Closet confessions

Closet confessions

Danelle Woo, 35, Of Aijek

How would you describe your sense of style?

Classic, feminine and with an edge. Classic items stand the test of time. When shoppers buy things from Aijek, I hope they can pull it out of their closets and wear it five years later too.

I also like classic pieces which are not too matchy-matchy. A little bit of undone-ness is good.

Which style icons do you admire?

Maya Plisetskaya, a Russian ballerina with the Bolshoi Ballet who danced until she was 73 years old.

I discovered who she was when I was in Soho in New York last November and bought a few pictures of her from a photographer who was a friend of hers. I love how she seems both theatrical and classic, with a unique elegance and beauty. Even off duty, she would pair a hat, veil or strong eyeliner with her big coats.

What are three favourite pieces in your wardrobe?

I love the construction, fit and print of my dress from Indonesian designer Peggy Hartanto (photo 1). It's a fun silhouette - I can wear it to a black tie event but still party afterwards. The nude mesh parts are revealing but the look is not too sexy because the printed material is thick enough for proper coverage.

I have a bit of a hippie side too. I bought a Maison Scotch (photo 2) denim vest because I couldn't resist the studs and embellishment. I can wear it to tone down a lace dress.

Another favourite is a vintage Gucci dress (photo 3), probably from the 1940s. I got it at a vintage store in Seoul in 2005. It's a classic in every sense - I can easily wear it years later too.

What are your three favourite pieces from your own brand?

A tunic (photo 4) sample piece from my first collection. The convertible knots at the neckline can be undone and worn in different ways, such as draped down or as a scarf.

Also a dress (photo 5) from this season's collection which features embroidery on all sides. We've sort of stumbled onto the wedding market and this would be great for a beach wedding.

Another is a red lace skirt (on Danelle in the main photo) which is easy to wear - with a tank top for the day and with heels for the evening. It's such a happy red. Lace is really the essence of classic and forever.

Is there a purchase you've regretted?

I always think I'm wiser but these purchases happen from time to time. They are usually trend-based pieces that are ill-fitting or not well-made. I end up throwing them out.

What is your weakness when it comes to shopping?

I'm a clothes person more than shoes or accessories. I'm drawn to classic, easy pieces that work for my busy life as a working mum. It might be a pair of high-waisted shorts that can be paired with a blouse or a jeans and T-shirt look that can be easily elevated with heels. Is there a gifted item in your closet that you love?

I got this vintage kimono (photo 6) from a Japanese friend who was visiting Kyoto. It's one of the layers worn inside and it might actually be part of a bridal outfit. I wear it with a grungy T-shirt and white-studded jeans for a simple but statement look.

What was your most recent fashion purchase?

I bought another Peggy Hartanto dress (photo 7) from Trixilini, at one of the multi-label boutiques which carries Aijek.

I love the texture and colours - neutrals with white, matte with shine - as well as the fact that it's an upcoming Asian label. I think I will be wearing it to a wedding soon.

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