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It happens to everyone: you look into a closet overflowing with clothes and sigh to yourself about having nothing to wear before pulling out the same outfit you’ve worn a million times. Singapore’s fashion scene is a great source of inspiration – alongside its fashion bloggers and Instagrammers, follow these up-and-coming local designers for new trends and labels.
Chelsea takes inspiration for her label, Dzojchen (pronounced doh-jen), from her mixed Singaporean and British heritage. She wants her label to show how the cultural and philosophical conflict between Western and Eastern ideologies can be presented through fashion. Her collection is full of paradoxical pieces that run the gamut between masculine and feminine.
Carolyn Kan is a member of a new generation of Singaporean entrepreneurs who start their adulthood with conventional careers and realize that pursuing their dreams is more important to them than climbing corporate ladders. In Carolyn’s case, she got as far as being a managing director at high-profile advertising firm M&C Saatchi. After an influential trip to Europe, she returned to Singapore and launched Carrie K, a bespoke jewelry line that has grown from $20,000 in sales in its first year to lucrative partnerships and dedicated shops.
Max Tan’s designs are characterized by avant-garde minimalism. The striking feature that defines his designs is a unique take on how clothing is tailored. His unique look has pushed his brand to the international stage through Amsterdam, Paris and China.
With STYL.MYL. (pronounced stylo-mylo), Kolin Chong wants people to look beyond the constructs of gender and age to the ubiquity of fashion. The label’s unisex items are designed with modernity and clean lines in mind, achieved through somber colours accented by a mix of eastern aesthetics.
One of the more playful and colourful emerging designers in Singapore, the label by trio Daniela Monasterios-Tan, Nathanael Ng and Shaf Amis’aabudin creates pieces that match Singapore’s tropical climate. Many of Mash-up’s pieces contain tongue-in-cheek pop culture references and the idea of not taking oneself or one’s fashion too seriously. The label has collaborated with a range of brands, from UNIQLO to Lomography, and its pieces can be found across Southeast Asia.
Named after friends Alicia and Clarissa, Al et Clar (pronounced Elle eh Clare) took inspiration from their travels to France for timeless and classic fashion. The two designers want women to gain confidence from their pieces based on the clothing’s simplicity, and they strive to work with sustainable manufacturers with a focus on low-impact practices and minimizing waste.
Yilin’s designs are inspired largely by her experiences with global culture and contemporary art. The pieces are defined by geometric elements paired with classic and modern cuts. These elements can be seen across her different collections; her Yumumu line is available at independent retailer Nana & Bird.