You’re strutting down the street, feeling good… got a little swagger going on. New outfit looks pretty hot (if you do say so yourself), and if life was a L’Oreal commercial, any minute now you’d turn, toss your glossy hair and seductively whisper “because I’m worth it”.
Suddenly…oh god, FASHION FAIL: you see yourself walking towards you! Same outfit shame. The confident smile becomes an embarrassed, shifty grimace as you wonder what is correct protocol for these situations? Do you acknowledge your fashion twin…”heh girrrrl, nice outfit!” or suddenly develop a fascination with the pavement until your doppelgänger has safely exited your space.
Any urban stylite worth her salt will know that this is simply an inevitable drawback of shopping at high street stores, which is why a new crop of independent multi-label boutiques are cropping up in Singapore and we love them. With intentionally limited stock to create exclusivity and individuality, it’s far more likely you’ll be basking in your fashion glory, than lurking behind a lamp post having seen someone in exactly the same Zara outfit! (yes yes, it’s happened to the best of us!)
Willow & Huxley is one of the newest multi-brand boutiques, to have only recently opened; but with treat upon treat, elegantly displayed in a light, inviting space, it is definitely one of my faves. You need never shop elsewhere, it’s basically a pick and mix for grown ups! Style-wise, you, your friend and a few other girls you know are equally represented. There is no one look, which can tend to happen when someone decides to open a shop based on everything they love. Instead at Willow & Huxley you will find chic and glamorous, bold and edgy, soft and pretty, and quirky elegance. Or to put it another way, if you ever played the game with your girlfriends, which Sex in the City girl am I? then I can safely tell you that Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda would all love this store.
The girls at Willow & Huxley have made enlightened choices based on fabrics and size in addition to style and brand appeal. So instead of a wall of one-size pastel chiffon, you will find soft, breathable fabrics in a variety of colours and patterns; current fashion trends, sitting alongside more classic shapes and styles, and sizes that go up to a 16- because, y’know, ladies with big wazzers like to look good too! Radical!
It’s a modern feminine aesthetic from the stock to the decor, and the prices reflect the kind of modern woman who probably doesn’t want to spend thousands on a Prada dress, but will spend a couple of hundred on a key wardrobe piece. Stand out pieces for me included:
DAVID AUBREY JEWELLERY
David Aubrey’s wooden and resin jewellery has a touch of the African goddess with its bold colour palate. Worn by the Gossip Girl divas, they have a huge following in New York and with the trend for statement bib necklaces showing no signs of abating, no doubt soon, a huge following in Singapore. Prices start at $115.
Staple the label’s ethos is “extraordinary in the ordinary” but I would say there is nothing ordinary about their look. It is adventurously individual, with strong, intriguing silhouettes, unique detailing and clever sophistication. Staple the label launched early 2009 in Sydney, with designers Victoria Bolton and Karla Rose at the helm, their contrasting backgrounds of London street cool and laid back Australian chic blending well to create cutting edge styles for the more experimentally fashionable girl. Prices start at $80.
BAUM UND PFERDGARTEN
Danish Fashion house, Baum und Pferdgarten has that Scandinavian fashion aesthetic that sits somewhere between masculine and feminine but somehow always makes you feel…cosy. Quirky and very cool, Baum und Pferdgarten successfully make avant-garde highly wearable. Prices start at $140.
Having the kind of softness that is usually reserved for baby-gro’s, Rachel Pally collections are comfortable, flattering and yet still decidedly sexy. If one has to suffer to look good, clearly no-one mentioned it to Rachel Pally! With zesty colours and vibrant prints, comfy suddenly got a whole lot cooler. Prices start at $70.
With only a limited number of each piece available, stock changes regularly, so there is always something new to discover at Willow & Huxley. With many labels not available anywhere else in Singapore and new lines being added all the time, this may well become your one-stop shop for contemporary fashion. On top of all that, the girls are so lovely there, you may just want to pop in to have a girly moment, get caught up in the fun of shopping and have a chin-wag. Just don’t blame me if you find yourself handing over your credit card, it’s all rather lust-worthy and totally hard to resist!