Archive for January 2016

Of Theories, Pineapple Tarts, and Tradition

Of Theories, Pineapple Tarts, and Traditionimage

An ancient Chinese tradition holds that purchasing new clothes prior to the Chinese New Year symbolizes the welcoming of a new beginning. We can see how this may hold true—clothes certainly have a restorative and reformative power. There’s nothing like a new dress that fits you perfectly to make you feel ready to take on anything the day (or year) has to offer. Whether your challenge is to impress relatives or simply to hide the signs of one too many pineapple tarts (we’ve been there before), we are here to empower you!

First of all, there’s no reason why following an ancient Chinese tradition should mean that you actually dress like one (i.e. a lady from an ancient Chinese era—good for television, but not so much for modern visiting). The myriad of style options available today means that you can pay homage to your roots and the hallmarks of the season without looking dated, or even straying too far from your daily style.

One simple way to do so is to wear red intelligently. Red is a traditionally auspicious colour in Chinese culture, and as designer Bill Blass once said, “When in doubt, wear red.” However, it’s important to note that not every shade of red will suit your skin tone. Not everyone can pull off shocking Chinatown scarlet. Generally speaking, if you’re fair or have cool undertones, go for rich, blue-based shades like wine red; if you’re darker-skinned or have warm undertones, try brighter, yellow-based shades like vermillion. If in doubt, choose clothes with red accents, like our Lily Belle Dress (White) or our Snow Flower and the Secret Dress. The splashes of colour will be enough to brighten up your complexion!

Have red hair? Not to worry. The old saying that those with red hair shouldn’t wear red has been completely tossed out of the window, following fabulous showings by red-haired celebrities like Amy Adams, who showed up at the recent Golden Globes 2016 in a stunning vermillion number (below).

If red isn’t quite your thing, sieve through silhouettes. If you like the figure-skimming cut of a qipao but don’t want something so immediately identifiable with this period, try our Rose of Sharon Dress, available in four colours and four sizes. The nude-tone underlay and crochet cut-outs add intrigue to a classically feminine piece. Looking for something a little more conservative? Try our My Fleur Lady Peplum Dress, which updates the peplum cut with a delicate shower of blossoms.

As a famous (fictional) fashion editor once said, “Florals for spring? Groundbreaking.” But we’d like to believe it is—that is, when done directionally, with laser-cut petals (see our Poets of Petal Laser Cut Dress), or when delicately spliced across shoulder-tops on a dip-hem dress (see our Almost a Love Story Dip-hem Dress). Take your cue from actress Holland Roden (another red-head in red—we love!), who let her dress do the talking with simple accessories.

Lace can be accentuated when placed atop a nude-tone underlay (pretty hot this season!), as in our Home Has A Heartbeat Dress. These would look great paired with either heels or flats (we’re envisaging the lace-up pointy-toed ballet flats that are all the rage these days) given their swingy silhouette and breezy length—perfect for switching up between house visits.

So there it is—no need to be uncomfortable or unfashionable when visiting cousins and colleagues alike! Simply weave your way through our collection, blessed in the knowledge that new hope and new confidence invite new beginnings indeed.

Photo Credits: Thread Theory, International Business Times, W Magazine 

Colour Crash Course #1: Tone on Tone

Colour Crash Course #1: Tone on Tone

Reinventing is hard, we know. If you’re like us, you’ve figured out roughly what colour looks good on you, and have amassed a wardrobe in variations of that same colour. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

Right. However, making full use of the colours already in your wardrobe is one of the most commonly overlooked, yet effective, ways of reinventing your look. It’s faster (and, dare we say, cheaper) than running out to get a new outfit; and, if you already know the colour looks fantastic on you, chances are remixing outfits in variations of the same colour will only further liven things up.

Enter tonal colour-blocking: using colours in the same colour family together to create a look that’s richer in depth. For example, in the colour wheel shown below, you’d pick two or three colours from the same wedge and use them in the same outfit. Easy as that!


Baby steps:

Take your inspiration from nature!

