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. 



Accessories, Beauty & Shopping, Entertainment, Lifestyle

6 Reasons Why This Sun-Protecting Accessory Is INSANE – Matthew Fam

The onslaught of Sun damage is never-ending, so we stock our beauty arsenals with sunscreens and brightening serums aplenty. Plus, there’s always sunglasses and hats to rely on- but even those get boring! Introducing the face visor: a crazy, but effective accessory that shields UV rays, while adding pomp to your fashion cred.


I want one NOW!

1. V. Stiviano: The Woman Who Started It All
So here’s the lo-down: she’s the girlfriend of Donald Sterling, 80(!), owner of the NBA Los Angeles Clippers. Stiviano was recently caught in a whirlwind of bad press, having leaked phone recordings of Sterling’s spiels of racism that landed the big boss in hot soup.

What started out as paparazzi-repelling accessory has now been swiped up by fashion blogs and news sites in America as the next ‘it’ accessory. The difference between this and other insane Sun-protecting kits out there? This one actually looks good!

2. What is it?
It’s pretty much a standard visor pumped with 100cc of fashion steroids. Forget those tiny visors worn by tennis or golf players- this baby goes for the gold. Its chrome-like visor fans out across your entire face so you get extra UV coverage. Perfect for days when you feel especially sh*tty and want to be left alone… or pretending to be asleep on the reserved seats of an MRT train.

Would you rather wear a face visor, or be sequel to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

Would you rather wear a face visor, or be sequel to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre?


3. It’s Sold Out On E-bay
Get this- when the twitter universe started picking up on girlfriend’s use of this futuristic-looking shield, orders went through the roof! Getting yourself one here can take up to 2 weeks for processing alone (not including shipping) due to overwhelming demand.

And apparently, this sleek accessory has been sold in China- creators of other equally insane knick knacks- at dirt cheap prices. (How did we not notice this??) So before retailers jack up the price, be sure to order yourself one, pronto!

Go, go, power rangers!

Go, go, power rangers!


4. It’s In With The New
Think these visors are obiang? No way. In fact, they’re bang on trend with anything space-age and retro-influenced.

Do these cantilevered beauties remind anyone of Daft Punk? The ‘Get Lucky’ electronica hitmakers donned their trademark helmets on the 56th Annual Grammy Awards red carpet. We reckon the glare from the cameras were too much for the French duo to handle.

Lighter than a helmet, face visors can masquerade you as a fashion-forward power ranger without suffocation. (Childhood confession: I always wanted to be Trini the yellow ranger!!)

Visors were HOT in Alexander McQueen's 2012 Fall/Winter Collection

Visors were HOT in Alexander McQueen’s 2012 Fall/Winter Collection



5. It’s Got Major Fashion Cred

Contrary to its futuristic appearance, the face visor is actually a re-invention of trends past. Remember those tacky 80’s visors made from cheap plastic?

We’re getting major throwback from Alexander McQueen’s 2012 Fall/Winter collection, where visor-donned models were sent down the runway.  With a nod to the house of McQueen and total fashion cred in the bag, rest assured you won’t be a laughing stock as you don this gorgeous UV-protecting headpiece.



Too covered up for the beach? We think so!




6. It’s Better Than Burkinis

Now, I get that some of us are afraid of riding on a new trend because it’s always a risk being first on board.

However, you should know that crazy, Sun-protecting accessories have been worshipped by celebrities since for-evahh. (So it’s tried and tested!) Karl Lagerfeld, for instance, is never seen without his gloves, while Nicole Kidman was once snapped jogging in a neck and head wrap.

Although… we can’t say for sure that all Sun-shielding methods have panned out well. *cough* Nigella Lawson *cough*. With face visors at least, you know you can take the celebrity-backed trend of such accessories and fearlessly amp up the fashion stakes.


… But It Still Doesn’t Replace Your Sunscreen Essentials

While the face visor undoubtedly offers extra protection against skin-roughening UV rays, it cannot replace a basic skincare regimen. A religious application of sunscreen and brightening serums is the key to an evenly-toned complexion, with minimal pigmentation spots caused by Sun damage.

If you are outdoors, remember to re-apply sunscreen after each 2-3 hours of exposure. A spray-on sunscreen mists a protective barrier without smudging your makeup.

So, is this an accessory that you would wear? Share with us in the comments section below!

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, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, origami, and is passionate about Singaporean Theatre.


