creative direction CYNTHIA NGUYEN
photography VINCENT KO

If this month couldn’t have gone by any faster.

Congratulations to little o’ me for turning the big 2-5. Hitting a quarter century while still being well-fed, standing on my two feet, living under a decent roof over my head and occasionally gifting myself fresh blooms calls for a couple milestones, no?

You’d think that hitting the age of 25 meant facing some sort of point of realization or wishing you were younger again— to have these sense of urgency to turn your life around or be free of major responsibilities like finding all your bills for your income tax, counting how many gin and sodas you’ve been conspicuously consuming every Friday and figuring out whether you’re doing enough for your own age. Especially when you’re comparing how many times you’ve treated yourself to how much work you’ve actually put into crafting your life.

 

It’s a strange and looming feeling if you ask me what this year feels like. If I can compare and apply metrics to the years since coming out of school, it’s feels quite similar to lightyears. The term ‘fulfilment’ seems to surface up in the back of my head more often these past few months. I was told that being in my early twenties meant doing as much as I can. To be grouped in this age bracket to be able to do things that seemingly are appropriate— to further explore yourself, make this a great time to take risks with likely results in failures and ensuring your youth doesn’t wither away. This kind of classification where one should celebrate independence and finding yourself before settling down. To push my career as far as I can the in the right direction where others see  as success despite shaving off more hours left in my days. To cover as many areas of the globe to feel this sense of ‘fulfilment,’ to be ‘well-traveled’ or ‘cultured.’ To make myself available and desirable… so that I might eventually have a man fall in love with me without knowing, because I’ve built these extraordinary version of myself.

Boy, do we have a funny kind of way to define a way of living for your 20’s. But that goes without saying for the rest of the age brackets. It just so seems my 20’s hold more pressure to create this insane foundation for this version of yourself.

 

Everyday can be seen as a new beginning. A new project, meet a stranger, or try a different route. An age bracket shouldn’t dictate where and when things should fall. Each day can significantly or insignificantly shift around the rest of your days or even the rest of your life— when it comes to routine, relationships, engagement and your own behaviour and mindset. That’s why we should look at spending your 20’s as spending time with yourself and not pleasing others. Not making so many goals which you’ll eventually lose track of and spin your wheels. Let this be a time where you leverage it doing what you want and holding onto what you love or seek what might interest you.

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creative direction CYNTHIA NGUYEN
photography VINCENT KO
in collaboration with PINK MARTINI

It’s so crazy how much our mood affects the way we dress and how we dress seems to convey a particular image of ourselves. If a woman often wears tight clothing, she’s looking for attention. If a woman wears oversized clothing, she must be lazy or is less feminine. We’ve been conditioned and have developed this tendency to make snap judgements against other humans beings based on the way they present themselves. (Special thanks to such social and dating platforms like Tinder, Bumble and Instagram for re-enforcing this tendency…) With people’s physical attributes, we begin to draw assumptions and anecdotal observations based on their selection for apparel and the way they groom themselves. As most females nowadays dress up for the grams, the outings, or for other females and occasionally men too, we become less forgiving and are less likely to give the benefit of the doubt while maintaining this kind of behaviour. With certain notions tied into bucketed character types that dress in certain ways— it’s no wonder why our generation is perceived as so shallow and ignorant.

 

LEFT sausage rolls, bread and olives,
almond croissant, bread pudding from THE WALTON

 


Say You Love Me Sweater – PINK MARTINI. Top – LOFT.
Pants – BANANA REPUBLIC. Boots – OAK + FORT. Coat – BANANA REPUBLIC.

