THE THEME: BEYOND THE RUNWAY
It used to be that fashion show previews were held behind closed doors, with a closely guarded invite list that was mainly made up of media partners, buyers and VIPs. Over time, though, such shows have opened up to a bigger audience. Today, anyone can watch a live telecast of one as long as you’re connected to the Internet. The constantly evolving Singapore Fashion Week (SGFW) takes this public engagement factor further this year with the Zip Code Fash Tech Summit, a series of talks and conferences, and E-Shopp ability, a shop-as-you-watch online platform. SGFW is also working with MODESTyle to showcase designs in “modest fashion” to reach out to a different demographic of consumers. These collaborations bring everyone, from industry leaders to investors, within the technology and fashion retail sectors together.
INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT: JASON WU
Born in Taiwan, this Chinese American designer set up his brand in 2007 and was awarded the Swarovski Award for Women swear at the CFDA Fashion Awards 2010. Known for his American sportswear influences, Wu also places an emphasis on intricate craftsmanship and fine fabrics that bring out a feminine silhouette. And his designs have won the hearts of many, including Michelle Obama, the former First Lady of the United States. At the 2009 inauguration ball, she wore a gown designed by him, thrusting him further into the international limelight.
INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL MEDIA STARS
Social media influencers known for their distinctive personal styles play a big part at this year’s SGFW. One such prominent influencer who will be bringing the front row experience directly to you via her feed is Korea’s Instagram royalty, Shini Park (@ parkncube), who has more than 200,000 followers. Park is a blogger, web consultant, layout designer and photographer who has collaborated with international brands such as Louis Vuitton and Salvatore Ferragamo.
ASIAN DESIGNERS, ALWAYS
SGFW continues to shine the spotlight on Asian and Singapore designers this year.
Headlining the 2017 event is local designer Lai Chan with his eponymous brand, Laichan.
The veteran designer known for his distinct oriental aesthetics since 1990 will be opening SGFW with a showcase of his latest designs.
Local designer Yoyo Cao (@yoyokulala) will also be collaborating with Charles & Keith for the fourth time, while Arissa X, which made its debut last year, will be making a return.
Other new faces to look out for include Whole yards, which expanded its reach to 80 stockists spanning 18 countries, all within two years; and Central Saint Martins graduate Gin Lee, who was named “Emerging Designer of the Year” at last year’s Singapore Fashion Awards.
THE FUTURE IS NOW
To promote new talent, SGFW has been partnering Harper’s Bazaar since 2014 to organise the Harper’s Bazaar Asia Newgen Fashion Award. The objective is to identify and nurture promising and upcoming designers from Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. Besides being an excellent platform for the finalists to showcase their designs, SGFW will also be working with the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) this year to give their best graduates a platform to showcase their work.
For the first time, Islamic fashion will be thrust into the limelight at SGFW. Multiple brands focusing on modest fashion will be displaying their designs through the MODES Tyle fashion showcase. MODES Tyle is a Singapore based, regional e-commerce aggregator for Modest fashion brands and websites all around the world. They include homegrown label Feayn by designer Sufian Hussein; Adrianna Yariqa by Nurlida Yusof; Mod Kebaya by Zuhri; Ayra Safiyyah by Nuridah; Charisma by Salwah Baharudin; Limkokwing Fashion Club by Dato’ Tiffanee Marie Lim and Jovian Mandagie by designer Jovian Mandagie from Malaysia. Jovian is known for its intricated design and signature beading techniques. Indonesian brand Dian Pelangi, established since 1991, will showcase fashion with exceptional craftsmanship and the use of traditional woven fabrics.
SEE NOW, BUY NOW CONTINUES
The “See now, buy now” concept that was unveiled last year goes one step further.
Through a collaboration with online shopping platform Zalora (www.zalora.sg), SGFW will be putting most of the featured pieces on the Zalora app immediately after the show, so that you can shop your favourite pieces on your smart phone right after you catch the live streaming of the shows.
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH...
The Zip Code Fash Tech Summit extends SGFW beyond the runway. Members of the media, investors, industry bigwigs and representatives from Ernst & Young Digital will gather for an in-depth discussion about the impact of online retail, and understanding the way forward in the digital era. Through the different sessions, you will also learn about the personal journeys of designer Jason Wu, as well as social media celebrity Shini Park.
ONE’S A RECENT FASHION GRADUATE WITH A DEFT EYE FOR PRINTS. THE OTHER BRINGS A STREET EDGE TO LACE AND FLORALS. THE LAST GIVES EVERYDAY STAPLES A MODERN MINIMALIST TOUCH. KENG YANG SHUEN SPOTLIGHTS THREE INDEPENDENT LABELS TO LOOK OUT FOR AT SINGAPORE FASHION WEEK THIS YEAR.
What: The six-year-old Israel-based label of Singapore designer Gin Lee is carried in over 20 stockists worldwide, including the Tangs department stores here and multilabel store Kapok at the National Design Centre. Last year, the Central Saint Martins alum won “Emerging Designer of The Year” at the Singapore Fashion Awards. Why know it: For her elegant and minimalist take on wardrobe classics such as column dresses and kimonoin spired frocks – the sort of designs with a broad appeal, whether you like mona0stic silhouettes or relaxed staples. What to expect: Lee distils the conceptual and highly geometric works of feted Japanese architect Ryuji Nakamura into wearable designs that are also perfect for layering. Among them: a blouson with origami folds in millennial pink, and a petrol blue maxi dress rendered with multi-directional pleats. Look out for Ling Wu’s signature exotic skin wares as well – the bag maestro will be showcasing her new range of leather handbags together with Lee in her Singapore Fashion Week debut.
What: The namesake label of Raffles Design Institute and London College of Fashion graduate Wai Yang that debuted last year. Trivia: The Myanmar-born and Singapore-based designer trained under the LVMH Prize-nominated designer Faustine Steinmetz.
Why know it: Her fledging label is making a name as a print specialist among fashion insiders here. Each of her bold patterns is handcrafted, screen-printed, and bears an arty cachet thanks to the inspirations she checks (her past works have referenced the likes of Italian artist Lucio Fontana and the esoteric Japanese wabi-sabi philosophy that sees beauty in imperfections). Her trademark androgynous and oversized silhouettes bear a distinctively cool London fashion vibe. What to expect: Inspired by an abandoned building in Prague, this outing is an experimental and youthful take on proportions and cuts. For instance, the cuffs of classic white shirts are elongated, while trenchcoats are spliced with oversized pockets. The prints, meanwhile, are an abstract interpretation of unusual materials such as trash and bubble wrap.
What: The three-year-old Singapore-based label co-founded by former investment banker Widelia Liu, art director Franck Pouch and fashion designer Daniel Ngoo (pictured). Ngoo, who is also the brand’s creative director, was formerly assistant to top Malaysian designer Khoon Hooi. The brand is currently stocked in over 80 stockists in markets such as France, the US, and Tangs at Tang Plaza here.
Why know it: It’s the go-to name for really feminine styles – think lots of florals and lace – with a cool street edge that will appeal to fans of brands such as Molly Goddard and the like. Think an asymmetrical toga jersey dress with a lace overlay, or a parka with large tulle tiers on its dolman sleeves.
What to expect: Velvet tracksuits with embroidered floral motifs and prominent grommets, colour-blocked knits with on-trend bell sleeves, fringed cropped T-shirts with a bralet worn over, and statement coats with ruched sleeves and in-your-face florals. Worn with all the looks above? Fishnet stockings and sock booties. The brand has its finger on what’s current now.