Sneakerheads, fashion entrepreneurs, homegrown couturiers, tailors who promote androgyny: Singapore has raised a fashionable army of local designers.
While Orchard Road houses several international brand names, you’d be missing out on quite a lot if you don’t pursue the sophisticated fashion and design scene in Singapore. Aishwarya Nair thinks so too. Hotelier and director at fashion label, Aligne, Aishwarya currently lives between Singapore and Mumbai, and allows us to peek into her Far (F)East wardrobe and take notes. Here’s a list of her favourite local Singapore brands to shop. PS: She sneaks in two non-local shopping recommendations at the end and we let her, because they are guaranteed to make you weak in the knees.
Exhibit: This seriously cool women’s wear label founded by Yoyo Cao is where you can fulfil your passion for all things pretty like canary coloured ruffled dresses, leopard print shirts and organza puff sleeved sheaths. Cao has shown to packed Singapore Fashion Week houses and believes that her designs “are mandatory in the modern woman’s wardrobe.”
8 Jln Kilang Barat, #06-02, Singapore; www.exhibitstore.co.
Max Tan: Champions of minimalism will love Max Tan, a Singaporean label that promotes androgyny through black and white separates and one pieces described as “serious but never severe, minimal but never simple, fragile but never weak”. Max Tan’s geometric collections have been awarded by Modefabriek, Vogue Nippon, Vogue Paris and Surface Asia.
29 McNair Road, Singapore; +65 6702 1816; www.max-tan.com.
In Good Company: Clean designs and functional pieces make up the racks at In Good Company, a store set up by the former AllDressedUp dream team that used to stock at New York’s Saks Fifth Avenue. The ION store is lovely with its Plain Vanilla Café that offers organic coffee, tea and their signature cupcakes, plus fresh salads, savoury tarts and deli-style sandwiches and tarts. Other confections include delicious sky blue shorts, elephant grey knit dresses, and the coolest Japanese denim crop trousers.
Multiple stores at Orchard Road, Orchard Turn, Bayfront Avenue and St Andrew’s Road, visit ingoodcompany.asia.
Collate: This little Duxton Hill store has all the sharp, affordable workwear you need. Make room for satin camisoles that will look chic under blazers, pastel coloured skirts and floral collars that can make any shirt bloom.
Duxton Hill, Singapore; www.collatethelabel.com.
The Form: The merchandise are available only online , and I can vouch for The Form’s fabric and fit. Order before you leave for your Singapore vacation, and have their elegant ivory dresses and black sheaths delivered to your hotel room.
Our Second Nature: In-house designers take turns coming up with a print that defines each collection. “Our inspiration comes from the sum of all the things we like, and all other things intangible – slow walks in the park, the smell of fresh linen, when a nostalgic song comes on the radio – these small things that make life ours; our trademarks, our quirks, our second nature,” they tells us through their website. Shop here for comfortable, well-priced everyday ensembles; my favourite is the Roadmap Dress.
43 Jln Merah Saga, #01-66, Singapore; oursecondnature.com.
Comma: Botanicals, bushirts and baubles are sold at this store that is a curated space for fashion, art and lifestyle. Think leather satchels, plants cocooned in hipster crochet pot sleeves, and geometric earrings.
277 Orchard Road, #03-16 Orchardgateway, Singapore; +65 6702 6816; www.thecommastore.com.
Club 21: Bought to the country by hotelier Christina Ong, this luxe store stocks trending designers from around the world, including Jacquemus, Proenza White, and more.
190 Orchard Blvd, #01-01/02 Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore; +65 6304 1385; sg.club21global.com/club21.
Dover Street Market: Conceptualised and directed by Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcon, this unique art-meets-fashion store features ever-changing instillations and prêt collections of the most covetable designers.
18 Dempsey Road, Singapore; +65 6304 1388; singapore.doverstreetmarket.com.
Design Orchard: Creativity, commerce and collaboration converge at Design Orchard, Singapore’s newest offering that houses 60+ homegrown labels whose wares range from furniture and fashion to gourmet food and home décor. They stock Singapore’s most celebrated labels (Onlewo, Ginlee Studio etc) but also sparkling newcomers, with local retailer Naiise playing curator and incubator. Turns out, this vibrant enclave is designed by award-winning architecture firm WOHA Architects, so remember to marvel at it on your way out.
250 Orchard Street.
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