 

The Walton Interior

I used be very self-conscious of when someone would tell me that I was stepping out of my usual style, because it wasn’t consistent to my Instagram or blog… that I may be two faced because I dressed so extremely different for different groups of friends for specific occasions… or listen carefully to when my mother would say that something I was about to purchase or had owned if worn would make me less feminine. Hell, even my closest male buddies would strongly suggest me to wear more fitted clothing because it was more ‘flattering’ and pleasing for the rest of them to see. Not that it was wrong to hear, but it is a preference, right? But at the end of the day, I could really care less now who I’m impressing, as long as it’s still reasonable and doesn’t offend anyone. (By reasonable, I mean appropriate for the event/circumstances.) There will be days where I’ll wear a long, slouchy sweaters to work… because it’s terribly cold out and I foresee long hours in my office chair. On other days, I’ll break out in public in a tinsel suit over brunch. Because as lame as it sounds and I bet you $100 that it’s not the first time you’re hearing or more so reading this…but fashion is an art form. A form of self expression. Fashion may cover different realms in terms of price points, time periods, craftsmanship and genre of style… but to me, it’s a projection of your growth. The change in style from one age to another is so much like story-telling— about your experience and taste. People seem to be really drawn by liberation and the authenticity— so why not do what you want without the thought of others expecting it from you?

PS. Happy International Women’s Day to all my lovely ladies! To both love ones and friends!

 

Pinch of Chic Sashion Club Monaco

creative direction CYNTHIA NGUYEN
photography VINCENT KO in collaboration with SASHION

Pinch of Chic Kasa Moto Yorkville Interior Restaurant

A long while ago, and I mean basically last year. I was kindly asked to do a sweet Q&A with the lovely Sasha of the curated marketplace and online boutique, Sashion. It was so easy to connect with Sasha not because she’s the powerhouse behind the label, Sashion, which supports so many talented, independent designers, but because we has also shared the same hunger for soul food and authentic content. I had the opportunity to do a quick coffee date with her and run through some questions as well as received some amazing pulls, which included this phenomenal Masha Ma embroidered bomber jacket (as seen here throughout my blog article). Sasha was doing coverage on women who she felt were independent and had asked me to answer a few questions around what life is like being a UX designer while simultaneously maintaining my personal blog. Some questions included asking what ‘individuality’ meant to me, further insight on my feeling with regards to being in front and behind the camera, as well as how I spend my weekends and where I’d like to shop. You can read the article HERE.

 

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Pinch of Chic Kasa Moto Brunch Quinoa

turtleneck top CLUB MONACO
trousers CLUB MONACO
earrings OCTOBERTWELVE

 

 

 

 

Pinch of Chic Kasa Moto Brunch

If you aren’t familiar with Kasa Moto already, I finally made a trip to Yorkville to visit the contemporary Japanese restaurant and lounge with Vincent. Usually for first time dining experience or the foodie trial period as I would call it— I tend to go for brunch.

We grabbed the Breakfast Bento that features fried rice with eggs, salon, glazed pork belly and yam tempura, while Vincent grabbed the Breakfast Kamameshi that includes brown rice, quinoa, condensed milk (poured by our lovely server) topped off with real maple syrup, fresh granola and fruit to taste.

 



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Pinch of Chic Mejuri Twist Ring

embroidered MASHA MA jacket SASHION
wool jacket ARITZIA
ring MEJURI

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creative direction CYNTHIA NGUYEN photography VINCENT KO in collaboration with SHEIN and NICOLE VIENNA

Pinch of Chic Shein Ruffle Sleeves

Let’s understand what’S HAPPENED

This entry is my second article published in 2017— another little milestone reached! In between all this crazy hustling and bustling, there’s no better way to give yourself some positivity but to take a breather from reality and just start typing away your feelings…or ‘feels’ if you will.

Man, has this year gone by rocket fast… It feels like only a few months ago did I decide to start a blog in my little bedroom I was renting out in a student house during my final year of post secondary. My full-time work schedule has shaded so much of my vision and attention that I had completely forgotten that my blog had turned 3 years old! January 7th marks the day this site launch. I told myself 3 years ago that I only had 3 years to hit that ‘blogging peak.’ You know, that pinnacle of success— that tier where one gets all the endless invitation to Paris Fashion addressed with ‘Madame’, get offered cool collaborations with Louis Vuitton and be gifted Chloe Drew bags of every neutral shade. I told myself that if I didn’t reach that peak within 3 years that I was going to fail the rest of the way because that new wave of bloggers will simply come and surpass me and my reach. There was no real over arching purpose for Pinch of Chic, other than to share my favourite outfits, foods, rants as well as inspirational pins from my Pinterest boards. In my previous post, I had mentioned that I migrated from Squarespace to WordPress and during the midst importing all the photos, I came across all my earlier blog posts when I had just started back in 2014. It was super nostalgic and pretty heart-warming to see where I’ve begun. J.Crew obsessed and Sophia Webster-loving… Wow, talk about trekking down memory lane.

