Singapore fashion label Reckless Ericka is known for its ability to blend classic tailoring with fashion-forward shapes to create a distinctive silhouette.

Designer Afton Chen and co-owner Louis Koh have built up a steady following of fans for the label both in Singapore and around the world with two stand-alone stores and numerous stockists.

While recent collections have featured a darker and more Euro-centric feel, Reckless Ericka’s Autumn Winter 2012 range has returned to the lighter, free-er shapes and colours more usually identified with the brand.

Inspired by a series of black-and-white images shot by Michael Garlington featuring the ending days of the old time travelling circuses in America. The juxtaposition of remnants of magical costumes with ordinary clothes and the equally ordinary faces of the performers out of makeup led to a collection of layers, lighter colours and fabrics and a clever androgeny.

Reckless Ericka Autumn Winter 2012 MATCHED PAIRS
Reckless Ericka Autumn Winter 2012 SERIES OF BLACKS
‘Matched pairs’ on the Reckless Ericka runway at Men’s Fashion Week 2012 (above top) and a series of uni-sex outfits showed how the Autumn Winter 2012 collection could be worn in multiple ways. The runway show by Daniel Boey Productions featured nine Singapore models, including the latest crop of up-and-coming Singapore male models. Images: Wesley Kow

To highlight the Reckless Ericka version of a “uni-sex” collection, the runway show held during the recent Men’s Fashion Week 2012 featured male and female models wearing matching ‒ if not identical ‒ outfits.

Interestingly, however, the actual cuts of the garments were proportioned for either menswear or womenswear meaning that while a black suit looked the same on both sexes, the men’s version was cut broader in the shoulders, the women’s version more fitted in the waist.

This means that you can get the coveted androgynous look without having to be six foot tall and build like a guy; these “manish” suits will actually flatter a normal woman’s shape.

For the guys there are various ways of styling the uni-sex pieces that range from wearing dresses as tunics to skirts as scarves or shirts. There are also some more adventurous pieces for the truly fashionable man.

A long, loosely pleated skirt and a waist-tied over-jacket was worn by both a female and male model on the runway. While the girl looked perfectly comfortable, the guy really didn’t seem to know what to do with the skirt ‒ he looked in danger of tripping over it a couple of times.

However, when worn by Singapore fashionista Noah Naimah at the closing gala event of Men’s Fashion Week, the outfit appeared more as a robe, akin to the traditional dress of many Asian and Middle Eastern countries.

In fact, if the runway model had been Asian rather than European in origin, he might have better understood what to do with the long skirt.

This uni-sex long skirt combination was perhaps the most extreme of the Reckless Ericka AW2012 collection, but overall the range was nicely edited. There are also more “easy to wear” pieces like slouchy shorts and colour-blocked jackets, lots of neat gingham button-down shirts, flat-front pants for guys and girls and cute gingham frocks for the girls.

Although this is the Autumn Winter collection, it’s going to be perfectly wearable in sunny Singapore ‒ a nice return for Reckless Ericka fans who may have been lost with the darker, heavier recent collections.

All in all, the Reckless Ericka Autumn Winter 2012 collection is a great example of why Singapore fashionistas really should make the effort to wear local fashion labels. The shapes, the colours, the fabrics and the overall aesthetic suit Singapore in many ways; and it’s nice to know you’re keeping your cash in the country.

Reckless Ericka Autumn Winter 2012 is in stores in May. Reckless Ericka has two boutiques at
Orchard Central #02-08/09, Tel: 6338 8246 and Vivocity #02-201, Tel: 6376 8246. For more information about Reckless Ericka, go to www.recklessericka.com or email info@recklessericka.com.