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The Collabs

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From time to time, we see collaborations between companies, artists and designers.

The common ones we know more about, is having a designer signature produced in high street fashion.

The ones that I am going to talk about, it’s the invitation to a designer to design a new range of collection that is outside what they usually produce.

Such collaborations interest me and the designers often share their train of thoughts and the inspiration behind.

Balmain

With Olivier Rousteing as the Creative Director, Balmain has developed very strong characteristic styles without losing her iconic roots. What really made me sit up and paid attention was their F/W 2014 Collection.

Balmain went into a one off collaboration with H&M in 2015 which had his apparel designs made very affordable and at very accessible price point. Most people will look at such collaborations as ‘designer pieces made cheaper to buy’.

What was really exciting and drew my attention was his collaboration with L’oreal Paris this year.

Balmain x L’oreal Paris

Balmain does not have a beauty line and to me, this is a good type of cross over. For a fashion designer to come up with lipstick colours, it will make interested parties wonder and look forward to what comes up.

Twelve exotic shades, the same attitude, the same energy.

Ikea

The popular furniture and home furnishing brand. This is also a place where I draw many home interior inspirations.

Ikea began charging for plastic bags in 2007 and made a very bold move to stop issuing plastic bags altogether in 2013. Bringing our own shopping bags is not embedded in our shopping culture here and to just chop away the plastic bags completely, may bring adverse impact to their sales. But they still went ahead to do what was necessary to save Gaia.

Over time, people got used to bringing their own shopping bags and most would have bought one or two of their iconic blue shopping bags for less than a dollar each. Very durable and easy to bring out.

This year, Ikea and Mette Hay came together to redesign the blue shopping bag. Same thing but now in new cool earth shade.


Do you know, a Spanish fashion house launched a new bag which bears an uncanny resemblance to the Ikea blue shopping bag, at a four-digit price tag which had many people went, ‘Really?’?

I am sure I am going to stick to the trust-worthy durable original Ikea bag.

Cheers,
Shirley

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Over The Weekend

This is the first year that I sat down and watch fashion shows on the screen.

In the past, I rely alot on magazines for still photos and by the time the magazines hit the rack, it would have been at least a month after the fashion shows. Even the videos on the internet are snippets.

With the rise of social media, brands are using various social media platforms to reach out to more people almost real time.

It is the season of fashion weeks. It is also the season major international fashion house showcase their Spring Summer 2018 collection.

New York Fashion Week, followed by London Fashion Week and now the happening as we speak Paris Fashion Week.

I followed the New York Fashion Week quite closely and these are my top two favourites.

Versace

Gianni Versace was the founder and the designer of Versace. This year is the 20th anniversary of his death. His sister, Donatella Francesca put together a tribute collection showcasing his iconic designs. You will see many of his glorious designs that are still very sought after twenty years later.

She also invited the models whom her brother engaged frequently for his past shows to make a special appearance.

Watch on for the golden appearance of Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen.

Fendi

The colours are so calm and alluring.

Pay very close attention to the bags the models carried. New bag straps are coming, mini bucket bags are so cute that I can’t help but to keep rewinding the videos.

Peek or cold shoulders is going to stay for the next season. For those who have already acquired peek/cold shoulders pieces from us, you are on point.

Photo Credit to Fendi.com

Some of you may think;

“What’s the point of watching these big brands? I am not going to spend that kind of money.”

or maybe

“I don’t have that kind of money to splurge on clothes and bags.”

If you haven’t notice, the major international fashion brands are the indicators of what’s trending and very soon you will see similar styles springing up in the high street stores that many of you go to. Even the small local fashion online stores will have a fraction of inspired styles that you see on the runway.

So, if you have a particular style that you must stick to no matter what, you might want to start looking around for them and stash them away for the upcoming festive seasons before everything is sold out in your size.

It’s time to start contacting your personal shopper.

