Showing posts with label shopping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shopping. Show all posts

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Bonjour Malaysia: 5 places to shop in Penang

With its rich history, vibrant cultural and artistic scene, and arguable the best street food in South East Asia, you would hardly need any more reasons to pack your bags and head to Penang for the weekend. But if you are as shopaholic as I am, you’d be glad to know that Georgetown is also home to some cool and unexpected shopping spots.

From local flea markets to antique shops and swanky boutiques, I was thrilled to find some hidden gems on my brief trip to this island city - especially that I had no expectations whatsoever. Not even a map in my hand!

What I mostly loved about it is that the experience itself was extremely random and eclectic – definitely one of the most unique shopping trips I’ve had.

So whether you have 5, 50 or 500 dollars to spend – here’s where you should be heading to burn off the extra calories from all the yummy Penang street food! Remember to leave some room in your suitcase :-)




Friday, 22 March 2013

Behind The Scenes: Styling up Zardoze's giveaway winner with some glamour

One of the many many reasons I love being a personal stylist is witnessing someone step into something out of the ordinary and instantly evolve into the best version of themselves (on the outside that is!)

There is something very satisfying about looking into their faces as they gaze in the mirror and feel confident and happy with the way they look.

And this why I was as excited as Nie Yile (the winner of my Zardoze giveaway contest last Jan) whom I finally had the chance to style and shop with for some outfits and accessories from the label, worth a whopping S$500!!!

Yile was younger than I expected and looked even much younger when I met her, so the first challenge was to try to find something suitable for her age, lifestyle and her tiny 5 foot 1 figure – knowing that Zardoze does mainly cocktail and evening wear.



Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Midnight in the Garden: Statement handmade accessories for your summer wardrobe

It seems everywhere I go in Singapore, I keep stumbling upon more and more cool accessories labels popping up from this little island. And of course I'm not complaining :-)

My latest of which is Midnight in the Garden, a vibrant hand crafted accessories label by local art teacher Ade G., who decided to turn her hobby of assembling jewellery trinkets into a small business and most importantly share her creations with the rest of us.

Stocked at one of the coolest accessories shop in town – What Women Want in Mandarin Gallery – I first spotted the label last summer and was drawn like a magpie to the vibrant colours and quirky designs in her collections which stand out immediately. So it came no surprise when I learned that the designer is influenced by her art  training and through combining different element, she tries to play with unconventional compositions to create something very individual about her style.

I love the chic with a twist look of this gorgeous necklace, hand-made by
art teacher Ade for her label 'Midnight in the Garden'

And some bang on trend colourful rings for summer!

Friday, 8 March 2013

What I’ll be wearing this Spring/Summer from Singapore designers

One of the great things about living in Singapore is being spoilt for choice when it comes to fashion. And I don’t mean by that the availability of big designer and high street brands everywhere you go, but rather the variety of Singaporean designers and labels, who seem to improve each season.

For those who doubt the ability of these talents, this Spring/Summer season will especially prove them wrong. The season has not yet begun but from the collections which have been released so far, a few things have caught my eye already!

From day to occasion dresses, accessories and even swimwear, check out which 5 items from Singaporean designers have hit the spot and made it to my summer list of must-haves. We’re still in March so the list will definitely expand once more collections are unveiled and once I’ve saved enough for the next batch ;-)

This dress from Singapore label Yumumu is firmly on my list this season!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Chinese New Year: an updated take on Jade jewellery

One of the (many!!!!) things I love about living in Asia is how traditions are carried on from one generation to another.

Take Chinese New Year for example. Despite a largely westernized lifestyle in a city like Singapore, people still celebrate it massively and families gather for a traditional meals and exchange of Ang Pows on the night.

It’s the same with fashion. Instead of starting from scratch, a lot of the upcoming designers have been re-interpreting traditional clothes and jewellery to make them more relevant to their generation and lifestyle without losing their charm and identity.

While in clothes it is mainly cheongsams, in jewellery it has to be jade! Specifically Choo Yilin, a Singaporean designer who is updating staples like the solid jade bangle, ring and Bi (jade disc) to fit into our modern wardrobes.


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Bonjour Beirut: Sarah's Bag 2013 collection

If you're a regular reader of this blog then you probably know by now that if I'm a big fan of one designer or label, I'm not shy to shout out loud about it. Not just once, but twice and a dozen times if I feel it deserves to.

And this is specifically why I'm posting again about my favourite Lebanese label Sarah's Bag who not just only makes gorgeous clutches and accessories but does that for a good cause as well.

