Beauty & Shopping, International Fashion, Malls & Boutiques, Singapore Fashion

5 Multi-Label Boutiques To Look Out For – Tan Lili

Up your fashion ante at these multi-label stores – they have brought in a whole lot of international and local labels whose designs range from sophisticated and elegant to quirky and outright zany!

Many of us non-fashiony people may not have heard of three-quarters of the scores of labels – emerging, renowned or cult – stocked at multi-label boutiques, but they have certainly got the style-conscious salivating over them. Here, a look at five relatively new entries in the label-crazed market.

The Label Monster,

label monster

From left: MSGM, Hisui, Frame

The newly launched homegrown fashion online store prides itself on stocking hard-to-find international labels, as well as championing emerging designers and innovative streetwear brands. Some of the labels include denim brands BLK DNM and Frame Denim; Silent by Damir Doma from France; MSGM from Italy; and Hisui by Hiroko Ito from Japan, which is available exclusively at The Label Monster.

Kapok at NDC

Local brand Stolen, famous for their signature backless outfits

Local brand Stolen, famous for their signature backless outfits

This multi-label lifestyle store from Hong Kong, renowned for discovering emerging designers, features a well-curated mix of international and local brands. There are already a handful of Singaporean labels here, such as womenswear brand Stolen and social enterprise Saught. Kapok also stocks brands from international labels like Mimo from Denmark, Seventy Eight Percent from Hong Kong, and Sandqvist from France. Kapok at NDC is located at National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road.

The Assembly

Photo taken from The Assembly Facebook page

Photo taken from The Assembly Facebook page

Opened in late-May, this charming multi-label lifestyle store and café looks like the playground for the dapper, (dare I say it) hipster men of Singapore, what with brands like Benjamin Barker, Rooney Chinos, Aark and Bellroy. Apart from the small selection of apparel for the ladies, its industrial-chic décor (think polished concrete floors, brick walls, spotlights and vintage frames) makes The Assembly a must-visit! The Assembly is located at #01-21 The Cathay.

Apres Five,

Photo taken from Apres Five Facebook page

Photo taken from Apres Five Facebook page

This local online boutique is founded by two friends – one is the owner of luxury multi-label wedding atelier The Prelude Bridal; the other, the founder of organic and eco-friendly baby clothing brand Be Green Bebe. Apres Five features a selection of emerging and renowned international brands, including James Jeans, Sachin + Babi, Graham & Spencer, and Addison. Most recently, they announced that their showroom will be receiving Fall/Winter 2014 pieces from James Jeans (we hear a maternity style will be one of their highlights) and Sachin + Babin in the next couple of weeks, so keep a lookout for them! Apres Five’s showroom is located at #03-01, 8 Mohamed Sultan Road.


Photo taken from Superspace Facebook page

Photo taken from Superspace Facebook page

The cult appeal is strong with this one. From outrageous prints to minimalist designs, Superspace stocks a massive list of cult labels from around the world, making it undoubtedly THE place to spot some of Singapore’s top trendsetters. It’s no surprise, considering who the founders are – Revasseur designer Gilda Su, Evenodd designer Samuel Wong, as well as Bobby Luo and Ritz Lim of The Butter Factory (Ritz also owns Ritz Salon, which was formerly located at Pacific Plaza and now shares the space with Superspace). Some of the other brands you can expect are Mash-Up, Ling Wu, Daniel Palillo, Heidi Lee and Patricia Field. Superspace is located at #02-18 Orchard Gateway.

About The Author: A founder of Material World, Tan Lili has previously worked in magazines The Singapore Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan Singapore, as well as (now, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction.

Arts & Events, Beauty & Shopping, Drinks & Parties, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Singapore Fashion, Skincare, Spa Treats

26 Things To Put On Your August Watchlist

From a snazzy poolside party to the much-anticipated movie about four reptilian brothers, there are plenty of reasons to say, “Hello, August!”

A is for Aliwal Arts Night Crawl


Who says Singapore doesn’t have culture? You just need to know where to look. Aliwal Arts Night Crawl is an annual showcase of various arts groups in Singapore, from literature to music and dance. With performances and activities at over 20 outfits in and around Kampong Glam, you can while the entire evening around this historic neighbourhood.

Aliwal Arts Night Crawl is on Friday, 15 August from 6pm till late at the Aliwal Arts Centre, 28 Aliwal Street. For more information, please visit or

B is for Boots


Dr. Martens fans can now start converting your own kids, nieces and nephews, to the brand’s famed footwear, the boot. These tiny reproductions are suited for 3 age groups: babies, toddlers and juniors, and come with features like a side zip to help parents get them on and off little feet quickly and easily. Prices start at $79 for Auburn Lace Booties (it’s seriously cute!).

Available at Dr. Martens at #03-05 Orchard Central and #02-17A Wheelock Place.

C is for Catalunya

As part of Catalunya Singapore’s second anniversary celebration, they will be rolling out an exclusive five-dish menu on August 8, prepared by executive chef Alain Devahive. After the dinner, guests are welcome to join the inaugural Catalunya Late Nights launch party for free, as well as take home some special goodies specially prepared by the team.