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Beauty & Shopping, International Fashion

Le Pilage Cuir Personalized by Longchamp – Deborah Tan

Longchamp celebrates the 20th anniversary of its iconic Le Pilage bag this year and, as a treat for its die-hard fans, the brand is marking it by allowing you to personalize your own Le Pilage Cuir. Deborah Tan gets her own Le Pilage Cuir in this story.

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of Longchamp’s Le Pilage nylon bags. But when I was introduced to the Le Pilage Cuir, my heart warmed just a tad bit towards the world-famous foldable bag. And when Denise returned from her holiday in Belgium with a brand new Longchamp Planetes (a bag inspired by the Le Pilage), I was officially flirting with the idea of putting money down for a Longchamp tote.

The Le Pilage Cuir – although made of leather – is foldable, just like its nylon sister. Made from a specially crafted leather that is soft, supple, yet strong, the Le Pilage Cuir retains the bag’s iconic foldability without cracking.

You can fold the Le Pilage Cuir just like how you would with the Le Pilage nylon.

You can fold the Le Pilage Cuir just like how you would with the Le Pilage nylon.

This invitation to personalize my own Le Pilage Cuir couldn’t have come at a better time. For this, I made my way to the Longchamp boutique at Paragon.

First, you choose the size. Although the personalization service is available for a clutch, to truly get a bag that’s uniquely yours, I recommend you go with a proper Le Pilage bag. I’m looking for a bag that I can use as a work-bag when I travel so, it’s gotta fit my laptop, charger, phone, notebook, Kindle and a multitude of stationery and chargers. The Medium, which measures 32cm by 28cm by 17cm, is a bit too small. I decided to go BIG (40cm by 31cm by 18cm)!

This is the Le Pilage Cuir in Big.

This is the Le Pilage Cuir in Big.

Next, it’s to the shop’s iPad to personalize my bag. You get up to 8 colors to choose from for every part of the bag (with the exception of the lining) – how’s that for choice! Every part of the bag can be personalized – body, handle and flap, shoulder strap, tabs, and the inner lining. You even can put your initials on the bag to mark it as yours.

For an idea of how crazy you can go, here’s one where every part has been given a different color:

You can pick a color for every component of the bag.

You can pick a color for every component of the bag.


Some thoughts that crossed my mind as I was personalizing my Le Pilage Cuir included …

1. “STOP CHOOSING BLACK! If you wanted a black bag, just get a black bag.”

Screen shot 2014-04-17 at PM 01.59.22

2. “Hmmm … this looks like an ACJC bag …”

Red, blue and yellow - AC colors!

Red, blue and yellow – AC colors!

3. “Okay, now I’m just going crazy! Will I ever carry an orange bag?!?!”


In the end, I came up with 3 combinations I really liked. As much as I wanted to create a bag that reeks of my individuality and creativity, I decided it still has to be a bag that I would want to carry every day and one that wouldn’t look too out of place with my wardrobe of black dresses. Can you guess which one I went for in the end?

Which one did I pick?

Which one did I pick?

Once you’ve decided on your design, an order is sent through to France. Your bag will take about 6 weeks to make. Before I end, here’s what Vanessa said she would put on her bag (I decided to make a sombre looking one for some contrast):

What Vanessa's bag might say ... haha!

What Vanessa’s bag might say … haha!

The Le Pilage Cuir Personalized is exclusively available at Longchamp’s Paragon boutique. Deborah was invited to experience the service for review purposes. All opinions are her own. The post was neither paid for nor advised by Longchamp.


About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, and Suits. She hopes her bag will be ready by the time she heads to Japan for a work trip! Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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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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Accessories, Beauty & Shopping, Branded Content, Contests

[Material World x Amore Silver] Silver Linings Lookbook – Deborah Tan

Amore SIlver is an ecommerce store that specializes in 925 silver jewellery. Nothing on it costs more than $50 and the store has an extremely friendly Return policy. Material World models at some of its pieces and we are in love!  


Nothing commemorates a special moment better than a piece of silver jewellery. Remember those days when you would spend all your after-school hours staring into the showcases at Perlini’s Silver, telling your friends which silver pendant to get you for your birthday? Or, do you remember whipping out all your earrings and putting them on once school was over?

They may be small and delicate-looking but therein lies the fun of collecting silver jewellery. Easy to layer, change, and relatively inexpensive to buy, silver jewellery goes with just about any outfit.

