Blog

Category
  • Brisbane Fashion Runway 2019

    I had another spectacular night at Brisbane Fashion Runway at Saint John's Cathedral in Brisbane city tonight. The fashion show started around 6.30pm and guests were welcomed with a scrumptious grazing table. Platinum holders had the privilege to have unlimited drinks (although I stuck to my normal drinking routine and had water instead lol!). The first section of the runway included designers including Srgt Yass Queen, Monique Watters, Mayaki Swimwear, Jodie Lea Studio. After the first section, there was a 30min interval. The second part of the fashion show included designers: Megan Cannings, Purgatory, Saka Label, and Moreno Marcos. Below are my favourite looks from each designer mentioned in the first and second part of the show, as well as my favourite social photos from the night.


    Above: Srgt Yass Queen


    Above: Mayaki Swimwear


    Above: Monique Watters


    Above: Jodie Lea Studio


    Above: Megan Cannings


    Above: Purgatory


    Above: Saka Label


    Above: Moreno Marcos


    Above: Grazing Table


    Above: Tammy-Lee Headpieces


    Above: Taryn and Debbie Watt wearing Kimbralou


    Above: Platinum holders - Jessica and friends


    Above: Fashion squad wearing Kimbralou

    Photography by Suzanne Dang

  • Gold Coast's first "The High Tea Party" 2019

    I had another wonderful time at The High Tea Party - though this year was Gold Coast's first one. It was at the beautiful RACV Royal Pines Resort Gold Coast. The actual high tea was so delicious and scrumptious. Again, I recognised Stace Mcgregs, who gracefully modelled on the stage for the Birdsnest fashion design. I felt empowered seeing a diversity of models on the stage, not just the 'traditional' models during Intimo lingerie fashion show. The High Tea Party again "wow-ed" me with their events. I can't wait to go to this again.


    Above: What I wore to The High Tea Party today


    Above: The delicious high tea


    Above: Intimo lingerie fashion show


    Above: Stace Mcgregs modelling in Birdsnest's fashion


    Above: #OOTD - thanks Yari for capturing me!

  • INTERVIEW with Bella Wetten || The Bella Styling Co.



    Bella (Aka Isabel) is not just any stylist in Brisbane. She has a 10-year long corporate background and she founded The Bella Styling Co. She offers to help those in building Fashion Shows, Editorial Shoots, Fashion Brand Strategy and Personal Branding + Styling. Here I spend two minutes to interview Bella:

    SD: How did you get into styling?

    BW: Like any woman I've always loved style and fashion. I got into styling after re-inventing myself six years ago. I wanted to show my daughter that it's a great thing to put effort in yourself. 

    SD: You worked with Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival in March 2017. What was that experience like?

    BW: Let's just say that it was the most exciting moment of my life as a stylist. I knew I wanted to experience a big stage and Melbourne Museum delivered. It was like a dream. And putting together a fashion show for the Rachel Gilbert, Mischa, Camilla, By Johnny and Thurley I was literally living that dream for 10 straight days.

    SD: What is your favourite go-to outfit?

    BW: Currently loving my leather mini with a T-shirt and tailored jacket, Heels or sneakers. 

    SD: Describe your style in 3 words.

    BW: Elegant Street Chic.

    SD: What inspired you to create The Bella Styling Co. ?

     BW: The Bella Styling Co. started out as a personal branding and styling company but over time I re-evaluated where the company excels and we are now a team of 11 people putting together fashion events in Brisbane. My inspiration is always the fashion greats that have made their mark before us. Fashion is forever evolving and to leave your mark as a contributor to it's growth and evolution is inspiration in itself.

     SD: What’s an important life lesson you learnt from fashion?

    BW: The fashion will have life if you give it life. Celebrate it!

    SD: If you could only wear one designer for the rest of your life, who would it be?

    BW: Oh you gotta ask me the hard questions. I think it has to be Carla Zampatti. When I used to work in corporate in Sydney, I would always walk pass the Carla Zampatti on Kent Street and see people carrying fashions in garment bags. Stylish women standing out the front of the establishment on their phones speaking in different languages.

    SD: What’s the most fun part of your job?

    BW: Seeing creations are fun. And to me it's like putting together a puzzle and the end result is always spot on.

    SD: Most challenging?

    BW: Emotions are challenging. You have to deal with them in an appropriate way. Sometimes when it is so busy we disregard how others feel but on the other side of that we should because there is a job to do. A clear and concise explanation works all the time.

