From the designers presenting their fruits of labour to the attendees armored in only the fiercest of ensembles, Asia Fashion Exchange 2012 was quite the event. Although this year’s line-up of crowd pleasers like Nicola Formichetti, Zac Posen and Roland Mouret gave it the much needed star quality and international flavour, host country Singapore held its own ground represented by talented, young designers who also had their chance to show off their skills at the fashion week. Here’s the highlights of the fashion entities parked under the Asia Fashion Exchange unbrella.
Audi Fashion Festival
Everyone was anticipating the opening number – the Mugler show, which was made far more enticing with the presence of its Creative Director, Nicola Formichetti. His attendance was timed perfectly to set rumours a flutter that Lady Gaga (currently on her Asian tour) was making a special appearance to cheer on buddy and Fashion Director, Formichetti. Needless to say, there was no Gaga but we were more than happy to receive another fashion biggie – the Misshapes, with open arms. Leigh Lezark and Geordon Nicol were the music spinners at the after party which was sponsored by Belvedere. Read more here (not of the party, that would have to be left discreet).
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Future Fashion Now
In addition to the regular shows they had last year, Audi Fashion Festival was the platform of the launch of a new initiative called Future Fashion Now (FFN). Highly curated brands from across the globe were invited to display their goods on the runway and a livestream video of the show enabled consumers to buy pieces straight of the runway. So now, other than the renegade buyers, bloggers and editors, anyone can have first dibs on designer and couture offerings. FFN hopes that consumers will become their own buyers and in return, give the designers an idea about what sells and don’t. Another fraction of the fashion industry just got unromanticized but what an interesting concept.
Future Fashion Now pretty much opened up slots for more designers to have their runway shows at Audi Fashion Festival. They were also labels invited to partake in the Blueprint tradeshow and emporium.
*Audi Fashion Festival, Blueprint, Star Creation and Asia Fashion Summit are all separate events parked under one umbrella – the Asia Fashion Exchange.
Here are some of the Singaporean designers who we would like to share with you.
Max Tan spring/summer 2013 had a strong narrative that resonated throughout the collection. Calling it Utopia, it takes inspiration from architect Lebbeus Woods‘ words who questioned if the Utopian ideal that harvest the seeds of creativity has not already been achieved. Using metal, wood, conflicting spaces and textures as key points, Max Tan delivers a fine example of workmanship, creativity and good taste. His construction of pieces based on the destruction of them (collars devolves into pockets, details eradicate seams…) is as obvious as his mastery in putting words to clothes.
Another great contender from the Future Fashion Now show is Lion City’s, Mae Pang. Last year she captured the eyes of fashion blogger Susie Bubble with her acid, club-kid collection. Owning up to seasons after season of fun, vibrant and quirky ensembles, Mae Pang has matured and from it comes a collection of refinement without steering too far from her creative fingerprint. Last year’s neon pink was replaced with more subdued tones of blues and silver and latex gave way to a classier choice of sheens.
As separate entities; leather and denim are convincing fashion accompaniments. And the idea of mixing the two together aren’t for the masses. That’s where ex-model Chelsea Scott-Blackhall comes in with her summation of both in her collection called (obviously) “Denim and Leather” under her label Dzojchen.
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Singapore Designers Showcase
Always the frontrunners for the amalgamation of edgy, clever and androgynous, Depression played up their usual mischief with cuts and layering once again. Constructing new looks from shreds and nothingness, almost everything witnessed on the runway can be rebuild into something different. Thus giving the outfits more mileage than you bargained for. Aptly named “Plastic Surgery”, the brains behind Depression, Kenny Lim and Andrew Loh are not just designers but visionaries of tomorrows clothes. Don’t call our cheese on this.
The somewhat S&M factor of Depression was replaced with the subdued quality of simple knitwear jerseys and shimmer dresses from Saturday, another Singaporean-breed label. These are just some of the seniors of the fashion design arena (in Asia Fashion Exchange home turf) that could have possibly paved the way for the younger generation in Singapore.
All that glitter ain’t gold! And so it seems as the models paraded down the catwalk covered from head-to-toe in gold – starting with a gold sprayed helmet for A.W.O.L. Although the Midas touched pieces dominated the collection, even black and grey tones sparkled and dazzled (a little magic sprinkled in the fabric itself). To add a little spice, quilted designs were added to the mix in outerwear and accessories and evening gowns made a little wild with eye-catching patterns that served as a lined Rorschach test of style.
This year’s Asia Fashion Exchange had its ups and downs, but overall, their master plan to cultivate upcoming designers, further propelled the existing ones and direct the spotlight right at Singapore is slowly beaming bright. Although the festivities that followed were just as well from last year, we hope next year’s event sees more of the international medias, fashion bloggers, photographers and Malaysian representative in the design and media category that were dearly missed this time around.
Images by Jonathan Liu.