” I have to warn you, I don’t brush my hair!”, Leona messaged me as soon as she agreed to the feature. “So do I!”, I texted back with a smile. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of a fashion girl who couldn’t be bothered with a hair and beauty regimen. Back when I was in publishing, there was a huge disparity between the fashion and beauty editors in terms of the frequency of make up application and hair primping. The beauty girls were often always made up, albeit not dressed to the nines day in and day out. While the fashion girls hardly wore make up (though put together) and sported the dishevelled hair ala Olsen Twins or Kate Moss. I belonged to the latter and truthfully, it’s quite difficult to achieve the “effortless” look without any effort. I’ve come to the conclusion that fashion girls love to get dressed and put a lot of thought into their outfit that more often than not, make up takes a back seat. Brain drain? Perhaps.
Leona is a true blue fashion girl with effortless style and is beautiful with nary a trace of contouring. Her sunny, cheerful personality must be the secret. She is unlike the stereotypical fashionista who is snooty or awfully brand conscious. Majority of her wardrobe are either from her store L’Indochine which she runs with her sister-in-law (because the owner is always the best model) or local designers. Leona is so chill about fashion but you can tell she loves it by the way she talks about her collection of books, good finds and the personalities she admires. Her home is just as relaxed, too, filled with happy, colorful art and genius DIY hacks—the boy’s room is one of the best I’ve seen and I long to live in her attic and read the day away. Get to know Leona and get inspired. I’m glad I did.
What she does Works at L’Indochine (SM Aura and Mega Fashion Hall)
Personal style Is classic-boho a thing? Hahaha! I like pairing clean lines with pieces that are a bit unexpected like embroidered tops, a gaggle of mixed prints or statement accessories.
Her days be like I get up at 6:30 and have a cup of coffee to wake up. I then check my emails and send out requests/updates to our team while they’re still fresh in my mind then get ready for work. No day is exactly the same. Some days we manage the store and meet with suppliers, other days we’re shooting either for the store or our blog or attending an event. On not so hectic days, I try to squeeze in a surprise school pick up for my eldest Wyatt or a nice one-on-one lunch date. I also make it a point to make time for my friends either by hosting dinner at home or grabbing a drink after. Weekends are pretty much devoted to my family. The boys and I are up early then we have breakfast and play in their room the whole morning. Afternoons are for errands followed by movie dates either at the cinema or at home. I like to read a lot and collect books on fashion and interior design. I can spend hours just pouring over inspiring images!
Favorite designers and shopping haunts More than half of my wardrobe is L’Indochine, what can I say? I love our stuff! Local brands that I also admire and shop from are Heyjow for accessories, Renegade Folk for for sandals/flats, Chicify for basics with a twist. I am obsessed with Wear Anika. Anika Martinez is so talented! She makes absolutely beautiful clothes that are well made. I wear them almost every week!
Top 5 closet staples Chuck Taylors, Gucci Boston bag that I’ve been using everyday for four years now, denim jacket, cropped black pants, stripe tee.
Celebrity crush Garance Dore. I’m pretty sure, effortless is a word that’s been used and abused to describe her style but it just is. She looks chic, cool and totally approachable. Love her!
Reading material Domino, Porter, was obsessed with Lucky (I shed a tear when they folded), Preview and Real Living.
Online surfing My Domaine, GOOP, The Every Girl, Style by Emily Henderson.
Style evolution Being a part of L’Indochine absolutely influences the way I dress for work. My partner and sister-in-law Char and I are almost always at the stores and we make it a point to wear one of our pieces and put our own spin on it. Our customers often ask us how to style a certain garment and it helps to see the clothes on real girls, not just models. Since I’m on my feet the whole day, I’m always in flats. Either sneakers, loafers or sandals. I also wear pants a lot. I like L’Indochine’s culottes and harem pants. They look basic on a hanger but I love the unexpected details like pleats and how they fall. They look great with slouchy stripe tops, embroidered tunics and oversized button downs. I then accessorize with either a pair of statement earrings or necklace.
Current uniform I like cropped pants from Uniqlo, Culottes from L’Indochine/Chicify, Slouchy tops and flats. I either accessorize with a jacket, scarf, earrings or necklace.