Catalunya Singapore is located at The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay. For enquiries, call 6534 0188. To make reservations, call 6534 0886

D is for DRx Medispa

“If you have an oily, sensitive scalp like I do, just shampooing regularly will not cut it! Oily patches on the scalp, if left untreated, will lead to thinning hair in the long run. That was what I (most terrifyingly) found out recently when I made an appointment at DRx Medispa, before undergoing the DRx Purifying Treatment. This deep cleansing treatment will help exfoliate and loosen build-up on the surface of your scalp, draw impurities to the surface, and control excessive secretion. If you suffer from flaking or itching, this treatment can also alleviate those issues. Post-treatment, my scalp felt more soothed, and some of the angry redness (indicating sensitivity) had disappeared. Monthly visits are recommended for maintenance – that just might be something I’ll find myself investing in!” – Denise Li

The DRx Purifying Treatment is priced at $188. DRx Medispa is located at 302 Orchard Road, #14-02/#16-02 Tong Building. Tel: 6223 1555

E is for Easy Cooking


Domestic goddesses, you might want to find something to hang on to. WMF has rolled out Perfect Pro, a new range of Red Dot Award-winning pressure cookers that claim to shorten cooking time by to up 70% and save up to 50% of energy. The highlight of the WMF Perfect Pro is its central operating element – an All-In-One twist knob on the lid of the handle. It controls functions like closing and opening of the lid, as well as the cooking level and pressure settings. To find out more about the new range, click here.

WMF Perfect Plus Pressure Cookers, from $429, are available in 4.5L, 6.5L, and 8.5L, at major home appliance stores. They are also available in Junior Sets and Senior Sets (each comes with a pressure cooker and a pressure pan).

F is for Flaska 


For those of you who complain constantly that water tastes “weird” and that’s why you need to drink bottled water, there is now a more environmentally-friendly way to pander to your tastebuds. Slovenia-made Flaska is a glass bottle containing a vibrational programme to restructure water molecule so it resembles fresh, spring water. The creator Flaska found that watering his strawberries with structured water resulted in firmer fruit and larger yield. Our taste-test reveals that water does taste a lot “better” after being kept in a Flaska bottle. But don’t take our word for it, get your own Flaska at locations like Eat Organic (619H Bukit Timah Road) and Sky Pilates (541 Orchard Road). More info about Flaska can also be found here.


Win a Flaska bottle by following these steps below:

1. Answer this question in Comment section below: “Where is Flaska made?”
2. Share this post on Facebook and tag “Material World”. Make sure your post is set on Public so we can verify that you have completed this step.
3. Email us your details (Name, IC No, Gender, Email Address) by 8 August, 2014.

G is for Gucci Premiere EDT


Gucci’s captivating woody scent gets a makeover! The EDT is a lighter, more sparkling incarnation of the original Premiere, thanks to orange blossom and citrus oils. At its heart is freesia, jasmine and Bulgarian rose, before it settles into its musky, androgynous base of leather and patchouli.

Gucci Premiere EDT is available at BHG (Bugis and Tampinies), Takashimaya, Robinsons and Isetan.

H is for Hearty Bites


Seasons Bistro is somewhat of a hidden gem that somewhat easy to overlook, given that it’s located slightly off the main Orchard Road strip at TripleOne Somerset. The food, however, is pretty damn good. Though the menu looks confusing at first glance – a mix of modern European and Southern American – it kind of makes sense when you take into account the fact that Seasons – like the name suggests – makes the effort to use seasonal ingredients. What we enjoyed: The Seared Albacore Tuna ($26) which comes with Asian pear, avocado, jicama, watermelon with chipotle mojo and salsa verde. A great option for those into clean eating, we love how fresh and perfectly cooked the tuna was. Another noteworthy mention is the Buttermilk Fried Chicken ($22) that’s accompanied by succotash, deviled ranch dressing and homemade catsup. The catsup had a hint of mango that cut through the oiliness of the fried chicken. If you’re dining with a big group of finicky friends, Seasons Bistro is a great option for its variety and reasonable prices.

Seasons Bistro is at #01-11/12 TripleOne Somerset. Tel: 6836 5841

I is for Iridescence


Let’s face it; as ubiquitous as they are, Ray-Bans are still the epitome of cool. And now the iconic Wayfarers just reached a whole new level of cool with its Summer 2014 edition, Iridescence. The lenses are made with silica micro-crystals before being coated with highly-refractive metal oxides, which means it creates a “liquid” finish that constantly changes colours depending on the power and angle of the light. That means you could be sporting many different looks throughout the day! Cool huh?

Ray-Ban Summer Edition is available for $350 at Capitol Optical and Ai Eye Fashion.

J is for Japanese Meets Peranakan, Korean, French, Chinese …


Sakae Sushi has revamped its menu to include some really interesting new flavours, inspired by cuisines from around the world. If you’re a fan of Peranakan cuisine, check out the Japanese restaurant’s new Otah creations, such as Long Bean Otah (mackerel otah wrapped in long green beans and fried in a light tempura batter) and Otah Bibinba (yup, it’s a three-way fusion dish featuring otah strips, shredded omelette, shitake mushroom and rice). Apart from the new fusion creations, Sakae Sushi has also expanded its offerings for popular items like the Aburi (torch-seared sushi) and Yakimono (char-grilled skewers).

Available at Sakae Sushi outlets islandwide.

K is for Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator


As men have more sweat glands than women, they are more likely to be victims of shine and oil. The Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator range promises to eradicate this problem for good. How? For one, the Oil Eliminator 24-Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer contains Aerogel, the lightest solid material on Earth, which is also used in space exploration. This vaporises sweat droplets, as well as absorbs an amazing four times its own weight in oil!

The Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator range will be available at Kiehl’s outlets from August 2014.

