Heading up the fashion section of luxury lifestyle magazine Hong Kong Tatler, Justine Lee (@justinelee425) is no stranger to the finer things in life. A regular at the womenswear fashion shows each season, you'll spot her in Chloé's whimsically bohemian outfits one day, and Saint Laurent's louche rocker look the next. Her best quality? Executing that varied range with nonchalant ease.
As Buro 24/7 Singapore delves deeper with Lee on all things style, the Hong Kong native reveals her biggest shopping splurges, a tried-and-tested fashion week formula, and the one thing that's guaranteed to make her heart pound.
ON HER PERSONAL STYLE
I'm a little bipolar with my personal style. I'm more of a tomboy day-to-day with black skinny jeans, a T-shirt and a funky jacket — my favourites this season include Saint Laurent's SS16 menswear Moon Discovery jacket and a silk bomber from Chinese designer, Ms Min, depicting the tale Journey to the West. However, I can also go full on girly with a folk dress from Vita Kin or put on something sexy like a body suit with a tight skirt. It really depends on where I'm going and how I'm feeling. But no matter what I wear, I need to feel at ease and comfortable in it.
ON THE ONE ITEM SHE CAN'T STOP WEARING
I bring my Saint Laurent black leather biker jacket with me on every trip I go. It might not be my most treasured fashion piece, but it's definitely the one I wear the most.
ON HER FAVOURITE DESIGNERS
Hedi Slimane, Azzedine Alaïa and Nicolas Ghesquière are my all-time favourites — they have a really distinct style. I've followed Hedi Slimane since his Dior Homme days and remember buying my first piece from him there when they made women's sizes. As for Azzedine Alaïa, there's something so universally flattering about their designs. I also love that his brand is so quiet with minimal PR and buzz around the shows. The quality of discovery is there, and his dresses fit like a glove and are a work of art. With Nicolas Ghesquière, I love his creations for Balenciaga the best.
ON HER GREATEST SHOPPING WEAKNESS
Shoes, for sure! I just love how a pair of shoes can change an outfit. If I'm feeling scrubby in T-shirt and jeans, I'll throw on a pair of pumps. Or when I'm too done up in a dress, I'll pick a pair of sneakers. Nothing makes my heart beat faster than a good looking pair of heels.
ON HER FW16 WISHLIST
I've never been on a bike, but I do think I need a motocross jacket for the upcoming season. Go figure. I would love to have something from the Chloé FW16 show. There were also lots of shiny jackets and coats on the FW16 runways — I definitely think patent leather is back.
ON HER LATEST PURCHASE
My Courrèges patent leather jacket from the SS16 season that I picked up at Colette during Paris Fashion Week. I've ordered a pair of white framed sunglasses online from Acne Studios as well, and I'm eagerly awaiting sunnier days in Hong Kong right now!
ON HER BIGGEST SPLURGE
I try to rationalise my purchases by cost-per-wear. Knowing that I'll wear a certain item many times, I'll justify the purchase. I have a Chanel jacket from the Paris/Shanghai collection that I bring out every season. I love dressing it down with a pair of jeans and trainers.
ON WHAT'S IN HER BAG
I always have a Clé de Peau Beauté concealer stick, Listerine mouth spray and Retaw lip balm in my bag (it's the best). I also go to the gym up to five times a week, so I always have gym clothes with me. I love the compression tights by 2XU, and make sure to bring my trusty pair of Nike Air Max sneakers.
ON THE MOST MEMORABLE SHOOT SHE'S STYLED
I did a Dior Haute Couture shoot when the collection showed in Hong Kong two years ago. We shot right after the runway show at the venue itself. We did eight shots, some against the backdrop of the Hong Kong skyline — that was beautiful — but, the whole time we were shooting, there were construction workers taking the set apart. They were breaking boards, shattering mirrors and pulling things down — it was really distracting! However, we still managed to capture really beautiful shots and I love that what was actually happening in the space was such a contrast from the end product.
ON HER FASHION WEEK MANTRA
I'm practical and definitely have to be comfortable the entire time. On any given day during fashion week, I'm usually out from day to night running between shows, appointments and meetings. I definitely think about the layers too — especially if it gets warmer in the afternoon and I need to be able take off an item. The times I have a car for transport during the show seasons, I'll leave a pair of sneakers or flats in there to change out of heels if my feet get too tired. What I can't live without? Definitely Haribo gummies, espresso shots and my spectacles (to see the details).
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