    SD: What’s one thing you’d never put a client in?

    BW: I would never put something that will result to a cringe. I dress clients according to body shape and style identity and the result of that is their style. But if a piece makes them cringe then its not a go. 

    SD: Who is your favourite designer? And why?

    BW: Carla Zampatti is one. Then Gabrielle Chanel. It's their stories that make me love them. How they pushed through to make something of themselves and how their brand has evolved through the changes in time.

    SD: Describe a time in your career where you felt you could say, "I made it".

    BW: I think I can say that I made it because I am doing what I always wanted to do. There's so much more to learn and so much more to experience. There might have been a few detours along the way but when I did my first fashion show when I was 14 I knew that I was meant to do this. 20 years on I will be celebrating this on 4 July 2019 so stay tuned.

     

  • Night of Cultures

    Last night I went to Night Of Cultures at the most prestigious event venue - Heritij, on North Quay on Brisbane city. It was a charity event raising funds for Leukaemia - the organiser's mum passed away from ovarian cancer and this was a night of getting together to help out. The Indian food was delicious and so were the desserts. There were entertainment from The Tapori Squad and also from traditional Fijian dancers, as well as a glamorous fashion show featuring different cultures - from traditional sarees to bridal to formal wear. It was an amazing night, we ended the night by dancing our hearts out at the end. Thank you Feriel Ali, Mrs Fiji Universal, for inviting me to your great event!


    Above: My outfit of the day. Wearing earrings from Jadewood Design, choker from Alannah Hill, one dress from Niki Teljega, and the other dress from Talulah.


    Above: Fijian Dancers


    Above: Marie Hillard, Ambassador and Brisbane blogger from The Brisbane Girl wearing Starfire Diamond


    Above: My bestie, Yari


    Above: Scrumptious petit desserts


    Above: The beautiful The Brisbane Girl (aka Marie Hillard)

  • An Afternoon With The Girls

    What an empowering day at An Afternoon With The Girls event held on the Gold Coast at Crowne Plaza. The speakers of this wonderful event spoke with such vulnerability and honesty. Speakers included Luka and Adelle - the people behind this event and others as well. There were scrumptious grazing tables, a make-up station, a divine flower wall, raffle prizes where the tickets sold would go to White Ribbon. Altogether as a group of 60 people, over $700 were raised for charity. Talk about group effort! I also really enjoyed using the Crowne Plaza space to do mini-photoshoots with my bestie, Louisa Parkinson. We had so much fun going to Gold Coast for this event, and we look forward to the next one! Such an amazing event.


    Above: #AWTG - yes! 


    Above: OTT Grazing table and donut wall!


    Above: Not as pretty as these desserts from The Sweet Things


    Above: One of the other guest speakers, Jess Schembri


    Above: My test subject/model for the day, Louisa Parkinson


    Above: Adelle and Luka


    Above: OOTD


    Above: With the beautiful people behind #AWTG

    Above: Louisa Parkinson at the flower wall


    Above: Thanks Louisa for taking photos of me!

     

  • The High Tea Party 2019

    What a wonderful day today. Louisa and I went to the Hilton Brisbane for The High Tea Party. We sat in the sold-out 12.30pm session. There were a few hundred guests and there was great entertainment from models wearing Intimo and Bird's Nest. I recognised Stace Mcgregs, a beautiful and confident curvy model. I loved her confidence on stage. The high tea was served with scrumptious sandwiches, petits and scones, as always. This was my second time to attend The High Tea Party - the previous one was so much fun as well.



    Above: My outfit for today

    Above: The scrumptious high tea



    Above: Stace Mcgregs strutting her confidence on stage


    Above: Shopping up a storm


    Above: My beautiful friend who came with me, Louisa Parkinson

    Above: At the pink carpet - how cute is it?!


    Above: With my bestie Louisa Parkinson

  • Because I Look 'Normal' Doesn't Mean I'm Not Mentally Ill


    I've been getting some recurring comments about how I look 'normal' and it seems I don't have a mental illness.

    Wrong.

    Being mentally ill has nothing to do with looking normal. I can have my moments, and have my mania and depressive episodes and still look 'normal'. I've been told I look like there's still life in me, and which makes me 'normal'. 

    If anything, I take these comments quite offensively. Or I could take it another way - don't give a f*** what they think. Whether or not I have life in me, I still have a chronic illness. 

    Mind you, there have been times I have been iller than before, to the point I couldn't bathe myself and feed myself. That was a long time ago.

