Friday 14 September 2012

Kate and William: Championing Singapore labels!

So the Duchess of Cambridge (a.k.a. Kate Middleton) has left Singapore today. But her effect will certainly be felt - especially when it comes to Singapore fashion.

Kate is known for picking the right and diplomatic choices for her overseas visits and it was the same case here where among her handful of wardrobe changes were a gorgeous dress by Singapore-born Prabal Gurung and an ensemble by RAOUL, which came rather as a surprise.

But my question is, did we really need the Duchess to wear a local designer to make us realize that they do exist, and make beautiful clothes for that matter?

Kate Middleton wearing Singapore label RAOUL
The Duchess of Cambridge looked lovely in her RAOUL top
and skirt. Still wish she makes more effort in her shoe choices
though! Oh well...

While not everyone can afford the Prabal Gurung or RAOUL outfits that Kate sported, there are a lot of other young local designers whose work is remarkable but lack the deserving support from the majority of Singaporeans.

And it is important to remember that labels like RAOUL and Alldressedup (which I had hoped Kate would also wear on this trip) didn’t become an international name overnight. It took years of struggle but also the belief of people who made it possible. So while supporting one local designer at their beginning might not seem as crucial, it is actually the reason celebrities or royals like Kate would hear about them and wear them in the first place. As sad as it is, this is how most labels make it. Spot it on someone important and cash on it.

This is exactly what the Kate effect is all about! There is no denial she has singlehandedly helped the fashion industry in the UK especially chains like Reiss and Warehouse, where whatever she wore became an instant hit and sold out within minutes.

Let’s hope the same happens with Singaporean label RAOUL and eventually more local labels which failed to make it on Kate’s list this time.

Kate Middleton in Singapore born Prabal Gurung
This Prabal Gurung number from his collection which inspired a lot of copies
of similar prints is just gorgeous! Love the colours!!!

Kate Middleton in Singapore born Prabal Gurung
No doubt her smile is her best accessory :-)

 But regardless, the Duchess looked great during her visit. She is no doubt very elegant and knows what to wear - when and where - and what flatters her best. My favourite look on her had to be the Prabal Gurung dress. Other than the fact is a stunning frock, the style is a little bit edgier and experimental from what we’re used to see her wearing. And the fact that she knew that he was born in Singapore and chose this dress for the tour accordingly, proves that she has done her homework!

Other than the Singaporean designers, Kate also wore some great British labels like Alexander McQueen, Jenny Peckham and Erdem. She is after all the face of British fashion at the moment so wearing these UK labels is part of her image and duty – after all everyone should support THEIR local designers no?

Kate Middleton in Alexander McQueen
In beautifully-cut Alexander McQueen. But the shoes again...

Jenny Peckham dress worn by Kate Middleton
Jenny Peckham is on every fashionista's radar this year, thank to Kate!

Another dress from Jenny Peckham, featuring Singapore's
national flower: The orchid. How appropriate!

So will the Kate effect work the same way in promoting Singapore fashion and exposing them to bigger audience around the world? Let’s hope so! and on behalf of everyone who has been pushing for the local emerging talent, I say, Thank you Kate and please come back again! We have some more great Singaporean labels for you to wear! Next time just give me a call before you arrive and I’ll get them ready for you! ;-)

What other Singapore designers’ pieces would have looked great on Kate:
While RAOUL and Prabal Gurung looked great on the Duchess, here are some pieces from other Singaporean labels which I think would have looked great on her. Ah well, there's always next time!

Alldressedup Maxim jersey printed dress: This dress scream Kate with its elegant and flattering cut, modest length and sleeves, and subtle print. I was betting on her picking up for one of the events on tour.

Alldressed up Maxim jersey printed dress

Burgundy Detachable Peplum Zip-front Sheath in Blue: Typical Kate style, fitted and elegant but with a little twist. It'll also match her Sapphire engagement ring well :-)

Burgundy detachable peplum dress

Ong Shunmugam customized cheongsam-inspired dress: Nothing looks more flattering and elegant on a woman than a traditional cheongsam! And the best label to do it with a modern twist is the homegrown Ong Shunmugam. I would have loved to see Kate wearing one of their gorgeous dresses and bring the mandarin collar back as a hot trend in international fashion!

Kate Middleton would have looked beautiful in Singapore label Ong Shunmugam