Emerging Singapore fashion label Arc has been steadily increasing its fans over the last few seasons, building up a following for designer Islean Valath’s structured, “body con” separates and dresses.

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For Spring Summer 2014 the designer has reached into the depths of history to base the collection of solid coloured separates and dresses on an ancient Egyptian slave; yes, really, a slave. Apparently the slave, Bilistiche, was also the mistress of Ptolemy II and the first woman in history to win an Olympic medal during the 264BC games.

So, in fact, the collection is inspired by an historic sportswoman, which is actually more fitting for Valath’s fitted, cut-out pieces in neoprene, linen, jersey, chiffon and technical blended fabrics. The emphasis on body-hugging silhouettes, that Arc is becoming known for, remains in the collection, interspersed with more forgiving pleated shapes.

Overall, the collection is much more cohesive that previous ranges; the tightly edited looks in black, grey and white, are beautifully versatile and will easily fit into most women’s wardrobes.

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Looks from Singapore fashion label Arc Spring Summer 2014. Images: Arc

Once again Valath has created another lovely, perfectly cut form-fitting dress ‒ she’s particularly good at these. In neoprene with a full-length zip and contrast piping, the shape is actually rather flattering.

Also successful is the addition of new materials; the fabulous “self-crumpled” chiffon sleeve of a slouch sweatshirt take this now ubiquitous staple from ho-hum to fresh; chiffon is also used in a kind of “vest” which is really only for the very fit or best worn over a less transparent tee.

A pair of soft culottes, a loose linen shell top and a casual button-up shirt are wearable, but fit less stringently within the collection; the sporting inspiration seems a little off centre with these pieces ‒ perhaps what you slip into after winning your medal?

Still, there are numerous pieces to love from Arc SS14; the super cute box-pleat mini, the cropped linen polo shirt, the new, more graphic version of Arc’s classic cut-away pencil skirt and the aforementioned dress are all winners.

As a label Arc is beginning to define its DNA, the sharp, sleek lines and monochrome palette are being refined into something that can be identified with a single look; something all fashion labels ‒ and their designers ‒ aspire to.

You can shop Arc Spring Summer 2014 by mid January, 2014, at Threadbare & Squirrel, 660 North Bridge Road, Tel: 6396 6738; What Women Want, #02-28 Mandarin Gallery, Tel: 6887 4853;
My-thology, 88 Club Street, Tel: 6223 5570 and the Arc Showroom, 8 Emerald Hill.  For more informatin about Arc, go to www.arcival.com. You can follow the brand on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ARClabel and on Instagram at @arclabel.