Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Jimmy Choo who? Four Malaysian Shoe Labels You Should Know About

Like most girls out there, shoes are my guilty pleasure! I can spend hours and hours browsing the internet for shoe inspirations and day dreaming about those stilettos that look like pieces of art – yet are not really functional.

Since moving to Asia, I wanted to discover more South East Asian shoe brands and to my surprise - or not really – most of the cool shoe labels came from Malaysia. It might be the Jimmy Choo effect but again the styles are hardly similar to the shoe legends designs and vary widely from elegant and simple to edgy and avant-garde.

There is definitely something for everyone and even better, they all come at an affordable price point and are available online for those who don’t reside in the country.

So here are the Malaysian shoe labels you should know about – and stock in your closet:

CHIYO is one of the new labels proving that Mayalsia might as well be the
shoe capital of the region!
How elegant is this pair from rising shoe designer Benson Chen?

Friday, 27 July 2012

Cheap and chic: Thrift shopping for a cause at New2U

One of the things I’ve always loved and enjoyed is bargain hunting in thrift shops. And it just happens that I am quite good at it!

I think it’s something I took from my mother who always managed to score amazing finds on great discounts. No wonder that she has passed on me a great deal of her stunning vintage clothes.

Good thrift is not easy to find though and while ‘vintage’ tends to be more appealing - better quality and design - sometimes nothing beats the thrill of a great thrift find!

A lot of thrift is unfashionable cast offs and discarded clothes (think about it, why would they throw away something good?), but look deeper you’ll be surprised on how many amazing items you can score if you have the eye – and the time – for it.

Luckily I found an incredible place for second hand rummaging, right here in Singapore.

How much do you reckon this adorable polka dot jumpsuit cost me?
Read on to find out...

Some designer bargains at New2U thrift shop!!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Designer Vintage Sale (DVS14): Bargain hunting at its best!

If you follow my blog then you know that I hardly ever post about upcoming events unless they are totally unmissable. But this week’s Designer Vintage Sale event is probably one of the best in town and I’m sure you will thank me later for this very short post.

I rarely wake up early (I stay up working late though!) but today as soon as my alarm ticked at 9am, I was out of the bed, headed to the shower and ready for a quick breakfast before heading to Tiong Bahru with a few enthusiastic friends to pack up the best bargains at the preview of the sale.

And by bargains I mean a pair of Python skin Louboutins for S$290, an Hermes canvas bag for S$500, and a Chloe Paddington for S$400! You have to see it to believe it. They are all pre-loved but in great condition.

Too bad I was too busy browsing to take photos of some great finds at the preview today but again what’s the point when between me and my friends, 7 pair of to-die-for designer shoes and a few handbags were snapped in 20 minutes?

But fear not, a lot is still available including a gorgeous pair of Lanvin flats which were sadly one size too big for me :-(, some cool dresses which I barely had time to look at, some great men’s stuff  in addition to great designer bags for a fraction of their retail price.

So if you like your designer bargains as much as I do, head down to the best event of the year at Glamour Inc showroom on 59 Eng Hoon street, #01-55. Apart from today and tomorrow’s exclusive previews, The 14th edition of this Designer Vintage Sale will be open to public on the 27th July, 2012 until 5th August, 2012.

Trust me, this is one event you don’t want to miss. But if you do or you don’t find your size this time round, keep posted on future news and events on facebook and twitter.

P.S. For this event, only cash payment is accepted.  

Monday, 23 July 2012

Hayley Kiel eel skin bags: Korea's best export (after K-POP of course!)

Ever since I moved to Asia, I’ve seen so many python skin handbags that I’ve lost count.
I admit. They look beautiful and exotic especially compared to your average leather bag. And what’s better is that you can get them much cheaper around this region. I even picked up a few myself on a recent trip to Bali!

But apart from Python, there are other interesting types of leather which remain a little underrated and are sought out by the true fashionistas.

My favourites are sting ray and eel skin. Who’d have thought you could get beautiful things from water creatures? But because they are truly individual animals, the look and texture is very unique – and for someone with a water sign like me – more appealing :-)

Elegant, unique and classic: Nothing beats an eel skin arm candy!

