Old, pre-Brighton snapshots again, as recognisable from the 'photo montage wall' in my dorm room, generally shorter hair, and summer-like clothing. Woke up that day craving books, so I got dressed and made my way down to the bookstore in the market, where the man sells a mindblowing array of subjects. Met D there (he'd awoken way earlier, he said proudly) and we lugged about 15 books back. Went out in my Demonness Lipstick (last seen here) and a gorgeous satin printed number I bought back in Sing for one Chinese New Year (my excuse). It was love at first sight, and I went bats for the Oriental prints and the batwing cut that makes me feel like Icarus. Anyhows, after buying books, we went to the mall, and I returned with the pretty pleated pink-and-white satin dress-- love satin too much for my good. Worn with Prada snakeskin shoes and reading Amos Oz's fascinating biographical recount back then.
BySi satin top; ValleyGirl high-waisted denim skirt; Prada heels; Diva ring and earrings; Mango bangle.
And whilst we're at it, the gorgeous lady behind Pull Your Socks Up! (and who makes me laugh with her tagline Growing Old Disgracefully) gave me a Sunshine Award a few weeks back. My first award ever (and considering that Devilishly Pleasurable was only about 1.5 months old back then!) and I took painfully long to respond. Nevertheless, Pull Your Socks Up is a total visual delight peppered with witty musings, with so many gorgeous finds whipped up in unconventionally wicked ways. . urging me to pull my socks up when it comes to dressing!
I'll pass this on (except that I realise that some of my favourite blogs also correspond with Pull's. . is that alright to re-award?) to 12 of my favourite style blogs too. .
I was also tagged by Veshoevius from Taxonomy of My Wardrobe where she unveiled her beautiful collection of shoes together with well-articulated answers. Here's mine. .
What's your favourite fashion accessory?
It's a tie between shoes and rings. I love shoes so much, sometimes I begin dressing based on a pair, which I am heartened to know is not uncommon among many fashion lovers. If I could have my way, I would be in five-inches and up all the time, however, owing to practicalities, that doesn't always materialise. I remember how, once upon a time, I used to think that 3.75-inches were high enough, and lo and behold, I've 'progressed' to six. Yet, heels always make you feel on top of the world. They make everything look more stunning almost-instantly. It's always a dilemma between gorgeous ostentatious numbers (more commonly known as Statement Shoes) and more sober-looking everyday heels. I oscillate unstably between both polarities at any one time. As for rings, I am known for my large rings; otherwise strangers stop me sometimes to ask where I got my rings from. What I first started out with during my pursuit of gorgeous rings now looks dwarfic in comparison to those I have today. I always make sure I wear at least a ring, and like them a little strange. And hey, they double up as potential weapons too! I don't know why people keep remarking that way, but well, stay away any potentially offensive oafs!
Who's your fashion role model?
Real-life people would be my grandmother and mother. They were/are both extremely vain, and I always tell my mother I am a potent, concentrated, exaggerated, supersonic version of the two of them whenever she stalks my clothes on Facebook (bad idea to add your parents!) and calls me up saying, "Stop buying new clothes!". My grandmother was always stylish-- albeit from a different era and culture of dressing-- and always brought my cousins and myself to People's Park in Singapore to purchase textiles for her to tailor. I always loved the colours and wild prints, reveling in the insane array of textile shops in the complex, whilst she would chat with certain shopkeepers, proudly speaking of her grandchildren. Even though her size was much bigger than mine and the cuts might be a little 'old-fashioned', I picked out a few pieces of her clothing, to be used as light summer jackets or loose tops to go with high-waisted pants. And what stunned me more was her collection of handbags-- she had really gorgeous leather numbers that I never saw her use when she was alive. She used to love my clothes and bags, and when I'd visit her during her last years in the hospital, she'd ask me curiously about my bangles and shoes. I also remember how, during one Chinese New Year, my mother was complaining about how much I spent on a pair of Nine West shoes and a Guess? handbag, and my grandmother was oohing and ahhing over them, smiling away. She loved makeup too, and she'd always ask my cousin to buy more lipsticks for her. I remember her always telling me to pluck my eyebrows when I was about 13 or 14! I think, my grandmother rubbed off on me an eye for colour, prints, details, quality and a general sense of eclecticism. I like to think she lives on that way, bless her soul.
