up loving your body, or not.” The forward motion, she says, “is doing activities that are going to make you healthier that don’t have anything to do with losing weight. For me, it’s exercise.” I love exercise. Or rather, I love how I feel after exercise. So, three months ago, at Brown’s suggestion, I bumped up my two-days-a-week mix of spinning/hot yoga/boxing classes to three to four times a week. And I began to feel more connected to my body, which feels stronger, more f lexible, and also, yes, a bit smaller and more muscular. I know now that being surrounded by large groups of body-loving women isn’t what boosts my confidence. But I’ve started keeping note of what does make me feel simply content in my body: Sex, massage, swimming, headstands and drinking tequila. And in matters of the body, I’m going to try not to let my head get too much in the way. ELLE
IF YOU GIVE UP DIETING AND ALL ITS ATTENDANT ACTIONS, WHAT DO YOU DO NEXT?”
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BURN BABY, BURN
Your new aerobics class may not be helping you torch as many calories as it claims to. Here’s what to really expect when you’re sweating it out at the gym. 2
MY NEW FITNESS CLASS CLAIMS TO BE ABLE TO HELP ME BURN 900 CALORIES AN HOUR. W O W … R E A L LY ?
BUT HOW ARE FITNESS CLASSES GETTING THEIR E S T I M AT I O N S ?
HOW MUCH A M I R E A L LY BURNING THEN?
The short answer? Likely not. But according to Virgin Active’s head of programming (South-east Asia), Rue She, and TripleFit’s head of fitness, Henrik Olofsson, it ultimately depends on your weight, height, gender, amount of effort put into the workout, and muscle mass. Typically, only athletes and women with a high muscle mass of at least 35 per cent can burn that much, whereas the average woman (ages 18 to 40) usually has a muscle mass range of only 24 to 30 per cent.
They’re usually very rough estimates based on the ideal situation where you are working out at an intense level (where your heart rate is at around 80 per cent of the maximum — 220 minus your age) for the entire duration of the hour-long class. Yes, that means little to no rest!
According to Olofsson, an average 30-year-old female working out for an hour at the 80 per cent maximum heart rate zone can burn about 500 to 600 calories if she weighs 50kg; 550 to 650 calories at 60kg; and 600 to 700 calories at 70kg.
TEXT TAN MIN YAN PHOTO GETTY
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TRY THIS WORKOUT FOR A QUICK BURN
4 WELL, HOW CAN I BURN EVEN MORE CALORIES THEN? Everyone hates them, but burpees, done with push-ups and jumps, are one of the best calorie-burning exercises to incorporate into your workout. “It improves strength, cardio capacity and endurance and best of all, requires no equipment at all so you can do it anywhere, anytime,” says Olofsson. If you prefer going for classes, try one of Virgin Active’s HIIT-based classes like Grid or ZUU. The former incorporates HIIT with core exercises, cardio or strength training and claims to burn up to 500 calories in 30 minutes, while the latter is touted to improve mobility, agility and flexibility, boosts cardio endurance and burns up to 600 calories in 30 to 45 minutes.
BURPEES, DONE WITH PUSH-UPS AND JUMPS, ARE ONE OF THE BEST CALORIEBURNING EXERCISES TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR WORKOUT.”
— Henrik Olofsson, head of fitness at TripleFit
Pure Fitness personal trainer Vanessa Koh recommends getting in as many repetitions of these four moves as you can for 30 seconds each, without rest in between each move. That’s one set. Rest for a minute to 90 seconds before repeating the set. For beginners, aim for five sets, before slowly working your way up to 10 sets.
1 2 3
SKIPPING ROPE OR SQUAT JUMPS
DUMBBELL THRUSTER (grab a weight where you can do 15 repetitions of this without straining too much)
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IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU
You may not just have a difficult boss or co-worker — you may be being gaslighted at work. Tan Min Yan finds out what makes this manipulation tactic so dangerous.
he first time it happened to marketing manager Crystal Lim*, she was completely blindsided. “I was going overseas for a work trip, and my supervisor asked me to take pictures for another project we were working on. She had seen my Instagram feed and said I took good pictures, so she wanted me to take some for use in our presentation to our director. Because of her instructions, I lugged my heavy DSLR camera all the way to Europe, and spent a lot of time and effort into curating shots. However, when I returned to the office and showed her my pictures, she looked at me incredulously and went, ‘I told you not to take these! Your pictures will never make it into the presentation. They’re only good enough for your own social media feed.’ I was completely taken aback — I had actually written down her instructions! But because I was so shocked, I couldn’t defend myself in time.” Account executive Marianne Tay* had a similar experience in the advertising agency she used to work at. She says: “The account manager I was working on the same account with instructed me to come up with a few pitch ideas for a client. Over the course of the prep work, he dictated the direction of the pitch, and reminded me to follow his instructions exactly. When we finally went to present the ideas to the account director, she was not at all pleased to find out that we had gotten the client’s brief entirely wrong.
“Instead of owning up to his mistake, the account manager agreed with her and told her that he’d already told me, and he wasn’t sure why I still went ahead with the pitch angle. He was so convincing that I actually tried to recall if I’d misunderstood him. When I asked him about it afterwards, he retorted, ‘well, you didn’t have to take me so literally, did you?’” DENIAL, MISDIRECTION & CONTRADICTION It’s tempting to write off these apparent lapses in memory as one-off incidents, especially if you’re dealing with someone you work closely with. But if you’re starting to see a consistent pattern over an extended period of time, you could be looking at something a lot more insidious. Gaslighting is widely defined as a form of manipulation that makes the victim doubt his or her sense of reality. Through constant and persistent denial, misdirection and contradiction, the manipulator gains the upper hand when the victim starts to question their own memory and sanity. While the concept of gaslighting isn’t new, it has been more commonly covered in popular culture as a manipulation tactic in relationships. The term originated from the 1944 Oscar-nominated mystery-thriller Gaslight, which tells the story of a young woman who is constantly manipulated and lied to by her husband, to the point
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where she isolates herself from the public for fear of not being able to trust her own grasp on reality. Gaslighting was also brought to the fore in The New York Times bestseller The Girl On The Train, where a cheating ex-husband was revealed in a plot twist to have taken advantage of the lead character’s alcoholism to plant false memories of her abusive behavior towards him. MORE THAN JUST A M A N I P U L AT I O N TA C T I C But it was only last year that gaslighting outside of personal relationships became a hot topic, thanks to the United States presidential election (and, more specifically, US president Donald Trump). Even when presented with video or written evidence of contradictory statements made throughout the course of his campaign, Trump would resolutely deny ever making them. Former CNN correspondent Frida Ghitis summed it up best in an opinion-editorial in which she stated: “Reality is becoming hazy in the era of Trump. And that’s no accident. The fact is Trump has become America’s gaslighter-in-chief.” Now, people are starting to take notice of such tactics, particularly in the work environment. If Lim and Tay’s stories sound like something you’ve experienced before, you may be a victim of gaslighting in the workplace. Rachel Gan, manager of Sales & Marketing, Consumer & Healthcare at recruitment consultancy Robert Walters Singapore, shares two common examples: “If your boss has a history of promising to do something for you and subsequently retracting his or her statement; or if you find a co-worker alternating between being warm and cold towards you, while constantly undermining your contributions, it could be a form of gaslighting.” According to Ho Shee Wai, founder and registered psychologist of The Counselling Place, people who gaslight often have some form of personality disorder such as narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, or antisocial personality disorder. They could appear at any hierarchical level in the workplace, but problems are amplified when they are your supervisors.
