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Mon, Jan 18, 2010
Urban, the Straits Times
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8 hot trends
by Rohaizatul Azhar, Karen Tee & Ian Lee


Stella McCartney Adidas

The wheel of change moves on... to cycling, which is set to be to 2010 what yoga was back when the century was new.

As cycling evangelist Earl Blumenauer says in an American newspaper interview, cycling may be a “remedy for everything from climate change to obesity.

We have been flogging this bicycle thing for 20 years. All of a sudden it’s hot”.

Here, OCBC Cycle Singapore returns on March 6 and 7 after the inaugural event last year attracted more than 5,300 participants to cycle on car-free public roads.

To cater to an even wider spectrum this year, organisers will offer a new category: a 100m tricycle ride at the F1 Pit Building for kids from two to five years old.

Signs of the two-wheeled pursuit infiltrating fashion could be seen in Celine’s Bicyclette range which featured jackets that convert into parkas and dresses with longer back hems.

Topshop has launched a cycling range that includes scarves and gold visors.

The New York Times also presented a cycling gift guide last month with “more stylish objects that may delight even flat-footed pedestrians”.

Here, fashionistas can look forward to Louis Vuitton's spring/summer 2010 collection featuring brocade cycling shorts and waist pouches for women and cycling jackets for men.

And Balenciaga is bringing in sports hoodies and sports tanks for women.
Stella McCartney Adidas will also launch its first cycling range here on Jan 15.

The collection reworks the traditional cycling suit with a cheeky twist – think zebra prints and ruched capped sleeves.


Prada's clear offerings include heels & sunglasses.

“Transparency” looks set to be this year’s buzzword for everyone from eco advocates to fashionistas.

United States President Barack Obama urged transparency at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference when he asked emerging countries to account for emissions they make.

Fashion also jumps on the bandwagon as sheer gets hotter than ever.

A key purveyor of the trend is Christian Dior.

For spring/summer 2010, creative director John Galliano showed stocking tops glimpsed through sheer panels of metallic lame dresses and semi-transparent tiered gowns.

Dolce & Gabbana opted for see-through lace, while Chanel mixed transparent chiffon scarves with its signature nubbly tweed for a play on texture.

Transparent accessories open up the see-through look even further.

Fendi featured clear perspex bags with dresses in ivory and nude, while Prada made transparent shoes to complement dresses crafted from clear plastic crystals.

The subversive Italian designer even gave men a reason to reveal some skin, with perforated cardigans and shoes.

This will be the year to flaunt it if you have it. For those who do not dare to bare, sheer tights – which are still in for 2010 – will be clear favourites.


It’s not easy being perfect. Those high-end labels that ooze polished perfection demand deep pockets. But you can afford to be in step with the luxe life thanks to more diffusion labels and high-street collaborations with top labels.

Fashionistas here can count on Topshop and Uniqlo for designer tie-ups at easy-on-the-wallet prices, for example.

Topshop’s spring/summer 2010 collaborations consist of horror-themed, slashed jumpers and T-shirt dresses by Ann-Sofie Back, the creative director of Swedish cult denim label Cheap Monday; and studded designs from London-based Indian designer Ashish Gupta (right), who counts Rihanna and Victoria Beckham as his fans.

It also includes a denim collection featuring geometric shapes by Scottish designer and silk screen expert Jonathan Saunders.

The collections will be available from the third week of January at the label’s Ion Orchard flagship store.

Uniqlo will release its second collection in collaboration with German designer Jil Sander, called +J, later this month at its store at 313@Somerset.

The spring/summer collection, which will debut in Japan this month, will feature knitwear, jackets, shirts and other items in fabrics such as waterproof ultrafine cottons, hi-tech satins and wool.

Colours include white, ivory, pastel hues and chalked-out acids.

It may not be available here, but American discount retailer Target highlights the trend with its partnership with celebrated American designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte to create a limited-edition collection (above) for Go International.

This is a Target programme to provide affordable fashion created by world-renowned designers such as Anna Sui and Alexander McQueen.

It all sounds a perfectly great fashion idea.




The world of high fashion was not spared the economic meltdown of 2009. For the fall/winter season, Calvin Klein and Zac Posen cancelled their after-parties, while Marc Jacobs cut his invite list in half.

But now, amid signs of economic recovery, designers are making it a brighter future. Bold colours and prints are the season’s hottest looks and a far cry from last year’s austere cuts and severe hues.

Local designer Keith Png is all for colourful and boldly patterned clothes. “Bright colours allow the wearer to stand out, but also lend an emotional boost during these times,” he says.

John Galliano showed bright hues, polka dot prints and feathered hats amid floating bubbles at the finale of his women’s show, while Alexander McQueen splashed out with bold prints, iridescent fabrics and outlandish footwear.

“When things are bad, you have to come out from that. Optimism is a choice,” Miuccia Prada said of her new collection, which is inspired by light and features relaxing beach prints.


Grow your hair out, girls.

The Pob, Victoria Beckham’s angular cropped hairdo, may have defined the look of the noughties.

But with the dawn of a new decade, the fierce don’t-mess-with-me look is set to make way for a softer, prettier style – long, loose braids.

