We are proud to welcome our newest guest blogger Willabelle Ong. She is the voice, stylist, fashionista and muse behind Perth Australia based PALE DIVISION. Her blog has been a favorite around the office for some while—and we were so honored when she applied to our guest blogger contest. Oh did we mention this style guru is 17? Her blog keeps the looks fresh, the styling cheap, chic, and on-point, mixing high-to-low brands and pricepoints, for an end result that is always charming and right on time! We love you Willabelle. To welcome her to our blog we sat down for a little Q&A to get to know her better, and to introduce her and her blog to our readers. She will have her first post up by next wednesday. Get to know her here, and get inspired by her style which melds Australian street, and fashion concepts from her home of Singapore.
WHO: WILLABELLE ONG/17 YEARS OLD
WHERE: PERTH AUSTRALIA/BORN IN SINGAPORE
WHAT: PALE DIVISION BLOG
HOW: CUTE OVERLOAD MEETS GREAT STYLING AND FORWARD THINKING
Q: We are obsessed with your first name! Willabelle is the most charming first name around. Is this your given name? Where does it draw inspiration from?
Aw, thank you so much! People always tend to mispronounce it though. I get all kinds of titles; Willabee, Willabelly, Willowbelle, Willalala… A few of my teachers from middle school used to call me ‘Wallaby’ or ‘Willy Wonka’ which was quite fun to an extent, haha. My dad actually came up with my name. He’s called ‘William’ and I suppose he took a liking to the name ‘Belle’ and combined it together, so tadah – Willabelle! Apparently, he came across the name ‘Belle’ from a book or something. He can’t exactly recall but I’m so glad my parents wanted to name me that. People have the weirdest (and funniest) nicknames for me. One of my favourites is ‘Willy’, which is usually followed by random bursts of giggles…!
Q: You know we love Australia—if we were to come see you on a Friday night where would you take us and what would we do?
Australia is no doubt ridiculously scenic and beautiful… I’m in love with the weather and vivid blue skies (I swear it’s so surreal that it looks like a scene from The Simpsons), I reckon it’s the best thing about this place down under. I currently reside in Western Australia and here, the shops close around 5pm here (Perth city closes around 9PM on Fridays though) which sucks for me because I’m so used to living in a country (aka Singapore!) where the city closes late at night. If you visited next year when I’m finally legal, we’d drive to the city blasting loud music and sticking half our bodies out of the car waving to everyone in our bright gear(and avoiding the police) just to pick up fluorescent lipsticks (to doodle on each other’s arms), crazy sunglasses, a bunch of dress-up animal ears and sequinned jackets! Then, we’d head to the most-happening party for that week, get a little high on music and embarrass each other, take too many photos with silly expressions and my signature ‘rabbit pose’, meet random people and make them jealous of our wonderful monster platforms, take more photos and get exhausted… When we’ve had enough, we’ll leave and cab to an indie cafe with butterfly light-streamers and lanterns hanging from the ceiling. We’ll share a strawberry-jelly cake and sip some tea, try to catch our breaths, and talk about anything from bunnies to my grandmother. I don’t think we’ll try to catch a wink though, life’s too short to be sleeping it away so we’ll look at the photos we took, make dumb comments about them and laugh about everything. In the morning, we’ll drive to Fremantle for breakfast; fish and chips, fresh oysters with lemon and peanut-butter ice-cream for desert. After that, we’ll go to the markets and buy a jar of honey (how random but mhmm) to consume while we’re on the way to the airport. All good things come to an end so we’ll take one last photo, kiss each other’s cheeks and bid farewell, till next time…!
Q: What is your current favourite Australian Label?
Dion Lee, for sure! His collections are so versatile, unique and every piece is exquisitely tailored! I especially admire his use of print and colour; the Spring/Summer 10-11 collection has got to be my favourite. The shapes, textures and the collections are visually appealing and yet, the pieces can be worn in so many different ways with various other numbers. I tend to drool over his creations that encompass cut-out and sheer details; they’re simple but particularly interesting to observe… I’m a big fan of little details in an outfit so naturally, I’m obsessed with the Dion Lee label!
Q: What three blogs/sites do you check religiously?
