Sometimes, all it takes is a helping hand for a fashion brand to make the jump from small shop to major label. So for Singapore designers, the Singapore Designers Showcase (SDS), a dedicated platform organised by the Textile and Fashion Federation (TaFf) and supported by Spring Singapore, is very important. It has the ability to be a springboard to greater things for homegrown labels.
Take for instance the label Saturday; this brand was part of the first SDS in 2012 and what would you know? The label held its very own independent runway show at this year’s Audi Fashion Festival.
“Our show puts together local fashion names that are well-established in Singapore and are moving towards regional and global success. Showcasing their designs to a large audience of key industry players will enable them to develop their brands further and capture an even wider market globally”, said David Wang, vice president of TaFf.
AIJEK AUTUMN WINTER 2014 ‘Fly Home’
Aijek Autumn Winter 2014. Credit: Wesley Kow
Singapore designer Danelle Woo has the right mix of high fashion and high street experience, having worked in both multi label luxury stores Pois and Zara. For Autumn Winter 2014, Woo wanted to capture the difference between real life and fantasy. To build romanticism in the collection “Fly Home”, lace details aplenty were featured on the sweet scalloped hem dresses and graphic floral motifs were featured. Less about being fashion-forward and more about being fashion-sustainable, Aijek is an eco-conscious brand that makes easy-to-wear pieces, which might be wearable but don’t exactly stand-out on the runway. There also appeared to be a number of different concepts running through the collection which made it seem less cohesive than it could have been. The finale dress, however, was a lovely hippie-friendly purple draped maxi dress.
TRILOLGIE SPRING SUMMER 2014 ‘Kaleidoscope’
Triologie Spring Summer 2014 collection. Credit: Wesley Kow
Triologie is the brainchild of Sylvia Lim and Jennifer Neo and the label is apparently about “spontaneity, wearability and versatility”. The Spring Summer 2014 collection was a blast from the past – 80s shapes, bright colours, bold details and a mix of textures which looked a bit dated, particularly one “stamp print” dress. Unfortunately the mix of capri trousers and A-line dresses, while being casual and wearable, are less interesting on the runway. The attempt to create something with more impact ‒ an odd mix of mini dress and moto jacket with removeable “tail” ‒ unfortunately didn’t seem to fit the rest of the looks that were a lot more casual in style. Also, the very weird “hair helmets” on the final two looks were off-putting; as was the overall styling. Why put opaque coloured tights on looks that were supposed to be for Spring Summer? Still, as a runway debut it wasn’t a complete disaster for the brand.
A.W.O.L. AUTUMN WINTER 2014 ‘State of Mind’
A.W.O.L. Autumn Winter 2014 collection. Credit: Wesley Kow
Singapore designer Alfie Leong won the crowd over when he sent a little boy and girl couple down the runway decked out in multi-coloured houndstooth tracksuit and dress at the opening of the A.W.O.L. part of the SDS show. Called “State of Mind”, Leong wanted to showcase the moods and emotions of the human mind when thinking about the past, present and future in the Autumn Winter 2014 collection. His experimental spirit and skill brought to life a series futuristic pieces that included three-dimensional structured jackets in chrome leather and changeable puffer jackets that morphed into long coats plus a long skirted dress that turned into a structural mini dress – A.W.O.L was definitely the standout label of the entire show. Building on his show at Seoul Fashion Week AW14 as part of the Singapore Showcase, Leong added to his seasonal collection with a mature mix of avant-garde and more wearable pieces. Yes, there was a strong flavour of Yohji Yamamoto to the designs but Leong has never shied away from admitting that the Japanese designer is a major influence. Instead, Leong added his own tweaks by mixing textures and adding light, airy volume with his signature draping.
One of the drawbacks of a group show is that brands will be compared to each other, if it’s just down to personal preferences as to whether or not one likes a particular style, then each brand has an opportunity to win followers. If, however, it’s also a competition when it comes to concept, production and overall modernity of a brand, then those that are not as advanced will be at a disadvantage, as was the case this year. A.W.O.L is a much more refined and developed brand, especially when it comes to runway presentations since its looks are more at the cutting edge of fashion, than Aijik or Triologie which as more retail oriented labels are always going to have less “impact” on the runway.
Be that as it may, it was still great to see so many new-ish Singapore fashion brands being offered a chance to show on the AFF runway, and to experience and learn more about being a fashion brand in 2014; we’re looking forward to seeing how the brands develop in the future.
The Singapore Designer Showcase runway show took place at Audi Fashion Festival 2014 at the Tent @ Orchard, on May 17, 2014. For more about Aijek, go to www.aijek.com. For more about Triologie, go to triologie.com. For more about A.W.O.L., go to www.awol.sg.
Audi Fashion Festival 2014 took place from May 14 to 18, 2014. For more information, go to www.audifashionfestival.com, www.facebook.com/AudiFashionFestivalSingapore, on Twitter@AudiFashionFest and Instagram @AudiFashionFest and by following the hashtag #affsg