Showing posts with label asian labels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label asian labels. Show all posts

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Mode in Asia: Curated and eclectic online shopping from Shanghai

A while back it was entirely down to Singapore to hold up the reputation of Asian designers online.

But that’s starting to change, as other parts of the region start to get their online act together.

And nowhere is the fashion e-tailing concept growing faster than in bustling and busy Shanghai.

The business city of China has embraced online in a big way, with the likes of the super curated Bundshop making waves in the West.

Now it’s the turn of Mode In Asia to shine the spotlight on the pan-Asian fashion scene. This newly-launched site is both curated AND eclectic. Two of my favourite words!

It stocks emerging designers from across the region – from Thailand’s LaLaLove London (keep reading to find out how you can win a LaLaLove London top through Bonjour Singapore), to Singapore’s Aijek and Stolen (check out my previous post about this amazing label!).

From quirky party frocks to elegant evening numbers: Mode In Asia offers many choices for the eclectic ladies. Best of all, they are all unique pieces from independent Asian designers!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Stolen: Bringing sexy back to Singapore!

My love for colour is documented all over this blog, but just like any other fashionista, I have bagged myself more than the odd LBD throughout the last decade.

Yet the older I get (yup, only last week I turned 31!) the more I appreciate what a classic well-made understated dress can do. That’s where Singapore label Stolen comes into the picture; creating elegance that has tempted me to part with my hard-earned cash – and won me over as a lifelong fan!

Treading the line between elegant, sexy and edgy – Stolen makes some of the most timeless and well-made clothes I’ve seen on the little red dot. With material like twill, crepe, shantung silk and chiffon – the dresses look and feel luxurious.

Monday, 4 March 2013

5 emerging Asian designers to look out for

For decades, Europe and America have been the centre of the fashion world. While that’s largely true – the four most important fashion weeks do happen in the West after all – but that doesn’t mean that it’s only Western designers who are shaping the future of fashion.

Take a look at the rise of the Asian designer in the states, and the increasing number of designers from that side of the world muscling their way into London and Paris.
Even back in the day the likes of John Rocha (Hong Kong) and Jimmy Choo (Malaysia) were making sure the world was aware of Asia as a creative hub as well as a manufacturing base.
Over the past few years you have the more established lines of Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung, Vera Wang, Richard Chai or Alexander Wang all flaunting their Asian heritage all across the major fashion weeks.
Now the question has to be, where is the next generation of Asian designers coming from? Who is going to be the next big thing to hit the catwalks of London, Paris, New York and Milan?
Read on to have a look at my pick of five Asian designers to look out for and remember you saw it here first!
Yeashin Kim (S. Korea), Haizhen Wang (China) and Lionel Low (Singapore) are some
of the rising Asian designers to look out for!

Monday, 4 February 2013

From Couture to Read-to-Wear: Malaysian designer Jovian Mandagie for

My Lebanese genes must have something to do with it but I just love couture!

In fact, there’s nothing that gets my heart pulsing quite as much as slipping into a custom-made couture creation which I have been lucky to have had on a few occasions.

But while couture can be the most sumptuous thing you could ever wear, sadly it almost always comes at a hefty price tag which not many people can afford, especially the young fashionistas.

However someone seems to be doing something about it, namely up-and-coming Malaysian designer Jovian Mandagie.

Love this look from Jovian's 'Femme' collection!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Want to see what's in my Clozette?

Yup I'm one of Clozette Ambassadors as seen on the banner ;-)

Less than two years ago, before this blog even existed or I had any presence on social media networks like twitter and facebook – google images was my best friend.

Every time I wanted to check a certain dress I saw on the high street or get inspiration for an outfit I want to put together – I typed in a few words and if I were lucky got a few relevant images among a lot of rubbish not related to fashion.

But digital media has evolved so much since then – or more accurately I finally embraced social media and saw the light – and things have become much easier, more convenient and way more accurate.