Cheers,
Shirley

The Sakura Season

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The beautiful sakura season is here again. Several years ago, by a twist of fate and as a result of subsequent events, we never get to see these beautiful blooms in the country of origin until today. Who knows now, we can also see sakura in real life in Singapore.

We don’t have sakura naturally in Singapore. However, we have very awesome people from Gardens By The Bay, who brought these beauties to our shore. I went last year and I was in awe at the blooms. They have brought it back again this year and I have been seeing posts of these beauties on social media. You should really go and see for yourself if you are here in Singapore.

 

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Every Spring, major fashion and high street brands will introduce new apparel designs with floral elements. I have also brought in various apparel designs of florals done in several ways. I have shared previously how embroidery is a beautiful expression of floral. Now let’s look at other ways of wearing floral.

It’s always good to start small if you have no idea what your level of acceptance is when it comes to attempting new apparel designs or elements. What you are seeing on Floral and Embellishment Feature Top, is a white cotton tee that is made interesting with a feature sewn on applique, long beadings and sparkle studs. If tee-shirt is your top choice for leisure comfy wear but find it too plain looking to look put together, Floral and Embellishment Feature Top is really made for you. Two basic colours all in; White and Black.

 

 

 

We have also brought in another version of this blouse, with drawstring. Drawstring is such a useful function on apparel. Its purpose is to allow flexibility when it comes to definition. Do you notice how it transforms a straight fit top to a peplum top with a draw of the string?

 

 

 

There are many suggestions and personal views when it comes to wearing a floral dress. Some say it’s meant for tall ladies, some say it’s meant for the petite size and some say it’s a cross out for plus size people.

I don’t agree to any of the above.

All you have to do is to choose a suitable combination of colour and the type of floral print. I would say start with a colour that you are comfortable with and look out for small floral prints.

Mini Floral Dress is a very good floral dress to start with. There are only 3 colours on the fabric and the floral print is done in simple outlines that is easy to look at. If you think soft fabric like this type is shapeless and yet dislike the idea of wearing belt/sash, the drawstring is here to help you. Attention is paid right down to the hardware used on the drawstring tips. Good quality buttons are used even though the buttons are concealed with a button panel. Whether buttons are exposed or concealed, it makes a difference to the apparel design.

 

 

 

If you already ready to embrace floral prints, step up to a basic base colour and I recommend these two below.

 

 

Gathered neckline softens the look and simply gives you a feminine look.

 

 

For ladies who always love a touch of vintage in your outfits, I recommend these two below. Look at the buttons. Don’t they look like tiny flowers to you?

 

 

 

Don’t forget to update your makeup too. If you have been following our IG Stories, you would have caught a glimpse of where I have picked up the latest beauty products. I was so drawn to how the colour looked like on the model’s face in the video.

I have only started to use blusher recently even though I have it in my makeup box all this while. I am a lazy bum when it comes to makeup. I just go for the bare minimum.

One fine day, I decided to just dab a bit of blusher on my cheeks and I saw the difference it makes to my face colour. And I discover one beauty of applying blusher. If you have picked up makeup tips from tutorials, you would have seen the common method of ‘smile and apply blusher on the apple of our cheeks’. Because I put on a smile every time I apply blusher before I go out, I find that I always start my day with a smile. Somehow, it lifts my mood from the hectic schedule.

Tried and tested, the COCO CODE BLUSH HARMONY is really pretty on my face! And this is now my daily go to for blusher.

 

 

 

Enjoy the new apparel designs you have picked up at Queenbels and have fun trying new makeup colours.

Cheers,
Shirley

The Beauty Of Threads

Upon upon a time, embroidery works are done by hand. Stitch by stitch, thread by thread, fill up the patterns that were drawn by hand. With the advancement of sewing machinery, the range of embroidery has also expanded.

