New fashion blogs I love

Scouting around the fashion blog world this week I’ve found a few style blogs that are new to me, and which I find refreshing.

I often stay away from the big name fashion blogs as I find a lot to be quite cookie-cutter, and also full of stick-thin young blondes.  Here’s some I really like, with why I like them.

Beckermanbiteplate

This blog is a collaborative effort of 3 Canadian sisters, 2 of whom are twins (Caillianne and Samantha), and who are designers in their own right. Look below and you’ll see why I love Samantha in particular – that bright aqua HAIR!

beckerman biteplate fashion blog

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ION Orchard, Food Opera, Padang Padang

On earlier visits to Singapore I had breezed through ION Orchard as part of the Orchard Road experience. But something was missing. I was yet to experience the wonder that is Food Opera, the very upmarket hawker-style food court in the ION Orchard basement. Time to rectify that.

For those who haven’t been to Singapore, Orchard Road is THE premier district for shopping malls; mainly upmarket but with some budget-friendly, old school surprises lurking amongst the almost spage-age architectural statements.

ION Orchard is arguably the best of the best.  66,000 square metres in size, with 4 levels above ground and 4 levels below, ION offers over 300 retail, food & beverage and entertainment options.

The luxury brands are all there: Louis Vuitton, Dior, Prada, Miu Miu etc, as well as mid-range favourites like Topshop, Zara and Uniqlo. (Yes, I confess, i *may* have made some purchases here).

ION offers fine dining as well as food chain outlets, delis and confectioners, cafes and bars, mostly on the basement floors but also on the floors above.

It is the ION food hall on Basement level 4 that I gravitate towards, and the outlets here are outstanding. Old Chang Kee, Punggol Nasi Padang and the Wang San Yang Tea Pavilion nestle alongside Ginza Bairin and 4 Fingers Crispy Chicken!

Food Opera is the primary one, offering 22 stalls and 4 mini-restaurants in the hawker style. Aesthetically there is an immediately appealing sense of history and homeliness, as well as luxury and whimsy. Modern design trends, such as animal heads on the walls and large sculptures are everywhere, including animal sculptures such as deer, pigs, giraffe and even golden dragonflies and insects. Uber-glamorous chandeliers illuminate the space, throwing the beautiful gilt ceiling mouldings into sharp relief. Yep, you sure feel like you’re somewhere swanky!

But enough of me telling you about it; take a look for yourself:

Food Opera in ION Orchard Singapore

Peacocks and stag/deer heads look down on Hainan Chicken Rice & BBQ Seafood outlets

  

A large golden dragonfly looks down from the Draft Beer stall; an ornate ceiling at Ah Wok restaurant makes looking up worthwhile

  Ah Wok in Food Opera

I tell you, I walked around for AAAGES trying to decide what to eat. As I am very fond of the flavours of Malay, Indonesian and Peranakan cuisine, it is no wonder that I finally decided upon Padang Padang for my lunchtime repast.

Padang Padang (so good they named it twice!)

Padang Padang in Food Opera

Food Republic, which owns Food Opera, had this to say about Padang:

Padang cuisine is the traditional food of ‘Urang Minang’ (Minang people) who inhabit West Sumatera, Indonesia. The key to Padang cuisine’s rich flavour and mouth-watering aroma is the correct blend of spices. Padang Padang is owned by Mrs Wahyuningsilh and the recipes are inspired by her grandmother – a 3rd generation Peranakan in Indonesia. At Padang Padang, they are committed to using only natural ingredients and processing them traditionally to retain their original taste and health benefits.

Signature Dishes: Nasi Kuning Ayam Merah, Rendang Sapi (Beef Rendang), Ayam Goreng Bumbu (Padang Fried Chicken with Spices), Ikan Asam Pedras (Spicy & Sour Fish), Gado-Gado Padang (Padang Mixed Vegetables), Cabe Merah /Hijau Padang (Special Red/Green Padang Chilli)

Padang Padang was crowned one of the top 3 Hawker Kings at Food Republic.

Food Republic reviews some other Food Opera outlets Soup Guru, Ah Wok and Scott’s Beef Noodles here.

