Style Watch: Everyday glamour is Malaysian designer Shaleen Cheah's philosophy


For one designer in Malaysia, fashion is all about being effortless. Photo: Shaleen Cheah

In 2016, designer Shaleen Cheah founded her eponymous label with a vision of elegant femininity imbued with vibrant colour. Daytime chic is one of her favourite looks, but this former financial consultant and mum of three has the ability to change up her style effortlessly.

What is your favourite/go to look?

The jumpsuit is my fashion staple. It fits in perfectly with my busy lifestyle: chic uncomplicated and versatile. It takes me from day to night, casual to glam with a swift change of accessories.

Photo: Shaleen CheahPhoto: Shaleen Cheah

What are your three essential style/beauty items?

i) The most universally flattering dress of all, a wrap dress looks good on everyone! I’ve seen it work wonders with many of my clients regardless of shape or size. Pair it with gorgeous heels for a dressy occasion or dress it down with cute pumps. The wrap dress will never go out of style.

ii) My Cartier Love bracelet is a classic feminine piece that exudes an understated elegance. I wear mine almost everyday as it gives me that little extra dose of glamour and adds polish to any outfit.

iii) Heels. I’ll always find a reason to rock a pair! Stylish footwear will elevate your look and offer a unique touch to every outfit. My current favourite are the Bottega Veneta leather mules. With intricate straps and asymmetrical cutouts, they are also great conversation starter.

Photo: Shaleen CheahPhoto: Shaleen Cheah

How has the pandemic changed your style?

During the pandemic I am curating more relaxed, comfortable pieces without losing the vibrancy of my own sense of style.

These days I’m loving my ethically-sourced pieces specifically the organic printed dresses. They are fun and flirty and the colours brighten my day and keep me in the best of moods!

Energy is essential in what I do, which is meeting people all day, therefore I play with colours to keep the good vibes going.

Who is your style icon? or What’s your inspiration?

Diane Von Furstenberg. I’m drawn to her impeccable sense of style and what she stands for. Her books are my Bible and I am in awe with the life that she has so fearlessly created for herself and her loved ones. Her ambition and resolute drive throughout her four decades in the fashion world continue to inspire me.Give us one style tip, or two.The first step to finding your perfect outfit, and the most important one of all, is to know your body and shape. Once you’ve identified your silhouette, invest in key wardrobe staples. Then simply add colour and accessories to showcase your personality. And have fun!

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