26 November 2014

Off Stage

Nazia, Interior Designer, Top from Bugis, Shoes from City Plaza. 

You would hardly think it, but Nazia says that she used to be a “total nerd” in secondary school. “I was a science geek, actually,” she says. “I was quite silent, and wouldn’t talk to my classmates, but now I’m the complete opposite and my classmates don’t even recognise me anymore!” She’s referring to the fact that she’s now an active dancer, and counts hip hop, R&B, and Bollywood dance as some of her favourite genres. “My whole family dances, and I’ve been dancing since I was 8,” she says. “But my interest in hip hop grew when I was in polytechnic. I would love to be a professional dancer, save up, and open a dance studio and teach classes.” For now, however, Nazia is happy with her second love: interior design. She’s new at the job, having only been working for about two months, but she’s coming to learn more and more about her chosen field. “I love designing spaces, and coming up with concepts for spaces,” she says. But like every creative soul, she struggles a little when faced with limitations, such as building regulations. Still, she’s willing to work hard and to continue to grow. “To make your dreams come true, you’ve got to work hard,” she says. “Wishing for it won’t lead you anywhere."

25 November 2014


Charissa, PR, Top from Proenza Schouler, Skirt from Alice & Olivia.

Charissa works in a lifestyle and F&B PR company — the upside? A fast-paced agency life, a relaxed dress code, and countless, “absolutely delicious” food tastings. The downside, however, are the workouts she needs to guilt herself into after said food tastings. Nonetheless, it seems that her job suits her well; food is something of a passion of hers. “My favourite thing to do is to test out recipes and force-feed my family and friends,” she says. In fact, if Charissa wasn’t working in PR, this hobby of hers could very well be her next dream job. “There are few things I love more than making desserts and writing endlessly, so I’d say eventually I might be a pastry chef by day and novelist by night.” Still, she seems to be enjoying her work for now, and says to anyone just starting out: “Self-awareness is key. Stay humble, but hustle hard.” Charissa’s engaging personality is certainly the key to her job, as are her little quirks. “I have quite an obsessive personality, so when I like something, I tend to go overboard,” she says. “There are periods of my life that can be clearly marked based on my obsessions — there was the Diptyque candle era; the time where I drank soy matcha lattes everyday when I woke up and before I slept; and for months, I’d spent every weekend at Crate and Barrel. Weird ones are the best ones, right?”

24 November 2014


Jaryl, Interior Designer, Jacket from Topman, Bracelets from H&M.

Jaryl seems born to be an interior designer. “Everywhere I go, I look around and think: Why is it designed that way? What material did they use?” he says. “I can’t see myself doing anything else.” And although he only started working in the middle of this year, he’s already growing to love his job. “I love getting a chance to meet different clients. All of them have different intentions, and we are set on a challenge to design something great.” His only gripe, perhaps, would be that he doesn’t have “enough hands to do the many things that I want to, within the time period given.” And because he’s so busy, he finds it difficult sometimes to juggle his work life and personal life. A tip that he gives, and that he tries to follow himself, would be to identify your priorities, and make time for them. “Always plan ahead.” The day of an interior designer is never fixed, and when it comes to his workwear, Jaryl says that staying comfortable, and keeping in mind the activities for the day, are his only considerations. “COS and Black Barrett are my “go to” places, recently,” he says, when asked of his favourite brands. “They have designs that I like — clean cut lines and practical pieces that are great for office wear — and best of all, they are not too pricey.”

23 November 2014

SHENTONISTA Trend of the Week: Building Blocks

Featuring: Cherin, Clara, Zann, and AngelaThere are certain pieces in all our wardrobes that we can wear time and again, and these people show us exactly what kind of pieces to invest in. It doesn't have to be anything flashy or over the top; in fact, it's often the simplest pieces that we get the most mileage out of, the pieces that are the easiest to throw on in the mornings without having to think twice. We're talking about staple items that make your wardrobe a little more interesting, but are oh-so-easy to wear; it could be a plain, solid-coloured top with an interesting structure or cut, or a graphic printed midi skirt that easily transitions from workday to off-day, or a straightforward shift dress with an eye-catching, unusual print, or well-fitted, subtly patterned work shirts and a pair of great boots. It's all about building your wardrobe up with strong foundations. 

22 November 2014

Walking the Line


Angela, PR, Dress from ASOS, Shoes from Steve Madden.

“If I could do anything I wanted to do, I'd most definitely make a living out of attending concerts and festivals,” Angela says, and while she knows that might not really be a possibility in the near future, she’s happy to be working where she is now. “I have always wanted to be in PR, so I don't really want to be doing anything else.” It helps that her industry is a bit more relaxed about formal work wear. “I'm pretty lucky,” she says. “My wardrobe's quite colourful. I wear a lot of prints, and I usually add a funky jacket to complete the look. I can get away with wearing a bright green jacket to work and for client meetings.” Beyond work, Angela says she spends “an inordinate amount of time” on music and films. Another surprising quirk? “I can shuffle in heels.” On tough days, Angela’s reminder to herself is simple: this too shall pass. “Every sad thing that happens now won't last, and the happy things don't either. I try to be as happy as I can be at any particular moment, and try not to sweat the small stuff.”

21 November 2014

The Eye Must Travel

Charmaine, Marketing, Skirt from Lefties, Heels from Zara.

Charmaine has a lot on her plate at once: she’s studying and working at the same time, and has to juggle her friends, family, and partner in between. “It can get very overwhelming at times, but I’m glad that they all have been very supportive and understanding,” she says. “I think I’m also able to do so many things at once because I’m very passionate about my work, so it doesn’t feel like a chore — I actually look forward to going to work, as crazy as it sounds!” Charmaine says she always feels inspired at work, from the people she gets to meet, to the fashion spreads she sees, to the clothes she works with. Nonetheless, when things get too hectic, she says her perfect retreat would be a simple day on the beach, with a mojito in hand. “I’m a beach bum,” she says. It seems that she’s pretty adventurous as well, however — she says one of the best travel experiences she’s had this year was being on a camel in the Sahara desert, and sleeping under the stars. “I really believe in travelling and experiencing as much as I can while I’m still young,” Charmaine says. “I’ve got my eye on experiencing the hot air balloons in Turkey, or swimming in the national lake in Croatia.”

20 November 2014

Fighting Fit

Zann, Interior Designer, Shirt from Zara, Bracelets from Fossil and Shanghai.

Zann describes his morning routine as something that goes like this: “Panic, shower, pack my bag, panic, leave the house.” It’s a good thing then, that he usually sticks to basics when it comes to looking work-appropriate, no mean feat when he has to look both presentable enough to meet clients, and comfortable enough to go to construction sites should the need arise. A stickler for good design, Zann counts Japanese brands such as Muji and Uniqlo as his favourites when it comes to good workwear. “Their shirts are comfortable, and breathe well,” he says. Zann’s favourite part of his job, he says, is the fact that he gets to design things from scratch, and gets to see the process of it being built. Zann does Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on the side, and reveals perhaps the one secret superpower he has that helps him along his work: “I remember almost everything, like an elephant — from when I was 4 months old,” he says. “I pretty much have a photographic memory, but it comes in random flashbacks of which I have no control over. It’s a lot of brain noise and fuzz.”