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Shoes of prey

Over the years, I’ve developed a love hate relationship with my feet. They are both tiny and wide, which means shopping for shoes at regular shops usually leaves me sad and disappointed.

My feet usually fit into a UK2 or 3/ EU 34/ US 4 or so, but shoes in shops often come stocked from a UK 4/ EU 35/ US 5 onwards. Padding sometimes works, but most of the time they leave my feet feeling very uncomfortable due to the poor fit. In Singapore, there are only a handful of shoe shops that may occasionally have my size but most of the time they don’t have it in the designs I like.

But over the years, I’ve learnt to see it as a blessing in disguise. To be honest, if I were an average shoe size, I don’t know how I’d find the self control to limit the number of shoes I own!

For our upcoming wedding, I decided it’s time to hunt for a pair of heels that actually fit nicely. With no chance of me falling out of them, padding and all.

shoes of prey beige leather heels

And that’s when I discovered Shoes of Prey. Here, you get to design your own shoes online with a rotating 3D view. You get to decide the material, color, trim and heel height on your shoes! And best of all, you can specify your shoe size and wide or narrow fit upon checkout.

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Crowd-funding for emerging fashion designers in Asia

ZAOZAO crowd-funding online platform for asian emerging fashion designersFinally! A crowd-funding online platform for emerging fashion designers in Asia!

ZAOZAO is launching in July and I am mega excited! Described as Kickstarter meets Fab meets Moda Operandi by its founders (according an interview by Techinasia), how it works is simple:

  1. Designers upload designs and decide on the funding amount required for production
  2. Each design has 21 days to reach its target funding goal
  3. Once funding targets are reached, production starts and everyone is happy!

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Make a difference with Saught

My mind is officially blown.

Nothing in fashion is better than being able to make a real difference in this world. And Saught does, with much beauty.

Creating products from landmines and unexploded ordnance, Saught supports sustainability in post-conflict countries. Through this process, artisans from Cambodia NGO partner workshops gain income and develop skills.

Each design conveys a story and here’s some of my favourite pieces:

Pursuing peace bangle saught jewelry singapore social enterprise

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Gorgeous dyed clothing that inspires

Not many pretty images are conjured when you think about tie-dyed or dyed clothing. Not for me at least.

But recently I came across New York label Shabd – the dyed clothing and scarves just blew my mind! Goodbye tacky dyed designs and hello gorgeous!

Shabd tie dye clothing design new york label spring summer 2012 collection Continue Reading →

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Fashion steps out!

It’s the start to the fashion season in Singapore and what better way to kick it off than having 150 models walk down a 600m-long strip of road at the Orchard Fashion Runway!

Was asked to help out with make-up for some of the brands and boy was I excited! A lot of media photos show what went on during the walk but here are some of the behind-the-scenes photos from inside the tent itself. Enjoy!


2pm. The calm before the storm as we set up to start working on make up.

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Behind the scenes – ‘Artistic Journeys’ (part two)

(Watch the episode of Artistic Journeys, Batik here and read part one here)

Based on some of the designs shown in part one, the patterns were drawn out on paper to size to send to Pak Hendri and his team in Indonesia.

batik paper patterns

Due to time and cost constraints unfortunately, only the centre collar design utilising the Sawat motif was selected.

The trip to Solo and Jogja was a whirlwind, with only two days total spent in lovely Indonesia. The team was very nice and I couldn’t have asked for better company! Here’s a peek at them in action:

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Behind the scenes – ‘Artistic Journeys’ (part one)

(Watch the episode of Artistic Journeys, Batik here)

For the longest time I’ve been happy behind the camera – doing styling, make-up and the works. So my first time in front of the camera proper was definitely an interesting and fun experience. And not to forget, totally nerve-wrecking due to the need to speak in Mandarin THE WHOLE TIME. (In the past, most of my Chinese was limited to the ordering of food.)

I was first contacted by the casting director, Joscylnne, on my interest on being on the show. To be honest, being on TV and speaking Chinese wasn’t a huge draw for me but the opportunity to fly to Indonesia to learn Batik certainly was! After a few rounds of meeting with the director Eric from filmat36, approval was given by the station and team and work commenced.

In my designs, I wanted to capture the beauty and history of Batik while fusing it with modern aesthetics. After reading up on Batik (the library provided more info than the internet this time), I decided to focus on the Sawat for some of the pieces.

Sawat or “large wings”, represents the garuda which according to legend was a birdlike creature with the body and limbs of a man and the beak and talons of an eagle. In the past, this was a sacred motif that only royalty could wear and not the common people. If I were producing these clothes to sell, I would definitely put the history and meaning of the motif on the hangtag so everyone could learn more about the design and culture. Super interesting!

This was my drawing of the Sawat motif by hand, scanned and digitally coloured with a modern and fun palette:

sawat drawing

The next was my interpretation of the lotus motif which was to be used as a large Batik design as well as a smaller Batik collar piece:

floral collar

The production house wanted casual designs that were a bit friendlier to the masses so I decided to go with ready-to-wear designs for the initial proposal. Here’s a peek at some of them incorporating the two motifs:

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Scoring with classic chain jewellery

There’s always something about classic, simple jewellery. They move effortlessly from day to night and match with a variety of outfits — these are pieces I always recommend my clients to start with if they are getting used to the idea of accessorizing on a daily basis for work or play. But somehow, they are really hard to find!

