For this travel issue, I was caught in a dilemma of how I should pen my editor’s note. Should I wax lyrical about the stunning fashion shoots done by Windy Aulia, who took suitcases filled with the latest fashion to upstate New York to shoot the new cruise collections? Earlier in the week, Windy had also spent precious moments shooting our breakout cover star, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, on the rooftop of Manhattan, overlooking the Big Apple.
Or maybe I could entice you with tales of Singapore’s stylish jet-setters, who spoke to Dana Koh about their packing lists, secret destinations and must-visits on their chic sojourns? Or perhaps you could take travel and fashion inspiration from Gerald Tan’s wonderful round-up of all the cruise shows that traversed the globe, melding local culture with skirts and dresses that you could call sartorial postcards?
In the end, I decided to take this a lot closer to home, to a woman who created, shaped and moulded chubby little me to the slightly slimmer editor that I am today. When I moved to London for primary school, my grandmother visited me yearly, always clad in her signature sarong kebayas, packing wok-fuls of home-cooked food with her (yes, she even brought her kwali!). Whether it was a kitchen in London, Hong Kong, Sydney or Paris, she was always there with spatula and pan, cooking up a storm of her best Nonya dishes. Newspaper-wrapped fish and chips eaten while walking along the white cliffs of Dover were spiced up with home-made chilli jam that she brought out from her “magic handbag” (bought from Harrods, which she was so proud of), containing what must have been a veritable travelling kitchen. All this international travel, and hardly a word of English spoken beyond a “yes, please” and ‘’thank you” and a wonderfully loud “good morning”.
🌟THE GREAT NONYA🌟 Celebrating the incredible 98 years of a true blue Peranakan Bibik. My granny was the kindest, most giving, loving and strongest woman I ever knew – who gave her colourful life to making her family safe, sound, happy and always well fed. She lived through the Japanese occupation in Singapore during WWII, protecting her house and home and never once lost a fight. Her journey at the end was surrounded by so much love, light and laughter. She will be missed by all whom she touched – and she is now with Kong Kong and Koo Koo in heaven. I will live by and honour your great name – rest now Ah Ma, we will carry your great legacy forever. 🙏🙏🙏
And who could forget that half-bashful laugh, always made with a slight look away in modesty? Creating a piece of home whenever she travelled was really what she taught me best; to take along creature comforts or tokens that remind us of who we are, what we are and where we come from. She sadly left us to embark on the ultimate journey a month ago, taking in wonderful sights none of us will get to sample on this mortal plane, but not before she taught me this important lesson: The eye has to travel, but the heart always stays at home.
—Kenneth Goh, Editor-in-Chief
Photographer: Frederic Auerbach. Stylist: Windy Aulia. Natasha Liu Bordizzo wears a jacquard dress, Louis Vuitton. Makeup: Dior Makeup artist Linda Gradin/L’Atelier. On the face: Diorskin Forever & Ever Wear Extreme Perfection & Hold Makeup Base, Diorskin Forever Perfect Cushion, Diorskin Forever Undercover, Diorskin Forever & Ever Control Loose Powder, Diorblush Sculpt, Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder. On the eyes: Diorshow Mono in 573 Mineral, Diorshow Pro Liner in 092 Pro Black, Diorshow Pump’N’Volume Mascara, Diorshow Bold Brow in 002 Dark. On the lips: Universal Contour Lipliner, Rouge Dior Liquid in 427 Delicate Satin. Hair stylist: Takuya Sagawa/Walter Schupfer. Manicurist: Sheril Bailey/Walter Schupfer. Production: Opus Reps. Photography assistants: Dean Dodos, Daren Thomas, Denis Vlasov. Styling assistant: Louis Marion