New local labels are carving a niche with their experimental and playful creations.

The local shopping scene may have been inundated by fashion giants over the last two years, but a small group of emerging local designers are still making themselves heard with their bold creations. Here are five you should know about.

Feist Heist

Who: Previously known as Lucyd Acyd, Feist Heist emerged in November of last year. “Feist represents the female counterpart, while Heist represents the homme collection, marketed together as a brand and lifestyle,” says creator and designer Min G. “Our main design philosophy is to make well thought out wardrobe essentials that are simple, understated and evergreen, with Feist being more sophisticated and modern, and Heist being more street-and grunge-influenced.”
Must buys: For the girls, vests and blazers will make standout pieces (from $48.80 and $54.80 respectively) while for the guys, shirts and pants go from $48.80.
Where: Blackmarket

Al & Alicia

Who: One of the slightly more established local brands (though only around since 2009), designer Alicia Ong’s playful creations have a strong underground following, although this year’s Spring/Summer release (their fifth) is one of their most relaxed yet. “The inspiration came from our love of superheroes and comic book characters,” says Ong. “This initial idea gives rise to flirty and feminine dresses paired with tough and strong pieces in bright primary bold colors.”
Must buys: Slouchy cropped blazer made from tencel in hues of powder, phantom and power red ($328) and slim fit trousers with tapered hems ($178).
Where: Antipodean

Lilia Yip

Who: This London-based designer/musician with her eponymous bag label was the talk of town recently for her collaboration with design studio Garnet London, resulting in a series of limited edition leather women’s bags that are both classic and progressive. “The collection started from my interest in art, photography, film, science, current affairs and history,” says Yip. “The images and information are then put through a deliberate thought and design process as I relate what I see to my memories, beliefs and aesthetic.” Yip then works with leather makers and craftsmen to produce small capsule collections.
Must buys: The Garnet collaboration pieces of course (from $190), which are unique pieces that go with just about anything.
Where: Blackmarket


Who: This artisanal jewelry brand is the brainchild of hip couple Sara Ooi and Chris Lim, who see jewelry as “an open-ended art form,” says Ooi. “Goldilocks gives us freedom to create fine jewelry that is more playful and personal. We created them for everyday wear, but with a meaning.” That meaning comes in the form of special edition pieces like their popular “Names” necklaces, which can be customized for specific individuals, as well as fun editions like the “Martini” pendants.
Must buys: The “Names” pendants (from $550) and the twee “You & Me” couple pendants (from $580).
Where: #02-16 Tudor Court, 131 Tanglin Rd., 6235-8873.

Time Taken to Make a Dress

Who: Dressmaking duo Letitia Phay and Jade Swee first premiered their haute couture-inspired debut “Lifecycle” collection at a Grey Goose fashion showcase late last year to rave reviews. “Everything is made locally, says Phay. “We have a team of dressmakers who help us execute our designs but the final touches, craft and lace work or any three-dimensional detailing are done by the two of us.
Must buys: Evening dresses and skirts with a gothic edge, including a skeletal rib-like skirt, a dress with multiple layers of organza in gradation color schemes, and tan dress with a bouquet of flowers on its back—certainly not for the demure. Short dresses are from $800, long dresses from $1,500 and evening gowns from $3,000.
Where: 61 Niven Rd., 6648-0316.