Fashion week prep: The unlikely (but totally necessary) accessories this editor is packing for a stylish week in Milan

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Text: Jolene Khor

Before we could understand the scope of its meaning, we were taught the idiom "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" as children. Just how true is that saying? I, like most people, have never been (and hopefully will never be) beaten with sticks nor have stones thrown at me, but I know for a fact that words can hurt. Words can hurt if you let them. Yet, words also have powers in the opposite end of the pain spectrum. At worst, words wound. At best, words can make us laugh, words can heal, or in my case, words can inspire.

Fashion week prep: The unlikely (but totally necessary) accessories this editor is packing for a stylish week in Milan (фото 1)

Someone once said in a professional context that I'm "not a real fashion girl". In their defence, I didn't completely disagree with the statement. I'm not a typical fashion girl, if stereotypes of the trendy, Insta-famous, top-to-toe-designer-drab mould is the golden standard we measure the stylish by. I am for the most part, a sensible shopper (one who's on a self-imposed 'cart cleanse' at the moment), personally unfazed by the tidal wave of the new, of the It. Frankly, because I'm a rent-paying immigrant (or should I say 'expat' to even the privilege scales?) living in one of the most expensive countries in the world, I simply can't afford it. #realtalk

I don't own a Gucci handbag, or a Chanel tweed jacket, or a Balenciaga anything. Most of the labels in my closet — there aren't that many to begin with — such as my Hermès scarf and Salvatore Ferragamo pumps, were gifted to me on Christmas Day or for assignments, in line with the relatively senior position I hold in the fashion community. But I do have an Old Céline bag I bought at a steal that I'll never let go of. My career has its perks. I'm aware I've been very, very lucky.

Professionally however, I hum a different tune. There's no silencing the critic in this conservative shopper — this observer, eyes and ears piqued, fingers clacking with her own words of praise and sometimes, condemnation.

So it's true: I am not a real fashion girl. And this is the first... diary entry if you will, by Buro. Singapore's first ever non-fashion fashion editor. In this new column, I will be penning my thoughts, opinions, and ideas on all matters vogue and vogue-ish, from wild fads taking social media by storm to my occasionally objectionable packing habits. Which brings me to the crux of debut post.

This time next week, I will be in the thick of Milan Fashion Week, fall/winter 2020 season, running from show to show in the warmest sweaters I have in my closet that I've worn many times over (gasp!) and comfortable, non-hype New Balance sneakers. In my arsenal, a host of accessories that are slightly atypical of an average fashion editor. Here's a peek at what I'm carrying on...

Apple iPad Air

You know what's sexier than a Tom Ford frock? Besides Oscar Isaac (hehe), a colour-coordinated closet, and a glazed doughnut, that is. Powerful, sleek technology that expands your universe. Which is why it's a bit strange I never got on the iPad bandwagon until now. Like a good vintage, delayed gratification packs an electrifying jolt of joy. I'll be toting mine along to shows, writing my runway reviews on-the-go and sketching my first impressions on the amazing app I recently discovered, Procreate. And in the evenings, an episode of Next In Fashion or two on Netflix. Ah, who am I kidding? I'll be sleeping. Rest is chic.

Fashion week prep: The unlikely (but totally necessary) accessories this editor is packing for a stylish week in Milan (фото 2)


Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon watch and Horizon earphones

My love for the Apple Watch is no secret — the only time it's not on my wrist is when it's charging. Separation anxiety notwithstanding, I'm going to leave it at home this fashion week season to give the Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon watch a go. I'm mentally prepping myself; I would be wise not to expect the Tambour Horizon to give me the full range of connectivity to my other Apple devices the way the Apple Watch does (Spotify! Shazam! Workout! Camera!). But... there's no denying the Tambour Horizon's style pull factor. I'm also pretty excited about animating the watch with exclusive Louis Vuitton fashion show designs. Matching your bags to your shoes may be passé; matching your tech accessories isn't. Ergo, the Horizon earphones complete the pair. This fashion editor needs its noise-cancellation function when she's working, and the ambient listening feature when she wants to eavesdrop the conversations of high-profile industry folk to a Debussy playlist. Heh. My humble AirPods (I'm due for an upgrade to the AirPods Pro after my next payday) aren't nearly as sophisticated.


Moschino Pill Blister Pack crossbody

It's one the more controversial accessories Jeremy Scott has produced. On one hand, it's been panned for fashionising mental health, on the other, some found the designs rather on-the-nose about the addiction to fashion. Crisis in political-correctness aside, I love this bag because of the many random conversations it's started. Thanks to this crossbody, I've had a giggle with scary-looking airport security in America, I've been complimented by passers-by on the street in Shanghai... you get the idea. The world is a less lonely place because of it. Call me corny, but doesn't that make it the best medicine of all?

Fashion week prep: The unlikely (but totally necessary) accessories this editor is packing for a stylish week in Milan (фото 3)


Gucci Beauty lipsticks

You can spot a Gucci fashion piece from a mile away, but a Gucci Beauty appearance is far more subtle, far more my style where labels are concerned. My staple fashion week lippie for the last couple of years has been the Clarins Lip Oil Comfort, especially since they've been steadily releasing new shades, giving me more to play with. I'm all for the nourishment it provides, on top of the sheer wash of colour. Lately however, I've been reaching out for bolder finishes to make an impact, particularly Gucci's Rouge à Lèvres Lunaison Lipstick in 25 Goldie Red (a creamy crimson with gold glitter) and Rouge à Lèvres Mat Lipstick (a matte fuchsia that'll make Barbie proud). They're coming with me to Italy.


Samsonite luggage

Fashion editors will tell you that there's no other luggage brand in their purview besides Rimowa. Now, I've nothing against Rimowa — their latest collaboration, with Dior, is TDF — but I'm cheering on Samsonite's environmental consciousness. From now until 31 March, customers can trade in their preloved luggage (from any brand, no matter how dingy) at Samsonite Singapore stores, and get 30% off selected Samsonite luggage. Your old carriers will be collected and sent to Environmental Solutions Asia for its unique chemical recycling initiative, where mixed plastic materials are reverted to a form of fuel that is non-fossil-derived which helps minimise carbon footprint. Samsonite is also donating part of their proceeds to World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) in support of WWF Earth Hour. How great is that?