Scenes from Singapore Part Deux: A Peek Inside the National Museum’s Fashion Exhibit “Shopping for Identity”

I’ve been having a serious case of wanderlust lately, which is probably why I’ve been sitting at home revisiting my library of travel photos instead of getting outside and enjoying the sun. A run is definitely on my list of to-do’s today, so I better hurry up and post already! I had such a fantastic time in Singapore recently, I wanted to share more photos from our brief adventure there. In addition to the amazing food and shopping, which I wrote about earlier, one major highlight was taking in an exhibit on Singaporean women and fashion at the National Museum. The mixed Malay, Indian and Chinese heritage of the country seemed apparent not only in the cuisine we tried and languages we heard being spoken around us, but also, as the exhibit “Shopping for Identity” demonstrated, throughout Singaporean fashion history. The exhibit is part of the museum’s permanent collection, so if you find yourself in Singapore in the near future, be sure to check it out.

From the exhibit "Shopping for Identity" at the National Museum of Singapore: A Kebaya Kota Bahru, traditional Malay outfit worn by Malay women in Singapore in the 1960s (left); A traditional georgette silk sari from 1975 that would have been paired with modern gold accessories at the time. (All photos by Nerissa Pacio Itchon)

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Scenes from Singapore: Fashion, Food, and Why I’d Go Back for More

Earlier last month, while traveling to the Philippines for a family wedding, my husband, Edric, and I made a weekend pit stop through Singapore on the way back to San Francisco. I didn’t have the most accurate picture of this Southeast Asian island nation, other than the unfortunate news accounts that stuck of the unusual corporal punishments one might receive by the government should you sully their pristine sidewalks with chewing gum.

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Our view of the Singapore skyline from Marina Bay. Photos by Edric Itchon.

While planning our trip from Manila, some Filipino relatives had even warned us about shiny Singapore being “soul-less” in comparison to gritty historic Manila. It would seem Singapore’s sterile cleanliness was the biggest impression left in the minds of foreign travelers I had encountered—a bias that lingered before having ever seen the place.

When we arrived, were happily surprised, entertained, and generally taken by our experience there. Yes, it’s true. Singapore is very, very clean. I can hardly remember coming across a single piece of litter or graffiti while strolling around the city—not necessarily a bad thing in my mind. Although the “no durian” signs plastered throughout the metro stations were definitely amusing!

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New York Fashion Week Street Style

As seen on sfgate.com’s Unzipped September 21, 2011.

Manhattan’s Lincoln Center Plaza was a veritable feast for the eyes throughout New York Fashion Week with stylish guests, who were busy on their smart phones or hailing cabs, dressed in bright pops of color and playful prints. Even in the unseasonably hot fall weather, a gaggle of industrious fashion bloggers—cameras in tow—lingered each day outside the theater awaiting the sartorial parade to begin.

Erin Gee, 27, Vancouver, and Niki Blasina, 26, Vancouver.

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New York Fashion Week Accessories: Crowd Favorites

Aside from the obvious attraction of being among the first to view the new spring/summer 2012 collections on the runway, Fashion Week is truly inspiring for the parade of fashion that goes by in the crowds—on the street and especially in the shows. I’m always drawn to accessories and how people express their creativity, stepping up a great outfit to the level of truly fabulous. I’ll have a post up this week for the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Unzipped blog on street style trends I spotted on the Lincoln Center plaza, but for now… Here are some snapshots of show-goers I saw sporting some of the most covetable accessories of the season.

Perfectly pretty bow at Herve Leger by Max Azria

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NY Fashion Week: More lines, Central Park, and Scenes from 9/11

Today’s the first morning I’ve had all week to really sit down, look at all the images my husband Edric and I have been taking…and write. I needed to pull out for an hour and get some kind of semblance of my normal routine in San Francisco, so I went for a long  run in Central Park, grabbed a breakfast sandwich at a liquor-store-deli after, (which had a line out the door–so I figured it must be cheap and/or good!), and stopped for a Starbucks iced coffee (it’s pushing 80 degrees with high humidity).

A view from my run this morning through Central Park.

 

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New Bay Area Swimsuit Lines Make a Splash

As seen in the San Francisco Chronicle July 24, 2011

Saga Swimwear's bright Boston one-piece ($155) makes for a stark contrast in design. Photo by Haggai Cohen Milo

Nerissa Pacio Itchon, Special to The Chronicle

In San Francisco, beach attire usually calls for wetsuits, not swimsuits. Women are more likely to build a scarf collection than a bikini wardrobe.

That’s just fine with Michelle Byrnes, designer and founder of Saga Swimwear, and Lynn Werner, CEO and founder of Lynnina, two Bay Area entrepreneurs who recently launched their own swimwear lines with the jet-setting urbanite in mind.

For 29-year-old Byrnes, a San Francisco City College fashion design graduate, running her boutique brand of sexy one- and two-piece suits out of her Noe Valley home was a no-brainer.

Byrnes, who was born in Hawaii but grew up in the Mission District, has had a longtime obsession with swimsuits. Limited to finding swimwear only in the summertime in a smattering of boutiques and department stores, Byrnes wanted to provide “city girls” with a local outlet to find modern, well-made swimsuits year round.

Nearly as passionate about collecting shoes and coats, Byrnes finally decided to plunge into swimsuits in 2008 when she partnered up with former roommate Alex McCauley, 25, to launch Saga because of their shared fascination with swimwear and the playful connotations bathing suits brought to mind.

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SELF Magazine’s Workout in the Park Event Comes to San Francisco

SELF's Workout In the Park (Chicago). Photos courtesy of SELF magazine.

A nice little “side effect” of having tunnel vision about bathing suit season is my sudden and frequent bouts of wanderlust resulting in searches for tropical places to vacation (hopefully in the near future!). I’m more than a little addicted right now to scouring Jetsetter for, say, a boutique hotel deal in Zihuatanejo (it’s in Mexico, for those of you who, like me, had no idea until this morning) or a decadent spa retreat in Bali. The photos on this travel site are so luxuriously dreamy that I nearly hit the “buy” button every time I log in.

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What I Love About Greece: Baklava, Yogurt, and Korres

View from my desk today: Korres' Spring Lip Collection and Oak Collection, launching mid-February.

Its economy might be tanking, and, sure the country’s been experiencing what might be euphemistically called a bit of social unrest. But from a total American outsider’s perspective, Greece still has these three things going for it: baklava, yogurt, and Korres.

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My Favorite Outfit: Fashion Grad Caitlin Smith

Caitlin Smith. Photographed on the roof of her NY apartment share by roommate and stylist Rayna Basta.

Caitlin Smith is one of those people who effortlessly oozes style. I knew this when she showed up at my office for an editorial internship at 7×7 a couple years ago, and mere moments after meeting her I knew that she had the gut fashion instinct needed for the job.

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My Winter Beauty Obsession: Benefit’s Bella Bamba Blush

Courtesy of Sephora.com

Benefit’s Bella Bamba boxed blush may be a mouthful, but the dazzling color is definitely worth talking about. So perfect is this universally flattering shade of watermelon pink, Benefit hails it as “a 3D brightening pink face powder”—and I couldn’t agree more.

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