#1993| Bachelorette Pad Dreams – Airbnb in Seoul

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imagesSeoul, Korea

airbnb.com/jemma
this listing

Happy freakin new year y’all!

For the past, well, year, I’ve been nonstop traveling and working and studying (yes it is still a thing you guys) and now that it’s the new year I figure its time to kickstart my travel guides again because even though I’ve been posting a lot of travel content up on my snapchat and instagram, it feels like its been awhile since I managed to do an actual guide..

So! A short one to start us off. I did a 24 hour solo layover in Seoul, Korea, a city I have had dalliances with several times before. I needed a place that was easily accessible both to and fro the airport, and to where things happened in Seoul itself. Hongdae is one of my favourite districts in Seoul, and it’s associated train station Hongik University also sits comfortably on the Airport express All Stop Train line. It costs about 4,150 won for the journey, which is about five bucks in SGD. I always try to stay in Hongdae because it’s obviously the perfect mix of an exciting district which is also conveniently linked to the airport. 50 minutes. And so it goes.

I wasnt intending to talk about Seoul initially because I’ve done so before and also because I was only there for, like, five minutes this time, but after posting pictures of my accommodation on snapchat I got a ton of emails asking for the listing location, so here you go: say hi to Sean and Jenny for me.

After an insane 15 hour flight I was completely wiped, and all I wanted to do was collapse in my apartment. I’d booked a place sitting directly above the train station (because after 15 hours crammed on a plane, who wants to struggle with finding their place for another half an hour?!), so all I was really asking for was a nice room to expire in. However, life, as usual, had its own idea, and I opened the door to this insanely gorgeous place and actually whimpered a bit. By myself.

I dont know what it is about this place in particular – the incredible location, the view, the self-contanined nature of it all… – to be sure, when I found it on airbnb.com, the photos looked pretty basic. And it’s now only about fifty bucks, which in retrospect is a little bit ridiculous. The place itself isn’t mindblowingly decorated, but I fell in love with it so fast and so hard that part of me wanted to buy it and live in it forever – I could actually visualise myself living and working there: at this age, isn’t a studio apartment actually perfection? Bachelorette dreams: check.

So for all of you who have been harassing me nonstop for the listing link even though I’ve actually already put the link up on instagram…..

This one’s for you.

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x
♥jem

#1894| Digital Fashion Week Day Two + Friends

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Outfit: Bebe Singapore | Holographic Clutch: Colette by Colette Hayman | Rings: The Ordinary Co | Make Up: Urban Decay Singapore
Hair by Hairloom

Photography: Nedra Lim

How much of fashion week is fashion, and how much is seeing old familiar faces? Maybe evenly split in half, methinks.

I was dressed by Bebe for the second day of Digital Fashion Week. I was going for a willowy power suit look, if that makes any sense at all. I should talk more about my outfit given that it’s fashion week, I know, I know. But what I really want to talk about is this Taiwanese movie I just watched which is giving me the major feels, and also, the fact that as I’m typing this my cat is knocking things over and scaring itself all over the house, and it’s hilarious. Plus, if you want to know more about my outfit, you can always look at the photos, am i right.

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DFW Squad

Ok so, a tiny bit more about DFW. Most of the fun I have at fashion weeks happen before the shows even start, because it involves running into really old familiar faces and screaming about ridiculous things. This year, the stars of my DFW were probably the sensational youtube duo, Munah and Hirzi. Munah and I briefly acted in a skit for a local commercial earlier in the year, which was later taken down because it was apparently too controversial, even though it was not. It was also apparently culturally inappropriate, which was a lie. These are criticisms lobbed at the video that I’ve seen floating around the internet, much like the rest of the opinions floating around on the internet that nobody asked for, my own included, I guess. I can say this because 1. I was in the commercial and therefore I know what I’m talking about when I say that nothing of the sort was meant, and 2. I’m pretty damn sensitive, so I think I would be the first to get offended if there were something to be offended over, thank you very much. But hey, some people just want to watch the world burn..

