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Style Evolution: Ya Hui

Ya Hui, who turns 34 today (May 18), looks like she's barely aged since she first entered showbiz 14 years ago.

Style Evolution: Ya Hui

Ya Hui, who turns 34 today (May 18), looks like she's barely aged since she first entered showbiz 14 years ago.

The ageless beauty that is Ya Hui turns 34 today (May 18), and the actress looks like she's been drinking from the fountain of youth all her life. She first caught our eye when she took part in the 2007 Star Search competition and suffice to say, she's come a long way in the past decade, both career-wise and fashion-wise. Here are Ya Hui’s most iconic looks over the years.

1 of 38 Star Search 2007 Press Conference

Everything, from Ya Hui’s blunt bob, to her striped highlights, to the plastic-y waist belt, brings us straight back to the mid-2000s.

2 of 38 Star Search 2007 Semi-Finals

Yikes! This ruffled, bejewelled mess aged Ya Hui by a decade.

3 of 38 Star Search 2007 Finals

Kudos to Ya Hui’s hair and makeup artist, whose work upgraded Ya Hui from a schoolgirl to a star almost instantly. If it weren’t for the coral gown and Desmond Tan in the background, we never would have guessed this photo was taken more than 10 years ago. Look back at her Star Search journey here.

4 of 38 2008 photo shoot

At the tender age of 21, Ya Hui’s wardrobe was still very much….Forever 21.

5 of 38 My Buddy press conference (2009)

Remember when people used skinny scarves as a substitute for jewellery? While the Ya Hui we know and love today isn’t exactly big on the bling, going bare-necked is preferable to this scraggly mid-2000s accessory.

Accessory overload. There are so many things screaming for our attention in this picture, but there was only one thing on our minds: Girl, you need a stylist.

7 of 38 Star Awards 2009

In between the spidery lashes, abundance of blush, and the confusingly textured dress, this certainly isn’t one of Ya Hui’s strongest looks — she looked a decade older than her 22 years! It’s safe to say she’s done some MAJOR Benjamin Buttoning since then.

8 of 38 Star Awards 2010 Show 1

While this wasn’t the only time Ya Hui wore bright yellow to the Star Awards, we can safely say that her later efforts showed a lot of improvement (keep reading).

Photos: Ya Hui

9 of 38 Star Awards 2010 Show 2

Ya Hui doesn’t look bad per se but we can’t get over that Something About Mary-esque hair.

10 of 38 Star Awards 2011 Show 1

Sorry Ya Hui, but that dress looks like a cheap Greek goddess costume.

  • 11 of 38 Bountiful Blessings media conference (2011)

    The hair and makeup are perfection (doesn’t she remind you of a young Gigi Lai?), but we can’t bring ourselves to look beyond the neck. Major avant garde fail.

  • 12 of 38 Mat YoYo (2012)

    What are those side peplum culottes YaYa's wearing? And is that cassette tape dangling from her neck?

  • 13 of 38 An Instagram post from 2013

    Whoa! Who knew that the fresh-faced actress used to be such a punk? Now that pastel hair’s back in, we’d love to see Ya Hui wear this colour again.

  • 14 of 38 Star Awards 2013 Show 1

    Even before the guys started spamming us with printed suits, Ya Hui was way ahead of the trend when she turned up with Bieber hair and a Carven toile suit — with matching shoes — to the 2013 Star Awards. A bold and unexpected move by the actress but unfortunately, she doesn’t look very confident in it. And that little heart-shaped cutout isn’t helping. We can’t help checking for her belly button.

  • 15 of 38 Gonna Make It press conference (2013)

    The actress started pushing her style envelope when she turned up at the media conference for Gonna Make It rocking a sheer top. Definitely the most flesh we’ve seen Ya Hui display.

  • 16 of 38 Star Awards 20 Show 1 (2014)

    Ya Hui looked part of the fashion elite when she turned up at the 2014 Star Awards in this Balmain sequinned mini dress — hands down one of our favourite looks!

  • 17 of 38 Star Awards 20 Show 2 (2014)

    Black doesn’t have to mean boring. Ya Hui stepped out at the Star Awards 20 Show 2 red carpet in a simple, yet stunning Calvin Klein gown.