L is for Literature

Bookworms, this one’s for you. Instead of your usual book club where everybody discusses the same book, Scribbled encourages each participant to bring a book to this literary meetup. The only criterion? Your book has to have scribbles in it – be it doodles, underlines, or notations in the margins. During the meetup, you get to share your thoughts about the book with the other participants while they pen down their own thoughts. At the end of the meet, everyone gets a chance to look through all the books and notebooks, and even bring a pair home!

For more information, click here.

M is


Get your online shopping fix at, a local online apparel store that rolls out new collections every Wednesday. They stock a wide selection of clothing items, from casual playsuits to sophisticated workwear. But what caught our eye are their funky necklaces – the adorable chain necklace (above) is only $19! Psst … if you are a POSB/DBS debit or credit cardmember, you get to enjoy 10% discount off your total bill from now until 30 September.

N is for National Day Photo Contest

Take a photo and win $500 CASH? Yes! Express your love for Singapore this National Day and stand to win an exciting $500 cash prize and $200 worth of Charly T’s dining vouchers! To participate, simply post a photo of your heartfelt wishes for Singapore on Charly T’s Facebook page. The photo with the most votes will win $500 cash! $100 Charly T’s dining vouchers will also be given to the two photos with the most creative messages.

O is for Outback Steakhouse


The American chain has opened its second outlet at Orchard Gateway. But although it prides itself on being a “steakhouse”, we found the New York Strip ($36.90) a little overcooked, and you could hardly taste its seasoning. The Baby Back Ribs ($19.90 for half; $32.90 for full) fared a lot better – it was juicy, meaty and well-marinated. The Carrot Cake ($9.90) was also a surprise; moist and chockfull of ingredients that gave it an amazing texture. You should definitely save space for this.

Outback Steakhouse is at #04-01 Orchard Gateway. Tel: 6702 6842

P is for Puma Night Run

Here’s yet another exciting run to add to your race calendar! The inaugural Puma Night Run, slated to take place in November, will be the very first night race organised in Sentosa. The 10k route will take you to idyllic spots around the island. Definitely not one not to be missed. Limited to the first 3000 runners, registration opens August 1, 2014 at Registration closes September 14, 2014.

Q is for Quayside Isle 

We may not be able to afford a property at Sentosa Cove but we certainly can treat ourselves to a little pampering along the waterfront every now and then. Spa- and massage-fans need to check out new reflexology centre The Good Sole at Quayside Isle. A younger, fresher, more modern take on the traditional foot reflexology centres, The Good Sole incorporates aromatherapy and oils with tried-and-tested massage techniques to help ease tension and restore balance. The prices are super reasonable too: $60 for a 60-min foot reflexology session.

Located at #01-19 Quayside Isla Sentosa Cove. Call 6268 4842.

R is for Robinsons Home Fair 


If you’re looking to give your home a mini facelift, pay a visit to Robinsons Home Fair, a one-stop shopping destination for all things to do with the home and kitchen. Expect to find exclusive brands such as C.A.M from Australia and Wald from Italy at Robinsons Orchard. From now till 24 August 2012, shoppers can also enjoy 50% off selected items while Robinsons OCBC Visa cardholders get an additional 20% off on top of discounts offered.

S is for Shopping For A Cause

From 1 August to 30 September 2014, every purchase you make with your MasterCard at any Club 21 boutique, organic food and health store SuperNature, and Culina Gourmet Boutique will go toward a worthwhile cause. With every purchase, MasterCard will donate US$10 to the companies’ community partners, Beautiful People and Nanyang Polytechnic. Beautiful People is a volunteer work programme that targets teenaged girls-at-risk. The funds for NYP will be channelled to helping underprivileged students in the school’s Hospitality program.

T is for The Body Shop

Better known as the “Queen of Oils”, the super hydrating properties of Wild Argan Oil is sure to make you feel like a queen. In line with The Body Shop’s ethos of using mainly Community Fair Trade ingredients, the oil used in this new range of products is sourced from Morocco, where the Berber women handpick and hand-crack the best nuts to obtain the richest oil. Bring on the royal treatment, we say!

The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Bath & Bodycare range is available in The Body Shop stores islandwide.

U is for The Ultimate Belvedere Pool Party


Party-goers, get ready for yet another splashing good time at the Belvedere Music Lounge, which is back for the second year running. Besides bespoke Belvedere Vodka cocktails, you can also expect great music from DJs, including DJ AgentSmith who will be specially flown in to Singapore for this poolside party.

The Belvedere Music Lounge will be held at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove on August 23. Table packages are available via or 6509 1453. Single tickets can be purchased at or via the TopTime application (available on iOS and Android). A Single Ticket costs $30 ($50 at the door) inclusive of event entry, one complimentary Belvedere Cocktail, and pool access.

V is for Veuve Clicquot

Racking your brains for a gift idea? Veuve Clicquot has launched a special edition mailbox, in line with brand founder Madame Clicquot’s tradition of penning long letters. This classic curb-side letter box is built to perfectly house a 75cl bottle, making it an ideal housewarming present.

Clicquot Mailbox is available for $84.50 at Cold Storage outlets islandwide.

W is for Wine


Fancy sipping on wine that (may or may not) be a favourite of the British royal family? Corney & Barrow is a 230-year-old independent wine merchant from the UK, and they hold the Royal Warrant of Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. They carry over 70 wines from top tipple regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Italy.