The best thing about Hayley Kiel's designs is that they come
in amazing shades of bright colours...

Friday, 20 July 2012

Adding a Splash of Colour to Quainthood’s Post-Modern chic

While prints are all the hype this summer, there’s always one style which won’t go out of fashion. That is the plain basics.

Mixing and matching prints is certainly fun but sometimes they are not as versatile and can be hard to accessorize and pull off for people who are looking for style on the go. Something like interesting basics comes in handy as it can be dressed up or down, accessorized or left understated depending on the occasion and the person. They are definitely the easiest and most useful items any woman needs in her closet.

But plain doesn’t have to be boring especially not when you’re talking about Quainthood’s interesting cuts and twists on mundane items like a simple white shirt or an LBD.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Bonjour Beirut: Bling with Style at Cream Boutique

For the past couple of months, I’ve been highlighting some of the new Lebanese designers who have drifted away from the bling and taken a whole different and more understated approach to fashion, even couture. But that doesn't mean Beirut bling is dead!

Just step into one of the super hip boutiques around downtown and Saifi village (where my dream apartment would be one day!) and you’ll probably need to keep your shades on. Neon, crystals and gold everywhere from accessories to clothing – only it is more on the funky side than tacky.

One of the coolest shops around is Cream – a place for those who are not afraid to stand out and want something bold, trendy and a little quirky. Best of all, most of the stocks are by Lebanese brands who have taken in the footsteps of other successful labels like Sarah’s Bag and started producing cool accessories even if not with the same level of sophistication.

Bling bling everywhere... Cream is full of everything fun and colourful!

Love the location in Saifi Village in downtown Beirut!

Monday, 16 July 2012

L'ILE AUX ASHBY Pop Up Store: Showcasing Singapore Talent at its Best

When young Singaporean designer Rayson Tan decides to have his first and highly anticipated pop up store you know one thing is for certain – there’s going to be a lot of colour.

And the L’ILE AUX ASHBY pop-up store at the Glamour Inc. showroom in Tiong Bahru didn’t disappoint – bringing together an eclectic mix of clothes, accessories, artists, bloggers and stylists who seemed to love it loud.

I was very proud to be asked to be a part of this event – especially when I saw the talent that was on display.

This pop up wasn’t really about selling, it was more about fun. A showcase of talent and colour.
It brought together so many creative disciplines, from art to illustration, from photography to nail art and of course fashion. The result was a fabulous mix, all inspired by the colourful and vibrant prints of L’ILE AUX ASHBY.

Who knew I could jump that high? I think those L'ILE AUX ASHBY
pieces I'm wearing gave me superpowers :-)

Everything in the pop up shop was exploding with colour! Love it!

Friday, 13 July 2012

13 Lucky Monkey: Custom skull rings from the Philippines

This probably won’t come as much of a surprise to you, but I’ve never been much of a rock chick.

Sure, I’ve got perfect headbanging hair, laugh at my husband bouncing around the room to 80s metal and regularly impersonate Slash at fancy dress parties, but that’s about the extent of my dabbling in rock n’ roll.

While I find the biker culture cool, I’ve never been near a real hog (I don’t even know how to ride a bicycle) and I’ve never been into skulls – even when they were massively in fashion with the Swarovski set.

So why am I talking about skulls, bikers and metal? It’s because I’ve found something that has opened my eyes.

Custom silver skull rings from Manila's 13 lucky monkey
Give me a hell yeah! Philippine label 13 Lucky Monkey's awesome skull rings

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Bonjour Beirut: Malaika Najem’s Unconventional, Raw and Beautiful Jewellery

If you ask anyone the words you’re least likely to hear when discussing fashion in Beirut – ‘raw’ or ‘urban’ will be top of the list.

For such a gritty environment (and Beirut often defines the concept of raw) there is an almost escapist obsession with being refined and polished. Quite often to an extreme.

Even away from the fashion scene you’ll find architecture that involves plastering new facades over historical buildings and the famous Lebanese look (never leave the house without makeup, bling or a blow dry, what surgery can I do this year...)

Yep, Lebanese people are known for their seeking of what they see as aesthetic perfection. And its no wonder Kim Kardashian is such a hit over there.

