Wednesday, 30 November 2011

All I want for Christmas is… A personalized card by Yanrong Wu!

When it comes to choosing Christmas cards, we’re probably all guilty of picking quantity over quality; That is, the cheaper pack of 12 cards from the shelves our nearest Carrefour. Our reasoning is always that it’s just a card which will end up in trash (or better a recycling bin!) once the season is over.

Now here’s something which will hopefully change your mind and make you redeem yourself to your beloved ones who have felt less than special in the past years: PERSONALIZED CARDS.

How awesome would it be to send people this Christmas, specially-made cards with a cute illustration of yourself, your family/spouse on it? Now that’s a keeper!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

It’s not Tom Ford: H&M announces its next collaboration with Italian label Marni

It couldn’t be further in style and approach than Versace, and yet the Milan Fashion Week highlight label Marni is going to be the next designer brand to collaborate with the highstreet giant H&M.

Personally I’m ecstatic! Yes Tom Ford (who was being heavily tipped by fashion writers despite being ultra-luxury and limited in womenswear terms) is sleek and stylish but Marni is much more fun and most of all wearable!

It’s one of those labels like Marc Jacobs and Prada which built a reputation on being bold, full of patterns and colours; in other words, ‘out-there’ yet sophisticated.

Marni's colourful patterns and relaxed cuts are definitely
not to miss!

All I want for Christmas is... Fashionable laptop cases from TeeStory

If you’ve been out to any mall in Singapore in the past month and been subjected to endless festive carols you’ll know that Christmas is fast approaching.

So to make your life easier – and to make you look cool and effortless – I’ve compiled a series of stylish ideas to get your partner, spouse, friend, parents or most importantly…me!

I kick off the series with a great idea that shows you how to let go of that moth-eaten item of clothing you just can’t bear to part with AND do your bit to be socially responsible.

TeeStory is a Singaporean business that produces one product : laptop cases.
Wow. How is that unique or stylish I hear you ask?

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Q&A with Chula: Vietnam's fresh and fun take on silk dresses

Even in the most isolated countries in the world, it’s quite rare these days to find a contemporary fashion label (regardless how big or small) which is not influenced by seasonal trend.

The result is, people everywhere end up dressing the same. Naturally some do it stylishly and some don’t.

I’ve always had great respect for those who defied the trend and went on to establish their own identity and style, not inspired by anything or anyone else. They start from scratch and keep that distinctive appeal about them which is best described as raw and artistic.

Hanoi-based label Chula is one of those fashion brands which developed their own look and products (mainly dresses and coats) based on nothing but the love for expressing fresh ideas and style. The result is not as understated as many would like, but rather unique and bold.

Love this dress with the pagoda illustration from 'Japan' collection.
Looks like a piece of Asian art... but a wearable one :-)

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Singapore's rainy season’s must-have accessory: Pylones umbrellas!

Now it’s the rainy season you'll be most likely thinking of ways to keep dry.

But if you thought function couldn't mean fashion then you're dead wrong (btw - I don't count Burberry check umbrellas or boots as style).

French quirkmeisters Pylones are the kings of injecting a little life (and fun) into otherwise mundane objects. I was introduced to the label few years ago in Paris where I ended up on shopping spree for their cute and colourful kitchen objects and stocked up on umbrellas!

The Rain Parade umbrellas... Don't you just want all of them?

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Singapore fashion label Yumumu's interesting take on minimalism

I have never been a big fan of minimalism. Not in art and definitely not in fashion! It’s simply not me.

For some reason, last season’s big trend which consisted of crisp shirts, dresses and trousers with minimal details just looked wrong when I tried them on, say at places like Zara. It might have been the fabric which was stiff and didn’t drape, or the ‘too-clean’ style which looked messy when teamed with my unruly hair and less than angular features. It certainly looked much better on the short-haired model although not as flattering as well.

However I have recently spotted an outfit, from the cool Singaporean label Yumumu, which has won me over and made me want to try the trend while staying true to my style.

Love it! Yumumu's top and skirt/trouser look
understated yet not remotely bland.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

HOT labels Aijek and Ila Handbags come to Singapore at nana & bird

It seems impossible to step into nana & bird in Tiong Bharu and not have a crush on at least one (or in my case 5!) beautiful things at this unique and cosy boutique which only stocks the crème de la crème of worldwide independent and up-and-coming designers.