Corney & Barrow wines are now available on

X is for Extra Savings


Skincare and beauty wellness centre Renaza is celebrating their eighth anniversary this month, and they are giving you a really special treat! In the months of August and September, you get to enjoy Renaza’s treatments at crazy-good discounts. For example, their Hair Wash & Blow (U.P. $23-$30) will be going for just $8, and the Customised Aesthetics Facial (U.P. $250) at $38.

To read our review of Renaza’s Customised Aesthetics Facial, and to find out more about their 8th anniversary promotions, click here.

Y is for Youth Day


Who says we have to be below 21 to celebrate International Youth Day? This August 12, relive the days of yesteryear with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Directed by Michael Bay Jonathan Liebesman, the movie introduces the band of four reptilian brothers and follows their journey to Ninja-hood. Expect plenty of high-flying action, mega explosions, a Shredder-Splinter battle and, of course, Megan Fox.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens in cinemas August 7.

Z is for Zits 


All new fighters in our eternal war against zits are always welcomed with open arms. Introducing Dermalogica’s Clear Start – a new product system that targets mild to moderate acne in teens and young adults. Utilizing known acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, the range also contains soothing botanicals such as tea tree, lavender and cucumber to calm and heal skin. The colorful packaging certainly makes these products a joy to use. Prices start at $34 for a toner.

Available at all AsterSpring Centres and selected Dermalogical authorized skin treatment centres.

Beauty & Shopping, International Fashion, Singapore Fashion

[Material World x Asia Fashion Summit] Help Us Understand Fashion, Please!

If you’re not a fashion industry insider, it can be hard to keep up with all the latest trends, designers, and other inner workings of the industry. Leading fashion commentator Colin McDowell and‘s Senior Trend Consultant Yvonne Kostiak clues us in. 

Yvonne Kostiak, Senior Trend Consultant at Trendstop

Yvonne Kostiak, Senior Trend Consultant at Trendstop

Yvonne Kostiak’s mother often jokes that her daughter “window shops for a living”. As a trend consultant, Kostiak’s job is to visit trade shows, preview events, key stores and European cities to predict upcoming fashion trends. 

We notice how there seems to be a similar theme across all designers at each fashion season. How are trends born? 

“One, trends could start very small, perhaps from a lesser-known designer, but it’ll eventually snowball into something bigger. Second, there could be a particular mood in our culture that comes through in art, films, music, and fashion. At the moment, there’s a big trend surrounding the idea of “comfort”. This comes from many influences, including greater equality between the two genders. Women are now more empowered to wear whatever they want (versus what society expects them to wear), so we’re seeing a lot more androgynous styles and cuts in fashion.

Also, Australian design and lifestyle is starting to become very big, probably due in part to more Australian models gaining prominence. Australian style is all about embracing a relaxed and bohemian lifestyle. This trend of laidback luxury can be seen in all the top designers’ work, including Karl Lagerfeld. For Chanel’s Autumn/Winter 2014 show in Paris, Lagerfeld transformed the runway into a “supermarket”, where the focus was on sleek, comfortable fashion you can wear while getting your groceries.”

How does this trend of “laidback luxury” translate to clothing? 

“We’re seeing a lot of voluminous trousers and bermuda-length shorts that are trans-seasonal, and suitable for both men and women. Designers are also exploring and re-imagining trainers (running shoes).”

Fashion is pretty personal though. How do I make outrageous runway designs work for my everyday life?

“Sometimes, following a trend is not about copying the entire outfit from the runway. It can be more subtle, like adopting the trend’s silhouette or print. Street style magazines and blogs are a good way to figure out how to make trends work for you.”

Colin McDowell (right), speaking with young London designer Thomas Tate at AFS 2014

Colin McDowell (right), speaking with London designer Thomas Tait at AFS 2014

With his booming voice and sparkling eloquence, Colin McDowell cuts an impressive figure. The industry veteran has over 30 years writing and talking about fashion, so who better to speak about this scintillating industry? 

What is it about fashion that gets people so excited?

“Fashion helps you change the perception of who you are. When you look into the mirror and you like what you see, it can be a major confidence booster.”

It seems to us that when people talk about fashion, they are really just spewing out designers’ names and brands. How can we look at fashion without coming across as a brand-obsessed wannabe?   

“People who name-drop just look stupid. Fashion is about personal style – knowing what works for you, both inside and out. Ask yourself, “How do I want to present myself to the world?” and work from there. When you’re confident in whatever you’re wearing, it doesn’t matter which label you’re wearing.”

Who does fashion better – magazines or the digital media?

“The digital world is growing stronger all the time. Magazines are expensive to produce and print readership is going down. I believe the digital world will win out eventually, simply because it’s easier and more convenient. That said, I also believe consumers still enjoy the experience of being able to interact with fashion. This is why brick-and-mortar fashion retail stores will always be around, despite the proliferation of online stores.”

The Asia Fashion Summit is organised by Textile & Fashion Federation (TaFf), and is a premier business conference that creates knowledge, provides and shares expert views on fashion topics that are important to fashion industry professionals in Asia. It’s on from today till 17 May 2014 at Suntec City Convention Centre. 



Beauty & Shopping, International Fashion, Singapore Fashion

[Material World x Asia Fashion Summit] The Secrets To E-Commerce Success

Although Zalora only launched in late 2011, it is arguably one of the biggest players in the online retail market right now. We find out from Zalora’s Managing Director Harry Markl how they did it. 

You see their ads everywhere on social media and you’ve probably even received a marketing e-mailer from them, but the secret to Zalora’s success doesn’t lie in aggressive marketing. Markl explains it’s all about creating the perfect retail experience for the consumer.

