20 December 2014

Stopping By

John, Web Engineer, Hat from Lock&Co.

We spotted John from afar in his horn-rimmed glasses and dapper straw hat, but he says the hat was actually an accidental buy. Chatty and animated, he goes on to explain: “I walked into the store and saw this hat which I thought was quite nice, but I didn’t check the price and when I brought it to the counter I got a bit of a shock. I bought it anyway because it would have been too embarrassing to put it back, but I definitely wouldn’t have bought it if I had known how much it had cost.” The Englishman is prone to bouts of impulse and random buys, and says he’s sometimes gone shopping drunk and ended up buying more leather bags even though he has “loads”. Not that he doesn’t have good taste, however — he begins to speak passionately about his love for tailored, bespoke menswear and menswear brands he recommends. Take his shirt, for instance. “Boggi uses interesting fabrics, and the cuts are good.” We met John the day after he arrived in Singapore, although he seems to be adapting just fine — “I’m wearing flip-flops to fit in.”

19 December 2014


Monica, Hospitality, Shoes from Stradivarius, Clutch from Bangkok.

Monica makes frequent shopping trips to Bangkok, and only just recently returned from her latest foray there. As such there’s quite a few items from her look today that are from the shopping heaven, although she says she visits Hong Kong to shop as well. In an airy, pleated top and cream coloured cardigan, offset by a striking printed skirt, Monica describes her style as comfortable, and when we ask her about her high heels, she laughs. “Even if my heels are high, they still have to be comfortable.” Monica works in a hotel and deals with hospitality and marketing, which she says forces her to think out of the box and which allows her to meet different sorts of people from all over the world. “I have to cater to different guests and their needs, and sometimes I find out the random-est things about them, like what they’ve had for lunch, or if they’ve had a bad day.” With her radiant, affable personality making it easy for people to open up to her, it’s clear to see that Monica is definitely suited for the job.

18 December 2014

The Hostess

Nura, Manager, Skirt from Bershka, Necklace from Dorothy Perkins.

Nura jazzes up a plain white tee with an attention-grabbing floral maxi skirt and statement necklace, and with just a little peak of teal in the form of comfortable, practical flats. Nura is a picture of calm and poise, although she says she doesn’t always look this way. It’s the early afternoon, before the after-work crowd starts hitting the restaurant that she manages. “It gets hectic when it’s overcrowded,” she says. “I have to run around a lot, and I can’t simply stand there and look good!” Nonetheless, Nura says that she enjoys the challenges that her job throws at her. “I also love the guests that come and dine with us. I love meeting new people. They make my job come alive.”

17 December 2014

Through Her Eyes

Aqilah, Trading, Blazer from Adrianna Ayariqa, Bag from Q10.

Describing her style as simple and elegant, Aqilah proudly wears a jacket made by one of her friends, and knows that colour is just her thing. “I play about with colours because they make me look younger and more radiant than the usual black.” Fresh-faced and bubbly, Aqilah is also inspiringly mature, and springs this gem of wisdom upon us when asked about the one thing she’s learnt from her time at work. “Own your mistakes and then move on. Don’t try to hide it or its impact, and don’t blame others. Take responsibility and then stop obsessing over it. It happened, you learned from it, and you’re past it.” If she weren’t working in her current profession, Aqilah would love to pursue photojournalism. "I love to take photos of people and places," she says. "I take photos because it reminds me of the beauty there is in little things. It forces me to see something in a new way, and by doing that I am opened up to a wider view of all things in this world." Luckily for Aqilah, then, that her work allows her to travel, so she can somewhat pursue this passion, although travelling does mean less time spent with her loved ones. A believer in suffering now, and enjoying later on, Aqilah is her own personal cheerleader. "I may fall a lot of times, but I always stand back up. I don't give up!"

16 December 2014


Clarity, Media Advertising, Necklace from Accesorize, Clutch from Agnes b.

