Eight emerging designers from four countries brought talent and verve to an extraordinary edition of the Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award.
It was a night of many firsts. Previously organised as a key event within Singapore Fashion Week’s roster of shows, the Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award 2018 became a standalone programme that saw important figures and industry players descend on the historic Capitol Theatre to fête the best of emerging Asian talents. Held on 25 October, the regional competition also welcomed participants from India, who brought fresh points-of-view to the competition. It’s also the first time a country clinched top honours three times since the award was introduced five years ago— Singapore’s Andrew Low followed the footsteps of NewGen alumni Silvia Teh and Phua Chun Huen, and was crowned the night’s champion. He walked away with a cash prize of $10,000 and a year-long scholarship at Istituto Marangoni.
“It’s so surreal that this is happening,” Low exclaimed backstage, surrounded by well-wishers who congratulated him on his feat. “It has been a journey and I learnt so much along the way, such as balancing creativity with the commercial aspects of fashion.” Low’s win didn’t come easy; it was another hard-fought battle, with Indonesia’s Andandika Surasetja and India’s Gaurav placed first and second-runner up respectively. From honouring a woman’s pregnant form to fashioning luxurious accoutrements from bedding materials, the eight designers displayed an engaging range of perspectives that thrilled the audience. Ultimately, it was Low’s contemporary mix, and eye for tailoring and detail, that propelled him to the front of the league. “Andrew showed great winning potential right from the start,” explained Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore, Kenneth Goh. “The judges picked him to win in the end because he showed honesty, integrity and incredible tailoring in his collection.”
IN COLLABORATION WITH SWAROVSKI SUPPORTED BY ZALORA
WINNER: ANDREW LOW
Low’s exploration of a fantastical dreamscape yielded a collection of contrasts: Preppy checks were juxtaposed with whimsical ﬂorals, while utilitarian parka jackets were matched with feminine blouses and skirts.
FIRST RUNNER-UP: ANDANDIKA SUR ASETJA
Surasetja touched on the topic of sight with a rich and visually arresting showing of futuristic-looking outerwear and abstract prints of cityscapes.
SECOND RUNNER-UP: GAURAV
The designer referenced the folds of the humble banana leaf to construct layers of cascading ruffles and architectural pleats on a host of versatile dresses.
An installation by English artist Tracey Emin brought Sriya on a sartorial journey to discover our intimate relationship with our beds. This led the designer to transform bedding fabrics into womanly lace dresses and dramatic robes in monochromatic tones.
Choksan sought to recreate the effect of light ﬁltered through nature’s surfaces. The result? An exquisite outing of delicate and translucent pieces dipped in beautiful watercolour tones.
Slogans and a newfangled interpretation of classic tartan grounded Cheong’s collection of boxy outerwear, embroidered pants and pleated skirts with a slick urban attitude.
Inspired by the Japanese ideals of wabi-sabi and kintsugi, which honour “the beauty in imperfection”, Roy utilised traditional tailoring codes and recycled merino wool to craft jackets and coats in calming hues of sand and ocean blue.
FREDERIKA CYNTHIA DEWI
Taking part in the competition while pregnant with her ﬁrst child put Dewi in a contemplative mood. She translated her fascination with batik into languid coats and lightweight cotton dresses that celebrated the female body and its ability to birth miracles.
Photographed by Zaphs Zhang.
Styled by Windy Aulia
Models: Alena K, Elizaveta D, Sasha G, Marie G, Vivi B/Nu Models
Makeup: Ginger Lynette using Clé de Peau Beauté, assisted by Aung Apichai
Hair: Ken Hong/ Evolve Salon
Styling assistant: Gracia Phang