Month: January 2013

  • “The Grandmaster” Gala Premiere

    10 years in the making, and finally Wong Kar Wai’s epic kung fu biopic about the legendary Ip Man has been released.

    The Grandmaster” stars none other than… my favorite Chinese actor Tony Leung

    I must admit that I have a crush on Tony – he is an intensely soulful actor with a quiet strength about him, possessing an inexplicable charm in his gaze that makes me melt. He is not young or the best looking celebrity, but like rich wine he seems to get better with age ;)

    I’m also a huge fan of Wong Kar Wai. His previous works like “Chungking Express“, “Happy Together” and “In the Mood For Love” all rank in my list of all favorite films. Imagine how thrilled I was to know that both of them would be in town to promote the movie. And I’d get to see them at the gala premiere!

    Poor Tony broke his arm while filming. He and the other actors painstakingly trained in martial arts for 4 years, and Wong Kar Wai commended him on his kung fu skills –  ”He can really fight!”

    Now if only I could also get paid to learn kung fu from the best trainers for free… that’d be really cool ;)

    Wong Kar Wai is never seen in public without his one pair of sunnies. 

    I suppose it adds to his “mysterious genius” persona – the maverick arthouse director who often doesn’t even let his actors know who their character is (according to Tony, he was glad that this time around he could fully grasp his role!)

    The auteur is known for his perfectionist streak and prepared a long time for this film. “During the pre-production stage, I travelled to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau to interview martial arts experts as part of my research. These experts gave me plenty of support and trust. They shared their secrets and techniques unconditionally with me. Their hope was simply that this movie would bring Chinese martial arts to new heights and audiences so I couldn’t possibly let them down, especially since some of them had passed on.”

    With celebrity chef Daniel Boulud at his bistro for pre-event cocktails.

    On a side note. I chatted to him for a bit, and he excitedly shared about his small role in an upcoming Michelle Yeoh movie. I also found out what his criteria for judging talent in a chef is — how a chef beats an egg and makes an omelette. I guess if you can’t get the small things right, you won’t get the big things right? Apparently there is a lot of skill involved that would elevate this simple culinary act to an art form of sorts.

    Sigh okay, let me try flipping that egg again…. 

    We proceeded to the Marina Bay Sands Grand Theatre; the long and winding path trawling with camera-hogging people eager for a glimpse of the stars.

    YSL clutch, my current bag love :)

    Hot shot director and hot shot actor strike a pose on the red carpet.

    A pity other cast members Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, and Song Hye Kyo could not make it down.

    Originally meant to stage performances, musicals etc., the last time I came to this vast venue seating 2000 people was for a David Foster concert. Now, Marina Bay Sands has made it suitable for film screenings as well. Looking forward to more gala premieres there :)

    So what are my thoughts on “The Grandmaster”?

    The film spans several decades of Chinese history to tell the story of legendary Ip Man, who famously trained Bruce Lee, and features lengthy battles between rival kung fu masters of other martial arts schools such as baji quan and Chinese boxing. The film is beautiful and brilliant, another masterpiece from the acclaimed director. He delves into his pet themes of love, loss, longing and time in his signature lush, melancholic style. Every scene, every set-up was a labor of love, a perfected work of art balancing delicacy with ferocity, admirably realized in part by the wonderful cinematography of Philippe Le Sourd

    Wong’s penchant for close-ups makes even a lingering shot of a burning cigarette tip feel like a transcension into another universe. It is testament to why the director is notorious for taking forever to complete his films. Epic fights and action sequences (many taking place in the rain or snow) choreographed by Yuan Woo Ping, of Matrix and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon fame, will leave you breathless. But, not just exchange of blows but also an exchange of poignant words, I enjoyed the lyrical script with its depth of poetic and philosophical lines. Definitely a much more refined and unique re-telling of the Ip Man story (than the Donnie Yen series). 

