Cover Dawn wears printed poplin blouse and skirt, reversible leather belt, leather belt and Cloudbust Thunder sneakers, all by Prada. Ginny wears wool zipped turtleneck and floral applique skirt, both by Prada; jacket and sandals, both her own

Having a mother who believed in power dressing like Ginny Ng meant that Chalk Farm co-founder Dawn Koh was exposed to fashion from a very young age

“She’s my other half,” gushed Ginny Ng as she sat in the make-up chair. The semi-retired matriarch, who had carved out a glittery four decade‑long career managing luxury brands, was referring to her daughter, Dawn Koh, sitting next to us in an all‑black get-up. While Dawn’s loose‑fitting sweater suggested a laissez‑faire approach to fashion, her Prada Cloudbust Thunder kicks betrayed a serious sneakerhead.

As Ginny talked us through her collection of coats, knits and shift dresses in a mostly black, blue and grey palette peppered with pastels, we noticed effortlessness and practicality across clean lines, embellished curiosities and cleverly constructed pleats. It could only be Prada.
Dawn and Ginny aren’t usually in the business of sharing their wardrobe. They are in an industry that fuels flavour by way of Chalk Farm, a cake business founded in 2010 by Dawn and her brother, Bryan.

While Mum helms the finances, her children tempt taste buds with cakes such as kueh salat, a butterfly pea flower‑infused indulgence that’s a love letter to their Peranakan roots. Raised in Penang, Ginny’s household was modest albeit modern, filled with a love for music and books.

It is an affinity that has been passed down to her daughter as she makes her mark in the world. Recalling a childhood that moved to the beats from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, Dawn credited Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury as inspirations, while cinematic aesthetics from Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino contributed to her style psyche.

Besides a love for Prada, Ginny has also instilled the importance of a positive attitude in her daughter. “I want my children to feel blessed, and even when times are tough, to pick themselves up. You can give them material things but what’s most important are values,” she shared.
“You told me not to be afraid of being different and to always be yourself,” Dawn added. “You taught me to persevere but to also not be too hard on myself.” Exposed to fashion from a young age, she recalled the times she’d admire her mother’s purposeful power dressing in Prada. “I used to be in awe that she got to travel to these cold countries for work. She’d wear vintage shearling coats, dark brown suede jackets—I was obsessed with them. I used to think, ‘One day, I aspire to be like her.’”

A decade or so later, her mother’s advice still holds water for the London College of Fashion and Le Cordon Bleu graduate. “My mum always tells me not to dress for others,” she shared. “And since I already know my own style, I just have to make fun tweaks.” While Mum used to wear a gold Prada dress on its own, Dawn would add a shirt underneath and pair it with sneakers. Unsurprisingly, Dawn has also inherited an appreciation for the Italian house’s DNA of simplicity in silhouettes and a nonconformist nature.

“Miuccia Prada is an artist,” said Ginny, of the creative force. “Her designs exude an eccentric vibe, yet they possess an enduring quality. She is bold, daring and bucks the trend. I look forward to every season.” 

We speak to two other fashion collectors, as they share more about what's in their closets. Find our more in our September issue cover story. 

June Rin | Caroline Low-Heah

  • PhotographyDarren Gabriel Leow
  • Fashion DirectionDesmond Lim
  • HairGrego/Indigo Artisans, using Keene Haircosmetics Singapore
  • Make-UpCheryl Ow/Indigo Artisans, using HERA
  • Photographer's AssistantEric Tan
  • Stylist's AssistantJoey Tan
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