Eight Singaporean fashion designers showcased their Spring/Summer 2015 collections at the Coterie/TMRW tradeshow recently. Held at the Jade Hotel in Greenwich Village, fashion buyers, media, and guests in the industry enjoyed an intimate cocktail reception featuring a model presentation of the key looks. Organized by Textile and Fashion Federation Singapore (TaFf) and International Enterprises Singapore (IES), this event was a way of celebrating the emergence of local Singapore design onto the international fashion stage.
This year featured collections by Aijek, Del Chen, Elohim by Sabrina Goh, Pauline.Ning, Stolen, Styl.Myl., Ong Shunmugam, and Whole9yards. I had the great opportunity of speaking with a few designers on inspirations behind their labels and visions of the Asian fashion scene.
Del Chen: WHITE
WHITE had a sense of ethereal fluidity that immediately drew me in. “I just think about the girl who lives in the modern city and ask what is she wearing,” says Del Chen. Inspired by Lin Daiyu from the Chinese classic Dream of the Red Chamber, this collection uses natural fabrics and color—white, rice, or off white, to blend traditional beauty with contemporary simplicity.
Ong Shunmugam: Madness & Civilisation
The latest collection by Shunmugam is inspired by literature of French philosopher Michel Foucault, and utilizes layers of silhouette and fabric to explore themes flushed out in the book. The influence of Asian textile and aesthetic is apparent in the garments, as the label strives to “contemporize elements that Asian themselves find outdated or restricted,” says Shunmugam.
Paulina.Ning: Wounded Rhymes
As international brands enter Asia, more Singaporean designers look to explore the US market. “As much as we can conceptualize items, we have to be commercial,” Ning says of the restraint local designers face at home. Wounded Rhymes breaks through the clutter, using geometric shapes against soft drapes to combine self-elegance with dimensional structure, and traditional handcraft with modern texture.
Photos provided by Avant Collective.