Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Apartamento: Florence Welch.

Shared this video plus another one from the same series over at the other space But while looking at the real homes of real people (i.e. not intentionally changed in a way for the public's view) I had some nice thoughts to share.

I think homes really tell a lot about a person or a family. I'm looking at my home and I'm like... It's not bad. Not bad at all. It may not be well-furnished or whatever, but it is what it is after we've lived here for 22 years. Every object says something about either a member of the family or us, collectively. Over the years, things have been moved around, added or even removed as we figure out our preferences and lifestyles.

My bed and my books form a mini sanctuary. My study table is strictly for studying only. I watch my sitcoms, blog, go to Facebook with my laptop placed on the coffee table in the living room. I think I demarcate my spaces according to their purpose, and I adhere to that so my mentality and mood changes every time I'm at a different spot. I only figured this out maybe at the start of this year, when I realised I can no longer study productively while seated anywhere near this coffee table. Haha. It's cool to learn that about myself.

And now that I'm 22, I think I've figured out what should stay and what should go. I've been in the kitchen for quite a bit over the past two years and tableware is something I would really love to collect. I've started with a few vintage pieces found at flea markets and some mass produced but still pretty ones from MUJI and 杂货店 (shops at heartlands that sell almost everything and anything). Magazines and art books are another big thing that I love collecting. I don't have money for crazy expensive ones but I really love the few ones that I've bought and been gifted with. And then the corner in my room where I place my silver accessories, cheap perfume and Rothko postcards... Okay I think I really love my bedroom haha, I can just go on and on. But that's good right? Haha.

But there are also things that I initially hated, and simply made do with. I don't have an air-con in my room. There's just an ugly fan that's deep green in colour. But funnily, I've grown to like that colour. My wardrobe (not the clothes but the actual closet) is a hand-me-down. It was actually a wedding gift for my mum I think, and it has this ugly '喜' sticker pasted on it. It's bad. But we painted a coat of white paint over it and I can actually live with it.

I did a presentation in school earlier today about the traditional kopitiams (coffee shops) in Singapore and the lament is that globalisation (Starbucks, Coffee Bean etc.) has brought along with it a form of standardisation. Things are starting to look similar because of mass production and also due in part to trends and fads. That's why when I look at my home, I still like that it's a completely unique space. I'm comforted by the fact that our home is so customised, it brings out some sort of a character that defines us. And when I look at my friends' collectibles and their own spaces (Xinying, Shermaine I'm talking about you all..), I really adore how much these things tell so much about them. I'm glad that I know people who remind me about the joy of sourcing for things that I really like, and not things that the mass culture tells me that I should like. I think Florence Welch over here has also reminded me on this. The way she shares the stories of the items in her home, her routine, her favourite spaces with a glee on her face tells me how much she loves them.

So, don't get lost in this crazy world. Don't be led on. Find yourself and enjoy the process. <3

Friday, September 25, 2015


I think I first got to know about Iris Apfel when I was flipping through an old issue of Vogue Japan. She was hard to miss. Her round-rimmed glasses, her bold accessories, the colours on her and her confidence were just so striking. I didn't know who she was but I knew, at that instant, that there is so much to know about her.

Really thankful to Albert Maysles for the documentary chronicling Iris Apfel. I love to hear her speak and I really love her sense of humour. Her life is spectacular, she really lived her life to the fullest. Her relationship with her husband, Carl Apfel, is so enviable. Those scenes where she was stroking Carl's head and putting on a thick shawl over his shoulders just showed how much they loved each other. My heart wrenched when I learnt that he had passed away in August this year, just days before he turned 101.