Hirzi I know because I barrelled straight into him at a H&M outlet, also earlier in the year, consequently traumatising him for the rest of his life. Now whenever we meet each other we have to flirt with each other outrageously to make up for the earlier awkwardness. It’s a long story, don’t ask.

Anyway, the two of them I bring up because I adore what they have going on – the two best friends are inseparable and Hirzi styles Munah and himself for each show. And then they drop down on the red carpet floor just to dubsmash their way into the shows. I look so bad when I laugh hard because my face scrunches up in the most ridiculous way, and thanks to these two, 50% of my DFW photos are unusable. You can check out their style and sass game at StyledByHirzi.

So that was my DFW. I initially only picked two shows to go for this season because my Masters thesis is not going to write itself, people, but after all the pre-show fun I almost regretted not coming down for more. Still, five thousand words of heavy literary theory is due, and I do have to get down to it..

x
♥jem

PS. I started off this post talking about cats and a taiwanese movie. Re: Cats – I just downloaded this tamagotchi-esqe game on my phone called Neko Atsume, and it’s legit addictive. Try it, but be warned. Re: Taiwanese movie, it’s called Our Times (我的少女时代), and it’s a complete train wreck. I think I dehydrated the last three years of my life crying during the movie. So good!!!! I’m crying again thinking of it. Ugh, don’t look at me. I’m such a sucker for old school romance movies like these – in fact, I’m basically a sucker for most things lah. 10/10 would recommend!!

#1893 | Digital Fashion Week Day One Lookbook x Run After

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Pink Tulle skirt: Ted Baker | White Collared Shirt: Young Hungry Free | Bejewelled Collar: Mint and Pint Accessories | Leather Jacket: MDS Collections | Heels: Topshop
Hair by Hairloom

Photography: Nedra Lim

One of the two looks I styled for Digital Fashion Week this year, and my fourth.. fifth? collaboration with Ted Baker Singapore. I truly love Ted Baker – the luxe, soft, material I could bury my face in over and over again, the fervent attention to detail, the incredibly inspired pieces they pull out of their hat of magic tricks every season.. This pink tulle wonder drew gasps when I stepped out of the changing room, and close up looked as though someone emptied a candy box of glitter on it. Close ups here.

When being interviewed on the red carpet this year by the gorgeous Yvette King, I was asked what was preferable – investing in quality pieces, or fast fashion. Now, I dont presume to be any sort of authority on fashion, and my opinions are just that: my own. One’s environmentally conscious side would obviously pick the long term quality investment (obviously), but what of practical economics? What sort of rich do you have to be to only purchase designer pieces yet also wear them only three times each?

In the end I talked about learning to balance the two – how staple, statement, pieces can be tested for the strength of their versatility when mixed with more affordable variety. In Singapore we have the unique pleasure of being offered access to so much affordable online retail (or at least, it seems that way to me when my friends abroad complain about the cost of their online/instore shopping), and that gives us the elasticity of style. I knew this pink tulle skirt would be something that’d be the hook to any outfit, yet give me space to style in a variety of different ways over time.. so here’s one of them – a pressed white shirt, leather jacket with silver hardware, a collared diamante necklace, picked up by the silver in my heels. Hair in a low ponytail, because with so much going on, you’d want it off your face to minimise distraction – but at the same time, styled sleek with an angled bump to give one’s face shape. (Thank you, Hairloom!)

I dont think that affordable pieces equate fast fashion – they’re not always mutually exclusive, but by some stroke of luck I’ve had the pleasure of purchasing pieces that have lasted me way longer than expected. On the other hand, having been blessed enough to work with international fashion houses, I do know that there is a significant difference – not just in design, but in cut, threading, and overall quality. Theres nothing wrong with preferring one over the other – it comes down to personal prerogative. But for those of you who ‘grew up’ with me, young adults who are now looking to expand their wardrobe and dip into investment pieces while balancing your chequebooks, this is what I can offer: an idea on how to start.

