Interview with Jadeite

Hello! I have to apologize for my sporadic posting schedule this week – I usually post interviews on Wednesday but was in transit all day yesterday coming home from Barcelona. I’m also quite a bit under the weather, even though I took a bunch of Airborne pills, which everybody helpfully informs me are useless. I’m sure my slightly rowdy New Year’s behavior in Barcelona only made matters worse. But anyway, happy 2013 everybody!

Today’s interview is with Jadeite – a fantastic woman who I am very excited to share with you all today. Jadeite of course has a fabulous closet, and she’s also hilarious, totally non-pretentious, down to earth and an all around pleasure to get to know. I hope you all enjoy learning more about her – here is Jadeite!


Who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?

I’m a pint-sized Asian female living in Singapore (which is a pint-sized country which shows up as a dot on the world map, or not even that!) and I do what as most people in Singapore do – work for a living, eat, sleep, surf the internet. Not all at the same time though, I haven’t mastered that yet.

What is unique about style in Singapore, that you don’t find in other places?

Style? What’s that? I don’t think it really exists here. Does going around everywhere, to even the swankiest places in a tee-shirt, bermudas/shorts and sandals count? We’re probably the country that wears Birkenstocks with everything. Oops, let’s not forget the bag. We may be casual in dressing but there’s definitely a purse or bag of a well-known brand in that ensemble.

Cooking books

Cooking books

Your’e a big reader.  Can you share some of your favorite books, that you’d read over and over again?

You mean my extensive collection of trashy romance novels overflowing the corseted confines of my bookshelves; the shelves which tremble and heave under the strain as I try to build the books to a peak?

Let’s talk about my cookbooks instead, I have a nice collection of 37 with very nice visuals. Food porn is quite the thing for most Singaporeans, myself included. Jamie Oliver and Anthony Bourdain gets fingered most frequently (I mean the pages of the books) and while rarely chefs are on the cover pages with rippling six-packs and long flowy tresses like Fabio, they certainly can hold their own with their prized kitchen blade that cut things down to size. Plus they do it with so much more skill and finesse, and still can bring the outcome to a climatic end.

Hermes accessories

Hermes accessories

You have a spectacular Hermes collection. How did you get started, and how has your collection evolved?

Hardly spectacular, and in fact very modest. Once upon a time I was a practical girl in my 20’s, very conservative in my spending but I decided the one great impractical indulgence would be to own a Birkin. Five years it took to save for the bag, which eventually a very good friend found and lugged it back for me from Tokyo. A slippery orange road to navigate! I only really wanted one bag but now there’s a couple more, I often scratch my head (and my armpits) wondering why I should have several bags when I still have only two armpits.


But I think I like finding little treasures, especially vintages because they must have a story to tell.  The exquisite workmanship from eons before makes a vintage bag more special. My most surprising vintage find was a 20-year old Bleu Sapphire box Kelly bag variation.


What are some of your holy grail, all time favorite items in your closet?

Grails are mythical and somewhere out there except in my closet, and the only holy…well holey thing is actually my bank account. My most favoured bag is actually a pink  Hermes Garden Party because it’s practical and can hold my kitchen sink. I’m grateful to another friend who did me a favour bringing it from Paris.


Jadeite’s beloved Birks (and frayed shorts)

How about some of the items you’d wear the most?

You mean my tattered, loose and faded and fraying Reebok cotton shorts that I’ve had for the last 6 years? The elastic is so loose but I still wear it every week because it’s baggy enough to camouflage my expanding rear. And then there’s the Birkenstocks which I wear daily, but of course. All these stories I grew up with and the trashy novels telling the tale of a knight in shining armour rescuing a poor girl with a skimpy closet…well hello there, I’m still here. Frayed shorts and Birkenstocks are pretty skimpy don’t you think?


Blue accessories

If you were to go back in time to when you first started buying luxury goods – what is the advice you’d tell yourself?

To stick with the one bag and a few accessories that I could actually use. And, that the Internet is a dangerous place which makes many holes in one’s bank account. Do not venture into sites like The Purse Forum.


