Coach’s Legacy collection is simple but good


In 1961, an American designer made history when she introduced industrial hardware like brass toggles and zips onto clothes and bags. She also revolutionised the way women carried their daily necessities around by introducing matching coin purses attached to bags as well as inner zipped compartments.

Her name was Bonnie Cashin, and she was the chief designer of Coach. Her vision was simple – to make fashion practical.

Fast forward 51 years, and her name is still very much part of Coach’s identity, especially with the launch of the Coach Legacy collection for Fall 2012, a collection that re-introduces Coach’s archival pieces but with a modern twist.

A highlight of the Legacy collection is the Duffle (pictured above), first made famous by Bonnie Cashin in 1973, in a practical though dull camel brown shade. The latest version however, is like the original Duffle Sac’s more vivacious sister, boasting a plethora of bright colours like cobalt blue, emerald green, sunflower yellow and carnelian red.

The Legacy range continues to adapt from its archives with the cross-body Saddle Bag, the mini Penny bag, the double-buckled Amanda Flap and the Archive Bucket Bag, all inspired from Coach purses of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

There’s more to fall in love with in this Legacy collection. Each bag is either made from Coach’s heritage glove-tanned leather or a hardy pebbled leather, and accompanied by a tassel – the Legacy’s collection signature.

The Bonnie Cashin influence is woven throughout the Legacy purses, from the use of bold, vivid shades and handy small accessories that matched your bag, right down to the special reissue of Bonnie Cashin designs like the Bucket Bag (pictured below) which she popularised in 1968.

The stars of this season’s collection might be retrospective and simple (no visible Coach logos) but they certainly aren’t in any way old-fashioned, proving that regardless of what people say about cutting-edge design, good old classics still reign supreme.



THEFACESHOP SG crowns Natalie Pua as their first local ambassador


After two months of intense competition, THEFACESHOP Singapore’s Top Girl has been crowned. At the Top Girl Grand Finals held last weekend on June 16, 22-year-old student Natalie Pua emerged victorious, taking the first ever THEFACESHOP Singapore Top Girl title.

“Natalie’s radiant smile and elegance made her a popular choice among both judges and audience alike. She truly captures the essence of our brand with her warm personality and positive attitude to life. We look forward to her rise as a beauty inspiration to others through the brand”, revealed THEFACESHOP Singapore’s CEO Ms. Doreen Kho.

Being a fan of THEFACESHOP products, Natalie took part in the Top Girl search despite her shy nature. “I am a big fan of THEFACESHOP’s masks and my favourite product, the Raspberry Roots Depuffing Eye Gel is an essential”, shares Natalie.

Natalie who is currently pursuing a degree in Accountancy at the Singapore Management University will begin her Top Girl duties next week as she travels to Seoul to meet the eight other Top Girls from Myanmar, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and China.

As part of the Top Girl prize, Natalie will front THEFACESHOP Singapore’s brand campaigns and launches for the next 12 months. She also took home a THEFACESHOP hamper, Toywatch, New Look outfits and $8,000 in cash.

Other Top Girl finalists also walked away with prizes at the grand finals. Shannon Low who was the first runner-up walked off with a THEFACESHOP hamper as well as cash vouchers. Amanda Low was awarded Miss Popularity while Tay Wee Leng was chosen as the New Look Fashionistar.


Chloé re-opens its store in Ngee Ann City


Chic luxury label Chloé has re-opened its Singapore store with a full range of women’s ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes, small leather goods, eyewear, jewellery & even fragrance
The sophisticated, yet feminine, fashion label Chloé has finally re-opened its store in Ngee Ann City and is now stocking the full range of its covetable women’s ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes, small leather goods, eyewear, jewellery and even fragrance lines.

Featuring a contemporary ambience of three-dimensional wooden panels, crisp white finishes and a glistening white quartz wall, the 120 square metres of French chic is now open for your shopping pleasure.

Founded in 1952 by Gaby Aghion, the Chloé label has always had a distinct aesthetic of soft, body-conscious pieces in luxe fabrics. It was, in fact, the very first luxury prêt-a-porter, or ready-to-wear, brand and kicked off the fashion industry that we know today.

After the brand’s resurgence under the helm of Phoebe Philo in 2001 – yes, the same designer behind the growth of Celine – it become one of the “it” brands beloved of stars like Kirsten Dunst, Natalie Portman and Lou Doillon.

Now designed by Clare Waight Keller who came on-board in 2011, the brand continues to wow fashionistas who have a penchant for feminine, but elegant, looks and its accessories continue to be front row favourites.

Although there is currently only one Chloé boutique in Singapore, the brand says that it plans to open more stores in the region in the near future.


Future Fashion Now Showcase 3: Mae Pang and Dzojchen


Edgy street style sensibilities infuse Singapore labels Mae Pang & Dzojchen pre-Spring 2013 collections at AFF2012

It seemed as if the gritty-cool train rolled into town, judging by two shows at the third Future Fashion Now showcase held on day four of Audi Fashion Festival 2012 on Saturday, May 19..

Singapore fashion labels Mae Pang and Dzojchen sent out collections bundled with attitude; with a New York “It” kid sensibility, although each label catered to a different sort of “It” child personality.

