Friday, 30 September 2011

Colour Inspiration

Nothing like a little bit of bold colour inspiration for a Friday afternoon. These shots are taken from an editorial in the September issue of Vogue China, featuring Hyoni Kang and photographed by Lincoln Pilcher. I was pretty wow'd by this editorial when I first say it, partly cos the shots and styling are both amazing, but also because you just don't see this colour everyday, especially on Asians.

 Source: Vogue China, September 2011

It was just the other day when I was thinking about the differences between Asian and Western fashion and one of the things that came to mind was the choice in colours. I reckon westerners are not as afraid to wear more of the bold, loud and bright colours, while Asians tend to steer more towards autumn, muted, toned down colours like your mustard yellows, browns and neutrals. It's not so much that western people don't wear these colours also, but more that they're not afraid of wearing colours head to toe that really make them stand out. I'm sure lots would disagree but that's just what I think after noticing colour trends in cities like Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok and Tokyo. Yep and even Tokyo, you may think that the style in Tokyo is all just the loud and bright Harajuku style, but if you actually go there, you'll see that the outrageous style represents probably only about 1% of what you actually see on the streets. So, back to the editorial. What colour are you? 

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Outfit | Red, White & Blue

I thought twice about wearing these pants out today as it was hot and humid as always, but I did, and I paid for it. I really can't do denim pants in Singapore, I ditched the jeans a long time ago, and I don't get how other people do it. I think I'll just keep them for the weather in Taipei, which I'm really really looking forward to. Wore this while we went into town to get photographs. I'm wearing a Cotton On men's tee, self-made pants, Uniqlo belt, bag from Taipei and Converse shoes.

I was a bit of a machine today and got 17 photos in a couple of hours! It's days like today that make me realise that even though there are the ones that say no to having their photo taken, there are lots and lots of people who say yes! And it's really cool to meet and chat with those people. Makes my day!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Wok & Barrel

Just got back from Wok & Barrel in Duxton Hill and we are so full and so glad to have stumbled across the place. It was actually in the weekend when we were up around Duxton looking for spots to take photographs when I saw the sign outside, but at the time I couldn't work out from the street exactly what the place was. But I went home, read some pretty good reviews and tonight we gave it a try.

I'm happy to say that finally (you don't know how long we've been looking) we have found a place that pretty much hits the mark in terms of quality food, a nice space, friendly service, nice atmosphere and excellent value for money. The place was opened up by chef and owner Madam Tan (an ex Maxwell hawker) and serves up her popular Nasi Lemak along with other classic bistro dishes, all with strong Singaporean hawker flavours. The staff were welcoming, helpful with the menu and very friendly, the meals and desserts were delicious, and for once, we found a nice place to eat out where we left feeling satisfied and without feeling ripped off.

The popular Nasi Lemak was pretty damn tasty. We ordered two sides of it and being a huge rice fan, I could have just eaten plates of it on it's own. And the Shendol Delights dessert, a creamy coconut pannacotta served with gula melaka and red bean ice cream. Also, really tasty! The rest of the dishes in between I didn't get photos of (woops - I don't think I'd make a very good food blogger) but you can see them all on their facebook page. 

I think bistros are totally the way to go - quick, simple meals at really reasonable prices that are filling and the food is just pretty much what it is. We ordered the chicken curry, crispy pork, omelette, two lots of nasi lemak, Guiness chocolate cake, coconut pannacotta with red bean ice cream and drinks for both, and the bill came to $56.90. And it's no wonder this place was full when we left! All in all, it was nice to experience that for a change and we will hopefully make it back there before we leave Singapore! And if you're around the Duxton area, they're at 13 Duxton Hill, open from Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Guys Guys Guys

Some inspiration.... from the guys and for the guys. I often look to guys' style for inspiration especially when I go to places like Bangkok, Seoul and Tokyo. The guys there are noticeably very well dressed and it seems like they are more comfortable with their style. Here are some of my favourite guy shots that I've taken for Style Sophomore. They're all from either Bangkok and Seoul and are good examples of how guys should dress and look really stylish too!

I think more guys should wear stripes. They're easy to match with other items, and can be dressed up and down, worn on their own or under a nice blazer. 