Zalora MD Harry Markl at the Asia Fashion Summit 2014

Zalora MD Harry Markl at the Asia Fashion Summit 2014

How do you think e-commerce has changed the face of fashion retail?

“As a retailer, you need to offer consumers choice – if you’re not online, you will lose out. In Asia, the population is younger as compared to more mature markets in Europe, so there’s a natural gravitation towards all things web and mobile. As a retailer, you go where the consumers are.

Of course, you need to do more than just create a website and drive traffic. You need to understand your consumers and create an experience that converts them into repeat customers.”

Online shopping can be quite a cold and impersonal experience. How can brands bring a “personal touch” to the consumer’s online retail experience?

“After a customer first shops on Zalora, we will send them a short email to get feedback on their experience. For customers who rate our service as anything less than excellent, we will drop them a call to find out what exactly went wrong and how we can improve. Internally, we hold weekly meetings with all the departments to sort through these issues. This has had significant results on our customer relations. Between the time Zalora first launched and now, we’ve had far less reasons to call up customers.

Another way to engage with consumers is through pop-up store concepts. This allows your customers to touch and feel the products before buying, and interact with the people the brand. The important thing to remember is, pop-up stores are not about driving revenue. It’s about creating value for your consumers.”

How can e-commerce stores draw the line between being engaging and being spammy?

“Over the years, consumers have evolved from saying, ‘I want stuff’ to saying, ‘I want an experience’. Thus, it’s important that you don’t confuse your consumer or overwhelm them with too many products and clutter. One great way to engage with your consumers is through valuable content like brand stories, magazines, and trend reports.”

A peek at Zalora's latest trend report.

A peek at Zalora’s latest trend report.

Brands are often concerned about creating a beautiful and exciting brick-and-mortar storefront. How do you convince brands to overcome this and sell their products online on Zalora?

“For some of the brands we work with, they’re given a shopfront concept where they can talk up their products through videos and other branded content. In addition, we also spend a significant amount of time and money on models and product styling. The truth is, you can sell a not-so-great-looking product on a nice-looking model but not the other way round.”

The Asia Fashion Summit is organised by Textile & Fashion Federation (TaFf), and is a premier business conference that creates knowledge, provides and shares expert views on fashion topics that are important to fashion industry professionals in Asia. It’s on from today till 17 May 2014 at Suntec City Convention Centre. 

Beauty & Shopping, Hair, Makeup, Singapore Fashion

7 Ways To Rock Pantone’s Colour Of The Year- Matthew Fam

Guilty of revisiting the same old cycle of clothes and makeup to work? Enter Pantone for a major intervention. Its 2014 colour of the year, Radiant Orchid- a mixture of fuschia, purple and pink undertones- will add a flash of drama to your ailing ensemble. Here is your fashion and beauty remedy with the 7 ways to rock this delicious hue. 

1. Hair: A Radiant Head of Orchid
Oh, do you not already know of the trend that takes tresses from Plain Jane to candy-coloured gorgeousness? Now try it with Radiant Orchid. Should you decide to colour your hair in this lush shade, your strands first need to undergo multiple rounds of bleaching. These sessions are spread out with several weeks in between them, before the final coating of fuschia-infused dye can be applied onto your hair. Tip: To prevent this stark hue from losing its saturation quickly, avoid rinsing hair with hot water and minimise direct Sun exposure.

We love Kelly's orchid hued tresses!

We love Kelly’s pale orchid tresses!

2. Hair: Subtle Yet Sexy
Alternatively, if a full head of orchid sounds daunting, try a lighter, more elegant hue like Kelly Osbourne’s, or go for an ombre effect.

Hair chalks are a great option too if you require a temporary sampling of how this shade would suit your skin tone. Just press a one-inch thick swatch of hair against the chalk pigment and drag downwards. It’s perfect for a fresh, new look over the weekend! Plus, it’s washable so you can conquer this Pantone pick without committing to it for months on end.

Try hints of orchid in graphic nail art.

Try hints of orchid in graphic nail art.

3. Nails: Graphics Galore
So you’re convinced that anything remotely purple on your body makes you look like Barney the Dinosaur. To overcome your purple phobia, begin by incorporating small splashes of this cheery hue on your nails instead.

Bored of plain coats? Play with various shades of orchid, ranging from pale lilac to a deeper violet. Segment these colours into graphic blocks for nail art that take your digits to legit fashion frontrunner. The trick in painting clean-edged sections of colour is to use sticky tape as a stencil. If you’re up for a quicker fix, opt for patterned nail stickers.

4. Lips
Move over, reds and pinks! The orchid lip is an unexpected twist to your standard fare pouts. Part flirty, part edgy, Radiant Orchid warms up sallow complexions for a healthy glow. As a rule of thumb, lighter skin tones suit warmer undertones of purple, and darker skin tones with cooler ones. For a strong, saturated lip, first ensure that your pretty puckers are moisturised. Then, dab on a thin layer of concealer- this primes your lip so the colour stands out more. Dab on your first layer of colour before gliding lipstick over once more.

Orchid overdose.

Orchid overdose much.

5. Statement Piece
Having bold hues in an outfit is always a highly contentious issue. Too little of an addition, and you’re not taking enough fashion risks. Go overboard orchid-on-orchid, and you’ll end up looking like an air stewardess.

When putting together an ensemble, stick to one focal point of the outfit that immediately draws your eyes. This could be anything from a dress to a statement necklace. Also, try dabbling with various shades of orchid within an outfit. But remember to limit yourself to three tints- you don’t want to be mistaken for a circus tent.