Amore Silver is an ecommerce jewellery retailer with a delightful collection of pendant necklaces and earrings. The designs range from quirky to feminine, and, best of all, the pieces don’t cost more than $50 for necklaces and $40 for earrings.

The Material World girls talk about the silver jewellery they’ve chosen to model for this post below:

Vanessa wears an angel pendant necklace ($39.90)

“I told Debs that I would wear the angel because I’m the ‘most angelic’ among us all. But actually, I like the idea of wearing an angel as a necklace because it’s as if we each have a guardian angel looking after us all the time. This pendant is also a constant reminder to be an angel to other people.”


Deborah wears a round floral pendant necklace ($36.90)


“I like my accessories in strong, defined shapes. This round pendant may be made up of many tiny flowers but it still doesn’t look too delicate and feminine. I like that the length is just nice for the neckline of many of my dresses and tops too.”


Denise wears a pair of dove earrings ($17.60) and a tree pendant necklace ($39.90)

Denise“I’m in this total Divergent craze right now so the doves and the trees really spoke out to me. The doves are reminiscent of the birds tattoos on Tris’ collarbone and the tree is like the symbol of Amity. Haha! I know, total Divergent-fangirl here!”


Lili wears a pair of tribal-inspired dangling earrings ($32) and a kitten pendant necklace ($30)


“I’m a cat-lover so the necklace is a natural choice for me! The small stud-earrings tend to be lost on me cos of my long hair so, if I were looking for something dressier, this pair of dangling earrings is just perfect.”


Want to check out the entire Amore Silver collection? Click here to visit the store now. From now till 4 May, 2014, all Material World readers will enjoy a 15% discount of their purchases on Amore Silver’s ecommerce store. Simply key in “materialworldsgafter you have entered your credit card and shipping details on the Paypal page.   


amoresilvercontest5 Material World readers can each win a necklace of their choice (subject to stock availability)! Simply follow these steps below:

1.Answer this question in the Comment section below: “Match the Material World member to the correct pendant” ( For example, “Lili-A, Deborah-B, Vanessa-C, Denise-D”)

2. Like “Material World” on Facebook and share this post with your friends by clicking the Facebook Share button below. Remember to set your post on public and tag Material World’s Facebook Page. 

3. Email your details to We will need your (1) Name (2) Gender (3) Passport or IC number (4) Email address.

Deadline to join this contest is Friday, 11 April 2014. This contest is only open to Material World’s Facebook fans.   

Amore Silver worked with Material World to promote its collection of silver jewellery. All opinions are our own. This post was neither vetted nor corrected by Amore Silver in any way.

Beauty & Shopping, International Fashion

What The Hell Is A “Spanx Ass”? – Deborah Tan

Contrary to what the Kardashians and other “fashionistas” have been telling you, shapewear is not as figure-flattering as you may have been led to believe. Don’t get me wrong. I think shapewear is a great invention and when I first read about Spanx, I was blown away.

I’ve always wondered how to get the smooth lines at the hip-thigh area when you wear a clingy wrap dress made of jersey material. I remembered thinking to myself, “I like how a pair of stockings holds everything in but I don’t want it to go all the way to my feet.” When I read about how Spanx came about in a copy of US Glamour a great number of years back, I was like, “WOW. So it is possble!”

When a local department store brand finally brought in Spanx, I put my money down to get a pair. An ex-colleague told me she “Spanx” it every day and that Spanx was “life-changing”. So once again, I went in with high expectations, looking forward to going into the office with a new, svelte figure.

But it was not to be.

It didn’t take me more than half a day to decide that I didn’t like Spanx-ing it. The fact that it required a great deal of huffing and puffing to get it, first, past my thunder thighs, and second, over my pendulous ass, was enough to make me question if I could do it on a daily basis.

To get my pair of Spanx on, I had to lie on my back on my bed, put both my legs up in the air, and PULL!!! Then once the torturous piece of shapewear got past my thighs, I would then plant my feet down and lift my hips and PULL!!!! It was hard work … I thought I was going to dislocate my wrists or something.

When I finally got it on, I put on my dress, expecting to look like a Victoria’s Secrets model. What I saw was the “Spanx Ass”.

How do I describe the “Spanx Ass”?

