05 February 2016


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02 September 2015

No Compromise

Andrea, Marketing and Communication, Jacket from COS, Boots from Topshop, Ring from Yves Saint Laurent

Whether it comes to her work attire or attitude, Andrea says she always makes sure to keep it professional. “I always believe in looking presentable — this means no ill-fitting clothing, or flip-flops even if I’m out for lunch. Even if you're in a t-shirt & jeans ensemble, carry it with confidence and add small details like a scarf or statement accessory,” she says. “Also — I can't emphasise this enough — always be professional, whatever the job. Even if you're not exactly doing something you like, take it positively and keep that in your experience bank.” She also suggests having back-up or ‘lazy’ outfits — a shift dress, for example — that you can don in seconds when everything else fails. Andrea took a break off from her studies to gain some experience in the work force, and says that right now, she’s trying to be a sponge and learn as much as she can. She seems to be enjoying work, although there have been times during peak periods where she has had to cancel appointments with friends and family. “I keep one day on the weekends solely for family time and make the effort to meet up with friends for lunch or dinner during the rest of the week. If not, keeping in touch via text works for me.” While she wishes she had time to be a volunteer worker as well, to help and care for the less fortunate, she also tries to lead a balanced lifestyle by occasionally going for a swim, yoga session, or a mixed-martial arts class or two. “I’d watch movies, catch up on TV series and read extensively, “ she says. “Photography is also something I'm really into, and it's been one of my hobbies since I was 8 years old.” It seems like Andrea is still exploring and forging her own path forward; the one thing she keeps in mind? “Never compromise on your values.”

01 September 2015

Shaping Up

Lishan, Design Lead, Pants from Jesse Kamm, Shoes from Maryam_Nassir_Zadeh, Watch from Cartier

Typical of her easygoing, playful attitude, Lishan polls her friends over WhatsApp to get an opinion on what her personal style is best described as. “‘Alt-prep’ and ‘comfy-luxe’ came up,” she says. She says she tends to gravitate towards a good, classic silhouette with some surprises here and there — the colour of her pants, for example. Lishan says that her work entails working with and being “surrounded by a bunch of incredible individuals every day who are as talented as they are kind”, and helping her clients solve problems. “Think Olivia Pope, sans the scandal,” she says, only half-jokingly. This means having plenty of in-depth, genuine conversations with the people that she meets, and she draws experience from her background as a journalist and programme marketer. If she wasn’t here, her list of alternative career choices are varied: “A journalist writing profiles of interesting people across professions and passions; a criminal profiler; an extra in a Jay Chou or Wang Lee Hom MTV; or manning the information counter at Kinokuniya.” Her advice from her years at work: “You're learning for the first three to five years in the workforce — not just about the work, but about yourself,” she says. “Also, the sai gang (menial work) is real. Suck it up, regardless of who your paymaster is. And always be kind to people, because the ‘everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about’ thing is true.” Outside of work, Lishan is trying her hand at flower arranging, visiting the nursery every three weeks. “I just do it because few things beat a good friend's/aunty's/my mum's face when they open the door to a bouquet of fresh flowers,” she says. “It feels good to create and make things.” Lishan’s driving philosophy, both at work and in life? “Honour your limits.”

30 August 2015

SHENTONISTA Looks — In The Middle

Featuring (top to bottom, left to right): Chuch, Jenny, Joan, Angie, Luna, Kelly

Looking like the product of a cross between midi skirts and pants, culottes seem to be a popular choice these days. Providing the feminine silhouette of a skirt, but with the comfort and ease of pants, culottes are a welcome alternative to tailored pants. The cut and make of your culottes make a big difference to your look — pick ones in a softer, lighter material for something a little more feminine; or go for something high-waisted and structured for a edgier outfit. A crisp, button-up shirt adds some polish to the look, while sleeveless tops are great for off-work dinners and drinks. Take a cue from these ladies and try working some culottes into your wardrobe.