6. Spectacles
With us having one of the highest rates of Myopia in the world, chances are you’d be wearing prescription glasses. Don’t count this humble accessory out: a shot of orchid in your spectacle frames can enliven a drab, all-black outfit. It’s a dream for practical, simple dressers!

Retro-themed frames, in particular, are all the rage. Their thicker frames allow for more dramatic displays of colour. And if you don’t use prescription glasses, avoid ruling yourself out of this fashion clique. Simply use zero-degree lenses and you’ll be one of the gang.

You can never go wrong with suede.

You can never go wrong with suede.

7. Heel
Find your wardrobe in multiple shades of black, black, and black? Break free from the humdrum of monochromatism with a sliver of orchid in the form of a well-timed heel.

Experiment with different shoe materials too: suede lends an air of sophistication, while glossy-finished leather screams siren. Contrast a subtle, greyscale outfit with a dramatic heel to achieve superstar shoe status.

So, how do YOU incorporate Radiant Orchid in your look and wardrobe? Tell us!

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and freelancer. He writes, performs for the stage, and teaches drama at secondary schools. Matthew enjoys museum visits, origami, and is passionate about Singaporean Theatre.


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1. Beauty Review: Striplac Starter Kit – Deborah Tan

2. Eye Colours For Every Day – Vanessa Tai

3. NewsFASH: 5 Essential Accessories for the Practical Girl – Denise Li

Beauty & Shopping, Singapore Fashion

The Policy All Online Stores Need – Denise Li

Since this year started, I haven’t bought anything from a brick-and-mortar shop. Nothing fills me with dread more than the thought of having to squeeze with the maddening crowds at Orchard Road on weekends. And that’s not taking the fitting room and cashier queues into consideration!

The great thing about shopping online these days is that there is less of a gamble involved. Many online stores such as Zalora offer quick and easy return policies, and you’re allowed to do returns not just if the item is defective, but also if the item you bought doesn’t fit you.

New online store Whole9Yards has also gotten into the act, and Material World was recently invited to road-test its “Try Before Buy” service.

How it works: You get to select up to three items, and you’ll get the items shipped to you for free. You then have the next five days to try on the clothes you ordered. Return the pieces that don’t fit within five days, and you’ll have the money refunded to you. Best of all, all courier charges will be borne by Whole9Yards.

I got busy shopping. My shipment arrived the next day, along with this folder.


The folder contains information about its try before you buy service, a returns form (in which you state the reason for your return, which can range from anything from “Arrived too late”, “Poor quality/faulty”, “Doesn’t suit me” and more), a shipping label (for when you call the courier service to pick up the items for return), and a shipping bag.

The returns form

The returns form

These were the pieces I picked out:


Silk printed pants, $229

Bomber jacket, $349

Embroidered bomber jacket, $349

Unfortunately, as much as I loved both these pieces, they didn’t fit. I did hit the jackpot with this dress though:


Cropped dress, $296. Who can resist that amazing print?

Perhaps the only gripe I have about W9Y’s “Try Before Buy” service is that they “hold” your money for up till 10 days from the day you return the clothes. And as the pieces from W9Y are pretty pricey, it means that you can be looking at more than a thousand dollars being “held” in your account for more than a week. To improve this part of the service, they could give their customers a few more options for having the money returned to them via quicker avenues; such as through store credit.

Otherwise, I found the service very convenient, as I did not have to specially make my way to a post office to drop off the items myself. They were picked up by the courier straight from my office.

The pieces from W9Y are pretty pricey, but you get what you pay for – they are of very good quality, and some of the pieces – like the bomber jacket – have intricate details. They definitely stand out in the world of “fast fashion”, which is often of such poor quality that they fall apart as soon as the season is over.

What are some of the services you wish online stores had? Let me know in the comments section below!

About the Author: Denise Li is a founder of Material World and a freelance writer-editor. Before that, she spent a few years in the Features section of CLEO and Cosmopolitan Singapore. She considers Chiang Mai her spiritual home and makes it a point to head there for a yearly pilgrimage. She’s also a fitness buff and enjoys boxing, running and the occasional yoga session. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseLiTweets.

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New Online Fashion Retailer Launches In Singapore

Beauty & Shopping, International Fashion, Singapore Fashion

New Fashion Brand Whole9Yards Launches – Tan Lili

If your wardrobe houses largely feminine pieces with a distinctive vintage allure, you might want to bookmark the new international fashion brand, Whole9Yards.

Marrying classic design accents – think lace and ’50s hourglass silhouette – and contemporary styling and fit, Whole9Yards’ debut collection is perfect for the modern-day working woman. The detail-oriented brand uses only high-quality fabrics and fine sewing techniques to craft unique pieces that are vintage-inspired with a modern twist. Check out our picks, below:

Midi Skirt with Pleated Side Panels in Grey, $179

Midi Skirt with Pleated Side Panels in Grey, $179

This 1950s-inspired outfit tells your bosses and clients that you’re dressed to impress – and win.

Kiya Printed Organza Dress in Pink, $389

Kiya Printed Organza Dress in Pink, $389

The fine details – slightly puffed sleeves, external layer of silk organza – add interest to this work-appropriate dress.

Kiya Tailored Binding Playsuit in Light Pink, $296

Kiya Tailored Binding Playsuit in Light Pink, $296

The perfect party ensemble that promises to turn heads.

