Above: With co-owner (Asian hottie) Sophia Jalla.

Earlier this week I was off work and a bit down. Adapting to a new country is tough and making new friends hard when you work a lot. Hosting the launch of PERLU allowed me to get the lay of the land (as far as the Perth fashion and socialite set goes) and make some new friends. The definition of PERLU means “need, necessary” in Sophia’s home language of Malay.

The concept space has been developed in the last 6 months by Sophia Jalla from Rosie & Broken and Benjamin Luker from Silver Bullet Creative who wanted to create a full rounded boutique in product, service and care.
PERLU is a creative retail space for local and select international designers in clothing, home/giftware and furniture – Encompassing ‘back to basics’ in true high end customer service and styling sessions at an affordable price. Complimentary tea and coffee (or bubbles) is served daily while you shop from their innovative collections.

Above: Owners of PERLU, Sophia and Ben.

Thanks so much to Ben and Sophia for having me as the MC, I got some lovely pieces as gifts from them and will wear them at Telstra Perth Fashion Festival soon.

You can find PERLU at 1/62 Bayview Tce, Claremont.

Monday: Easy and comfy!  Boyfriend jeans from Northshore Surf, shoes from Seed Heritage and top from Country Road.

Tuesday: Some simple monochrome. Pants from Witchery, jacket from LaLecca and top from Haji Lane in Singapore.

Wednesday: So here’s where I started to get ill. Jeans from GAP, shoes from Seed Heritage, t-shirt from COS, watch by Marc Jacobs, blazer from G2000 and necklace is a DIY that you can get by attending my DIY Workshop on the 28th of September.

Thursday: Boyfriend Jeans from Target (soooo comfy), boots from H&M, top from What Women Want, jacket from Topshop and necklace from C.Wonder.

Friday: I’m super excited here. You can see I picked up the keys to my new apartment (more on that to come). Jeans by Nobody, jumper from Haji Lane in Singapore.

Wishing you a wonderful day and hope this inspires you to rock your work wear.

 

BEFORE

A while ago I fell  in love with Nicole Warne‘s block blue-black hair. I wanted the multi-dimension gone from my hair. I loved it and I knew going back to my natural colour (which is black as you can see in these kid’s pictures of me) would allow my bob to grow into a lob much faster! My hair became so healthy! But as Summer approaches I got frustrated with how much make up I had to wear to make my skin not look so pink. The tone of your hair, can change your skin tone quite dramatically.

So I went about researching the best way to slowly get my hair to the new Alexa Chung brown without damaging and over bleaching.

AFTER

So here are the tips my hairdresser gave me which are perfect for Asian girls wanting to reduce their hair from black.

1) It takes time and will happen in stages. You cannot bleach your whole head and then dye over it without damaging your hair a lot. Here we started with strategic foils and over time I will probably get more until my hair can get a rich chocolate semipermanent over all of it.

2) Using a new product called Magma they are able to lighten hair up to 6 shades while colouring at the same time. In one process! This is particularly difficult on artificially coloured hair (which mine was). But the result is silky and smooth hair. Even the ads on the website for this product have Asian models so maybe it was designed for my kind!

3) Tone and tone some more. Asian hair is naturally warm and this means a little orangeness loves to come into our hair when it’s lightened. A good tone, even for 8 minutes, will ensure a lovely and non-brassy finish.

4) Where possible use semi-permanent colours. Semi-permanent colours will give that fabulous shine without the damage of permanent colours. Shiny, shiny shiny!

I think the result is amazing and look, I am not wearing dark lips. I can finally look normal with nude lips! Yeah!

Thankyou so much to Fitria Adi for her outstanding smoky eye! Wearing my new recycled Manning Cartel jumpsuit and DIY Tom Binns necklace. The tutorial is coming soon!

 

Today is my first Australian Father’s Day in Australia in 10 years. The last one I celebrated here in Perth, my father had died 5 months before. I was a mess. In the 10 years that passed, my cousin and best friend lost both her parents within 1 year of eachother and a couple of friends from my childhood lost there fathers and wrote to me asking for advice on how to cope with the loss.

I have often paid tribute to my Dad on social media because being away from home, I felt I needed to anchor myself to the relationship I had with him. I didn’t have his favourite chair or watch or photos around me to comfort me with his existence because I was nowhere near the family home. Now I am typing this sitting in the bed he once shared with my Mother and I do my craft in the room he passed away in. He is everywhere around me and I find great peace in those reminders of him. However, in the first 5 years after his death, I couldn’t think of anything worse than being reminded of his loss every day.

Somewhere, someone will hopefully read this who has just lost their amazing Dad and they will want some sort of guide to know that things get better, that the hurting stops a little less. I want to tell that person, if that’s you, that it gets better and easier but you will never stop missing your Dad. I am 30 now but even writing this reminds me that my father will not see me get married or have a child. It still reduces me to tears. On Father’s Day, well it’s easy to feel the “absence” more.

So here are a few “tips” or words of advice to help you:

If you are suffering from a recent loss, take your time. I rushed to make myself feel better, I was hard on myself in my recovery from the grief. In a very “Asian” way, I told myself you need to “move on faster.” I event continued at Uni and didn’t take a break, I got the best grades of my entire degree the semester my father died. A sure sign that I buried my sadness in my books. So, be kind to yourself and take your time. Allow the wound to heal in its own time and it will.

