Mae Goodness

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>> It might sound a little condescending to constantly be surprised at the fact that Singapore seems to have a flourishing fashion design scene but honestly the wee wee size of the country does make you marvel at its ability to produce a sizeable number of designers presented at the Blueprint tradeshow this year.  One of them which caught my eye was Mae Pang, whose collection immediatley conjured up a more refined amalgamation of things that I might have seen in Cyber Dog, a cultish store that I've repeatedly brought up on the blog as a teenage novelty haunt.  The combination of black PVC, bright coloured mesh and particular sort of sheeny black polyester that harks back to the boxy jackets, oversized combat trousers and cut-out dresses that I was fascinated by at Cyber Dog.  It has to be said that I never actually bought anything.  The mere act of going in there was enough of a trip.  Plus I wasn't sure how I'd explain to my mum that a battery back in a t-shirt was totally normal. 

Mei has actually taken those elements and moulded them into a far more contemporary shapes in a mix of long and short pleated skirts, tops that are cut wide to create angular lines and strong masculine-led jackets, creating a set of pieces ripe for layering.  By the by, there are no excuses for the "It's too hot for layering in Singapore!" as I wore a few silk and sheer things mish-mashed together and actually felt fairly comfortable and even cold at times in the freezing air-con and Mae Pang certainly can accommodate the climate-specific mode of layering. 

The main thing that I took away from Mae Pang's collection along with a lot of the designers I saw at Blueprint, was that interesting design and interesting back stories were coupled with fairly low price points.  I did look through some of  wholesale prices in surprise althought It might just be my brain, inflated by United Kingdom prices.  That said, buying clothes that aren't necessarily mass-market and that have some sort of design provenance or independent voice at a middling levelled price seems potently relevant now. 

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The advantage of that price point benefit was immediately felt when I went to visit the new A Curious Teepee shop in Singapore and bought this mesh cut-out jacket/cardi from Mae Pang's S/S 11 collection that ended up costing about the equivalent of ¬£88.  That's a brack that's hovering just above Topshop prices essentially and given that there's a fair amount of design 'deets' in this jacket, I personally don't feel like quality has necessarily been compromised in favour of noticeable details such as the strategically placed cut-outs.  On the back streets of Cat Street in Harajuku in Tokyo, with my limited amount of luggage, I've got a nifty bit of affordable design that perhaps is the key to marking out a lot of South East Asian designers out. 

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(Worn with Miu Miu bag, Church's shoes, Sunspel t-shirt, vintage slip, Topshop trousers)

Tokyo Bopping

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>> To Tokyo Bop or not to Tokyo Bop that is the question.  Steve and I have been playing 'assistant' to Phil Oh here in Tokyo whilst he's street snapping for Street Peeper.  We stood aside when one guy who upon seeing Phil, was so starstruck, asked him for his autograph, whilst citing Street Peeper as his favourite site on his phone and repeatedly saying "Wow!".  Mostly we've been style spotting in Harujuku and so I snapped my first pair of Tokyo Bopper shoes in action.  To those who are vaguely familiar with the Fruits/Harujuku scene, you'll be familiar with Tokyo Bopper… or at least you'll be familiar with the raised platform style shoes that grace their feet.  I've not been to Tokyo Bopper yet but their exhaustive blog has styles, customers and staff all wearing Tokyo Bopper in interesting ways, making me ponder about whether buying a pair would be the perfect shoe memento of my trip or a trite bit of Tokyo cheesiness…

Still, given my love of the raised platform I'll definitely be investigating this Harajuku institution to assess whether these will be joining my collection of heavy-soled creepers…

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