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”In Asia, we are always told to listen to our bosses and corporate settings do not encourage second guessing or questioning one’s boss,” says Richa Sharma, manager at employment agency Page Personnel Singapore. “Individuals who gaslight are people who are constantly seeking power in some form, and having your own boss, who already sits in a position of power, gaslight you, makes it very confusing for the victims.” As experts describe it, gaslighting is a “sophisticated form of emotional abuse”. And the unfortunate thing is, it’s sometimes hard to identify and hence correctly manage it. “Many people are unaware of the concept of gaslighting,” says Ho. “Many people chalk it up to having a difficult boss.” Daniel Koh, psychologist at Insights Mind Centre, agrees. “Most of the time, [the victims] are so caught up in handling their emotions or the current situation [of being gaslighted], they don’t realise the intentions [of the abuser].” A M E N TA L & P H Y S I C A L T O L L According to Ho, it’s crucial that people are aware they’re being manipulated. “The technique used in gaslighting is similar to those used in brainwashing, interrogation and torture that have been used in psychological warfare by intelligence operatives, law enforcement and other forces for decades. And the effect is a negative impact on the mental equilibrium, self-confidence and self-esteem, so that [victims] are no longer able to function in an independent way.” Sharma echoes those sentiments: “By listening to the accusations by the abuser, you are automatically and categorically giving him or her more power and control. As a result, you’re breaking the trust you have with yourself and handing it over to the abuser(s). The problem is bigger than you think.” Sounds exaggerated? Consider the physical and mental toll gaslighting took on Lim and Tay. “I left every meeting with my boss completely drained — mentally and physically — from having to be hyperpresent,” says Lim. “I started exhibiting classic signs of burnout: I physically couldn’t get out of bed in the morning, I lost my appetite, I lost interest in things I used to feel passionate about. My hair started falling out and my skin became patchy and dry.” In Tay’s case, despite exercising diligently and eating well, her period became irregular because of the stress. “There were days where I would pass out on my laptop at home because I was wracking my brains so hard for new ideas again and again in case he changed his mind. And
because he would make sneering remarks about how I was such a ‘millennial’ — implying that I couldn’t take the heat — I tried even harder to prove him wrong. I ended up drinking almost every day to relieve the stress.” Despite the physical strain, both of them stuck it out for longer than they wanted to because of the same reason: They blamed themselves for the situation. “I bought into his ‘millennial’ nonsense, and truly believed I was just terrible at what I did,” recalls Tay. “I didn’t quit because I was afraid that nobody else would hire me, and I’d be proving him right.” W H AT C A N Y O U D O ? If the gaslighter is your boss, Robert Walters’ Gan suggests summarising and documenting your discussion after important meetings. “In the event that your boss promises you a pay raise or promotion then denies ever having said anything, it would be good then to use the written summary as a reference point — it could be in the form of an email or appraisal form,” she elaborates. “If he or she maintains the stance despite the evidence, maintain your calm but be assertive yet tactful by asking your boss what made him or her change his mind.” In the case of a co-worker gaslighting you, Gan says that regardless of the situation, it’s important to maintain your professionalism. “If you feel the feedback provided by your co-worker lacks justification, try scheduling a meeting with him or her to obtain more clarification.” When faced with such people in the office, both Sharma and Gan agree that it’s best to have a support system whether within or outside the company, and “basically, [let them be] your reason within the insanity”. It’s also imperative to have faith in yourself and trust your intuition. “Have self-confidence. If you don’t allow others to get to you, then gaslighting won’t work,” says Insights Mind Centre’s Koh. Of course, if the situation doesn’t improve, sometimes there’s just no point fighting a losing battle. “The healthiest way to end gaslighting is to put yourself as priority, and get out,” shares Sharma. “This is not a battle you need to win. There is no ‘they won’, or ‘they beat me’ scenario. You just need to move on and be at peace with it, but also recognise the lessons learned from the ordeal.”
D O N ’ T B E A F R A I D T O L E AV E In the end, both Lim and Tay left their jobs because, despite confronting their supervisors, nothing changed. “My boss simply did not see anything wrong with her actions,” says Lim. “The only thing left was to change my situation — either not let it get to me, or leave a job I loved. For the sake of my wellbeing, I chose the latter.” “The moment I handed in my resignation, it was as though I had a complete personality reboot,” muses Tay. “I had become a very negative and bitter person in the last few years working for my manager, and resigning made me feel as though life was full of possibilities again. My mind felt clear and my colleagues even joked about my skin glowing the next day! “I was sad about leaving my colleagues, of course. But ultimately, no job is worth the mental torture I had to endure. All I was looking for in a supervisor was someone who demonstrated basic respect for others. Gaslighting your co-workers and subordinates is the very opposite of that.” ELLE * Names and occupations have been changed to protect their identities.
ARE YOU BEING GASLIGHTED IN THE OFFICE? Sometimes, the best person to look to is yourself. Watch out for these telltale signs. • You constantly feel bad about yourself and your performance at work. • You often wonder if you’re losing your memory or your mind, and you start to doubt your own perception and sense of reality. • You second-guess yourself regularly and become insecure. • You wonder if you’re being “too sensitive”. • You start to depend on the abuser as your source of reality.
