Fashion Bloggers TV Show Debuts TONIGHT!

New TV show Fashion Bloggers will debut in Australia and Asia today Oct 15th!

It’s a reality TV show following the lives of 5 of Australia’s TOP fashion bloggers, and i’m so pleased to have been invited to Sydney to attend the launch last night. Am blogging this from the airport before i leave for home!

For Malaysian viewers it will air at 10pm tonight on Channel E! (Ch712 on Astro). I’m gonna be home just in time to catch it from the comfort of my sofa :D

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Me with the five bloggers who will be on the show, from left to right:
Zanita Whittington of Zanita; Kate Waterhouse of KateWaterhouse.com; me; Sara Donaldson of Harper & Harley; Amanda Shadforth of Oracle Fox; and Margaret Zhang of  Shine By Three.

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Thank you ELLE Malaysia!

Thanks to Shah at ELLE for bringing a whole crew to my home one day to shoot me in my wardrobe. I guess you guys have to come over again when i move house XD

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This is in the October issue of ELLE. Yeah i know i’m a bit late with picking up the mag, i totally forgot i was in it till someone told me.

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I am now in Sydney for the launch of Fashion Bloggers, a new Australian TV docu-show featuring 5 of Australia’s most prominent fashion bloggers: Sara Donaldson of Harper & Harley; Kate Waterhouse of KateWaterhouse.com; Amanda Shadforth of Oracle Fox; Margaret Zhang of  Shine By Three; and Zanita Whittington of Zanita. The first episode debuts for Malaysian viewers on Astro this Wednesday at 10pm Malaysian time on Channel E! (Ch712).

Initially i thought of sending someone else to come in my place cos it seemed a *bit* mad that i’d attempt to coordinate the guest list for the Love Bonito launch this Thurs while here, and fly to Sydney the Monday-Wednesday before. I asked Sarah, but she wasn’t free after just coming back from Bali. And i asked Claudia, but it’s her first week as editor of Cleo so she’s out. Then i thought, “Maybe… the Universe is saying *i* should be the one going.”

So here i am.

A bit dead. I landed at 10:30am this morning after transiting in Singapore. Checked in Fraser Suites Sydney at noon and dived straight into work. Napped at 4pm (cos i only managed 4 hours sleep on the plane). Woke up, worked another hour, dinner with my cousin Smalls, then worked till now… it’s almost 1am.

I should get some rest!

But first a bit of storytelling. Somewhere in the middle of my flight, i restlessly thought to myself, “Man. I wish i was in business class so i could sleep properly. One day… i will only fly business class…” And within the next ten minutes, this air steward came by where i was sitting (we were jesting earlier) and passed just me a Kate Spade night bag from the business class section. How odd! And how very nice of him! Bless him! I couldn’t even find him when i stepped off the flight to say thank you.

I’m taking it as a sign that the Universe is saying, “Be patient.” XD

 

My week in Seoul

I had such an awesome trip in Seoul that i really want to blog about it…. even tho i didn’t bother taking my camera out with me all the time and just wanted the convenience of snapping it with my phone :p #SorryNotSorry I didn’t even edit these myself… i’ve been so busy and whining to Sweet Ee that i don’t have time to blog about the fun stuff i do, that she said she’ll help me photoshop and resize them :D SPANKS!!!

The group of Malaysian media consisted of 4 other ladies from newspapers and mags, with all of us accompanied by Cath from Omega Malaysia. When we walked through the arrival gate in Seoul, i spotted a TEAM of people dressed in suits holding up giant Omega placards. “I guess that’s us…” i slowly said to one of the girls walking next to me. Usually there is a person or two who greets a media group at the airport, but this time there was almost one for each person. This Korean dude in a suit politely insisted on pushing my Rimowa bag along, as we were escorted to a sleek black car. That was just the beginning of the flawlessness in which Omega designs and executes their events.

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I instagrammed the sky pic: “I was so glad that @omega booked us flights on @MalaysiaAirlines. Previously I would fly all the other airlines to try them out… Qatar, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, Sg airlines, etc. But at a time when MAS is tryna get over a double tragedy (as is the rest of our nation), now is the time to support our airlines. I actually had this morbid thought on the plane – that if I happened to die on a flight, I would readily accept my dramatic fate and decided it might as well be one from my own country.”

Emo or what? Haha.
I’ve become emo in a good way when i have these few quiet moments at home alone. I listen to spotify and think about all the enriching experiences and wonderful people i’ve been coming across. It’s like all the right things happen and the right people come into your path, exactly when you need them. Life is amazing. (Look, i’m emoing again.)