No one can deny that fashion is mostly all about visuals.

Pintrest is good for that but better still is Clozette – the fashion networking site where you’ll only find fashion and more fashion.

Clozette gives me the chance to share snaps - like this - of anything I find on my
fashionable quest in Asia and around...

... And if you like the looks I've been putting together, you can see them all
on a special section on my page here

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Bonjour Bangkok: Wila’s quirky and whimsical prints

I have had a love affair with prints for longer than I can remember! So much so that if you open my closet, the majority of the pieces I own and cherish are those with unique prints. I just find it amusing what inspires a designer to develop a certain print and how the outcome relates to the initial concept.

While London is arguably THE capital for quirky prints– whether from established designers like Paul Smith, Alexander McQueen and Matthew Williamson to more recent upcoming labels like Basso and Brooke, Mary Katrantzou and Antoni and Alison – Bangkok on the other hand could as well be Asia’s prints capital.

The first label to ever catch my eye from the Thai capital is ISSUE – a label I absolutely adore for their unusual tribal-inspired prints. But as I visited lately, more and more designers seem to have followed in the footsteps of ISSUE and are coming up with cool designs which may as well look at home in London.

One such label is Wila, whose boutique I stumbled upon last summer while looking around Terminal21, the latest hip fashion destination in the city.

Owls and Alpaca! Cute and original prints are something BKK-based
Wila does to perfection!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

TSURA: Tribal chic jewellery

I donno if being a Middle Eastern or travelling a lot had to do with my fascination by tribal jewellery. So much so to an extent that in almost every city I’ve been to, I never left without a statement piece as a souvenir to later add to my ever expanding collection. For me, no piece of dainty diamond encrusted jewellery can match the charm these traditional pieces embody!

But as much as I love my OTT – sometime antique, decades old pieces - bought from rural parts of places like Yemen, Nepal, Iran, Syria and Jordan I do find it hard to pull off on daily basis and I’m always on the look for something slightly more chic and wearable yet still as interesting to go with my wardrobe.

My latest find, jewellery label TSURA takes inspiration from the travels of its HK-born Singapore-based designer Tara Thadani who grew up globe-trotting the world, and provides pieces with are tribal in their theme yet very wearable and chic.

TSURA's Daphne necklace is inspired by tribal potion bottle used in voodoo
practices. Who would have thought black magic could look so chic?

Friday, 14 December 2012

7 Fashionable Christmas gift ideas for HIM

We all know what it’s like shopping for the significant man in your life.

Whether it’s the husband, boyfriend, dad, son, nephew or best friend, no-one wants to descend into the Christmas cliché of socks, ties and aftershaves.

It’s always hard finding the right present for each person but finding a fashionable one is even harder.

Never fear, because auntie Bonjour is here to give you a handy guide to being the most awesome gift giver this festive season.

Luckily I’ve done the work for you and shortlisted my top Christmas gift ideas for HIM. Almost all of them are by Singaporean designers and there is something for every budget.

So whether your budget is S$30 or S$300, you’ll find something that will hit the spot. Thank me later ;-)

These LookMyBaboush Arabian-inspired unisex shoes is one my
picks for this Christmas' gifts.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Bonjour Bangkok: Keith & Kym's best of Thai accessories labels

One thing about Bangkok - which I’ve heard over and over again – is that it is a great destination for bargain shopping or shopping on a budget. The street markets, weekend market and countless blog-shop type places are everywhere to be seen and even with a budget of S$50, you’re guaranteed to get something (or three) that you like.

While this is absolutely true and definitely great – hey I’ve managed to score some bargains as well – it actually leaves out some of the best shopping in the Thai capital. That is, something totally unique, creative and more of an investment piece rather than fast fashion. This is especially true when on the look for Thai designers whose pieces might not go for S$10 a pop but are still reasonable and definitely worth every penny you pay for it.

