10 fashion, home ware, and skincare labels to check out at this year’s Boutiques Fair: Gifting Edition

Benita Lee

If you’re not one for festive shopping and eager crowds, Boutiques Fair at the Pit Building is probably the best place for you to tick off your Christmas buys before December rolls around. The market is known for its massive selection of indie, locally-based labels that hawk new collections for apparel and accessories, home ware and decor pieces, lifestyle products, skincare and beauty items, toys, and all sorts of quirky knick knacks.

Mainstream, it is not. So you can rest assured your gifts won’t be repeated once those wrapping papers come undone. Plus, this November’s theme is “The Gifting Edition”, with more than 250 vendors spread across two levels of the F1 Pit Building, 8o percent of which are touted as socially responsible.

New to the festival’s year-end event are green initiatives like paper consumables instead of plastic, as well as a Motherswork Giving Tree that collaborates with adopted charities HCSA Dayspring Spin and Muscular Dystrophy Association Singapore to grant wishes.

Plus, the line-up of brands also sees fresh faces like Marilyn Tan Jewellery, Sunday Punch (bottled cocktails), Baebeeboo (childrenswear), Mühle (men’s grooming products), Seamless Bespoke (menswear), Seedlip (non-alcoholic distilled spirit), Indi Bindie (sustainably produced resort wear), and The Lorem Ipsum Store (handmade jewelry).

To make a day out of it, swing by the art exhibitions, sign up for a couple of workshops, check out craft demonstrations and fashion runway walks, and quell those hunger pangs at pop-up F&B stalls.

Too overwhelmed by choices? Here are our 10 picks of new-to-Boutiques brands you can keep an eye out for.

 

Ashepa Lifestyle

Photo: Ashepa Lifestyle

Bringing up-and-coming African designers and talents to Singapore, Ashepa curates a range of home decor, jewelry, and accessories made by locals and small businesses. It advocates for ethical fashion and fair trade, spotlighting ceramic jewelry hand-painted by women in Kenya, and collaborating with women from the Maasai tribe who produce intricate beadwork in accessories and home ware. The luxurious-looking raffia bags are especially chic, each one hand-woven by female artisans.

 

Duxton

Photo: Duxton

Designing “essential wear for the modern man”, new local brand Duxton offers apparel made out of knit and woven fabrics sourced from Los Angeles and Japan respectively. Each seasonal collection is inspired by various cities, with the first Spring/Summer 2018 line based on the lightweight style of California (think tees, button-downs, and henleys).

 

Gena

Photo: Gena

Adjustable heels are what this Singaporean start-up specializes in, with female footwear that’s made with premium leather and ergonomic foam on heel cushions. If you’ve ever worn heels in your life, you’ll understand what a pain (literally) they can be, so ladies who live in stilettos will probably appreciate being able to go from high to low heels in a jiffy.

 

Independent Market

Photos: Independent Market

For the friend who lives for local hawker food and loves Singlish with a passion, Independent Market is where you’ll find all sorts of unconventional home ware. From locally-inspired tea towels to pillows stamped with the image of Singaporean snacks to plates that take you back to your best supper memories, this stall has it all.

 

My Pure Earth

Photo: My Pure Earth

If you can’t live without your daily dose of essential oils, these bottles of pure, natural goodness will catch your eye. Touted as handmade, 100 percent vegetarian, and ethically sourced with no palm oil or animal testing, the eco-friendly brand’s chemical- and pesticide-free oils come in scents such as bergamot, cedar wood, cinnamon bark, frankincense, eucalyptus lemon, lavender, peppermint, rosemary, and ylang ylang. At its Boutiques booth, you’ll also find ready-made body scrubs, facial masks, essential oil sprays, and more.

 

Nala Designs

Photo: Nala Designs

Pretty prints and patterns come in all shades and shapes at Nala Designs, where the range of bags, totes, scarves, accessories, clothes, and even stationery will add a vibrant pop of color to your life. These funky hand-illustrated motifs take inspiration from Asian culture and heritage, with the new fall collection launching at Boutiques.

 

Play-Mei

Photos: Play-Mei

Debuting earlier this year, Play-Mei shies away from boring, dull shoes to make a statement with its loud and proud designs. It’s got block heels, mules, and sliders for the fashionista in your group, and will create two new styles just for the fair.

 

SecondNatvre

Photo: SecondNatvre

The Singapore-based design studio takes pride in its leather goods, with materials sourced from renowned tanneries in Japan, alongside natural vegetable tanned leathers from Italy. Each piece is hand-stitched by its founder, ranging from tote bags and card holders to wallets and key rings, and can be customized with heat stamping services for smaller items.

 

Stolen

Photos: Stolen

Elegant, sophisticated, and timeless. If those are the looks you’re going for, Stolen’s collections of clean lines and minimalist silhouettes will appeal to you — especially if you’re got a thing for classy, backless dresses and tops. Even the Little Black Dress gets the back cut-out treatment here for a little strappy surprise.

 

The Gentle Label

Photo: The Gentle Label

Beauty care goes fuss-free with The Gentle Label’s line of natural, non-toxic skincare products that avoid unnecessary fillers. Think simple formulas with as little ingredients as possible, made safe for all skin types (and children/pets). Besides its face wash, face mist, and signature organic healing balm (that can be applied anywhere on the body for its anti-inflammatory properties), the label also creates products for use at home, such as dish soap, laundry liquid, and a citrus-scented multi-surface cleaner.

 

FIND IT:
Boutiques Fair: The Gifting Edition 2018 is on from Nov 9-11, Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-6pm at L2 & 3, F1 Pit Building. Free to enter.
MRT: Promenade

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