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Front Row at DFW’s Run After Show

Anyway. It’s middle of prime time season for my Masters programme (yes, it’s still ongoing even though I dont talk about it much!), so I just took time out this DFW for two shows, one of them being the launch of Run After by fashion blogger and personal friend, Melissa Celestine Koh.

More and more local influencers are launching labels, and I’m pleasantly surprised by how great they are. Designing is hard – I say this in the way I say math is hard, or science is hard, it is hard to me because I cannot do it. Perhaps for some people designing draws from an unlimited flow of inspiration and they are only limited by the hours of the day and upon seeing my declaration – Designing is hard – they think, what is she banging on about?! Lucky people, those. But for me, I cannot do it, and so I greatly admire the people who can. There were a lot of squeals this year during the Run After show, and I would say about half of them were about the pieces showcased on the runway.

The other half, it has to be said, must have come from the incredible show. Over the past few years I’ve attended quite a few fashion weeks, and nothing makes me happier than to be able to stand here now and say that one of the best ones I’ve seen was created by a Singaporean designer. The Run After show was incredibly inspired. From the seamless flow between the trailer video and the actual show, to the lithe dancer opening the show showering petals on us all, to the live band crooning to the beat of the runway.. it was fantastic. I was really impressed. I suspect the unconventional angle comes from Melissa’s personal travels – if you follow her online, she attends fashion weeks all over the world, the most recent ones being New York, Milan, and Paris, and raves about the more inspired show structures she’s seen frequently. (I’m remembering now a particular post gushing about Coach’s show..) Of course, this is speculation – but I think it’s given her the push to break out of the conventional blasé-cool runway strut, and to experiment with different forms. And I think it’s safe to say that it’s paid off. The show was engaging and memorable without overshadowing the actual pieces. That’s success, in my books.

I took a short clip of the show, which you can watch here.

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Post Show Shenanigans with Amanda : Photos by Melvin from Multifolds

And that’s it for day one. After the show I went off to meet the boyfriend and his friends, and then we played DOTA. It was great until I started using a completely new character called Luna, which I only picked because she was sexy and also cos she rode on a lion. Big mistake. Couldnt figure out how to use it at all, and by the time I did I had died a gazillion times and was big-time grumpy. This is probably one of those dont judge a book by its cover moments, but whatever. Back to Viper it is.

x
♥jem

#1976 | Graduation Edition

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Styling c/o StyledStory | Photography and Editing: Bobby Kiran Yeo | Venue: The Reading Room

I remember being in a salon once, flipping through the glossy pages of a magazine while getting my hair done, and chancing upon a high fashion british collegiate themed editorial. I think it must have been for Ted Baker, or a similar brand, but I remember thinking to myself These students are getting their vogue on. And ever since, my unrealistic graduation shoot goals were conceived and left to waste away in the recesses of my head.

But sometime in May, Liyi from StyledStory (formerly Au Lapin Blanc) approached me to do a photoshoot with Bobby, a personal friend of hers and a well known local wedding photographer – she ran a company that specialised in wedding and vintage props, styling, etcetera. I didn’t want to do a wedding shoot because 1. I’m not getting married and 2. I’m not getting married. But what I was getting, was graduated. And immediately the idea sparked off again in my head – my dream old English literary themed shoot was possible again!

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From Top: Warren, Martin, Shane, Myself

I called the goofiest, most spontaneous, least camera shy people I knew – my boyfriend and two of his best friends – and gave them one brief: To look glamorous and ridiculous at the same time. I think they did good. And yes, I was co-erced into smearing lipstick all over my teeth.

Because let’s face it – we were never going to match British Vogue. We could, however, create our own version of ivy league glamor: with high bookshelves, vintage props, and laughable expressions. And have a shit ton of fun along the way.

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Imagine travelling with those vintage suitcases.. to die for. Unsure if for sale, please contact Liyi for this thanks.

