Years ago I watched the film Priceless (in French Hors de Prix) and fell in love with EVERYTHING Audrey Tatou was dressed in. She looked elegant yet sexy and I decided when I could find the right base dress that I would DIY this gown:

Something to do with the combination of the grey with the gold…well it just drove me mad. Audrey has a body for sin and no fat so her version is very tight. Mine on the other hand is a little more forgiving. It’s a thrifted ASOS dress from a Fleas and Trees pop up sale in Paragon in Singapore. This is what it looked like originally:

For this project you will need: A base dress (halter or spaghetti strap works well), needle and matching thread, pins and gold cord.

Just a side note on my gold cord. I looked high and low for some great gold cord and Spotlight here in Australia was dismal. Their gold looked brassy and orange so I turned to my trusty friends at Wander and Hunt (more on my work with them soon…super excited) and they shipped from Hong Kong for me a perfect length of gold cord that would make even Audrey Tatou swoon.

Begin by flipping your dress inside out and folding over a piece of fabric that is wide enough for your cord to fit comfortably through. I didn’t want to cut the dress’s original straps away so I can convert it back to the original halter if I want. Pin down the perfect width.

From here I lightly tacked the pieces over (once again so I can remove the cord and unpick when I choose and wear the dress as originally intended).

Thread the cord through like this:

The loop will go around the back of your neck and the front will end up looking like this:

Pull the two front strands up and tie around the back:

I added a waist strap as there was enough cord:

I wore the dress out to Nobu here in Perth. Here’s a few instagram pictures (follow me there @simoneheng):

Me holding my latest magazine cover out in Singapore now:

I wish I had taken more pictures in it but hopefully I will have more time soon.

Hope you liked this. Many thanks to Wander and Hunt for the gold cord and do keep your comments coming!

Part of being back in Oz part-time, is enjoying the quirkier things the city offers (that big cities like Dubai and Singapore do not). One of these cool things was the Polka Dot Vintage market which my intern Mica and I attended on a very windy Sunday a few weeks ago.

Vintage shorts, bags and even ice cream flowed as well as a healthy dose of handmade accessories and homewares. I also loved the Canadian girl selling fresh flowers in vintage glasses. Prices ranged from $10 racks of clothes, all the way to a pair of hot Miu Miu pre-loved sunnies for $200. You can get more details and dates here.

It was a super windy day but definitely worth the trip to Scarborough. I loved that the market has free entry and was by the beach…a must do for tourists to Perth. I got a pair of vintage shorts from the 70s which fit like a glove for just $25, wearing them in the pic below:

Since I moved away 10 years ago…Perth got a lot more hip and cool. Despite people making loads of money out in the mines, it seems that plenty of Perthites do still want to save money. Some fabulous vintage clothing stores have found their way onto William St in Northbridge and wonderfully each has its own strength. Here is my review of the best four:

Siam Temple is located at 263 William St in Northbridge. The store has a mix of new vintage-inspired items and real vintage stock. For me the real pleasure of vintage is the real deal and there is a treasure trove in their back section. Bargain racks for $10 also have loads of treasures. I loved the friendly Thai lady who owned the store, she was fabulous. You can give them a call on 0430 860 482.

And this is the stunning 1960s Japanese beach dress I got from this store. My shoes are from Adolfo Dominguez in Singapore and the bag a vintage piece from Toronto.

Just a bit further down William St at 267B is the classic Vinnies which is my top pick for absolute vintage gems. You won’t find any re-worked or vintage lookalike pieces here. Everything is the real deal.

Shelley, the store manager, is a local icon. I mentioned my virgin trip to the store to someone and they knew her by name. I bought a couple of pieces here and have to say felt better about my vintage addiction knowing that all the proceeds went to St. Vincent De Paul. www.vinnies.org.au.

I bought a couple of amazing pieces from here which I am so excited to wear out soon. I have been searching for eons for the perfect vintage kimono and saw this the moment I walked in. It’s silk and from Italy. Swoon:

And this 1980s bolero which works as a full jacket on my tiny frame. Can’t wait to wear this out too.

The third store on the strip is owned by a lovely fash-school graduate called Fiona. She’s selling new items as well as re-worked vintage and pure vintage. The upstairs of this store is full of amazing antiques and I dream of hosting DIY workshops in such a fabulous space during Winter. Located on 289 William St, Fi & Co is a hipster girl’s dream.

Last but by no means least, right at the end of William St, where basically you think you’ve walked too far, you’ll find Neon Pony. The store co-owner Bridget was a delight and decked out in, yes, you guessed it, neon. I was delighted to see Neon Pony exhibiting just days later at the Polka Dot Vintage market I visited (but more on that later).