We stayed at The Shilla, a stunning establishment whose buffet spread is comparable to that of the Kempinski.

The pic of me on the right is of me pointing up at this captivatingly sparkly installation in their lobby. Seriously i never got tired of staring at that thing. Every night when i came home, i would take a few seconds to stand RIGHT underneath it and stare up with my mouth open. There was one occasion i was talking to someone in the lobby before we were leaving for the night event, and i lost concentration on what they were saying cos i spotted the sparkly stuff again and went, “Ooh…” Crazy how sparkly stuff makes me trip out like that.

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I really wanted to do a catwalk up and down the corridor but i never got to it.

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Where i holed myself up for a few days to work. I didn’t sightsee much this trip cos i was SO busy with work, and i’d already done a big exploration in June (sorry, i never did get to blog about that :p). This room was a pleasure to work in.

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I used the desk to lay out all my accessories and handbag contents on. It was so much more comfortable working from the sofa!

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My schedule and welcome notes were printed on pristine white paper, held together in an equally pristine white box which i’d open by tugging on a tiny ribbon. I’ve kept that box to keep a necklace or something in, it’s perfect!

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Bathroom on left. On right is Cath when she took us for lunch in one of the hotel’s restaurants. I could see the relief on everyone’s faces cos we were all knackered from the night flight and didn’t want to venture far.

I didn’t want to have champagne during lunch cos i’ve been drinking too much. But when Cath and Kate got one and Cath kept on nudging me to get one too, i caved in. It was a good choice. I must say the champagne went really well with the sashimi. And the lunch in general XD

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Launch of the OMEGA De Ville Butterfly in Seoul with Nicole Kidman

I have spent the past week in Seoul and it’s been one of the best weeks of my life! Well… i have had lots of “best days” and “best weeks” of my life, but it seems like the MORE i acknowledge what an amazing time i’m having, the BETTER it gets. Appreciation never gets old.

OMEGA invited me to Seoul along with various other guests from all over the globe to celebrate the OMEGA De Ville Butterfly, an enchanting new addition to OMEGA’s Prestige collection.

The De Ville Prestige “Butterfly” stands out in 18K white, red or yellow gold and comes in two sizes: 36.8 mm and 32.7 mm. The timepieces are presented on a white satin-brushed leather strap with a mother-of-pearl effect; with the smaller sizes also available with a matching metallic bracelet. See more pix *here*

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I will never say no to diamonds and gold. I couldn’t take my eyes off the exquisite detailing from the first day i started wearing it.

The event for the timepiece was just as breathtaking.

It took place at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), which was designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid; and was graced by Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman along with some high-profile Korean personalities like actress Yun-jim Kim, actor Kwon Sang-woo, and TOP from Big Bang.

Sleek black cars meticulously chauffeured us from The Shilla (where we were staying) to the entrance of the event.

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I’ve been to the Dongdaemun Design Plaza before but wasn’t expecting a make-shift entrance just for that night… oh little did i know the extent to which OMEGA designs their events…

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Mei Sze, Catherine from OMEGA Malaysia, and i.
Couldn’t help taking a picture in the twisting pristine white tunnel.

When we exited the tunnel, the most spectacular sight greeted us… a seemingly never-ending field of lit up roses.

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Everyone was ooh-ing and aah-ing at how gorgeous it all looked, like a scene from a fairytale!

There were 21,000 white flowers, each individually mounted and illuminated from within by a tiny light; creating what might possibly be the most MAGICAL SIGHT i had ever seen! I just wanted to run into the field and crawl into the entire thing but i held myself back.

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Mei Sze and i. I thought we looked rather fantabulous if i do say so myself.
My couture dress is made by my friend and award-winning Malaysian fashion designer Justin Yap, from Rent A Dress (whom i emceed the launch for).

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Pic with Matteo from OMEGA Italy, he helped Mei Sze and i take our pic.

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So much beauty, i just cannot…

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Almost about to crawl in. I didn’t, alright.

As we made our way down a long pathway (it was seriously a field of those lit flowers), we heard music coming from…

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… white grand pianos on white platforms set amongst more lit white flowers.
I was practically in disbelief.

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With the Italians – Matteo, Massimo, Marco and Sylvia.

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With Japanese blogger Crazy Miki!

