Bring Out Your Dark Side with Noir by (X) S.M.L.

Here’s a good tip for you: if you can’t decide whether or not to buy new clothes, just think about the fashion icon whose look you aspire to, and then ask yourself if she/he would but that particular piece of clothing. This system worked well for me throughout my university years, which is why I looked like Steve Buscemi most of the time.

But then my priorities changed when I started becoming obsessed with the idea of a possible zombie apocalypse, and then I started asking a different question: Can I run in it? Today when I struggle with whether or not to buy a certain dress or a cute pair of shoes, the determining factor of that item making it into my wardrobe is entirely dependent on whether or not I can comfortably flee for my life in it while carrying a sledgehammer and a backpack filled with military rations.

If you’ve read my articles on Fashionese Daily, then you have probably figured out that I’m a big, big fan of function–sometimes at the cost of form. But that’s why I enjoy the fashion world: it’s full of a lot of beautiful things that can be considered frilly and cumbersome, but you can always play around with different elements so you have both form and function. This is also why I really like Noir, the exclusive line from (X) S. M. L. because it’s a line that offers both.


The Noir line was established in 2012 as the sophisticated big sister of (X) S. M. L., which in turn was founded by none other than the venerable Biyan Wanaatmadja and Benarty Suhali. (X) S. M. L. has gathered a strong, loyal following among Indonesian fans since its first foray into the fashion scene fourteen years ago when it carved and filled a niche in the ready-to-wear market for itself. I’m almost certain that a large portion of this fan base following can be found here at FDHQ, where many of us have at least one one item in our wardrobe; in one example of a happy accident, Griss and I found out we own the same necklace from them, and then both of us wore (X) S. M. L. tops the next day. Deszell can open a store of her own with all the items she owns, Hanzky wears hers on special holidays, and Affi has even taken them Stateside to accompany her at Miami Fashion Week Swim 2013.

But where (X) S. M. L. items emphasize measured youthful rebellion and edginess, items from Noir are darker, moodier, and a little bit dressier, as I’m sure you can already tell from its name. They are also a little bit pricier than their (X) S. M. L. counterparts because they’re produced in fewer quantities. Separates from Noir are great for working professionals, as entire outfits transition seamlessly from work to play wear thanks to little details like shoulder slits, keyhole cutouts, but my favorite piece would have to be the structured, no-nonsense blazer made out of fun sequins. It’s the right sort of philosophical style paradox that’s right up my alley.

The 2013 collection is sharp in lines but free-flowing in silhouette, another paradox I also enjoy seeing in fashion. It makes  it so easy for the wearer to look like they’re staying up to speed in style without trying too hard. Another plus point for this collection is not just how pieces can be played up or down, but how they can also be worn in reverse (ie. front-to-back) for extra variety. How’s that for getting a bang for your buck? ;)

What do you think of the Noir label? Do you own anything from that line? If you do, don’t forget to share your finds with us here and on Clozette Daily too :)