Working your tones in ombré, or gradient, colour-blocking can be the first step for beginners who want to look effortlessly put together without having to think too much. The visual effect is softer, yet still sophisticated, and the overall look has a much less deliberate effect. Plus, it’s literally super easy: just pick a dress or one-piece wonder that will do the work for you. Check out our ombré dip-hem dress (below). Its waterfall layers add to the watercolour effect, and creates the perfect palette for you to dip your toes into tonal colour-blocking!

Alternatively, switch up your accessories! Accessories are a great way to determine the direction of your look and can be your sartorial equivalent of shading in a painting. Take, for example, our Architecture 101 Crochet Shift Dress (Powder Blue)(below). Its solid swathe of colour calls attention to the almost architectural detail, but you can harness and heighten that energy by adding a belt and statement necklace in royal blue, or a simple cornflower blue cardigan.

An added challenge for the risk-takers:
It’s time to shine—bright. Take your cue from actress Emma Stone, who absolutely stunned in a custom colour-blocked Thakoon creation at the Met Gala last year (below). She may have been at one of the most well-dressed bonanzas on the fashion world’s calendar, but her look is utterly translatable to the sidewalks, too: simply pick a crop top and slim skirt in similar, punchy hues, and you’re done. As designer Lilly Pulitzer once said, “Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink.”

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the brights, keep your colours to a maximum of two and pack your jewellery away for now. Your colours make enough of a statement.

Good luck remixing your wardrobe! We guarantee you, ‘tis a tune you’ll be singing here on out.

Photo Credits: InStyle; Pinterest; Thread Theory; Wet Canvas


Colour Crash Course #2: Confident in Contrast

Tired of tonal? Is Christmas making your eyes go red and green? Wait—do those two colours even work together?

While we’re not advocating that you step out dressed like a Christmas tree, the simple answer is: yes! Contrasting colour-blocking is possibly the greatest weapon in your colour arsenal: it’s one of the most powerful ways to make you stand out. When utilized well, it projects confidence, happiness, and, strangely enough, effortlessness.

Why contrasting colours still look easy on the eye comes down, once again, to the colour wheel (see below). Contrasting colour-blocking could go two ways: analogous, or complementary.

Analogous colour-blocking refers to picking two (or three) colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel. For example, a light-green dress, with a yellow belt.

Complementary colour-blocking refers to picking two (or three) colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel. For example, an orange dress, with a violet cardigan.

This may sound daunting and like a painter’s fantasy gone terribly wrong. It may also still sound like we’re advocating that you go out dressed like a Christmas tree. Rest assured—there are simple enough ways you can work this tool into your day-to-day outfits without looking like you got dressed in the dark, none of which involve you taking your inspiration from Yuletide gift wrappers.

Baby steps:

Start from familiar surroundings. Paddle-pop ice-cream; old HDB flats; perhaps even the spines of your favourite books pressed together on your bedside table… Our Block Me Pretty Dip Hem Dress in Mint/ Salmon (below) is a nostalgia-tinted colour-way that reminds us of cool ice-cream and playground slides on hot summer days. Alternatively, try its sister in Navy/ Kelly Green for a more neutral sideways step into contrasting colour-blocking. Pairing dark hues together is often an easy way to try contrasting colour-blocking without immediately seeking attention.

In the same vein, check out our Two is Better Than One Reversible Dress (Indigo/ Fuchsia). Its reversible nature allows you to decide just how bold you want to be today, and the peekaboo flash of colour is a flirtatious little sashay into colour-blocking territory.

Added challenges for risk-takers:

Add classic prints to break up your blocks: try polka-dots in neutral hues, or, if you’re daring, leopard print! These prints can go on your accessories, or as the base for a colour-blocked one-piece (like a coat—see our Blair Got It Wool Coat, below). As designer Jenna Lyons puts it, “As far as I'm concerned, leopard is a neutral.”

Alternatively, if you’re ready to up your game, try tonal colour-blocking and then add contrasting accessories. The look can serve as your sartorial equivalent of an exclamation mark at the end of the sentence. 

Don’t be afraid to bring the festivity to your wardrobe. It might just bring a smile to your face, too!

Photo Credits: Aphroditesheaven; Pinterest; Thread Theory




With every fresh start comes new experiences. Whatever the ending and new beginning is for you, embrace the freedom that comes with it. 2016 - Let's live free, love deep and never quit. Happy new beginnings everyone! :)