Thomas Wee is one of Singapore’s most underrated creative geniuses. His ability to create delicate, evocative confections of beauty from the lightest and most basic pieces of cloth is a gift. That he does this with little more than a pair of sissors and a needle and thread is even more outstanding. Thomas can create a brilliantly simple dress with one seam and a judiciously placed dart. This is “dressmaking” at its highest level of skill.
Asia’s Next Top Model finalist Sofia opens the Thomas Wee show at Digital Fashion Week 2014. Image: Digital Fashion Week – VIILevent Photography
The fact that few Singapore “fashionistas” know who Thomas Wee is, let alone wear his work, says more about the designer’s self-effacing personality then it does about his clothes. True fashion lovers from Singapore to Dubai to London have tracked down and invested heavily in owning a piece of Thomas Wee.
Known primarily for his brilliant cutting, Thomas’ has an intrinsic knowledge of how fabric works on a woman’s body and this is why his clothes are at once timelessly elegant and yet also arrestingly distinctive. He does have his “signatures” though; Thomas loves black and white, he loves silk in all its versions from sheer to brocade, and perhaps most importantly he continues to evoke the elegance of traditional Asian clothing.
For his latest collection Thomas riffed on the delicate transparency of traditional Korean clothing, the wrapping of Japanese kimonos (a recurring motif for the designer) and the architectural shapes of the Samurai. He combines these historical inspirations with his totally mastery of European tailoring; and this is why Thomas Wee’s designs are wearable, timeless and entirely unique.
The amazing diagonal pleat skirt from the Thomas Wee show at Digital Fashion Week 2014. Image: Digital Fashion Week – VIILevent Photography
Yes, I’ll admit I’m a complete fan-girl when it comes to the work of this Singapore fashion icon. But when you see what appears to be the perfect pencil skirt ‒ from the front ‒ with an accordion pleated back; or a DIAGONALLY PLEATED skirt (even the zip is placed on the diagonal) that sits perfectly around a woman’s curves; or a shell top with a completely free-standing (no wire, no interface) silk organza collar the perfectly frames a woman’s face … Well, if you love clothes you will totally understand.
America’s Next Top Model winner Jourdan closes the Thomas Wee show at Digital Fashion Week 2014. Image: Digital Fashion Week – VIILevent Photography
Owning a piece from the atelier of Thomas Wee is akin to getting your hands on a Christian Dior from the 1950s. Quite simply it is like possessing a work of art you can wear.
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves in the gallery below.
To get your hands on a piece of this collection you’ll need to make an appointment with Thomas himself. Yes, it really is like visiting a traditional haute couture salon! To make an appointment, email email@example.com. Prices depend on the fabric and amount of work involved; it won’t be cheap but it will be perfectly fitted for you and actually very reasonably priced when compared to luxe ready-to-wear!
SHOP SELECTED PIECES OF THOMAS WEE’S LATEST COLLECTION
Thanks to the team at Inverted Edge, however, you can actually shop selected pieces of Thomas Wee’s latest collection online! Just go to http://invertededge.com/shop/designer/thomas-wee-dfw
Digital Fashion Week 2013 runs until November 3, 2014, at the Singapore Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, Singapore 188969. All Digital Fashion Week shows will be televised live online at www.DigitalFashionWeek.com, www.facebook.com/DigitalFashionWeek, www.youtube.com/DigitalFashionWeek and digitalfashweek.tumblr.com. Follow Digital Fashion Week on Twitter at @DigitalFashWeek https://twitter.com/DigitalFashWeek and Instagram at @DigitalFashionWeek http://instagram.com/DigitalFashionWeek for more updates.
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