Talk "Pink" For Breast Cancer With Noor Quek | Clozette
We're only a few days shy of October, which makes most of us feel excited for a month-long celebration of Halloween. But it's not the only thing we should look forward to next month. With pink flags and ribbons also taking the spotlight as an annual tradition, October is also considered worldwide as the official breast cancer awareness month. And because we at Clozette stand among those who uphold and support the "pink" advocacy, we're bringing in a series of INSIDER stories to raise awareness among our very own community. 


To kick things off, we sat down with Noor Quek, President of the Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF), to talk about women empowerment, misconceptions about breast cancer, and the upcoming annual Pink Ribbon Walk.

Keep scrolling to find our more about our "Pink Talk" with Noor!
Why did you choose to focus on breast cancer among other illnesses?

Back in 1972, my mother discovered she had breast cancer through a self-initiated mammogram. Her diagnosis came as a shock to our family. My mother is a healthy award-winning surgical nurse with no history of breast cancer in the family. She even breast fed all four of her children – how could this happen?

At that time my friends and I were in our 40s, and we realised that even though we were in the “vulnerable” age for breast cancer, we were very limited in our knowledge and understanding of the disease. It was during this time that I started to research more seriously about breast cancer and discovered, with the help of some doctor friends, that early detection of breast cancer could save lives.

My friends and I realised that there seemed to be a lack of advocacy and awareness around breast cancer and the push for early detection, despite the rising concerns due to our ageing population. I also felt that breast cancer is not just a medical issue, but also a societal one. This is because in Singapore, with a mainly dual-income population, women form a large percentage of the working community. Studies have shown that in many cases, the earlier breast cancer is discovered, the faster the recovery journey, and the longer the life expectancy. Women can then resume their daily lives and family life suffers minimal disruption. These were main driving factors that encouraged my friends and I to establish BCF in 1997.


What role does BCF play in supporting and reaching out to breast cancer survivors?

BCF is in the first instance an awareness builder reaching out to the entire community, including men, so they can encourage their female colleagues and loved ones to go for regular screenings.

We support our survivors, caregivers and their families through a wide range of counselling, education, empowerment and ‘Healing Through The Arts’ activities. These activities provide those diagnosed with, or survivors of breast cancer a network through which they can receive emotional support and practical help throughout their journey.

BCF also conducts targeted talks and events with healthcare and corporate partners to increase awareness and advocate early detection among the wider community. We believe that educating the general public about breast cancer also provides support to those affected and will help them overcome their fears.


Has there been a shift in perception about breast cancer since BCF was established?

[Yes.] We have noticed that people are becoming more comfortable sharing and talk about breast cancer. This has resulted to many successful collaborations [among organisations] which provided very tangible ways of tackling [the disease]. For one, the collaboration between us and major healthcare providers such as the Health Promotion Board, religious organisations, and the corporate community enabled us to widen our outreach.

Today, there are more screening centres offering mammograms and other breast cancer-related screening mechanisms at very affordable rates.


Speaking of collaborations, can you share with us why you chose to collaborate with other organisations related to fashion such as Club 21, Takashimaya, and Jean Yip? 

The modern woman is fashionable yet increasingly health conscious. She is always striving to achieve a balance between looking good and feeling good. Partnering with these esteemed organisations enables BCF to reach out to women in a non-fearful, non-threatening environment. We hope that through these partnerships, more women will be aware of breast cancer and be empowered to go for regular screenings.


One of the projects that BCF is known for is the annual Pink Ribbon Walk. How is this year's event different from what was held in the previous years and what other things are in store for the participants?

Previously, we found out that the carnival component and stage performances were key attractions. This year’s Pink Ribbon Walk will again feature a carnival in addition to the walk, and for the first time, a concert. Over the years, we have seen more families, including men and young people, participating in the walk to show their support the cause for their female loved ones and colleagues. 

It is our hope that the spread of awareness will be wider as a result of the expanded participant base, and that more organisations will come forward to co-sponsor awareness events with BCF.


