Thursday, 27 September 2012

MYthology: THE hot new player on the Singapore fashion scene

When I first moved to Singapore, one of my dreams was to open a boutique in a cool shophouse, somewhere trendy and chic where people can shop unique for pieces and also get to discover some designers they never knew before.

I’m not that good at business so I stuck to day-dreaming and blogging about all the amazing finds I chance upon. Thankfully though, someone with the same passion but better business sense also had the same vision.

Step forward Apsara Oswal, the founder of the newly-opened Club Street boutique MYthology.

Apart from an instantly recognizable mop of curly hair, it seems we both have a lot in common. Both of us are passionate about promoting Asian talent, we’re both stylists, we both veer away from the monochrome Singapore look and we both want to play our part in jazzing up the dress sense of the little red dot.

To get to know MYthology better, you have to learn a bit about Apsara as the boutique is a mere reflection of her love for everything unique and chic.

MYthology boutique in Club St, Singapore
MYthology is setting the bar high in terms of stunning decor and equally beautiful fashion!

The gorgeous Apsara Oswal, MYthology's founder, whose vision has finally
come to life today.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

ZAOZAO: The crowdfunded future of fashion in Asia?

When I was contacted a while back by the people behind a crowdfunding site for Asian designers, ZAOZAO, I was very excited and happy to hear about it.

Having seen the difficulty (especially financial) emerging designers have in getting their collections produced – let alone marketed and sold - the whole idea of crowdfunding seemed like a perfect solution to test the market and get them started.

Co-founder Ling Cai, who resides between Singapore and Hong Kong, decided to start ZAOZAO alongside friend Vicky Wu to help budding designers but also introduce people around the world to something they are clearly passionate about: unique and interesting fashion.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Zardoze: Dress to impress for those Singapore F1 parties

Finally the F1 weekend is in town!

And while hubby will be swooning over those ‘gorgeous cars' and revelling in high octane action and big boys toys, the whole weekend for me will be about the glitz which accompanies the most glamorous sport in the world.

There’s no denial that this is the ultimate party weekend in Singapore, and parties to me mean one thing – dressing up!

So whether you're swanning around at the Fashion TV party, sashaying at the Ferrari Red Party or heading to the super exclusive Amber Lounge, there is sure to be more than one outfit making an appearance. But what do you do if you look in your wardrobe and look in horror at the bare space staring back at you.

Who could help you out in such a 'nothing to wear' crisis at the start of the most glamorous weekend in Singapore?

Black and gold jumpsuit from Singapore label Zardoze
Ready for the F1 parties? With this Zardoze jumpsuit, I would :-)

Blue cocktail dress from Zardoze

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Bonjour Bali: Namu's handbag and clutch heaven

When in Bali, it’s usually the beaches and spas which take priority on most people’s itinerary forcing them to have just enough time to shop for souvenirs to take back home.

But if you’re not a souvenir person, have a great taste and style and only one hour to spend shopping in Bali, then there is only one place you should really be heading to - Namu.

Located in Seminyak, this place is a fashionista’s heaven and it stocks some unusual and unique pieces which you are guaranteed not to find anywhere else on the island.

During my first visit to Bali, I went there twice in two days because I had a dilemma choosing one of their stunning bags which blew me away. I wondered what the secret of their style success was, until I met the owner of the boutique and it all fell into place. 

Wooden clutches by Namu in Bali
Stunning wooden clutches which I've not seen anywhere else.
This is what Namu is all about: unique and chic!

Stingray leather clutches by Namu in Seminyak, Bali
My obsession with Stingray clutches never ends... these are superb
quality and to-die-for! No to mention, gorgeous?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Isetan: Bringing Jakarta Fashion Week to Singapore!

Ever since getting to know and blogging about  Indonesian labels like Toton and Nikicio, Jakarta has been put firmly on my to-go to list for Bonjour on Tour! It seems wherever you go, Asia is a hotbed of fashion creativity.

But until I finally get on that plane (hopefully around the beginning of November for Jakarta Fashion Week), I have to settle for a rare taste of these talents thanks to Isetan Singapore which has organized a Designers’ Week’ event in collaboration with JFW.

Isetan is one of the big department stores in Singapore which I really like, because they stock a variety of local designers, especially emerging ones and thus expose them to a more mainstream crowd. It is something I respect them for.

So when I heard about their Designers’ Week event – which is running until September 25 and is held at Re-Style section on Scotts which stocks the local designers’ labels - I went to check it out only to discover some amazing labels which I previously didn’t know about.

Antyk Butyk necklace from Indonesia
How can you not love these colourful necklaces from Indonesian
label Antyk Butyk?

Pencil necklace from Indonesian label Frej
Something quirky and unique! I'm sooo in love with this
Frej necklace made of pencils!!!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Lewre: Shoes fit for a Princess (or the Duchess of Cambridge)

In my last post, while admiring Kate’s choices of clothes in the Royals’ Singapore visit, I couldn’t help but notice her uninspiring choice of footwear.