My mother, of course, is definitely vain, being the progeny of my grandmother. Her clothes invade every wardrobe in the house, but she'd retort "It took me twenty years to build that up and you, two years!". Nevertheless, during happier times of peace and excitement, we'd shop together, especially during the sales, and she'd soften whenever I come back and tell her, "Yeah! You can wear this piece too! See, we can share". Which is true. We do share. And the excitement of new pieces undoubtedly makes her cave in. Sometimes I'd dig into her really old clothes and pull up a few pieces that make me a little giddy and breathless, whilst she'd respond, "But that's so old!". So in contrast, she'll wear my new pieces and I'll wear her old pieces, such as a particular turquoise-and-black polka-dotted chiffon top, a billowy red chiffon dress, and a nautical-looking stripped dress that I count amongst my favourites; no doubt I have 'kidnapped' or 'stolen' many of her clothes which now sit in my wardrobe in England. My mother loves shoes too-- although not as high as mine, she doesn't need to, she's about 5ft8!--a habit encouraged by my father as they go about buying her shoes together! How amazing! So much so I grew up thinking all men shop for shoes with their wives and imagine my dastard disappointment when I realised most men don't know a hoot about shoes. And then I met D, who didn't know as much about shoes as I knew, but has a fantastic eye for them. I always tell him, he is responsible for the gargantuan marginal increases in heel heights that I have undergone over the years.
And of course, whenever I used to watch the telly, I picked up role models here and there. I find it easier when the characters are moving rather than a static photo. And when the characters have lives and stories. I remember loving Phoebe Halliwell's (in Charmed) eclecticism, Gabby's (in DH) poshness and how she always looks so fantastic in general, Melinda Gordon's (in Ghost Whisperer) breathtaking vintage pieces, Victory Ford's (in Lipstick Jungle) bubbly original style. . and I love to watch Penelopé Cruz and Angelina Jolie. Well basically I love looking at good-looking women.
What do you always carry with you?
Again, I am bipolar in this aspect. Sometimes I go out with absolutely nothing (love it that way. The freedom!) and just ring the doorbell when I get back. Knowing I'm just going for a walk (or run. .but the last time I ran was 1.5 years ago) and having some quiet time. This habit started when I used to run around the hills in my neighbourhood in Singapore, and I'd prevent myself from carrying money or a phone *just in case* I decided to hail a cab home halfway or buy food halfway.
If I carry a large handbag, I bring the kitchen sink with me. Something like that. Well, sometimes I carry my MacBook in it-- always produce it out of a handbag even when travelling; cell phone (sometimes I leave it under the bed if I don't want to be contacted); wallet; 'spare accessories' that I will pile on myself or some friend who complains about being underdressed; brolly (sometimes, but I hardly use it even then); makeup kit (eyelash curler, blotters, mirror, lipstick, gloss, balm); thumb drives; pen; keys; Emergency Kit (safety pins, plasters, hair ties, bobby pins); Moleskine (or whatever notebook I use that year); water bottle; and of course a book.
If a small tiny inconsequential handbag/clutch is used, it's just lipstick/gloss/balm (hafta choose one!), plastic, camera and phone.
How would you describe your style?
Eclectic, slightly eccentric, slightly flamboyant (although I don't really think it is, just a natural inclination, I guess). In general, I love the slightly decadent, or insane-looking pieces that I know will give an oomph! to any outfit. Shoes are a focal point, and I have a good collection of belts.
