Singapore fashion label Al & Alicia has developed a following for its casual, soft separates with a “boyfriend” vibe, a concept and look that’s served it well. For Spring Summer 2014, designer Alicia Ong continued with the established aesthetic, offering up a series of loose-fit tops, shorts, full mini skirts, trousers and dresses.

al and alicia ss14 at digital fashion week DECOR DETAIL 1Signature soft separates with a ‘boyfriend’ feel from Singapore fashion label Al & Alicia Spring Summer 2014 at Digital Fashion Week. Image: Sara Jane Ong

The SS14 collection was apparently based on one of the designer’s favourite Wes Anderson films, “Moonrise Kingdom” that’s full of mid-1960s pop culture motifs. Entitled “Runaway With Me”, Alicia says “the predominant pieces are sixties authentic with a touch of modern sportswear; a collection of loud trousers, knee socks, two-tone suits and pieces, shift dresses with Peter Pan inspired cut-outs and boy scout influenced silhouettes”.

What this translates into, however, is more a collection of somewhat generic “mid 20th century” clothing. While the colours are quite nice – rust, khaki, yellows, peach and neutrals – the “sixties authentic” feel hasn’t translated well when combined with the brand’s very casual treatment. The lack of 60s structure and “stiffness” left the pieces wilted under the bright lights of the runway.

al and alicia ss14 at digital fashion week DECOR 1al and alicia ss14 at digital fashion week DECOR 2
Al & Alicia Spring Summer 2014 collection ‘Runaway With Me’ at Digital Fashion Week 2013. Asia’s Next Top Model winner Jessica Amornkuldilok opened the show (above top far left) and closed it as well (above far right) Images: Sara Jane Ong

The addition of faux leather, “pleather”, added some structure to the collection, but there wasn’t enough of it; more ‘grown-up’ pieces like a long dress and a pant suit seemed a little out of place amongst the overwhelming number of pieces that mostly looked like something you’d wear to college.

But this, after all, is the designer’s aesthetic, and for a retail collection, it is a positive thing. It is unfortunate that many good retail labels appear less than inspired on the runway – even when being worn by Asia’s Next Top Model winner Jessica Amornkuldilok.

al and alicia ss14 at digital fashion week DECOR 3More looks from Al & Alicia Spring Summer 2014 at Digital Fashion Week 2013.
Images: Sara Jane Ong

For shoppers who want comfortable, casual pieces with a laidback vibe for easy wear and deft insertion into your wardrobe, however, Al & Alicia is a great option.

WATCH OUR VIDEO OF THE AL & ALICIA SS14 RUNWAY SHOW

The Al & Alicia Spring Summer 2014 show was held on November 4, 2013, as part of Singapore’s Digital Fashion Week. For more information about the brand, go to http://alandalicia.com/main/; to shop the brand online, go to http://www.alandalicia.com/store.

Digital Fashion Week 2013 ran November 1-4, 2013, at the National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, Singapore 188969. For more information, go to www.DigitalFashionWeek.com, plus.google.com/+DigitalFashionWeekwww.facebook.com/DigitalFashionWeek, www.youtube.com/DigitalFashionWeek and digitalfashweek.tumblr.com. Follow Digital Fashion Week on Twitter at @DigitalFashWeek and Instagram at @DigitalFashionWeek for more updates.