Pleated Tube Dress in Mellow Print, $279

Pleated Tube Dress in Mellow Print, $279

Exuding femininity and ethereal charm, this dress was made for the girly girl.

Whole9Yards, which offers both domestic and international shipping, is headquartered in Singapore and works closely with a team of designers across Europe. Look out for its brick-and-mortar store at the new Orchard Gateway in January 2014.

About The Author: A founder of Material World, Tan Lili has previously worked in magazines The Singapore Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan Singapore, as well as (now, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction. Follow her on Twitter @TanLiliTweets.

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When Depression Meets Gummi – Tan Lili

So, I have a confession to make. I’ve been trying to quit this for years, but it always finds its way between my lips … especially when I’m stressed. Well, you know what they say – old habits die hard. But I think I may have finally found the reason to break this habit for good.

If, like me, you’re also trying to quit your nail-biting habit, check out local nail wrap label Gummi Nails’ first-ever collaboration with another homegrown brand, fashion label Depression. Called Don’t Be Silly, this special-edition nail wrap was inspired by a pair of “dysfunctional lovebirds”, and features two sets of 10 different nail wraps.


Aren’t they absolutely adorable? I’ve always been a fan of Depression’s quirky T-shirt designs; imagine wearing them on your nails!

This collaboration is part of Gummi Nails’ Holiday 2013 collection, which has three other themes you can choose from: Winter Wonderland, Circus and Royal Flush.

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland



Royal Flush

Royal Flush

Gummi Nails has also introduced something new with their Holiday 2013 collection: 100-percent real nail polish. This means, every nail wrap from this collection is made from actual nail polish – at three-in-one layer of base coat, colour coat and top coat – and can be stretched to fit any nail shape and size. And since it’s made from nail polish, you can remove it easily with nail polish remover too. Of course, you should apply an additional layer of top coat for longer-lasting nails.

The Holiday 2013 collection will only be available at from end-November 2013. Don’t Be Silly will also be available at Depression (#03-05A Cathay Cineleisure Orchard) from end-November 2013.

Monster Ink

Monster Ink

That’s great news for me, because I’ll need all the time I can get to grow out my nails. Can’t wait until then? Well, with Halloween just around the corner, you might want to dress your nails in Gummi Nails’ eye-catching Monster Ink.

Each Gummi Nails kit, $16, comes with 20 nail wraps of different sizes, a nail file, a cuticle stick, and a step-by-step application guide on the packaging.

About The Author: A founder of Material World, Tan Lili has previously worked in magazines The Singapore Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan Singapore, as well as (now, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction. Follow her on Twitter @TanLiliTweets.

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Have An Indulgent Weekend – Vanessa Tai



After a long week at work, you deserve a little weekend pampering. Good food and music plus some retail therapy … that will chase the Monday blues away for sure. For starters, check out the Hawaiian Festival at Shangri-La’s The Waterfall. The wide variety of Polynesian dishes and Hawaiian live entertainment combined with the cafe’s lush, tropical surroundings will make you feel as if you’ve teleported to the Aloha State.

Some of the mouthwatering dishes you can look forward to include Steamed Lomi Salmon Rice Ball with Hibiscus Ume Ankake, Coconut Butter Poached Lobster with Galangal and Kaffir Lime as well as Sour Crispy Pork Belly with Pineapple Gastrique and Parmesan Seared Scallops with Truffle-Flavoured Edamame Puree. As you tuck into these exotic treats, unwind to the music of Grammy-nominated Hawaiian musician Jeff Peterson, who will be accompanied by two native hula dancers.

material world singapore-shangri la-aloha

“Aloha Hawaii” is ongoing at The Waterfall from today till 29 September. For reservations and enquiries, please call 6213 4398 or e-mail

material world singapore-kwerkee

After a satisfying meal, it’s time to go SHOPPING! For the first time ever, luxury lifestyle brands Reebonz, Reebonz Vintage and Kwerkee have banded together to bring you a shopping carnival unlike any other. Occupying two entire levels of the cavernous Marina Bay Cruise Centre, you can expect exciting brands like Commes Des Garcons, Cath Kidston, Salut De Miel and many more. Even better, you can also get your hands on all your favourite designer brands like Prada, Miu Miu and Balenciaga at clearance prices!

Reebonz Fashion Fest 2013 and Kwerkee Pop-Up Karnival is ongoing from today till 29 September at Marina Bay Cruise Centre, 61 Marina Coastal Drive, Singapore 018947.

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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Wet Weather Fashion – Vanessa Tai

The weather these days has made fashion options a little tricky. Should I wear this sweater? But what if it gets hot later on? Should I wear jeans? But what if it gets wet in the rain? And so on. The thing about living in Singapore is that we’re so used to summer-like weather all year round that we’re often sartorially unprepared to tackle the monsoon season. Given that we’ll be expecting even more rain over the next couple of months, I checked out a couple of local online stores for some rain-friendly attire …


Lost Union Rain Boots, $42

Lost Union Rain Boots, $42

From puddles to ponding, you won’t have to worry about your feet getting wet in these highly waterproof jelly boots.

Earl Grey Party

Boyfriend Trench Blazer, $27.50

Boyfriend Trench Blazer, $27.50

Keeping out the chill doesn’t have to involve frumpy shawls or cardigans, not when you have this electrifying blue blazer.

Runway Bandits

Fenston Military Parka, $29.50

Fenston Military Parka, $29.50

Military-style parkas are all the rage now. Pair this with a basic tank top and chinos for a casually chic vibe.

