It’s no secret that we at Travelshopa believe in Singapore’s local designers – we love each and everyone of them for their talents and courage in striking out on their own and chasing their dreams. But here are six local labels that have really caught our eye for their daring wares that challenge the status quo by being whimsical, fun and, in some cases, child-like – but in the very best way possible.
With such unique, one-of-a-kind designs that aren’t afraid of being different, is it any wonder some of these labels have received internationally acclaim and are arguably among Singapore’s best-known labels? We, for one, aren’t surprised at all! Here are six Whimsical Designers and Labels in Singapore that will surely bring out the fairytale-loving girl deep inside.
Explosive, elegant designs by local jewellery atelier
National Design Centre 111 Middle Road (Annex Building along Queen Street) Singapore 188969 | Also available online and at various stockists.
For avid followers of the local fashion industry, Carrie K. needs no introduction. A popular label in Singapore as well as overseas, the jewellery atelier has built a name for itself for explosive yet elegant designs artfully crafted by hand. Each collection is daring and expressive, often telling a story about founder and designer Carolyn Kan’s adventures, discoveries and dreams. The award-winning designer is never afraid to experiment with her designs – often with stunning results. Her latest collection, A Beautiful Mess, for instance, is a Jackson Pollock-inspired assortment of necklaces, cuffs and rings featuring laser-cut leather handcrafted in Istanbul, melded with silver gold and enamel.
Where creators congregate
16 Haji Lane Level 2, Singapore 189209 | Also available online.
A fun little shop on the corner of eclectic Haji Lane, Dreamz House is an absolutely joy to visit, offering a lovely selection of trendy apparel, handmade gifts, jewellery and accessories. The local boutique started off as an online space, but later found that they preferred offering a personal touch to their services. Which brought them to start up their retail space at Haji Lane, allowing creators to come together, exchange ideas and share them with the Haji Lane community.
Retro inspired designs with modern overtones
#02-14 Mandarin Gallery, 333a Orchard Road, Singapore 238897 | Also available online and at various stockists.
Possibly Singapore’s most well-known and loved local label, hansel is pretty much the epitome of quirky, creating unique, playful apparel designs that are subtly retro-inspired, yet with modern overtones. hansel has been worn by international stars including international pop artiste Katy Perry and Japanese actress Chiaki Kuriyama, and has earned praise from style experts all over the world. In spite of the brand’s success, however, founder and designer Jo Soh remains grounded to her local roots, as evident in her 10th anniversary collection launched last year, which was modelled after Singapore’s iconic HDB flats. Click here to read more about Jo Soh!
Goods made with vintage and out-of production materials
Perfect for the stubbornly young at heart, LITTLEODDFOREST draws inspiration from all things whimsical, such as glimmering forests, fairytales, wanderlust and animals, resulting in lifestyle accessories that are quirky, yet usable. Think roomy saddlebags adorned with a cartoon owl’s face sewn on the flap, accompanied with vibrant colours that will brighten up anyone’s day. The local label has been featured in the media all over the world, from US, to Greece, to Singapore. LITTLEODDFOREST uses various vintage and out-of-production materials, creating rather eclectic blends of fabrics in each piece – and that also means that each item is ethically manufactured, handmade with love at their fair-wage labour workshop in the Philippines and a local studio.
Quirky vintage wares
Vintage lovers would probably have already heard of PicnicSunday Vintage – but even vintage comes in different styles and tastes – and PicnicSunday Vintage’s is indubitably full of quirk and whimsy. Bringing in handpicked vintage clothing from all over the world, the online boutique releases new pieces every week so you are constantly updated with wonderful new (sort of) designs. From casual dresses to stylish work wear, PicnicSunday Vintage has it all, making sure there’s something for everyone for all occasions. They also have a small collection of vintage bags, jewellery and shoes – and since these are vintage wares sourced from around the world, you can be fairly certain that whatever you buy will be exclusive to you in Singapore.
Handcrafted fair trade handbags and jewellery
Lovingly handcrafted with high quality cow leather, Samaira Collection is a hidden gem of a local label, offering up enchanting handmade and handpainted handbags and jewellery. Her designs are often nature-inspired, featuring plenty of florals, plants and dainty birds painted in vibrant colours. These designs may very well be classified under “art” more than anything else, as they feature plenty intricate details and stunning patterns hand painted by freelance artists. Samaira Collection also prides itself in being eco-friendly, with each bag and jewellery manufactured and painted under fair trade conditions.