On the last day of the Chinese New Year, I pinned my hair, (gritted my teeth), pulled on cashmere tights, and my favourite winter dress. Dressed up, it really takes willpower to not sweat while still waiting to depart from 4 degrees north of the equator.
At the departure gate, an SQ personnel walked up to me and said, “Miss, first class can begin boarding now. This way, Miss.”
Lesson re-learnt: Service always responds to Style. This is the second time I am propelled to first class by a dress. Alas true style is also having the honesty to gently correct a mis-perception.
Over the weekend, I celebrated the new year in typical Chinese fashion- over eating with loved ones. Brunch with Trace, tea with Sarah, dim sum with my brother, dinner with my cousin B. The old dress that came to the rescue?
See by Chloe because orange is the new black. One size too big, and cut with a bubble-shaped skirt, I could eat/drink myself silly, while masking bloat and belly.
Nice dress! Trace said.
Thanks! Remember I offered it to you many years ago? I haven’t worn it since…
Back for more dim sum with the in-laws, I wore my newish dress. The designer of the dress (Self-Portrait) now works in London, but like my father-in-law, is originally from Penang. Rather than wear something traditional (cheongsam), I chose to wear something locally-made instead.
The dress in pale blue felt like a balm. At lunch, my mother-in-law insisted that I (and only I), eat more chook, more lor bak ko, more noodles, and all of the chive dumplings. My father-in-law prayed, Thank you, Lord for the food… Please be with her as she returns to London tomorrow. My brother-in-law hugged me, then stealthily paid for lunch.
So I learnt that a good dress can cast a spell, spread cheer.
Speaking of spells. The waitress attending to us asked if I came the day before. Yes, I said, with my brother.
I was staring at you yesterday!
Are you an actress?
(She said, what?!!! Dr Chan. )
Off to the Highlands to recover and rest from the Heat, I wore print.
Print looks wonderful, especially during the lunar new year; expressing hope, good fortune, luck. Because I am superstitious, I diligently wear print during this time.
And if I have to wear black because my wardrobe is limited, I wear it with floral print and something chunky and bright around my neck to ward off bad luck.
In Bali with the onslaught of the Heat Rash, and in the company of Sleeping Beauty, I dressed as practically as possible.
Finally, on the eve of the new year, I wore an old Dries.
It’s a favourite dress for occasion dressing. There’s something so painterly about its print, and I really like that I’m all covered up.