I think I've already said enough about how much I admire Sarah's Bag and its founder and creative director Sarah Beydoun so you can read all about her mission and how she started the label in this previous post.

But today, I just wanted to share with you some of the snaps I took in the label's gorgeous Beirut showroom housed in a French colonial building in the city's historic Rue du Liban (Lebanon street).

I'm in love with this stunning leather clutch and its zips details! Amazing how Sarah's Bag
has been evolving its designs to come up with such creative and chic pieces as well as
crafty ones.


Friday, 1 February 2013

A Singaporean Chinese New Year from Tong Tong

Ever since I’ve experienced my first Chinese New Year in Hong Kong a few years ago, it has firmly become one of my favourite holidays.

How can I not love it when it’s all about being with family, buying colourful –mainly red- new clothes, eating till you can’t breathe, and most importantly getting (or in my case now giving) those Ang Pows (Red Packets)!!!

And while a lot of people’s favourite part of CNY is the food, naturally mine has to be the colourful new clothes, especially Cheongsams.

I don’t think there is anything as elegant and feminine as a well-tailored and fitted cheongsam. But while the traditional ones can be slightly too dressy and restrictive for our modern day lifestyle, other options are available – namely a more modern and smart casual take on the cheongsam from quirky Singapore label Tong Tong.

Love the elegant Tong Tong A-line cheongsam which is perfect for CNY!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Bought in Beirut: MMM for H&M shoes at 90% off!!!

Being the fashion fanatic that I am, finding a great bargain makes my day!

So imagine when this bargain is the plexi heels I’ve been coveting from H&M’s most recent collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela. And I’m not talking half price here; yup I finally snagged me a pair for 10% of its original price!

This is no fake imitation I’m talking about. It’s the real deal which luckily for me, happens to be on clearance sale at H&M branch in Downtown Beirut, Lebanon.

Sometimes waiting does pay off ;-) These MMM for H&M wedges
cost me 10% of the original price! Talk about a great bargain!!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Want to see what's in my Clozette?

Yup I'm one of Clozette Ambassadors as seen on the banner ;-)

Less than two years ago, before this blog even existed or I had any presence on social media networks like twitter and facebook – google images was my best friend.

Every time I wanted to check a certain dress I saw on the high street or get inspiration for an outfit I want to put together – I typed in a few words and if I were lucky got a few relevant images among a lot of rubbish not related to fashion.

But digital media has evolved so much since then – or more accurately I finally embraced social media and saw the light – and things have become much easier, more convenient and way more accurate.

No one can deny that fashion is mostly all about visuals.

Pintrest is good for that but better still is Clozette – the fashion networking site where you’ll only find fashion and more fashion.

Clozette gives me the chance to share snaps - like this - of anything I find on my
fashionable quest in Asia and around...

... And if you like the looks I've been putting together, you can see them all
on a special section on my page here

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Bonjour Bangkok: Wila’s quirky and whimsical prints

I have had a love affair with prints for longer than I can remember! So much so that if you open my closet, the majority of the pieces I own and cherish are those with unique prints. I just find it amusing what inspires a designer to develop a certain print and how the outcome relates to the initial concept.

While London is arguably THE capital for quirky prints– whether from established designers like Paul Smith, Alexander McQueen and Matthew Williamson to more recent upcoming labels like Basso and Brooke, Mary Katrantzou and Antoni and Alison – Bangkok on the other hand could as well be Asia’s prints capital.

The first label to ever catch my eye from the Thai capital is ISSUE – a label I absolutely adore for their unusual tribal-inspired prints. But as I visited lately, more and more designers seem to have followed in the footsteps of ISSUE and are coming up with cool designs which may as well look at home in London.

One such label is Wila, whose boutique I stumbled upon last summer while looking around Terminal21, the latest hip fashion destination in the city.

Owls and Alpaca! Cute and original prints are something BKK-based
Wila does to perfection!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

TSURA: Tribal chic jewellery

I donno if being a Middle Eastern or travelling a lot had to do with my fascination by tribal jewellery. So much so to an extent that in almost every city I’ve been to, I never left without a statement piece as a souvenir to later add to my ever expanding collection. For me, no piece of dainty diamond encrusted jewellery can match the charm these traditional pieces embody!

But as much as I love my OTT – sometime antique, decades old pieces - bought from rural parts of places like Yemen, Nepal, Iran, Syria and Jordan I do find it hard to pull off on daily basis and I’m always on the look for something slightly more chic and wearable yet still as interesting to go with my wardrobe.

