SU-QUINN TEH

Find­ing beauty in to­day’s fast-paced world, SU-QUINN TEH tells us how

Prestige (Malaysia) - - Con­tents - WORDS RU­BIN KHOO | PHOTOGRAPHY KIM MUN @ HOPSCOTCH STU­DIO STYLING NIGEL LEE | HAIR AND MAKE-UP VERON WOON

On em­brac­ing moth­er­hood, de­sign­ing roses and car­ry­ing her style

ef­fort­lessly

It doesn’t come across as sur­pris­ing when Su-Quinn Teh de­scribed Blair Wal­dorf, the Queen B of the hit se­ries Gos­sipGirl as one of her early fashion in­flu­ences. But don’t mis­un­der­stand, Su-Quinn bears no sim­i­lar­i­ties to the schem­ing Wal­dorf but rather con­nects with the lat­ter’s sense of style which was of­ten rem­i­nis­cent of a Hol­ly­wood celebrity from the golden age of cinema.

EvEn as a child, Su-Quinn was of­ten dressed in frocks – a term that is lost in to­day’s world – paired with Fer­rag­amo head­bands. To­day, her clas­sic style re­mains as she points to Jas­mine the New York so­cialite played by Cate Blanchett in the film Blue Jas­mine as her fashion in­spi­ra­tion.

“Quaint and ro­man­tic,” she says, when asked about her fashion choices. “I am typ­i­cally de­scribed as be­ing clas­sic and well-co­or­di­nated.”

At times, per­haps, a lit­tle “stuck” in her com­fort zone as she re­mains con­sis­tent in her choice of out­fits. But that’s per­fectly fine, as SuQuinn is cer­tainly not one to fol­low trends. To her, fashion is a “cre­ative ex­pres­sion of per­son­al­ity and emo­tion.” It is this in­di­vid­u­al­is­tic as­pect that led to her be­ing spot­ted by pho­tog­ra­phers when she was just 16, re­sult­ing in some mod­el­ling work. She also ap­peared in the work of Aus­tralian di­rec­tor Bernie Zelvis.

“One should never try to dress up as some­one else be­cause you lose your sense of orig­i­nal­ity in the process,” she says. “I think it is very in­ter­est­ing how clothes were cre­ated for func­tional rea­sons but are now a form of ex­pres­sion.”

Now, she adds, clothes have mean­ing. What’s im­por­tant, she says, is to be con­fi­dent and com­fort­able in your clothes.

“The con­stant evo­lu­tion of the fashion world also demon­strates our abil­ity to change, to im­prove and push our­selves fur­ther over time. That is the beauty of life.”

It is a point of view that is per­haps a lit­tle un­usual for a grad­u­ate in ac­count­ing and fi­nance. Su-Quinn does ad­mit she took a some­what tra­di­tional path aca­dem­i­cally. Upon grad­u­at­ing, Su-Quinn worked as a stylist and buyer for David Jones, some­thing that was more aligned with her in­ter­ests. Later she ven­tured into in­te­rior de­sign and flo­ral ar­range­ments, to fur­ther de­velop her cre­ative spirit.

Her in­ter­est in in­te­ri­ors be­gan early when she used to wan­der into the décor sec­tion of Laura Ash­ley, then lo­cated in Suria KLCC. While liv­ing in Mel­bourne, Su-Quinn re­calls spend­ing hours along Church Street in South Yarra, go­ing through in­te­rior stores like Koko Lane, French & English, Mai­son Liv­ing & Provin­cial, while she re­dec­o­rated her fam­ily’s homes.

She had been tasked with re­fur­bish­ing a cou­ple of fam­ily prop­er­ties with her mum which ce­mented her in­ter­est in in­te­ri­ors.

“My mum and I dec­o­rated a few homes to­gether which even­tu­ally flour­ished into a hobby and now a part-time job,” she ex­plains.

Later, her hus­band, Lip Jin Teh, en­cour­aged her to pur­sue her pas­sion in floristry by en­rolling in flo­ral ar­range­ment cour­ses at Jane Packer in London. Soon after. SuQuinn joined forces with a friend and started the florist Ever Bloom. Now, the mother of twin boys, she does flo­ral ar­range­ments and in­te­ri­ors on a project ba­sis.

For Su-Quinn, it isn’t as sim­ple as a rose smelling as sweet by any other name. In­stead, she de­scribes each flower as hav­ing their own dis­tinct per­son­al­ity.

“Each flower is very spe­cial on its own,” she says. “The way it moves or the num­ber of petals it has. No flo­ral ar­range­ment can be 100 per­cent the same and there can be many sides to an ar­range­ment. I love how there is al­ways some­thing to stim­u­late my mind.”

Each florist, she says, has their dis­tinct iden­tity which re­sults in a spe­cific way in the flow­ers be­ing de­signed.

“It can be more green and gar­den like, more ro­man­tic, more flam­boy­ant or mod­ern or just a clean, clas­sic look filled with leaves. It is a pretty straight­for­ward jour­ney from there. Once you have iden­ti­fied this, as long as there is a right bal­ance of colours, tex­tures and sizes, the ar­range­ment will def­i­nitely work.”

“Peo­ple don’t re­alise how te­dious and time con­sum­ing it is to make a

“Each flower is very spe­cial on its own, he way it moves or the num­ber of petals it has. o flo­ral ar­range­ment can be 100 per­cent the same”

flo­ral ar­range­ment,” she adds. “For in­stance, how the length of each stalk and direc­tion it points to can trans­form the en­tire look of the ar­range­ment.”

There is also a spe­cific thought process where in­te­rior projects are con­cerned. It usu­ally starts with a theme, from there the rest will un­ravel.

“Once there is a sense of direc­tion I can vi­su­alise the en­tire length of the space,” she ex­plains, “where to put the main fur­ni­ture, the type of wall­pa­per for the fea­ture wall and whether I would go with chan­de­liers, lamps or wall lights.”

How­ever, as a young mother – her twins re­cently turned one – Su-Quinn is more fo­cused on spend­ing time with her boys, Chad and Casper Teh. This also means she spends quite a bit of time in her favourite room, the nurs­ery, for­merly her hus­band’s wine cel­lar, which she trans­formed after dis­cov­er­ing she was ex­pect­ing.

“I spent a lot of time in there when I was heav­ily preg­nant and now reading sto­ries to my kids and play­ing with them,” adding, “each day has be­come more mean­ing­ful with a sense of pur­pose. My sons are the last peo­ple I see be­fore I head out and the first peo­ple I look for­when I get home.”

FLO­RAL PRINT LONG DRESS, FROM MICHAEL KORS, TIFFANYKEYS GAR­DEN KEY PEN­DANT IN PLATINUM & 18K GOLD YEL­LOW DI­A­MOND WITH CHAIN, FROMTIFFANY & CO.

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