Talk to people who can empathise about the loss. It’s a profound loss to lose a parent, my mother says it’s only second to the pain of losing a child. I had a lot of people who spoke to me, who “tried” to be nice after Dad died. One girl even said to me “I know exactly how you feel because I lost my running coach and we were really close.” I was overcome with unexpected anger at this. How could she compare the loss of my father to the loss of her coach? I stayed very clear of that girl from then on. So try and shut out the noise and sometimes it’s better to be alone with your thoughts than to have ignorant people chattering away at you.

Pay tribute and enjoy the memories. The best thing about being 10 years on and being home in Perth again is that I can talk about the wonderful things my Dad did without being sad. The sadness has been replaced by a profound gratitude that I had 19 years with a wonderful person. I feel sad for those who were too young to remember their fathers when they passed or who had fathers who walked out. Mine was so present for all the time I knew him. I love looking in the mirror now and seeing my face, an almost female replica of him as a young man. I am so proud to be his daughter. I am so proud of the mark he left on the lives of those around him.

A couple of weekends ago the most wonderful thing happened. My father’s best mate met my boyfriend. Harry said to Jon: “You would’ve loved Robert, he was a great bloke. Boy did he love his golf. He brought me out to the driving range and tried to teach me.” In that one precious sentence, I learned something new about my Dad. I never knew that he tried to take Harry golfing. I realised a little part of Dad still lives, I am still learning new things about a man who has been gone for 10 years. I realised our fathers do continue to live on. It’s not just something they say to children in Disney movies, my father lives on in memories and when we share those memories everyone benefits.

So don’t do the “Asian” thing like I was told by my Aunties. Pay tribute, talk about your Dad, post about the great things he did on Facebook or how you wish he was here to see something you’ve achieved. That’s how you keep that memory alive and you touch someone else who now gets to see what an amazing man he was.

To the fatherless, on Father’s Day, it absolutely gets easier and better. To our Dads!

 

I’ve been meaning to write a blog for some time about Australian style. I know a lot of you in Dubai and Singapore are wondering if us Aussies still wear flip flops everywhere. I will never forget my modelling booker in Singapore telling me in 2005 that I should never wear flip flops to any meetings, even though it’s ok in Australia, it’a not ok in Singapore.

Above: Wearing jacket from La Lecca, shoes from Vince Camuto, necklace I DIY’d (coming soon to the blog), jeans from Nobody and classic white shirt from COS.

Almost a decade on, I can confirm that Perth style, if not Australian style, has definitely evolved. It’s not just beachwear and casual wear. Some fabulous Australian labels have emerged and with them even cooler Australian bloggers. I was going to feature Tash Sefton and Elle Ferguson of They All Hate Us and voila the girls appeared in Perth for Karrinyup Shopping Centres SS’14 Launch and I got an invite through my radio gig to go!

Tash and Elle really epitomise Aussie style to me, unlike the other Aussie super bloggers Nicole Warne and Margaret Zhang, Tash and Elle are a lot more “undone” and have a wardrobe of mostly staples which is “budget friendly” for the everyday woman. I also “@” mentioned Tash and Elle on Instagram and they actually “liked” my images back which is something many of the other super bloggers don’t do.

Upon first moving back to Australia after 10 years overseas in January, I realised Australian style seemed a lot like LA Style but with a lot less colour. Think distressed denim, chambray, Breton tops, neutrals and beachy hair. In fact, I am de-colouring my wardrobe as we speak and getting rid of all my blinged up Dubai necklaces in a garage sale soon (more on that to come).

I’m not doing this wardrobe overhaul to fit in, but rather to cope with the weather. We don’t live in airconditioning here like Dubai in Singapore, hence the beachy hair. It’s super windy in Perth! The heavy necklaces burn you in Summer outside and culturally, Australians are very relaxed, hence the rips in the denim which would otherwise find you shunned in Singapore! Plus I am getting older and I look young enough as it is, don’t need the crayola-coloured wardrobe to add to that.

One glance at Tash and Elle’s Instagram accounts and you’ll see staple after staple: demin, chambray, miltary khaki, leopard print, leather and more slashed demin. It’s a very cool, relaxed and achievable look for most women. Tash and Elle are also dreamily accessible. Seeing them on stage, I was surprised (as a seasoned presenter) as to how well they spoke and how natural they were.

And me, like a 20-something again (except I am 30 now) moving to a new city was overjoyed to bump into some really great new friends at the show:

Perth lifestyle blogger Rayne Embley.

Stylist Ivanna Fontana and her friend Diva.

Heidi Anderson from my work. She hosts breakfast on our sister station 92.9. Her producer Heidi (same name, go figure!) is on the left.

Here I am with one of my closest and newest friends in Australia, Helena Wallis. She’s the marketing guru behind the event I hosted with Patricia Field at Enex 100.

Thankyou so much to the team at Karrinyup Shopping Centre for the great evening. Images from my phone and by Matt Jelonek.

 

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