    Wong Kar Wai is truly a grandmaster himself.

    Chang Chen as “The Razor” and Zhang Ziyi as “Gong Er”

    Gong Er is a headstrong martial artist who can hold her own against any man. Love her character, she is one cool woman! She and Ip Man share an unspoken affection and suppressed yearning for each other – the bittersweet, enchanting type of romantic liaison not unlike that of Wong’s other film “In the Mood For Love”.

    Watch the trailer:

    The Grandmaster opens in Singapore cinemas on Jan 31.

    ♥ Dawn

  • Retail Therapy





    ♥ Dawn


  • Retail Therapy

    This Chinese Lunar New Year, turn on the vintage oriental charm. 

    Dress yourself in sultry shades of red, soft lace, mandarin details and pretty floral embroidery.

    The new collection at

    Hehee, this one reminds us of those old ads on vintage Chinese tin boxes!

     Photography by Adam Stamenkovic


    If you prefer a more modern approach to the festivities, you can simply incorporate dashing red, pink, coral and gold colors, floral motifs and a sprinkling of pearls to suit the Chinese New Year mood :)







    ♥ Dawn

  • Everyday Photo Diary

    In the hotel, before my radio interview at Red.FM in Kuala Lumpur


    Tea party at my place :)

    Kooky night tea party

    Princess forever x love Audrey

    Vintage! Say cheese!

    Fave reads over coffee


    Hot Mama Burger @ Road House

    Carry my thoughts by light of the moonbeams. x


    What’s my mood…?

    My living room. Wishing ^.^ ..W Singapore Sentosa Cove..

    My dad’s favorite fruit is banana. So we got him this card.

    He went bananas over his present (an iPhone5) 

    Shadow play

    My arm candy

    Sunset from our villa in Phuket

    After a vavavoluminous blow dry @ Essensuals Bugis

    Happy birthday to my dear grandma who brought me up! ♥
    Big dinner at Tung Lok
    Nice touch with the cool Chinese poem of blessings written in squid ink :)

    My ultimate favourite cake from P.S Cafe

    Creamcheese cupcake screaming “eat me!”

     On board the coach in the morning. No make up sleepy face~ zzz

    ♥, Dawn


    1. Check your passport’s validity and apply for visas if necessary.

    2. Cheapest day to fly is usually Tuesday/Wednesday. Fridays & Sundays are most expensive.
    3. Buy yearly travel insurance if you fly frequently. When your flight is delayed for 6 hours or more you’ll be glad you have it. My yearly plan also covers cancellations, medical emergencies etc. and it is not expensive. Better safe than sorry!
    4. Invest in easy-to-pull 4-wheel luggages, they are a God-send.  Get one that’s distinct  – leave the conveyer belt quickly and avoid mix-ups. Also remember to add a luggage tag with your contact details.
    5. Put valuable items into your carry-on bag if possible. Bags do get lost, and you never know when things will get stolen from your check-in luggage, especially in developing or third world countries.
    6. Bring a lightweight, foldable duffle bag. It’ll come in very handy when you do a bit too much shopping!
    7. Going someplace dressy? Place sports jackets, pressed shirts, and dresses in a garment bag. Use wrapping tissue paper to avoid wrinkling.
    8. Double check you have your cameras, SD cards, phone, chargers and other electronic devices. It’ll be a costly nightmare if you realize you didn’t bring them. I’ve learnt from my unfortunate experience of having to buy a camera and laptop charger when overseas. A complete waste of money!
    9. Avoid shocking phone bills. Purchase a local sim card with internet access. Especially if you plan to stay connected and upload all your holiday photos to make your friends envious ;)
    10. Do research on your destination. Plan. Even if you’re not the type to plan your trip down to the last detail, it’s good to at least have a list of some things you want to do or places to visit so your vacation time isn’t wasted. Unless you’re planning to laze in your hotel the whole time! I personally like the Luxe City Guides.
    11. Locals are your best friends. They have insider knowledge on the best places to go and can give you a slice of authentic life in the city you’re visiting. Should you be… socially disadvantaged, haha… ask around to see if your friends can hook you up with people they know living there. 
    12. For accommodation bookings, download the app.