Jadeite wearing a Greyhound tee and Hermes necklace

How about a piece of general style/shopping advice that you’ve learned over the years? 

Jeans go with everything. Birkenstocks go with some things, and it’s very handy to have a 90cm scarf or a shawl around because you can make a dress, skirt or top out of it with a few simple knots. Plus a good versatile jacket. It makes travelling easier.


What are some of your hobbies and passions?

Other than reading, yoga is very much a part of my life. Contrary to popular perception, yoga doesn’t make one more bendy (well it can!) but it’s mainly conditioning the body to mature gracefully and in a healthy manner which allows you to be limber through old age. Yoga is not just a physical practice but a philosophy of living and a state of meditation. Also I have two Italian greyhounds which I adore and they are similarly besotted with me. We provide great entertainment for each other.


Jadeite’s greyhounds

Finally – please share something surprising about yourself !

I’m smart, beautiful and funny.  I’m surprised that more people aren’t banging down my door begging for interviews. Must be because of the Birkenstocks… you think?


Jadeite is absolutely hilarious (and I love the last bit – though I think the first sentence is 100% true). I adore her honesty, and really enjoyed hearing about her saving up for a Birkin (and always prioritizing the health of one’s bank account). Plus, I really had no idea about the national affinity for Birkenstocks in Singapore! Did you?

Thank you Jadeite for taking the time to share some of your beautiful closet and infinite wisdom and wit with us here today, and again, happy 2013 everyone!

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  • Chic 'n Cheap Living
    January 3, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Oh how lovely to see an interview from a Singaporean! I will agree that Singaporeans really mix high and low well – flip flops (I personally see these more than Birks) and a Prada or Miu Miu bag with a short skirt are almost a national outfit.
    I adore Jadeite’s style and would love to score a vintage Kelly too. Where did she get that sapphire Kelly? I’m dreaming of a few good finds and have two potential trips to France to make it happen!

    Chic ‘n Cheap Living

    • Katherine
      January 3, 2013 at 10:30 am

      I love that sapphire Kelly too – I’ll try and found out where she scored it 🙂

  • Sonya
    January 3, 2013 at 8:24 am

    She is hilarious and count me in as someone who has observed the prevalence of Bermuda shorts in Singapore as well.

  • alison*elle
    January 3, 2013 at 8:30 am

    She is hilarious! And having just gotten back from Singapore a few days ago, I would agree… Singaporeans often have super fancy bags with otherwise casual outfits. I noticed Birkenstocks too but didn’t realize they were so prevalent, haha!

    • Katherine
      January 3, 2013 at 10:30 am

      I didn’t know about the Birks either – will keep an eye out next time 🙂

  • Usha
    January 3, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Jadeite is hilarious and I loved this interview. I lived in Singapore for a couple of years and grew up in Kuala Lumpur so I totally get the t-shirt-shorts getup everyone seems to be in, Love her collection of Clic-Clacs, but adore those beautiful greyhounds more.

  • Ammu
    January 3, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Wonderful read – I wish she kept a blog. She has a great voice and a terrific sense of style.

    • Katherine
      January 3, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Me too! Maybe with enough pressure she’ll start one 🙂

  • Prêt à Porter P
    January 3, 2013 at 8:47 am

    She’s hilarious! I like her sass 🙂

  • Lindsay @ A Walk in the Closet
    January 3, 2013 at 9:23 am

    This was so much fun to read. One of my favourite interviews I think, although I wish it were longer so I could chuckle more! Hehe.

    Jadeite seems so lighthearted and fun with great taste! But then again, I might be more than a little biased because I too have a fat bookshelf of trashy romance books.

    • Katherine
      January 3, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Ah love the trashy romances! 🙂

  • adele
    January 3, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I love her light hearted attitude to everything!
    Happy Thursday Hun xoxo

  • Anouka
    January 3, 2013 at 11:01 am

    The H bracelets are so gorgeous! Love the collection. xo


  • Cassie
    January 3, 2013 at 11:34 am

    OMG, I love this girl! She’s absolutely hilarious. I could totally see myself hanging out with her. I respect her dedication in saving for her first Birkin for 5 years. That’s about how long it will take me to save for one, so It’s nice to see I’m not alone and people actually do that rather than just swiping their credit cards!