Last but not the least, what message would you like to relate not just to the readers but also to everyone who has yet to know more about breast cancer?

[I, as well as every member of BCF, hope that] every woman will hear and heed our call for regular screening. [We also hope that every woman] will step up to empower herself and others towards the overall eradication of breast cancer as a life-threatening disease through early detection. [This is] a hopeful message as showcased by our many wonderful, happy and healthy survivors.

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Learn more about the Breast Cancer Foundation and the Pink Ribbon Walk 2016 here.
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Fashion Week is never just about the shows; it’s about the memories you make as well. Which is why when you get invited to a fashion event as grand and glamorous as KL Fashion Week, do you just head over to the shows you want to watch and call it a day? No, you explore the city, you meet new people, and of course, you make new friends.


As the winners of our #ClozettexAirAsia Stylish Asia Photo Contest, Dianna Yong and Weeting Chua were in for a weekend they would never forget. Because aside from winning passes to watch the AirAsia show, they also got to bring their BFFs along, stayed at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Hotel for free, bonded with the Clozette team, and explored the great city of Kuala Lumpur!

With that in mind, we chatted with Dianna and Weeting and got them talking about their favourite fashion designers from all the shows they watched, scoop on how they chose their outfits for each day, and the mini adventures they had in the city. So keep reading below for their exclusive interview!

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So tell us a little bit about yourself!



Dianna: I moved back to Kuala Lumpur almost a year ago hoping to start a new chapter. I currently work for an app as an Image Analyst, blog on the side, and am starting my own contemporary womenswear line, Sayang Clothing. When work is also play, it’s great knowing that you can turn your passion into a career.

Weeting: I love dressing up, it makes me feel good and confident about myself. Traveling is another thing I really enjoy. I have taken about 5 trips this year and still looking forward to my next one!

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When you found out your were going to KLFW with your BFF, what immediately went through your mind?



Dianna: I was over the moon. I participated in the contest not really having any expectations, so it came as a complete shock. I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity.

Weeting: Elated! I remember me going "Oh my God, oh my God, is it really me?". I couldn't believe how lucky I was, [and am] really grateful for this opportunity. Of course, I then started planning my outfits.


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For the AirAsia show, which designer’s collection instantly caught your attention?


Dianna: I thought Ryan Alexander did an amazing job representing Malaysia with his all-white pieces. The sharp construction and shapes were executed perfectly – strong, powerful pieces!

Weeting: I like Stefanie Amanda's collection [because it's] edgy, clean, and [with beautiful] lace details.


Stefanie Amanda's collection (left); Ryan Alexander's collection (right)


Were there any specific looks from the AirAsia segment that you would love to wear in real life?


Dianna: Stefanie Amanda from Singapore resonated with my own personal style the most. I loved that the pieces had dainty sheer elements, yet paired with more structured ruching at the same time. It gives a subtle twist on the classic feminine silhouette.

Weeting: I totally see myself wearing Thai winner, Anuruq Jaidee's collection. They were very practical and I am digging the hem details and cut.


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Let’s talk about your outfits during the shows because they were gorgeous! How did you choose them?



Dianna: I try to be as authentic as possible whenever I put together an outfit for myself. And by authentic, I mean staying true to your stylistic choices, but never sacrificing comfort – which is why I never wear uncomfortable heels!

I wanted my outfits for Fashion Week to be minimal and focused more on the structure of the garments and dainty details. I knew the event would be held at Pavilion, so I kept the urban, city-chic vibe in mind.


Weeting: I decided to wear something long that covered my knees as I fell a few weeks ago and the scars were horrible. [With that] in mind, I started to browse Instagram for inspiration and looked through my wardrobe. I try to wear something flattering in both pictures and real life as I expected lots of photo taking.


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Besides attending the fashion show, were there other interesting and unique things you did in KL?


