Mood Board

Just for the FRILL of it...

Ruffles and puff sleeve inspo

Billowy, bell sleeves, ruffles and pussy bows are awash with big designers and the high street alike.  Bold coloured and patterned pussy bow silk shirts are one of Gucci's signature silhouettes.  Power-dressing puff sleeves at Roksanda, seriously feminine ruffles from Johanna Ortiz, more sleeve envy at Milly and Michael Kors. 

I took a screenshot of this fashion week #ootd from my IG feed recently (source: instagram) having fallen for its strong, audacious look.  Monochrome outfits rarely fail and mixing a crisp, white dress with white sneaks and black utilitarian accessories - a crossbody bag, visor and camera, strikes just the right note.  Well worthy of her simultaneous selfie/being papped. 

Using this as inspiration for a new moodboard, my look is anchored on a blue & white striped, frilled sleeved dress from Zara.  It's a summery staple that would work styled up or down and still as fresh as if in all white.   These Axel Arigato sneakers in a similar baby blue tone are just the right accent -  soft, textured suede contrasts to smooth hide toe caps (my own Axels came beautifully packaged together with a complimentary pair of chopsticks!).

The Elyse & i 'Emma' Saddle bag, has a hand-crafted decorated flap in soft nappa and suede so compliments the pumps perfectly.  It easily converts from shoulder to crossbody and in sleek black it adds a sophisticated note.  Finish with this ultra cool visor by Brixton (get one from Shopbop.com) and the look is nearly complete.

Final touch is the Olympus Pen in white leather - this is definitely going on my birthday wish-list, it is uber cool.  Designed with the fashion set clearly in mind, (described on their website as "almost an accessory on its own") it has selfie features, filters, flip down touch screen, retro look and a nostaglic leather camera case. 

Hope you enjoy the edit!

1. Axel Arigato Cap-toe-Sneakers in blue - shop it here
2. Elyse & i 'Emma Saddle' bag in black (also in cappuccino) nappa - shop it here
3. Olympus Pen Camera - shop it here
4. Frilled sleeved striped dress from Zara - shop it here
5. Monroe Visor by Brixton at Shopbop.com - shop it here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mouthwatering Watermelon

Spring is in the air so that can only mean one thing - time to pop on some summery clothes or accessories in hot bright colours.  This moodboard reflects some of the great finds from - sorry guys, this post is aimed mostly at Singapore dwellers - the new shophouse multi brand boutique, The AC on Singapore's East Coast, 420 Joo Chiat Road.  I love the colour watermelon - a hot, paprika red with notes of orange. 
Go for a bright maxi dress by Attaby made from breathable fabric perfect for this hot tropical climate.  Team it with Spanish artisan-crafted shoes by Cote & Badt in a neutral palette that will double as a summer shoe staple.  Add a statement too-cute-clutch with hand-embroidered watermelons by Elyse & i - another one of our 'two-faced' bags that has a plain red leather reverse meaning you get great accessory-mileage.  Then complete the look with a divine black onyx cocktail ring from Elverd Designs. 
The AC store opens Mon-Saturday from 10am til 8pm (Sunday opening times from April) and is located at 420 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore.  See you in store soon!
Don't Resist Red! Shop our red accessories here...

Steal Her Style - Sarah Atiq

Steal Her Style - Sarah Atiq

Inspired by Singapore fashion influencer, Sarah Atiq's latest post featuring our Wren bucket bag in cobalt blue - we've put together a mood board of similar pieces to recreate her style.  Enjoy !

1. Wren bucket bag in cobalt blue by Elyse & i - available online or in selected stockists
2. Fendi sunglasses - 54 mm retro sunglasses -  available from Nordstrom.com
3. Chinti and Parker 'Grey Smile Cashmere Sweater' - available from Chintiandparker.com
4. Paul Andrew 'Imari' leather slingback pumps - available from Netaporter.com
5. Pleated metallic skirt - find similar at Zara or Topshop

 

 

Steal Her Style - Sarah Atiq

Rule the Roost

Chinese communities around the globe will soon celebrate the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar, and welcome in the Year of the Fire Rooster once more.  Known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, celebrations start on the eve of CNY and culminate with the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth day of the following month.   Living in Singapore, the playlist in a supermarket is as good as indicator as any that the lunar festival is upon us - literally from January 1st onwards (maybe even Boxing Day), the Christmas crooners are repetitively replaced by the tinkling chimes of Gong Xi, Gong Xi, the aisles are stocked full of abalone, pineapple cookies, lanterns decorate the ceilings and are of course up for sale, old Aunties sniff and inspect fancily packaged boxes or oranges and tangerines and pussy willow blooms in an array of vibrants pinks and reds line the floral stands.   

