Vivi Masturah Lim and Fine Arts graduate Aaron Kao are the designers behind Vice & Vanity, a label that focused on necklaces, bracelets and brooches. Representing anything from existentialism, African culture, poetry to surrealism, the Singaporean duo believes in creating dimensional accessories that pushes the boundaries.
Vice & Vanity is their platform in expressing their individuality and quirky ideas. They work really well together, "We are not formerly trained as jewelry designers, so naturally we do not have any particular ‘style’ or ‘ego’ that we bring into the label when we started it. We learn everything together as we move along and it is important to keep an open mind. We started with zero knowledge, only trusting our instincts and carefully prodding the ground in front of us before we thread on it."
Each season, Vice & Vanity recreates and redefines jewellery design in their own eyes. The label often partners with local fashion brands such as Baylene and Nicholas Wong.
Vice and Vanity is a jewellery design studio in Joo Chiat. Do you have plans to expand your shop into a more central area?
We are actually in Chinatown for more than a year now. It’s not a shop but our studio where we make our jewelry. However some customers do make an appointment to purchase directly from us.
Former Club21 employee Vivi Masturah Lim and Fine Arts graduate Aaron Kao are the designers behind the collections that focus on necklaces, bracelets and brooches. Why did the both of you venture into jewellery design?
It happened by accident. We were just making stuff as a past time when a friend invited us to make a collection for his shop. It did really well and the rest is history.
It was noted that the design duo have quirky and surreal ideas. Define quirky and surreal in your own terms.
It has to give the viewer an unusual feeling. One that evokes no answers. Above all, it makes you smile.
Your collections represent anything from poetry to existentialism and beauty. How do you translate poetry into jewellery? Any elements that the process/design to translate such art must adhere?
Poetry cannot be translated into an object if there is no 3 way ‘communication’ between the creator, object and in this case the wearer. Thus we cannot declare that the jewelry that we designed has any notion of poetry. There’s a certain degree of energy and soul injected into the jewelry we create which we deem a ‘recorded feeling’.
It’s not of paramount importance to dissect this notion. At the end of the day we just want people to have fun wearing our jewelry. It’s a way of ‘seeing’ which is different in everybody.
Vice and Vanity’s end product seem to have a unique concept of dimension and layering. Why do you think these two factors are important in jewelleries?
It’s not necessarily important in all jewelry. However for us, we’re working with a very flat 2 dimensional material, that’s why it’s important to pay attention to these two factors.
Launched in 2006, what are the difficulties faced so far in this financial heat?
Property rental rises when times are good but stays put when it’s bad. Being small and debt-free helps keep your head above the water.
How would you describe the style difference between Aaron Kao and Vivi Masturah Lim? And how do you come to a mid-ground should at any one point your idea for a jewellery piece/collection clashes?
We are not formerly trained as jewelry designers, so naturally we do not have any particular ‘style’ or ‘ego’ that we bring into the label when we started it. We learn everything together as we move along and it is important to keep an open mind. We started with zero knowledge, only trusting our instincts and carefully prodding the ground in front of us before we thread on it.
What, to you, is being financially independent?
Being debt free.
Do you think you are financially savvy and smart? Why?
Nope we have along way to go.
What does the phrase “MyFatPocket” remind you of?
Spicy, juicy, middle eastern falafel from Portabello.