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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Pinch-of-Chic_Walton_Pink_Martini-1

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!

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!


Brose Black Satin Tuxedo Blazer
Frank + Oak The Boy Tee c/o
Zara straight leg black trousers
Zara Pointed Toe Loafers
Nordstrom Gold Hoop Drop Earrings


I’ve always been so fond of the tee and suit combination… but for the longest time, I’ve had no success in finding a simple white tee. You know…a tee that has the right arm length for the sleeves, the feel and stretch of the fabric, the kind of flattering scoop neckline.. etc. You know the saying that it’s tough enough to find the right boyfriend? This case is pretty comparable to finding the right shirt to go with your beloved jeans or black straight leg trousers. This issue became so serious that I considered paying a visit to the male section at The Bay to find their pack of 3 white tees in XS for myself.. but would that be appropriate? Can I tear open the package just to try them on? Who really knows.

But fortunate for me and for the rest of you— Frank + Oak has finally launched their very own womenswear line!! The long awaited line of essential apparel for the ladies has now graced Frank + Oak‘s website with awesome sweaters, bags and even body care. Just in time for the holiday shopping!

Photography by Vincent Ko.



American Apparel lightweight Dylan trench in Paperback
Ecru lab Shakepearean Luv silky button-down cami
Zara white wide leg trousers
Yves Saint Laurant Nude Wrap Ankle Block Heels
Sunglasses (Similar here and here)


Perhaps it’s time to acknowledge that I have a brunch addiction. It’s pretty evident and real. And no, I’m not ashamed. Truth is, it’s an actual expense I put aside for…for each and every weekend, if possible. It’s the joyful time I look forward to each weekend while vigorously going over geo-locations and foodie blogger Instagram’s  for enticing food photos.

Had the great pleasure of kicking off my brunch adventures at Bar Reyna on Cumberland St. with Darlene of The New Girl. The space was nothing short when it came to interior and exterior decor and the food itself. Impeccable Greek fries with shaved feta, delicious oysters and tasty shakshuka. (If you’re looking for a good Shakshuka— I recommend the one served at the ONE Hazleton restaurant.) Oh, and a nice glass of mimosa of course. In a extremely odd way— it’s almost therapeutic for me when I’m sitting down and eating brunch…after a long period of shooting the untouched food. Maybe it’s just good food in general moves people like that..  Or maybe I developed this love for food through being raised by a chef as a father and stay-home mom that cooks phenonmenal Vietnamese food. Don’t be jealous! x

All in all— I love brunch. I have a shirt that says it. And no— an all day breakfast wouldn’t count!  

Photography by: Darlene Anderson