My latest find, jewellery label TSURA takes inspiration from the travels of its HK-born Singapore-based designer Tara Thadani who grew up globe-trotting the world, and provides pieces with are tribal in their theme yet very wearable and chic.

TSURA's Daphne necklace is inspired by tribal potion bottle used in voodoo
practices. Who would have thought black magic could look so chic?

Friday, 14 December 2012

7 Fashionable Christmas gift ideas for HIM


We all know what it’s like shopping for the significant man in your life.

Whether it’s the husband, boyfriend, dad, son, nephew or best friend, no-one wants to descend into the Christmas cliché of socks, ties and aftershaves.

It’s always hard finding the right present for each person but finding a fashionable one is even harder.

Never fear, because auntie Bonjour is here to give you a handy guide to being the most awesome gift giver this festive season.

Luckily I’ve done the work for you and shortlisted my top Christmas gift ideas for HIM. Almost all of them are by Singaporean designers and there is something for every budget.

So whether your budget is S$30 or S$300, you’ll find something that will hit the spot. Thank me later ;-)

These LookMyBaboush Arabian-inspired unisex shoes is one my
picks for this Christmas' gifts.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Bonjour Bangkok: Keith & Kym's best of Thai accessories labels

One thing about Bangkok - which I’ve heard over and over again – is that it is a great destination for bargain shopping or shopping on a budget. The street markets, weekend market and countless blog-shop type places are everywhere to be seen and even with a budget of S$50, you’re guaranteed to get something (or three) that you like.

While this is absolutely true and definitely great – hey I’ve managed to score some bargains as well – it actually leaves out some of the best shopping in the Thai capital. That is, something totally unique, creative and more of an investment piece rather than fast fashion. This is especially true when on the look for Thai designers whose pieces might not go for S$10 a pop but are still reasonable and definitely worth every penny you pay for it.

But in a place like Bangkok, finding the original from the copy, the unique from the mass-produced is not easy especially when it comes to accessories. So if you’re a quality over quantity type of consumer and you like something extra special, ditch all the other places and head to one shop which has it all: Keith&Kym Gallery.

Original pieces like this stunning pendant from Thai label Sinturak and more are found
at Keith&Kym's gallery in Bangkok, Terminal21.

Love these statement pieces which you won't be finding anywhere in the street markets...

Friday, 16 November 2012

Singapore's Ed et Al: Bespoke men’s shoes at its best

Warning: This is a post coveting some of the most beautiful and original handcrafted shoes you will find anywhere in Singapore.

So why the warning? Well the items catching my attention are…wait for it….MEN’S SHOES.

Ed et Al is the brainchild of Singaporean Edwin Neo who has recently launched his third collection of beautifully crafted leather shoes.

It’s fair to say the man is a genius. A rare thing in Singapore. A genuine craftsman who has learned his trade the hard way and genuinely puts 100 per cent into his creations!

Self-taught Edwin studied his trade in Singapore (for 4 years!) and then undertook an apprenticeship in Budapest, Hungary, before deciding to set up shop on his own in June last year. He hasn’t looked back since.



Thursday, 15 November 2012

H&M x Maison Martin Margiela launch in Singapore + What to look for if you’re buying online

So just like I expected, H&M’s collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela (the emcee kept insisting it was re-edition of previous iconic pieces from various seasons) was not as commercially successful as the previous two (Versace and Marni) in Singapore. In fact, after a good few hours, it was nowhere near to sold out and except for the candy clutch (which was gone by 10:30), by 2pm all the styles were still available in most sizes and in big quantities.

The queue started overnight but this time it was not as big and even when I got to H&M at 10:15am, there was just one line of people waiting. So what happened to the Singaporean fashionable crowd?

Maybe it was the rain – although we got given umbrellas when it started raining – which discouraged people from turning up. But I think it more has to do with the fact that the clothes were mostly heavy and not suitable for Singapore’s tropical weather and that MMM is not as mainstream choice for the H&M usual customers.


At around 10am, the queue was significantly less than last H&M Marni collaboration.

Every item has a description plate indication which MMM season
it was a re-edition of.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Maison Martin Margiela for H&M: My top 5 items

Truth is, as much as I try to steer away from covering big high street brands and international designer names on his blog there is always one category which still interests me and feel it’s worth covering; that is the H&M Designer collaborations (check out my Versace coverage here and here and Marni coverage here and here).

Reason is, well it looks like it’s only getting better and better and with some (but not all) of the pieces it produced, it is well worth the wait if you are a fan of the collaborating designer but can’t afford the real deal.