Neon Pony has loads of new stock, vintage and vintage-inspired pieces and also designer-inspired jewellery. Colours are bold and bright and the sale rack out the front divine!

I found this blue dress there which fit absolutely perfectly and was a joy to snag for just $40.

If you’re reading in the United States, Dubai or Singapore, I hope I’ve convinced you that my home town is filled with great fashion at awesome prices.

Thanks to Mica Nelson and Sven Berlinger for .the photography

 

So when we embarked on our excursion to what we were told was Dubai’s only thrift store, we later learnt that there was more than one in Dubai and as soon as we find the other, we will fill you in on it too!

Check out some of my instagram pics! The last one shows my purchases! You can follow me @simoneheng!

So here’s the virtual tour of the thrift shop, hope you like it as much as I did!

I hope you liked the video and please make sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel for more videos! Special thanks to Poroma, my intern, for the amazing camera work.

Here’s a sneak preview of that DIY overall dress:

For more information on opening hours you can call the store:

Holy Trinity Thrift Store

 Oud Metha Road
 +971 4 337 4947

Almost 5 years ago I shot with Singaporean photographer Michel Tay and soon after moved to Dubai. It was one of my fave shoots ever, we shot in an old run down house and as a reunion last week while I was in Singapore we shot together again for fun!

Here is our original shoot from 2008 featured in Dubai press:

Here is our shoot 5 years later! How sad to see I’ve aged!

Thanks so much to the amazing Michel for the photos. They are a great way to commemorate my 29th birthday which is coming up on April 25th.

If you’re wondering where the clothes are from, they are all my own, purchased from Singapore vintage boutique Granny’s Day Out.

If you like Michel’s work do contact him via www.micheltay.com.

 

 

A little while ago I was approached by Christine at the GEMS Maker Day she said she’d like Cheapnchic.net to exhibit and do a demonstration of a fashion DIY.

Check out the pictures of this amazing community day at Dubai Silicon Oasis:

A highlight of the Day was meeting HRH “Green Sheikh” Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi who I spoke to about advocating young women to upcycle and thriftshop their clothes as opposed to buying more and it ending up in land fill. It was a great moment.

Here are some of the amazing upcycled fashion items made by the fashion school students from Sharjah who exhibited on the day:

On top of that, loads of Cheapnchic.net fans showed up for the DIY Fashion demo. I’ve got the full project on here soon.

Thankyou so much to my intern Poroma Pant who set everything up. She’s amazing!

Thanks GEMS Maker Faire for asking me to be involved.

When I was in Switzerland last year and thrifting, I came across the coolest vintage Radio Deejay shirt.

Inspiration:

Before:

After:

How to: Oversized t-shirts can be altered just by putting them on and working out where the excess is. I cut my shirt under the logo and removed the sleeves. As it was a 2 franc find, I didn’t bother to hem or overlock the bottom. The sleeves were cut after the seam to avoid fraying.

I think you’ll agree that the result is oversized and pretty cool.

These ridiculously cool pictures were shot around my villa. Love to the phenomenal Kelly Brbich at www.thehouseofphotography.com.

Over two years ago now I was added on LinkedIn by a pretty Asian Aussie lass by the name of Yvette King who asked me what I thought of Singapore and the entertainment market there. Yvette and I formed a strange international pen pal relationship which was altogether very retro and cool.

Years later, Yvette is signed to the old manager I had back in 2006 and heading up her own Singaporean fashion blog Tanjongbazaar.com. She’s doing so well and I am very proud to cheer her on from Dubai.

So on my final day in Singapore, Yvette and I decided to meet up…finally. Cue lots of girly screams, blog pictures and my camera battery failing (that’s what you get for trusting hotel room adaptors). So these images from the Robe Raiders and Curated Editions PR sale are thanks to her.

We had a great time (I even bumped into my cousin Nicole who had snuck out on her lunch break to get some Curated Editions jewellery on sale) and I managed to grab 2 dresses which I am using for the press conference of the Dubai World Cup (I’ve been asked to judge the Jaguar Style Stakes this year, more to come) and to the Dubai World Cup itself on March 30th.

Yes, I will be wearing pre-loved designer duds to the world’s richest horse race! Robe Raiders gets fashionista’s pre-loved designer gems and sells them off. I got a Tibi canary yellow dress for AED 600 and a Haute Hippie nude number for AED 750. How typically Cheap’n'chic! I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We had a fabulous day! I hope to see Yvette in Dubai soon for more blogtastic adventures but for the moment you can check her out at www.tanjongbazaar.com.

 

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