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Lum May Yee: Why We Remain Obsessed With The Ultimate Poster Girl Of '90s Cool

Who better to show off this season’s revival of ’90s helmut lang-ish pieces (read: cool staples with a subtly subversive twist) than the local indie it girl of the time? We (re)discover Lum May Yee's enduring edge and charm.

One of the most buzzed (and Instagrammed) about spectacles during S/S ’18 Fashion Week was the runway reunion of the OG supermodels at Versace: Carla Bruni, Helena Christensen, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford strutting hand-in-hand to close the show. Just like that, the leggy power posse brought back the heady glamour of the ’90s that they had helped define.

Cotton jacket and plastic shirt, Jil Sander. Jewellery (worn throughout), Lum’s own from The Canary Diamond

But the decade, which is seeing its most fervid revival in fashion this season, also belonged to another kind of beauty – one better defined by unconventional features and a cool, rebellious attitude. A favourite of more conceptual, often minimalist designers like Calvin Klein and Helmut Lang, they included Kate Moss and “queen of grunge” Kirsten Owen. In Singapore, Lum May Yee was our answer to them – with her pixie face and ’do, and understated prettiness. Her star turn as disaffected teen Trixie in Eric Khoo’s 12 Storeys (1997) – her first acting role – cemented her status as indie It girl.

Silk slip dress, 3.1 Phillip Lim. Leather boots, Celine.