Inspirations from Yesteryears

Singapore boasts of a colourful culture, an interwoven fabric of people, races, and stories. Continuing our local pride for the month of August, the FAB Intern explored the modern representations of familiar patterns and prints that are reminiscent of our rich heritage. We take notes from the FAB women of yesteryears, reviving old-world glamour with smart and contemporary pieces that any FAB Singaporean lady of today would be proud to wear.


Ans.ein; Peranakan Nyonya Dress

Ans.ein; Peranakan Blu Jumpsuit

You know it when you see it – Peranakan textiles are distinctively bright coloured and intricately patterned. Most fabrics are a combination of Chinese, Malay, and European influences, making each one unique. Today’s Peranakan inspired apparel are slightly more subtle, still with interesting designs but with more subdued tones. This interpretation makes it easier to integrate into everyday wear, whether you’re heading for a meeting or simply having brunch.


Ans.ein; Porcelain Blu Batik Nyonya Dress

Ans.ein; Porcelain Blu Batik Nyonya Top

Did you know that the earliest evidences of batik production were first found 2000 years ago? Much like Peranakan textiles, batik is undeniably distinguishable with its warm and earthy hues, as well as elaborate patterns with deep meanings. These days, thanks to designers who are inspired by tradition and fuelled by innovative design, we have more options when it comes to colours and cuts. From jumpsuits to wrap dresses, there is now an array of batik apparel that are available for your FAB taste. These items will surely make you stand out from the crowd in the best way possible!


Ans.ein; Kawung Navy Midi Cheongsam

The cheongsam’s ability to transcend time is impressive. While it's often considered by many as traditional clothing, designers never stopped trying to modernise it and make it suitable for casual wear. In fact, it’s not difficult to find oriental-inspired pieces from International high street brands. To own this trend, experiment with silhouettes and fabrics, avoiding overly traditional colours of red and gold. If you’re keen on these oriental colours to be part of your wardrobe, you can go for more of a street vibe with old-school graphic designs.

Lucky Hand; Mahjong Club Tee

Lucky Hand; Reunion Tee

Lucky Hand; Smoke Jade Tee

Lucky Hand; Hotpot Daisy Tee


Perhaps it’s the slightly faded colours or maybe it’s the patterns themselves – but there has been a recent revival of retro prints in modern styles. While stripes and florals are fashion mainstays, the 2019 versions favours a vintage look and feel. Prints that are reminiscent of terrazzo tiles (think of the spotted tiles in older HDBs) are particularly in fashion due to its creative mix of colours and geometric flair. You can try incorporating these into your wardrobe through feminine dresses and tops that balance out the bold statement patterns.

Modparade; Hermine Dress – Cloud Burst, Hermine Dress – Dandelion

Modparade; Olymea Dress – Magdalena

Modparade; Gavin Top - Bloc

Amid the whirlwind of fast fashion and high street brands, sometimes the best way to stand out is to look back into your own unique background and use it to your advantage. Regardless your preferred traditional inspiration, work it and inject your FABttitude!

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