Raw, ethnic and intruiging... Malaika's work is not your average
style of jewellery, especially not in Lebanon!

 You can multiply that by 1 million when it comes to fashion - just look at the breakout labels that come from Beirut. Nothing but glamour in the form of Elie Saab, Zuhaair Murad and Basil Soda.

So when I stumbled upon Malaika Najem’s work, the epitomy of raw and unfinished, I was more than a little surprised.

Malaika is a jewellery designer whose work is all about the core rather than the perfectly polished exterior. she definitely is a breath of fresh air in a country stifled by a narrow fashion perspective.

The beautiful and charming Malaika, bringing some depth to the overly
polished fashion scene in Beirut.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Fashfix Singapore: A Fun and Stylish Way to Clean out Your Closet

The cover for my fashfix closet! Wonder who's gonna be my first buyer :-)!

Anyone who has visited Chez Bonjour will
 know that my apartment’s second bedroom basically doubles as a walk-in wardrobe. It basically houses a bed (which I’m lobbying to remove!) and the important stuff – mainly racks, rows and bags of clothes of which half I hardly wear anymore.

And in case you’re wondering, yes I do wake up most days and feel like I have nothing to wear! While donating boxes of unwanted clothes to charity is something I’m keen on doing (related story coming up next week!), there are some items which are too pretty to let go of and I’d rather see someone else wear them.

Having a stall in flea markets is one option (also helps to fund some more shopping ;-)) but why bother and sit in the sun all day when you can sell your stuff from home at the newly-launched fashion exchange site fashfix.sg?

Fashfix is the brainchild of Vivien Chia, a Singapore-based entrepreneur who has come to the rescue for like-minded (i.e shopaholic) people like myself who want to clean out their closet stylishly. And like they say, someone’s trash can be someone else’s treasure so I decided to try it for myself to start with.

Love this colourful skirt but time to let go...

Friday, 6 July 2012

Introducing Singapore's Hot Streetstyle Collaboration...

Forget Versace/H&M, Marni/H&M or whoever/H&M. The hottest collaboration of the year will be taking place next weekend in Singapore.

Of course I’m talking about the L’ILE AUX ASHBY Pop up store and showcase which is taking place in the painfully hip Tiong Bahru area on July 13 and 14.

What’s that I hear you cry? And why is it such a hot event? Well the number one reason is obvious. I’m in it :-)

In all seriousness though, I’m always very excited when cool local designers/artists do collaborations and events which show the extent of their talents. So when I was asked by Rayson Tan, the designer behind  L’ILE AUX ASHBY  to collaborate on a showcase, I was over the moon!

Rana Wehbe-Flinter collaboration with L'ile Aux Ashby

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Bonjour Beirut: Missak HajiAvedikian’s fun take on couture

What happens when you mix, great couture aesthetics, strong heritage influence and a hint of fun together? You get Beirut’s newest  enfant terrible Missak HajiAvedikian.

The minute I entered the Armenian Lebanese designer’s showroom in the middle of the hussly bussly Armenian center I knew I was getting something different, more authentic and candid in a way.

Missak has a great sense of humour which translates even in his most dressy gowns. He does fashion for fun and you can see it through the feathers, unusual bird cage silhouettes and scattered laser-cut butterflies. He is not one to shy away from drama or experiment and this is exactly why I fell in love with his avant-garde designs.

It's obvious when you see Missak's playful creations that he has a
lot of fun making them. I love this dress!!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Q&A with Toton, Indonesia's hottest new label

I have a confession to make. I’ve got a new love in my life.

This new obsession occupies my every waking thought, I surf the internet just to gaze lovingly. I still remember the first time our lives came into contact.

It was love at first sight. As I browsed the stalls at Blueprint I couldn't help myself, we made eye contact across a crowded floor, I was instantly drawn in by the elegance and beauty he displayed.

That beauty was called Toton and I’m already turning into an addict!

The designer Toton Januar: Can't wait to see what this man will do next,
after his fresh and exquisite debut collection this year!

Classic with a (considerable) twist is what you can call Toton's
collection like this gorgeous jacket with a zip detail