Style and sass go hand in hand, so naturally, Sassy was uber-excited to attend the inaugural, and revamped Singapore Fashion Week, which came to a triumphant close at Victoria Beckham’s sleek show on Sunday night. Supporting both home-grown and international talent, here is our round-up of our favourite blossoming and soon-to-be huge designers that were showcased on the Ngee Ann City catwalk. Watch this space, soon these will be the names-to-drop…
A part of the Fashion Futures initiative recently launched in collaboration with the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Priscilla Shunmugam of Ong Shunmugam was one of the three talented Singaporean designers to be selected as part of the prestigious partnership. The three designers and their labels, which include Dzojchen by Chelsea Scott-Blackhall and Elohim by Sabrina Goh, will spend a year in the New York fashion industry liaising with international buyers and be mentored by CFDA President, Diane Von Furstenberg.
Priscilla’s design ethos is particularly inspirational as she aims to (in her own words and through each garment): “provoke a re-evaluation of traditional Asian dress beyond assumption and stereotype”. This girl has stolen our hearts and won space in our wardrobes with her sassy attitude and equally arresting collections. Her Cruise 2016 offerings included kimono cuts and silhouettes combined with strong mandarin collars and traditional, hand printed batik. Reclaiming various Asian silhouettes in a modern and contemporary way she interspersed shocks of lime green and orange panelling with coral swathes of lace and casual, clean, white Vans to display just how street-cool and wearable trad attire can be. The ultimate fashion statement was her catwalk of only Asian models, a counteraction to the lack of ethnic diversity often seen on other world runways. This is the label to watch.
Audi Star Creation Showcase: Rebecca Lam
After spending a year interning at fashion design and retail powerhouse F J Benjamin, having won the 2014 Audi Star Creation prize, Rebecca Lam, originally hailing from Hong Kong, presented her first capsule collection. She cited her inspirations as surrealist art and minimalism.
Her monochrome palette made room for the intrigue and detail which was best seen from the back (Lam enjoys taking her customers on a journey of discovery); artful cut-outs gave each piece an urban edge and some carefully placed handprints gave a humorous vibe to city landscape-inspired sweaters. Our standout pick featured sheer panelling that had been crafted to appear as an urbanite, metallic bridge rising between the model’s shoulder blades.
Audi Star Creation Showcase: JunZhou
Born in China, trained at the Istituto Marangoni in Milan, mentored under Singapore-based F J Benjamin and finally off to study his Menswear Masters at the London College of Fashion, Zhou Jun is an eclectic mix of influences. His capsule collection reflected this in its bold and strong aesthetic, combining covetable street wear for men with swagger in zany bright yellow, green and red.
This was a genuinely traffic-stopping collection. The excellently cut and structural shapes of the pieces spoke of his expert craftsmanship and the quality of the fabrics used was clear to see even under the bright lights of the catwalk. Quirky details such as marigold yellow washing-up gloves and hulk-green perforated bucket bags made the collection memorable and spoke of his professionalism and attention-to-detail, reminiscent of a young Nicholas Ghesquière.
Okay, so not technically part of the up-and-coming crew (Lee has very much already set the fashion world aflutter) but headlining the week alongside veterans and moguls such as DVF and Thakoon was quite the career-cementing moment for him. His designs justify the hype—like liquid metal models dressed in teal and navy satin slinked down the catwalk to hypnotic beats. The exquisite ruching on reinvented white tux trousers and nature-under-a-microscope inspired geometric patterns combined with the divine colour palette and mixture of feminine versus androgynous silhouettes all infused to create a dreamy concoction. The subtle play of precise, laser-cut fabric against the soft swish of a leather tasselled skirt represent the ever-surprising ebbs and flows of what makes Dion Lee’s woman so magnetic and elusive.
Woo/Fiziwoo presented by Zalora
Asian e-tail giant Zalora presented a magnificent collection by the design team behind Woo/Fiziwoo. Based on the traditional Malay baju kurung silhouette each design was statuesque, empowering and flattering to the female form. Inspired by Malaysia’s buzzing capital Kuala Lumpur and its many players, varied history and modern skyscrapers, the beautifully diverse colour palette and architectural shapes spoke of this. Cheekily named ‘Raya and The City’ the collection and presentation accompanied by thumping music was deliciously dramatic and certainly provided inspiration for the next occasion any Sassy Girl needs to make a show-stopping entrance. Cape-like sleeves and fishtail hemlines revolutionise Raya wear for the modern-day woman.
The renaming and reimagining of Singapore Fashion Week to celebrate the growing strength of our creative industries, forge international buying partnerships and boost local recognition was a fun-filled success. We can’t wait for next year, but for now, this Sassy girl-about-town is taking a brief break from running in heels!