Friday, 29 June 2012

The 30 Singapore designers you need to know about: Part 3

Here is it. The third and final part of the 30@30, where to celebrate my 30th birthday I picked the 30 Singapore labels that you should be exploring if you want to go on a discovery mission in the little red dot.

The truth is – and this may surprise some people who don’t follow the fashion scene - I found it hard to compile a list of just 30 because more labels deserve the mention. It’s especially hard as this isn’t a competitive list, there is no particular order and there are far more than 30 talented designers plying their trade in Singapore.

In the end I included those which I think have found their identity and although everyone still has a room to grow, they’ve done so far so good. A lot more labels are doing great job and maybe all they need is a little push to get them there! Maybe in the next list 31@31 ;-)

Anyway, back to the point. Here are the final 10 brands that kick serious ass in Singapore and deserve much more success than they get in their home market. You can read part one of the 30 Singapore designers you need to know about here and the second 10 in the Singapore designers list here.

Use the comments section to let me know what you like in the list, who you think I missed out, and if you were inspired to go local by the talent on offer. 

Love the simplicity of Armoire's Engineered Dress series which come
in many beautiful shades and fits perfectly!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The 30 Singapore designers you need to know about: Part 2

My 30th birthday (or 29A as one of my friends would call it) celebrations went very well for those of you who are interested.

But onto the more serious business of part 2 of my 30 at 30. That's my list of the 30 singaporean labels you really should know.

You can see part one of the 30 Singapore designers you need to know about here but below you'll find 10 more of the hottest labels from the little red dot. I will post the final part on Friday so you all have something to digest over the weekend :-).

Enjoy. And don't forget to let me know which labels you love the most in the comments section.

UPDATE: Here is a link to part three of the 30 Singapore designers you need to know about.

I was delighted to be the first to get my hands on these KAE HANA
pixel floral leggings before they officially went on sale!
 (Photo by Franz from

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The 30 Singapore designers you need to know about: Part 1

Today is a huge (and depressing day) for me.

It’s my 30th birthday, and to help me officially mourn the passing of my youth I thought I’d do some shameless promotion of my favourite Singaporean labels and designers.

So here it is. 30 at 30 if you like. My guide to 30 labels from Singapore that you really should be paying attention to. I’ve added links to those who have websites so you can find out more about each one.

I hope this little birthday gift from me to you gives you as much joy as discovering these talented designers has (and if anyone wants to buy me a birthday gift, they can find some hints in there haha).

But as 30 is a bit much to digest in one go (not to mention very tiring to post!!), I’ll split it into three posts over days. Here is part one of three - in no particular order. Enjoy!

PS – I have avoided putting in the Singapore fashion giants like Charles and Keith, so don’t email me asking where they are :-)

PPS - Here is a link to part two of the 30 Singapore designers you need to know about, and this link will take you to the final 10 in the list.

Yes I'm 30! and can't get enough of the awesome Singapore labels
like this MAE PANG top which I love! (Thx again to John Tan for the pic!)

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Bonjour Beirut: Mira Hayek's year round summer fun

One of the best things about living in Singapore (although I’m sure plenty will disagree) is the fact that it’s pretty much summer all year round.

And that means one thing. Summery clothes 365 days a year too!

I’m talking vibrant colours, colour blocking galore and generally embracing that wonderful mood you have when the sun is shining and life is good.

Mira Hayek Lotus dress
Mira Hayek's dresses are anything but dull

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Poshism: Singapore's Let's hope it's better!

I have a confession to make. I never liked!

For some reason the ‘style-inspiration’ community business always seemed a little full of model wannabe’s and sponsored bloggers trying to show off rather than inspire or educate.

So when I heard about Poshism, which kind of sells itself as a new ‘lookbook’, I was not sure what to expect. But I knew it wasn’t likely to be love at first site (geddit?).

Their launch event – which was basically a walkoff between a bunch of teenagers didn’t fill me with hope either – although perhaps that is showing my age a little bit more than I want to admit!
But I’ve been working in the lifestyle field for quite a long time and if I’ve learned anything, it’s not to judge too soon.

Zeikei (only 17!!), from the Poshism publicity team has the coolest quirky
style! Let's hope more people will get inspired by her awesome looks and stray
away from the over-done looks a la (i.e. blazer x shorts combo)

The best look I've seen so far on Poshism! This guy is rocking it!!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Flower Power: Jakarta-based Nikicio does floral prints with an edge

While all kinds of prints are a big trend this season, I’m a little skeptic when it comes to florals.
I love colouful clothes but florals are just too girly most of the time, which for me is not exactly a good thing. It risks feeling a little too country and amateurish.

