Style Voices: Mag Chan
The word "jetsetter" (in fashion, at least) is often associated with unrealistic style choices, over-the-top outfits, and caftans by the dozen. That's precisely why Mag Chan is such a breath of fresh air. The New-York-based designer and creative director of Her Velvet Vase, travels back and forth to Asia as often as some of us commute to work, yet her style is anything but unrealistic—instead, her closet is filled with a mix of no-nonsense basics and strategically chosen statement pieces that come across completely effortless. She loves a good moto jacket, is a fan of slip-on sneakers, and hardly wears any makeup, yet somehow always manages to look wildly feminine. A self-proclaimed "lazy dresser", nothing Mag wears is frivolous or impractical...we don't know about you, dear reader, but in our book that's the making of a #girlcrush.
Name? Mag Chan, although my friends have taken to calling me Maggles or Maglet.
Do you have any pets? I have two canine terrors—a Mini Schnauzer named Oreo and an English Cocker Spaniel named Huffy. Unfortunately they are both back home in Singapore at the moment, but they have proven to be a great outlet for my ADHD. I not only channel my energy into caring for them, but also into my creativity. I actually think my diagnosis has helped me handle the hectic nature of living in the city and harness my intense yet short-lived obsessions into something productive.
Where do you live and where did you grow up? Did that affect your style at all? I've lived in New York for the past four years, Singapore before that for 16 years, and when I was a toddler my family moved around Southeast Asia. New York has taught me to love well-made clothes that are sleek and smart, but I do have a natural appreciation for the no-frills, unpretentious, and pragmatic styles that are characteristically Singaporean.
Where do you work and what do you do? I'm the Creative Director of Her Velvet Vase, a womenswear line my sister Clare and I started back in 2007. We were both feeling frustrated by the sameness that was coming out of big brands and we wanted to create something closer to our own personal styles, independently designed, and well manufactured. Think charming, modern basics and transitional statement pieces that are femininely tailored and well made—most under $100. Oh and I'm also currently pursuing a Fashion Design BFA at Parsons the New School of Design.
Do you have any getting-dressed secrets that are helpful during busy mornings? I confess to being an extremely lazy dresser so my wardrobe is filled with essential basics that I style interchangeably with one another. I firmly believe that the better the quality of the pieces, the less work you have to do to looked pulled together...even if you did just crawl out of bed.
Where is your favorite place to shop? I admittedly don't shop a lot because I have all I could possibly need at Her Velvet Vase, but I do love shopping in Bangkok. The independent designer label stores there have such unique pieces and beautiful interiors.
Where do you get style inspiration? I am always moodboarding based on inspiration I find in my own social media feed. On Instagram I love @yoyokulala and @meowiie and am often inspired to come with new ideas from their posts. I also look to the realms of interior design, music, and architecture to inform my fashion choices.
What is your favorite piece from your spring collection and how would you wear it? I would have to be the Sage Palazzo Pants—they're delightfully roomy and comfortable, but the cropped cut, silky fabric, and metallic accents keep them glamorous. I'd wear them with anything, really: a cropped, oversized sweater, a smart blouse, a turtleneck top, or even a crew neck tee with a leather jacket.
You travel a lot, do you have any go-to packing hacks? I'm a rather agressive holiday planner and tend to plot out my itineraries to a T, and that includes my outfits. I make sure they're super wearable and last the span of each activity. I also love rolling (not folding!) my clothes to save space.
We all know beauty goes hand-in-hand with fashion...what is your no-fail 5-minute beauty routine when you're rushing to get out of the house? I generally live under a rock when it comes to skincare and beauty, but I swear by Lancôme's Visionnaire line of products. I also can't live without the tinted sunblock from my dermatologist back in Singapore, Derma-Rx. It has light coverage, moisturizes, and always adds a soft dewy radiance to my complexion. Finally, I would finish with just a smidgen of Benefit Cosmetics Cha Cha Tint on my lips and the apples of my cheeks to get a natural-looking flush.