Soft spot for yummy buys

Marketing manager Joanne Chua (above) has more than 100 necklaces.
Marketing manager Joanne Chua (above) has more than 100 necklaces. ST PHOTOS: MARCUS TAN

Marketing manager Joanne Chua cannot resist fashion items related to food

Q & A

Ms Joanne Chua, 29, assistant marketing manager at luxury watch retailer The Hour Glass. She is single.

How would you describe your style?

Quirky and girl-meets-street. I love pairing a good dress with sneakers (photo 1).

When did your interest in fashion start?

When I was about eight or nine years old, my aunt lived with me. She was always crisply dressed and she would dress me up in dresses with bold and floral prints. I felt magical every time I donned a new dress. I guess that's where it began.

Who are your favourite designers and go-to brands?

Designer Consuelo Castiglioni of Italian label Marni because the brand has a quirky style and its collections are always colourful and vibrant.

I am also an admirer of Australian designer Dion Lee; Taiwanese- Canadian designer Jason Wu; and Stacey Bendet, the designer behind fashion label Alice + Olivia.

Lee has an amazing ability to juxtapose flow with structured, architectural silhouettes.

I feel that Wu empowers women through his designs, since he dresses some of America's most influential women, including Mrs Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States.

As for Bendet, I love how music and art appear in her collections.

While I do love prints and embrace colours, I also appreciate simplicity, clean lines and beautiful craftsmanship.

That explains why I am a big fan of French label A.P.C, Swedish label Cos and home-grown womenswear brand In Good Company.

I also love Thai fashion labels such as Greyhound because it makes only a few of each piece. I bought this Greyhound skirt (photo 2) last year, during my yearly shopping trip to Thailand.

Who are your style icons?

Russian street-style sensation Miroslava Duma. Like me, she's really petite, but has a distinct style.

And I will not be afraid to admit I am a fan of singer Taylor Swift. She's got impeccable hair.

And of course, fashion It girl Alexa Chung. She makes looking put together effortless.

What are the favourite pieces in your wardrobe?

It would have to be my collection of necklaces. I have at least 100 of them.

From Rubik's cubes (photo 3) to Oreo cookies, dinosaurs to palm trees, odd things strung together make such great accessories.

I get these from a designer in Bangkok, Thailand, who sells her wares in Platinum Fashion Mall.

I pick out the trinkets I want and she customises the design for me.

Do you have any weaknesses when it comes to shopping?

I love buying fashion items related to food.

Some of these are a pair of shoes that have a burger and fries motif (photo 4); a croissant pouch (photo 5); a bread clutch (photo 6); and a shirt with ice cream-cone prints.

I think they are so funny and fun and make great conversation starters.

What is your favourite splurge piece?

My first Chanel bag (photo 7), which I bought last year during a work trip to Paris.

I paid €2,800 (S$4,280) for it. This is also my first luxury bag purchase and I hope to hand it down to my daughter in the future.

Is there a purchase you have regretted?

Lousy cotton T-shirts from Bangkok that seemed like a good buy at that point, but that have all gone wonky in shape after a few washes.

They are now my sleeping gear.

What is your most recent fashion purchase?

This jumpsuit with floral prints (photo 8) reminds me of a dress I had when I was very young, so I bought it. It is from clothing store ModParade in Haji Lane and cost me $45.

What is the best shopping or style advice you live by?

Fashion is supposed to be fun. Don't take it too seriously. Find beauty in the unexpected.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2016, with the headline 'Soft spot for yummy buys'. Print Edition | Subscribe