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Nicole Kidman

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With Brazilian blogger Camila

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44,000 gold and white paper butterflies adorned the walls from outside the event till across the ceilings above us in patterns of graceful swirls.

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The evening’s master of ceremonies Mark Juh, Nicole Kidman, and OMEGA president Stephen Urquhart.

OMEGA president Stephen Urquhart welcomed invited guests and introduced Nicole Kidman, who has been an OMEGA brand ambassador since 2005. The actress was warmly greeted by the audience when she took to the stage to chat about her relationship with OMEGA, her reaction to the De Ville Butterfly and her visit to Seoul.

After dinner had been served, Swiss singer/songwriter Bastian Baker performed about 5 songs for us. I’d met him the night before while having drinks at the hotel lounge so was already expecting to watch him perform. He dedicated the final song of the evening, “I’d Sing For You”, to Nicole. Nice try Bastian ;)

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Bastian is one of OMEGA’s newest brand ambassadors. I went to discuss our after-party plans with him after he sang, and i met Nicole but i didn’t want to be inappropriate and take pictures with her. I heard some of the PR/security were nervously watching, and waiting to pounce if i so much as did something wrong and freaky haha.

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Me with the media from Malaysia – Yen, Swan, and Yin Fong.

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Bloggers! Mei Sze, me and Miki

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I had no shame after a few drinks and easily ran into the field to play!

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Again, i wish i could have just sat down in there and stayed there FOREVER.

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Of course, Nicole kills it with her pictures. She’s so effortlessly beautiful!

Thank you OMEGA for such an amazing night… this was by far one of the most well thought out and set up events i’ve been to. It’s such an honour for me to have been there as well and i loved every second of it!

www.omegawatches.com

 

Cloyce in Penang

This was our last holiday together in Penang in July. I’d been meaning to go there with Clem for ages cos i wanted to show him where i grew up, plus, i myself rarely go back and haven’t been doing my birthplace justice. Another big reason was that i wanted to visit my former babysitters there, who took care of me when i was born till i went to Newcastle with my family when i was 6.

We wanted to leave at 10am on a Saturday morning but that didn’t happen cos we ended up partying till 5am the night before. Clem’s friend was in town, and the girls and i impulsively convinced them to go to Lust @ Changkat.

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It ended up being an even more beautiful drive than if we had left at 10, cos the afternoon sunshine pronounced the landscape’s arresting shades of green and lime; and the sunset was glorious as we approached the island to cross Penang bridge.

I was being super layan and took so many vids thru my kaleidoscope like *this* and *this*

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This post is gonna be a bunch of random pictures i took there, there’s so much to see and do and EAT in Penang!

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Art on the street walls that take you by surprise, especially new ones that aren’t noted down on the walking routes yet.

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Lots of well-designed cafes chock full with cakes, coffee and goodies. This was taken at ChinaHouse. 

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Historical landmarks like clanhouse Khoo Kongsi built in the 1850s.

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Clem and i chose to stay in a large room in Georgetown i found on Airbnb (Click *here* to receive free credit from me when you sign up for Airbnb!)

Our host’s name is Sapur and she’s a Malaysian Indian grandmother who grew up in Butterworth, married a Dane and lived in Denmark, before settling back down in Penang. Her home is tastefully filled with lots of books, art, and bits and bobs reminiscent of a well-traveled life.

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The bedroom we stayed in, with adjoining bathroom that was equally spacious!

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Iman Xuf

* written on 21st August 2014 *

I had one of the most riveting conversations with a kindred spirit this afternoon.

When I was in Seminyak, Bali; I thought of a friend I have living here – Rachel. We’re not very close, despite having known each other by being at the same parties almost a decade back. But I felt like I could talk to the girl. So I whatsapped her to meet up, and she took me to her fave hang out spot on Jalan Laksamana in Oberoi, called La Favela. An unassuming hidey hole from the oustide, you enter via a wooden walkway filled with lights and foliage into an unknowingly massive establishment.

It was like a hidden wonderland of a restaurant and bar, divided into many oddly-shaped sections filled with antiquities and oddities of a time from long ago. Chandeliers, lots of plants and flowers and trees everywhere, a pond in the middle under the sky, a bathroom with a lounge area and art all over the walls (and there are many walls!).

The place was packed, and it was a Monday night. We managed to find a table where we had a bottle of red wine. A couple of people stopped by the table separately to say hi to Rachel and chat. They both worked at La Favela – Luigi and Iman.

