One is singapore’s answer to rick owens; another makes lace ready for all occasions; and the last brings sexy back the modern way. stacey pamela chia spotlights the local designers from the fashion future showcase.
What: One of Singapore’s most successful and directional ready-to-wear labels started by Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts alumnus Max Tan five years ago.
Why know it: Stocked in niche boutiques in Europe alongside the likes of Rick Owens and Damir Doma, Tan’s the dark prince of the scene with his daring, goth-tinged sensibilities. His penchant for androgynous silhouettes with clever twists also makes him a favourite among creative types.
What to expect: The silhouettes – hoodies, tea dresses and tailored pieces with exaggerated proportions – bring to mind those seen at label-of-the-moment Vetements, but are reinterpreted through Tan’s arty eye. Each piece is presented in his signature monochrome palette, and boasts clean lines contrasted with deconstructed ruffles and raw slashes. Adding to the street edge: bold corsetry-inspired lacing that runs down the entire back or sides of shirts.
What: Former public relations director/self-taught designer Danielle Woo’s six-year-old label. Aijek is her Chinese name spelt backwards.
Why know it: It’s the fashion lover’s go-to label for pretty, all-occasion-friendly lace dresses that won’t break the bank. With prices no higher than $600, it’s one of the top performing brands at Tangs, and is also carried by major online global retailers like Shopbop and Revolve.
What to expect: Woo ups the trendy quotient and flirtatiousness with off-shoulder cuts, a full-on lace jumpsuit and delicate Victorian-tinged minidresses. Also expect a more experimental streak with high-tech fabrics like neoprene complementing her signature use of lace.
What: Installation artist Elyn Wong’s four-year-old womenswear label. The former creative group head of Ogilvy & Mather started it after 16 years in advertising.
Why know it: Wong knows how to do sexy the modern way. To her, the back is one of the most universally flattering areas to show off, so every design does so in an unexpected way. Coupled with raw, clean lines inspired by the Brutalist architectural movement, the results are sensual, sophisticated yet wearable – which explains their popularity in the US, where she’s carried by cult multi-label stores such as Oak.
What to expect: A particularly romantic take on her signature look, thanks to the mix of soft fabrics, like Japanese organza and tulle, with heavier ones such as linen. Adding to the femininity is the powdery colour palette of on-trend blush and grey. Fans of her deconstructed silhouettes won’t be disappointed though – the collection includes boxy tops with slits running down the entire back, and blazers and maxis with cut-outs.