Whether it’s accessories, handbags or truly individual pieces of clothing, best friends ‘nana’ and ‘bird’ made it their mission to do the globetrotting for you and bring back the things which they personally loved. This policy is what keeps the boutique’s distinctive character which you either fall in love with or if you’re the mainstream type, simply not see the point of it.

I definitely feel in love. From last month’s visit, with Natalie B Coleman’s dazzling dress to this week’s new Singaporean label Aijek’s black lace number which just got launched last Saturday during a girly tea party at the boutique.

Black is not usually my colour but I couldn't resist this beautiful lace LBD
from Aijek label. It feels and fits great!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Q&A with Wey Ling of Veira: Singapore’s alternative ‘It’ bags

Although I’m much more of a ‘shoe gal’ than a ‘handbag gal’, I still get week knees for funky arm candy which explains my recent obsession with the Singaporean handbag label Veira.

Quirky, cute, and very unique, the bags which Veira produces are the total opposite of the now too-common monogram designer bags which I’m proud to say I have none of in my closet. I just don’t get the appeal.

What I do get though, is the appeal of these handbags which are a mixture of everything I love: their structure is inspired by vintage but they are modern and edgy with eye-catching and fun details. They are quite mood-lifting in a way.

This Teatime Kisslock bag is so cute and I just love the classic frame!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Versace for H&M verdict: Singapore men rule!

It's official: Men in Singapore are fierce!

Our fair island state is probably the only place in the world where the menswear from an H&M designer collaboration was flying off the shelves first.

Yes that’s right. The fairer sex was left in the shade by Singapore’s peacock males as the opening hours of the big Versace/H&M event saw the guys’ collection close to selling out especially the accessories.

The only rack of menswear left at 4:30

H&M launched the Very Best of Versace collection in Singapore: Reporting from Orchard road

If, like me, you thought that the bright colors, 'out there' prints, and over-the-top zebra explosion of the Versac for H&M collection was going to discourage the conservatively-dressed Singaporean crowd, let me set this straight: YOU AND I WERE (kind of) WRONG!

Apparently putting the ‘Versace’ label on anything regardless how outrageous, makes even the most colour-shy crowd in Singapore want it.

Judging by the queue of people this morning which kept increasing instead of decreasing, the collaboration was a big that some had started queuing at 5pm the night before to get their hands on the coveted pieces.

The Queue at 9:30am...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Promising talents at Red Dot MAAD Market

What’s sweeter than grabbing the coolest and most innovative accessory, is buying it from a design student who has come up with the idea by an accident; and paying a measly SG$5 for it!

Yes, for a mere SG$5 I found myself this weekend walking out with the coolest item I’ve purchased so far in Singapore: an avant-garde hairband made of a diskette and a small lamp. Something that Lady Gaga might be interested in, of course if it were much bigger and it lit up!

This SG$5 unusual hairband caught my attention the moment I saw it. Cheong said
he's going to try and and make the lamp light up, and when that happens, I'll be getting
the first prototype!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Singaporean young designers at PARCO next NEXT Phenomena 2011 Fashion show

When, like me, you’ve just moved to Singapore from over 3000 miles and started blogging about local fashion, nothing can warm your heart and make you feel welcome more than the first invite you receive to attend a fashion show.
Ok, I know this wasn’t the Prada SS2012 show, not even the Singapore Fashion week but to me it was far more significant because it was an opportunity to see the work of young up-and-coming Singaporean designers and get to meet them and lend them some much-needed support.

The event in question was the PARCO next NEXT Phenomena 2011, where 6 promising local designers of the incubator project sponsored by Parco were showing their collections to a small but interesting crowd.

Friday, 11 November 2011

To buy or not to buy: my guide to the Versace for H&M MEN'S collection (Special guest post by Adam*)

This is my first ever guest post on Bonjour Singapore.

I don’t consider myself a fashionisto (is that a word?) by any stretch of the imagination but as my straight male friends laugh at my dress sense and female and gay friends lavish praise, I tend to think I’m doing at least something right.

