Courage and confidence have always been strong virtues pursued by women of strength and character. Be inspired by one such woman of bold style and intrepid substance – gallery owner and art connoisseur, Rasina Rubin, who encapsulates the empowered femininity of the Valentino Garavani Rockstud Alcove bags.
Citizen of the world, Rasina Rubin has her father to thank for nurturing in her a strong sense of self-sufficiency and steeliness. The Director of Galerie Belvedere, a leading Singapore art gallery and consultancy established in 1996, who is also a UK-trained lawyer, shares an early incident in life that shaped the courageous and determined person that she is.
“At 17, I was living in Paris as a student. I arrived in the city alone. I had no friends or family there and was searching for an apartment to rent, as I was set to pursue a diploma course at the University of Paris, Sorbonne. The apartment I found was unsuitable, so, in the middle of the night, I carried my suitcases onto the streets and walked for some time before hailing a cab. I told the driver to drive until I found a small hotel to spend the night. I called my parents, who, at the time, were on holiday in Sri Lanka and I was sobbing on the phone.
My father told me ‘Find your way or come home. It’s up to you to work this out’. Tough words, but that was the first seed of resilience sown in me.
“A few days later, I found an amazing apartment and – fun fact – my neighbour turned out to be a fashion journalist from Hong Kong. I had such a wonderful time in Paris and made many friends and cherished memories. I did not want to leave. Sometimes you have to push through your fears to find your true self.”
The stunning Rasina grew up in Belgium and the UK. Besides Paris, she also lived and worked in Hong Kong, before returning home to Singapore for good. As Director of Galerie Belvedere, Rasina’s work life is naturally consumed by art and beauty. What a rare and treasured experience it must be to always be surrounded by beauty and things of aesthetic value, and on the other hand, to also see beauty in everything.
Rasina, whose warm and vibrant spirit shines particularly brightly when she talks about Galerie Belvedere, tells that the quarter-of-a-century old company is a leading Singapore art gallery and consultancy representing renowned artists from Europe, some of whom include Lorenzo Quinn (Italy and Spain), James Butler RA (UK) and Laurence Bonnel (France). She adds, “The gallery specialises in providing bespoke artworks to corporate buyers. From conceptualisation to installation, the gallery works closely with the artist and sculptor to meet each client’s specific needs. It also proudly purveys a comprehensive suite of art and related services for both individuals and corporate customers.”
The art world, genteel and civilised as it may be, is also impassioned and competitive. And it would take nothing less than an emboldened person, with a sense of adventure and purpose, to hold her own and the reins, to thrive in it.
“My grandmother is my fearlessness icon. I admire her for being a risk taker, for reinventing herself in the ’70s. She was unstoppable and unafraid. She stood up for her beliefs and her family. She has inspired me with her strength and resilience,” Rasina enthuses passionately.
Rasina’s personal brand of boldness is defined by “having supreme confidence. It is about owning yourself, taking risks and loving it.
A bold woman has a sense of curiosity and is not afraid of the unknown; she must have direction and be devoted to her intentions. If boldness were a woman, she would be a leader, a thought provoker and she herself would set the benchmark and standard for these.
Boldness personified would certainly be unafraid to make many bold moves, like uprooting one’s life, for example, which was what the intrepid Rasina did several times in her life – from London, where she was comfortably ensconced, to Hong Kong because of a work opportunity, and on a few more occasions before and after. Every geographical move she made impacted her life both professionally and personally. Nevertheless, she embraced the challenges and emerged even stronger.
When asked what her next bold move would be, the avid runner, who loves nothing more than to spend her leisure time with family and their dog, Bowie, says mysteriously, albeit cheekily, “I have exciting plans in the pipeline, and all will be revealed very soon, so watch this space!”
Sisterhood & Friendship Goals
Courage attracts audacity. They are really two sides of the same coin. Rasina met her kindred spirit in lawyer-film producer Min-Li 12 years ago. “We met at a cocktail party and instantly clicked. We became really good friends after that. We both also have a huge passion for good food and exquisite champagne. We have always attended each other’s birthdays and Min Li has pretty much attended every single one of my 10 year-old-daughter’s birthday celebrations. My daughter adores her and it is wonderful to celebrate our friendship with this Valentino project.
“We are dynamic and bold women, but what bonds us is that we keep it real, honest and authentic. This is what truly cements our friendship. Min-Li and I make it a point to catch up for our girls’ nights-out frequently. Soon after we met, we started a gourmet tradition of checking out the latest restaurants and enjoying Peking duck with fabulous champagne.”
What Rasina finds inspiring about Min-Li is her can-do bravado. “She is a highly successful lawyer and also a dynamic entrepreneur. She has been involved in international film production in LA. She has also represented celebrity photographer Timothy White and now even has her own signature candle brand. She is not afraid to take risks and she is top of her game in everything she does.
“Min Li is a veritable style queen. She has an innate sense of style and is constantly reinventing herself. She is not afraid to push style boundaries. She embodies fashion-forward style and effortless glamour. But the most alluring aspect of Min Li is how down to earth she is. She has an enormous heart and is just an absolutely incredible human being.”
Rasina wears her own distinctive personal style unabashedly. She describes it as being “inspired by old Hollywood glamour, but with my own twist. I have always favoured fitted, feminine silhouettes, but I am now experimenting with new styles, like stylish activewear, which takes me from working from home, to lunch meetings, to picking up my daughter, and going out for drinks.”
How would she style the Valentino Garavani Rockstud Alcove bag with her wardrobe?
The bag is an iconic statement piece and would work well with the leopard prints in Valentino’s current collection. I love the leopard sweatshirt paired with tailored city shorts, accessorised with the captivating Valentino Garavani Rockstud Alcove bag. Mixing casual with classic creates an unexpected look that nails ‘understated chic’.
To shop the Fall 2021 Roman Palazzo and Valentino Garavani Rockstud Alcove bag collections, contact a Valentino fashion expert at ION Orchard (T: 6509 8062) or Marina Bay Sands (T: 6688 7186).
Or experience a new innovative digital shopping experience at My VXP (ION Orchard or Marina Bay Sands) where all pieces from the brand’s boutiques can be viewed with a touch of a button and delivered to your home at your convenience. Adding a personal touch to this virtual experience, a client advisor is also available to assist you (via chat or direct call) on your styling needs and preferences.
This feature is produced in collaboration with Valentino. Artwork by Curatedition, all rights reserved.
From the Editor:
The production of this shoot is in full compliance with updated IMDA Advisory and Mandatory Safety Rules for Resumption of Content Production. For more information visit the following website: https://www.imda.gov.sg/for-industry/sectors/Media/Film/Filming-in-Singapore