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eat drink play
Tan Lee Sun travels overnight from Venice to Calais on the Venice Simplon Orient-Express and gives three reasons this train journey should be on everyone’s bucket list.
THE JOURNEY I S R E WA R D I T S E L F.
he hypnotic pull of train travel is visceral: there’s the slight swaying motion as carriage wheels glide along rail tracks hugging terra firma. There’s the aural rhythmic lulls of metal rolling on rail as they negotiate bends and traverse gradients — sweet music to devotees of train travel such as yours truly. Best of all, there’s the ever-changing rush of scenery speeding past the windows. And where better to experience all that than on the Venice Simplon Orient-Express (VSOE), arguably the most famous rail journey in the world, thanks to Agatha Christie’s classic novel of yore. Within hours of pulling away from Venice’s Santa Lucia Station in the late morning, we are awestruck by the majestic Dolomites in the northern Italian Alps whose sheer granite cliffs are widely regarded as among the world’s most spectacular of mountain landscapes. By mid-afternoon, as we wind down the windows for
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whiffs of pristine alpine air, the scenery takes a prettier turn as we cross borders to Austria’s rolling mountain ranges. Champagne flute in hand, we lean back on the plush cabin banquette, drink in the passing scenery — and bliss out. That night, as we snuggle under the bedsheets, the train’s motion lulls us into deep slumber as we cross over to Switzerland, passing through Zurich and Basel. We wake up at the crack of dawn and find ourselves coursing through the French countryside. Just after breakfast in our cabins, we pull into the Paris Gare de l’Est train station, stopping for 40 minutes for the train to refuel. We disembark to stretch our legs on the platform and watch kitchen staff load up on supplies (including lobsters — alive and kicking!) for our brunch later as the train heads towards Calais on the French coast for our Channel crossing. That old chestnut that it’s the journey, not the destination, that matters? Why, they must be talking about this Orient-Express.
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2 EXPERIENCE THE A R T O F L U X U R Y T R AV E L . “In keeping with the spirit of the occasion, you can never be overdressed onboard…. Such is the ambience of the train that guests may wish to dress in their most glamorous finery.” This extract is from the itinerary pack delivered to our rooms in Venice’s Belmond Hotel Cipriani (a George Clooney fave, by the way) the night before we board the luxury tourist train. Right on cue, our fellow diners that evening are conspicuous in suits and ties and fetching cocktail dresses. In the day, the dress code is “smart”. Strictly no jeans, shorts and trainers please.
If this sounds anachronistic in an era of hoodies-andTevas Silicon Valley cool, it is deliberately so. This, after all, is no ordinary train. The origins of the Venice Simplon Orient-Express can be traced to 1977, when American entrepreneur James B Sherwood bought two carriages at a Monte Carlo auction before tracking down other carriages (all built between 1926 and 1949) and restoring them to their original Art Deco glory. In 1982, the train — comprising 17 carriages at its maximum length — was relaunched. Get onboard this moving work of art and the sense of history and the glamour of a bygone era is palpable. A key highlight of the journey is the food served onboard, all miraculously conjured from scratch in tiny galley kitchens. The three meals we feast on in beautifully restored restaurant cars (top) are exquisite multi-course affairs. Want an aperitif in the bar car before dinner? You’ll have for company the resident pianist tinkling a baby grand. Breakfast and high tea are served to us in our cabins by David, a steward who’s assigned to our car of nine cabins and who, at the touch of a bedside button, sees to our every need 24/7. During dinner, as we tuck into our veal loin and braised knuckle carpaccio with rosemary Colombo sauce and clink wine glasses in the restaurant cars, David, sight unseen, magically transforms each banquette into a cosy bed, complete with monogrammed blankets. Come morning, he does the reverse before serving us breakfast. In a flash, he manipulates the messy bed (yes, even those with two berths), Transformer-like, back into a banquette. It’s nifty sleight of hand that’s fascinating to watch.
eat drink play 3 I T ’ S T R A I N T R AV E L A S T I M E T R AV E L .
S E V E N M U S T- D O S I N
VENICE 1. Get lost... in the lovely maze of shops, alleyways and canals surrounding Piazza San Marco. If you don’t get lost, you’re not doing it right. 2. Meet a queen. That would be the delightful Marisa Convento, hailed as Venice’s Queen of Beads and master artisan of jewellery featuring Murano glass beads. Venetian Dreams, Calle della Mandola 3805/a San Marco, 30124 Venezia.
3. Avoid the public loos. It costs a whopping ¤1.5 ($2.30) per entry! Have a cappuccino in a café and use the loo for free, we say! 4. Visit Murano & Burano. Ride a water taxi (or vaporetto) to these islands on the Venetian Lagoon, the first famous for Venetian glass and the second for brightly coloured houses (top) and lace. 5. Visit a quirky bookshop. Libreria Acqua Alta (literally Library of High Water) displays some of its books in a gondola and bathtubs so they’d be high and dry when the floods hit. It touts itself as the Most Beautiful Bookshop in the world. It’s certainly unique, but it’s also messy and cramped. Libreria Acqua Alta, Calle Longa Santa Maria Formosa, 5176, Sestiere of Castello.
6. People watch. Italians in mid-conversation are a delight to watch. Can they talk without all the quaint gesticulating? Probably not. 7. Linger at a cichetteria. Don’t leave Venice without checking out these taverns and ordering cichetti, the exquisite bite-size appetisers unique to this charmed city. 164 ELLE SINGAPORE
Hard to imagine life without the Internet, smartphones and wi-fi? Then consider this journey an invitation to step into a time capsule — or a self-imposed bout of digital detox. This is by design an almost exact replica of a journey in the 1920s. There is no free wi-fi to be had anywhere along the 430m length of this train and throughout this 26-hour journey. What to do with all that time off the grid? Why, write letters in elegant long-hand and send postcards, of course — with all paper products thoughtfully provided in each cabin. Then drop your missives into a letterbox onboard. Your snail mail — complete with a special VSOE stamp — will be forwarded to Venice to be posted and should reach your destination, oh, only three weeks to a month later (it’s a complimentary service, just not an express one). The only problem? How many friends’ home addresses do you remember, or even know? Apart from wi-fi, what else can’t be had on board? Two things: Showers and air-con. There’s limited storage for water onboard so, sadly, only the crew (they do the heavy lifting, after all) get to shower. For guests, there’s a wash basin cabinet with towels and toiletries in each cabin so you can have your own little wipe-down. On this late-September trip, the weather is perfect so the air-con isn’t missed at all. For cold nights, however, there are coal boilers in the sleeping cars, with radiators that can be individually controlled in each cabin. (The VSOE doesn’t operate during the frigid months of December to March each year anyway.) There’s talk of air-con and wi-fi being in the pipeline, but having the latter will, in our humble opinion, detract from this indelible dose of time travel.
