If Fumi Lee’s walk-in wardrobe had a name, it’d be known as Wonderland. And in this fantastical realm reign the brightest stars of fashion, like Chanel, Bvlgari and Cartier.
An image consultant by profession, Lee prefers to describe herself as a “fashion activist”. She says she developed an interest in fashion as a child; she wore clothes designed and tailored by her grandmother. Her knack for putting together hats, shoes and clothes was discovered and encouraged by her businessman-dad, who started seeking the opinion of his then eight-year-old daughter during shopping trips. Lee remembers standing in front of the store windows, lost in her own world, “thinking how I’d wear the outfit in the window display in my own style!”
She clearly has a soft spot for Chanel — in 2019, she splashed out on a dress from the French luxury house’s AW Haute Couture show. She’d amassed a collection of tweed jackets but this tweed dress was like a “dream”: “I bought it the next day immediately after trying it on.” She’s worn it only once, to the 10th Grand Chapitre of the Confrerie du Sabre d’Or in March.
Like many Chanel devotees, Lee can’t resist one of its signature LBDs. “I’ve always wanted one,” she adds. So it was “love at first sight” when she saw during the 2017 Haute Couture presentation a silk taffeta number — its clean-cut silhouette punched up with bejewelled straps and tassels and pearls — which she snapped up. You might have spotted her in this at the Chanel high jewellery presentation in Singapore last February; she wears it with colourful Pharrell x Chanel Graffiti sneakers for a quirky twist for our photoshoot.
If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, Lee can boast some fine company. Her Bvlgari Sparkling Hearts necklace (left, bottom) — a surprise birthday gift from her husband — bears diamonds of 27.43cts and is part of the coveted Giardini Italiani High Jewellery collection.
Clearly, Lee’s appreciation goes beyond the bling quotient, as she offers excitedly, “There are three ways to wear this… with the fringe removed, or the core detached and worn on its own as a brooch!” But the best seems to be with matching fringed earrings and a low-necked gown, which she’d shown at Bvlgari’s High Jewellery Party in Rome in July 2018.
This feature first appeared in the September 2020 issue of A Magazine.