Mae Pang and Dzojchen

At Mae Pang, local designer Pang Ai Mei sent out her signature style with her Pre-Spring 2013 collection, fusing billowy chiffon layers with more structured, grounded cuts and fabrics in muted hues like black, grey and navy blue. Only one of Pang’s neon colours from last season made it into this collection – the neon aqua-blue shade, which appeared as a pop of colour on select pieces.

There was a distinctive sporty, Alexander Wang-like vibe to the collection; collared silk-chiffon shirts had zips down the front instead of buttons, sheer panelling was found on tops, skirts and dresses and to bring home the message, models sported luxe black baseball caps.

At Dzojchen, the sensibility belonged to the grittier side of New York City. Black leather pieces turned up in every single iteration possible, from leather pants to maxi skirts, city shorts, vests, tank tops, blazers and even hooded capes.

And to go with these rough-and-tumble leather pieces were amazingly deceptive dark green knitted sweaters that are actually made of finely-woven lambskin leather, as well as sheer chiffon collared shirts and basic cotton-jersey tank dresses.

Considering that the Singapore-made, New York-based label from ex-model Chelsea Scott-Blackhall first began as a denim brand, there was a surprising lack of this fabric in the pre-Spring 2013 collection. Only a couple pairs went down the runway, the most noteworthy, a pair of dark washed jeans with two half-open zips down the side.

You can see the model-off-duty look in most of the Dzojchen and Mae Pang looks – which means this is wearable, super chic fashion at its best.

You can buy these items now on Future Fashion Now, prices start from US$80 for a sheer tank top from Dzojchen and US$139 for a short-sleeved t-shirt from Mae Pang. Log on to to shop.


Iconic bags, fabulous boutique; don’t miss the Fendi flagship store


The spotlight is on Fendi with its iconic Baguette bag & the opening of a totally redesigned Southeast Asia flagship boutique for Singapore

When Silvia Venturini Fendi created the Baguette bag in 1997, she probably didn’t realise she was creating a new fashion phenomenon, the “it” bag. The chic, neat little shoulder bags in brilliant colours, fabulous materials and with almost as many different versions as there are women, the Fendi Baguette has rightly become an iconic bag.

“When I created the Baguette it was mainly a simple, personal desire for a change from traditional bags originating perhaps by some kind of un-satisfaction with the 90s minimalism, and I believe that the homologation of minimalism is restrictive in the creative process,” says Silvia Venturini Fendi about creating the Baguette.

Now the Italian luxury fashion house is celebrating this gorgeous little accessory with the re-issuing of six of their most stunning versions alongside a fab book that traces not only the history of the Baguette but also some of the famous women who have loved it.

With over 1,000 versions of the Baguette available, the six special re-issued bags were specially chosen by Ms Venturini Fendi herself, and she has a particular reason for choosing each one.

Check out the gallery attached below to see all six Fendi Baguette bags in detail & Ms Venturini Fendi’s reasons for choosing each one.

All six Baguettes will be available from Fendi boutiques around the world, starting with the new Fendi Southeast Asia flagship store that’s opening at Ngee Ann City on May 23, 2012; yes, these special bags will first be available here in Singapore.

The Baguette book will also be available for the first time in Singapore; stuffed full of 250 full colour images of the bags you’ll be able to understand just how different and interesting each one has been, and why you can honestly say “there’s a Fendi Baguette for every woman”.

The redesigned space of the previous Fendi store has been increased to 175sqm, features the latest Fendi concept created by renowned architect Peter Marino with a stunning new façade in amber glass.

Marino’s design echoes the Palazzo Fendi in Rome and reflects the duality of the Fendi brand with contrasting materials, shapes and movements with mixes of light and dark colours; modern and baroque elements.

There’s even tonnes of luxurious Roman Travertine stone cut into curvy slabs and hung to replicate a floating valance; alongside is super polished San Pietrini stone that evokes the feeling of Rome’s cobblestone streets but is so much more elegant and modern.

Fendi’s new flagship boutique will carry the complete range of women’s ready-to-wear, leather goods, fur and accessories; as well as featuring the fabulous special Fendi Baguettes as well as a display of other Baguettes that have become fashion icons themselves in many cases.

The new Fendi Southeast Asia flagship boutique officially opens on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 with an exclusive invitation-only cocktail party featuring a display of the six Limited Re-Edition Baguettes, together with first preview of the Fall Winter 2012 Collection and Fur.

For those lucky enough to have snagged an invite it’s surely going to be the fashion event of the season; the fashionistas will be playing “spot the Baguette”.

The Fendi Southeast Asia Flagship boutique is located at Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Ngee Ann City, #01-30/31/32, Tel: 6887 5981.

There will be a display of over 20 iconic Fendi Baguette bags on show for one day only, May 24, and the store officially opens on May 25, 2012. For more on Fendi go to:

There’s something about fashion week this year.


Officially this is really only my second round of Singapore’s “fashion week”, the multi-pronged event that covers everything from international runway shows, a merchandising tradeshow, fashion design competition and a series of fashion industry seminars.