So how am I qualified to comment on what to fight for in the Versace and H&M collaboration?

Thursday, 10 November 2011

To buy or not to buy: my guide to the Versace for H&M collection

(P.S. This post is for the women’s collection but my husband, Adam, will be guest posting his take on the men’s collection tomorrow on bonjour-singapore. You don’t wanna miss that!)

Love these studded leather pieces but they're not
a smart investment if you live in Singapore
With just one more week to go, the final countdown for the launch of H&M’s collaboration collection with Versace in Singapore and worldwide has now started.

But unlike most of the blogs and magazines which have been encouraging you to buy them (well they don’t need to push hard), I will take the objective line and dish out advice on what you (from a Singapore perspective) should be fighting tooth and nail for, and the stuff that will only be good for eBay listings or the back of your closet.

Well, I’ll try my best anyway. Let’s face it, you won’t really be listening too hard when those doors open and the grab begins. You will want anything you can get your hands on from the collection is what can be called, bold and beautiful.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The Nostalgia Queen in my neighbourhood

I am a self-confessed vintage victim. So you can imagine my joy and excitement when I discovered a little vintage shop just a few doors down from my apartment.

This was one of the things I’ve always dreamt of whenever I went vintage-shopping around the world in places like London, New York, Paris, Rio and Buenos Aires. I would wonder what it is like to have these amazing treasure troves on my doorstep. And now I do; only it is in Singapore.

Welcome my new neighbor, Nostalgia Queen Vintage

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Men's personal stylist at Singapore's Ninos Felices boutique

Are you fed up with your boyfriend or husband plumping for jeans and t-shirt for practically every occasion?

If so, you might want to drag him (bribed, or kicking and screaming if necessary) to Ninos Felices boutique, where they are warring against the boring.

The boutique is designed to look like a 'bachelor's pad'
with stylish mannequins sitting on a pool table...

Friday, 4 November 2011

SingStyle: Fashion is another universal language!

It just happened this week that the two people whose style caught my attention were in a hurry (and not able to communicate as well in English) as to give me the information I needed and allow me to snap a better shot of them. So, apart from their names, the only thing I know about Kai and Yiga is that they’ve got style and they had to be in SingStyle regardless!


Thursday, 3 November 2011

What was the dress code again?

Black tie in most places means tuxedo and below-the-ankle evening dresses. In Singapore apparently it means ‘wear whatever you find in your closet’.

To the shock and horror of my husband (who rented a less-than-perfect tux for the occasion) and I (you know the story of my struggle by now), entering the ballroom at the Sentosa Resorts World last night there was hardly anyone in black tie attire. To be specific, maybe around 40 out of the 500 guests were wearing tuxes or evening dresses. On the other hand, patterned shirts, suits for men and short cocktail dresses and what I’d view as day dresses were aplenty.

Black tie enough? Safe to say so apparently!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Q&A: The new Singaporean HOT label Noël Caleb

The first time I spotted (and felt) a Noël Caleb’s number in Haji Lane, I could tell right away that this was no amateur-designer stuff which are very common around.

The quality of fabric, impeccable tailoring and sophisticated style (with plenty of attitude) stood out that you might as well have put it in a designer department store and it wouldn’t have looked out of place.

Love this combo! edgy, colourful but not over-the-top

I am not a colour-shy person but I have to say that wearing colour is tricky sometimes, especially when you’re looking for a more mature (but not boring) look, not your average tweeny summer dresses. Many women including myself who are over 20-something find that sometimes the only alternative is to stick to the safe black and white or a more muted palette. The designers at Noël Caleb seem to understand this and offer an alternative; a variety of mix-and-match pieces which are colourful and fun but not over-the-top and most importantly trendy, stylish and wearable all at the same time.

What I love about Noël Caleb is the versatility of their pieces as well. There are a lot of separates which can be worn and layered in so many ways and given a twist to form an even more individual look. I haven’t seen any bland or boring piece and I find this quite impressive since even the most talented designers resort to ‘basic’ pieces sometimes which don’t really add any value to the collection.

