May 19, 2017

Singaporeans aren’t generally known to be the best dressers and it’s fairly common knowledge that t-shirts, shorts, jeans and flip flops are the 4 main staples of a local wardrobe.

But as with the ever-changing nature of fashion, sartorial tides have turned on local shores. A growing number of Singaporeans have shed the local “uniform” in exchange for more chic and trendy styles—frequently inspired and sourced from the platitudes on social media. There are still though, the few who march to the beat of their own drum.

In this series, we shine a light on local fashionistas who aren’t afraid to go against trends, take a risk and embrace their individuality. From funky and pop glam looks to androgynous minimalist chic, here is an insight into their wardrobe and how their style represents who they are as a person.

This week, the spotlight is on Nadia Rahmat, who shares with us her style secrets.

Amongst the many Korean or Japanese-inspired Instagrammers who are your daily eye candy, Nadia’s presence stands out from the pack. From my correspondences with her, her cool exterior belies her affable persona. And if there’s one thing I’m certain, she keeps it pretty real, which was probably why she was chosen to be in the Marc Jacobs 2015 campaign.


Left: Pink Furry Coat & Black Criss Cross Plunging Bodysuit from SheIn, Black Ripped Jeans from H&M, Black Leather Bag from Lillalane and Red Sunglasses from Harajuku, Japan. Right: Grey Oversized Oriental Silk Shirt from Taobao, Choker is customised from an old accessory piece & Sneakers from Puma

I like wearing outfits that are offbeat. My style is an extension of my character. I like going against the grain, so I guess this translates into my dressing. I don’t like putting a label on it because style is such a fluid thing. Dress for yourself and not for the attention of others.

I’m lucky to have landed a job (with Kilo), and they hired me partly because of my style. I pretty much have the freedom to wear whatever I want to work. When I do go out, I take my outfits to the next level. There are also days when I’m just like everyone else—in a simple t-shirt and pair of jeans.

Accessories are everything! An outfit gets an instant sprucing up when you match it with the right accessory. There are so many ways to style an outfit with accessories so I would advise you to go with what you’re feeling.


Left: Orange Wig from Sinma, Orange Tie-Die Cropped Top from Phuket & Cat Cover from Valfre. Right: Blue Sunglasses from Thailand, Red Dress from Ebay & Leather Textured Bag from Lillalane

“I have this Blue Furry Holographic Bumbag that I really like from Yesah. I’ll always get one or two curious questions from strangers about it. Also, people tend to gravitate to the fur and want to touch it, which amuses me all the time.

A great place to go will be thrift shops. All you need is loads of patience because you need to dig and search for hidden gems.

I shop online 99% of the time, and there’s no particular online store I always visit. Most of the styles are from independent designers rather than big labels, and I usually get to know these brands either from using Instagram or browsing the Internet. I think that the fashion scene in Singapore is thriving. It’s nice to see a lot more small independent businesses doing their own thing.


I like to keep learning new things, so it’s tough to say what the future might hold. But I do hope to re-ignite my passion for broadcast journalism in some way, covering topics in the same vein as what Vice does. Travel journalism would be lovely too since I enjoy exploring and going on adventures! Here’s a fun fact: Some time ago, I did a short stint as an online TV presenter with a local broadcast company. 

Modelling was never something I aspired to do. It just happened organically—it started out with me doing fun portrait shoots with friends, and that evolved into collaborations with photographers. From there, it snowballed into other opportunities.

The desire to relive my broadcast journalism days is just something I’ve always had in the back of my mind. I guess if the right opportunity comes along, I would definitely consider it.

Images Credits: Franz Navarrete & Nadia Rahmat