“Inspired. By. An. Oreo. Cookie,” says Lau Yunyi in jest when asked to describe her own style in five words. Although, technically, it’s the truth in the case of her mostly monochromatic wardrobe. This fashion fiend counts her mother as an influence in shaping her style sensibility.
“We have completely different aesthetics, but she taught me to have an eye for details and to make my choices with conviction. As I learnt to be more confident in my decisions in life, I think my style similarly followed in the same way and became a natural extension of my personality,” says Yunyi.
She recalls her first fashion memory: being mesmerised by Dorothy’s red slippers in The Wizard of Oz. It showed her the transformative power of fashion and its ability to influence our state of mind or take us to a different realm of fantasy. She says: “I never forgot those slippers and, a few years ago, I purchased a pair of Marco de Vincenzo red crystal sandals inspired by that memory.”
Philosophical yet spirited, there’s a serious and fun dichotomy in the way that Yunyi approaches how she dresses, and it seems exceptionally wise despite her relatively young age of 32. In her own words: “Fashion is an aspect of social reality that is grounded in clothes and accessories, which reflect certain cultural and historical happenings in the contemporary world. Style on the other hand, is the way in which we express ourselves visually to the outside world, to make a statement about who we are as individuals.”
And her brands of choice? “I tend to lean towards labels like The Row, Sacai, Khaite, and Cecilie Bahnsen. I think these brands epitomise my style philosophy of a modern take on classics,” she says.
Speaking of classics, Yunyi favours black suede Christian Louboutin pumps (“They have such an elegant shape to them”) and an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual Time timepiece (“I wear a mechanical watch out of habit, it matches most of my outfits and holds a very special significance to me”).
She also loves the playful part of fashion like mixing a Sacai tweed jacket (“It’s a classic jacket constructed in an interesting way”) and Zara black pants (“Some of my favourite pants are from Zara, and I’ve had them for years in various lengths and styles”). However, if you boil it down to one item from her amazing wardrobe, it’s got to be the Saint Laurent pinstripe suit that she favours as an alternative to wearing a dress or gown.
As someone who favours timeless pieces, Yunyi is definitely not one who pursues trends for the sake of it: “Rather than just following trends, I think I have developed a core style that I hope to continue to take me into the future.”
She adds: “When making a new purchase, I always consider the quality and longevity of a piece in my wardrobe. I want to see myself wearing it a decade later.”
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Still, she is keeping her options open. “The thing about personal style is that you have the right to take it in whatever direction you choose, to reflect who you are in that moment, and that is exactly what makes fashion so fun. Who knows, I might have a closet filled with dresses in all colours of the rainbow in the future!”