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Shopping in Singapore: Local designers we love and how to find them

By: Susannah Jaffer

When it comes to shopping for fashion in Singapore, it’s normal to take the safe option and frequently hit the mass chain brands on Orchard Road. And while this might feel faster (and easier), it’s undoubtedly nicer to buy up outfits that are unique and different – particularly if you’re dressing up for a special occasion. We’re fortunate to have a growing pool of talented local designers and labels here in Singapore, but tracking down their (surprisingly affordable) collections can be tricky. You know what that means, right? Yup! We feel a handy guide coming on!

To give you a stylish hand and steer you towards fabulous local designers, we’ve rounded up thirty of our favourite home grown brands – from millinery to casual wear, handcrafted statement jewellery and more. Check out the neat round-ups below and hit the links for more information and jazzy items.

The Hansel collection is inspired by HDB apartment blocks
The Hansel collection is inspired by HDB apartment blocks

 

 Hansel
This well-loved local label ticks all the boxes. Clothing is created in flattering and quality fabrics, generous sizing and fun designs.

 Carrie K
This label specializes in handcrafted artisan jewellery made of sterling silver or semi-precious stones. You’ll love this label’s quirky yet modern take on jewellery design.

 Emblem
For comfortable handmade and quality ballet flats and other leather accessories.

 Mae Pang
A women’s label that features clever tailoring with a modern aesthetic.

Max Tan
A long-established label offering androgynous and minimalist collections for women.

Ong Shunmugam reinvents the traditional Chinese cheongsam
Ong Shunmugam reinvents the traditional Chinese cheongsam

 

 20:twothree
For casual and very wearable clothing for both men and women, with cuts inspired by geometry and draping.

Pauline Ning
Clothing collections with a feminine feel and a touch of edginess, inspired by organic shapes and materials.

Ong Shunmugam
A contemporary womenswear label with many designs inspired by the traditional cheongsam and designed using traditional weaving techniques.

A model struts down the catwalk in S/S'14 L'ile Aux Ashby at Digital Fashion Week 2013
A model struts down the catwalk in S/S’14 L’ile Aux Ashby at Digital Fashion Week 2013

By Invite Only
For rings, necklaces and bracelets hand-crafted with semi precious stones and crystals.

 Revasseur
Translating to ‘daydreamer’ in French, this label offers whimsical and avant-garde womenswear designs with strong silhouettes.

Aijek
Founded in 2010, collections at Aijek are wonderfully feminine and created using high quality sustainable fabrics, using materials with natural fibres that age well such as silk.

Elohim by Sabrina Goh
Drawing inspiration from architectural design, Sabrina Goh features strong and sculpted silhouettes, but creates pieces that are surprisingly wearable and fashion-forward.

L’ile Aux Ashby
Becoming well-known for their graphic prints, local designer L’ile Aux Ashby (headed by Rayson Tan) presents bold and beautiful collections that we can’t get enough of.

 Saloni Rathor
Saloni Rathor’s ready-to-wear collections are bold and expressive, showing an Asian influence through prints, colours and textures.

Expressive designs from Saloni Rathor
Expressive designs from Saloni Rathor

Triologie
Created for dreams, travellers and trendsetters, Triologie’s latest line drew inspiration from French fashion and prominent French fashion figures and landmarks, such as Coco Chanel and Notre Dame Cathedral.

Foreword
Foreword’s edge handcrafted jewellery is good quality, creative and easy to wear and coordinate with their plethora of designs and different colourways. One of their most classic pieces is their popular Sojourn necklace.

Heads of State Millinery
Founder and designer Chee Sau Fen conducts hat making training for groups of women in the disadvantaged Daraghuyan tribal community in Cebu. The hat production educates, encourages and creates a livelihood for the female community, while reviving traditional weaving techniques.

Cassey Gan
Cassey Gan’s collections combine both comfort and style for clothing that you can run around in while looking on-trend.

Ling Wu Bags
If you’re after leather bags, you should check out Ling Wu’s gorgeous designs crafted in python skin and leather in modern designs.

Functional and wearable - Cassey Gan ticks all the boxes
Functional and wearable – Cassey Gan ticks all the boxes

Noel Caleb
With their name meaning ‘Christmas’ and ‘Devotion’, Noël Caleb designs colourful but wearable pieces for the loving, joyful and confident.

The Depression team have also just opened a new store called SECTS in Orchard Gateway
The Depression team have also just opened a new store called SECTS in Orchard Gateway

Fabrix
Fabrix produces designs in classic shapes whilst paying close attention to texture and prints including chic laptop or ipad cases, briefcases or tote bags for men and women.

Sue Ling jewelry
Artisan and statement designs by Sue Ling feature creative and unique metal-smithing techniques using precious metals and gems.

 Saturday
Designer Nic Wong creates brilliant casual wear and luxe basics in quality jersey fabrics.

Carrying around all your gadgets is made easy with Fabrix's range of bags and totes
Carrying around all your gadgets is made easy with Fabrix’s range of bags and totes

In Good Company
This concept label creates capsules of casual wear collections in a palette of neutrals perfect for Singapore’s climate, from simple shift dresses to crepe camisoles and cotton pants.

 Cosset
Cosset stocks soft-to-the-touch lounge wear basics in sustainable bamboo fabrics.

Also: Stores, websites and events that sell a mixture of local designs and mainstream brands

The Emporium
The Emporium Group bring together a mixture of unique, one-offs alongside items from Singapore’s mainstream brands, with stores at #01-84 Millenia Walk and #02-23 Orchard Gateway.

Blueprint (annual event)
This big annual event is not to be missed if you’re looking for something really unique. You’ll have the chance to shop local designers and labels not just within Singapore but also the rest of Asia (with some participators from countries in Europe and Australia too).

Naiise
This fairly new website stocks ‘made in Singapore’ products across art, kitchenware, women and men’s fashion and tech. They also host regular pop-up events.

 

 For more see our Style section

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