When I was a poor writer, I used to lust after fashion pieces that were beyond my salary and then trudge into This Fashion to rummage for good bargains that my wallet could afford. While I am no longer an impoverished writer, I am still reluctant to spend upwards of $100 on a top. It just feels wasteful to spend so much money on clothes, despite the beauty and exquisite workmanship.
One of the places that I love to stick my nose in but, invariably, not buy anything, is Stamford House. The building, with classical Victorian architectural elements and lovely high ceiling that lets in streams of natural light, houses interesting boutiques like Baylene, Nicholas, Swirl, and bridal boutiques like Silhouette and Kevin Seah (who has since moved to Red Dot building).
Silhouette was my top choice when I was picking out wedding gowns but I just couldn’t bear to splurge $4,000 on wedding outfits that we were merely renting. Kevin Seah, I avoided because I knew right away that it was a shop I would step into, brim with desire and then kill myself over because of the sky high prices.
Baylene and Nicholas have very similar finishing and style. In fact, their pieces often remind me of a quirkier and edgier Calvin Klein – sleek and deceptively simple. The lines are classic and yet there is always an unexpected twist that resembles nothing you would see on other locally designed clothes. A ruffled collar here, a dart there…little touches that make the piece unique.
Sadly though, Baylene will be closing down. According to the sweet shopgirl that I was chatting with, the designer had decided to wind up the business and take a break indefinitely. Hearing that, I couldn’t help but feel a pang of anxiety. I have to buy more of her stuff – there will be none in future! Unfortunately, many of the interesting pieces like the pants were hanging loosely on my frame but I did score a gorgeous black jersey dress that I will probably wear to death.
If you are a Baylene fan, hurry down to the outlet because the current season is going for a song (50 percent off, to be exact) while the past season’s offerings are even more affordable (dresses at $60 and bottoms at $48).
Another favourite of mine – I got my “evening dress” for the wedding here! – Swirl is also closing down. Happily for me, the online store will still be in operation and their items are also available at other shops. They have a rack of items that are going at 70 percent off so if you are a fan of their feminine and whimsical dresses, you should definitely check out the shop.
(PS: Belatedly, I realise that I am featured on FashBash’s website.)