“Questioning makes you an active learner,” Clarity says. “When you ask, you remember and when you remember, you learn.” Currently working in a media agency, Clarity says that she has been lucky enough to have been surrounded by extremely kind and guiding managers in her career so far. “One thing they have always encouraged me to do is not be afraid to speak up and ask questions.” Another great thing about working in her field is being surrounded by “creative and expressive folks”, so the office dress code isn’t such a big issue. Work has taught her to manage her quality time out of the office well. “The honest truth is that you can never please everyone, but what I’ve been picking up along the way is to be more selective and to set aside certain days of the week for the people that really matter, and making that time count.” This half-Korean lass caught our eye in this cheery, casual-Friday outfit, the perfect antidote to the rainy weather, and says she is sorry to disappoint anyone who asks her about her Korean roots. “I can barely string a sentence together, have no interest in Korean dramas, and do not know of any mouthwatering, hidden-gems-off-the-beaten-track restaurants to recommend back in Seoul despite having family there.” If she could do anything she wanted to do, Clarity says she would be going “travelling, more travelling, and even more travelling”, and lives by this simple phrase: “Never touch anything with half your heart.”

15 December 2014

UOB Cards x SHENTONISTA — Model Behaviour

Rebecca, Model and Presenter, Anna Sui Tote Bag, in collaboration with UOB Cards.
Shoes from Palladium, Bracelets from Buddha to Buddha.

Rebecca is a ball of energy on set, lifting everyone’s spirits with her mischievous antics and catalogue of funny facial expressions. She rocks the shoot in a quintessential off-duty-model look. “I like simple, rugged things. I don’t like to be so dressed up all the time. The things I’m wearing now are all staples, and they’ll never go out of style.” It’s clear that practicality ranks high for Rebecca: her everyday essentials include her phone and wallet, for obvious reasons, as well as a pair of headphones. “I love music, and I’m always plugged in when I’m riding on my kick-scooter. It’s my little bit of exercise and my way of doing a little something for the environment.” The relaxed outfit lets the purple prints on her Anna Sui tote bag stand out all the more, and reflects a less well-known part of Rebecca’s persona — she’s actually a fan of interior design and DIY. “I’m quite hands on,” she says. “I like building things. I actually did a short course in interior design in Singapore, and I’ve worked on some projects.” This might seem like a far cry from the glamorous model that we see more often, but seeing Rebecca’s boundless liveliness in person, it’s easy to reconcile the two different facets of her personality. She does love her modelling job — “I like that I get to travel a lot, and meet all kinds of amazing people” — but also misses her family when she’s away. “I’m away for only short periods at a time, but I’m very close to my family.” She wears a locket that holds a photo of her father, and says she cherishes the time she gets to spend here with her family. Each times she travels, she’s also reminded of why she calls Singapore home. “It’s always evolving, and ever-changing. It’s always safe, and always clean and green despite the fact that it’s really a city.” When it comes to life, Rebecca has a simple philosophy. “As long as you don’t harm anybody along the way, you only have one life,” she says. “Live it well.”

The limited edition Anna Sui tote bag featured is not for sale. Find out how you can get one at http://bit.ly/uobannasui

This is a Shentonista project for UOB Cards, in collaboration with Anna Sui.

14 December 2014

SHENTONISTA Trend of the Week — Add Ons

We all have our staples in shades of black and grey that get us through our most uninspired days and rushed mornings. So how about picking up some things to make the most out of your basics? It's often the little details that make all the difference, and there are things that can make your most-worn pieces a little more interesting. Mix up an all-black outfit with a pair of bold-coloured shoes, or add some spice to a plain jacket with a lapel pin and pocket square. Or how about a statement necklace to jazz up a plain tee, or some attention-grabbing heels to add some edge to simple black pants. Think about textures: pleats that aren't so run-of-the-mill, or a sheer, embroidered top that you can layer on over a simple black dress. All little things that can add something to your look, without you having to overhaul your entire wardrobe — it can't get any easier than this.