But in a place like Bangkok, finding the original from the copy, the unique from the mass-produced is not easy especially when it comes to accessories. So if you’re a quality over quantity type of consumer and you like something extra special, ditch all the other places and head to one shop which has it all: Keith&Kym Gallery.

Original pieces like this stunning pendant from Thai label Sinturak and more are found
at Keith&Kym's gallery in Bangkok, Terminal21.

Love these statement pieces which you won't be finding anywhere in the street markets...

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

What I wore: My 10 Digital Fashion Week outfits

I had so many reasons to be super excited to take part of Digital Fashion Week (DFW). As you know I was hosting the interviews with some great established and emerging Singaporean designers and hanging around backstage among some beautiful clothes and models.

But I won’t lie. Getting dolled up every morning with a team of experts and having 10 outfits to change in three days was probably one of the highlights as well. My co-host (Beam Artiste and blogger Yvette King) and I took our jobs as promoting Singaporean and Asian designers very seriously and spent many days before the event running around planning our outfits mainly from places like Parco next NEXT and the participating designers.

It was tiring but great fun especially that our choices seemed to grab people’s attention - including super model Andrej Pejic who fell in love with a LION EARL digital print dress that Yvette was wearing which prompted the designer Lionel to give him one! Another item which Andrej managed to keep was my TOTON collar which I wore the last day to interview him. Sophie Sumner also made no secret of her love for local label OwnMuse and wore their clothes more than a couple of times during the week.

So if you’ve missed out (or lost count) of my DFW outfits, here’s the list of what I wore on all 3 days and the press conference! Which LOOK did you like most ;-)?

Big thanks goes to my dear friend Aaron Han who was on hand everyday
to snap most of these photos :-)

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Bonjour Bangkok: Lynn Around keep it quirky and mainstream

Perhaps a great thing about Thai labels is that not only the small and independent ones that pride themselves on being funky and quirky.
Maybe it's something to do with the Thai attitude to dressing up, but it’s really refreshing to see the eccentricity not being designed out by committee when a brand becomes more mainstream. They're still waving goodbye to dull and pushing the boundaries with risky style statements.

One label which despite its size (It has around 10 outlets in Bangkok) is doing just that: Lynn Around.

I first saw their outlet at the never disappointing Thai fashion cathedral Terminal 21, where the vibrant colours and eye-catching looks pulled me in to inquire about the label (and ahem… shop).

Dalmation pattern shoes from Lynn Around
Even in a somehow more 'mainstream' Thai label like Lynn Around, you can still find
some quirky stuff like these adorable pony hair loafers. Bangkok rocks!

Lynn Around at Terminal21 Bangkok
The colours and variety of styles at their Terminal21 branch is so inviting.

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.

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, 13 August 2012

Stingray arm candy from Malaysian label KLutched

If you thought my penchant for eel skin bags was a tad unusual, wait until you know my ultimate leather of choice when it comes to bags… drum roll… Stingray skin!

Yup, again it’s a marine creature that produces the toughest and most durable leather you can ever find which also happens to be so chic, understated and probably the least underrated of all kinds.

Ever since my first encounter with this beautiful textured leather, I fell in love and was curious if I could find any Asian designer using it in their products. On my first visit to Bali I did at one of the coolest boutiques on the island (will be blogging about it after my second visit in a couple of weeks!) but sadly the clutches I wanted were all sold out and I ended up buying my husband a stingray wallet instead.

But I kept looking and finally my search is over! Malaysian handbag label KLutched seems to have read my mind and I think I finally found my perfect stingray leather bags, just across the border!

No kind of leather, in my opinion, comes close to how chic yet understated
Stingray skin is. This KLucthed miniaudiere and iphone cover demonstrate that!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Bangkok Frocks: Five must see labels from Thailand

When it comes to travelling I admit I’m obsessed with planning. Despite the availability of tour guides and internet sources, I always insist on making an hour-by-hour plan which ensures I see everything I came to see on my holiday.