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G O U R M E T PA R A D I S E I N
OXFORD There are hotels that are largely functional, just some place to put up your weary feet after a long, exciting day out. Then there are the destination hotels, lodging so appealing you’re almost reluctant to leave for your day trips after checking in. Such is the case with the Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons (The Four Seasons Manor), an upscale hotel located in a little village in Oxford that’s the brainchild of celebrated French chef Raymond Blanc (far right). We arrive at the hotel’s sprawling country grounds after nightfall, about six hours after disembarking from the Venice Simplon Orient-Express in coastal Calais in the north of France. (A luxury coach transported us through the Channel Tunnel, after which we boarded the
Orient-Express’ sister train, the Belmond British Pullman, for the journey to London’s Victoria Station before a shuttle fetched us to the hotel). Set in a historic manor house, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons boasts 32 individually designed rooms with names like Lace, Opium, Provence and Blanc de Blanc, each boasting distinct interior design built around an evocative theme. Tip: Pick a room with a vibe you like before booking. The hotel’s star attraction is its in-house two-Michelin star French restaurant where Raymond Blanc is the chef-patro. A meal here has been described as one of UK’s finest gastronomic experiences and we can see why. The food here is magnificent, with the spotlight trained
firmly on the produce, either sourced locally or plucked straight from the hotel’s two-acre kitchen garden that yields 90 types of vegetables and 70 varieties of herb. Within spitting distance of this sits a fruit orchard heaving with apples, pears and quinces on 800 trees. Housed within the hotel’s state-ofthe-art kitchen is the Raymond Blanc Cookery School, the site of a pre-dinner demonstration in making canapes. Well, the proof of the canapes is in the eating and suffice to say they are utterly delectable. Fancy some private tuition in the kitchen? It’ll cost you and two other friends upwards of £450 (about S$778). Or would you rather play chef for the day? That, too, can be arranged, as can other activities within the premises like hawk-handling or a guided garden tour. For a day out, sign up for a walking tour of historic Oxford, which should take you to film locations of Harry Potter movies as well as the storied Oxford University. Excursions further afield can be had to Blenheim Palace (tip: its sprawling, verdant grounds are stunning and far more appealing than its interiors) or Stonehenge. After check-out, enroute to Heathrow Airport some 50km away, you may wish to stop by the outlet shops of Bicester Village to hunt down that pastseason buy you can’t stop thinking about.
ON CLOUD NINE Incredible but true: We actually wished the long-haul flights during this trip were, um, longer. That’s how comfortable we felt cocooned in Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350 XWB. Granted, we were in Business Class (cashews warmed up upon order, anyone?) but the plane boasts a new level of comfort even in Economy class. For one, it was quickly apparent that the
plane’s engine noise level was significantly lower than usual. As it turns out, the plane boasts the lowest twin engine noise level of any aircraft. It also boasts wider seats in both Business and Economy class, as well as new air-con technology and full LED mood lighting — all designed to reduce long-haul flight fatigue. ELLE
The writer was a guest of Belmond Ltd, a global hotel and leisure company specialising in luxury travel experiences, and Qatar Airways, which flies from Singapore to Venice thrice daily via Doha. 165 ELLE SINGAPORE
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WHAT TO EAT THIS MONTH A roundup of new eateries, menus and dishes on the block. THE MARKET GRILL THE DRAW: This popular stalwart along Telok Ayer recently underwent a revamp that, among other things, gave the space new banquette seats that allow larger groups to dine together. While classics like its Handmade Burger and Lobster Roll remain on the menu, there are a couple of inventive new additions, including seasonal off-cuts like grilled Australian lamb neck served with onion puree and roasted vegetables. TRIVIA: The most creative items here can be found on the dessert menu. Beer Panna Cotta with white chocolate crumbs, or Fromage Blanc cake, anyone? ADDRESS: 208 Telok Ayer Street. Tel: 6221-3323. Mon to Sat, 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6pm to 10pm. Closed Sun. www.themarketgrill.com.sg
THE DRAW: $6 glasses of wine, all day, every day? Yes, please! This new bistro-style wine bar serves drinks at happy hour prices all day long and two-course lunches at a very affordable $18. For that price, you’ll get wholesome eats like a Tostada Chicken Salad, pastas and sandwiches. The options are heartier at dinner, with
bistro classics like freshly shucked Fine de Claire oysters, Pate En Croute (black pork terrine and foie gras wrapped in puff pastry), and charcoal-grilled meats. TRIVIA: Here, you’ll find possibly the most affordable list of French wines in the city. The Chateau Tour Bicheau 2013 Merlot, for example, goes for just $12 per glass. ADDRESS: Hotel G Singapore, 200 Middle Road. Tel: 6809-7989. Mon to Sun, 6am till late. www. facebook.com/ginettsingapore
P H I L LY S H A C K THE DRAW: The Philly Cheesesteak is a must-have here — succulent slices of ribeye, sweet caramelised onions and gooey melted cheese all stuffed between pillowy soft-buns. FUN FACT: Philadelphia cheesesteaks were born after a taxi driver sampled the new sandwich creation of two hotdog vendors in the American state, and told them to focus on this new steak sandwich instead of making hotdogs. Evidently, they listened. ADDRESS: 3A River Valley Road. Tel 6837-0675. Sun to Wed, noon to 11pm; Thu to Sat, noon to 2am. www.facebook.com/PhillyShackSG 166 ELLE SINGAPORE
MORSELS THE DRAW: Morsels recently moved from its original home in Little India to the decidedly posher confines of the Dempsey enclave, but with a similarly rustic-chic aesthetic. Chef-owner Petrina Loh’s new menu is as experimental as ever, layering familiar flavours to deliver complex creations like Burnt Somen with monkey head mushroom dashi, charred corn and pickled wood ear, and Kasu-cured Hiramasa Kingfish with rhubarb aioli, pickled grapes, pistachio praline and ikura. TRIVIA: If some of the tables look familiar, it’s because they were transferred from the restaurant’s former location and given a new look by Chef Loh, who personally distressed them (each took about four hours!). ADDRESS: #01-04, 25 Dempsey Road. Tel: 62663822. Tue to Thu, noon to 3pm and 6pm to 10pm; Fri to Sat, noon to 3pm and 6pm to 10.30pm; Sun, noon to 3pm. www.morsels.com.sg
TEXT ANNETTE TAN
GINETT R E S TAU R A N T & WINE BAR
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LIFE IN MONO
This new black-and-white themed hotel is easy on the wallet but big on style and character.