As for me, I ordered the Nasi Kuning with Ayam Merah, which is yellow rice with chicken in a red gravy largely comprised of tomato, turmeric, garlic, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, chilli and soy. YUMMERS!!

Ayam Merah & Nasi Kuning

The chicken was still still just a little crispy from having been fried first, and the sauce was extremely tasty without being burn-your-mouth-out hot. There was a beautiful balance of salty, sweet and chilli. I also could have chosen a multi-dish from their many meat and vegetable options (as you can see in the photo above). Next time I think I just might!

In need of some freshening up before I hit the street again, I encountered the splendour that is the ION Orchard ladies toilets! Honestly, how glamorous are these? And as I left the modern mall, I couldn’t help but laugh at these fantastic coloured sculptures of shoppers, seen at the front of ION Orchard:

 

So whether for the shopping or the food, ION Orchard is definitely worth perusing next time you’re in Singapore.

Have you already been? What are your fave shops or food outlets?

 Food Opera @ ION Orchard
#B4-03/04 Ion Orchard
2 Orchard Turn
Singapore 238801
Tel: +65 6509 9118

Operating Hours:
ION Orchard
10am to 10pm

Food Opera:
8am to 10pm Monday – Thursday
8am to 11pm Friday, Saturday, Eve of Public Holidays
10am to 10pm Sunday

Neon Days

How about this neon yellow colour trend, eh? It just won’t go away – and I’m very happy about that! I’m obviously still very much in love with neon colour, even if I’m not exactly a cybergoth or raver these days.

I ventured out to Newtown to Just Feathers this week, and found some gorgeous goodies in that neon yellow/chartreuse colour that’s still so of-the-moment.  And everything I bought was between $25 and $39.95!

 

Firstly these leggings jumped out at me, with their tron/blade-runner/futurist bent and Prada-like 70′s honeycomb print. The yellow piping really pops against the black & white monochrome print. Thinking of my impending holidays, I kept my make-up neutral (no eyeliner!) and threw on a visor and loose skull-studded long tee from Glad News (Japan). Chartreuse platforms from my Korea trip last year, and neon yellow spiked cuff (from Just Feathers) completed the look.

(Minpin accessory not included ;) But how many times can you spot him?)

 

Another great buy was this chartreuse top with flared peplum. Initially I thought it should be worn with a gently flared skirt (from Dotti last year) and a shirt underneath for modesty.

 

But this baby doesn’t HAVE to be ladylike…it can also be glam & clubby.  I decided to put it together with the leggings, a black corset belt from Cue and a studded skirt, sans undershirt (!) but with more dramatic make-up:

 

Yes, the hair also got a nice midnight-blue dye job – well spotted, those who picked it! The bright eyeshadows are by LimeCrime, the lipstick by Manic Panic.

To complete the cyber-y look, my white boots with cut-out platform from Esperanza in Japan (see this post) seemed an appropriate choice.

In the various shots here, you can see little vignettes of my living room (dark charcoal wall & metallic teal wallpaper opposite), the sunroom (zebra chair, palms & Indian carved wooden screen), and dressing room (dark wooden shoe shelves and wardrobe doors, plush zebra striped rug & black mock-croc chair).

I WILL be doing some interiors posts before long – just have to finalise some pieces before I unveil them to the world!

To cyber it up even more, I threw on this Spank neon yellow jacket with clear PVC panels, a black spiked collar, and a neon yellow see-through corset belt from LB-03 in Japan (see this post) – perfect for this ensemble! I love how clothing from my travels and my various past incarnations, can still come together in an outfit :)

 

 

Finally, I had to grab this comfy soft jumper (above) in a pastel yellow-green hue…and pair it with a metallic neckpiece that is made  out of lots of gold bobby pins (kirby grips for my o/s readers).  A very Mary Katrantzou-like dress was another purchase of mine, as seen right, but I will leave that for another outfit post (and yep, little dawg Fritz just had to get in these pics AGAIN!)

So if you happen to be near a Just Feathers store, or an outlet for the labels Smoke & Mirrors (leggings), Imprint (jumper) or Paper Heart (chartreuse top)  you might just wanna grab yourself a bargain.