Iris Apfel, at 94 this year, is a true inspiration. Her adventures and her collections tell us so much about the century that she had witnessed. Her energy, enthusiasm and confidence is testament that one has to stay true to oneself, that we should embrace our individuality instead of conforming to norms and mass production. I will leave you with a quote from the film:

"I've never felt pretty and I don't feel pretty now. I'm not a pretty person. I don't like pretty, so I don't feel badly. And I think it worked out well because I found that for instance, all the girls that I know, who were very pretty girls and got by on their looks, as time went on and they faded, they were nothing. And they were very very disappointed. When you are somebody like myself, in order to get around and be attractive, you have to develop something, you have to learn something and you have to do something so you become a bit more interesting. And when you get old, you get by on that. Anyway, I don't happen to like pretty. Most of the world is not with me but I don't care." -Iris Apfel

I think I've insecurities of my own and reading the quote aloud made me feel so warm and encouraged. I tell people around me that I hate selfies, I kind of hate my face. But I will never want to change anything. I weigh above 50kg but I don't need to drop a size just to fit in and frankly, I don't want to because that might mean that I can't fit into my favourite trousers anymore. Haha. I love what I have in my closet and I love what I wear. Once, while walking up the stairs of a public bus, I realised that the old grandpa walking in front of me was wearing a pair of trousers that looked like what I have in my wardrobe. I smiled to myself and was really tempted to ask him where he got his pants from. My mum hates my style and she's never nice about it, I think that's the hardest part that I'll have to live with. But it's okay, maybe I will tell her about Iris Apfel and she will keep quiet later haha. 

I like the way I live now. I like to start collecting bits and pieces that I know I will keep for years. Even if I'm the only one in the whole world that thinks 'this is a pretty piece', I will still get it because that is all that matters.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

MUJI to GO 2015.

Another one from MUJI. This time it's a 6 minutes long advert that introduces to you all their MUJI to GO products. I really liked the art direction and the narrative. Funny thing was that right after watching it, I continued to see my screen moving from right to left. You will get what I mean after watching! Haha.

I actually visited MUJI 2 days ago just to grab some pens, and I was like 'I don't have to take a second look, I'm a regular and I know I got the right one.' I ended up purchasing 3 ballpoint pens instead of the gel ones that I always use! Sigh. I've been there so many times and I don't take note of what they have anymore. After watching this advert, I suddenly found the use for that to-do list notepad, and I didn't even know that the bluetooth speaker exists haha. If I'm travelling overseas, I will definitely purchase a portable laundry set for the trip because I hate to throw dirty socks and intimates back into the luggage. I appreciate that the products were designed to address practical needs.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

MUJI x Narita.

Chanced upon this new MUJI project, MUJI Furniture for Narita Airport Terminal 3. I really love those blue sofa benches! The airport terminal is really simple and I like how the MUJI furniture sits very well in that interior. They aren't striking but they look really comfortable. And comfort is what I think an airport needs! Those natural oak furniture in the airport's food court are beauties. I love the colour of the oak, and the arrangement makes the space so communal. You can view more pictures and a video here!

I randomly googled MUJI and came across this short article on how MUJI created a cult of followers (I'm one of them!) and I think it's pretty succinct and well-written. Read it here. It's really the philosophy that make me fall head over heels for MUJI. It's the no-brand aesthetic and how it uses its economies of scale to allow MUJI customers to experience affordable quality living that really bought me over. The marketing is in the brand's philosophy itself. They aren't trying to make you buy everything from them, and instead designed their products in such a way that fits into everything you already own. I love MUJI so so much, haha.

Also, if you don't already know, Café MUJI at Paragon has opened its doors! I've yet to visit but I will do so in the coming week. So happy and excited, yay! Oh and if you happen to be in town, do also give Noise Singapore's exhibition a visit! They've set up at B4 ION Station, the space outside ION MUJI. Love it when there's so much waiting for me to eat and see! <3

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sudio Earphones.

Using my Sudio Sweden earphones right now. I love its minimal look and the best sound quality it offers. It's so good that I can't hear my mum nagging away when I wear it haha.

Sudio's earphones come in designs that I think it complement Apple's products very well! They even have one that comes in a rose gold design and it's going to be so compatible with the new iPhone 6s rose gold model (which my sister is super obsessed with).

Before September comes to an end, visit Sudio Earphones if you're hunting for a pair of stylish earphones. Use the code 'stylohotmilo' to get a 15% discount! The code will be valid till the end of September so shop away!