Q TEXT TAN MIN YAN
uestion: How do you stand out when you’re situated smack in Singapore’s Chinatown, with its riot of colours and hodgepodge selection of shops, restaurants and budget hotels? Answer: Take an opposite approach. That’s how William Chan of award-winning design firm Spacedge Designs decided on a monochromatic theme for Hotel Mono. The 46-room
boutique project spanning six conservation shophouses, formerly a budget hotel, was completely overhauled to ref lect Chan’s new vision and opened in December. For a start, there’s the unmissable black-and-white façade that stands out starkly among its more colourful neighbours. The hotel lobby and rooms carry the same muted colour palette and are furnished simply but tastefully. While minimalism has its pitfalls and can end up feeling cold and sterile, Hotel Mono general manager Glenn Quah is fully aware that “we are still trying to sell a hotel”. As such, some features from the old structure have been retained — each room, for example, adheres to the original irregular shape and structure of its predecessor, so they all look slightly different. Traditional mosaic tiles line the bathroom walls, while the refurbished elevator still has its old-school lift buttons.
For another homey touch, extra windows were installed in the rooms, drenching each space in sunlight during the day, while at night, warm lighting imparts a welcoming glow. But the most impressive feature here is surely the hotel’s ingenious use of space. Rather than fit out rooms with bulky closets that take up precious space, Chan installed a seamless metal bar that functions as a coat hanger as well as a light fixture and sculpture in each of the rooms. The cherry on the cake: In line with the hotel’s desire to fill the gap between boutique and budget hotel offerings, this Instagram-worthy spot is unexpectedly easy on the wallet. A double room goes for $150 per night, while a stay in the family room that fits four adults costs $250. No surprises, then, that Hotel Mono is already popular with couples looking for a romantic staycation and groups of girlfriends celebrating hen’s nights. Book at www.hotelmono.com. ELLE 167 ELLE SINGAPORE
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GOING AU NATUREL Bored of drinking the same old tipples? It’s time to get back to basics and discover the beauty of natural wines. By Tan Min Yan
hen you consider all the recent major F&B trends — farm-to-table dining, “mindful” eating, sustainable farming etc — it’s easy to see why natural wines are showing signs of taking off too, and in a big way. Who can resist anything that hints at a more wholesome lifestyle? And that’s not the only reason you should seriously consider adding these tipples to your drinking repertoire: They don’t taste too shabby either. Admittedly, I’m far from a wine connoisseur. But I’m picky about what I drink and go 168 ELLE SINGAPORE
only for full-bodied wines that create a bold first impression, then linger on the palate — like a merlot, malbec, or shiraz. The first time I tasted a natural wine, I knew instantly I was going to be drinking lots of it. It was hardly similar, flavourwise, but it had the same intriguing, complex and bold character that I love seeking out in wines, plus a lovely clean taste that was a result of its no-chemical-intervention ethos. In short, it was delicious, yet just different enough to pique my interest for more. Intrigued yet? Here are four more things to know about this hot new drink trend.
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NATUR AL WINES AREN’T QUITE THE SAME AS ORGANIC WINES.
THESE PRODUCERS AND LABELS ARE WORTH TRYING.
Even though sustainability is a main motivator in how both types of wines are made, the main difference between the two is that no sulphites are added to natural wines as preservatives during the fermentation process. “Typically, organic wines are made using as few chemicals as possible, whilst still going through the standard wine-making process where only grape juices are fermented. Natural wines on the other hand, are made by fermenting pressed grape bunches together with the skins, stems and seeds,” explains Giedrius Lazutka, sommelier of Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare. “This primitive technique gives natural wine more structure, more tannins, more f lavours and longevity. Sulphites are not used because the seeds, stems and skins have some natural chemical compounds that preserve the wine.”
Lazutka recommends trying natural wines from Georgia, which has the longest history of producing natural wine (the country began making it 8,000 years ago). Natural wines there are fermented in buried clay vessels called kvevri, the insides of which are covered in beeswax. The result? Wines with rich, honey-like f lavours and aromas. Manuela Toniolo, co-owner and general manager of Cheek by Jowl loves Gravner wines from the FriuliVenezia-Giulia region in Italy (“[winemaker Josko Gravner] is considered the godfather of orange wines in Italy”), Arnot-Roberts wines from California (“so far, I’ve tried their chardonnay, syrah and trousseau, and love every one of them”) and Jauma wines from South Australia (“the wines are generally very tasty and expressive”).
TH E Y’RE GOO D FO R YOU AND THE ENVIRONMENT.
NO, THAT SME LL IS NOT BECAUSE YOU R W I N E HA S GO N E BAD.
Ever woken up to a dull, throbbing headache after a tad too much wine the night before? That’s a result of the sulphites in wines. The lack of the preservative chemical in natural wines means you can indulge in a couple of glasses more. And “as little or no machinery is used in the growing, harvesting and wine-making process of natural wines – everything is done by hand where possible – there are little or no emissions from machinery, which in turn is better for the environment”, says Toniolo.
Because natural wines are not filtered after they’re bottled, some of them — especially the reds — have what some industry folk affectionately describe as a “barnyard” “barny smell. Toniolo explains that this is a result of the wild and natural yeast that’s part of the winemaking process. proce “Natural wines only use naturally-occurring yeasts for the fermentation process, and this wild yeast would make its i way into the wine from the environment. The smell tends ten to be more apparent in red wines, but it will mellow after aft the wine has been allowed to breathe after opening.” ELLE
THREE PLACES TO DRINK NATURAL WINES AT:
W I N E RV LT (www.winervlt.sg) Wine Rvlt may look more like a dive bar, but the owners take their support of natural and biodynamic wines very seriously. Bottles are mostly sourced from small-batch winemakers, and can hail from popular regions like France and Australia to lesserknown areas like Croatia and Georgia.