Imagine a bunch of potatoes put into a loose sack. That’s how your hip-thigh area might look like without Spanx. Then someone comes along with a machine that can suck the air out from the sack. The machine extracts all the air and pulls the sack tighter around the potatoes. Tighter and tighter it goes until it pulverises all the potatoes into a smooth mash, and the sack finally becomes one hard lump, no lines, no dimples, and no softness.

No softness.

That was the one thing that I didn’t like about the “Spanx Ass”. To me, the result looked like my flesh had been compacted so tightly together, my bottom looked as hard as a rock. Hardly feminine, in my opinion. There was smoothness but there wasn’t any bounce. There was curve but no lift. The “Spanx Ass”, I decided, was not for me.

Here’s an illustrative explanation of “Spanx Ass”:

The lumps and dimples on the left are smoothed out, but there’s something “hard” looking in the After:

I applaud its ability to smooth out lumps and dimples ... but ...

I applaud its ability to smooth out lumps and dimples … but …

One of the Kardashian sisters with her back-view captured. A separate picture revealed she was wearing Spanx under her dress. Although the silhouette is smooth, the “Spanx Ass” is evident in that it looks like too much junk packed into a small, tight trunk:

It does not, unfortunately, “lighten” up the look of your behind

Without Spanx, the butt should have a clear drop at the cheeks before the thighs:

The cheeks should finish in a nice round shape before the thighs begin

The cheeks should finish in a nice round shape before the thighs begin

With Spanx, it just looks like a slope:


Doesn’t look very bouncy or soft

Shapewear or Spanx may work well to create a smooth, lump-free silhouette but they just don’t have the same softness and bounce of natural buttocks, especially when women with more generous hips and thighs wear them. If they work for you, then by all means go ahead and continue Spanxing it. For me, I have found that I’d rather get a seamless thong or get a dress made from a more forgiving material than jersey, or one in a cut that doesn’t require the material to cling to my hips.

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and hasn’t worn Spanx since the first time she tried it. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, Singapore Fashion

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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Beauty & Shopping, International Fashion

New Online Fashion Retailer Launches in Singapore – Denise Li

The local fashion scene looks set to get even more exciting with, which launched rather quietly in July. Previously out-of-reach and impossibly cool brands such as House of Holland (England) and LIE by Lie Sang Bong (Korea) will now be available on this all-new platform.


So far, we’re loving the well-curated collection, which is focused on bringing in some rather avant-garde brands with prices that won’t break the bank. Besides more well-established brands such as House of Holland, the site also does its bit to support emerging designers such as Mauro Gasperi. Another site feature we like is that each designer is given a short introduction, along with a summary of his design philosophy; very useful for those of us who appreciate fashion but who aren’t obsessed with the need to name-drop designers in casual conversation.

Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect from the site.

House of Holland


 Now there’s a lesson in how to wear the same colour on the top and bottom without looking like you’re wearing PJs … it’s all about the texture and the layers, baby!


Can’t decide what I love more … the neon orange accents, the geometric prints on the boyfriend jeans or those PATENT LEOPARD PRINT BOOTS. This look really shouldn’t work, but it really, REALLY does. So full of whimsy, I like.

LIE by Lie Sang Bong

lie_2013fw 7

lie_2013fw 25


Gosh, this guy really knows how to turn an all-black ensemble into something really special. The top two looks simply epitomise office chic – and are great for days where you simply can’t be bothered to pull together an outfit in the morning. As for the last outfit … I really need that skirt in my life!

Material World was not paid for this review. All opinions stated 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 hasn’t shopped in three months and is dying for some respite from this shopping drought. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseLiTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, International Fashion

Our Picks: Designer Sale Finds On Asos – Tan Lili

One of the many things the Material World founders have in common: We love online shopping – even more so, when there’s a sale involved! Which is why we abandoned our work (for a while) when we saw the magical four-letter word plastered on the home page of one of our favourite online shops, Asos. Check out our top 12 picks:

Religion Utility Tote Bag, $104.04 (U.P. $162.56)

Religion Utility Tote Bag

If you love Britpop, you’ll want to get your hands on this one. Made from a leather-look fabric with a smooth matte finish, this bag is the perfect mix of hip and edgy.

French Connection Knot Bangle Set, $21.68 ($U.P. $39.02)

French Connection Knot Bangles

Worn singularly or together, these bangles exude easy elegance.

