On a torrid summer day, the kind we usually have around here, walking around in heels doesn’t appeal to me at all. So I am trying to diversify my flat footwear. I’ve been looking for a classic pair of loafers for a long time and I finally found it, at Musette. They are a nice alternative to sandals and a preppy and polished answer to ballet pumps. Actually, they are an early-birthday present, and they are so comfortable and come in such a beautiful shade of dusty pink, that I couldn’t resist taking them for a few walks already.

photo for Classiq

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Chic files: Alexis of North On Harper

Chic files-Alexis of North On HarperCole Haan sunglasses, Hinge silk blouse, Current/Elliot jeans, NineWest clutch, vintage bangle, Missoni platforms

Newly mother of a gorgeous baby daughter, passionate Chanel lover (I mean it, she truly is a Chanel girl) and stylish lady, Alexis, who pens the blog North On Harper, is my today’s guest on Chic Files. I love Alexis’ honesty and strong voice when she writes about fashion, which is why I thoroughly enjoy every visit on her blog, an “exploration into the chic, the fulfilling and the audacious”. Welcome, Alexis!

How would you describe your style? I am a big fan of contrast. I like to pair bohemian inspired pieces with more structured/urban finds. Throw in 1920s detailing and somewhere in there I am a happy girl!

Who are your style models? There are so many classic ones, I wouldn’t know where to start. Instead, let me focus on contemporary examples. Design House wise, I am beholden to Chanel – there is something very independent, feminine and capable in a Chanel girl.  Plus, Karl Lagerfeld makes me laugh. In terms of individuals, I love Taylor Tomasi Hill’s playful attitude toward fashion, Victoria Beckham’s understanding of fit and proportion and Diane Kruger’s eye for glamour.

Your signature day outfit: I try to stay away from a signature look, or else I can find myself in a sort of uniform. But I do like a flowy maxi skirt with a classic tank or t-shirt paired with a piece of vintage jewelry. Easy to move around in (I have a baby to chase after), but still looks put together!

Your signature evening outfit: I love a dress. Shape wise (and depending on the occasion), I’m especially fond of a dress with long sleeves and a short hemline. If the event is more casual, skinny dark jeans, sky high heels and a sleeveless blouse with unexpected details.

Chic files-Alexis of North On Harper-1 A.L.C. sweater, Calvin Klein graphic dress, Guess booties

Is there an item you don’t leave the house without? Sunglasses! Having spent much of my life in the Southeast US & Southern California and now Singapore, I can’t imagine going outside without them! Plus, they make a great accessory and have the power to cover a multitude of sins…  Don’t worry, I don’t wear them at night!

Your favourite wardrobe item: Oooohhh… this one was trick! One item I have loved for a while is a Tibi dress that I originally bought for one of my bridal showers (in 2009!). It is cream colored, has the long sleeve/short hemline combination, and a bohemian feel to it. It never felt too “on trend”, so when I wear it today it still feels new. I grab it when I am going out and don’t know what else to wear. And, because of its flowly shape, I can wear it even if I am feeling bloated or whatever. I always feel special wearing it and it continues to garner lots of compliments.

5 pieces a woman should have in her closet:

1.  Amazing jeans – a darker wash super flattering pair of jeans can be the most versatile item in your closet.
2.  Statement heels – Shoes that turn heads and that can elevate even the most average look.
3.  Black leather/pleather (as long as it looks good!) jacket – Okay, so I live in the tropics.  But before I did, this was my go to jacket in my closet – It would complete an urban look or give a bit of edge to something more bohemian!
4.  Feminine blouse – there seem to be a whole slew of women who don’t own blouses. But I think once you let go of the work-wear, buttoned-up connotation, you will see there are so many fantastic options!
5.  Versatile dress – It doesn’t have to be an LBD, because while I do believe they are a staple, I think several other dresses can also prove to be versatile. I am speaking more to a dress that you feel good in and that can be dressed up or down for a variety of occasions.

What is the most underrated piece in a woman’s wardrobe that should deserve more attention? Undergarments. This always seems to take a back seat when people are creating their wardrobe budget. Of course a well fitting bra will make a world of difference even if you are just wearing jeans and a t-shirt! Plus, they are your secret – what they look like, how they fit – and a person with a secret is always more intriguing.

Chic files-Alexis of North On Harper-2 Vintage necklace, Zara sweater, Target fitted ¾ sleeve dress, vintage clutch, black tights, ShoeMint wedge booties

My quick Q&A:

Flats or heels? I love an excuse to wear a heel.

Shoes or bags? Shoes, no bag, no shoes….you get the picture!

The 20s, the 30s or…what is your favourite fashion decade? Why? I could pick several, but I am going to say the 20s, because that is when Chanel truly became established. Plus, I love when beading is done right!