A NA RC H Y W I N E + BREW BAR (www.facebook.com/thewineanarchy) Rather than have sommeliers recommend wine, Anarchy hands the decision to you, the drinker – in the form of a simple Q&A. These questions are designed to reveal your palate preference; from there, you can pinpoint a range of wines you’ll likely enjoy.
CHEEK BY JOWL (www.cheekbyjowl.sg) Executive chef Rishi Naleendra’s creative interpretations of ingredients here are best paired with the collection of expressive wines from small, natural and biodynamic producers. At any time, the restaurant carries about 50 labels of these wines from Australia, South Africa, Europe and the US. 169 ELLE SINGAPORE
Alphabet cups, $39 each, Alphabet plates, $62 each, and Multi jars with wooden lid, $88 each, all from DANISH DESIGN CO.
Paper table in small, $545, from DANISH DESIGN CO.
NORTHERN EXPOSURE Simplicity and understated elegance are defining characteristics of Scandinavian dÃ©cor and design. Add these items to your home for that touch of effortless style.
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Sjalsligt decoration set of three, $22.90, from IKEA.
Behaga side plate, $4.90, and Lagerbar plant pot, $7.90, both from IKEA.
TEXT TAN MIN YAN PHOTOGRAPHY HONG CHEE YAN STYLING CHONG LEE FOONG
Hay Kaleido trays in apricot (medium), $48, chocolate (small), $40, green (large), $73, all from DREAM.
Paper table in medium, $676, from DANISH DESIGN CO.
CAPITAL’S ‘GARDEN OF WONDERS’ LAUNCH PARTY WHEN
Clarke Quay, Singapore WHO
Local starlets Nathan Hartono, Benjamin Kheng, Jon Chua, Julie Tan and Dawn Yeoh. Zouk’s resident DJ Andrew Tang, local crooner Gentle Bones and guest female DJ Kaylova entertained in a lush garden setup within Zouk’s fourth concept.
Capital is a 540-sq m area made up of an island bar, whisky bar, cigar room and a seating area, with enough room to hold up to 540 people.
TIFFANY & CO HARDWEAR PREVIEW WHEN
SALVATORE FERRAGAMO AT THE 89TH ACADEMY AWARDS & VANITY FAIR OSCAR PARTY WHEN
Los Angeles, USA WHO
Presenter Chris Evans, who wore a cobalt blue tuxedo to the awards ceremony. The Vanity Fair after-party was attended by actors Brie Larson (in black satin D’Orsay pumps) and Zachary Quinto (in a black and mustard silk jacquard tuxedo jacket with black tuxedo pants and vest), among others.
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Also in Ferragamo was Luke Bracey (above), who was in the Best Picture-nominated ﬁlm Hacksaw Ridge.
New York, USA WHO
Celebrities including Olivia Wilde, Kate Mara, Christina Ricci and Karolina Kurkova joined the media and fashion influencers for the unveiling of HardWear, a new collection inspired by the energy and bold spirit of New York City.
As they partied, guests at the event also became the ﬁrst in the world to try on the edgy and modern HardWear collection.
TEXT TAN MIN YAN & TAN WEI LIN
THE WAREHOUSE HOTEL OPENING PARTY WHEN
The Warehouse Hotel, Singapore WHO
DINNER IN SUPPORT OF CHOPARD’S “THE JOURNEY TO SUSTAINABLE LUXURY”
Over 500 guests, including personalities like Tracy Phillips, Rosalyn Lee and Dawn Yang. As an homage to the hotel’s rich history, the party space was reimagined as a gambling den with airbrush tattoo and fortune teller stations.
Los Angeles, USA WHO The Journey to Sustainable Luxury is Chopard’s commitment to a multi-year programme to achieve sustainable luxury, with a goal to improve the environment and the lives of those at the beginning of the supply chain.
Despite its seedy past, The Warehouse Hotel has since been transformed into a chic 37-room boutique hotel with a focus on heritage and local culture.
Colin Firth and his wife Livia hosted a private dinner for the likes of Mick Jagger and Meryl Streep to toast The Journey to Sustainable Luxury, Chopard co-president Caroline Scheufele’s mission to steer the watches and jewellery industry towards more sustainable and ethical practices. WHAT
COCKTAIL PARTY & GALA DINNER FOR MONTBLANC WHEN
Geneva, Switzerland WHO To celebrate the spirit of racing and the unveiling of the new TimeWalker collection, the space at which the party and dinner were held was transformed into an immersive vintage-themed automative experience.
Actor Hugh Jackman, Monaco royalty Charlotte Casiraghi and Taiwanese actress Guey Lun Mei attended as Montblanc brand ambassadors alongside the brand’s CEO Jérôme Lambert. Montblanc’s new TimeWalker collection was unveiled at the event. 173 ELLE SINGAPORE
2 1 M AY – 2 1 J U N You are torn between one course of action and another; deciding on either one instantly makes the other seem more attractive. At the moment, you are trying to pick the one which amuses you and is the most convenient, but each one has deep and lasting consequences attached to it, which should be carefully considered. Think about where you are likely to be in a year’s time, as well as what’s right for now.
M AY 2 017
23 NOV – 21 DEC If you are doing a puzzle, and you are absolutely sure that a piece fits into a certain space, you can push it in firmly; but sometimes it is better to leave everything loose, until the solution becomes clear and the pieces fall into place without force. In the next few weeks, you will find the pressures on you far less than they have been; it’s a good time to consider alternatives, and see which one, if any, falls into place.
22 JUN – 22 JUL
22 DEC – 19 JAN
If you want to re-negotiate the terms of a recent agreement, this is the time to do it. There is still some room for manoeuvre, and maybe you could give up one or two things that you don’t want in exchange for some others that you do. Right now, you are being supported by a little wave of planetary good fortune, which will not only boost your popularity, but also let you take little risks — and win. Make the most of it.
Someone who has known you for a long time knows exactly what to do or say to get you to react in a certain way. You know that this is happening, yet you feel helpless in preventing it; but it doesn’t have to be this way. It is a game, nothing more — and it needs two people to play it. If you decide that you are no longer going to let yourself be manipulated in this way, then the game is over, and you will have won.
23 JUL – 23 AUG In theory, this should be the high point of your year, with one success leading to another; but you may also feel that you have done all this several times now, and need a fresh challenge. If so, the first week of May will bring you one — though there can be no guarantee that you will be as successful as you have been, or even that you will like it. But if you genuinely want to take your life in a new direction, try it.
