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.”

26 August 2015

First Impressions

Soko, Recruiting, Top from H&M, Shorts from Zara, Shoes from Kurt Geiger

Soko is from Mongolia, and left her country when she was 16 to study and work in Asia and Europe. She now finds herself in Singapore, and she says she is lucky to have this combination of backgrounds to expose her to various trends and cultures. “I would describe my personal style as being modern and feminine with a focus on all the small details — always having a manicure pedicure, for example! Attention to detail is important because first impressions are made and lost on how people present themselves, prior to even speaking.” Soko has been in Singapore for just half a year, and says that she finds it to be a land of opportunity. “However, you sometimes have to start low to get high. It takes time and patience for sure,” she says. “With set goals and benchmarks, and a relative timeline, I try to keep perspective on where my aims are and how I hope to get there.” She also enjoys the occasional cheat-day off from the gym by indulging in some of our famous local foods. A big fan of fashion, Soko says she would love to focus working with boutique Australian brands and bringing them to Singapore or back to her native Mongolia. She lists Victoria Beckham and Jessica Alba as style inspirations and role models. “They are fabulous mums, while also having established business lines with global appeal.” Solo says that her guilty, off-work pleasure is Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Legally Blonde, which was a personal favourite when she was little. “It's how I first started to teach myself English!”

25 August 2015

Made Of Steel

Helena, Marketing, Pants from Zara, Shoes from Office, Bag from Charles & Keith 

When it comes to dressing appropriately for work, Helena speaks from experience. She works in marketing in the construction and engineering industry, which means that she meets clients in vastly differing workplaces. “Early in my career I arrived on my first day at work wearing heels and a skirt suit. Later that same day I ended up visiting a waste recycling plant and had to walk four floors up an external steel mesh staircase with my heels dropping through the gaps and my skirt blowing up in the wind,” she says. “I now keep extra clothes and shoes in my office so that I am always prepared. I was given some good advice when I first started working about keeping my work wardrobe distinctive from my social and leisure wear.” Helena says that her favourite part of her job is working with people from a wide range of industries. “I’ve gained insight into organisations I’d never have dreamt of working with, ranging from luxury hotel brands to Olympic Games organising committees.” The worst thing about being a marketer, she says, is that some people think marketing simply entails “producing pretty posters and brochures”. Her biggest piece of advice when it comes to work is to learn to ask. “I found that most people, no matter how senior their position, would talk freely about aspects of their work when they knew I was genuinely interested,” she says. “I also learnt to volunteer for tasks that other people shied away from. If no one else wanted to do them I found that I got to do them my way and people would start to rely on me for input on other projects.”  Even then, Helena makes sure that she sets aside time for the important things in life. “My time is prioritised by my ‘must haves’ – these are the activities that absolutely must happen,” she says. “Everyone’s ‘must haves’ are different so be honest with yourself.” Her list includes heading to the gym almost every day, and occasionally exploring Singapore to take in the sights and enjoy the food. This active mother used to be a casino cabaret performer, and still loves dancing and singing. Her favourite word? “Courage,” she says. “It’s a word I first liked as a child and one that I take it into consideration when I am making tough decisions.”

24 August 2015

A Friendly Face

Richard, F&B, Top and shorts from American Apparel, Socks from Vanishing Elephant, Shoes from Supra, Bag from Crumpler, Watch from Omega, Shades from Garrett Leight

You might not be able to tell from this set of photos, but one of the things in his wardrobe that Richard says he can’t live without are his cotton boxer shorts. That, and his trusty Omega Seamaster watch which never leaves his wrist. “I love it — I swim, shower, and scuba dive with it.” He describes his wardrobe as “eclectic”, and says he buys from brands that are good quality and that make him look good. “Understated style is underrated.” Richard is the front of house manager at Luxe Singapore and Luxe Sydney, although hospitality isn’t what he imagined himself to be working in. “My love of working with people has made it a very natural progression though,” he says. “What started out as a part time job whilst studying has turned into a career and a passion.” As such, Richard says that the most rewarding part of his job is the people. “From the great staff that I have the pleasure of working with, to ensuring that every customer leaves satisfied — I want people to have a great experience, from the great service, to the delicious food prepared with love, to the great atmosphere.” He finds it very important to take pride in whatever he does, and advises everyone to do the same. “And don’t say yes to everything! Learn to say no when you know you’re overloaded as it is.” This is how he tries to make it a priority to have time for his friends and family, even with the long hours he works even in the evening and over the weekends. Beyond that, Richard keeps active and finds fulfilment in things outside of work as well. “I love dancing, and losing myself to a great rhythm. I love skiing, scuba diving, running, and swimming. I love a good laugh with friends. I love a super dry gin martini, one olive please. I love classical music and jazz. I love being on the receiving end of great hospitality. Role models? People who have so much with so little.”