The bold, the brilliant, and the beautiful on celebrating the power and joys of fashion.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

The past 10 years have seen seismic shifts in the world of fashion and culture at large. Gone is the dictating manner in which fashion used to speak. Today, influence and inspiration bubbles up as much as it trickles down. The speed at which movements now take root and cross-pollinate across cultures and communities would have been unimaginable a decade ago. In many ways, the rise of social media and the digital age has revolutionised the way we access, consume and interact with fashion. At its core, style is still about looking a certain way to telegraph a certain message, but the key components of that message have evolved to centre around the ideas of authenticity, individuality and positivity. To close out this progressive, transformative decade, we’ve chosen to celebrate a group of originals who are as sharp as they are stylish; the ones who march to their own beat while maintaining a certain polish and verve that drives home a uniquely Asian perspective.



What is your style philosophy?

Balance. For example, I love a dramatic piece such as an oversize, voluminous top worn with simple bottoms and a belt.

What are the pieces on heavy rotation in your wardrobe?

My hat, a vintage Lolita Lempicka blazer with pearl buttons, a Max Tan leather jacket and Max Tan harem pants.

Which trends are you really into right now?

Mutton sleeves! I’ve always loved good dramatic sleeves and power shoulders. It’s so exciting to see different takes on these from various designers right now.

Is there a trend you’d never wear?

Polka dots and horizontal stripes, but never say never.

Who are your favourite designers?

Cristobal Balenciaga, Gianfranco Ferré, Stéphane Rolland, Christian Dior, Rei Kawakubo and Max Tan.

What inspires you?

I mostly get inspiration from looking at vintage stylings—especially campaigns and editorials from the ’80s.

Vintage Lolita Lempicka leather jacket; vintage wool jacket; cotton turtleneck; Mira Sianipar hat; rings, Sianipar’s own 
My Reading Room


How would you describe your style?

I know it’s a no-no for some, but I like total looks—it’s like inhabiting the whole vision of the designer. I might wear the same designer from head to toe, but with pieces from different collections, or I would change up the accessories to make [the look] more my own. I love Saint Laurent so I wear a fair bit of black. It’s sexy in a way that is not so in-your-face; it’s quite French and effortless, and I like that kind of edginess in a look. Fashion to me is like works of art, so I care more about how I look and how I feel in them rather than practicality.

Do you have a go-to piece or look?

My favourite item would be a pair of sequinned shorts by Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent. I have a lot of his more dramatic pieces, but this is the one thing I feel goes with everything. My staple look would be these shorts with booties and a jacket.

Which other designers do you love?

I like Balmain for its sequinned dresses. On lazy days when I don’t know what to wear, I just throw on a sequinned dress. I am also rediscovering a long-lost love for Alaïa; and Chanel is such a classic. Some people think it’s just another tweed jacket, but for me, there’s always something slightly different, so I try to pick up at least one or two every season. I think it’s worth collecting because it’s truly timeless.

What trends are you into this season?

I’ve been playing around a lot with accessories. Most of my Saint Laurent looks are of a similar spirit—the biggest difference comes from the accessories. For example, this season, Vaccarello paired a lot of looks with sheer stockings and feather booties. It’s these small things that totally change the look. I wear them with my older pieces and they look updated. Other key accessories for me this season are the Dior Saddle belt and the veiled bucket hat.

Azzedine Alaïa wool top, fur skirt, leather belt; Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello hat; rhinestone earrings and feather booties, Long’s own 
My Reading Room


What is style to you and what is your style philosophy?

Style is an expression of one’s self. It gives a glimpse into someone’s mind and what they choose to reveal about themselves. I like the juxtaposition of the masculine and strong alongside the soft and feminine. I also like pushing boundaries while still feeling comfortable in my choices. Having said that, with a very hectic life, there isn’t always time to push boundaries—you just grab and throw on something. An alternative is to have a good shoe collection to elevate an outfit.

What is your go-to look?

A tailored suit.

What are the five pieces every woman should have in her closet?

A good pair of black pants, a black blazer, leopard-print shoes, boyfriend jeans, and a great handbag that goes with everything.

What is the power of fashion to you?

Fashion has the power to inspire and move someone. A beautiful collection or piece usually involves a village— bringing together the hard work of creative minds and craftsmen. It’s quite humbling to think of, actually.

Which designers do you love?

Prada and Dries Van Noten.

Shearling and patent leather jacket; leather skirt, Longchamp
My Reading Room


Can you tell us more about what you do?

I am involved in all sides of the business, but for the most part, I design jewellery, home decor and accessories, and then work with artisans in Africa to bring them to life. I moved to Singapore from Kenya and people would ask me about my old home and I remember them being intrigued when I told them about Kenya. I realised that Africa is a mystery to a lot of people, which was when I decided to connect Africa to Asia through product and people. And I wanted to do it in a way that was ethical and true to my sustainable values.

What is your go-to fashion piece?

An oversize white shirt. I love a good shirt. You can wear it over skirts, jeans or even a dress. I like that masculine/feminine touch.

What trends are you currently into?

I am absolutely loving the raffia trend. I love how a sustainable, natural material can be used for something beautiful, functional and fun. In Africa, we are very resourceful—we use everything that Mother Nature has provided us. There is a great beauty in that, which is why seeing high-end brands do the same is brilliant.

Do you have a style icon?

I have a few, but currently, I would say it’s Victoria Beckham. I think she has explored and embraced fashion through its phases but still kept true to herself. She has pieces she looks comfortable in and her mix of colour palettes is right up my street!