While most of my planning is about sightseeing, I also like to have some sort of plan for the shopping part. Just to save time and make sure I don’t get led by well-meaning taxi drivers to overpriced touristy shops.

My planning skills are about to come to the fore when I go to Bangkok later this month. I’ll be accompanying my husband on a business trip, but he’ll be busy during the days. And that means one thing – a three day long shopathon!

I’ve compiled a list of boutiques and shops which I’m looking forward to visit on my trip. While this is not the full list, it is a snippet of what I’m looking forward to most. And experience taught me that as good as it is to have a pre planned itinerary, it’s always good to leave some time for what I do best – wandering around and discovering even cooler places by accident.

Kloset is high on my list of Thai labels to see when in BKK! Just love the
whimsical details...

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Jimmy Choo who? Four Malaysian Shoe Labels You Should Know About

Like most girls out there, shoes are my guilty pleasure! I can spend hours and hours browsing the internet for shoe inspirations and day dreaming about those stilettos that look like pieces of art – yet are not really functional.

Since moving to Asia, I wanted to discover more South East Asian shoe brands and to my surprise - or not really – most of the cool shoe labels came from Malaysia. It might be the Jimmy Choo effect but again the styles are hardly similar to the shoe legends designs and vary widely from elegant and simple to edgy and avant-garde.

There is definitely something for everyone and even better, they all come at an affordable price point and are available online for those who don’t reside in the country.

So here are the Malaysian shoe labels you should know about – and stock in your closet:

CHIYO is one of the new labels proving that Mayalsia might as well be the
shoe capital of the region!
How elegant is this pair from rising shoe designer Benson Chen?

Monday, 23 July 2012

Hayley Kiel eel skin bags: Korea's best export (after K-POP of course!)

Ever since I moved to Asia, I’ve seen so many python skin handbags that I’ve lost count.
I admit. They look beautiful and exotic especially compared to your average leather bag. And what’s better is that you can get them much cheaper around this region. I even picked up a few myself on a recent trip to Bali!

But apart from Python, there are other interesting types of leather which remain a little underrated and are sought out by the true fashionistas.

My favourites are sting ray and eel skin. Who’d have thought you could get beautiful things from water creatures? But because they are truly individual animals, the look and texture is very unique – and for someone with a water sign like me – more appealing :-)

Elegant, unique and classic: Nothing beats an eel skin arm candy!

The best thing about Hayley Kiel's designs is that they come
in amazing shades of bright colours...

Friday, 13 July 2012

13 Lucky Monkey: Custom skull rings from the Philippines

This probably won’t come as much of a surprise to you, but I’ve never been much of a rock chick.

Sure, I’ve got perfect headbanging hair, laugh at my husband bouncing around the room to 80s metal and regularly impersonate Slash at fancy dress parties, but that’s about the extent of my dabbling in rock n’ roll.

While I find the biker culture cool, I’ve never been near a real hog (I don’t even know how to ride a bicycle) and I’ve never been into skulls – even when they were massively in fashion with the Swarovski set.

So why am I talking about skulls, bikers and metal? It’s because I’ve found something that has opened my eyes.

Custom silver skull rings from Manila's 13 lucky monkey
Give me a hell yeah! Philippine label 13 Lucky Monkey's awesome skull rings

Monday, 2 July 2012

Q&A with Toton, Indonesia's hottest new label

I have a confession to make. I’ve got a new love in my life.

This new obsession occupies my every waking thought, I surf the internet just to gaze lovingly. I still remember the first time our lives came into contact.

It was love at first sight. As I browsed the stalls at Blueprint I couldn't help myself, we made eye contact across a crowded floor, I was instantly drawn in by the elegance and beauty he displayed.

That beauty was called Toton and I’m already turning into an addict!

The designer Toton Januar: Can't wait to see what this man will do next,
after his fresh and exquisite debut collection this year!

Classic with a (considerable) twist is what you can call Toton's
collection like this gorgeous jacket with a zip detail