Put on a pair of classic sunnies that suit your face shape and you're good to go! I hardly ever see people wearing sunnies in Singapore which kind of goes against the whole "Sunny Singapore". It must be because they just hang out in the malls and rarely go outside?

You can't really go wrong with a pair of jeans and a jacket/blazer. Well, you could, but these guys show how to pair the two to create a smart casual look. I like that term "smart casual" and I use it quite a lot! - it's kind of that in between style that looks great no matter what time of day. 

And lastly... Shoes! They either make or break an outfit and that's what I pay a lot of attention to when people-watching on the streets. Notice how in all these pictures, the shoes complete and compliment the rest of the outfit? 

Monday, 26 September 2011

Rustic Style

When it comes to style, I love anything and everything rustic. It's the sort of style that I would love our cafe to take on, the charming feel of the countryside, solid timber frames, rough and unfinished furnishings, a rustic kitchen serving hearty and simple meals. This editorial was shot in a little country house in Russia. This is one shot from the spread in which photographer Ross Laurence captures Ulia True in rustic fashion wearing classic pieces by the likes of Prada and Zara.

 Source: Fashion Gone Rogue

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Outfit | Saturday Afternoon

Yesterday was another one of our "try to make plans but end up doing whatever" days. We started out with tea, coffee and cakes at Flor Patisserie in Duxton Hill, then went over to Haji Lane where I got a streetstyle photograph and then headed into town. Disappointed with the lack of stylish people out and about on a Saturday afternoon, or even just the lack of stuff going on, we went and got bubble tea and then spotted these swing seats set up outside The Cathay.

So, that was our Saturday afternoon, we hogged the swings for awhile, people-watched, and took photos of ourselves before heading off to watch the Warriors game! I'm wearing sheer blouse from a boutique in Singapore, self-made pants, shoes from Tokyo and bag from Seoul. And James is wearing the shirt that I made for him!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

One Game Away!

I was a happy girl last weekend when the Warriors made it through to the preliminary finals, but right now I'm pretty fricken stoked that we won tonight and I don't quite know what state I'll be in if we go on and win the premiership next weekend. I must have been the only kiwi girl in the pub tonight supporting the New Zealand Warriors but I was so amped up that I didn't even care. And I tell ya I could actually feel my heart racing towards the end of the game! I still can't believe that we won and are through to another grand final! Can't wait for the game next Sunday, and even though we'll be watching it in an Aussie bar filled with Manly supporters (good luck to them), I've waited 9 years for this and win or lose I'll still be proud. Wish I was there for the game and hope they can pull out a wicked farewell for Ivan Cleary and my favourite Hohaia!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Nomads Nomads

I actually don't think we're capable of staying put in one place for longer than 1-2 years and right about now, it's got to the point where we just gotta get out of this place! I can't wait to leave this boxy apartment, but at the same time it's been an experience. The things I look forward to next though, is having a bathroom and having a kitchen that at least comes with running hot water. Even when we do have a proper kitchen, I'll probably still boil water to do the washing up, it's just become habit now!

We're in the midst of going through our belongings and either boxing up stuff to keep, selling off things we think are worth selling and chucking the rest. Most of it, new and used, has ended up down the rubbish shoot just cos that seems like the easier option for getting rid of things!

In four and a bit weeks, we're off to Taipei to live for a month and I'm so ready for it! Bring on the Taiwanese street food, bubble tea, cooler temperatures, smiley people and super cool cafe culture! And then after that, 7 more weeks in Singapore (with a couple of short trips in between) and then who knows where next?! (That's a lot of exclamation marks but I am pretty excited about it all!)