I have a bunch of favourite blogs that I look to for inspiration but I’m constantly smitten by Rumi Neely from Fashion Toast, Hanneli Mustaparta of Hanneli, and Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller. Their styles are distinctly unalike from each other and are entirely personal. It’s lovely seeing how different people have their own impression and take on a certain trend, pattern or design.
Q: Who is your current celebrity crush and why?
This changes way too often for my liking… Right now? Probably Daphne Guinness. She’s crazy, bold and beautiful. What I love most is her confidence in wearing those edgy and insane haute couture pieces, and killing it like no one can… I mean, if you don’t believe you can pull off something, who else will? Her sense of style, especially the way she pushes the limits of fashion, is admirable. Moreover, her shoe collection is to die for… I can only dream of affording less than one-eighth of a pair of designer heel-less shoes at this age, (Thank God for Jeffrey Campbell who made the drool-worthy Nightwalk platforms though. A part of my life will be fulfilled when I finally attain them…) le sigh. Plus plus, the fact that she wears McQueen and makes it work is just a bonus.
Q: Describe in ten words or less your personal style.
It transitioned from dull blacks and greys to an eruption of colours. Obviously, this question is impossible to be answered in less than ten words because I have the tendency to ramble on about pointless things but I just wanted to add that I have a fetish for cute socks; prints, colours and frills! I also enjoy collecting blazers, faux fur coats, special sheer stockings and coloured chiffon button-ups… As well as cross necklaces, stone rings, anything in the colour of bone, woven bracelets and a heap of other useless things I don’t even use…
My use of ‘…’ means ‘and so on, so forth’ in this context so you probably get my drift by now, haha!
Q: It’s 11am on a random Saturday, where are you, who are you with, what are you doing?
I’m with the family at an enchanting garden-themed cafe having brunch (hello my dearest salmon with hollandaise sauce…) and sipping orange-juice. We’ll drive far away for a half-day road trip visiting animal farms or chocolate factories, or probably head to various places to run errands. It’s sunny and windy too, so we might hit up the beach for a stroll in the early evening. I always have my trusty camera named Damon with me, so I don’t lose a perfect photo opportunity if we happen to chance across a charming forest or something. My weekends are as carefree as I can possibly imagine because my weekdays are generally jam-packed with school, deadlines, work and lots of stuff I need to finish up. I’ve recently graduated from high-school though (Yes, finally!) and am super psyched for University next year!
Q: What five things are you never without?
1. My iPhone (!!) – I’ll be lost and completely disconnected without this baby. Seriously, I swear I feel so incomplete when I don’t have my phone with me. Is this normal or am I being obsessive…? I have a thing for smart-phones. It’s got everything I need on-the-go, really; all my contacts, a calender, the notes and reminder application (I am rather forgetful so I need to record every event/appointment), maps and its GPS (screw traditional guide books, they’re so heavy and confusing!), email and internet, social networking, and my current best-loved application, Instagram, which I spend countless hours on…
2. My wallet – I’m currently using a rather massive one I got from Sportsgirl a year back. It’s studded and has leather and suede panelling on the front, big love! It’s normal rectangular-shaped with a clasp and is surprisingly big enough to fit all my cards (I hardly use most of them anyway, haha), keys, gift-cards, receipts, money, and some random, foreign dollar bills and coins. I even keep a pink My Little Pony magnet in it, God knows why but yes, be envious…
3. Sunglasses – This goes without saying right? I suppose I just want to shield my beloved eyes from the scorching sun-rays, and still look fairly decent while I’m at it! I alternate between a few whenever I change bags. A pair of round tortoise-shell sunnies sits at the bottom of my current go-to bag!
4. Mini Hair-comb – Proves to be useful on days where the strong wind decides to rape my hair and I’d much prefer not looking like a total tool before meeting someone. I have an Anna Sui-esque one that my mum bought for me when she went overseas!
5. Camera – As mentioned in the previous question, I do like taking Damon out but sometimes, he’s too heavy and troublesome to fit into my bag so I have no choice but to leave him at home… My phone’s camera (and Instagram) makes up for this though, so I guess that’s counted as a camera too, hehe.