Like many of you, I favour embroidery more to prints. Embroidery brings patterns to life. The use of a variety of different thread colours, and sometimes include beads, sequins and other embellishments, creates a different character to each apparel design. It’s like expressing the story behind each clothing. The search for exquisite embroidery is always ongoing and the discovery of captivating ones are always delightful.

This season I have shortlisted the most beautiful, wearable embroidery you can ever imagine. There is something for everyone.

 

 

 Nothing beats having a day out wearing a dress that is comfortable to the skin and also a piece of art. The choice of red and blue thread colours on both the blue base and the white base is brilliant. The use of the same embroidery pattern on the collar all the way down the button panel completes the entire embroidery display.

 

 

If you love embroidery on just one section of your clothing, Butterflies and Floral Gala Dress will be your top choice. How alluring, to see crochet lace wrap around the shoulders and arms. If you are going to a wedding lunch and don’t want to be too elaborate in your dressing, this dress is your best pick.

 

 

If you have been wanting a piece of embroidery in your work outfit, The Royal Embroidery Blouse is meant for you. The pointed collar is smart and the embroidered leaf pattern that flows on the edge is so beautiful. The puff 3/4 sleeves complete with cuffs are work appropriate. The pleats before the waist and opens up right down to the hem will be so flattering if you wear it with a pencil skirt.

 

 

Pleated and Embroidery Dress will work for those who want embroidery in their clothing and yet not visually eye-catching. This comes in the most welcome basic colours of blue and white. Highly recommended for dress down Friday corporations that don’t allow denims.

Which one have you chose?

Cheers,
Shirley

 

Close To The Heart

I had my first ‘bomber style’ jacket way back in year 2005. It’s a piece from Adidas. A special edition design, very sporty and screams ‘Racer’.

It accompanied me on several trips out of Singapore. Kept me cosy on board planes. I even worn it to my first F1 race (as a spectator of course). While most girls will go for cardigans, it’s this track jacket for me. I really like that it is smart-looking and I wished, there were other variations that I can wear with other outfits.

A little more about track jacket. Track jacket is also commonly known as baseball jacket. The outer look of the jacket can get very interesting with different material, colours, details, length and there is no thermal lining. Most major sportswear brands have track jackets under their labels.

A bomber jacket is however, different from a track jacket.

A bomber jacket is also known as a flight jacket, originally created for military pilots. Mostly made of leather in the older days and it essentially functions to keep the wearer warm. Over time it appeals as a trendy fashion wear.

In the recent months, the bomber jacket came into the limelight when a luxury brand took the bomber jacket and created new designs with very unique material, contrasting colours and used embroidery heavily in the patterns. The downside is, the inner lining is not suitable for our local weather, not even when you wear in air-conditioned places.

So you can imagine the excitement when I found designs that we can wear here and you are going to be so spoilt with choices.

The piece that has almost all the details that a trendsetter looks for. The shimmer, the colour combination, the embroidered applique, knit web trim and right down to the zip slider. Take the gold colour if you want to stand out and go for the blue if you like basic colour.

 

Quilt Bomber Jacket has a beautiful display of embroidery work. The choice of colours in the embroidery stood out and yet don’t clash with the base colour. The overall look is softer and it’s a good choice to start with if you have not worn bomber jackets before.

 

Spring Leaf Jacket showcases what is prints done right. This has me in awe when I first set my eyes on it. The sporty feel is expressed, by keeping to basic colours, blue and white. The zip slider is a highlight on its own and compliments the jacket perfectly well.

 

Blue Sea Bomber Jacket is the only one that has a thin layer of thermal lining among all that I have brought in. If you are on our Instagram, you will know what inspired me to bring this in.

This is a look that we can all put together readily. Most of us will have that one pencil skirt and a basic top. Throw on the jacket and the look is complete.

Blue Sea Bomber Jacket. Full details, please whatsapp to +65 9156 2881.