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Outfit | Black White

I really miss the weather in Seoul. It was perfect temperatures while we were there, ranging from about 18-28 degrees everyday and nowhere near the humidity in Singapore. It was warm enough to walk around in a tee and still cool enough to wrap a loose scarf around your neck. I'm wearing self-made tee, self-made shorts, Comme Ca Ism scarf and Converse shoes. I think we chose the best time to visit Seoul as I checked the weather today and tempertures have already dropped to a low of 7 degrees over there. I've totally forgotten what it's like to be in a country that moves through seasons and I think the further north you go, the quicker they transform from one season to the next. Can't wait for cooler temperatres in Taipei next month. We're gonna be there for one month and I already know it's gonna be very hard to come back!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Black Skirts

I've noticed while sitting out and getting street style photos, that there aren't as many people dressed head to toe in complete black. Instead, I've been seeing a lot of solid black skirts, black flowing skirts and black sheer layered skirts being paired with light-weight summer blouses and tops. With black being easy to match with most colours, you can see how simple it is to create a smart-casual everyday look and look great at the same time!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


Homemade Bircher Muesli - rolled oats, granny smith apples, fresh lemon juice, greek style natural yoghurt, honey roasted almonds & sunflower kernels, fresh strawberries & blueberries.

I'm not usually a huge fan of breakfast cereals but I've really taken to eating bircher muesli ever since I was introduced to it not long ago. It's nutritious, tasty, the slow release energy gets me through the morning, and it's great for me and my grand plan of eating healthy. Getting into the habit of preparing a fresh new batch the night before and having it for breakfast or whenever I feel like snacking the next day. I actually feel like having some right now but it's probably not the best thing to have just before bed. For once in my life I'm actually looking forward to breakfast in the mornings!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Time Is Contagious

I love this song so much on the Later with Jools Holland album. I think the vocals of Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan are amazing and the lyrics are equally amazing. They're the kind of lyrics that are a little bit obscure and I guess can be interpreted in slightly different ways. My favourite part of the song... "time is contagious, everybody's getting old" - it's simply beautiful and so true. To me, this song is about choosing to live your life in one of two ways. You can either waste your time hiding away and waiting on other peoples' permission to do the things that you want to do, or you can live your life the way you want to. It's about getting on with things, not worrying about what other people think, living life with no regrets and knowing that everybody doesn't need to know exactly the truth about what you've been up to. So... put some fire up your ass, do what you want to do, and next time someone feels that they need to know what you've been up to, tell them you've been licking coconut skins :)

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Hana Jo

I think it's funny that I find myself going around in foreign countries and asking people if I can take their photograph. It was challenging shooting in Seoul for the first time as I didn't really know what to expect, whether I'd get 5 or 10 or 20 photos a day or whether I'd struggle to get any. The style in Seoul is amazing, so many well dressed people and so many individual styles as well as fashion and trends. But within a very short time of being there, or actually after getting my first couple of photographs, I found that most people in Seoul spoke very little English if any so it was most challenging in the way that I couldn't engage the people like I usually do. Instead, I was relying on the Korean translation written on my iPad to ask if I could take their photo and I felt myself using my hands a lot to do the talking. I often wonder what I look like when I approach people cos I think I use my hands to talk a lot anyway!

I posted this photo up on Style Sophomore just the other day. This is Hana Jo who I photographed in Hongdae, Seoul. When I showed her my iPad and asked for her photo, she was just really happy and smiled and nodded. And after I finished shooting away she goes "can I see?" followed by "I like it!". I thought that was pretty cool. Sometimes it's the little things, or in this case a few spoken words, that make for a really neat experience.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Game On!

This wouldn't be a blog about the things I love if it didn't include a post about my number one sporting team ever! Yeah, I'm a pretty happy girl right now cos the NZ Warriors won their knockout game last night in a comeback thriller, and are through to next week's semifinal (or preliminary final as they call it!) For those that care, or for those who have read this far, I love my rugby league, (not to be confused with rugby union) and have been following the Warriors since I can't even remember when, about the last 12 years. They've never won the premiership and it's been a long 9 years since we last made it to a grand final. Talk about keeping the faith! It's hard being a Warriors fan, they are so frustrating to watch at times but when they win, it will all be worth it. And being the only New Zealand team in an Australian competition, it's always gonna be a pretty sweet victory when they finally do it! Just 1 game away from another grand final. Game on next Saturday!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Outfit | Black White Grey

I'm not sure whether you could call this sporty chic, but I did actually feel quite sporty walking around seoul in this outfit! I think it was the combination of the sleeveless top, light and airy pants and the shoes. I'm wearing a self-made top, self-made pants, Uniqlo belt, Comme Ca Ism scarf and bag from Taipei. I still love these pants that I made, they are made out of cupro fabric which feels like silk on your skin and breathes like cotton. Great for summer!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Seoul's Indie Cafe Culture

I was so amazed by the staggering number of cafes and coffee shops that we saw in every area we visited in Seoul. They have all the international chains as well as a number of good multi story local chains, but what was pleasing to see was so many little independent cafes and little streets just filled with them! A lot of them did only serve coffee and cakes, but still we never had to look far for a quick caffeine fix in a relaxed atmosphere next to the street where we could sit and people-watch!

