The city’s sweetest bachelorette springs the news of her impending big day in BAZAAR, but plays coy about the dress.
Gabrielle Tan teases with vintage flair and wedding details
Wedding bells are ringing for Gabrielle Tan, the 33-year-old director of marketing for Mid Valley City Gardens, who really doesn’t look a day over 25. “I want something simple yet magical,” says Gabby, as she’s more affectionately known, of her wedding that’s due to take place later this year. “That’s what weddings are to me – magical.” With her bubbly personality and a ready smile (“It’s harder for me not to smile,” she tells me at this photoshoot), Gabby’s laughter is infectious, making for a fun, laidback shoot. “I would like for my wedding to be somewhat vintageinspired because both Mike (her fiancé) and I appreciate antiques and rustic elements,” as evident in their home décor with vintage signage on an exposed brick wall.
Her love for all things vintage is also apparent in her sartorial choices, with ’50s-style dresses being a recurring favourite in her wardrobe. “I was already into full skirts when I was in London studying for my second degree,” Gabby recalls. “That was when I was able to truly experiment with different looks and find one that I was comfortable with. I still have great passion for vintage clothing.” Her walk-in wardrobe brimming with vintage tea dresses in a multitude of colours and prints is testament to that. “I can be rather eccentric and quirky with my clothes and I don’t shy away from prints, except maybe animal print.”
When asked about her style influences, Gabby admits that her mother played a key role in forming her own unique style. “My mother, Doris Day, and Charlize Theron are three of my perennial style icons, women
who I think have a classic elegance and grace about them that seem everlasting,” she says. “While my personality and mood influence my personal style – there are days I’m in a dress with heavy floral print and others where I’m in an all-black ensemble – I always know what I’m comfortable and confident in, and I think that’s the most important thing to pulling off a look.”
A self-confessed shoe lover, Gabby’s shoe closet is full of towering heels from Christian Louboutin to Louis Vuitton. “I never used to be a shoe girl until I laid my eyes on Louboutins,” she laughs. “Since then, I’ve made it my mission to get a pair every year. Right now, my favourite is the first pair I bought in New York, in black and white python leather that was too beautiful to pass up, even though I’m not usually into snakeskin,” reveals Gabby, who has also decided that her ‘something blue’ at the wedding will be her shoes – trust Gabby to be a bride with a twist.
“Etsy and Pinterest have been amazing for getting ideas and buying things that may not be available locally,” she shares. “Pinterest would be my first tip to brides-to-be, with the second being a wedding planner. A bride should not be the one who’s getting stressed out.” The highlight of wedding preparations so far? “Being engaged and the idea of being married to my soulmate, as cheesy as that may sound,” smiles Gabby. “That and finding the dress, of course.”
When asked if it took her a long time to find her wedding gown, she tells me that it was actually a pretty easy process as she knew what she wanted. “I looked at lots of bridal designer websites like Oscar de la Renta and Monique Lhuillier and was actually prepared to go wedding gown shopping in Singapore and LA,” says Gabby.
“Then I found Designer Bridal Room in KL that carries Spanish brands such as Manuel Mota and Pronovias, and will even bring in gowns from Elie by Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad,” she enthuses. “I tried on four dresses there and narrowed it down to the first two. When I tried on the second dress again, I knew that it was the dress I wanted to be married in. The cut and how it fit me … there’s a touch of old Hollywood glamour to it,” she says. I prod for more details but all that Gabby will tell me is that it makes her feel like a princess. “It’s the perfect dress,” she says coyly. One with a touch of magic, we’re sure.
Vintage pin-up. Dress, Rock Steady
Floral sweetheart. Dress, Bernie Dexter. Accessories and shoes (worn throughout), Gabrielle’s own
Cosy corner. Top, Elsey. Skirt, Bettie Page
Happy-go-lucky. Playsuit, Atmosphere