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Akshita Nanda
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Showbiz

True to her style

The Straits Times | Akshita Nanda | Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Called the Anna Wintour of Singapore, Female magazine's creative editor Jeanette Ejlersen has been praised for being warm and real in the fashion industry.

Sleek racks of mostly black designer wear line her all-white bedroom at home, but fashion stylist Jeanette Ejlersen's everyday "uniform" consists of a bargain-brand white T-shirt, loose denim jeans and flip-flops.

When asked about the contrast between her wardrobe, which displays prized possessions such as a Helmut Lang suit and a fluffy feather boa from Escada, and her daily wear, the creative editor of fashion magazine Female, who turns 48 in October, laughs.

She says: "If you go on the Internet now, you'll see two lots of people: fashionable people who are being photographed a lot and fashion editors who always wear the same thing. You know why? Because their energy is spent creating things."

Female magazine, part of the SPH Magazines stable, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Ejlersen took over the reins with the January 2010 issue, after more than 10 years as fashion and beauty director of Her World.

Female boasts a six-figure readership of 102,000 based on last year's and the most recent Nielsen Media Index. It also won a gold for being the top women's fashion magazine in industry publication Marketing Magazine's annual awards.

Readers such as Ms Grace Ban, managing director of Estee Lauder Cosmetics, attribute it to the Ejlersen effect. "This is really her calling," says Ms Ban, who is in her 50s. "Female is edgy and that's kind of Jeanette. She's opinionated, alternative, she has a strong point of view on designers and her own style. She's passionate, she cares about the little details."

On set, Ejlersen is low-key but everywhere, slipping in and out of flip-flops so as not to dirty the set-up and even getting on her hands and knees to adjust things if need be. Every detail is attended to.

As the model has her eyelashes artfully curled and two men glue hair extensions onto papier-mache horns, Ejlersen looks at the props and comments that the fruit bowl needs apples that are a darker red. "Washington apples," she tells her assistant.

The stylist is considered "part of the fabric of fashion journalism", Ms Ban says.

Ejlersen has been in the business since the age of 18, cutting her teeth on the now-retired Go Magazine. She spotted modelling potential in a young Zoe Tay in the 1980s and styled rising stars Fann Wong and the late Bonnie Hicks.

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