The first signs of this shift happened on the spring/summer 2010 runways at Alexander Wang and Miu Miu.

Designers Wang and Miuccia Prada both styled their models’ hair in romantic sideswept braids – a refreshing contrast to the overstyled precision crops that the likes of model Agyness Deyn and singer Rihanna have worked to death.

Artfully undone braids have already been spotted on actress Rachel McAdams at the London premiere of Sherlock Holmes.

The best part about this dishevelled hairstyle is that you don’t have to worry about looking too just-so.

Simply plait your hair and fasten with an elastic band.

Just don’t throw out the hairspray yet.

You’ll need it to set your braid in place so it won’t unravel completely through the course of the day.


Guys, say goodbye to fuddy-duddy three-piece suits and tuxedos. The new year will see a more relaxed approach to men’s formal wear.

You can take off those constricting vests and dark, heavy suits.

Instead, breathe easy by slipping on unlined jackets from Louis Vuitton and Gucci.

The jackets at the former are made of nylon mixed with neoprene and linen for a more comfortable and casual look in lightweight materials.

Even more easy-breezy is the new men’s look of trim and tailored city shorts.

Yes, shorts will be the year’s staple for formal menswear – if labels like Louis Vuitton, Comme des Garcons and Giorgio Armani get their way.

Each recently presented this new take on menswear and in an array of bright colours too.

Other menswear designers like Thom Browne, known for his offbeat trouser lengths, have also taken a shine to the new season’s light touch.

He took the charm of a well-tailored suit jacket and twinned it with shorts rather than trousers.

For the women, designers like Michael Kors have – literally – taken a stab at creating new forms of formal dresses.

Forget the usual luxe fabric like taffeta, satin and silk. At Kors’ spring/summer 2010 show in New York, models strutted in draped jersey with bold cutouts.

At Gucci, designer Frida Giannini showcased her new take on the iconic little black dress by opening her Milan show with a taut, multi-strapped white dress that looked stylishly sci-fi.

She took that alien vibe even further when she closed the show with an LBD that was a tubular web of metallic and crystal beading.


While the green movement is not exactly a new trend, it will reach new heights this year.

Jewellery designers such as Ashley Lowengrub and Dara Gerson of American jewellery line Alkemie Jewellery are making it possible to accessorise with a clear conscience.

The line, available at Quintessential in Pacific Plaza, features unique pieces made from reclaimed materials such as copper, nickle and bullet casings.

The collection stocks a heavy artillery of bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings and belts with both a vintage and natural vibe.

Fashion designers like Stella McCartney and Donna Karen have long been designing collections that are both stylish and environmentally-friendly.

The new year promises more chic designs from both celebrated designers.

McCartney has teamed up with online luxury shopping site Net-a-Porter to launch her organic capsule collection.

The 23-piece collection, consisting of ready-to-wear pieces, is made completely of sustainable hemp burlap and uses low-impact dyes.

It also minimises fabric waste because the garments are cut with as few pattern pieces as possible.

The collection has been publicly coveted by other eco-friendly stars such as actress Eva Mendes.

McCartney’s spring/summer 2010 collection, which she showed last October as part of Paris Fashion Week, was leather-free and made use of raw silk that was organically produced.

Going green is definitely the new black this year.


That mend-and-make-do recession attitude was fun while it lasted, but the economy is looking up and fashion is moving on with it.

This can be seen in many runway trends and the opening of luxe malls such as Ion Orchard here.

Over-the-top collections with colourful feathers, shimmering brocades, pearls, metallics and ruffles ruled the runways of New York, Milan and Paris.

At Carolina Herrera’s eponymous label, the fashion doyenne used a multitude of luxe materials such as woven linen and caramel satin with rhinestone accents and gold embroidery.

The latest collection from Badgley Mischka was filled with hand-beaded and sequin-embellished skirts, and ballgowns hand-stitched with feathers and petals.

These were accessorised with big, sparkly costume jewellery, chunky crystal cuffs and statement necklaces adorned with precious gems.

Indeed, oversized and opulent jewellery was a striking trend.

At the Dries van Noten show in Paris, geometric necklaces featuring semi-precious stones and crystals dangled around the necks of the models.

On their wrists were bracelets made of precious gems, pearls and crystals.

In Singapore, luxury is getting into its well-heeled stride again, thanks to new additions to the retail world such as Ion Orchard, which houses luxury labels like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.

Orchard Road will also get a slice of London’s most luxurious address, Knightsbridge, when the refurbished Grand Park Orchard hotel opens with a flagship luxury retail concept.

Though it has no real connection with London’s Knightsbridge area, the former Park Hotel Orchard is undergoing an $80 million facelift to become a five-star property and will house Knightsbridge with 83,000 sq ft of luxury retail space on four floors.

Also new on the block: Meritus Mandarin Singapore’s Mandarin Gallery, which has undergone a $200 million facelift and opened its doors last November, bringing the world of high-end shopping to the heart of Orchard Road.

Flanked by six floor-to-ceiling glass flagship duplexes housing five internationally renowned fashion brands like Y-3 and Hugo Boss, the four-storey mall looks set to have all 103 stores occupied by the middle of the year.

This article was first published in Urban, The Straits Times.


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