  • Amy
    January 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    What a fun read! I also had no idea Birkenstocks are so popular in Singapore. I’ve always had one since the 3rd grade! Perhaps, I’m living in the wrong country?

    • Katherine
      January 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      LOL, maybe! If Tevas are in there too then I should move 🙂

  • irugnotmis
    January 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    that was one hilarious read! thanks for sharing, always have looked forward to those interviews.

    • Katherine
      January 3, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      Oh thank you! I thought she was hilarious too 🙂

  • cncm
    January 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Best interview yet! She had me laughing the entire way!

  • Christina
    January 3, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    O… she is hilarious! Loved this interview 🙂

  • Linda
    January 3, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Such a great interview!!!!!

  • Ella Pretty Blog
    January 4, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Happy New Year !!!

    This post had me laughing SO much especially this part:

    “I often scratch my head (and my armpits) wondering why I should have several bags when I still have only two armpits.”

    Great interview 🙂

  • Plumtree
    January 4, 2013 at 3:07 am

    @ Kat, great interview.
    @ Jadeite, I just love those greyhounds. My “grail dog” in fact lol. And when in Singapore, I’m not quite classy enough for Birkenstocks. I lounge around in Crocs.

    • Katherine
      January 4, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Plumtree, you would make anything look fantastic, including Crocs!

  • kaloka
    January 4, 2013 at 3:38 am

    when I was in Singapore, I realized that they rarely wear jeans…they are always in pretty little dresses or shorts + slip ons and Birkenstocks must be among them…haha! But ine thing for sure, even standing in the mrt, Singaporeans always have a fab fab bag!


  • sismade
    January 4, 2013 at 9:11 am

    check out this giveaway sweetie*

  • phiphis blog
    January 4, 2013 at 9:17 am

    what a wonderful interview. you can just tell how smart and witty jadeite is. what a great sense of style too. thanks for this Kat! hope you feel better soon too! xox P

    phiphi’s blog

  • plasticdoughnut
    January 4, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Happy new year Kat! I hope you feel better soon. Do share some pictures of beautiful Barcelona with us!

    Thank you for another great interview. I absolutely love her collection (from what she posts on the forum), but this interview gave us a glance of her super fun personality! She’s a very cool lady and I agree, very funny!

  • Mindy
    January 4, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Kat! I had so much fun reading this interview! Thank you! And happy new year!

  • Michelle
    January 4, 2013 at 11:43 am

    As a fellow Singaporean, I can totally relate to casual dressing, Birks and high end purses!
    I may have moved to the Bay Area but I have certainly brought my “Singapore Style” with me 🙂
    Happy New Year Kat!

    • Katherine
      January 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      Happy new year to you, Michelle! I think I recognize your name from tPF, hope your 2013 is filled with lots of VCA 🙂

  • Jane
    January 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    The interview is really refreshing. Loved every answer especially the last one!

  • Marlene @ chocolatecookiesandcandies
    January 6, 2013 at 4:16 am

    I adore trashy romance too! I adore Jadeite on TPF too. She’s totally unpretentious, hilarious and witty. I love that she doesn’t take herself seriously. When I’m ever back in Singapore, Malaysia or NZ, out comes tatty t-shirt, shorts and flip flops so really, we have the same wardrobe 😛 Who can resist cookbooks? I shudder the day when I have to ship them back.

  • Fauxionista
    January 12, 2013 at 9:19 am

    As a Malaysian with siblings living in Singapore, I definitely am well aware of their Birkenstocks and designer bag on the arm! Love Jadeite’s wittiness!

    Thanks for another great interview, Kat!

  • Mila
    March 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    How did I miss this interview!? Jadeite is so funny and witty. I would love to have her as a friend. Great read. 🙂

  • AnHermesHabit
    June 16, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    I love this interview! Jadeite is so funny and she sounds like a great person. I would love to meet her. Great interview, K!