Thursday, 24 May 2012

Blueprint Singapore: 7 emerging labels to lust after

And so it’s over in flash. Singapore’s biggest week of fashion was over far too soon.

And despite the AFF shows stealing the spotlight last week, there was one event which I was very keen on attending: The Blueprint tradeshow.

Unlike the emporium, the tradeshow is not a place to shop but it’s a closed exhibition for labels and buyers to interact; and for emerging designers to bag some regional or international stockists which would help their labels grow.

As a member of the media (who got selected invites), I was present on Thursday and Friday and it was one of the most interesting events I’ve been to in Singapore so far. I got to discover and spot some amazing Asian and emerging labels which have all what it takes to be the next big thing.

New Indonesian label TOTON simply blew me away at Blueprint...
From clothes to accessories and shoes, every piece looked stunning!

But with more than 110 participating labels, it was not an easy job so I decided to just go with my instinct and let myself be drawn to the ones which stood out. Naturally, it was the ones with colour, prints and distinctive character.

So after two days of walking the floor I came up with a list of who to watch for, and the Asian labels which were a standout at Blueprint. Of course there were a lot of familiar labels that I’ve already blogged about so this is strictly a list of those designers which are new to my blog and are now firmly on my radar! So read on and be the first to discover – especially as some of them haven’t even launched yet!


More gorgeous pieces from TOTON... Can't wait to get my
hands on one (or more!!!)

 This was the label that absolutely blew me away and guess what, it hasn’t officially even launched yet! Everything about Toton from the flawless execution to the creative cuts and gorgeous details is spot on. The designer Toton Januar, whom I also met at Blueprint, wanted to create wearable couture with a traditional touch like the embroidery work and the Mandarin collars. Aside from the beautiful, clean yet edgy clothes, Toton also makes some fierce looking shoes and accessories which will have any fashionista getting her credit card out. Sadly for us shoppers, the label had to rush back for their official opening back home and as a result didn’t take part in the emporium.  I’m praying the label will get any Singapore stockists, otherwise I’ll be booking my next trip to Jakarta very soon just to get my hands on some of these gorgeous pieces. Definitely keep an eye on this one!


It was love at first sight with this outfit from Ong Shunmugam's latest
collection Prints Charming...

 I had seen some pieces from Ong Shunmugam’s Guardianship cheongsams collection at the National Museum but seeing the samples for her latest collection left me in awe. Everything from the elegant cuts (especially the silk printed skirts with the detachable peplum jacquard piece) and the mix-matching of various types of fabric and patterns screams sophistication. The immaculately tailored separates are a stand-out from many of the labels which try to re-interpret traditional Chinese wear. Ong Shunmugam is definitely one of the most aesthetically pleasing and modern labels I’ve seen – especially as the designer Priscilla successfully manages that trick of retaining the much needed elegance that cheongsams are synonymous with, with a twist.


HASINA's pieces are colourful and effortlessly elegant

The booth looked so fresh with the amazing colour scheme

 Madagascar-born, Singapore-based Hasina is actually my upstairs neighbor but it wasn’t until yesterday that I realized she is also a fashion designer. She was debuting her collection at Blueprint and I ran into her by accident. And what a fortunate accident.  Hasina’s pieces are as striking as this 6ft plus woman is. It is all about effortless elegance with a fresh colour palette (mainly off-white and well-balanced shades of turquoise, orange and fuchsia) and luxurious silk. I won’t talk too much now but watch this space for updates and remember you heard about it here first! (yup, no official website yet but you can like her facebook page here)


Quirky Vice & Vanity pieces are casual enough to wear with
a lazy hotpants and t-shirt outfit for an additional twist  

There was a lot of bling at Blueprint and a lot of it was actually really cool. But when I wanted to pick one standout accessories label, it had to be Vice & Vanity. Mainly because their pieces are very unique and look like no other. Beautifully hand-made with wood, plastic and other unexpected elements, the pieces are funky and playful without being too loud. They reminded me of cool vintage wooden toys, only these are wearable. The attention to detail and execution in these pieces are what set them apart from being yet another collection of random stuff put together type of accessories which are widely available around Asia for a lower cost.
(Some of the pieces are available at threadbare & squirrel and on


Bright colours and exquisite shoes... the perfect combination!

As a shoe-holic, there has to be a shoe label in my list and this one just happened to be exactly my type! Luxurious yet funky, Suecomma Bonnie heels would put any pair of Jimmy Choos in the dark with its quirky colour palette and designs. I loved the neon and diamante pairs which give an edge to any elegant outfit on a night out. What I like most about this label is that despite it being on the luxury high-end side and it shows (standing close enough you can smell the beautiful leather… intoxicating…) it is not afraid to experiment with shape, style and colour. The proof is the array of sandals in bright hues of green, electric blue and hot pink. Major shoe-crush!!!!


Who said a girl can't have a mustache?

Books are the hottest accessories right now!

With clutches shaped like lips, books and wait... mustache, this had to be the most interesting handbag label on show! Rouge Rouge is all about having fun and their Dali-inspired collection was definitely a tongue-in-cheek. As unappealing as it may sound, the black moustache pony hair clutch would take any simple outfit to a new level. Apart from the themed prive collection, the label also carries some less attention grabbing bags, mainly the prisme collection which is unique and practical and can be found on


This JUMA dress ticks all my boxes... beautiful print, colours, material
and cut...

Mixing colourful prints is one of my favourite trends

When the first model wearing Juma came on stage at the Blueprint opening show, I couldn’t help but notice that there was something very charming about this label. The colourful digital prints and the laid back cuts looked so edgy yet comfortable. Then I saw the pieces up-close and they looked even better especially the silk dresses and wool scarves which felt heavenly. I love the intensity of the colours and the fact that although you’d think a very busy print would not work from head to toe, it actually looks good on. You just need the confidence to pull it off!
My favourite piece was the printed asymmetrical dress which had the right combination of colours like orange and purple with enough white where it needed. This is something like the staple pieces I usually invest in – yup I don’t believe in crisp white shirts and jackets, but in statement (preferably silk) dresses which won’t go out of trend are easy and fun to wear.
(Juma’s latest collection is open for orders on newly launched Singapore-based site