Neutrals, pop of colour or colour blocking? Neutrals and other muted tones. Although, with my new tropical environment, I have been working to add more pops of color!

Stripes, polka dots or florals? None of the above- unless the floral is restrained and/or ambiguous. I prefer graphic prints and solids.

Above the knee, knee-length or mid-calf? Above the knee or to the ground.

Audrey or Marilyn? Audrey (You thought I’d say Marilyn because of my love for all things Chanel- didn’t you?)

The LBD or something else? I think I own 10 LBDs… does that answer the question?

Paris or Milan? Paris (again, I love Chanel!!!)

An item you want to invest in this summer: new bikini (I didn’t lose the baby weight for nothing!) and the perfect denim shorts. I need a new bag as well and would like a cute small crossbody. But I am toting around diapers and bottles right now, so I am holding off temporarily…

A quote you live by: “You can be the chicest thing in the world in a T-shirt and jeans — it’s up to you.” Karl Lagerfeld

Thank you, Alexis, for accepting my invitation. It was lovely having you over.

Posted by classiq in Chic files, Style | | 13 Comments

Peyton Place

peton place-1957

A coming-of-age story set in the outwardly respectable New England community of Peyton Place. Allison MacKenzie (Diane Varsi, in a fine performance) is a high school student who narrates the story of her home town around the time of WWII, slowly revealing the moral hypocrisy, social inequities and class prejudices that are hidden under the idyllic facade of small-town America. A beautiful and complex film for the way it captured life values and issues, Peyton Place, directed by Mark Robson and based on Grace Metalious’ novel, was also a very daring movie for 1957. And the way it handled controversial subjects like illegitimacy, rape, sexual attraction and repression with tact and frankness at the same time makes it a great classic.

As for the rest of the cast, Lana Turner is good in her role of Constance MacKenzie, a woman with a hidden past, the high-strung mother of Allison. But there are a few others who stand out. Hope Lange delivers a splendid performance as the brutally victimized Selena. Russ Tamblyn makes a great role too as a teenager, Norman, harshly repressed by his mother. And there is Mildred Dunnock who beautifully portrays an aging spinster teacher who has to face the disappointment of being denied the position of principal at the high school she has taught all her life. Some of the many words of wisdom in the film come from her: “If there is anything in life you want, go and get it. Don’t wait for anybody to give it to you.”

photo: still from the movie captured for Classiq, from this DVD edition / credit: Twentieth Century Fox, Jerry Wald Productions

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Notebook pages

alexander-mcqueen-resort2014alexander-mcqueen-resort 2014-1
Function is the new luxury in this Alexander McQueen Resort collection. It has a sense of day-to-day wear that feels refreshing, but just right for a resort line, from a fashion house like McQueen. The great outdoors, a free spirit, a liberated style seem to be the theme. I love it.

These Edun artisan crafted horn necklace and cuff are a perfect fit for the looks. They are designed by Doreen Mashika and handcrafted in Tanzania.

Edun Zanzibar Horn Necklace


Edun Zanzibar Horn Cuff

• Simple elegance: Nadia Tarr, a lovely fashion line by a former dancer and choreographer turned fashion designer
• Beautifully styled and curated art by Penny Farthing Design House
• I can’t get enough of Brie Williams’ photography
• Daria Werbowy’s private India
• A lovely read: interview with Al Pacino. It had been too long and it was nice catching up.

Have a great weekend!

photos: 1,2,4,5,7,8-Alexander McQueen Resort 2014, via Vogue.com / 3,6-Edun

Posted by classiq in Crafts & Culture, Notebook pages | | 3 Comments

In Our Time

dree hemingway by bruce weber Vogue US june 2013-1

In a pictorial that has swept me off my feet, Dree Hemingway reimagines the windswept Floridian style of her great-grandfather Ernest on a lively Boca Grande getaway. I think there is no other photographer who could have done a better photography narration than Bruce Weber. Dree plays her part well: she’s a legacy of style and character.

dree hemingway by bruce weber Vogue US june 2013-3dree hemingway by bruce weber Vogue US june 2013-7

dree hemingway by bruce weber Vogue US june 2013-2
dree hemingway by bruce weber Vogue US june 2013-4

dree hemingway by bruce weber Vogue US june 2013-5dree hemingway by bruce weber Vogue US june 2013

dree hemingway by bruce weber Vogue US june 2013-6

photos: Bruce Weber for the American Vogue, June 2013 / Dree Hemingway, Jason Clarke and Theo James were styled by Camilla Nickerson for the editorial “In Our Times” / You can view the entire photo shoot on Vogue.com

Posted by classiq in Fashion, Fashion Photography | | 7 Comments