A post shared by Queenbels (since 2009) (@queenbels) on

If you like getting a piece of the current trend and want something that has a practical function, bomber jacket is one that you can seriously consider. And I hope you like what I have curated for you.

Guess which one did I keep?

Cheers,
Shirley

Happy Times Rolling

It’s never a dull day when you have an awesome wardrobe collection to put on everyday.

From exquisite embroidery in gorgeous colours with sparkling embellishments.

 

To a garden party.

 

Onto prints and pockets.

We introduced many new designs this round with functional pockets.

Prints and pockets. To enquire, please whatsapp to +65 9156 2881.

A post shared by Queenbels (since 2009) (@queenbels) on

 

And that elegant lace that withstand the test of time.

 

Thank you for coming on board, joining us on a brand new shopping experience.

New styles were showcased almost everyday over the past two and a half months and to be very honest, I do have jitters over the response.

I made a very huge leap, doing a style overhaul over a rather short span of time. There were many push factors that leave me with no luxury of time and I have to trust my instincts and the experience I have accumulated over the past years to carry out the necessary changes.

More than fifty designs, over two and a half months. Thank you for the strong support.

 

With the last delivery done on Thursday, I took Friday off from the shop to tie up loose ends before I take a breather over the long weekend. As I unwind from work, exhaustion began to set in and tiredness overcome me. I actually fell asleep sitting on the sofa.

And here we are on the eve of Christmas as I type.

This year is zooming by incredibly fast and I can tell you, when December came, I was like “Hello 2016, are you getting ready to leave?” 2016 so far has been a year of re-establishment on the business front. I was smacked in the face over unforeseen circumstances and I bleed. Even when I bleed, I have to pick myself up and keep moving. There is no time for me to hide in a corner and cry. I had to dive in and fix whatever I can. I never like to whine but I do rant at the subject matter when necessary. I think I have carried across the message of ‘I mean business’ to a few parties effectively.

It’s more beneficial in long terms, to build your own empire, than to get too busy looking at what others have and forget what you are already holding in your hands.

For those who stay, THANK YOU. For those who have just found us, thank you for having faith in me.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, Happy Holidays (woohoo! long weekend!) to everyone. Have a good rest, eat well and stay happy.

Cheers,
Shirley

Your Notes, My Thoughts

I particularly love this Hong Kong drama.

That was in year 2006 when I watched it on local TV. I love the characters and the theme song to the bits. I think the production team did a great job in the cast selection and the theme song that left such a deep impression. I even bought the complete DVD set because I wanted to watch it in Cantonese. Guess who is my favourite character?

When the sequel came in year 2013, I was very, very hyped up. I wonder if my favourite character is still on board the flight and who are the new characters. I like how the storyline flowed but I like the first theme song more.

I think I took such a liking to the drama probably because I have never been on a plane ride until very much later compared to most of my peers who took their plane rides in their teens. Those days, there were no budget airlines and air tickets start at four digit price tags. Now, with very affordable air ticket prices and accommodation bookings made so accessible on the internet, people take off almost anytime they want.

And now, I flew more than I wished for.

When I saw this cute twin planes in red and blue stripes, I did not hesitate to name the shirtdress ‘Triumph In The Skies Shirtdress’. It’s more like a badge than a brooch to me and I choose to wear it on the collar because I find it so smart looking. Whenever I wear it, I instantly stand very tall.

 

 

Because of the little notes you cute people have been sending me every now and then, this shirtdress is such a crowd pleaser. You will know what I am talking about if you have been wearing it. Fabric used is perfect for the current blow hot blow cold weather ie rain for an hour, sunny for the next couple of hours and rain again.

I have always been careful when I introduce apparel designed primarily for leisure days. I go by the rule; simple but not sloppy, comfy but not shabby.

Collars always upmarket an apparel design and the dip hem for the back piece made it more interesting.

 

 

May your new apparel bring you good energy just like the name; Triumph In The Skies.

Cheers,
Shirley

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