2014 highlights: Stacey's 8 picks

2014 highlights: Stacey's 8 picks

1 PRABAL GURUNG

It was a year of firsts for Nepalese-American designer Prabal Gurung (right).

He made his first foray into make-up through a collaboration with M.A.C cosmetics, debuted his footwear collection and, for the first time, revisited the country of his birth - Singapore.

"Strangely, I feel completely at ease here. I travel a lot and there are places that I don't feel comfortable in even if I've been there several times," said Gurung in May. He was in town for the Audi Fashion Festival.

The golden boy of fashion has dressed the likes of United States First Lady Michelle Obama, the Duchess of Cambridge Catherine Middleton and actresses Cate Blanchett and Zoe Saldana in his signature modern glam style.

Priced between US$695 (S$870) and US$1,165, his new shoe collection comprises six styles and will be available next year.

Straps and little spike details can be found in the collection, which was inspired by his trekking trips in Nepal.

2 KIYONE+LIM

Nail art can end up in the realm of tacky pretty easily, but Japanese nail salon Kiyone+Lim, which opened at Orchard Central in February, champions designs with clean lines and subtle patterns.

The best part? One of its nail technicians, Ms Natsumi Iwamuro, can remove a customer's old gel polish, do a new manicure and draw an intricate Pegasus constellation design in under 90 minutes.

3 THOMAS TAIT

This year marked a turning point in the career of Canadian designer Thomas Tait (right).

The London-based designer beat contemporaries, such as Simone Rocha, Shayne Oliver, Tim Coppens and Simon Porte Jacquemus, to become the first to be awarded the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize.

He was given 300,000 euros (S$490,300) to fund his eponymous label, which he started in 2010, and a year of mentorship with LVMH designers and executives.

More significantly, the win represents a nod from some of fashion's greats - Karl Lagerfeld, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Marc Jacobs, Riccardo Tisci, Raf Simons and Phoebe Philo - who were on the judging panel.

A few weeks before the win was announced, the local fashion scene was treated to a glimpse of his talent at the Audi Fashion Festival in May, where he showcased his fall/winter 2014 collection of futuristic designs and clashing colours.

4 SOPHIA WEBSTER

In the age of minimalism, designer Sophia Webster has disregarded the "less is more" approach and put a whole lot of quirky into her colourful shoe collections.

The 29-year-old produced a well reviewed spring/summer 2015 collection - filled with electric prints, sandals with floral motifs and shocking bondage boots - and made store appearances in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Leading up to her visit to the On Pedder store at Scotts Square, many of her shoes were apparently sold out before the autograph session.

Word is that the British designer plans on opening her first boutique next year.

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