  • 18 of 38 Star Awards 2015 Show 1

    We distinctly remember giving Ya Hui a HOT rating for her pale gold Jessicacindy dress, which looked so flattering against her fair complexion and trim figure. It’s looks like this that reminds us why we’re so happy that she moved away from the somber colours of her youth!

  • 19 of 38 Star Awards 2015 Show 2

    But lest you forget her roots, Ya Hui’s black platforms added a bit of rock star appeal to this Grecian-style Roberto Cavalli gown.

  • 20 of 38 The Courts Bonus Show (2015)

    Ya Hui isn’t new to blonde tresses but when she went platinum again in 2015 for her role in drama House of Fortune, she exuded a different aura, looked spunkier, and it reflected in her dressing too. Guess blondes really do have more fun!

    Photo: Team Ya Hui

    21 of 38 Team Ya Hui’s visit to an elderly home (2016)

    When it comes to local fan club tees, Team Ya Hui’s has to be one of our favourites. Athleisure is still very much on trend and we love how they cleverly incorporated the actress’ birthday into the design.

    Photo: Team Ya Hui

    22 of 38 Star Awards 2017

    Ya Hui said she skipped her meals for the day to ensure she looked good in her Couturissimo gown. Well, the sacrifice was totally worth it. The actress looked sweet yet sexy in the cleavage and back-baring dress.

    23 of 38 2018

    Not even Barbie could wear this frilly pink gown as well as Ya Hui does.

    24 of 38 2018

    Decked out in menswear, Ya Hui cut a handsome figure in an Instagram photo worthy of a magazine spread.

    25 of 38 Star Awards 2018

    Ya Hui accessorised an otherwise intimidating black gown from Max Mara with her trademark sunny smile.

    26 of 38 2018

    Ya Hui embodies utilitarian chic in this a one-off shoulder layered top and checked pants from Indonesian label Peggy Hartanto. Her chunky black booties complete the look.

    27 of 38 Star Awards 2019 press conference

    When you’re wearing an outfit as fabulous as this one on Ya Hui (sheer tiered skirt with a striking red sweater), posing for a photo becomes mandatory.

  • 28 of 38 Star Awards 2019

    Ya Hui looked stunning in this deep plunging and back-bearing number, making her look like she was part of The Great Gatsby cast.

  • 29 of 38 Star Search 2019

    Wanna know what we love more than that sexy peekaboo dress? The red heels peeking out of her gown.

  • 30 of 38 A Quest To Heal (2019)

    We can't get over how demure Ya Hui looks as the deaf-mute maid Yasan in the Ming dynasty. Which probably explains why she was so popular among the extras when they were filming in Hengdian.

  • 31 of 38 KKBOX Music Awards 2019

    Ya Hui gave the girl boss look a fresh spin by opting for a plum blazer instead of the usual black or white version for the awards ceremony. Her shiny oversized earrings also added style points for her overall look.

  • 32 of 38 2020

    Ya Hui went pink for her role in CTRL and we love how it shows off her bubbly personality. The best part? It makes her look 10 years younger too.

  • 33 of 38 CTRL (2020)

    Ya Hui looked like she walked straight out of the set of The Matrix in this fierce lack leather ensemble.

  • 34 of 38 Let's Celebrate 2021

    Ya Hui worked the runway like a pro, strutting down the Helix Bridge in local designer Max Tan's designs.

    35 of 38 2021

    Staring at a mandarin orange for the ‘gram? Sure, why not? But seriously, we’re swooning over the cute number on Ya Hui. The asymmetrical scallop hemline, standout colours and dizzying checks are major visual treats.

    36 of 38 2021

    Is this a shirt or dress? We think it’s both, and it certainly looks very stylish on Ya Hui. Nice to see this edgier side of the actress.

  • 37 of 38 CTRL press conference (2021)

    We like this cool, futuristic look, but she looks like she's wearing aluminum foil.

  • 38 of 38 Star Awards 2021

    Ya Hui and her Toni Maticevski sculptural gown look like a work of art.

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