Our skyline isn’t the only beautiful thing about Singapore. Walk down our streets and you’ll find stylish locals garbed in the latest threads, including apparel and accessories from homegrown fashion designers. These local designers draw inspiration from the city and its people, and they’ve showcased their creations on runways across the world. So if you’re looking to up your sartorial game, here are six local designers whose eclectic collections will do the job.
No one took notice of Depression in 2006, when Kenny Lim and Andrew Loh launched their label inspired by punk and goth sub-cultures. But once the pair started taking part in fashion festivals in Singapore and Europe, the brand quickly gained the attention of edgy fashionistas. Depression’s style isn’t for everyone. Its (predominantly black) clothes come in unusual, asymmetrical cuts and use technical fabrics, while its small range of shoes and bags are heavily embellished with decorative buckles, straps and zippers. But if you want to stand out from the crowd, Depression’s two full-fledged collections will be right up your alley.
SECTS SHOP. orchardgateway, 277 Orchard Road #04-14, Singapore 238858.
ELOHIM BY SABRINAGOH
The words “measured”, “cool” and “minimal” encapsulate the style of ELOHIM BY SABRINAGOH, a womenswear label founded by a graduate of a local fashion school. ELOHIM’s clean lines, soft fabrics and neutral palette of whites, dark blues and blacks make the label almost the Singaporean equivalent of ‘French chic’. Pair the Estee asymmetrical top with the Darcle lapel overlap skirt, then throw on sneakers or ballet flats, and you’ll have a comfortable and elegant outfit that works just as well in the office and at the club. Head down to ELOHIM’s flagship store in Capitol Piazza for the full experience of mixing and matching the label’s pieces.
Capitol Piazza. 13 Stamford Road #02-14, Singapore 178905. +65 6385 2185.
At DEBONEIRE, pick up a fashion-forward suit that’s fit for balmier climates. The menswear label works on a simple premise: If there are a million variations of the ‘little black dress’, why not the same for the suit? That’s why you’ll find jackets of all cuts and purposes off-the-rack. So whether you’re keen on playing the part of a suave spy in a sleek velvet dinner jacket, or you simply want an unlined blazer for comfort’s sake, DEBONEIRE will have the right one for you. And you’ll be in rare company—personalities such as Australian actor Keagan Kang and local musician Nathan Hartono are among those who have rocked the label’s outfits.
Available online at www.deboneire.net.
Rethink your daily attire without having to change your style. The brother-duo behind Biro Company, Keng How and Kage Chong, is remaking classics for the modern age. Take the humble T-shirt, for example. The label’s Nishijin Ori Mili tee is loose-fitting, breathable, and made with premium cotton that’s been hand-dyed in a Japanese town renowned for kimono-making. While the brand’s menswear comes predominantly in robust shades of blue, there’s also a small collection of Hawaiian and floral-print shirts to match your vivacious personality.
Various stockists, including Robinsons Orchard, Manifesto and Isetan Shaw. For a full list, visit here.
In Good Company
It’s not only about what’s on the rack with In Good Company—it’s what you do when wearing the label’s office-and party-ready apparel. The brand is clear about how it wants to epitomise the millennial lifestyle—just step into its flagship store in ION Orchard, and nibble on cupcakes from its café section while resting on locally designed furniture. Style-wise, In Good Company’s menswear and womenswear are fashion equivalents of a Kinfolk magazine issue: Everything is pastel-hued and clean, with just a touch of playfulness to flaunt your flirtatious side.
ION Orchard. 2 Orchard Turn #B1-06, Singapore 238801. +65 6509 4786.
Accentuate your look with quirky necklaces, earrings, cufflinks and rings from jeweller Carolyn Kan. This former advertising director didn’t leave her imagination behind when she founded her eponymous label in 2009. Her recent Beauty and the Beast collection, for instance, is inspired by the fairy tale’s message of finding inner beauty within a frightening shell. Think jewelled ‘fangs’ that wrap around a pearl ring, or, in another collection, a bracelet studded with mechanical gears that references Alice in Wonderland’s harried hare. These pieces don’t just look good on you—they’re great conversation starters too.
National Design Centre. 111 Middle Road #02-03, Singapore 188969. +65 6352 2559.
Match your outfit with some wearable art from the atelier of Ethan Koh, who hails from a family of leathersmiths. His eponymous label is known for its limited edition purses, handbags, wallets and clutches made with hand-dyed crocodile and alligator skin. While Ethan K’s latest collection, Kite, is founded upon classic tanning techniques, the pieces bear whimsical touches to set you apart from the flock of luxury bag-toting fashionistas.
Malmaison by the Hour Glass. Knightsbridge, 270 Orchard Road #01-01, Singapore 238857. +65 6884 8484.
By invitation only. Only the men’s collections are available here.
Ed Et Al
If shoes do indeed maketh the man, then slip into Ed Et Al’s classic footwear to be transformed into a dapper dandy. The footwear label, founded by Edwin Neo, offers no-nonsense Oxfords, loafers, monk straps and Derbys. Only high-quality leather and suede are used, and all finishes are hand-dyed by local artisans. Each model is also named after a local neighbourhood, so you’ll always be reminded of our streets when you strap on a pair. And if you have specific designs in mind (or odd-sized feet), Ed Et Al’s bespoke service will be able to tailor-make a pair just for you.
Ed Et Al. 120A Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068589. +65 6337 8919.
Mon-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat & Sun 11am-6pm.
Breezy trousers inspired by traditional Asian clothing and patterns form the bulk of MATTER’s stylish, comfortable and socially conscious apparel. The label’s signature piece, the unisex Sideswept Dhoti, is modelled after traditional Indian high-waisted pants. Handloom weavers in the sub-continent craft many of its clothes in an attempt to make rural production sustainable, so you’ll be doing a world of good while looking effortlessly chic. Besides bottoms, MATTER also offers dresses, jumpsuits, tops and accessories such as bags and scarves—and everything is emblazoned with the brand’s trademark exotic prints.
Various stockists, including Gallery & Co. and Threadbare & Squirrel. For a full list, visit here.
Heng Nam Nam Boutique
You will the queen of every gala with a lavish ball gown from Heng Nam Nam Boutique. The tailors behind the boutique, Heng Nam Nam and Chen Kah Lee, have been honing their craft for more than two decades, and are considered the gold standard for luxury gowns in Asia. Treat them like your fairy godfathers as they fuss over you like Cinderella, then lap up all the attention when you grace any event with your haute couture creation. Thankfully, this dress won’t disappear at midnight.
Palais Renaissance. 390 Orchard Road #03-06/07, Singapore 2338871. +65 6339 6579.
By appointment only.