Vintage damask blazer; vintage pants; Ashepa Lifestyle earring, rings, bracelets, Bhatt’s own. Cotton turtleneck top, Fendi 
My Reading Room


What is style to you?

It’s your point of view at a particular moment, and a personal story reflected through clothing and accessories. Style is a dialogue you have with your surroundings.

What drives you?

The desire to always tread new territories and to understand the systems behind them; and hoping to make a difference. 

Do you have a current favourite look?

Everything that accentuates my pregnant belly—it’s time to celebrate motherhood and femininity.

What are the five pieces every woman should have in her closet?

A nice suit; a bodysuit—in white, black or prints; a high-waisted skirt or a pair of wide-legged trousers; a comfortable pair of heels; and that one dress that makes you feel like a Bond girl.

Is there something you would never wear?

A Juicy Couture velour tracksuit.

Which designers do you love?

Martin Margiela, John Galliano, Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen and Rei Kawakubo.

Whose closet would you love to raid?

Iris Apfel’s, and Anna Dello Russo’s before she sold all her stuff.

Silk and damask dress; tulle bodysuit; embroidered satin boots, Shuting Qiu 
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What drives you?

I’m very much driven by my failures. Every time I fail in relationships or career moves, I’m redirected to the right direction and am one step closer to my end goal. It’s okay that my journey takes much longer than others as long as I’m progressing daily.

Do you have any style rules you live by?

No more than three pieces in a total look.

What’s a current favourite piece?

I love the leather culottes from Daniel Lee’s first collection for Bottega Veneta.

What is something you would never wear?

A bandage dress.

Why is fashion powerful?

It brings communities together regardless of nationality, religion or gender. It will always be a powerful incubator of ideas and influence. And recently, the impact of fashion is even more prevalent through important dialogues across sectors pertaining to issues like the climate crisis, diversity, sustainability and politics. It’s definitely beyond just clothing and designer bags.

Damask top; damask skirt, Louis Vuitton. Thom Browne cotton shirt; rings, Chai’s own 
My Reading Room


Can you tell us a little more about what you do?

I’ve always been passionate about helping women look and feel beautiful so I started as a fashion designer, but I went on to found Covetella—a personal styling and luxury rental service—for women to share their wardrobes in order to be more sustainable. Now, it’s also a fun destination where you can access coveted brands and have a modern Cinderella experience for special events.

What are the style rules you live by?

Wear what looks good on you, not just what looks good or what people say looks good. You won’t go wrong with a look that makes you feel confident and comfortable, but also don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things.

What is a piece you go back to most often?

A well-fitted black blazer. You can dress it up with a dress and diamonds, or down with jeans and a t-shirt— it will never go out of style.

What is a current favourite trend?

I love to sparkle, so I’m obsessed with all the sequins that come out during the holidays. I always encourage clients not to be afraid to shine, and I love how fashion becomes a bit more fun and dressier during the festive season.

Who are your style icons?

A mix of Coco Chanel for her sophisticated elegance, Jennifer Lopez for her sexy femininity, and Lady Gaga for her unabashed attitude.

Vintage neoprene and silk dress; belt; earrings; rings; bracelets, Chen’s own
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How would you describe your style?

Visual aesthetics are an important part of my job and I think that extends to my style. Ninety percent of my wardrobe is black and white, but I look for unique details or interesting proportions in each garment. Although I dress monochromatically most of the time, I pick pieces I can throw on without much fuss, but still instantly make a statement.

Do you have a signature look?

I love a dramatic top with a voluminous sleeve or gathered waist, paired with simple black pants or jeans. I almost never wear dresses or skirts— I think you can be equally feminine in trousers or even a suit, so I always find myself gravitating towards these pieces.

What’s powerful about fashion to you?

Fashion has the ability to reflect a moment in history, whether social or political. For example, in the ’20s, Coco Chanel took inspiration from menswear when women were lobbying for wider issues such as the right to vote. It didn’t develop out of a vacuum. Much like the arts, fashion is a product of society and culture, and another avenue for us to consider the human condition.

Which designers do you love?

Chitose Abe of Sacai is one of my favourites because of the innovative and contemporary way she constructs garments and combines fabrics. I also love Cecilie Bahnsen because she puts a lot of emphasis on silhouettes to create luxurious, romantic clothing. Finally, I really miss Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy— I loved every collection!

Whose closet would you like to raid?

Probably Ashley Olsen’s, because she has a great collection of vintage pieces like the black and white Dior gown she wore to the 2011 Met Gala; as well as a wardrobe full of The Row, which has an amazing maximal minimalist aesthetic.

Molly Goddard top; Frame Denim jeans; Stella McCartney necklace; Spinelli Kilcollin rings, Lau’s own 
My Reading Room


What is your style philosophy?

My style revolves around statement glasses or platform boots. I like formulating the rest of my look around key pieces.

Do you have a signature look?

Red tartan or black vinyl with platform boots.

What is the power of fashion to you?

It shows you all the alternative selves you carry within you. It exposes how much is artifice or constructed, and ironically, this gives you the freedom to trust or protect your inner self.

Who are your favourite designers?

There are so many designers I love. My current crushes include Mowalola, Blindness, Noir Kei Ninomiya and No Sesso.

What inspires your style?

I like observing people with a distinctly individual sense of style. It’s not about being trendy, but rather, someone who shows a strong personal identity, character and expression.

What drives you?

The desire to create and to make and hold space for existing.

Silk, wool and leather dress, Chopova Lowena at Dover Street Market Singapore. Vintage leather army boots, Chong’s own

Makeup and hair: Grego, Manisa Tan Manicure: Audrey Wee Assistant stylist: Gracia Phang 

Photographed by Gan. 
Styled by Windy Aulia