Singapore’s GRACE CHNG; Malaysia’s VALERIE ONG; and Thailand’s NARISARA CHAVALTANPIPAT model Cartier’s latest pieces in an exclusive photo shoot in Bangkok and reveal their style mantra to Candice Chan
A fixture in Singapore’s high society scene, the effervescent lady has a passion and keen eye for design. Although her wardrobe is regularly refreshed with the season’s latest trends, she has a flair for the bespoke and also enjoys customising some of her gala gowns and jewellery pieces
My fashion mantra…is never wear more than three colours at a time.
My favourite designer label at the moment is…Dior, especially its Haute Couture collection. Its designs are daring yet graceful. Also, it goes without saying that the quality of its clothes is amazing.
When it comes to accessorising…I have no guidelines. I just mix and match what I think goes best. Just go crazy and have fun with it — there should be no limitations and that’s what I like about jewellery.
I fell in love with jewellery…at the cusp of adulthood, when I was 21.
My love for jewels…stems from their beauty and their ability to dazzle any outfit. Whether it is a simple black dress or just a plain tee with jeans, jewellery adds another dimension and completes the outfit.
My favourite gemstones are…pink diamonds. I absolutely love them.
The jewellery industry…needs to introduce more variety and creativity — I’m a fan of crazy, unique designs, so that’s something I definitely would like to see more of.
Buying jewellery from auction houses…is something I am open to for the sole purpose of coming across something unique that is otherwise not available for sale anywhere else.
My first Cartier jewellery…was a ring from my husband before we got married. It was a surprise gift.
I am drawn to Cartier…because of its heritage and the fact that its creations have always been en pointe. I am especially attracted to the Panthère de Cartier collection because the pieces are incredibly beautiful and so classic.
The Director of Kepong Industrial Park (KIP)Group helms its property division’s sales and marketing department and also oversees the group’s KIP Hotels
My fashion role model is…my mother. Since I was young, I remember my mother to be very elegant and well put together. While I don’t have the habit of raiding her wardrobe because we have differing tastes, I think her influence has rubbed off on me because I am starting to appreciate prints a little. Compared to the past when I would never think to wear her outfits, there are some that I can imagine myself in these days.
Some of my favourite designers include…Valentino, Elie Saab, Clover Canyon and Kon, a Thai designer.
As a career woman, dressing for success…is very important. I recently organised a grooming course for my team, which I personally feel has helped in their work performance. When you dress smart and you take pride in how you look, your confidence level rises as well.
My typical work outfit…is simple and fuss free. On days I know I won’t be visiting construction sites, I’d probably wear a peplum dress paired with a scarf or jewellery. On days which require me to be under the sun, I will put on a two-piece — long-sleeved blouse and pants. I am seldom in earthy or moody colours. I think colours makes a lot of difference to one’s mood.
On weekends, you will find me in…one-piece outfits. I tend to be a little more playful on weekends.
My jewellery mantra is…all or nothing. I prefer very loud and bold designs that complement my simple dressing.
Aside from its physical appeal, I like jewellery because…it shows off the personality of its owner.
My first piece of jewellery was…my first diamond-studded earrings (from Cartier) gifted by my parents. Both my sister and I received a pair each.
My favourite gemstones…are emeralds and royal blue sapphires.
As a jewellery client, I hope to see more…playful designs that are not overshadowed by only diamonds.
Buying jewellery at auction…is something I will not do. All my pieces are very sentimental to me because I work hard to achieve them. Hence, I would prefer a new piece.
Cartier appeals to me because of…its fine workmanship. I don’t think anyone can shape an animal — the panther, especially — quite like Cartier. With the Panthère de Cartier jewellery pieces, the realistic depiction of the panther’s face, the curves of its body and how the diamonds seem to highlight its features are truly remarkable.
Next on my wish list is…another Panthère de Cartier creation. I may also consider the Parrot motif earrings.
Currently the advisor to Phuket Panwa Beachfront Resort, the hotelier has recently signed with Kempinski Hotels to open a luxurious all-villas property in Phuket, which is slated to open in two years’ time
My personal style…is simple and clean with a unique twist. I’m not a fashionista who follows trends and I am a firm believer that one should always honour the occasion and host.
My favourite designers are…Ralph Lauren, Lanvin and Hermès.
The concept of dressing for success…is important because it shows that the wearer respects the job she is in. Power dressing also creates credibility.
My typical work outfit is…a work suit: Long-sleeved tops paired with a skirt or trousers and accessorised with jewellery. Some of my go-to brands for work include Giorgio Armani and Max Mara.
On weekends, you will find me in…casual and colourful outfits, such as those from Emilio Pucci. I love scarves and tend to revolve my outfits around them.
My style mantra for jewellery collecting is…to go for pieces. with a unique character and a rich heritage. I used to like simple pieces that gave me greater mileage but I now look for quality pieces only.
My romance with jewellery began…when I was a little girl watching my mother collect jewellery. She loves coloured stones while my preference is for diamonds.
Aside from its physical appeal, I like jewellery because…of the emotional connection. It is an object of beauty that instils a sense of peace in me. At times when things get too chaotic or stressful, I meditate on my jewellery to calm and clarify my mind.
My first jewellery pieces…were from Thai jewellers Lotus Art de Vivre and ML Rojanatorn Na Songkhla, both known for their ornate craftsmanship and unique style.
My favourite gemstones are…diamonds and currently, rubies.
My first Cartier piece…was a watch. I own a few Cartier watches and naturally turned my attention to the brand’s jewellery. I love my Panthère de Cartier pieces very much and I am particularly happy to get my first Panther on its 100th anniversary year.
I am drawn to Cartier’s…design and craftsmanship. I am particularly impressed with the fur setting of its Panthère de Cartier pieces because they don’t snag my clothes and scarves.
FASHION DIRECTOR/ EDDIE HALIM
PHOTOGRAPHER/ BRENDAN ZHANG
PRODUCER/ CANDICE CHAN
FASHION ASSISTANT/ JOLIE GOH
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT/ GABE CHEN
LOCATION/ SIAM KEMPINSKI HOTEL, BANGKOK
This story was first published on 5 February 2015