    I find it’s the best by far – very easy to use with great features. The intuitive interface is designed specially for phones/iPads, which makes the process a breeze.


    Having dinner with friends and suddenly, all of you unanimously decide to go on a beach getaway together this weekend? Don’t wait to go home, just whip out your phone and start making your travel plans pronto.

    Let’s imagine you are traveling through Europe, and you need to secure last minute accommodation for the next city. Oh no!

    Don’t fret, no need to hunt for a computer. No need to pay exorbitant front desk rates. Take out your nifty phone or iPad, and easily search 140,000 hotels around the world. Choose from 20,000 last-minute deals at your location, browse more than 2.5 million user reviews.


    Flick through hotels, photos and reviews with one swipe, and make use of powerful sort and filter tools to manage your selections.
    Enjoy huge savings and special deal rates.

    Photos, information, and guest reviews at your fingertips


    Like it? Click on the ♥ to add to your shortlist

    Easily view your shortlisted hotels for easier decision making.


    Both the phone and iPad apps use GPS to show you the hotels around your location! 


    Possibly the best thing about using, is their Welcome Rewards program. For every 10 nights accumulated through their service, they will give you 1 night FREE! (the average price of the 10 nights

    I like this perk a lot because it definitely gives you the most bang for your buck. Your booking comes with a price match guarantee so you can rest assured you will get the best rate.


    Check your Rewards credits on the app.
    Redeem a free night anywhere in the world :)


    Still not convinced how great and easy this app is?

    Check this out: If you’re skydiving towards your holiday destination and realize that you’ve forgotten to make a hotel reservation, fear not – app will help you out. Extreme sportsman JT Holmes shows off the speed and ease of the app as he free falls towards his holiday destination at Lake Tahoe!



    Even without an internet connection, all past and future bookings can still be accessed through the app. Download the app via the following link:

    Available in more than 30 languages. 

    Bon voyage! x


  • Kayla’s Captain America Birthday Party

    Present for my niece

    It was a cheery Saturday which started off with a dim sum lunch with friends at Wah Lok followed by coffee at Toby’s Estate. A short walk away was The Polliwogs – welcome to kiddy bubblegum play land!

    In one of the two party rooms was where family, friends and hoardes of excited, shrieking kids gathered for Kayla’s 4th birthday party.

    You had better come dressed to the theme of *red blue and white* or Little Captain America will bash you far into the sky!


    The party was spared no expense. The superhero was everywhere – from balloons, to the table cloth, piñata for the kids to hit, and a life sized cardboard figurine – all specially flown in from the USA.

    You might think it strange that a little girl is into such a guy action hero. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean she will grow up butch or anything. When I was her age I was crazy about Superman and Robocop. Look how I turned out, haha.

    Captain America has a playful and feminine side too ;o)

    My cousin/bro & little 1 year old Davian, the birthday boy and also brother of the birthday girl.

    The Polliwogs party host did an incredible job of leading the children in a myriad of games & entertainment. It takes a lot of energy and enthusiasm! Like a giant perched on a tiny stool, I sat there watching them in enjoyment because they were all too adorable. I had flashbacks of my own birthday parties in Mcdonald’s, Magicland (at Marina Square, who remembers it?!) and other various places some 20+ years ago.



    At The Polliwogs @ Robertson Walk, children can literally climb the walls or jiggle on the water bed, aside from traversing the bigger play arena. Adults in the meantime can relax and enjoy a cuppa  in the spacious cafe while keeping an eye on the young ones.

    Gazillions of fun! It’d been a long time since I ran amok in a play gym like this one.

    Kids in Singapore are very blessed indeed.