Now, seeing my spurts of effort in the form of blog posts created alongside such talented photographers makes me feel kind of touched. All my great efforts to keep this blog alive, even with the sporadic posting times still did me good.

Looking at today, I wouldn’t exactly say that I’m an established ‘influencer.’ I don’t have the numbers and I definitely don’t have the kind of time like the full-time, dedicated ‘established’ influencers do. I would much rather call myself a content creator if anything. With that being said— I don’t really know how far this blog will go but 3 years has certainly passed and I’m still sitting here writing in this text field… All in all, it’s just real nice to know that I got this far with this platform— with opportunities to create and collaborate with great people anytime. Pinch of Chic not only has just been a blog but a portfolio book for me, as well as a platform for people to be inspired and feel as if they were engaging in conversation with me. It’s funny to acknowledge that this blog has opened so many doors for me— making great friends, pushing my creative thinking, practicing my entrepreneurial and negotiating skills, working with cool brands and independent designers, encouraging me to constantly go out and uncover the hidden gems, network and hunt for the most awesome brunch places all around my city. To showcase my hood through my taste and brand voice.

I’d say I’m doing pretty alright, even if I haven’t received my Chloe bag yet.

You can find me me doing a victory dance to surviving 2016 in exaggerated ruffles (only $15! See details below) with my good friend, latte.

 


Caught up with Vincent over some beautiful, and I mean really beautiful brunch at Baddies. Test drove the granola yoghurt + chia pudding.

OUTFIT DETAILS— Top SHEIN Suede pants BANANA REPUBLIC Watch NICOLE VIENNA Elenah heels NINE WEST

 

 

 

 

creative direction CYNTHIA NGUYEN photography VINCENT KO in collaboration with LIVSSTIL

Happy 2017! It’s another new year and what does that mean?

The whole ‘NEW YEAR, NEW ME’ kind of stuff. Which equals new changes! Good changes? We’ll see.
Here’s to hoping it all works out well of course. With that being said— it was time curate a brief hit list to post on my little o’ blog.

Time is indeed too precious to remain comfortable and not to take some risks. So I made some goals…

Number one— For this particular blog, I wanted to explore and further develop my articles more creativity and editorially.
For that, I had to migrated from different blogging platforms… THOUGHTS???

Number two—  Realized that life is getting way too short for me to stick to basics all the time. Here I am, wearing sparkles from head to toe in broad daylight, out and about eating brunch at La Société on a regular Saturday morning. No, I was not performing a cover of Michael Jackson for Snapchat or Youtube. I decided for myself– I can enjoy a meal in public in a getup like this. Why not. Why shave off your years of youth without making at least a day or two outrageously fun for you and glorious for others to see.

Number three—I told myself to travel at least twice a year. I traveled to Europe for the first time just late last year! Yippee!

Number four— I [just] started working out. Confession, I don’t gym… at all. Only on a few of those blue moon days a year do I suddenly get that spurt of motivation that only lasts for about maybe 2-3 hours. But unfortunately for me… my metabolism HAS slowed down for me in the last year. I saw the shift in my weight, I whined about it for a bit before committing to change my lifestyle with regards to including time to do real fitness and choosing what I eat more mindfully. Next, I need a blender. Fancy shakes and acai bowls, here I come!

Number five— Start posting about interior. And get more furniture. I’ve lived in my home for just over a year now. (My home anniversary was December 14, 2015–YAY! Does such an anniversary exist? Who really knows.) Next thing is to print and frame my work, get a sweet rug and a couple of end tables.

Shop my entire look at LIVSSTIL

Brunch: croque madame, pain au chocolat, buttermilk pankcakes, mille feuille at La Société

rogue bag c/o COACH
oversized jacket in metallic RELIGION
cargo trousers in metallic RELIGION
the progress hat FALLENBROKENSTREET

in this photo
mille feuille La Société

And…..what are all your lovely goals for 2017?
Let me know in the comments below!
+ Happy new year, folks!