ABOUT YOU Taurus is everyone’s best friend — kind, caring, maternal even, and dependable; you’re steadfast and loyal to a fault. When you take on a job, you always see it through; when you make a friend, it’s for life. But when someone steps over the line into what you see as your territory, watch out, world, you become the charging bull of the sign — but don’t worry, they won’t dare do it twice! LUCKY COLOURS Blue, blue-green
20 JAN – 18 FEB So often you have to make instant decisions, and hope for the best. Were you right? It’s hard to tell. This month, though, you have time to reconsider your recent actions. You may decide to accept what you rejected before, or, having said “no” first and now “yes”, that you were right the first time. Either is equally good - for the simple reason that you have had time to think; this time, there is no doubt.
2 0 A P R – 2 0 M AY 24 AUG – 23 SEP Life does not come in absolute values of all or nothing, win or lose: There are lots of areas in between, and almost all of them have something good to offer. It’s also a good thing to let yourself be surprised by the unknown once in a while, like trying a new flavour for the first time and discovering how much you like it, despite being sure that you wouldn’t. Let the next few weeks change your perspective.
In recent weeks, you’ve been surrounded by people who claim to care for you but have actually been holding you back — an over-protective friend or partner, perhaps. This month, you escape these restrictions; you can breathe, and be yourself again. At first, you’ll just want to be on your own, where nobody can find you; but soon you’ll want to move on. This time, it’s you making the decisions, and nobody else.
19 FEB – 20 MAR If only we could see ourselves as others see us, goes the old saying. If you look at yourself in a mirror, you see what others see, in a way; but you’re only seeing the face you choose to project, and the real you is still hidden behind that. This month, the planets move the mirrors slightly, so that you see yourself as if from a diagonal viewpoint, one you are not used to. This provides rare insights: Look, and learn.
24 SEP – 23 OCT
24 OCT – 22 NOV
21 MAR – 19 APR
It is tempting to think, in the excitement of a new love affair, that there is no need to wait before taking the relationship on to its next stage. Yet two surprises in the next few weeks, one caused by a misunderstanding and the other a revelation that explains the truth of the situation, show how little you really know about each other — which is not surprising, since the friendship is so new. Give yourselves more time.
You’ve left the past behind and started again — or so you think. But the past, whether as a person, a job or even a location, is still exercising a huge influence on you. It is making itself appear wonderfully attractive, in the hope of luring you back; and although you may not admit it, it is controlling your present choices, too. You must separate yourself from your past more firmly if you want a clear view of your future.
Success, as everyone knows, is made by seizing any opportunity that comes your way and taking it as far as you can. But not this time. You have learned harsh lessons from previous ventures, and although there is much talk of future potential in what you are being offered, you feel it is unlikely to deliver. In the end, you settle for something much more modest. Unadventurous? No, just being realistic.
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TEXT BERNARD FITZWALTER ILLUSTRATION TOM M
3.1 PHILLIP LIM #02-05/06 Hilton Shopping Gallery, 6304-1350 ABERCROMBIE & FITCH Fragrances 270 Orchard Road, 6631-2600 ACNE STUDIOS Acnestudios.com ALAÏA Fragrance at Metro Paragon, 6835-3322 ALBION L1 Takashimaya, 6735-8084 ALDO #B2-20 Ion Orchard, 6509-1198 ALEXANDER MCQUEEN #01-01/02 Scotts Square, 6443-9092 Anissa Kermiche X Zoe Karssen Zoekarssen. com AVEDA #B1-32A Ngee Ann City, 67350091 AVEENO Watsons AVENE Watsons BALENCIAGA #01-07 Paragon, 63041349 BALMAIN Balmain.com BALMAIN PARIS HAIR COUTURE Action Hair Salon, #05-08 Paragon Shopping Centre, 6732-1003 BERSHKA #B2-09/10/11 Ion Orchard, 6509-8708 BIODERMA Guardian; Watsons; Unity; Robinsons; John Little stores BIORE Watsons BIOTHERM Tangs at Tang Plaza, 6737-1791 BOTTEGA VENETA #01-04A Ion Orchard, 6238-0020 BOUCHERON #L1-56 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 6737-1313 BURBERRY BEAUTY Tangs at Tang Plaza, 6836-5516 BY TERRY Escentials CARTIER #01-20 & #02-10 Ion Orchard, 6235-0295 CÉLINE #B1-130 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 6225-4705 CETAPHIL Watsons CHANEL #01-59 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 6634-7350. Cosmetics, fragrances and skincare at #B2-43 Ion Orchard, 6634-5500. Fine jewellery and watches at #0104 Ngee Ann City, 6296-7588. CHARLES AND KEITH #B3-58 Ion Orchard, 62381840 CHLOÉ L4 DFS Galleria Scotts Road. Fragrances at Tangs at Tang Plaza, 6738-4567 CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN #02-10 Ngee Ann City, 6732-2813 CLARINS Tangs at Tang Plaza, 6738-4944 CLÉ DE PEAU BEAUTÉ Tangs at Tang Plaza, 6235-6126 CLINIQUE Tangs at Tang Plaza, 6733-0419 COACH #02-19 Wisma Atria, 6733-7533 COMO SHAMBHALA #06-01/02 Delfi Orchard, 6304-3552 COS #03-23 Ion Orchard, 62388933 CUREL Guardian DAMIANI #01-10 Scotts Square, 6604-7217 DHC Watsons DIOR #01-22 & #02-12 Ion Orchard, 1800415-9990, email@example.com. Cosmetics, fragrances and skincare at #B2-44/46 Ion Orchard, 6636-7232 DKNY #03-12 Ion Orchard, 6304-1395. DOLCE & GABBANA #02-11 Ion Orchard, 6509-3294 ELIE SAAB Fragrances Tangs at Tang Plaza, 6737-5500 ERNO LASZLO Sephora ESCENTIALS #03-02/05 Paragon, 6737-2478 ETRO #0130 Paragon, 6737-5108 FENDI #01-30 Ngee Ann City, 6887-5981 FIRST AID BEAUTY
