Shooting my editor’s note photo is not about being in front of the camera—I’m surprisingly still camera-shy, even having done this hundreds of times—rather it gives me a moment to interact with my styling team. I love chatting with Albert Nico, who talks about his passion for photography with his infectious energy inflected with those “darlings”; Kay Tuan of Centro Hair Salon knows how to glam me up in a minute; and David Shaw always gives me a fresh new style for each look. Sometimes I come with my hair up in a messy bun, which he tousles out and says jokingly “OK done!” although I think he’s actually serious …
Makeup sessions make me sleepy … those soft brushes caressing my face, swirling on my lids … and then those heavy fake lashes that completely shut me down. I’m not a fan. I enjoy talking shop with the makeup artists – Shiyoo gives me a flawless face each time, and has the best tips; and having Bong, who is now a celebrity makeup artist, on my little shoot is a real privilege these days.
I work with a different person on the BAZAAR team each time—fashion stylist Moogs, features writer Emmilyn, or fashion editor Amy—as this session also acts as their training when shooting personalities. For the August 2018 issue, Moogs brought me looks from Chanel’s Métiers d’art Paris-Hamburg 2017/18 collection, inspired by the historical port and city in Germany. I attended the show at the spectacular Elbphilharmonie designed by Herzog & de Meuron in Hamburg last December, and as I slipped into the embellished grosgrain brogues for this shoot, I remembered how the models wore them with every look—be it the sailor-style cable knit jumper dresses, wide-legged tuxedo, or the finale of a fairytale dress in black-and-white feathers.
Those seafaring-inspired accessories were so precious. Who wouldn’t adore a life-buoy minaudière, a Chanel-style anchor brooch, or that super-cool accordion bag? I got to take home a sailor cap by Maison Michel that the models wore at the show, which was inspired by The Beatles, who launched their music career in Hamburg and popularised the cap in the ’60s. I close my eyes for a moment, amid the hairspray and lip colour being brushed on, and let the beautiful orchestral strains of “La Paloma”, the opening score of the show, play in my mind. I am there again, and when I slip into the midnight blue tweed two-piece, ready for the first shot, I am in character.
Photography: Raisa Azzam (Bluinc Studio)
Styling: Mughni Che Din
Hair: Kay Tuan (Centro W Salon)
Make-up: Shiyo Joo