When Two Worlds Collide:
Nina & Chloe Ng On Style
By Hong Xinyi
When she was a little girl, Nina Ng’s favourite dresses were modelled after the flared frock worn by Minnie Mouse. “My mum travelled a lot, and she loved going to Japan,” she remembers. “She would come back with very pretty dresses for me, including these two Minnie Mouse dresses. One was red and black, one was pink and white. I was very sad when I outgrew those dresses.”
Today, Nina is a mother of three herself, and her tastes have matured. On the day we meet for this interview, she’s wearing a black form-fitting Gucci dress that sports the Italian label’s signature feline-head buttons. (It’s probably safe to say Minnie Mouse wouldn’t be caught dead in this outfit, just for the sake of staying as far away from cats as possible.) Nina’s taste in Disney characters these days leans towards the more glamorous divas—she likes Maleficent, the scary fairy most recently played by Angelina Jolie as a misunderstood creature with a secret heart of gold.
When it comes to her own wardrobe, Nina favours the likes of Dior, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton and, of course, Gucci. “I love creative director Alessandro Michele’s work because I love colours, girlish stuff, things that are classic and structured,” she shares. “Walking into a Gucci store is like entering a toy or candy store, I feel like Alice in Wonderland.”
“[My mum] would come back with very pretty
dresses for me, including these two
Minnie Mouse dresses."
- Nina, on how her love affair with fashion began
She used to dress her eldest daughter Chloe in very girlish styles from Kids21, and that was just fine with Chloe. “I grew up around my mother’s very glamorous lifestyle. I always saw her in fancy dresses, with beautiful sky‑high heels and bags,” she says. “I developed a really ‘princess’ concept of life, and I liked wearing fancy dresses out to dinner, I even had a crown. Everyone said I was very influenced by her.”
However, in recent years, Chloe’s tastes have taken a dramatic turn towards a more hard-edged street style. Two years ago, she moved to London to start her law studies, and her exposure to the street culture there led her to brands such as Supreme, Vetements and Palace. Thanks to this newfound penchant for urban chic (and London’s chilly weather), she’s now far more likely to be found in Yeezy sneakers than high heels, swathed in a man‑sized sweatshirt rather than a girly dress, and has swopped her princess crowns for b-boy caps. She’s also fond of more subversive labels such as Thom Browne and Rick Owens. “I was so obsessed with Rick Owens when I first came to London. His clothes have a lot of distinct, subtle detailing.
“Shopping in London is really different for me,” Chloe says. “In Singapore, Mummy knows everyone, and she is the one introducing me to everyone. In London, it’s the other way around.” She frequents multi-label haven Browns, and is a regular at Dover Street Market. “I love to make friends with the people running these stores, they keep me updated with all the new styles.” Perhaps the current differences in this mother-daughter pair’s style preferences can be best summed up by their favourite bags—Nina loves the classic Hermès Birkin, while Chloe prefers the edgy vibe of the Louis Vuitton Petite Malle.
“At the end of the day, your character is what
you are remembered by.”
- Nina, on how she keeps her daughter grounded
That’s not to say that the close-knit duo don’t bond over fashion though. Chloe has shared her love for street style with Nina, regaling her with titbits such as the rarity of certain key pieces, and exciting collaborations like the one between Louis Vuitton and New York skate brand Supreme. Thanks to her influence, some Off-White T-shirts and the like have slowly crept into Nina’s wardrobe. “I’ve learned to incorporate edgy and trendy looks for daily wear instead of just girlish and structured looks,” she says. “I used to only wear stilettos, but recently I’ve started wearing more stacked flat shoes which are definitely more comfortable while still giving me a boost in height.”
Since Chloe likes to mix streetwear with ready-to-wear, her new connections in London’s boutiques also come in handy when Nina visits. “When I go to London, we will visit the VIP apartment in Louis Vuitton’s New Bond Street maison, and the chef will cook for us,” says Nina. “The private rooms in London are amazing,” Chloe adds.
They also share a love for the thrill of the chase. Pulling a Gucci jacket embroidered with a dragonfly from her closet, Nina says: “We searched the whole world for this, it took us half a year before we found it. I think we looked for it in Barcelona, London and Japan.” Chloe explains, “She decided she wanted it very late, and it was one of the key pieces for that season.”
“I grew up around my mother’s very
I always saw her in fancy dresses, with
beautiful sky‑high heels and bags.”
- Chloe, on her mother's style
Street-style pieces are produced in very limited quantities, so Chloe has honed her shopping skills well. She keeps herself updated on the latest releases; for labels that do fashion shows, she picks out her preferred pieces by watching the runway shows and letting the relevant stores know her order way in advance. When she snags a keenly coveted piece, “I’m very happy. But the happiness is very short-lived,” says the soft-spoken 20-year-old. “Then it’s on to the next one.”
Chloe is interested in exploring corporate and family law, so a career spent in suits is probably in her future. Nevertheless, there are designers that make really cool suits, she points out. As she examines herself dressed in a Dior gown during this photo shoot, she also muses about perhaps starting to wear more dresses again. “Mummy taught me that trends only last for a certain period of time but classics last forever.” A classic may mean an Hermès Birkin for Nina and a Supreme Box Logo tee for Chloe, but hey, fashion’s much more fun when worlds collide. And ultimately, style is never more important than substance. “I always let her know not to get carried away with fashion,” says Nina. “At the end of the day, your character is what you are remembered by.”
Photography: Darren Gabriel Leow
Fashion Direction: Desmond Lim
Hair and Make-Up: Sha Shamsi/Indigo Artisans and Cheryl Ow/Indigo Artisans