Being born into the year of the Rabbit (wood being my specific element), I read with interest the predictions that are currently on display in our local mall.  Given that my horoscope barometer is definitely in the lower Russell Grant gear - who I fondly recall dishing out astrological advice to me, a Cancer/Leo cusper, on Selina Scott's BBC breakfast sofa in my childhood - the frankness at which the asian zodiac advice was dolled out left me a little bit agog.  

No softly approach with Chinese crystal gazing  - be it about financial prosperity (or not!), whether or not this was a good year to start a family (pleased that I've already checked that one), how relationships with other animal signs would fair over the next year, down to how to feng shui certain rooms in your home.  Yet, the one that got me smiling the most was that this is the year the stars tell me to get my teeth whitened.  As I've been secretly yearning to do this for a long while, I am pleased to now have the astrological approval I've been waiting for.  Watch out for my gleaming Hollywood white smile...

When there’s a good reason to celebrate, there’s always the need for a great outfit - especially for CNY.  The traditional Chinese dress is called a Cheongsam or Qipao (pronounced chipao) - the narrow, side-closing sheath was made fashionable in the 1920’s by socialites and upper class women in Shanghai. 

The Orient has been a source of inspiration for designers for as long as history has recorded fashion and the shape of the cheongsam has popped up on catwalks and enjoyed fashion reprisals or westernised variants from time to time.  The 1960’s film ‘The World of Suzie Wong’, based on Richard Mason’s book starring Nancy Kwan, resulted in a rise of popularity for qipao style dresses - known then as ‘Suzie Wong’ dresses in the West.   Tom Ford cited Maggie Cheung’s colourful cheongsams worn in the film, ‘In the Mood for Love’ (2000, by Wong Kar Wai) as a great source of inspiration for a yellow silk satin sequinned dress he created for his final season at Yves Saint Laurent in 2004.  New York's Met show in 2015 (and their Gala ball, the annual party organised by Anna Wintour, where celebs vie for a ticket then get picked over by the fashion press for what they wore) looked back over China's influence on fashion in the costume exhibition 'China: Through the Looking Glass'.  

Today, designers such as Ong Shunmugam’s modern, fresh interpretation of such this traditional style of dress keep it contemporary and wearable.  I especially love her sets, with cropped tops and three-quarter length pants or skirts.  The bold floral prints have an elegant 50’s Miami housewife appeal and her high neck cut-out dresses are bang up to date - demure with a hint of sexiness.  These outfits can be styled for any occasion in the year’s calendar and are not restricted to CNY.

For the purposes of this Mood-Board, I’m opting for a highly worked Qipao by Shanghai Tang.  The hefty price-tags - over eight thousand singapore dollars - reflects the heavily embellished nature of the dress and the fact that only ten pieces have been made.  It’s inspiration might be ‘saddler Mongolian tapestry’ but with it’s short length, long zipped back and fine bead-work it is modern, imbues both rock star and red carpet elegance in one, sexy dress.  Pair it with these Balenciaga sequin embellished satin pumps, a pair of fifites-chic Ben-Amun crystal earrings and the Elyse & i Iris Minaudière in metallic and you have one killer outfit to see in, and rule the roost this Chinese New Year.

SHOP THE LOOK:

1. Shanghai Tang Overall Beads Qipao - shanghaitang.com
2. Ben Amun Crystal Earrings - shopbop.com3. Elyse & i Iris Minaudiere bag in Metallic nappa with laser cut acrylic pattern - find it at Tangs, Tang Plaza, Orchard Road, SG, Level 2 or  shop it here online
4. Balenciaga Sequin Embellished Satin Pumps - netaporter.com

 

 

 

Red Crush

Red Crush
Lifting inspiration from a post by @rougecloset, this matchy-matchy shoe/bag combo is given an edgier look with the embellished McQueen jeans and crisp white Vaughan silk shirt. Our newest bucket bag, the Wren, in hot red calfskin, adds an easy downtown note.  Pointy pumps link it all together.
Did you know?
Red is the colour of happiness in Chinese culture and symbolises good luck, joy and prosperity so it is also strictly forbidden at funerals.  This contrasts to some Western cultures who view red as a sign of danger.  The phrase 'seeing red' or 'red rag to a bull' refers to the anger that insues after a matador taunts a bull with his red cape willing it to charge in bullfighting. While the first reference to a crimson or red carpet can be traced to as far back as 458 BC in the play Agamemnon by Aeschylus, it is believed that the ritual of giving someone the 'red carpet treatment'goes back to 1902 when The New York Central Railroad used red carpets to direct passengers on board their 20th Century Limited passenger train.  
Shop our red bags by clicking on the images below

Pleats Please

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You’re all skirt - be they maxi, midi, mini, pleated, printed, asymmetrical, textured, brightly coloured, striped, metallic or neutral, skirts of every conceivable kind have been seen on/off the runway, on celebs, bloggers and IG’ers or printed in the style pages in the past season.  And it looks like this trend is here to stay. 