Chanced across a treasure trove of classic chain bracelets and necklaces in Melbourne over the festive break and I couldn’t help but buy everything! Even if my clients don’t want to buy them, I’m certainly keeping them for myself :D

These chains are really fine so they drape very nicely when worn. They work with most pieces and styles and are simply lovely.

The only possible downside is that they are a bit troublesome to bring on trips – they tend to kink easily when clumped together. So pack them well or prepare to spend some time working out the kinks before wearing!

Will be sourcing for the wholesalers for more pieces at lower prices if there’s interest. Do contact me at sayhi@micheleng.sg if you’d like some of these great pieces :)

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Foldable flats

Nowadays I value convenience over many things and one example would be having a pair of foldable flats in my bag to swap out with heels.

I’ve found that these are especially useful when:

  1. You’re late and running from one event to another and doing so in heels just slows you down
  2. You decide to be thrifty by saving on carpark fees which results in a much longer walk to the actual venue (technically this is a healthier option too!)
  3. Your new heels haven’t been broken in yet and give you blisters – you will only bear with the pain at the event and once you’ve left, you want out of them heels.
  4. You’re just too tired to stand in heels any longer

There have been foldable, rollable flats selling everywhere, including local brand Rollies which they sell out of a vending machine at Zouk Singapore.

However what I’ve noticed is that a lot of these flats:

  1. Tend to bite at your heel due to the gathered elastic
  2. Sometimes look and feel like flimsy disposable slip-ons which you would rather walk barefoot than be seen in
  3. Don’t come with adequate sole support so you feel the full impact of the hard ground when you’re rushing around

But recently, I came across Tieks and my hope in foldable flats have been renewed!

Call it effective marketing, but they’ve created all the solutions to the problems I’ve had with foldable flats. Padded insole, cushioned instep and back heel, 100% premium leather, non-skid rubber patches. Each pair comes with a pouch for folded Tieks, a reusable tote for heels and pant clips to adjust your pant length when changing shoes.

AND they come in so many colours and textures! Check out a small sampling:

Ranging from 155 to 265 USD, these are on the expensive side. But if they’re comfy, look good and you can squeeze many uses out of them, I think they would be well worth it! The signature Tiek blue stripe and rubber patches are fun too although I wish they had more subtle versions for the classic pieces. Nevertheless, these are definitely a WANT in the near future! They provide international shipping too, which is awesome.

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Fashion with something extra

Once in a while I’ll come across stories or businesses in fashion that impacts lives in a different way and Stella & Dot is yet another example of that.

Having come across their website in a search for accessories for some clients, I was glad to find out more about this company. Their mission, taken from their website, is simply beautiful:

In a nutshell, they have not only put together beautiful accessories, but they have used it as a means to provide women with an alternative career with flexibility, profit and fun. Sales are created through in-home trunk shows, merging e-commerce, social media and personal service and they are now an Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Company!

It’s no wonder because some of their accessories are dead gorgeous! Here are some of my favourites:

(Left: Infinity Charm Necklace; Right: On The Mark Necklace)

(Left: Paige Enamel Bracelet; Right: Chantilly Lace Cuff)

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Shooting with cellophane and tulle

Collaborated with Irvin and Shiqin from Meese Studios recently to do a shoot for two looks. The first was an outfit made of reflective silver cellophane. The way the lights were set up were perfect and the material looked absolutely electric!

The second look involved lots of tulle in bright contrasting colours with a japonesque make-up look (had mentioned wanting to do this in an earlier post and it has finally happened!). 

The studio at The Pond was one of the coolest I’ve worked in so far. If you couldn’t figure out the above image, there was a trap door from the second floor that allows you to shoot from up top!

Not only was the studio really cool, the make up and dressing area in the back was simply divine.

This has been one of the most fun shoots to date and I can’t wait to play with more material again! :)

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World Runway premiere

Finally a different concept in fashion – enter the World Runway in which teams consisting of a stylist, make up artist and hair stylist represent their countries in a styling tournament!

In this first series, the teams hailing from 8 countries (France, Italy, Japan, United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Singapore and Brazil) had to shop in Singapore for the items and had a budget of $500 per look for 10 looks. The prize? S$100,000, where half would be kept by the winning team and the other half donated to Red Cross Japan. :)

The sound and light system was amazing (yes, the geek in me noticed) but it seems like they could have done with a couple more rehearsals unfortunately in terms of transitions and confetti being popped at the wrong time.

That aside, some of the styling was simply divine! The top pick of last night had to go to this black ensemble by the UK team and they certainly deserved the win (apologies for the poor quality as my DSLR wasn’t allowed in):

Besides UK, the Japan and Italy were on the top of my list. Pity there could only be one winner!


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Found this book at basheer recently. New weekday reading!

Behind the scenes of a shoot on Sunday!

Behind the scenes of a shoot on Sunday! Provided the gown and did hair and make up. :)
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Waiting for an opportune time to shoot a colorful japanesque scene!