So have you jumped on board the neon trend? Dipped your toes in with a bright satchel or footwear? Do tell!

Outfit blast from the past – blonde cybergoth in 2004

By way of reminiscing over my misspent “youth”, here’s a snapshot of October 2004, or thereabouts. Having gone blue and worn blue and purple synth dreads in the early part of the year, I decided to go blonde. Very light blonde. And start braiding other things in my hair. First there was colinette wool, then blonde synthetic dreads:

 

My wardrobe at the time was very cybergoth, consisting of PVC mini-skirts, PVC buckled patform boots, buckled PVC corsets (do you see a theme here?), and sometimes bright neon green raver accents.

There was also a fair bit of silver and metal thrown in there…like this metal bodice and spiked wristbands from Allycat metalware. (Yes, I still have them)

I also tried cyberlox for the first time – not just falls plonked on my head, but braided in to look more natural. I put a silver rinse through my hair first to try to match it. And here I am with the reigning queen of Sydney cybergoth at the time, Amelia aka DestroyX.

  

A close-up shows the silver on my face and arms..I just got some silver hairspray, closed my eyes, and sprayed like crazy. Shoulda got silver contact lenses. Oh well.

Amelia had fantastic falls she had begun making and selling, in foam, plastic and tubing.

 Would I wear these today? Not really. You can still see girls wearing exactly this type of clothing, boots and hair – but they’re in their 20′s, and that’s probably as it should be. How old was I back then?

40 years old.

Yep. Yikes. Even though I undoubtedly looked good for my age, age-appropriate went right out the window. Still, you gotta give things a go. And if you’re under 40, I say to you…take a chance and wear something daring! Cos at least you know there was someone there before you, wearing something sillier. And it was probably me, #growing old disgracefully.

Neon Brights

A package from the Outnet arrived for me today, full of Cinderella-y goodness.

Well, actually, it’s two dresses for the festive season.  I was looking online the other day for party dresses…and was like a kid in a candy store. One dress was almost blindingly bright – a neon yellow/green confection of lace and tulle – and despite it being borderline 80′s-tastic, I felt I just had to get it. This is it:

Hey, one only gets a chance to buy stuff like this when neon is in fashion (unless it’s from a costume store!)  I’ve been wearing block colour orange for a while now, with pops of aqua or pink next to it, but I really want to try the neon-yellow that’s been seen around the past few months. Yes, I could be tasteful and just wear it as a cardi, or on my nails…but it’s party season! Why not?

Obviously the next question is what to wear with it? What shoes, bag, belt, jewellery, nailpolish and make-up? Since the Christmas/New Year season here in Sydney tends to be HOT, it seems utterly appropriate to accessorise with similarly summery neon brights.  While I love turquoise with the acid yellow, fuschia and magenta also pop well against it. Silver, too, always looks great with bright colour.  Here are some of my faves:

Listing the items as they run down each photo-strip, top to bottom, left to right:

1. Tom Binns Ethno Teknic “Massai” neon necklace

2. Hot Topic pink pyramid stud belt

3. Silver studded Karmaloop shoe

4. ASOS neon yellow bag

5. Neon nail polishes

6. Pink “Ami” leopard shoe Karmaloop

7. ASOS aqua scallop edge satchel

8. Aqua cream colour from Make Up Forever

9. Jeffery Campbell pink bag from Karmaloop

10. Neon Tribal Punk necklace from DolorisPetunia on Etsy

11. Neon make-up

12. Blue statement necklace from DolorisPetunia on Etsy

13. Jeffery Campbell Darian neon yellow shoe from Solestruck

14. Sly (Japan) feather jacket

15. Neon yellow Royal Opulence lace and tutu dress from the Outnet – now sold out, sorry!

Do you like anything from here? What would you accessorise the dress with? Would you do as they’ve done on the website and tone it down with basic black?

Postscript: I tried it on and it’s a little small around the back (I’ve put weight on this year and have just started to exercise again). Looks like I’ll be wearing the other dress, with gold sequin top and black tulle skirt, for the New Year!