Personally, skirts have always alluded me.  With the exception of a pencil skirt, I’ve always been more of a pants or dress girl.  Maybe it’s down to body shape issues - too afraid to wear a super short mini skirt?  Skirts can accentuate your rear if ill-fitting so read - does my bum look big in this? Or is it that wearing a long skirt holds for me a slightly prim, I’m-dressing-like-my-mother association?  Whatever, the issue has been, with so many pretty pleated options out there I am no longer skirting the issue (every pun intended) and determined to nail this trend forthwith. 

For this Mood-Board series, let us focus on my favourite style - pleated skirts.  Here are three different looks to transition out of summer to cooler climes or just take you from day to night to weekend.  Combing through #pleatedskirt on instagram and pinterest, or just looking at the streetstyle shots from last week's NYFW, there are so many different and exciting ways to wear them.  Channel a downtown cool vibe with pumps or sandals, sit pretty with a ballet-inspired look with patterned sweater and pastel pink skirt or make yours metallic and worthy of cocktail hour.  Here are three suggested looks:

Look 1 - Sneakers
Look 1 - Skirt + Sweater + Sneakers
1. Be Parisian Rive Droite Sweatshirt 2.  MSGM skirt from Matches Fashion 3. Thunder Minaudiere by Elyse &i 4. Riley Turquoise ring by Amber Sceats 5. Ash Magestic Sneakers

The most casual of the three looks but refined with a structured bag (our Thunder Minaudiere - a graphic printed snakeskin clutch/shoulder bag) and that skirt.  MSGM’s sky blue striped panel pleated skirt, with retro, go-faster stripes is divine.  It would look equally elegant dressed up but I’ve paired it with one of my favourite Instagram finds - Be Parisian.  Cool, heavily tongue-in-cheek illustrated slogans adorn clothing and accessories centred on the “the Parisian...her look, her style, her jaded aspect, her grumpy mood, her snobbery, her rive-droite style...or rive-gauche style…” Check out their full collection here or if you are in Paris snap it up from iconic, Rive Gauche department store, Le Bon Marche.  I’m starry-eyed about these Ash Magestic sneakers - a turquoise stone ring from Amber Sceats ties the look in nicely and you’re set for the weekend.

Brunch Look

Look 2 - Nine-to-Five then out for Girls Night
1. Jack Wills Decklant Sleeveless Cotton Lace Shirt 2. Roksanda Silk Seersucker Skirt from MyTheresa.com 3. Percy Tote in Taupe by Elyse & i 4. Jimmy Choo Duke Suede Anklet boots from Netaporter.com 5. Elizabeth Cole Prater Earrings in Swarovski & glass beads

Let the skirt do the talking - the Roksanda Ashford silk seersucker skirt packs a glamorous punch with curving panels of sand, ivory, navy and a pop of pink on the back panel as added surprise element.    With much dress-up/dress-down appeal, I’ve opted for a sleeveless cotton lace shirt from Jack Wills and tied the look together with soft grey booties from Jimmy Choo and the Elyse & i Percy tote in taupe.  Finally, add these gorgeous hoops earrings by American jewellery designer Elizabeth Cole which perfectly pick up on the sandy notes from the skirt.  I am lusting after so many of her ear candy which have an exquisite modern-heritage appeal - the Bobbi earrings are on my wish-list!

Black & Gold Look

 

Look 3 - Be Bold in Black & Gold
1. Donna Ida x Jaeger Tatoo Me Jumper 2. Deepa Gurnani statement necklace from Shopbop.com 3.  Marieke Minaudiere in Disco Gold by Elyse & i 4. Linea Paolo 'Brooke' Pump at Nordstrom 5.  Velvet Midi Pleat Skirt in Gold at Topshop 

Gucci’s metallic gold pleated skirt (see above photo) is sumptuous in its metallic silk-blend pleats but alas now sold out on netaporter.com.   Metallics continue to be a versatile staple but as velvet is also a key trend in both apparel and accessories this Fall, this Topshop velvet pleated skirt in gold seemed like a great anchor for this look - and about a tenth of the price of the Gucci skirt!

Denim queen Donna Ida has teamed up with Jaeger with a capsule collection of denim and knitwear this season and I love the Tattoo Me sweater for it’s star detailing on the back.  Pair with the double-sided Marieke Minaudière in Disco Gold and add this frivolous feathery statement necklace from Deepa Gurnani for a heavy-hitting black and gold ensemble.  

J Crew's Fashion Director Jenna Lyons famously stated that "as far as I am concerned leopard is a neutral".  I couldn't agree more and so complete the look with this pair of, on-trend, block-heeled printed pumps by Linea Paolo. 

Enjoy!