Florence + Her Whimsical Home

“I don’t think I’m quite comfortable in minimalist spaces,” says multi-platinum selling artist Florence Welch of her whimsically cluttered London pad, captured in this episode of NOWNESS’s collaboration with Apartamento magazine. “Having lots of stuff and having lots of chaos around you is like a way to hide,” reflects Welch. “These little piles of books just grow everywhere like stalagmites and stalactites. I definitely need to be with my own thoughts and listen to music and read and write. It’s kind of how I make sense of the world.” (Source: NOWNESS)



Shadows of iron gates
Cast on sidewalks of deep space
Burning like a black hole lace
As mica turns to milky ways

I don't remember a distinct point when I fell in love with vintage, but it must have begun with my mother who passed down many of her preowned pieces. My earliest memories were her brass earrings, makeup brushes and silk scarves. My mother, born and raised in Shanghai, is a stylish woman. Surprisingly, some of her best vintage pass-me-downs were gifts from my father during their courtship. I can only wish my father's fine taste would have continued on today. The world's shift to a more sustainable lifestyle is an unavoidable topic. Reclaiming clothing is truly an excellent way to not only reduce waste but also give your style a retro flair which is always popular on the runways anyway.

With so many vintage collectors all over the world, there must be good reasons why anyone would make a conscious choice to adopt and preserve something old and aged. With most vintage clothing accessories made from genuine leather and delicate fabric, preservation is even more challenging in humidity which speeds up material deterioration. But I believe the delight in collecting lies in weaving stories embedded in the object with your own.  

The mini backpack I'm carrying, which belonged to my mother, has the most beautiful steel hardware that is impossible to find in today's mass manufactured market. Its smooth grain leather has faded over the past two decades to a deep brown. On the other hand, some vintage pieces come as they are with no background story, leaving a void for the owner to fill. I found this dusty pink dress in a thrift shop for a whopping S$6. Even though much of its thread was already falling apart when I discovered it, it was easily repaired. The silhouette, fabric and colour of this dress are so beautiful to me. I'm glad its owner had decided to give clothing a second chance.

Wearing a vintage dress, mom's vintage backpack, c/o O'ORO Accessories earrings, GH Bass oxfords, vintage Casio watch, Sephora lip rouge in Oh Oh. Photos by Mandy


The Prelude: A Bridal Couture Showcase

It's written in the stars, darlings
Everything must come to an end
We thought love could change our names
And free us from our earthly chains
Oh we wanted to believe in it, to believe in it
But they couldn't

In kind courtesy of the folks over at Le Grand Boutique & Bridal, I was in for a visual treat to witness for couture bridal gowns. The 19th century interior of Chijmes, refurbished from a former convent, evoked a fairytale-like ambience. Even for someone who isn't usually impressed by the whole idea of a "dream wedding", imagining myself donning one of the gowns was enough to make my heart itch.

Can we take a moment to talk about the back?

Wedding dresses have evolved a lot in the recent years, with many brides-to-be being more adventurous in their choice of silhouettes, styles and colour. I felt like what made The Prelude  show stunning was the dress construction of the back, with designs ranging from minimalistic plunge geometrical cuts to intricate buttons-downs, corset and sheer embroidery. Among all, I found the tulle skirt with pockets and the pink t-shirt gown most intriguing. The previous may come in really handy for holding tissue paper if you're the type to cry on your wedding day lol. Save yourself from some smudged mascara mess.

A couple blue dresses made bold runway statements, with some resembling Elsa from Frozen. *Let it go, let it goooo...* As corny as the idea sounds, Disney sure knows what they're doing in the fashion department because those sparkling blue dresses were magical even on a real human being. And then came the grand finale as I saw the model in the puffiest dress ever grace the runway, fitted in a structured bustier and a massive tulle skirt layered like icing. I think the designers had done a fantastic job defining a modern bride while retaining her classical imagery passed down over centuries.

Discover the world of Le Grand Boutique and Z Wedding on Instagram @legrandwedding @zwedding. #LeGrandZWPrelude


Carrion Flowers

Creatures of habit, carrion flowers
Growing from repeated crimes
The afterglow in full bloom
Slow and relentless

The best news this week is me joining the Spotify family plan with a bunch of friends. I had tried the premium plan for two months at 99 cents earlier this year, fell absolutely in love, then went back to free account for awhile. Man, for a music geek like myself, it was torture to endure dreadful commuting unable to listen to what my heart yearns for, unable to skip tracks...oh God. My eardrums have never been happier. Check out Deep Dark Fears – my edited playlist of haunting, high intensity sounds.

If there's anything that helps me get in touch with my deepest feelings and fears, it is music. I'd like to quote ABBA's Thank You For The Music, "what would I be without a song or dance what are we?" – which is exactly my sentiments. I've lost track of my out-of-body experiences with music, a feeling only able to pass on through sound. Music is poetry to my ears. 

As year 2015 approaches fall, my playlist is progressively darker and melancholic. I can feel a building up of desire to show this change through my fashion and living environment. Anyway, the whole point of me including embedded soundtracks for my outfit posts is to hopefully communicate my inspirations. I hope you see a connection between sound and visual. I wonder how many of you actually listen to it. But then again, music is so subjective, fashion is too. To each his own.

Wearing New Look blouse, c/o Modparade shorts, Shanghai faux fur vest, Primark fringe sandals, Mom's drawstring bag, Vintage oversized buckle belt, Hoshanna by Grace moonstone ring, MAC Viva Glam Riri lipstick in Nude.

p.s. The giveaway on my Instagram page has concluded and winners have been chosen by the event organizers. Please RSVP if you haven't. And as for confirmed guests, I look forward to meeting you this Sunday.