By: Susannah Jaffer
Soon after she arrived in Singapore three years ago, TV presenter and blogger Yvette King took the fashion scene by storm and hasn’t looked back since. But despite appearing on numerous best-dressed lists and emceeing for some of the swankiest events around town, she still enjoys nothing more than a lazy lie-in or a day at the beach with her adorable pet pug.
Susannah: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you ended up moving to Singapore.
Yvette: I grew up in Sydney, Australia, but, being half-Korean, I’ve always had this strong desire to live in Asia. I thought the Asian in me needed a chance to flourish a little bit, so I set my sights on Singapore and packed my bags! Also, I’d always wanted to be a TV journalist, and every time I visited an Asian country I noticed that quite a few of the presenters looked pan-Asian. I had one of those real “light bulb” moments, and I knew I had to move to the region and give it a go. I love living here so much – it’s a little paradise and I appreciate being able to call Singapore home.
SJ: Would you say the fashion scene has evolved since you first arrived here?
YK: I think that it’s certainly becoming more confident and gaining more global recognition. In my opinion, Singapore style is not as distinctive or easy to pigeonhole as that of other countries: for example, when you think Australian fashion, you immediately envisage laidback, bohemian, beachy vibes. It will be interesting to see how Singapore’s scene continues to evolve.
SJ: You’ve interviewed some big names in entertainment, fashion and sports. Which has been your most memorable career highlight so far?
YK: I’ve been incredibly lucky to be able to chat to some interesting and successful characters. But while I was growing up I genuinely thought one day I could become a Spice Girl – don’t laugh, it’s true! So, even though what I thought was a legitimate dream didn’t come to fruition, being able to have a one-on-one interview with Victoria Beckham was certainly a moment I’ll never forget. And funnily enough, six months prior, I had an out-of-body experience lighting up the festive tree at Marina Bay Sands with David Beckham. I now envisage being best of friends with them and going on holidays to Morocco together. Again, another completely legit dream, no?
SJ: What style advice would you give to new arrivals in Singers?
YK: Don’t become lazy with your fashion just because it’s hot! Crocs may be practical in 35 degrees, but they still look hideous. When you’re dressing, think “Tropical Chic” or “French Riviera” – basically, what I mean by that is, if all else fails, wear stripes and denim!
SJ: Name three of your favourite designers and why they draw you in.
YK: Here in Singapore, I love online labels Eight Slate and Collate. They’re designed by Singaporeans and the designs are really in tune with the climate. When function and fashion combine, you’re on to a winner! Both brands are minimalistic and easy to wear. I also love Zen Chi – the designs are almost a touch of Paris style in the Little Red Dot. Most of the garments are made with one piece of fabric only – the workmanship is brilliant.
SJ: Tell us where you like to shop, eat and lounge around.
YK: The obvious shopping destination is Orchard Road, but I love Haji Lane, where you can find little gems of stores and have an amazing Lebanese lunch on the way. For food, I can’t go past Chop Suey in Dempsey Hill, Ding Dong on Club Street, Potato Head Folk in Tanjong Pagar, or Lucha Loco in Duxton Hill. For lounging purposes, you’ll find me every Saturday morning at Tanjong Beach Club for a swim and a paddleboard, usually with my pug Kingsley.
SJ: We love following your posts on your website and Instagram (@vettyking). Tell us some of your photo-taking tips.
YK: Gosh, I’m still learning! I do try to be carefully curated on my Instagram and love to upload high-quality DSLR pictures – it’s all about the lens! And I use the same filter on my pictures so they look somewhat consistent. It sounds like I’ve got way too much time on my hands, doesn’t it?
SJ: Is there anything missing from Singapore’s shopping scene? What would you like to see more of?
YK: I would like to see more middle-range brands. There’s a niche for local labels in between your fast fashion fixes like H&M and your high-end brands like Prada. The equivalent Aussie labels would be Alice McCall or Sass & Bide. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to have some of those boutiques here, but Singaporean-owned and available in Tiong Bahru or elsewhere? It would be an antidote to the endless shopping malls.
SJ: Describe your perfect day – when you’re not filming or in front of a camera.
YK: Definitely sleeping in – I’m not a morning person! My ideal day would start with a big cup of coffee in bed, breakfast in a café, a visit to the beach and some kind of carb-laden lunch, finished off with cocktails and a dinner party at the home of friends. Dinner parties are so underrated.
SJ: What will you be focusing on next?
YK: I’ll always enjoy writing on my site, yvetteking.com – I have editorial control there, and it’s an outlet for my creativity. Plus, I’ve been blogging in Singapore almost since the day I got here. Some things just don’t change!
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