Charlene Choi in Izzue top and bottom. Credit: Lynette Chen

Time seems to have forgotten about Charlene Choi. The Hong Kong star – and one half of Cantopop duo Twins – debuted in 2001, but more than 10 years later, she appears to be not a day older than the fresh-faced teenager she was then. Now 31, the singer-actress’ petite figure and youthful looks easily carry off a floral crop top, culottes, knee-high socks and platform sneakers without a touch of irony.

In Singapore for the opening of the new i.t. flagship store at Orchard Gateway, Choi was openly candid about everything including her boyfriend Hong Kong singer William Chan – a true breath of fresh air after countless interviews in which relationship questions were banned.

There was no hesitation on Choi’s part when I quizzed her about her personal style and fashion crushes either. Read on to discover what Charlene Choi has to say about everything fashion – turns out the star’s quite handy with scissors.

CHARLENE CHOI ON …
1. Multi-label stores
“I like to shop and I like multi-label stores. All you have to do is go to one store and you will find many labels. I like to get a sense of what’s in trend by observing what the salesgirls’ wear.”

2. Shoes
“I always buy shoes when I go shopping. I’ve got to buy many different kinds and colours of footwear to match different outfits because of work. I’m afraid to be caught in the situation in which the bottom half (the shoes) destroys the top half of my look.”

“Giuseppe Zanotti and Christian Louboutin are my favourite shoe designers. I think every girl must own a pair of Louboutins. But I wear sneakers the most. These days, many people are matching designer outfits with sneakers. Women must be kind to their own feet. I can’t wear heels every day, even though I like high heels.”

3. Fashion faux pas
“When I was in school, it was the trend to wear elephant socks (loose Japanese schoolgirl socks that bunch at the ankles like elephant feet). I would wear them all the time but now I don’t dare to look at pictures of me then. I would think, how did I wear such socks?”

4. Style philosophy
“It’s up to you to create your own image. My look is dependent on and changes with my mood. My style is personal and I don’t care what other people say. I don’t have a definite style but I guess I would call it casual. Mix and matching is more me. If I have to wear high end clothes, I won’t make the whole look expensive. If I’m wearing plainer clothes, I will throw in high end elements – I’m more comfortable this way.”


Her style crushes: Shu Qi, Zhou Xun, Daniel Wu and Andy Lau. Credit: Lynette Chen

5. Taiwanese actress Shu Qi
“Sometimes the clothes wear the person when it should be the other way round. Many times, whether you look good or not, it’s based on your own personality and it’s your inner beauty that should shine. Shu Qi is a great example – she looks great in whatever she wears.”

6. Chinese actress Zhou Xun
“Zhou Xun is a natural clotheshorse. She’s not tall and doesn’t have a model figure but she works within her physical limitations to create many different images and moods – it’s an amazing feat.”

7. Twins debut fashion
“When we (she and group mate Gillian Chung) debuted, we were poor kids. Most of our outfits were sponsored so we would wear the same piece so many times until we couldn’t stand it and would exchange clothes with each other. In the end, we would alter the pieces ourselves. I’ve cut half of my top and Gillian’s and sewed them together, cut off one sleeve or altered lengths. I studied fashion in school and it was fun to do so then. I wish I could go back to those times, I was more creative then.”

8. Vivienne Westwood
“She’s one of my favourite designers. Not just for her clothes but attitude too. She doesn’t only contribute to fashion, she also contributes to the society and youths. It’s admirable that she cares about the society through her work as a designer. She once told me ‘young people should visit museums everywhere. The most you are exposed to, your style and taste will change”.”

9. Hong Kong actor Daniel Wu
“He looks good in everything. Plus, his figure is remarkable. His style is casual in private. When you have character (like Wu), even if he wears jeans and a T-shirt, he will still look great.”

10. Hong Kong singer-actor Andy Lau
“He’s a great dresser. Some men tend to let go after a certain age but not Andy Lau, his energy is incredible.”

The flagship i.t. store is now open at #B1-13, #01-18 and #02-24 Orchard Gateway. For more information, go to www.itlabels.com.sg. Follow the store on Facebook at www.facebook.com/itsingapore and on Instagram @itsingapore.