Princess and The Rock

Parenting | Homeschooling | Food | Fashion

Friday, 14 June 2013

Under the Radar

Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, Gucci, Balenciaga and similar brands of that status are seen on almost every fashion magazine and the arm of every well-heeled lady. Wait, no, it's the arm of every well-heeled lady, professional, student, homemaker... you get the idea.

There is nothing wrong with these brands, it's just that the ready availability of it (except for a certain Hermes model) kind of decreases the appeal for me. Handbags and clothes of the brands I mentioned above are not cheap (by my standards at least) so when I pay an obscene amount of money (by my standards again) for it, I would like to know that it is an item that is truly unique (not easily spotted at every turn of the street), beautiful and well-made.

I have come to realise that the amount of money you pay for something may not be proportional to the level of quality of it. My Chanel handbag needed to be sent back for restitching after about about five times of usage (and I baby-ed it because the leather was lambskin) while my Hayden Harnett everyday bag is still as good as I received it the first day, maybe more aged but that just added to the appeal.

There are a few labels that I've come across that really captured my heart, some I love for the comfort it gives when I wear them, some for the exclusivity and some for the exquisite design and workmanship. I have the good opportune owning some of these (credit to my husband) and some I hope to see them up close soon!

Under-the radar brands under that I lust after:


A lesser known brand owned by the same company (Tod's Group) that's behind Tod's, is one that I heart. Love the soft leathers that are used and the sporty, utility-chic look. Used to have a store in Paragon in Singapore but it is no longer available here.


Known for it's paisley and floral prints, this Italian brand is part hippy, part sophisticated (hard to imagine these two qualities can coexist, right?)

Anne Fontain

Ruffles, lace, collars and sheers. Definitely for the Romanticist in us. Love it for the unabashed display of flounce and drama.

Not exactly under the radar but not as popular as other designer brands. No logo to be seen on their products (except a small font within the bag) but the weave itself is synonymous with the Bottega brand. What is not to love about soft smooshy leather and vibrant, delicious colours? The best part is that the bags get softer with use and the leather ages beautifully! I like that the inner lining is made of suede instead of fabric as well; just adds that extra touch of luxury.


This luxury brand is relatively unknown in this part of the world, unlike Hermes. I wanted to kick myself for not visiting the ONE AND ONLY store in the the world, at St. Honoré, Paris, when I was visiting that city last year. Now that is exclusivity. It is difficult to pick a favourite but if anyone would like to surprise me with one (hint hint, a certain Mr Pillai), I would gladly go for the Réjane

or the Cabotin.

Princess and the Rock

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