My Wardrobe: Q&A

'Wear you and not the designer'

Mimento founder Adriana Lim Escano looks up to those who wear clothes that bring out their personalities in creative ways

Ms Adriana Lim Escano finds it hard to resist designer pieces that are on sale.
Ms Adriana Lim Escano finds it hard to resist designer pieces that are on sale. ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

Ms Adriana Lim Escano, 38, is the chief executive officer and founder of Singapore multi-label fashion and lifestyle concept Mimento. She is married and has three children aged seven, three and 10 months.

How would you describe your style?

Understated, classic, solid colours and structured shapes. I do more fun things with my accessories.

Like my Little Mistress jumpsuit (photo 1) that I bought in London in 2014 for about $150. It has a strong structure and clean colours, but the embroidery gives it a little flare and sparkle for evening wear.

When did your interest in fashion start?

When I was 22 and studying. I was on holiday in Hamburg, Germany, and walked into a Zara store. It was before Zara Singapore opened.

I applied to work for Zara in Germany. A few months later, the company sent my information to the team opening the first Singapore outlet and offered me a job at the Takashimaya branch.

After 11/2 years, I saved up enough to go to London to study fashion at Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion.

Who are your favourite designers and go-to brands?

I have a soft spot for Iranian-Israeli fashion designer Elie Tahari. His label is not available in Singapore, but I first saw him in New York.

Who are your style icons?

I get inspired by people I see in everyday life. People who wear something that brings out their personalities in fresh, creative ways. There is a fine line between copying style and being able to define one's personal style every day.

What are your favourite pieces in your wardrobe?

My Jet Set Candy charm bracelet (photo 2), which I bought for $1,838 because it tells my travel stories. I was born in Hong Kong, so I have a charm of a Hong Kong luggage tag. I live in Singapore, so I have a cute chilli crab one. I also like skiing, so I have a ski charm.

My evening gowns from my wedding have sentimental value. This red one (photo 3) cost about $3,500 and was tailor-made by a local designer in Orchard Road. I wear it a lot. I wear only flats now, like these Geox ballerina ones (photo 4), which cost about $150, because they are comfortable.

What are your weaknesses when it comes to shopping?

When there is a good bargain for designer pieces. It is hard to resist when there is a massive sale.

What is your favourite shopping splurge?

Recently, there was a private sale and I bought a few bags like this Bulgari one (photo 5), which costs $685.

Is there a purchase you have regretted?

The polyurethane (PU) leather bags I bought when I was younger. PU leather peels off and there is a horrible smell. When I was younger, I could not tell PU leather apart from genuine leather and neither could I afford the latter. Now, I buy investment pieces that will last.

What is your most recent fashion purchase?

My pink Zara dress, which I bought a few months ago for about $80. I have been getting brighter colours and prints since giving birth to my 10-month-old daughter.

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

Wear what will let your personality show. Wear you and not the designer. If the designer creates something that is you, that is perfect, but fashion should express who you are.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2017, with the headline 'Wear you and not the designer'. Subscribe