Friday, 24 August 2012

Carrie K Keepers IV: Showcasing amazing artisans in Singapore

I think everyone knows about my love of Singapore based jewelry label Carrie K – but it’s not just the amazing craftsmanship that makes them a standout brand for me.

Apart from their always innovative accessories, Carrie K also happens to organize fantastic events that push my buttons on two fronts. Namely that they are trying hard to support fellow local artisans and that the ‘Keeper’ events are always a journey of discovery, the antidote to the cookie cutter mentality of a lot of the fashion world.

The latest Carrie K Keepers (That's number four in the series) takes place tomorrow on Saturday (August 25) at the atelier in Bukit Timah Road and as well as showcasing her new Mint capsule collection, also brings together a handful of unique artisans under the theme of Flights of Fancy.

Carrie K's new mint collection
Carrie K's new collection 'Mint' is a departure from the label's usual style
but as unexpected and inspiring nevertheless.

On the pure fashion side you can expect to be wowed by Chee Sau Fen from bespoke milliners Heads of State who will be showcasing her latest designs and talking about how she utilizes traditional crafts in her pieces, and Priscilla from Ong Shunmugam, whose amazing modern takes on the traditional Cheong Sam blow me away.

But its not just about fashion – there will also be bespoke sweet makers as well as refreshments (and a healthy dollop of education) from Ethan Leong, the head mixologist at super hip Kampong Glam café/boutique/bar Maison Ikkoku.

Food, fashion, drinks – all hand crafted by locally based artisans who are more than happy to talk to you about their work. What more could you ask for in an event?

Read on below for more on what to expect from Keepers. Then head down to Carrie K Atelier on 136 Bukit Timah Road between 2pm and 7pm on Saturday for one of the most interesting fashion experiences you’re likely to get in Singapore. Find out more on Carrie K’s Facebook page.

CARRIE K: New Mint collection

The new capsule collection ransacks grandma’s jewellery box, and reinterprets classics such as pearls and garnets by injecting eccentricity and quirkiness into traditional charm jewellery. Clusters of cutlery are combined with delicate pearls and rocker chic sterling silver chains to create a bracelet for the “foodie” or combined with a Flying Pig charm for those with their heads in the sky. To tempt the inner rebel in all of us, lariats with a sterling silver skull charm mingles with a single elegant baroque pearl to soften the edginess of skull charm and retain an air of sophistication.

The versatile necklaces are designed to be worn in different ways. One may show the sophisticated side by day and reverse it at night when the inner child comes out to play. Those looking to wear their heart, or rather, their quirkiness on their sleeves, can have pieces custom-designed to reflect their personality.

Ethan from Maison Ikkoku

Passionate Moment cocktail from Maison Ikkoku
Thirsty? Maison Ikkoku's cocktails will refresh

Café-cum-boutique-cum-bar Maison Ikkoku has remained on top of the Singapore hip-list for quite some time now, and that’s in no small part down to mixologist Ethan and his fresh approach to cocktail making.

He describes the Maison Ikkoku cocktail experience as “organic style mixologies”, adding there is “no artificial syrup, no factory juices, only fresh ingredients like fruits or herbs and convert them in to a new flavour, the classic of tomorrow is what we trying to achieve.” They even create cocktails based on your personality, theme, concept or even company profile.

To give an example of what you might learn from a conversation with Ethan, take a look at the signature "passionate moment". It was inspired from the coffee maker at level 1 who put in lots of effort to brew up a good cup of coffee. It’s a mixture of Passion fruits, gin, vodka, lemon, rosemary (which is flaming on serving).

Ong Shunmugam

Crown Prince of Japan top and Agong pants from Ong Shunmugam
Crown Prince of Japan top, $299 and Agong pants, $299

Sari outfit from Singapore's Ong Shunmugan
Beautiful Frog Prince sari blouse, $279
and Ashoka sari skirt, $299

One of the more innovative labels in Singapore. I’ve been in love with Priscilla’s new takes on traditional classics since I first chanced across them on my very first visit to Singapore. Imagine the beauty of a Cheong Sam or other traditional Asian clothing, immaculately tailored but brought into the 21st Century. I don’t think I can sell it more than the pictures above do. Simply gorgeous.

ET Artisan Sweets

A birthday cake centrepiece done for a dessert table based on the "Red Queen".
Beautiful centrepiece based on the Red Queen

ET Artisan Sweets
Sweet sushi: A creative cake from ET Artisan Sweets

In the mood for a treat? You will be after you lay eyes on ET's creations. They specialiste in Parisian macarons, cupcakes, decorated celebration cakes, wedding cakes, dessert tables and events. Their website says they are inspired by Earth's natural bounty with a menu that evolves to reflect each season's freshest fruit and berries.

Wonderland Events: 
Attention to detail from Wonderland Events

These guys are behind a movement for a more bespoke and gorgeous type of event in Singapore. Pushing for a more aesthetically pleasing approach to the generally staid way of organising big events and conferences, their focus is equally on making the place look beautiful as well as making the event function efficiently.

Heads of State Millinery:

Hat made from abaca fabric from Heads of State Millinery
Hats off: An original traditional piece from Heads of State's Neo Tribe collection

Heads of State Millinery has already made waves in fashion circles in Singapore and is starting to make a name for itself outside of the little red dot. They've even taken part in a project to design a sustainable statement millinery creation for HRH The Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

Saufen will mostly be showcasing her "NeoTribe" hat collection at Carrie K Keeper though. A collection made using traditional, regional crafts including traditional handloom abaca fabric of the Daraghuyan Community of the Budikon Tribe in the Philippines. Her stories are really incredibly interesting and each piece has its own message, so I'll leave it down to you to discover more.

Carrie K Keepers IV takes place at Carrie K Atelier on 136 Bukit Timah Road from 2pm to 7pm on Saturday, August 25