Seoul is the sort of place we could and most likely will live in for a few months just because they have the sort of cafe culture that we really enjoy. And with stylish people, lots of little neighbourhood areas and amazing food, we don't need much more!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Outfit | Orange Leather

I'm pretty happy with my new bag that I bought the other day in Hongdae. I've been searching like forever for another big leather bag so that I can give my black one a much needed break. It's perfect for me, big enough to carry around my iPad, camera and everything else and it's made of real cow leather. There's nothing quite like the smell, feel and look of real leather, and no matter how improved some imitation leather has become these days, I just don't think I can bring myself to buying anything but the real thing. I'm wearing shirt, skirt and bag all from different boutiques in Seoul, Comme Ca Ism scarf and shoes from Tokyo. With or without the scarf? I couldn't decide so I ended up posting both! 

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Korean BBQ

We've had Korean BBQ almost every night we've been in Seoul and it's probably a good thing that we are leaving today as I feel like I've gained a ton of weight this last week! I love the idea of Korean BBQ, it seems like such a social way of eating in a cool and relaxed atmosphere and you can just cook and eat at your own pace. The food in general here has been amazing, so much to choose from and so many cafes and restaurants within such close proximity of each other. And it's really great food at really great prices which I like a lot. Definitely gonna miss the food in Seoul!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Outfit | Olive Green

Wore this outfit out yesterday as we wandered around Hongdae. Actually, I left the hotel room in a pair of shorts but I didn't feel at all comfortable with what I was wearing so I went into a little shop, bought this olive green skirt and changed into it straight away! Whenever I'm not completely happy with how I look or what I'm wearing, it puts me in an irritable or just a not-so-good mood so I have do something about it. And that usually involves changing into something new. It's a bit like when I have a bad hair day, I have to fix it! I'm wearing a skirt from a boutique in Hongdae, Comme Ca Ism scarf from Tokyo, Converse shoes and a self-made top which I quickly made the same night that we left for Seoul! 

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Sunday In Hongdae

Some pictures from our Sunday in Hongdae, an area where we've spent a lot of our time these last few days in Seoul. Hongdae is short for Hongik University, so it's a University area, lots of foot traffic, great for people watching and getting photos, filled with cafes and coffee shops and heaps of cool little boutiques and shops. Definitely our favourite place to hangout in Seoul!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Outfit | Striped

We went to check out Garosugil in Sinsa-dong today but it was drizzling for most of the afternoon and we spent some time just sitting in a quiet cafe waiting for the rain to ease off. Garosugil St is supposed to be the new hip area of Seoul, there were a lot of cafes and restaurants (which seems to be the case everywhere we've been so far in Seoul!), and there were more high end boutiques and shops. Went for a quick walk around and then got on the subway and headed back to Hongdae to get some more street style photos while the rain stayed away.

I'm wearing a top that I bought from a boutique in Hongdae (had to buy yesterday as I no longer own any slightly warmish clothing), Uniqlo pants and belt, and my trusty Converse shoes. I have such mega eye bags in this picture, still don't think I've recovered from our 1am flight the other morning. I feel like I need one more decent sleep and I'll be right for tomorrow!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Wicked Green

Source: Singles Korea Magazine, August 2011

This shot is from an editorial in last month's Singles Korea magazine featuring Stephanie Lee and photography by Kim Je Won. I think this shot is quite stunning, everything from the hair, the makeup, the styling and the colour! I can't say that I've seen much green out on the streets and I guess it's not a hugely common colour in the fashion world. I wonder why that is? I think it's definitely a colour that Asians suit more than anyone else - I just reckon it compliments the dark brown eyes and skin color just perfectly.