In order for floral prints to work, they have to have a slight edge or at least the cut has to add an contrasting or complementing  dimention to prevent you from looking like a walking garden.

Luckily one particular Asian label is doing florals this season and is doing it well. This is Jakarta-based Nikicio whose collection for this summer is exploding with prints – but in a good way.

Florals head-to-toe don't mean country - at least not with these
tailored ad edgy Nikicio pieces!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Bonjour Beirut: Sarah’s Bag combines cool with a cause

Every fashion brand longs to have at least three things. A coveted line that achieves cult status quickly, celebrity endorsement and a back story that gives people a reason to talk about the brand.

So when you hit all three effortlessly, you know you’re doing something right.

And that’s where Sarah’s Bag comes in. This is an accessories label that is little known outside of the Middle East, but something of a phenomena inside it.

I personally love them, and whenever I go out in Singapore sporting a Sarah’s Bag I get asked about it. So while they might be anonymous over in Asia, it’s going to become my mission to change that.

Sarah's Bag handbags
Gorgeous hand-made creations from Sarah's Bag...

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

My Vintage Jewel Box: Artisanal jewellery, hand-made with love

One of the best things about artisanal jewellery is not only the individuality of the pieces but also the fact that you are keeping traditions alive. Ready-made, mass produced pieces can be pretty of course but they don’t have that charm. That special something which only a hand-made piece can bring to the table.

And it’s not just old aunties and uncles who are keeping this tradition alive. We’re lucky that there are still people like Carrie K flying the flag for a dying artform.

Another young buck (or deer) striving to prove Singapore does produce things is Ryn, a young artisan who hand-makes each piece of jewellery from scratch using traditional techniques and tools.

Breaking away from the conventional styles, Ryn’s works under her label ‘My Vintage Jewel Box’ have an organic-vintage touch - hewn from raw quality materials like silver, gold and natural gemstones, and heavily influenced by nature and vintage styles. 

Ryn, working on a set of rings at her humble studio space.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Weekend Want: 6 top picks from Future Fashion Now

If you’ve ever shopped online then you probably know how much of a bittersweet experience it can be.

Unlike the real thing, there is no instant pleasure when you click the button or the thrill of browsing and luxuriating in the touch of a beautiful fabric.

But when your purchases are on the way, nothing beats the anticipation of waiting for that box to arrive and opening that package to see and feel it for the first time. It has that Christmassy feeling all over.

And even though e-commerce sites selling Asian designers are springing up faster than pop-up shops these days, most of them are still operating under more or less the same concept. However the newest kid in town tries to make it as interactive an experience as possible, allowing you to watch catwalk shows live and pre-order the pieces you like straight after they showed on the runway.

Future Fashion Now is making it possible to pre-order pieces from
emerging designers like MAE PANG's latest collection

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Bonjour Beirut: Azzi and Osta and the battle against bling!

If the national dress in Singapore is hotpants and t-shirt, Beirut’s is a ball gown!

It’s a nation where one popular saying is ‘borrow money to dress up’, seeing someone dressed up to the nines just to cross the road to the grocery shop is not an uncommon sight. In some places you have to see it to believe your eyes!

It’s no surprise that there are dozens of designers specializing in evening wear and glamorous dresses. From  Elie Saab, to Rabih Kayrouz and Georges Chakra.

While some designers go seriously OTT and bling it like there is no tomorrow, others, namely the new generation, have stuck to a much more modern and stylish approach to glamour – understated elegance.

The perfect example of such designers and probably the forerunners for such style are Georges Azzi and Assaad Osta, whose label Azzi & Osta is gaining popularity and changing people’s views on what is glamorous in Beirut.

A breath-taking bridal creation from Azzi and Osta

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Quirky and edgy Singapore label? AMEN to that!

It takes a lot of courage for new labels in Singapore to throw out the populist rulebook and decide to go their own way from the off.

Well, one such label is AMEN, traditionally accessories label that has branched out and released their  first clothing line, Femme with the debut  collection called Transmission.

Clinton Leicester and Nicole Wong, the couple behind AMEN, are not your average Singaporean label, and only one of them comes from fashion design background.

One look at their bold personal look followed by a glance at their quirky designs is enough to tell you that they basically design stuff they would actually wear.

Suited for Success: unusual and quirky, I'm loving this look which sadly
I could never pull off!