This season’s collaboration has to be one of the edgiest so far. As much as I’d love to pretend that Maison Martin Margiela (MMM) is a household name, well it is not. However, it is definitely one which is high on the radar of any fully fledged fashionista (or fashionisto as it proves very popular with men!) for its avant-garde edge and deconstructed cuts which is more likely to work in editorial shoot than on the average everyday pavements.

Personally, I love Maison Martin Margiela! It is fresh, inspirational and creative but I have to admit it would probably be on the list of those coveted labels which I admire in magazines but cannot see myself pulling off.

Surprisingly though, the MMM pieces for H&M do break this rule and I found myself (despite trying to resist it!) coveting some of the items which I would totally see myself in.

My kinda style! Love this look from head to toe...

Love this look but don't think can pull it off so left it off my list...

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Bonjour Bangkok: Lynn Around keep it quirky and mainstream

Perhaps a great thing about Thai labels is that not only the small and independent ones that pride themselves on being funky and quirky.
  
Maybe it's something to do with the Thai attitude to dressing up, but it’s really refreshing to see the eccentricity not being designed out by committee when a brand becomes more mainstream. They're still waving goodbye to dull and pushing the boundaries with risky style statements.

One label which despite its size (It has around 10 outlets in Bangkok) is doing just that: Lynn Around.

I first saw their outlet at the never disappointing Thai fashion cathedral Terminal 21, where the vibrant colours and eye-catching looks pulled me in to inquire about the label (and ahem… shop).

Dalmation pattern shoes from Lynn Around
Even in a somehow more 'mainstream' Thai label like Lynn Around, you can still find
some quirky stuff like these adorable pony hair loafers. Bangkok rocks!

Lynn Around at Terminal21 Bangkok
The colours and variety of styles at their Terminal21 branch is so inviting.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Bonjour Bali: Namu's handbag and clutch heaven

When in Bali, it’s usually the beaches and spas which take priority on most people’s itinerary forcing them to have just enough time to shop for souvenirs to take back home.

But if you’re not a souvenir person, have a great taste and style and only one hour to spend shopping in Bali, then there is only one place you should really be heading to - Namu.

Located in Seminyak, this place is a fashionista’s heaven and it stocks some unusual and unique pieces which you are guaranteed not to find anywhere else on the island.

During my first visit to Bali, I went there twice in two days because I had a dilemma choosing one of their stunning bags which blew me away. I wondered what the secret of their style success was, until I met the owner of the boutique and it all fell into place. 

Wooden clutches by Namu in Bali
Stunning wooden clutches which I've not seen anywhere else.
This is what Namu is all about: unique and chic!

Stingray leather clutches by Namu in Seminyak, Bali
My obsession with Stingray clutches never ends... these are superb
quality and to-die-for! No to mention, gorgeous?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Isetan: Bringing Jakarta Fashion Week to Singapore!

Ever since getting to know and blogging about  Indonesian labels like Toton and Nikicio, Jakarta has been put firmly on my to-go to list for Bonjour on Tour! It seems wherever you go, Asia is a hotbed of fashion creativity.

But until I finally get on that plane (hopefully around the beginning of November for Jakarta Fashion Week), I have to settle for a rare taste of these talents thanks to Isetan Singapore which has organized a Designers’ Week’ event in collaboration with JFW.

Isetan is one of the big department stores in Singapore which I really like, because they stock a variety of local designers, especially emerging ones and thus expose them to a more mainstream crowd. It is something I respect them for.

So when I heard about their Designers’ Week event – which is running until September 25 and is held at Re-Style section on Scotts which stocks the local designers’ labels - I went to check it out only to discover some amazing labels which I previously didn’t know about.

Antyk Butyk necklace from Indonesia
How can you not love these colourful necklaces from Indonesian
label Antyk Butyk?

Pencil necklace from Indonesian label Frej
Something quirky and unique! I'm sooo in love with this
Frej necklace made of pencils!!!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Parco next NEXT A/W12 Preview

There is no doubt that the 2012 class of Parco NEXT Next labels was the strongest yet.

Taken as a collective whole they were more eclectic, innovative and interesting than before. But like a great band that hits the big time with their first album, the pressure is on.

As these fledgling labels get ready to launch into their second season, the questions on my lips were simple. Can they take these promising starts and grow as brands, evolving their style and learning lessons from their first collections?

In other words, would the learning curve continue or would some of the labels suffer from second album syndrome?