Dianna: The most exciting discovery was the personal interactions and connections I made during the week. It was inspiring being surrounded by people in the industry and to meet those who made the week possible. My highlight was meeting Andrew (from Andrews Models), who was incredibly gracious and appreciated that he took five minutes to meet and have a chat with me.

And of course, having met everyone from the Clozette team. Scott did an amazing job accommodating Sofia and I (and our tardiness). Being sat next to Kersie over dinner and picking her brain on how Clozette came about was incredibly motivating. It is always a pleasure connecting with other women in the business.



Weeting: We spent our free day exploring KL and chanced upon this cafe, VCR. They have really good food (and lighting for pictures). We made friends with...Dianna and her BFF, Sofia. Dianna and I had quite a bit in common which is rather amusing (ex. how we tried to put our hands into that food picture). We met the people from Clozette team as well and they were great hosts! It was nice meeting people with common interests.


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We heard your rooms got upgraded at the Ritz-Carlton! How did you find your stay there?


Dianna: It was amazing! Sofia and I truly felt pampered like queens. The level of hospitality was top notch and it made getting ready for all these events that much more fun (I mean, have you seen the bathrooms? Marble interior #goals.)

Weeting: Absolutely awesome, [and I] especially love the bathroom. I spent so much time in bed, it was too comfortable. We even requested for a late check-out! The service was impeccable, we had our personal butler, free pressing services, and more. We were taking pictures at the pool and one staff offered to take pictures for us.



How would you best describe that weekend?


Dianna: Whirlwind – in the best way possible.

Weeting: It was definitely an insightful experience, being exposed to the fashion industry was quite an eye opener. Apart from it being my first Fashion Week, it was a mini vacation and a great bonding session for my friend and I. Thank you Clozette Team and Air Asia for this wonderful giveaway.

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To read more of our coverage of #KLFWRTW2016, click here!

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The signature London fashion style is vintage-yet-visionary and modernist-yet-poetic, much like its architecture, literature, and culture. This is why it has always been one of the places that we always keep our eyes on when it comes to fashion. Its rich and vibrant culture undeniably captures our aesthetic, serving as the home for various style inspirations, whether it be in the runways or our favourite street style looks. 

And Radley's range of expertly crafted and artisanally inspired bags are the perfect parallel to the playful, chic, and adventurous London style. Taking inspiration from various towns and elements that is uniquely Londoner, we can't help but fall in love with their bag styles that showcase a range of unconventional new shapes and surprising colour combinations.

So if you're still looking for the perfect complement to your fall wardrobe and would want to sport a too-cool-to-care London girl vibe, here are our top picks from Radley's A/W 2016 Collection to get you started!

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Hardwick



From its structures, natural sights, and artistic history, London is truly an inspiration when it comes to both small and big scale creativity. And patterned from the city's modernist architecture, Hardwick's bold and rectangular shapes create a striking silhouette that's both bold and chic. Give your structured outfit an extra edge with this sleek must-have.
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Paternoster



Any bag list wouldn't be complete without this wardrobe essential. This range of simple saddle bags crafted from Radley's finest leather, features a unique, handcrafted whipstitch trim that gives the piece a delicate, yet classy design.


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Abbey



Celebrating the unique and diverse style of the city, Abbey's distinct shape and three-way colour palette will make you stand out from the crowd. Whether you wear it as a cross body or stylish grab bag, the Abbey is the perfect bag to take you from day to night.


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Wimbledon



From your makeup pouch to your tablet, here's a bag to suit your go-getter 'tude! Named after the laidback, leafy London suburb, these winged bags are an ideal addition to both your work and weekend style.


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Newton



Definitely a spark of genius, Newton's boxy and vintage-inspired look adds more flair to your outfit. With a striking colour-block design and bow detail, any monochrome outfit will have its much needed pop of scene-stealing element with this chic piece.

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Check out Radley's Autumn/Winter 2016 Collection in Shangri-La Plaza Mandaluyong in the Philippines. 
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