Next day, I rushed through my work so i could have Rachel come over in the evening to enjoy the pool villa and chill with me. In the middle of our conversation, she mentioned that Iman, who was the resident art director at La Favela, was dropping by to pass something.

We went downstairs to meet him and TS Suites is such a mighty space we had trouble finding him. We finally found each other in the courtyard and he shyly held up a rolled up canvas to me.

I was like, “Whatttttt” and put my beer down on the ground to open it slowly with both hands.
It was an art piece… of me! In blue! I was just so shocked and delighted… noone had ever painted a pic of me before! Wait, has anyone? *scanned bad memory* Well not that I can recall!

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It’s awesome and definitely going up on a prominent wall in my upcoming home. I gave Iman a big hug and thanked him. But I think I said “oh my god” more than “thank you”. He then left cos he was going elsewhere, and I still couldn’t believe how someone was so sweet to just do a picture of me like that!

Rachel was all I don’t know what fairy magic dust you sprinkled on him, he won’t even do one of us, and he just met you briefly yesterday.

I was just so taken aback in happiness! I even hugged myself and swayed my body from left to right cos I was buzzing from feeling so good! My heart totally expanded from the love!

When I realised that I was to stay in Bali for another day cos I accidentally bought my flight for 24 hours later, I was thinking if there was anyone I’d like to meet and I thought of Iman. I mean, I barely spoke to the guy and he gave me such a cool present, I wanted to get to know him better.

So I planned to work that night and in the morning, then see him for lunch and return to work in the afternoon and evening before my flight. We decided on La Favela cos it was where he said he’s most comfortable and I agreed, wanting to see what it looked like in the daytime and try the food.

The place looked even more awesome in the presence of sunlight and I realised how many details I’d missed seeing.

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One of the first pieces Iman did for La Favela.

Iman introduced me to his boss, and the chef Marco, who spoiled us by sending out more food in addition to the tuna carpaccio and salad I ordered.

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Ah the food was really good! I ate till i couldn’t stuff myself anymore.
I’d totally recommend you to eat there!

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When we sat down at a table in the garden, Iman said, “I have a present for you,” and I was like, “Whattttt” and he produced another rolled up canvas.

It was one of a tiny My Little Pony, that I’d given to him as a token which was already in my bag when he’d surprised me the day before. I was like, “Oh Imannnn nooooo!!!”

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What have I done to deserve such love! #HeartExpandsEvenMore

I showed him the tattoo I have of Rainbow Dash on my ankle to exemplify just how MUCH I LOVE the magical ponies, and he said that the tiny colourful things have inspired him.

I feel like it usually takes a while to delve into meaningful conversation when you first talk to someone new, but for us, we dived right in.

We spoke about lovers from our past lives,
lucid dreaming, past life regression,
creative work and phases we’ve experimented with,
past relationships, running away from home,
having premonitions about Bali,
serving prison time (“you’re such a bad boy!” I exclaimed),
clearing spiritual blocks that prevented growth,
and other stories involving Balinese princesses, wolves, doppelgängers,
and experiences of a spiritual realm.

There were so many moments when i had goosebumps all over my face and body!

Iman himself is such an interesting person (obviously) who seems to have lived different lives in one lifetime. In a way, he has, cos he formerly had another identity before legally recreating himself a new one.

What makes him so fascinating is his openness about journeying through life and embracing every experience along the way. He tells his stories in an honest and unpretentious manner with humourous resignation thrown in for those with a less-than-happy ending.

He used to be an assistant chef in Singapore, quite by accident, when someone didn’t turn up for work one day. Offering to cook a dish or two, the head chef tasted it, liked it and appointed him new assistant chef.

Most of his life was spent in the music industry, when he took on the moniker Electrofux for 20 years. When he had transitioned into putting his art on the streets (after being inspired by his late friend and fellow artist Quint), he turned his nickname around, and Xuf came to be. Xuf had been brandishing the public walls of Bali with his stencil art when it got noticed by the boss of La Favela, who hired him to be its resident artist.

Some people say that Iman sold out by shifting to work on an establishment’s walls instead of the street, but the beautiful reality is that he’s created a world for himself where he’s paid to experiment with art, every single day. He gets to work on whatever he wants, and all his bills for materials are covered for by the restaurant (which i know can cost a lot). He gets to do what he loves daily and get paid for it. How cool is that! That’s pretty much an artist’s dream. He could make a fortune selling his art to people but he’s not bothered.

“I don’t earn much but I don’t need it. Money can be found anywhere. What I want is to work on my art.”

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