3 of the hottest Singaporean Fashion Designers

I love Sex and the City. Not really because of the provocativeness of the show. No, I love Sex and the City because of the clothes.

Still, I get more up close with fashion than the average shopper. Especially recently, during Asia Fashion Week, when I got to see the latest creations of designers from local fashion king Francis Cheong, to less well-known, but no less skilled designers.

So read carefully the following lines, and you’ll know where to get the perfect gift for your loved ones, if you have a few hundred bucks to spare. And always remember, it’s a simple rule: the more expensive the gift, the more love you’re showing, and the more love you get back. Yeah, I’m superficial. But at least I have my Prada slip-ons.

Francis CheongFrancis Cheong

One of Singapore’s most famous designers, known throughout the world, Mr. Cheong’s clothes are perfect for the socialite who needs to be seen in the right circles. Meaning royalty, and I’m not talking about Fergie here. His most recent collection displayed for Asia Fashion Week came about from his desire to bring Hollywood to the public.

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“Everybody likes to look like a movie star.” His collection certainly puts the ‘glam’ in ‘glamourous’. In fact it puts the ‘orous’ in it too.

Having gotten a chance to speak to Francis at the show, I asked the question that probably thousands of people have asked, and thousands of reporters will in the future: any chance of making a lower-end range of clothing for the fashion-savvy yuppie woman who can’t toss away thousands on clothes?

For all of you women holding your breath waiting for it to happen, you ought to take a big gulp of air. It’s not happening anytime soon.

Why? Professionalism, the desire to produce the perfect gown, the difficulty in making a design that pleases everyone, instead of the personalised style he makes for his clientele. It’s not easy either.

So save your buckaroos, and someday when you need to attend a royal ball, and hopefully have the chance to marry Prince William, run to Francis and make yourself fabulous.

Mety Darmali Mety Darmali

She’s more than a little obscure to all of us. In fact I doubt any more than a handful of us have ever heard of her or her designs. But I saw Ms. Darmali’s work, and it was like I died and went to heaven. And before you think I’m exaggerating, you should look out for her designs.

Each bag is hand-designed, hand-sewn and hand-crafted. It was one of those days when I envied my girl friends for being women, and having so much of a choice of couture. Mety’s works are priced rather reasonably for their workmanship.

Embroidered bags start at US$80, and her leather handbags are personally made by herself, are one of a kind pieces that she makes, and paints on designs as she is inspired to make. The cost? US$1500 or so. A paltry price to pay for something like a Picasso. And unlike a Picasso, you can carry this around everywhere you go and flaunt your taste and elegance, and the bag.

Shelley Siu

And you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who can replicate this for you. Want a pretty bag to match your pretty face? Start checking out her designs by contacting her. Mety Darmali has a website it’s www.metydarmali.com and her email is mety@pacific.net.sg.

Shelley Siu

Her shawls have had international prominence. What started out as a project with the Ministry of Manpower to help out retrenched women by teaching them how to sew shawls and embroider on them has become a national culture with Ms. Siu’s Singapore Shawls.

Beautiful and stunning, with often orchid and flowery motifs on them, the Singapore Shawl has been seen on the shoulders of many of the most important women in Singapore, and been seen all around the world as far as LA, California.

Mrs. S.R. Nathan adores the shawls, and Ms. Siu’s works of beauty have become statements of style and culture. Sling it, swing it, sway your body with it. There’s no end to the ways you can dress the Singapore Shawl. Starting at $100 onwards, these are a great buy. Choose from a variety of cloths, from satin to cotton to cash