The Scarlet Room

Waxed Zipper Leggings, $31.90

Waxed Zipper Leggings, $31.90

With a style that’s reminiscent of Sass and Bide, this waxed cotton and polyester leggings are great for glamming up your weekends … and keeping the chill out.

Psst … if you still want your fix of international fashion, be sure to click through to ASOS via the banner on our homepage!

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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The Purrfect Flea Market For Cat-Lovers (Part 4) – Tan Lili

Love cats and browsing flea markets? Enjoy the best of both worlds at Purrzaar, a feline-themed flea market that’s held in conjunction with the month-long Cats of the World Photo Exhibition this August!

Held over three Saturdays (August 3, 10 and 17), this year’s Purrzaar boasts 18 vendors – the highest number of vendors they’ve had since its launch in 2011! Own a kitty? Fancy Feast will be giving away door gifts, which each consists of their cat food products (while stocks last).

As the official media partner of Cats of the World Photo Exhibition and Purrzaar, Material World will be featuring different vendors every week and giving you a sneak peek at what they will be selling. This week, check out My Grandma’s Patchwork, SlothStudio and Dainty Hands.

My Grandma’s Patchwork

Our furry felines communicate joy and laughter and grant us wishes beyond our wildest imagination. Each and every one is special – just like every doormat and coaster at My Grandma’s Patchwork!

No, the name of this shop isn’t an allusion to all-things vintage. Quite literally, the products you see at My Grandma’s Patchwork are all 100-percent handmade by founder Hui Ying’s grandmother in Malaysia! Grandma Tan started sewing in the 1990s, producing coasters and doormats from remnant pieces of cloth from apparel factories. It’s no easy work; small pieces of cloth are cut out and folded into little triangles, which are then painstakingly sewn unto the base cloth.


For more than 20 years, Grandma Tan has been giving her finished products as gifts to her loved ones. In 2011, Hui Ying decided to bring this dying form of art to Singapore through flea markets. One of the items you can expect at My Grandma’s Patchwork at Purrzaar is a variety of feline doormats – they even come in smaller sizes that are perfect for your cat!



Cats have got attitude!

Initially an online nickname to showcase the experimental artworks of local artists Ng Ling Tze and Terence Koh, SlothStudio was incorporated five years ago after the two decided artworks and handmade crafts are their passion.

Their love of cats began when they adopted their first few cats. “Their awesome behaviour, attitude and affection never cease to amaze us, always inspiring us to draw. We never looked back since,” says Ling Tze.


SlothStudio will be showcasing a whole lot of lovely creations at Purrzaar, from wearable art (brooches, earrings, rings) and tote bags to notebooks and patchwork blankets. We can’t wait!    



Dainty Hands        

Cats are such endearing yet scheming employers!

When you’re a student and a community caregiver to at least 20 cats at the same time, money would be a very big issue. That’s what prompted Christine to start selling handicrafts to help defray the cost from hefty vet bills in 2006. Then came Purrzaar and the rest, as they say, is history.

daintyhands1This year, Dainty Hands will be selling cat-related accessories lovingly handpicked by Christine whenever she travelled. You can also expect one of Dainty Hands’ signature products, silhouette pouches.


Purrzaar will be held at The Arts House, from 11am to 6pm, on August 3, 10 and 17, 2013. Admission is free. 

About The Author: A founder of Material World, Tan Lili has previously worked in magazines The Singapore Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan Singapore, as well as (now, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction. Follow her on Twitter @TanLiliTweets

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Charles & Keith’s F/W Collection Is Seriously Cool – Denise Li

If there’s one homegrown brand we can definitely be proud of, it’s Charles & Keith. Since it opened its first store in Singapore in 1996, it’s grown from strength to strength and has stores all over Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. I know that some people complain that the shoes and bags aren’t as cheap as they used to be, but I think the increase in quality of Charles & Keith’s goods justifies the higher price. It’s one thing to be a high-street brand, and yet another to be a high-street brand that looks luxe, and I think Charles & Keith is definitely inching towards the latter category.

Don’t believe me? Just check out some of the visuals – hot off the press – of it’s Fall/Winter collection this year. If you love making a statement with your shoes, then you’ll definitely this edgy cool designs here. Here are our picks:


Besides ankle-length trousers, you can pair these gentleman’s slippers ($49.90) with culottes, or to dress down a tailored midi-length skirt. Comfortable yet chic, these are probably the best thing that’s been “stolen” from men’s fashion. Love the monochrome colour-blocking too.


These wedge booties ($79.90) are definitely on my to-buy list. As well as being super versatile, they are great for the girl who doesn’t want to sacrifice height for comfort.


I would actually buy a ticket to a cold country just so I can wear these gorgeous faux suede boots ($89.90).


Maroon booties provide the perfect contrast to a monochrome outfit. Love that gold detailing on the side of the shoes as well!

For a full listing of Charles and Keith stores in Singapore, click this link. Otherwise, you can also shop online here. Charles & Keith has also just opened its newest boutique at  #B2-12/14 Takashimaya S.C, Ngee Ann City.

Material World was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed are the author’s own.

About the Author: Denise Li is a founder of Material World and a freelance writer-editor. Before that, she spent a few years in the Features section of CLEO and Cosmopolitan Singapore. She considers Chiang Mai her spiritual home and makes it a point to head there for a yearly pilgrimage. She’s also a fitness buff and enjoys boxing, running and the occasional yoga session. She’s recently given up the habit of only wearing sneakers.  Follow her on Twitter @DeniseLiTweets.

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