personal style

The Art of Lookbooking

9.30 am: *alarm rings* *hits the snooze button*

9.45 am: Ditto

*twenty minutes later*:img_20170202_052753.jpg

*twelve minutes later, opens one eye, lies through teeth*:

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11.51 am: I finally stumble to UBD’s FIT building where my friend Arif is shooting his “Welcoming 2017” lookbook. As fate would have it, it turns out that i’m dressed according to theme in a Bunnyboo favourite, a.k.a. denim on denim, which can only mean one thing… Stylesircuit cameo! I swear it was purely coincidental and not part of some guerrilla audition in the hopes of being casted in the lookbook. But i did want to snoop around and see exactly what kind of work goes into the making of one.

If we’re being upfront, there are still plenty of people out there who don’t understand what a lookbook is (“apakan ni? Music video kah? MV kah ni, sis, MV?”) and admittedly, in the very beginning, i didn’t get it either.

But then #ootds became a big thing. Then Snapchat Velfies (i.e. video selfies) became an even bigger thing. So basically, lookbooks happen when OOTDs and Velfies fall in love and have babies.

In addition to this nugget of key information, here’s everything else you never knew you wanted to know about the art of shooting a fashion music video– specifically this Bunnyboo83 signature lookbook.

Here’s seven things that went into the making of it:

1. Technically speaking, the shooting of a lookbook is incredibly on-the-go and spontaneous. As serious as Bunny takes his shoots, the only thing that’s pre-determined is the location, time, theme and outfits- but even those are flexible. So rule number one, don’t be anal about things and just go with the flow. And yeah, i’m aware i’m being totally hypocritical right now.

2. Speaking of outfits, there are no fancy schmancy changing rooms to cater to their multiple outfit changes, just in case anyone starts imagining lavish diva lounges offset. In fact, here’s a candid outtake of Arif getting changed in the passenger seat of his videographer’s car!

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Behind the glitz and glamour of it all…

3. Speaking of videographer, the man behind the camera in question also happens to be our good friend Syaz (@amnsyazani on Instagram). He does freelancing as well, so if you’re a budding lookbooker and would like him to shoot your next one, feel free to slide in his DMs and tell him Shy from Stylesircuit sent you. Not because you’ll get like, a discount or anything, it’s just to give me a mild ego boost.

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Just doing their thang

4. Maya Bakar, the co-star of the lookbook (in case we’re still keeping up with the pretense that you don’t already stalk or follow her on Instagram), doesn’t “do public toilets”. As in she doesn’t frequent them like us mere mortals do, which frankly speaking doesn’t come as much as a surprise, gorgeous goddess that she is. I wouldn’t either, if only i wasn’t the unfortunate owner of an undisciplined bladder.

5. Insider’s tip: You don’t need to audition to be in one of Bunnyboo83’s signature lookbooks. All you have to do is show up dressed intentionally or unintentionally according to theme and Arif will happily insist you join in the shoot in the form of a cameo– which is exactly what happened with the case of resident cutie Discofissh Min, and I.

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Denim quadruplets! + Syaz

6. It’ll come to you as a pleasant surprise that despite the quality of the videos, his shoots are done on zero budget. It probably helps to have an in-house videographer on hand, but i love the fact that it’s 100% pure hard work and dedication that goes into Arif’s fruit of labour. Anyone with money can shoot a pretty video but the real backbone of his work involves none other than plenty of eye-straining hours spent in front of a wide-screen tv and a laptop, unkempt hair, plenty of cigarettes and then some more time spent staring into the depths of his closet. Throw in lots of aesthetic daydreaming and voilà!

7. As embarrassing as you might expect standing around and making come-hither faces in front of a camera in public to be, it’s really not as awkward as you think. Granted there were a few frozen moments where we stared down some passersby, almost daring them to say something about filming on campus grounds and whatnot. But other than that we were very much just doing our own thing the entire time.

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Exhibit A

Fact: I’m usually really paranoid about stores or public places which prohibit photography or filming in its premises. I just don’t get them. It’s probably because of that one time, that oneeeee timeeee i was feeling myself enough to take a mirror selfie in Uniqlo. Next thing i hear is this huge booming announcement over the speakers proclaiming the store’s policies against picture taking. It wasn’t even a pre-recorded announcement, it was coming from the microphone at the cashier. Creyes. Obviously, i got plenty of side-eye from the other Uniqlo shoppers standing around me. I wanted to throw on about eighty of their thermal wear sweaters and die from embarrassment in my simulated sweater hell.

