What would you do if you had an extra hour in the day? This was the question posed during the second installation of Vogue Salon, held in honour of International Women’s Day within the opulent walls of The Macallan Experience at Raffles Shopping Arcade on 9th March. In line with the event’s central aim of fostering open, important conversations amongst women from different walks of life, invitees to the two sessions included female key opinion leaders and entrepreneurs in Singapore.
Attendees were treated to a tasting of three tantalising Macallan whiskies—Double Cask 15, Double Cask 18, and an exclusive Boutique Collection—alongside afternoon tea from Raffles Hotel. Randall Tan, brand ambassador at The Macallan Singapore, hosted the whiskey tasting. “Whiskey is no longer a man’s world,” Tan shared. “Three out of five in our core team of whiskey-makers at the Macallan are women.” To close off the session, guests were whisked off to The Macallan’s sensory cinema experience: an immersive theatrical journey into the story behind the venerable whiskey brand.
Here, read the key takeaways from all four discussions that transpired over the day, each helmed by one of four speakers along with either Vogue Singapore’s Editor-in-Chief Norman Tan or publisher Bettina von Schlippe.
Ming Bridges on body-positivity and self-love
For singer-songwriter and Rentadella founder Ming Bridges, one salient topic over the past year has been the value of self-love. “We look at people’s highlight reel on Instagram and think that we are the only one with cellulite,” she said during her panel on body-positivity, “but it takes one person to post their imperfections on Instagram before we start to realise that we are holding ourselves to an impossible standard.”
Having been through eating disorders herself, Bridges understands what it can feel like to tie your self-worth to your appearance. “When I’m having a hard time, I remind myself: my self-love has not changed one bit. It’s only my perception of myself that has. And sometimes social media can amplify that, so if you need to—take time away, and come back when you’ve gained your confidence and self-love back.”
Yvette King on identity and family
If there’s one skill that TV host and entertainment journalist Yvette King wants to pick up, it is to learn how to speak Korean. Rather, she would be re-learning the language—King, who is biracial, once counted Korean as her first language but stopped speaking it entirely as a child in favour of English. Today, she is determined to keep her two-year old twins rooted to their Korean identity through means of language and culture. “They wear hanboks on their birthdays! They’ve only had two so far, but it’s a tradition we hope to keep up in the future.”
During her panel with Vogue Singapore publisher Bettina von Schlippe, King also opened up about the pressures of being a working mother in the public eye. “Before COVID-19 and before the twins, I was getting on a flight every few weeks, off to interview someone. Just before I interviewed Tom Cruise—which was one of the biggest interviews of my career—I had a miscarriage. It was a difficult time. People assume, ‘Oh, she’s got it all together’. What they don’t realise is that there’s always something going on beneath the surface. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves as women to do everything perfectly, but sometimes things go wrong and we need to give ourselves a break.”
Mollie Jean de Dieu on emotional inclusion in the workplace
Mollie Jean de Dieu is passionate about emotional wellness—there’s a reason that she runs a podcast entitled “Emotional Inclusion” alongside her day job as General Manager at Longchamp. During her panel with Vogue Singapore Editor-in-Chief Norman Tan, Jean de Dieu shared alarming statistics about the rising rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses globally and in Singapore. “These issues are serious—they lower quality of life and workplace productivity by many folds.”
Emotional inclusion, according to Jean de Dieu, is a step up from emotional intelligence, a term that more may be familiar with. “Emotional intelligence is about knowing. Emotional inclusion, however, is about the doing. It’s about reaching out to your employees and making sure that they’re doing ok, it’s about giving them chances when they make mistakes because you know that there may be more going on in their lives.” For companies looking to retain their employees today, Jean de Dieu also shared: “Today’s generation cares about the journey more than the destination. If the company they work for doesn’t have a value system that they believe in, they won’t be engaged.”
Circe Henestrosa on a post-COVID-19 future of fashion
As the head of LASALLE College of the Arts’ School of Fashion, Circe Henestrosa wears many hats. During her panel with Vogue Singapore publisher Bettina von Schlippe, she opened up about some of them, starting with her time curating one of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s most successful exhibitions to date: ‘Inside The Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up Exhibition’.
Reflecting upon the future of fashion in a post-COVID-19 world, Henestrosa shared her hopes that the industry would take this time to slow down. “Diversity, inclusivity, sustainability—these are values that we need to embrace immediately. The old system of showing countless collections each year will not work anymore.” Henestrosa added: “Supporting local creatives in the fashion industry is also of utmost importance—and not just fashion designers, we need to look after our writers, our photographers, our image-makers.”