From the LK Bennet nude pumps which are too plain and dated (she even wore them to meet Jimmy Choo himself!!) to her navy blue wedges… I mean wedges, come on Kate???

The good news is that someone else - the Malaysian royals - has also noticed, and decided to do something about it. For amongst the lavish gifts exchanged on landing in Kuala Lumpur was a pair of custom-made Lewre shoes.

I've expressed my love for Malaysia's best fashion export - shoes - on this blog before. And after seeing kate's gift – an exquisite and delicate pair of black lace peep toe heels– I could not be more convinced.

These beautiful shoes from Malaysian label Lewre were a gift to Kate Middleton
The gorgeous Lewre pair of heels and clutch which the Duchess of Cambridge got as a
present from the Malaysian Royals!

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...

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Bonjour Bangkok: The end of the world at Nisa and Friends

One of the greatest joys I get from this blog is getting to discover kick ass new designers from Singapore and across south-east Asia.

There’s so much talent out there and nothing gives me greater pleasure than doing a tiny bit to help expose them to a slightly wider audience.

So it’s is no surprise that the highlight of my recent trip to Bangkok was stumbling over a humble genius, whose label and shop was launched just over a month ago.

Walking through one of the alleys of Siam Square, a tiny shop space crammed to bursting point with a rainbow of colourful printed scarves called out to me, beckoning me over by standing out from the rows of generic identikit clothes on offer.

The shop was called Nisa – and it was my immense fortune that one of the designers, Namwan (Sirintra), was inside and only too happy talk about her new baby.

This Ocean Symphony dress was my first pick... love it!!!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Parco next NEXT A/W12 Preview

There is no doubt that the 2012 class of Parco NEXT Next labels was the strongest yet.

Taken as a collective whole they were more eclectic, innovative and interesting than before. But like a great band that hits the big time with their first album, the pressure is on.

As these fledgling labels get ready to launch into their second season, the questions on my lips were simple. Can they take these promising starts and grow as brands, evolving their style and learning lessons from their first collections?

In other words, would the learning curve continue or would some of the labels suffer from second album syndrome?

Friday, 7 September 2012

Bahareh Badiei brings Middle Eastern chic to Singapore

Middle Eastern women are some of the most glamorous in the world.

You might not believe that if you watch too much of the news but it’s really true. Just walk down any street in Beirut or Tehran and you’ll see women dressed up from head to toe, perfectly made up even if just to visit the neighbours or the grocery shop.

I think it’s something in our DNA, or maybe in the culture which puts so much importance on looking elegant and chic. Pretty much all of our designers do ballgowns and flipflops are nowhere to be seen unless you happen to be at the beach (even then there is a fair share of heels and bikinis).

So when I received an invite to a show by Bahareh Badiei, a Singapore-based Iranian designer, I naturally expected one thing – glamour!

Bahareh Badiei, Singapore based Iranian designer
Designer Bahareh Badiei (in the middle) with the models at the cozy presentation at Novus
Restaurant in the National Museum.

Bahareh Badiei's first collection in Singapore
All photos by Kenneth Choo (
Thank you Kenneth :-)

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Bonjour Bangkok: 4 stalls not to miss at the weekend market – Chatuchak (Jatujak)

There is no doubt that one of the must do's on any trip to Bangkok is to spend the day losing yourself in the labyrinth that is the massive sprawl of Chatuchak Market.

But unless you love t-shirts and blogshops, the thousands of stalls in the massive weekend market could mean frustration rather than fashion heaven.

It takes patience, but amongst the rows and rows of cheap and cheerful are some genuinely talented young (and even established) Thai labels which sell really original and high quality items for you to wow your friends with.

stingray leather rings and bracelets at Bangkok's Chatuchak Market
Forget the tacky t-shirts and knick-knacks and use your time at
the massive weekend market to get your hands on these stingray beauties!!

Guate bags at Bangkok's Chatuchak Market
Also head to Guate for some high quality and affordable leather
accessories, where you also get to watch the artisans handcrafting them!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Hadasity: Hand made statement jewellery from Singapore

When it comes to accessories, for me it’s go big or go home!

But even those people who prefer more dainty and classic pieces, they probably still agree that the more unique, spontaneous and preferably hand crafted the piece is – the better.

It's ironic that despite Singapore's leaning towards minimalist style, there seems to be a great deal of home-grown interesting and unique jewellery labels, one of which happens to fit right into my style–Hadasity.

I first came across this label at Soon Lee boutiquein Haji Lane and fell in love with the colourful and unpredictable pieces mostly assembled from vintage trinkets and wires. Recently I got a chance to meet Hadassah Lau, the extremely talented woman who designs and handcrafts every single piece at a Hadasity event to launch their new September collection.

Singapore jewellery label Hadasity
One of Hadasity's unique and stunning necklaces! So random
but beautiful...

Hadassah - founder of Hadasity jewellery label
Hadassah is as bubbly as her creations and clearly loves
her craft!