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Here is the proof in the actual picture i took in Uniqlo, 160 weeks ago, just moments before i was publicly shunned as a narcissistic pariah

That’s all! I hope you’ll come away knowing slightly more about lookbooks than you previously did. The next post will be a T.M.I. one coming up very soon. I posted a sneak preview on my Instagram story a few days ago wondering if i should post it and i got some wonderful feedback from some of you guys (which i love)! As usual, it’s an unpopular opinion, so brace yourself.

xx,

SS

 

 

 

But, mum, it’s fashion!

But, mum, it's fashion! pt.2

I’m pretty sure that by now we’re all familiar, or at least, acquainted with that mild sting of disappointment and resentment that we experience whenever our parents subject us to a session of mild taunts and heavy jests while they poke fun or ridicule at an outfit choice.

Whether it’s our chokers, ripped jeans, ombre hair tips or grey lipstick, they always have something to say while completely disregarding the ludicrousness of the trends back in their heyday (although, to be fair, bell-bottom jeans are slowly but surely easing their way back on the scene).

I remember all too well the day i returned back from my six-month stint in Bandung, Indonesia with a fresh septum ring the size of a tiny doorknob hanging from my nose. Most kids are filled with dread at the thought of the wrath of their parents at their children’s choice in facial jewelry. I, on the other hand, was dragging my feet off the plane for a completely different reason. And rightly so. Not only was i greeted with peals of laughter, i was also made to endure an entire week’s worth of cow jokes from my family. I’m glad everyone found it all so “amoosing”.

So i thought i’d dedicate a post for all the fashion-forward clothes that i can envision myself leaving the house in or have tried to wear a variant of at some point paired with the reactions of my parents. These are mostly fictitious examples of my parents’ responses but believe me when i say, i write out of experience. All of these things have been said to my face at one point or another. I’m not being imaginative or exaggerating, simply realistic.

Welcome to an insight of what it’s like to be a “fashion forward” kid in a typical Asian household.

 

Fashion example #1: Culottes

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Cut-out floral culottes, Rosie Assoulin

“But mum, they’re so comfy!

Mum: “No, no, you look like ahjumma. So ugly”

** Asian mother speak for “I would like to have grandkids eventually at one point in my life so could you please stop dressing like a spinster in advance”.

Note: Has never been to Korea but thinks she’s watched enough Korean reality tv to know what qualifies to be an ahjumma.

Fashion example #2: Capes

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Heart-shaped fur cape, Saint Laurent

Dad: Eh what’s this! You look like that, like that, what’s that called ah? *starts humming the opening tune to Sesame Street*

Me: I wouldn’t expect you to understand, dad! It’s fash-

Dad: Ah! Elmo!

Me:

*Has a muppet bitch fit*

Fashion example #3: Crop tops

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Cropped kimono sweatshirt, Fenty Puma by Rihanna

Dad: Um girl, i think your shirt is too small for you. And what’s this, i can see your belly button. Later masuk angin ah, better cover with scarf (really, dad, a scarf?)

Me: But dad, it’s a crop top! It’s supposed to be short!

Dad: Haiyah what’s this. Then better suck it in.

Me: I already am!

Dad: *glances at my tummy disbelievingly*

 

Fashion example #4: Fur loafers

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Princetown leather loafers, Gucci

“But mum, it’s the trend now!”

Mum: “What is this, like bedroom slippers not bedroom slippers liddat.”

Dad: “OMG ARE YOU WEARING HACHIKO?! Hachiko, are you okay?! Hachiko, where are you?!”

*Hachiko is the name of the family cat.

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Hachiko looking severely unimpressed with my dad’s annoyingly lovable sense of humor

Fashion example #5: Rompers

Off-shoulder striped playsuit, Yoins.com

Dad: But how do you use the toilet? Do you have to take everything off? Eh better be careful in public toilet ah, girl, better check if got hidden camera or not first-
Mum: I think it’s riding up your crotch, girl. You need to pull it down more.
Me: *pulls it down at the crotch area while simultaneously showing more cleavage on top*
Dad: Ah! My eyes! My eyes! Pull it back up! Pull it back up!

 

Fashion example #6: Floral blouses

Pussy-bow silk blouse, Gucci

Dad: Eh girl, are you wearing Ah Ma’s tablecloth kah? Har har har

Me:

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I can’t help it if i have similar tastes in clothing as my grandmothers! Their outfits are always so comfortable and so extra with the bunga-bungas. And not to mention, like, super practical with their colourful stirrup tights.

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Nothing says “a day at the market” like stirrups

Although once, a long while back i went to give my grandmother a ride to the supermarket. I was wearing a hideous old t-shirt and faded sweats with my hair in a loose half ponytail and my grandmother actually said to me, “Ahh machiam ini baru bagus ah, Yenyen. Tidak payah pakai itu makeup tebal-tebal, kasut tinggi-tinggi” (this was back when i still wore heels).

I’ve never been more insulted in my life.

xx

SS