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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!