Half our shoot was done indoors, pressed up against the musty shelves of The Reading Room. Don’t you love the old smell of books? I do. I wish I had more time to actually get down to perusing the shelves – but that’s a visit for another day. After we wrapped up at The Reading Room, Bobby blindfolded us (ok, not really) and drove us to a location I couldn’t name even if I wanted to. There were no roadsigns and I have a bad sense of direction to begin with. But there were a lot of monkeys, very few people, and plenty of space for Liyi to work her magic again.

Graduation Edition: Part II
Outdoors

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Neil Gaiman, everybody. Obviously I was still hung up over my Sandman phase.

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Arts Graduates, everybody.

I actually hate graduation gowns. shapeless potato sacks that they are. There is virtually no way to make a graduation gown look good, or flattering, so we did away with them altogether and kept the motor board. The motar board is my favourite part of the entire graduation ensemble because it’s so distinct, plus I like the way it makes everyone look immediately more scholarly. Also, angles.

While we were goofing around and trying not to get our bags stolen by monkeys (a legitimate concern, I assure you), Liyi was setting up a corner under the tree, trying very hard to stick to the theme of a literary graduation shoot. It’s funny because actually only Shane and I are English majors (Martin does Film, Warren does Graphic Design), but because I was the contact point for the shoot I just shovelled all of them into the mould of English major. LISTEN TO THE WOMAN, YOU ALL!

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Unsure if throwing ripped pages is sacrilegious of an English major or not, but it sure is photogenic

I think she did pretty good, working with what she had, which is to say: THE GREAT OUTDOORS. I was particularly amazed by the pegged pages of Poe poetry hanging off the branches.. but like a magpie, I am easily distracted by new and shiny things, and jumped soon after at the suggestion of flinging poetry into the air.

However, the boys were obviously not content with just flinging paper into the air, they had to fling themselves too…

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Oh well

And being a couple/wedding photographer by vocation, Bobby couldnt help but sneak in a couple of these:

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Oh well

But overall, it was fantastic. And all props go to this wonderful team:

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Bobby, Liyi, and their photography/styling team, plus us

Very rarely do I get to appear on shoot and not have to get anything done beforehand – I do think much of the fun lies in the tiring process of sourcing your own props, making them at 3am, and pricking your finger on a damned needle five times over… but sometimes, it’s nice to have the professionals lift the heavy weight for you. 🙂 Thank you, Liyi and Bobby for being so game when I suggested the old-school literary shoot (after a period of being slightly stunned; it’s not the usual wedding photography fare, I know) – and for anyone else looking to conceptualise and execute your own uniquely themed photoshoot, you know who to call.

Styled Story | Bobby Kiran Photography

x
♥jem

#1970 | Alexa Chung-king Express

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Kimono style dress: River Island, via Zalora SG | Boots: River Island, via Zalora SG | Hat c/o Klarra | Watch c/o Kulte Watches | Blazer: H&M | Make up: Urban Decay

imagesBath, England.
All photos taken with the Nikon D750 on a 35mm lens

Rare lookbook post but it was yet another case of too many pictures, too little time, which is a situation I find myself in increasingly since the marriage of myself and my Nikon D750, which Nikon Singapore generously gifted me with. Christmas came early this year for me.

These pictures were taken along an empty street corner in Bath, England. I was shooting some visuals for a collaboration with Urban Decay Singapore and Zalora Singapore – as always, I find it easier to experiment with looks when abroad. Firstly you dont perspire it all off, and secondly, if you mess it up, chances are, no one will recognise / remember it.

The inspiration for today’s look came loosely from snippets of Alexa Chung’s style as seen from tumblr and other various online recycling sources. Chung’s style can tend to the extreme for me: I’m half half on her toeing the line between style and a certain heck-care attitude – sometimes a bedhead is just a bedhead. Plus I was sorely disappointed by her book and found it good only for flatlays, which could be a statement on how I sometimes feel towards her as well.. But she has her moments, and the kimono styled with choppy waves is one of them. Plus it was the perfect premise for a smoky eye, which hey hey – is always a good thing in my books.

x
♥jem