Getting ready for Star Awards 2016: Paige Chua’s perspective

From dressing up to working out, we follow Paige Chua as she prepares for Star Awards 2016

Getting ready for Star Awards 2016: Paige Chua’s perspective
Getting ready for Star Awards 2016: Paige Chua’s perspective
15 Apr 2016

Getting ready for Star Awards 2016: Paige Chua’s perspective

“I love uniforms,” said Paige Chua, who looked like she would rather be off doing yoga than choosing an outfit for this year’s Star Awards.

“I’m not much of a dresser. I’m very lazy. I want to ... not think about it,” she said with a chuckle. “When I was schooling, the reason I chose a junior college over a polytechnic was so I wouldn’t have to think about what to wear. If I had a choice, I would wear the same thing every day.”

Her “uniform” would be: A cap, T-shirt, jeans, slip-ons, glasses and no make-up.

“She looks like she’s ready to go hiking,” quipped her stylist, Keith Png, who, for that very reason, enjoys playing fashion fairy godfather to Chua.

“I like being a blank canvas.” And on her part, Chua said: “It’s up to my styling artist to fill in the blanks so that I’ll turn into a beautiful picture at the end of the day. That’s why I love my job - because I know who I am, but I know what I can become.”

Pictured above: Paige Chua in Roberto Cavalli at Star Awards 2015

Dressing up
Dressing up
15 Apr 2016

Dressing up

After picking up several best-dressed accolades last year, including the iWeekly Best Dressed Award and even the Cambodian PPCTV Awards’ Most Stylish Award, one might think the pressure is on for Chua to top the stunning Roberto Cavalli dress she wore to the Star Awards 2015.

But in her characteristically zen fashion, she said: “I never really try to make a statement or be the prom queen of the night, or anything like that. It’s always about finding whatever fits me for that year, and somehow, it’s always about destiny or providence.”

Playing assistant to the hand of providence is Png, who started sounding out brands and designers as far back as December last year. “You have to be a bit kiasu because there are so many actresses. And there is a lot of competition (among stylists) - friendly catfights over pieces!”

Added Chua: “We have to fight with international events as well - during this time of year, there are a lot of events going on around the world.”

Dressing up
Dressing up
15 Apr 2016

Dressing up

And there are only so many designer outfits to go around. But it’s not about how much the gown costs, it’s whether one can make the gown look expensive, said Png, recalling the year that Chua wore a Love Bonito dress.

“I like that about her. She’s not pretentious,” he said. “Brands love working with Paige. For example, this is the third year MaxMara is supporting her. We all know that it’s a very practical, realistic world out there. Usually brands would want to know, ‘Are you the Best Actress? Are you going to get a nomination? If you are, I will support you’. But with Paige - it’s no questions asked.”

Dressing up
Dressing up
15 Apr 2016

Dressing up

However, Png revealed that he felt a little restricted working with Chua at first, because she had guidelines. For example, she doesn’t want to show too much skin and doesn’t like to wear anything too short. “She has very practical reasons, like, ‘I’m going to be on stage and if it’s too short, I’ll be uncomfortable’,” he said. “She’s honest about what she wants and what she doesn’t want. At the same time, she’s not that rigid - she can be a little experimental. It’s fun to work with her because it’s challenging to always try to push her to do something different. Last year, when she wore that Cavalli dress I was like, ‘Finally I got her to reveal a little bit of skin’. I wanted people to see that she can be very sexy. This year, our direction is not to reveal anything. I want to focus on how sophisticated she is.”

To that end, she’ll be wearing a white dress that will leave everything to the imagination. Hopefully, it will be a “more garang” look, said Chua. “People rarely see that side of me.”

Working out
Working out
15 Apr 2016

Working out

While she stops short of considering herself “manly”, Chua said she does enjoy the “yang” energy that sports such as tennis give her. Part of her exercise regime in the lead up to the Star Awards includes weekly tennis lessons, in addition to yoga (which she calls her “religion”).

“When I picked up tennis a year and a half ago, I found it brought me another form of energy. You feel more energised; you feel more empowered,” she said. “It brings different dimensions to the way I live, the way I interact with people. It’s a more masculine energy, I feel.”

Her other activities include archery, horseback riding, and dance. “I was born to be active. I pick up sports really fast,” she said.

She added: “Exercise is a daily, long term thing for me, but if Star Awards are coming, I’ll make sure that I reduce my intake of junk food. I have to make sure that I fit into the dress I got fitted for!”

Working out
Working out
15 Apr 2016

Working out

She is also getting glammed up for the big event by touching up her nails with a glossy red manicure. Red nails are a must because they are needed for her role in the drama The Gentlemen, which she’s currently working on. “I’m not sure about my schedule right after Star Awards so if I have no time to change them, it’s going to be just classic red, which goes well with the white dress that I’m going to wear,” she said.

All the effort is worth it, she said, for her fans and supporters. “Personally, I feel like I would enjoy receiving a performance award more than a Top 10 award, but I would like to get the Top 10 because my fans have worked so hard for it. If I don’t get it, they’ll be very disappointed,” she said, adding that she is anticipating a tough fight this year with contenders such as Jesseca Liu and Sheila Sim.

Working out
Working out
15 Apr 2016

Working out

Chua said she was also happy to be nominated for Best Supporting Actress again. “It’s a very different role from last year’s; and I enjoyed the process very much. For people to notice my improvement or my work — it’s great motivation for me to carry on and have the courage to try different roles,” she said.

As for last year’s Most Stylish Award, she said: “(That) was a bonus dropped from the sky. I’m totally grateful, but I’m not trying to compete with myself to get the award this year. So, I’ll just listen to my stylist and see how it goes.”

Catch Star Awards 2016 Part 1 Walk of Fame on April 17 (Sun), 5.30pm, LIVE on Ch8/ChU or Toggle.
Catch Star Awards 2016 Part 1 Awards Ceremony on April 17 (Sun), 7pm, LIVE on Ch8/ChU or Toggle.
Catch Star Awards 2016 Part 2 Awards Ceremony on April 24 (Sun), 7pm, LIVE on Ch8/ChU or Toggle.
Catch Star Awards 2016 Part 2 Post Show Party on April 24 (Sun), 10.30pm, LIVE on Ch8 or Toggle
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This story first appeared on TODAY
Story by May Seah

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Getting ready for Star Awards 2016: Elvin Ng’s perspective
Style Evolution: Christopher Lee
Style Evolution: Zoe Tay
More Star Awards stories here

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