Sephora FOREVER 21 #01-10 313@Somerset, 6834-4423 FRANCK MULLER #02-01, Isetan Wisma Atria, 6734-8655 FRESH #B3-45 Ion Orchard, 6509-6481 GHD Sephora GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI #01-41 Paragon, 6235-4438. Beauty and fragrances at Robinsons The Heeren GUERLAIN Tangs at Tang Plaza, 6733-3270 GUCCI #01-38 Paragon, 6734-2528 H&M Orchard Building, 1 Grange Road, 6235-1459 HERBIVORE BOTANICALS Sephora.sg HERMÉS #B1-41 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 6688-7111 HUGO BOSS Fragrances at Sephora INNISFREE #B2-34/35 Ngee Ann City, 6733-6728 IOMA L1 Robinsons The Heeren, 6735-8838 ISSEY MIYAKE Tangs at Tang Plaza, 6738-4567 IRIS & INK Outnet. com JERGENS Watsons JO MALONE #02-12B Ngee Ann City, 6738-6842 KENZO #01-22 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 6688-7886. Fragrances and skincare at L1 Takashimaya, 6736-3013 KÉRASTASE For stockists, call 6738-3113 KIEHL’S #B3-54 Ion Orchard, 6509-8941 LA MER L1 Takashimaya, 6737-4107 LANEIGE #B3-53 Ion Orchard, 6509-8872 LA ROCHE-POSAY Watsons LAURA MERCIER Sephora L’OCCITANE #B2-33 Ion Orchard, 6509-9068 LOEWE #L1-18 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 66887506 LOUIS VUITTON #01-23 Ion Orchard, 6788-3888 LONGCHAMP #02-02 Paragon,
6235-0498 LUSH #B1-13 Wisma Atria, 6732-6758 MAKE UP FOR EVER #01-06 36 Armenian Street, 6333-0678 MALENE BIRGER Bymalenebirger.com MANGO #B216 Ion Orchard, 6634-1562 MARNI #01-06 Paragon, 6304-1348 MASSIMO DUTTI #B1-01 Ion Orchard, 6509-9081 MAX MARA #01-10 & #02-11 Mandarin Gallery, 6238-9138 MICHAEL KORS #01-12/13 Mandarin Gallery, 6242-0555 MIU MIU #01-01 Paragon, 6735-5026 MIU MIU FRAGRANCES at Sephora MOSCHINO #01-04/05 Paragon, 6732-1375 MURAD Sephora NARCISO RODRIGUEZ Sephora NARS #B1-53Ngee Ann City, 6235-1537 NEUTROGENA Watsons NIKKIE L3 Takashimaya NIVEA Watsons O&M ORIGINAL MINERAL Sephora ORBIS #B2-03A Ngee Ann City, 6238-6110 OUAI Sephora PANDORA #B1-25 Ion Orchard, 6509-6131 PERCY & REED Sephora PRADA #01-01 & #0215 Ion Orchard, 6509-3113 PROENZA SCHOULER #01-17 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 6304-3565 REN Escentials RMK L1 Takashimaya, 6887-5308 ROLEX #B2-211 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 66887211 RYE R-y-e.co SACHAJUAN Sephora. sg SAINT LAURENT #01-25 Ion Orchard, 6735-7378 SALVATORE FERRAGAMO Fragrances at Sephora SEPHORA #B2-09 Ion Orchard, 6509-8255 SHISEIDO Tangs at Tang Plaza, 6733-2589 SHU UEMURA #B2-40 Ion Orchard, 6509-8931 SISLEY L2 Metro Paragon, 6884-4170 SK-II L1 Takashimaya, 6734-3234 SKINCEUTICALS J’s Medi-Spa, L3 Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, 68340012 SMASHBOX Sephora SPORTMAX #01-10 & #02-11 Mandarin Gallery, 6238-9138 SOS Watsons STELLA MCCARTNEY #02-19 Hilton Shopping Gallery, 6304-3576 SUPERGOOP Sephora THE BODY SHOP #B1-37 Wisma Atria, 6734-6050 THOMAS SABO #B1-26 Ion Orchard, 6509-8829 TIFFANY & CO. #01-05/06 -05/06 Ngee Ann City, 6735-8823 TOM FORD BEAUTY Tangs at Tang Plaza, 6735-2712 TONI&GUY HAIR MEET WARDROBE Watsons TOPSHOP #B2-01 Ion Orchard, 6509-8602 TORY BURCH #02-28/32/54 Wisma Atria, 6733-2980 UGG #B1-141 The Shoppes At Marina Bay Sands, 6688-7166 VAN CLEEF & ARPELS #01-26 Ion Orchard, 6509-8128 WATSONS #B2-06 to 09 Ngee Ann City, 6735-4936 Y3 #01-05 Mandarin Gallery, 6838-0292 YVES SAINT LAURENT BEAUTÉ #B2-34 Ion Orchard, 6509-7423 ZARA #02-02 Liat Towers, 6733-0029
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Having once dabbled in forex trading, this fashion entrepreneur has gone on to set up her own luxury shoe label, Bionda Castana, and business consultancy firm, NMB Ltd.
M E TA L LOV E
My Katerina Makrkyanni ring never leaves my right hand. This cool up-andcoming Greek designer will soon be very successful...
The perfect space to spend any given day is London’s Alex Eagle store. Is it a museum, a retail concept, a library?... I love everything about it — it’s a beautifully created space in Soho, curated by the wonderful [fashion industry veteran] Alex Eagle himself.
Alex Eagle, London
BEAUTY REGIMEN A RT L I F E
Zoe Buckman, New York
My friend, Zoe Buckman, explores the complex relationships between feminism, sexism and misogyny through her works. This is by far my favourite and most powerful piece from her.
DESIGNER TO WATC H
Having developed a young brand of my own previously, I love to support upcoming designers and Alice Archer is just that... Her tasteful, exquisitely embroidered pieces are works of art.
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A ritual I have now in my house is to light Cinnamon Projects’ incense each morning during my meditation. It’s hippie vibes at their most chic! The brand names its incense according to the hour during which one should light a particular scent...
TEXT DARYL ALEXIUS YEO PHOTOS NATALIA BARBIERI
Hair products, by ONIRA ORGANICS from Net-a-porter.com.
I am super conscious of the fuel that I put in my body, therefore, it’s essential I follow the same logic when it comes to products that I use for my hair...My hair has never felt so healthy! Besides, Onira Organics products are simple — organic and chemical-free.
Scene & Heard ENTERTA
See & Do CELEBRIT
Eat & Drink RED CARP ET
Live & Learn
Paperless. And very sexy.
Go to 8days.sg to read Rebeccaâ€™s sexiest interview yet!
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Published on Apr 17, 2017