I subscribe to my mantra, Everyday's A Fashion Parade, and wake up wondering just what I feel like, before proceeding to create the look, throwing on this and that to my heart's content. I don't normally change out of my clothes or try on a few outfits, so that saves some time. Also, no longer living out of boxes helps a great deal in manifesting and cementing my particular look for the day. Sometimes I think I feel like a Gangsta. So I'll dress in jeans, boots, with loads of black, silver and spikes. That's also my kinda-dressed-down look, which I used to do alot when I tutored. Sometimes I feel like a boy, slightly androgynous in my delusional mind, so I'll pull out stuff like men's clothes (stolen from D/The Brother/The Father), suspenders and thick cuffs. When I feel a little Femme Fatale, out come the basques, opulent stockings, rich textures, (faux) furs, lace and very high heels-- it's the little touches that count here. When I try to channel Corporate Lawyer, I roll out the gorgeous shirts, high-waisted skirts and trousers, and high-heeled pumps. If I feel lazy, I'll wear D's shirts with a tiny skirt and a pair of NotTooHighHeels, throw on long pearls, and voila. My hardest look is Absolutely Dressed Down And Casual-- I end up spending about half an hour trying to do that, which gets me upset, because I don't normally take a third as long-- although I will do something nonsensical like throw in gold sneakers when I 'go casual'. Sometimes too, I love the elegant, graceful Audrey Hepburn look. Except that I will somehow add a touch of Gangsta to it.
What's your favourite? Jeans, sunglasses or heels?
I've never owned a pair of designer sunglasses, no matter how I periodically remind myself to get them. Prescription glasses take enough of a chunk of money away from me (am severely myopic + astigmatic) to warrant spending anymore on eyewear. I hardly wear blue jeans these days, as I don't think I look very good in them, plus once you wear them you should wash them because the next time you're gonna wear them would be six months later-- the hassle is not worth it. I brought six pairs of jeans over to the UK, including a pink and a red pair. My most worn jeans are two pairs of black and white Rock & Republic drainpipes, with an awesome fit and well, I just love my jeans white. Any white-coloured bottoms, in fact. If I'm lazy, I'll wear leggings that fit like gloves.
So, it's heels all the way. Sometimes I even walk around in them indoors.
What inspired you to blog about fashion?
I used to keep various personal blogs in different foxholes that threw everything in, but read fashion blogs for years. I even set about two fashion blogs up over the years but pulled the plug within 3 weeks because they didn't have any life, soul or feel in them, unlike where in other foxholes where I ramble and ramble and ramble more. I love Devilishly Pleasurable alot thought, it was born out of interest and passion, a chronologically-displaced photodiary (so many shots!) and has somehow gravitated towards. .rambling too. I also adore the community of amazing people whose blogs I love reading too. . great inspiration and food for thought!
What is your favourite fashion store?
I love Spanish and Italian fashion. There's something luxe, and slightly decadent about that. I shop quite a bit of vintage too; and sometimes I'll pop into Bebe and Marciano (of which I swear all the clothes are Sex). I love Mango (the Penelopé Cruz and Milla Jovovich ranges were awesome!), Zara and Massimo Dutti as regular haunts, otherwise I get inspired anywhere. Sometimes cheapo generic stores actually have quite awesome finds-- just look out for beautiful materials and finishing-- that my best friend calls 'roses in shit piles'. And, I love my mother's wardrobe, hand-me-downs, and scour around like a vulture in people's houses because they tend to like to give me clothes they don't want anymore. Which I would reconfigure. The more the merrier!
What is your favourite fabric in clothing?
Satin and silk. Love sensual tactile feels. I even used to have a tiny schoolbag that doubled-up as a pillow when I was about 15, because I loved the feel of it (as well as to sleep on before class started). Cashmere is awesome to keep warm in, and sometimes I love faux fur.
Who are your favourite designers?
Actually, I'm not really sure about this. .
Who or what inspires your style?
See 'fashion role model'.
Would you choose to buy something high quality or make it yourself if you could?
Both. I love to tailor stuff (plus I cannot resist tweaking designs) and some pieces are just so beautiful you have to have them original. Now I just wish I had dressmaking skills. . .
And . . you're tagged too. . . To the bloggers above (if you haven't already answered these, pardon my ignorance given my absence from blogosphere) do feel free to share your thoughts!