Antipodium Pure Morning Tote Bag, $97.54 (U.P. $162.56)

Antipodium bag

This London-based fashion brand’s pre-fall collection is titled “Found Love in a Graveyard” – as illustrated on this cotton canvas tote. Too cute!

Luxury Rebel Regina Das Boot, $173.40 (U.P. $390.15)

Luxury Rebel Boots

Equal parts tough and sexy, pair this with skinnies to magically elongate your legs.

DKNY Active Glazed Large Crossbody Bag, $140.89 (U.P. $221.09)

DKNY ActiveA fab find that screams, “Girl power!”

Michael Kors Blake Sunglasses, $125.72 (U.P. $182.07)

Michael Kors Blake Sunnies

Going on a beach vacay, you said? Don’t forget to bring this pair of UV-protective sunnies along for added style points. It is ergonomically designed to ensure a secure fit, and comes with moulded nose pads for extra comfort.

Minimarket Flatform Sandal, $400.99 (U.P. $520.20)

Minimarket Flatforms

Love it or hate it, this shoe trend is here to stay. Makes a perfect match with the above Michael Kors Blake sunnies, we say!

Mirabelle Zeus Coin Opal Pendant, $47.69 (U.P. $83.88)

Mirabelle Zeus Coin Pendant

Dainty and sophisticated, this necklace makes for the ideal present for your girly best friend.

Johnny Loves Rosie Metal Tipped Edges Handheld Bag, $134.39 (U.P. $270.94)

Johnny Loves Rosie Green Bag

Want to add a splash of colour to your outfit? Done! We love the vivid green of this box-shaped bag, which also comes with a detachable strap.

Rotary Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch, $559.22 (U.P. $856.16)

Rotary Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch

For a wrist candy that spells effortless style and confidence.

House of Harlow Bernadette Heeled Sandal, $270.94 (U.P. $513.70)

house of harlow heel

We need this on our shoe rack – stat.

Mischa Barton Whitehaven Tote Bag, $119.21 (U.P. $171.23)

Mischa Barton Whitehaven Bag

We like how it’s oh-so stylish with lovely hardware details, yet roomy and sturdy enough to stash your everyday essentials.

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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Beauty & Shopping, Singapore Fashion

To Market, To Market! – Vanessa Tai

Let’s face it, sometimes the retail offerings at malls can get a little boring and while online shopping is great, there’s the whole waiting around for your package to contend with. Which is why I love a good flea market – you get to discover lesser-known brands and more often than not, it’s way more affordable than regular shops. Every Little Thing – which focuses on apparel and accessories – is an offshoot of Public Garden, a flea market operator that specialises in local indie labels.

This weekend, ELT will be held at City Square Mall and will be featuring over 50 booths of local fashion retailers. Here are some vendors we can’t wait to check out:

material-world-singapore-every little thing-cloudberry circus

Cloudberry Circus

Are you a loud and proud shoe addict? Then you’ll love the cheerful colours and bright patterns of Cloudberry Circus’ footwear.



Priding themselves on only stocking one piece per design, this unisex vintage label will be launching a range of vintage Hawaiian shirts at this weekend’s flea.

Loot Boutique

Loot Boutique

This local accessories maker has amassed quite a following with her whimsical designs that feature clouds, odd-sized flowers and even pink zebras!

Ozzy & Lulu

Ozzy & Lulu

Why splurge on brand-name stationery when you can get lovingly handmade paper goods and stationery from Ozzy & Lulu?

You Klub Kid

You Klub Kid

Vintage continue to live on through the elegant designs of You Klub Kid. This flea sees the stallholders bringing in a collection of gorgeous ’70s inspired dresses.

Every Little Thing will be held on 13 and 14 July, from 1pm to 7pm at City Square Mall Fountain Square, Basement 1. For more information, click here

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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Sign Me Up For A Pair Of Rockstar! – Deborah Tan

Perfect with a black dress! - Dannii Minogue for Holster

Perfect with a black dress! – Dannii Minogue for Holster

Over the years, I’ve become inseparable with my four-inch heels. But since starting this business, I’ve been working from home and, needless to say, my wardrobe has become a lot more casual. Instead of heading into the office every time there is a meeting to attend, I am usually headed for the homes of one of Material World’s founders. To wear four-inch heels to a house-meeting would be impractical and ridiculously unsuitable.

