“I believe every person has a place they like to go to — a restaurant or a bar, perhaps,” says Dato Icemichelle Chen. “For me, I like being out in nature.”
We drive along Seletar Expressway on our way out of Seletar Country Club, one of the venues Icemichelle frequents for her regular rounds of golf. In time we find ourselves at an open, windy spot on the banks of a nearby reservoir.
More than 10 years ago, the owner and founder of Supreme Q.X. Spa and the Dr. Lash family of beauty salons was driving home after a game of golf when she happened to pass by this location. “I found it pleasant to be sitting here surrounded by the breeze,” she recounts. “Plus I love looking at golf courses, and from here I could see them well.”
Icemichelle would often return to visit the place by the water when she was out for golf, or even if she wasn’t. “If the weather is good in the evenings, I’ll drive out here and just sit in my car, and sometimes I come here after it rains, when the air is cool and refreshing,” she says. “I’ll bring friends here with me for a chat, and once when my younger brother was in town for a visit, we came here with a pot of crabs we had steamed at home, and we picnicked by the reservoir.”
“I calm down when I'm here, and I can think things over.”
Even the drive out is a form of relaxation for Icemichelle: Taking the route from golf course to reservoir, especially in the afternoon when traffic is lighter, while listening to music she likes, “it feels as if it’s my personal space and time,” she says.
Icemichelle has enjoyed driving ever since she first got behind the wheel more than a decade ago; at that time she selected a newly released model from a Japanese marque, when practicality and convenience were her priorities. “Japanese cars are known for reliability, they don't break down and they're easy to use,” she explains.
When it was time for her latest upgrade, Icemichelle had new considerations on her mind: “Lexus has a good reputation, among my friends they say the marque is comfortable, the functions are fantastic and the servicing is well-supported, so I decided to go with this make.
“What drew me to the Lexus ES was the spacious interior and the amount of room in the backseat, the curvature in the seats that helps them conforms to every body shape, and the generous moonroof that extends from front to back so that passengers in the back can enjoy the view too.”
On top of that, she adds, the Shimamoku wood trim on the interior surfaces add a sleek, sporty feel to the space; the new Sunlight Green colorway brings a subtle masculine look to the ES; and the Tripe “L” Bi-LED headlamps, together with the unique spindle grille, give the vehicle a distinctive profile, an awe-inspiring mien and a seductive ferocity.
A beauty industry veteran and the 2013 Mrs Singapore Universe Beauty pageant winner, Icemichelle considers appearances a vital aspect of one’s image, and style and strong esthetics a fundamental requirement for cars she drives. “It’s about looking neat and presentable, a form of self-respect,” she explains. “Everything starts with the details, so in time you’ll become more attuned to the finer particulars.”
“No matter who you are, appearances are important, and once you develop those standards for yourself, in whatever else you do, you’ll aim for perfection.”