Today’s interview is with Georgie – a former lawyer, wife, and mother of three in Singapore. Georgie has the kind of style which I personally adore – clean, crisp, and very chic. She has a beautiful closet filled with classic items that are a reflection of her fabulous taste, and has some surprising (and awesome) hobbies which you’ll soon learn about. Enjoy meeting Georgie!
Who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?
My name is Georgie and I’m a Malaysian Chinese living in Singapore. I was a lawyer before my kids came along, but I’ve been a stay home mom to three teenage boys for a long time now.
How do you feel about the general fashion in Singapore? Anything that you find unique to where you live? ?
Singaporeans have been accused of being sloppy dressers. Many people go about in tank tops and shorts and flip flops because it is so hot and humid all year round. I do think that’s too sloppy, and it is possible to dress well casually eg. sun dresses and espadrilles, cotton/linen pants/shorts and a nice tee/blouse with ballerina flats.
You are a big fan of Bottega Veneta. What is it that you like and appreciate about the brand? Can you share some of your collection – what are some of your favorite pieces?
I love how understated and timeless Bottega Veneta (BV) is. My love affair with BV began even before I knew about the brand. I simply love the old fashioned woven look, and I’m a sucker for all things leather. I remember in the 80’s seeing a friend’s friend wearing a pair of Cole Haan woven loafers and falling in love with them. One of my favourite bags as a teenager was a woven rame basket that my best friend bought from Kenya. I just love the workmanship that goes into these woven pieces.
Every piece of Bottega Veneta is a work of art. I love how every piece is distinctively BV, even if it isn’t completely woven; there’s bound to be some hint of weave however subtle. I love how the classic bags like the Veneta and Cabat retain their distinctive characteristics year after year whilst sporting some new iteration every season whether it be twists, frills, grommets, rings, etc.
My favourite pieces are the Cabats for their simplicity and timeless design and the workmanship that goes into each piece. I love the Knot clutches too. They are instantly recognizable as Bottega Knots, yet they’re all distinctive.
I know that you’re also a watch fan! What are some of your favorite timepieces?
I’ve never bought a watch for myself; all my pieces are from my husband, who’s the aficionado. Yet I think he knows me so well that every piece is a reflection of who I am- simple, understated, and, to him, special because they are not common pieces and hard to come by- well that’s what he said when he presented them to me. My favourite is the Patek Philippe Aquanaut. It’s very understated with a black rubber strap, and it’s sporty and yet dressy enough for evening.
I’d love to hear your advice about purchasing a classic timepiece. If I wanted to buy just one watch that would satisfy most needs and that I could keep forever, what style/brand would you suggest?
I would suggest a classic sports watch like the Patek Philippe Aquanaut or Nautilus if you could only buy one. They are good enough to go from day to night. I’d go for the Aquanaut. They come with diamonds too, but I prefer the automatic version without the diamonds.
Does your taste in watches inform your preferences in other accessories, like jewelry? Can you share some of your favorite jewelry pieces?
Yes, I think my style is pretty much consistent across the board. All my watches are classic, simple and understated pieces without any stones. My favourite jewellery pieces are also very simple – solitaires and simple stud earrings with single stones or pearls. My favourite rings are a Tiffany solitaire in the classic six prong setting that hasn’t changed in decades, and a Bulgari Corona solitaire with matching earrings. I also like my Tiffany pearl studs and my mother’s single strand of Mikimoto pearls that she got married in. They never go out of style. I think that’s why I prefer the simple classic pieces, whether they are jewellery, watches or bags, even cars.
How do you choose when to “invest” in an expensive item? Do you deliberate or do you know your style pretty well
I think I pretty much know my style, and I tend to prefer the classic pieces that never go out of style, and I don’t believe in having a lot of things, so I’d rather invest in one or two nice classic pieces than have many fancy ones. But that doesn’t mean I’m very decisive when it comes to buying! I’ve found, over the years, though, that I often go back to something I’ve seen and loved a long time ago rather than the newer designs that I thought I might prefer.
What’s a lesson about style that you’ve learned, over the years?
Initially, I thought I’d go for variety, but over the years I’ve learned to stick to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” principle. If I like a design and it works for me, I’d rather have a few of the same thing in different colours and leathers. When I was working, I had more than ten pairs of the Ferragamo Vara pump in different colours and skins! And now I have several pairs of Tod’s ballerina flats in different colours in each design, several Knots and several Cabats. I like my Aquanaut so much I wouldn’t mind getting the new iteration of it. Same with my cars.
On that note…you’re a car fan. Can you share some more details?
I’m a big Porsche fan. I even made a trip to the Porsche museum and factory in Zuffenhausen for a tour of the factory. I alternate between a Porsche Cayenne and a Carrera Targa. I think the Carrera, like the Bottega Veneta Cabat and the Tiffany solitaire setting, is the most beautiful classic car that retains its basic shape even after so many iterations. You can tell instantly it’s a Carrera.
I love driving, and even though I’m nowhere near Danica Patrick or the lovely Dinah you interviewed for another feature, I can, and have beaten, many men at driving competitions.
What are some of your other passions and hobbies?
I’m totally in love with tennis. It’s my favourite game to watch and play. I play it 4-5 times a week and I play in a local women’s league.
I also love travelling, and have been learning Spanish and Japanese for the past year. I’ll be doing the Camino de Santiago this Spring and look forward to practising my Spanish.
Finally, please share something surprising about yourself!
There are three things that I get surprised reactions from people all the time about. One is I think how sporty and testosterone-laden I am in spite of how I look. I’m a petite, ultra feminine and demure-looking Asian woman, so mostly I get surprised comments from people about my mean single-handed tennis backhand – they initially thought I’d be playing tap tennis. People are also surprised that I used to be a triathlete. They are also surprised when they sit in the passenger seat when I drive.
I also get shocked reactions when people find out I’m mom to three strapping teenage boys. Most joke that I don’t look old enough to have kids. I’m a petite female and my sons are all much taller than I am!
I love that Georgie is a “take charge” kind of woman – triathlete, driver and power tennis player? I’m in awe (and not just because I myself am a very bad driver). I also have to say that on top of her fabulous style and superhero abilities, Georgie is also a total sweetheart – she very patiently answered all of the many watch questions I suddenly had after viewing her gorgeous watch photos. Thank you so much to the lovely Georgie for sharing some of her style and life here today!