The umbrella of the Asian Fashion Exchange convention arches over the various other events – Audi Fashion Festival, Audi Star Creation and the Blueprint tradeshow – tying together the different sections of the industry and offering a more “business” oriented face for something that is often considered rather frivolous.

But fashion, and the shopping is engenders, really is big business. According to a report in The Economist the income from luxury brands alone grew to about US$252 billion in 2011; that’s $319 billion spent on handbags, shoes and ready-to-wear from brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Prada, Fendi etc, etc. Factor in the enormous profits of fast fashion brands like H&M and Uniqlo, and you have a major global industry.

fashion week in singapore

So it makes sense that Singapore wants to get its hands on a chunk of this substantial industry, which is why government organisations like SPRING and professional groups like Textile and Fashion Federation of Singapore (TaFf) are involved in our homegrown fashion week.

But you can’t create an industry out of nothing, which is why events like Audi Fashion Festival (AFF) and the Asian Fashion Exchange (AFX) are so important. The Blueprint tradeshow in particular is an absolute must for any Singapore fashion brand hoping to grow their business and get picked up by major distributors.

Although it’s only been around for a few years – it began as a runway showcase in 2004 – Blueprint is now host over 150 brands and more than 250 international and regional buyers.

And it’s the buyers that we need to come to Singapore. So far I have come across buyers for major online shopping websites like ASOS and my-wardrobe, large department stores like Lane Crawford and more niche multi-label boutiques like LN-CC, the cult London store.

On top of the increased interest from outside Asia at Blueprint, there was a record number of entries for the 2012 installment of the Audi Star Creation fashion design competition – with a corresponding overall improvement in the quality of designers entering.

Now the people behind Audi Fashion Festival, Mercury Marketing & Communications, has launched its new project the Future Fashion Now initiative. Basically it’s live-streaming of runway shows featuring up-and-coming labels that also allows viewers to pre-order the garments they see walking down the catwalk. It’s a combination of entertainment and online shopping.

The first show ran on Thursday, May 17, and while the girls were still on the catwalk, the first Tweet came in that an order had been made.

While the concept isn’t new – British luxe brand Burberry offered direct orders for a limited number of pieces from its Autumn Winter 2010 runway and grew that into a substantial amount of its Prorsum line for Spring 2011 with delivery in 6-8 weeks – this is a first for Asia and also a first in offering more than one brand.

Featuring US designer Timo Weiland, German designer Esther Perbrandt and Australian designer Yeojin Bae, the collections were all very different but equally well-produced and wonderfully wearable. Depending on your style, there was something to suit.

This concept is new, it’s innovative and it’s something that’s added an extra “buzz” to Singapore’s week of fashion. Added to the improved level of competition for Audi Star Creation, the very well curated pick of brands at the Blueprint tradeshow and the hype surrounding the international names gracing Audi Fashion Festival – Mugler, with the star power of Nicola Formichetti on board, Zac Posen and Roland Mouret – as well as the strong showing of Singapore labels like Raoul, alldressedup and the new Singapore Designers Showcase featuring emerging brands Depression, Sundays and a.w.o.l – it seems as though there’s “something” extra occurring this May.

Yes, but there is still a long way to go. Singapore has some very interesting young and emerging designers but in many areas there’s a lot that needs to be done before these brands can be considered of international quality.

In an excellent piece on the state of the Singapore fashion industry, Douglas Benjamin, an Audi Star Creation judge and the chief executive officer of FJ Benjamin and co-director of Raoul, highlighted some of these issues, particularly those regarding the actual production of the garments, an issue which trips up many small brands and one that even causes issues for a major label like Raoul.

Sturdy, stylish Freitag bags for work and travel


While we love our feminine clutches and handbags, it’s hard to beat the functionality of carryalls. Especially when you’re travelling abroad; you would want to have your travel must-haves, all in one sturdy bag.

Freitag, better known for their heavy-duty messenger bags, may not be the first brand that comes to mind. But you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the Swiss brand’s newest shoulder and tote bags: designs that are travel-friendly and actually, quite chic too.

If you’re in search for a business-appropriate carryall, choose these stylish designs from the newest Freitag Reference collection: a diffusion line inspired by horse-riding messengers of the eighteenth century and the laptop-toting journalists of today.

Think weave tote bags, buckle satchels and more, in bold attractive shades. Bags that are also eco-friendly to boot.

Brothers and co-founders Markus and Daniel Freitag clearly had cyclists in mind when they created the first-ever Freitag messenger bag, and this latest range is no exception.

As with all Freitag bags, these designs are made of well-used truck tarpaulins — yes, that super durable, water-repellent material that has protected precious cargo from wind, rain, hail and all sorts of harsh weather conditions.

For a casual weekend bag, grab a Freitag Joan design ($250) if you love both boxy bags and cycling. Just remove the straps and you’ll be able to fit this bag snugly on the bicycle handles.
Or go for the Betty ($325) for that to-go-to tote bag: it will keep your important documents and files in tip-top shape.

So carry a bag that has truly been “on the road” for reliable travel baggage: you’ll look more like a jet-setting traveller and less of a clueless tourist too.