The mixture of bright (but not too loud) colours, edgy cuts and interesting fabric has already won me over and I had to learn more about the people behind this new label. And so I did, and here I share with you some information about what I expect to become one of the hottest home-grown names in fashion very soon!

This Natalie skirt looks cute and fun!

Q: What is Noël Caleb?
Noël Caleb is the meaning of Christmas and Devotion combined. It is an independent label from Singapore sewn with every fashion designer’s heart and love. We seek to redress the fabric of the ladies’ femininity and we have created 7 compatible looks for every day of the week, helping every girl look effortlessly stylish from Monday to Sunday. From dress-and-jacket ensembles to smart casual trousers and tunics, every day is a date to remember.

Q: When did it start and why?
Noël Caleb started in February 2011, as it wanted to re-establish the look of how a lady should look – feminine, graceful and gentle on the outside, but strong in the inside. Not rebellious, rude or gothic-looking as this is a “goodie-goodie” brand. Also, there are far too many labels out there which are mostly in black or white. Noël Caleb inculcates colour wearing in the every-day girl. Thus, every piece of the label is wearable, able to mix and match easily, while making the girl looks fashionable and forward in a colourful manner.

This Kryptonite skirt can be teamed with so many things! I prefer the purple version though (no pic)

Q: The inspiration behind it?
The inspiration behind it is a whole team effort – the fashion designer, creative/ art director, photographer and the marketer. But we prefer not to be known, as the recognition comes from the fact that the label is growing in its acceptance/ awareness even though we are only less than a year old.

Q: Who do you design for?
We design primarily for the working women aged 24 to 36 years old. These ladies have purchasing power, and are fashion-conscious. They are well-travelled, well-read and they look stylish daily be it in casual or formal wear.

Q: Price range:
Our prices range from S$80 for a top, from S$120 for a pair of bottoms and about S$200 for a dress.

Alexandrite dress in a more muted brown

Q: Tell us more about your collections and favourite/signature pieces from each:

Honey and Rock collection:
In the Honey in a Rock collection, multi-faceted geometric gemstones are constructed into shapes and shades of fabric, in all the precious stone tones of a girl's best friends. The beauty of this collection is the paneling and details from inside and outside that depicts the multi facet / lines of the gemstones. This collection has yet to be launched online, but we have some stockists in Singapore carrying some of the pieces. The actual launch of this collection will be the end of this year.
Some of our favourite pieces are:
Kryptonite skirt a soft jersey skirt given a structural edge with geometric overlays.
Alexandrite dress takes centerpiece, with smart paneling detail to mirror the many facets of a gem.

Love love love this Alexandrova skirt!!!!

“Ballerina Diaries”, Noel Caleb’s debut collection:
Inspired by the archetypal Parisian ballerinaNoël Caleb’s debut collection “Ballerina Diaries” draws from her grace, strength, poise and femininity. It is a collage of float and flounce – from gentle layers, chiffon and drapes to structural strength with twists and binds. The polka dot is chosen as a cheery print that is timeless yet trendy, effortlessly young and vibrant. This collection is available online at of our favourite pieces are:
Alexandrova: a layered twist draped skirt with a cheeky centre-part and quirky side zip.
Nathalie: a circle skirt that flares open when twirled and falls to body when static.
Paloma: an edgy cotton jersey shrug available with or without sleeves.

 Maybe this colour is more me? (I can't help it!)

This cute and versatile Paloma shrug is perfect
for a touch of layering in humid Singapore

Q: Where to find it?
Very much an online store, one can find our pieces at We are also currently stocked at the following stores: Dulcetfig @ Haji Lane, Egg3 @ Mandarin Gallery, A-Mod @ TripleOne Somerset, Circa @ Parco Millenia Walk and Foot Fetish @ Palais Reinassance.

Q: Any news or collection coming up and when?
We are currently working on our 3rd and 4th collection, which will be launched in a few months’ time. As the brand’s vision is to connect with more people worldwide who love fashion, we intend to kick-start an incubation program whereby fashion designers and marketers from all over the world could benefit from Noël Caleb and from here, we would like to promote talented fashion people globally.  
Noël Caleb welcomes writers, artists, curators, designers, marketers and anyone creative who wish to enter into the fashion world to be our network of associates by sending in their resume to