Fashion Flag Flying High

Three local labels bring their interpretations of Singapore style overseas with their winning designs

Issue: Aug 2009

woods and woods, hansel, alldressedup

This August, Singapore celebrates 44 years of independence. From its days as a humble fishing village to the bustling commercial hub of Asia that it is today, the country has a lot to be grateful for.

Through hard work, uncompromising vision, and an almost zealot-like dedication to excellence, its citizens have made the small big.

Fashionistas the world over have these traits to thank for the incredibly stylish threads that the "lil' red dot" has been exporting in recent years. We check out three of Singapore's brightest stars in the fashion scene.

Fairy-tale Start

[Left to right] Elegance reinvented with this Black Dress with Asymmetrical Bow. A playful Knitted Ribbon Top with Double Belted Skirt.Simple and clean Knitted Blouse with Bow Skirt
Jo Soh has got herself quite a following, after having dressed stars such as the all-girl pop band The Veronicas, MTV VJ Denise Keller and Singaporean actress Fann Wong.

Owner and designer of the quirkily playful label Hansel, Soh churns out highly wearable pieces that ooze spunk and minimalist chic.

The label - named after Soh's beloved dog - made its debut at the Mercedes Australian Fashion Week in 2003. Since then, it's become the darling of both local and international media.

Currently stocked in hip designer boutiques in Japan, Australia, Kuala Lumpur and of course Singapore, Soh's designs are famed for their juxtaposition of strong and subtle shades, with a play on unexpected elements and fabrics.

This season, her new Autumn/Winter 2009 wardrobe "Robot Girl!" sees the colours black, navy and grey take the wheel. Pure wool knits and twills dominate the collection while silk crepes, poly crinkled chiffons and poly grid voile give the smart outfits a slightly laid-back feel.

Created for those who want to stand out from the drones in the office, this collection is perfect for wearing to work on a Friday and then hitting up an in-vogue cocktail bar after.

Out of the Woods

[Left to right] Tailored panel jacket paired with pleated baggy pants, Oversized hood cardigan with a jersey top and drop-crotch pants, Long jacket with vest and loose tailored pants
Self-taught fashion designer Jonathan Seow kicked off his label Woods & Woods in 2001. He had nothing more than an old Singer sewing machine and lots of pent-up rebellious emotions to work with.

Seow has since presented his collections of seasonal men's and women's designs in Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Australia.

His clothes have earned him accolades that include the "Who's Next Concour Jeune Createur '05" in Paris, and 2nd Best Collection & Best Menswear at the 12th Mittelmoda Fashion Awards organised by Camera Moda Nazionale Italiano.

Seow, who's come a long way from his days as an assistant designer with fashion houses, is not one to rest on his laurels.

His label is part of the RESCUSCITATION 2009 project in Singapore, which discusses social issues through art and fashion. The series of installations, in the form of photography, live presentations, sounds and clothing, also serves as a platform for creativity across disciplines.

He hopes the project will change the way fashion is defined and crafted in Singapore. or

Dressing Up in Style

[Left to right] Bohemian at it's best in Frilled Cardigans, Color Block Top and Pleated Pants. Beat the summer heat with this Toffee Draped Jersey Top with Harem Pants. Ooze style and sophistication dressed in a Double Breasted Jacket with Constructed Pleated Dress
International fashion label alldressedup appeals to the modish bohemians in us with its free-spirited and spontaneous approach.

The label is the brainchild of Lionel Leo and Tina Tan-Leo, a husband-and-wife team. Together, the couple has more than 30 years of extensive experience in luxury fashion and lifestyle retail.

As to the origins of the label's name, it surely must have stemmed from Tan-Leo's response to her husband: "I was all dressed up at the age of six!", when he asked how her passion for fashion began.

Since its launch in 2005, alldressedup has won the following of confident, urban-minded women across the globe. These days, its collections are carried by 40 internationally recognised stockists in the US, Europe, Middle East and China. Most notably, alldressedup can be found in specialty stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue (US), Lane Crawford (Hong Kong), Net-a-Porter (US) and Biffy (Italy).

The latest alldressedup boutique will open this September at Singapore's iconic multi-sensory experiential shopping and lifestyle mall, ION Orchard.

Dubbed the "Orient Express", the label's Fall/Winter 2009 collection seeks to fuse elements from the Oriental and Occidental worlds.

Rich in colours and details, the silhouettes are loosely and lightly layered, as indulgent materials such as silk, satin, cashmere and mélange jersey leave an opulent impression. Faux nubuck bags and necklaces dominate the accessories portion of this contemporary collection.
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