29 August 2015

On The Street

Alex, Photographer, Top from H&M, Shoes from Adidas

Alex says that he’s had a pretty interesting career path so far. “I used to be a musician and composer during my army and university days, singing at pubs and cafes, before I had the opportunity to transit into modelling and acting. Today, while I still do modelling sometimes, I am an events executive, freelance photographer, and a scout for my Hong Kong modelling agency.” While it might sound like a lot, Alex seems to be loving his job, in particular his photography. “I get to be a part of other people’s lives and get the opportunity to know them, capture their expressions, and their inner moments — these things represent who they are,” he says. “Memories will be forgotten, but photos last a lifetime, and having the ability and opportunity to capture something like that is a beautiful thing.” His biggest pet peeve would be people dismissing photographers as “button-pressers”; if he could, Alex would love to be a travel photographer and immerse himself in the profession, documenting different people, cultures, and places. No matter what job he’s doing, however, Alex says that it is important to learn, enjoy the process, and love what you are doing. When it comes to learning, Alex doesn’t have particular role models he aspires to become; instead, he makes the effort to read up and learn about the different techniques and skills of the people looks up to as inspiration. With his background in fashion, Alex says that you will never catch him in a typical office ensemble. “For me, comfort and looking fanciful is the most important, but an essence of street is a must when it comes to personalising my outfit.” His philosophy in life is simple: “ Life is too short, so live it to the fullest. Make sure you’re doing something meaningful.”

28 August 2015

Somewhere Out There

Nathalie, Intern, Shoes from Topshop, Wallet from Braun Buffel

 Nathalie is deliberate in her choice of clothes and style; she tends to stick to a particular colour scheme each day, and gravitates towards a very muted aesthetic. “It's all about light coloured hues paired with primary blacks, whites, and greys. Especially grey. I love grey,” she says. “I appreciate that whole nonchalant look.” She usually looks at brands like Céline for silhouette inspiration, but when she finds herself in a dressier mode, she finds her cues from brands such as Elie Saab. “I feel like you can tell that so much effort and pure craft has been invested in each intricate design,” she says. “I do subscribe to the view that what you wear can change how you feel. Dressing for work is basically the most fun I have in the morning!” Nathalie is currently reading law in Oxford, and says that while she had considered studying philosophy or literature when she was younger, she realised that she had to be more realistic in finding a career that supported her financially. “Law has been good to me, and surprisingly, I do enjoy it immensely.” Despite being pragmatic, Nathalie says she is still a firm believer in adages that a lot of people think are idealistic, like 'do what you love'. “A lot of Singaporeans don't believe that anymore, or it’s treated as something that doesn’t happen to us. It’s quite sad that people treat a corporate life as a rite of passage, or something they have to do, when it’s really not,” she says. “I've been struggling with it for awhile now, because I've just started working, but I don't think its healthy for a nation to be brought up thinking that they were made to join the corporate world, or that it’s the pinnacle of your achievement. I would like to believe there's something more out there, outside societal constructs like jobs and careers. It's important to retain a healthy sense of your own mortality before you give your life to a profession. Make sure it’s something you love.”

27 August 2015

Just Do It

Clarice, Student, Top from River Island, Shoes from New Balance, Hat from Forever21

Clarice says she can’t really put her style into words, except she knows for a fact that it isn’t girly, and although her new job allows her to dress pretty casually, she usually tries to personalise her daily outfits with something fun or interesting. “I like to pick out items that are unique, and mix them with more basic pieces.” she says. “One of the rules I live by would be to dress comfortably, which means I'm in sneakers most of the time.” Clarice loves that her job is very different from what she previously studied, and so she’s learning new things every day. “I'm also meeting new people everyday so that's fun!” Her love of sneakers might also explain her dream job — to work for Hypebeast, a site for men's contemporary fashion, streetwear, and related content. A huge lover of xiao long baos (meat- and broth-filled dumpllings), Clarice says she loves “exploring and checking out fun stuff in Singapore”, which includes checking out art events and hunting down good food. “Which means I have to find the time to exercise and burn those calories too!” A believer in working hard and playing hard, Clarice hasn’t had any problems balancing her work and life so far, and says that it’s important not to be afraid to ask when it comes to work-related matters. In life, Clarice says she tries to live by this motto: “Always challenge yourself to do what scares you.”