As receptive as she is to fashion and someone whose versatility in dressing is well known in the entertainment circle, it might stretch one's imagination to think of Joanne Peh dressing up in a business suit of the black and white variety. But the actress, who stars in the law drama Code Of Law, is of the opinion that lawyers are not boring dressers as people think.
"It's not that bad lah, actually. They have to dress a certain way because that's their job and it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll look boring in a suit," she opined as we admired the view from the W Singapore - Sentosa Cove. "We had a very good tailor - CYC - for Code Of Law and they make really good shirts and suits and it's quite hot leh. It's actually quite nice; it makes me wanna wear a suit to work, you know."
The 28-year-old plays Sabrina Wong, a criminal defence lawyer in Channel 5's latest crime and legal drama - a spin-off of The Pupil. It's the first time Peh plays a lawyer, and she said appearing in court "was kind of exciting for me".
Speaking of excitement, the actress said she is "very much into vintage right now", having amassed a neat collection of vintage dresses and bags recently.
Dress, S$17,670, Miu Miu; skirt, S$1,620, Miu Miu; top, Miu Miu; shoes, S$1,510, Miu Miu; fishnet leggings, stylist's own; Bee My Love Earring in 18-karat white gold, set with brilliant-cut diamonds, round-cut emeralds, briolette-cut pink sapphires, pear-cut purple sapphires, S$114,000, Chaumet; CAMELIA AJOURE CUFF IN WHITE GOLD AND DIAMONDS, Chanel Watch And Fine Jewellery; ring (right hand), Chopard; Liens de Chaumet asymmetric ring in 18-karat pink gold, diamond-set cross links, XL model (right hand), S$10,600, Chaumet; Chandelier ring - blackened white gold, diamond (left hand), Solange Azagury-Partridge.
Tell us more about your latest vintage purchase.
I'm into art deco, so it's a sequinned dress. I'm trying to find the perfect occasion to wear it - I haven't got a chance to yet. I think it's a beautiful dress - a sequin top with a chiffon pipe skirt.
Dress, S$12,000, Valentino; corset top, S$1,870, Bottega Veneta; booties, S$1,950, Giuseppe Zanotti; Panthere de Cartier earrings in 18K yellow gold with diamonds, emeralds and black lacquer spots; Trinity de Cartier bracelet, large model, in 18K 3-gold; Trinity de Cartier ring, large model, in 18K 3-gold with paved white diamonds; Trinity de Cartier pendant, large model, in 18K 3-gold with paved white diamonds; Panthere de Cartier ring in 18K yellow gold with tsavorite garnet, onyx and black lacquer. All from Cartier.
How did you start getting into vintage?
Bobby (Tonelli, her boyfriend) started wearing vintage glasses. And I sorta, kinda, got suckered into that whole vintage everything - furniture, vintage fabric, vintage everything.
Which is your favourite era?
I like the '20s because it's a bit rebellious and has all that sequinned stuff. It's very beautiful. I think when Gucci made a comeback this year with the Spring/Summer collection, that really just jolted the whole '20s feel back again. Of course, Gucci is a lot more polished - some of the other flapper dresses can be a bit off because they are drop waist so it can look very sloppy. And I like how that whole strapless bra came about during that time also, because of the flapper dresses then. It's such a vibrant era.
Dress, S$6,890, Lanvin; Vintage Fascinator, S$65, Dustbunny Vintage; Necklace, Chopard; Mediterranean Eden Pink Gold Pendant Earrings With Mother Of Pearl And Pave Diamonds (0,88 Carats), S$12,000, Bulgari; Fil De Camelia Watch In White Gold And Diamonds, Chanel Watch And Fine Jewellery; Camelia Toi&Moi Ring In White Gold And Diamonds, Chanel Watch And Fine Jewellery.
Which aspect of fashion is of utmost importance to you?
A good cut, which is something that I can't stress enough. Tailoring the clothes to fit you is very important. It doesn't matter what your shape, your size or your height is. As long as it's tailored for you, you'll look good in it. And it doesn't matter if you're in a shirt and tie, or shirt and skirt, every day. If it fits, it'll look good. It's just knowing what fits and what looks good on you and making that effort to do so.
Do Singaporeans bother to dress up?
I think that Singaporeans do want to dress up and they do make an effort. But it's more like they don't dare to experiment and they will just go with the flow. Which is not a bad thing either because you're still making the effort but it's just that, perhaps, if Singaporeans were a little more daring with their choices, it might just spark a whole new trend. Which is how (the) Harajuku (style) started. Everybody tries to outdo one another in being quirky. It's inspirational for everybody else. And even for the designers as well.
Dress, Emporio Armani; earrings, Chopard; Mediterranean Eden yellow gold necklace with peridots, citrine quartzes, amethysts, diamonds (1,75 carats) and pave diamonds (2,5 carats), S$71,900, Bulgari; CAMELIA EXQUIS BRACELET IN WHITE GOLD, SAPPHIRES, AQUAMARINES, DIAMONDS, Chanel Watch And Fine Jewellery; Attrape-moi…si tu m'aimes ring in 18-karat white gold, diamonds, lavender amethyst, chrysoprase, pink tourmaline and citrine, large model (right hand), S$18,600, Chaumet; CAMELIA TOI&MOI RING IN WHITE GOLD AND DIAMONDS (left hand), Chanel Watch And Fine Jewellery; ring (right hand), Chopard; Bee my love ring in pink gold, set with 2 pink opals, diamonds, spinels and sapphires (right hand), S$32,300, Chaumet.
Speaking of Harajuku, I heard you're in Japan for Kawaii Style (the new Channel U fashion-infotainment show)?
It's very exciting. We're going to talk about fashion. Sharon Au is actually the one spearheading this project and it's very exciting to talk to her about the whole vision she has. I can tell you it's about fashion. What exactly about fashion? I think it's going there and finding what it is.
Code Of Law is on every Thursday on MediaCorp TV Channel 5 at 8pm. Kawaii Style premieres on Oct 18, 9pm on Channel U.
Photography: Jason Ho
Styling: Zhang Weifang
Assistance: Desmond Tan and May Seah
Hair: Gary Low, Passion Salon
Make-up: Joey Chan (HP: 9008 2888) using Chanel
Prices unavailable unless otherwise mentioned.
Special thanks to W Hotel for the usage of location.
Bottega Veneta - #01-04A ION Orchard
Bulgari - #B2-200, Canal Level, The Shoppes At Marina Bay Sands
Cartier - #02-10 ION Orchard
Chanel Watch And Fine Jewellery - #01-04 Ngee Ann City
Chaumet - #02-02 ION Orchard
Chopard - #B1-107, Galleria Level, The Shoppes At Marina Bay Sands
Club 21 - #01-01/02 Four Seasons Hotel
Dustbunny Vintage - Blk 112 #01-203 Bukit Purmei Road
Emporio Armani - #01-01/01A/K1/02 Forum The Shopping Mall
Giuseppe Zanotti - #02-04 ION Orchard
Lanvin - #01-19/20 Hilton Hotel
Miu Miu - #01-27 ION Orchard
Prada - #01-01 ION Orchard
Solange Azagury-Partridge - #02-12A Ngee Ann City
Valentino - #01-03 ION Orchard