I find ballet flats uncomfortable because my feet have very high arches. I am simply not a sneakers-girl like Denise and, God forbid I’ll ever walk around town in a pair of trainers! And if flip flops are too casual, what then can I wear instead of heels? I recently found a happy solution – Holster. Made with a pioneering PVC that does not make your feet sweat, these sandals are anti-microbial and vegetarian/vegan-friendly.

This summer, Holster has a fantastic collaboration with Dannii Minogue – a big fan of these sandals. Featuring gold studs on a black jelly base, the “Dannii Minogue for Holster” sandals also come in 9 other colour variations, with some featuring studs, some, with jewels. As you can see from the campaign visual here, the black sandals do complement black dresses really well! I’m already visualising myself walking around town wearing my usual LBDs and with these black beauties on my feet …

The “Dannii Minogue for Holster” collection is available at Not Too Big at Forum The Shopping Mall, Level 2.

Win a pair of Dannii Minogue for Holster here!

Win a pair of Dannii Minogue for Holster here!

Not Too Big has a pair of “Dannii Minogue for Holster” sandals to give away to readers of Material World. To win it, simply follow the steps below: 

1. Answer this question: “Name ONE of the features of the PVC used to make Holster sandals.” Leave your answer in the Comment section below this post.

2. Click on this link: and follow the instructions. (Pssst … you can unlock more chances to win here!)

3. Private Message your details (Name, Age, Gender, Email Address, Mailing Address, NRIC) to Material World’s Facebook Page.

Only followers of Material World on Facebook qualify for this giveaway. Contest ends this Friday, 14 June 2013.

All opinions are the author’s own, Holster and Not Too Big did not pay for this post. Please read our advertising policy here.

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and wonders if she should consider Vibrams as her running footwear now. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, International Fashion, Malls & Boutiques

3 Brands I Wish Were Available In Singapore – Vanessa Tai

Last Friday, I attended the press launch of Preview, a new store by The Editor’s Market. The multi-label store stocks up on cult favourites like Cheap Monday and Minkpink but the highlight is undoubtedly American Apparel. Beloved for their highly fashionable basics that last and last (co-founder Debs still has a black AA top she bought in 2010!), Preview looks set to be swarming with fans of this American label.

Preview by The Editor's Market is located at #03-03A Cineleisure Orchard

Preview by The Editor’s Market is located at #03-03A Cineleisure Orchard

While I didn’t buy any AA togs, I indulged myself in a pair of Jeffrey Campbell shoes. I love the unique design (check out the cut-outs at the sides of the shoes) but more than that, I really appreciate how well-made it is, from the hardy material right down to the fine stitching.

New shoes!

New shoes!

To me, it’s heartening to see more of such brands setting up shop in Singapore. Not only does it reinvigorate and shake up the retail scene, it also serves as an impetus for other brands to keep up. However, I know there are people who disagree with my point of view. When news broke of H&M coming to Singapore, the Internet forums was rife with netizens complaining how “their outfits [bought from H&M outlets overseas] will no longer be unique.” Now, that’s just being silly. True style doesn’t lie in exclusivity … it lies in a knack for putting together unexpected pieces to create a truly unique look.

That said, these are some (in my opinion) truly stylish brands that I fervently hope will make their way to Singapore, stat:

1. Urban Outfitters

urban outfitters

This lifestyle store from the States peddles funky fashion pieces and kitschy houseware that will thrill the hipster-loving crowd. Think darkly humorous books such as “All My Friends Are Dead” or delicate chiffon lingerie with a cute owl print (Confession: All the abovementioned are actual things I bought from their store in Copenhagen!)

2. Zimmermann 


Although this Australian brand carries both streetwear and swimwear lines, they are perhaps better known for their exquisitely designed swimwear. Quirky prints and unconventional designs are their trademark. With one of these beauties on, you’ll definitely be the centre of attraction the next time you hit the beach!

3. Hysteric Glamour 

hysteric glamour

True to its Japanese roots, Hysteric Glamour is one brand that constantly pushes the envelope when it comes to design aesthetics. Those who favour the clean, understated lines of American Apparel might find Hysteric Glamour a little too OTT. But if you like Andy Warhol’s artwork and references to famous pop culture icons, you’ll love Hysteric Glamour. Gwen Stefani herself was such a fan that she referenced the brand in her song “Harajuku Girls.”

What are some brands you would like to see in Singapore? Tell us in the Comments section below!

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. In Singapore, she loves shopping at H&M, Mimco and Topshop. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets

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