updated 21 Aug 2014, 06:11
Login password or
Fri, Nov 01, 2013
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
Hansel goes to the Singapore heartland for AW13 collection
by Niki Bruce

When Singapore fashion designer Jo Soh wanted to do something special to both celebrate the 10 year anniversary of her label Hansel and launch her Autumn Winter 2013 collection, she chose to have a party packed with nostalgia at current hipster hotspot Sinpopo in Joo Chiat Road.

Going back to her roots, the now-iconic HDB blocks of flats of the Singapore "heartland" suburbs - of which she had fond memories - the entire concept for the collection Heartland and the celebration event centred on 1960s Singapore's colours, foods, activities and, of course, the geometric grid patterns created within and by the Housing Development Board blocks that shot up during the population boom of the same period.

The core of the collection is based on a series of self-created prints. The "Block 10" print is a stylised image of a 10 storey apartment block in black and white, or superimposed against the cobalt blue of remembered skies and the mustard yellow of nostalgic sunsets.

The "HDB Block" print used for the diffusion label Hello Hansel cotton knit dresses echos the shapes of corridors as seen on the building façades; a print of laundry hanging from bamboo poles adds the signature Hansel "fun" element when done on crepe dresses.

The collection pieces - mostly dresses with some simple separates like tees, casual pants, shorts, skirts, cardigans and one jacket - retain the expected Hansel "lines"; a little bit 60s, not too revealing, not too body-con, comfortable and classic.

It's no wonder the Hansel models used at the launch ranged widely in age and body shape; fans of this label have continued to return to it for its consistent look for 10 years after all.

Speaking of the Hansel "girls", Singapore celebrities like Denise Keller - who also features in the Hansel Heartland AW13 lookbook - Denise Tan, Jennifer Banse, Wahyu Rahman and Tan Kheng Hua put on a great show for the brand. The casual atmosphere of friends and family at the event allowed the party girls to go all out; despite the spotlights of cameras and video gear.

Overall, the Hansel and Hello Hansel Heartland Autumn Winter 2013 collection continues in much the same vein that the brand is already known for; wearable, slightly quirky, fun prints and colours on classic shapes. For its fans, the new collection is likely to become a firm favourite. For those new to the brand, the graphic lines of the HDB-inspired prints are an easy introduction to the Jo Soh school of design.

The Hansel and Hello Hansel Heartland Autumn Winter 2013 collection is now available in sizes 00 to 3 (UK 6-14); it will be available from the Hansel boutique at Mandarin Gallery from October 31, 2013. Prices range from $359 for a Hansel dress to $569 for a Hansel wool cashmere jacket; Hello Hansel tees cost from $99, and printed knit dresses go from $229.

For more information about Hansel, go to; you can follow the brand on Facebook at, on Twitter at @ilovehansel, on Instagram at @josoh_hansel and on YouTube at

Go to herworldPLUS for more stories.


readers' comments


SPH DIGITAL NEWS / ASIAONE GROUP / Copyright © 2014. Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E.