    I still acknowledge that I have a mental illness, and although I may be 'better' now, I am managing this illness better - than IT managing me. I learnt to have a safety plan installed when something is going wrong. To be insightful of my triggers and side effects, and now a right action plan to solve problems to problems.

    Photo by Nina Timonen of Smile And Keep

  • What's It Like To Hear Voices


    "So you hear voices? Is it female or male?" - the psychiatrist asked me.

    I told him I couldn't differentiate whether they were female or male or not at the time. The psychiatrist continued to ask me more questions. 

    "Is it inside or outside your head? Do you think they control you or you control them?" - he continued with more questions.

    For those who don't hear voices, I've been told it's very hard for people to understand someone who hear voices. I learnt voices can appear when trauma is present in someone's life. Like for instance, the sexual trauma that I received. 

    Sometimes the voices have commanded me to do things to hurt myself and I had acted on it, to hurt myself. It can also be triggered by a lot of stress too. I started hearing voices when I was 14. At that time I wasn't aware I was hearing voices, and it was this age that I first attempted suicide. Looking back, I definitely was hearing voices - just wasn't aware of it.

    Throughout my twenties, I had episodes where voices were present and I had to be admitted to hospital for them and take specific medications for them. I try not to rely on these kind of medications too much, cause I think they can be quite addictive. I try other strategies like using my DBT (Dialetical Behavourial Therapy) skills, mindfulness and deep breathing. But the most effective way to 'get rid of them' was to take olanzapine.

    There is a connection with hearing voices and God too. As a Christian, I believe at times the voices were the works of Satan, and I have mistaken it for God's voice. It is very distressing to have these voices, and it tests my faith in God too. I have been offered prayers for against these voices. Sometimes I question whether I am a 'weak' Christian in some people's eyes - at times I felt judged by other Christians who didn't understand me or understand that it's all part of my chronic illness.

  • What I Wish I Knew About Love As A Disabled Person

    Having an invisible disability doesn't stop me from falling in love with someone. Of course, it wouldn't, as someone who is disabled, we can't limit ourselves to these sort of things. I haven't had 'much luck' when it came to romantic relationships. I first fell into an abusive relationship, emotionally and mentally when I was 19. I thought I was 'in love' with this person. We had met at a University social club, and he chased me and said 'I was hard to get'. In the first year, there was 'a lot of love', and I felt I was being heard all the time. The second year went downhill fast, there was a breakdown of communication, and I was abused sexually, not just mentally and emotionally. What had I wish I told myself before I 'dived into' in the relationship. I would wish someone told me these things:


    1) If I think this person is right for me, think again

    People change, and once they find something out about you that they don't like, they might possibly find another reason to forget you and move on. Don't fall easily into any relationship.

    2) Don't rush into it. Wait it out.

    Peoples' true colours will appear in due time, they might be all great and loving one year, and be abusive in the next (which I learnt the hard way). Take it easy and spend time knowing the person first.

    3) Find someone who is understanding and patient

    Having mania and depressive episodes, I need someone who has a listening ear and understands what I am going through. Don't jump into that relationship, if you find one thing good about the person, they might not overall be a good person

    4) Love hurts

    Love isn't all about exchanging pretty flowers, gifts and kisses. It's more than that. It takes hard work to build trust, be a strong communicator, to understand each other and compromising. Love will eventually hurt if one part or another is not fulfilled. 

    Photo by Nina Timonen from Smile and Keep

  • How Public Speaking Made Me More Confident


    When I was in high school, and if there was an oral presentation, I would always to try to make up a reason to not do it. Like many, I had the fear of public speaking back then. I was doubting in myself and how I delivered the content of the speech. But as I grew older, and learnt that I had an interesting story to tell, I wanted to challenge the fear of public speaking - and just do it. I have been on stage talking about sexual violence and how it impacted me. I have talked on the stage about my mental and fashion blogging. I also recently was given the opportunity to talk about my art at an art exhibition called "Lunar Down Under: Asian Art" at Arts From The Margins. I felt my heart was about to jump from my heart, but I received feedback on the same day that I spoke and look confidently.

    I was thrilled to hear this sort of feedback.

    Maybe public speaking isn't so bad? 

    There was something about beating the doubts and nerves after doing a public speaking gig. I felt accomplished. I felt successful, in my own ways. I grew confidence as I tackle each speaking gig that I received. One after another. I crave for more, I want to educate people about mental health through my story. I want to change and make an impact. And I am doing it.