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Fashion Files: Her Wildly Coloured Hair Is The Best Fashion Statement For This Advertising Pro

In this monthly column, we go into the closets of some of Singapore's most underrated style stars. Here, senior account manager at creative advertising agency GOVT, Woei Wong, lets us in on why sneakers, earrings, and the humble graphic T-shirt make up a uniform that’ll never go out of style.

To some, accessorising might come in the form of glitzy jewellery, hype bags and ostentatious kicks – but to Woei Wong, the ultimate accessory remains her candy-coloured hair. “To me, the most important outfit you can wear is the one you wear to your hairstylist – because it helps envision the perfect hairstyle for you. My stylist Calvin, from Hairloom, once got his inspiration for my hair from a pair of colourful Vans I had on,” the 32-year-old senior account manager shares.

She channels ‘90s cool with a selection of graphic T-shirts like a Helmut Lang one (left) and a piece by Pleasures.

And Wong, who moved to Singapore from eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak in 2015 to join local creative agency GOVT, certainly isn’t colour-shy. While her tresses have gone through transitional changes (her hair is currently canary yellow), she maintains a tightly curated and low-key selection of clothes that she rotates strategically – a capsule wardrobe of sorts. Part of the line-up: oversized blazers, graphic T-shirts and the occasional playful earring.

“Every night before work, when I’m planning my outfit, I ask myself, what can I modify with the things I have in my wardrobe?” – Woei Wong

“I think at some point I just stopped following trends. I started buying things like T-shirts, jeans, pantsuits – things that will serve me for a long time and I know I will wear. Right now, I buy much less but it’s quality over quantity,” she adds. Wong, who veers on the side of a fashion essentialist (just don’t expect monochrome), is big on conjuring up new outfits and combinations from items she already has.

These span a mix of high-low buys and colourful finds from labels like Margiela, Comme des Garcons, Zara as well as from vintage thrift stores in cities like Berlin and Tokyo. “Every night before work, when I’m planning my outfit, I ask myself, what can I modify with the things I have in my wardrobe?” she shares. Her go-to for ideas and to make the most of her wardrobe? Pinterest.

The dirtier the better: Wong’s favourite shoes are the Chuck Taylor hi-top sneakers from Converse which she collects.

The result is a quirky-cool medley of oversized, structured pieces that Wong often layers to create fun, playful looks – paired with either a red lip, or a bold set of door-knocker earrings. While all items are subject to rotation, there’s one item that Wong isn’t planning to get her fill of anytime soon: her ever-growing collection of Converse shoes.

Says Wong: “Converse is very wearable and it’s so easy to style. I am obsessed with classic high Chuck Taylors because they truly go with everything.” So obsessed, in fact, that Wong’s already picked out to the pair she’s wearing to her next hair appointment – her sunflower yellow pair. Something tells us Wong’s going to rock an even brighter shade of yellow dye for her next mane makeover – and we can’t wait.

How would you describe your style? “I see fashion as a form of self-expression. Some days you’ll catch me in all black and some days I just want to be loud – you can say it’s dependant on my mood.”   Your coloured hair seems to be a big part of your look. Tell us more. “I started colouring my hair five years ago and never looked back. I dye it once every three months and I always let the colour be a surprise when I visit my stylist. It definitely informs the way I dress.”     Above: Wong in her favourite Converse kicks, an Alpha60 dress and a Zara puffer jacket in Seoul’s trendy Samcheong-dong.  
You also have really fun kicks and earrings. What are some of your favourite shoe and accessories labels? “I am currently really hoping to get my hands on the Converse x Carhartt WIP collab. As for earrings, I tend to get them from a mix of places like Cos and flea markets in cities like London, Berlin and Seoul.”   Does what do you do for work inform the way you dress at all? “Advertising definitely gives me the freedom to dress creatively. Fashion, like advertising, is about creative expression after all.”     Above: Wong’s eclectic mix of steel and acetate earrings from thrift stores in London, Berlin and Seoul.
Who/what are some of your favourite designers/labels? “Maison Margiela, Comme des Garcons, Balenciaga, Vetements and Jil Sander.”   Any labels you are particularly shopping for right now? “Studio Nicholson, COS, A.P.C, and Zara.”   Who are some of your style idols and influences? “I’m particularly fond of early ’90s fashion. Some people that I look to for inspiration are Alexa Chung, Rooney Mara and John Mayer.”
What are some of your favourite fashion stores to frequent, in Singapore and/or overseas? “I like getting my basics from Zara and Uniqlo – but I do more shopping when I travel. I love conceptual shops Voo Store (above) and The Store in Berlin, Studio Nicholson in London, designer clothing spot BevC in Johor and boutique fashion label Alpha60 in Melbourne.”  
Tell us about a recent purchase that you’re obsessed with. “I haven’t been shopping lately, but I have been quite obsessed with the Porter x Comme des Garcons canvas tote (above) that I got two months ago.”   Name something you wouldn’t be caught dead in… “A skin-tight dress.”   If we were to bump into you on the way to the grocery store we would most likely catch you in… “A Hawaiian shirt and Birkenstocks.”