There’s an on going phenomenon, a grand idea you could call it, where we feel like the grass is always greener on the other side. I used to feel cooped up in this tiny city state, thinking life begins when you’ve got your first plane ticket out of this boring town. I guess there’s just always that point where you feel like you’re just out of options. You feel like you’ve seen everything there is to see at least a hundred times, kind of like when you open your overstuffed closet and groan because you just have nothing to wear, ugh. The cure for the mundane isn’t always a shot of the bright, shiny and new (though it doesn’t hurt), sometimes it’s about perspectives, it’s about smoke and mirrors; creating, envisioning and exploring the seemingly already explored.
So a few weeks back, I took to the streets of Tiong Bahru, one of the oldest estates in Singapore that now doubles as a buzzing “hipster haven” for all your instagram #foodporn needs. While I didn’t hit up the picturesque cafes for a prime selfie moment, I took the route slightly less traveled.
I’ve always been a fan of a little grit. Something a little rough around the edges and chuffed at the sides. I find too often that our view of our surroundings are through stylized lenses, and we forget about the beauty of the rough and rugged. Exploring Tiong Bahru in black and white gave me a new view of this quaint old neighbourhood, something of a diamond in the rough; it goes to show, at times it take a little bit of dramatics to reveal a whole new aspect of things. Channeling my inner Indiana Jones, I dramatized an otherwise seemingly over-worn ensemble with my favourite flowy summer trench. Before shooting this piece, I’d grown tired of many of the pieces of this ensemble and was pleasantly surprised in how I could rework it into a new look, even after years of use. Sometimes old is truly gold, the tried is surely true, and black and white is assuredly chic.
I had so much fun shooting this, it was like watching a story unfold before my eyes. One of my favourite movies of all times is Girl, Interrupted (all hail queen Jolie) because of how raw the whole movie was. I feel like I got to explore that kind of rawness in this shoot, channeling some moody vibes and playing with a little smoke and mirrors (kind of literally), highlighting the beauty of the bare and basic black, white and grey hues of our surroundings and our wardrobe. So before you roll your eyes and groan at your cluttered closet, think about reworking a simple black and white outfit, and try using some smoke and mirrors of your own with rugged accessories and dramatic finishes.
As always, I hope you enjoyed this post and don’t forget to share your thoughts on working with new perspectives! Have a great week ahead! XX
Photo Credits to Terence Lee!
Trench, top, shorts & bag: Zara
Accessories: Editor’s Market and H&M
Shoes: Marks & Spencers