The second Grey Goose Guild event in Singapore will be held on November 15, as part of the premium vodka brand’s aim to create a “community of inspiring and influential icons within the fashion industry who celebrate craftsmanship and passion”.

We speak to the three designers behind the Singapore fashion labels that will be showing their “craftsmanship and passion” to the invite-only crowd.

CARRIE K. ARTISAN JEWELLERY
WHAT: Singapore-based artisan jewellery brand featuring hand-crafted pieces
WHO: Carolyn Kan, chief designer

Grey Goose Guild 2012 Carrie K DECOR

What defines your design concept?
Carrie K. is an unusual marriage of artisan-crafted jewellery and playfully provocative designs. Our designs challenge traditional notions of what makes something precious and desirable.We celebrate what is real rather than what seems flawless.We aim to make the mundane of the everyday interesting and to show the beauty of imperfection.

Carrie K. is for both men and women with joie de vivre and seek well-crafted designs with a sense of humour. 

What do you think is the position of Singapore design in the international market? Has its position changed over the last five years or so?
I believe that the pool of design talent in Singapore has grown considerably in the last five years. And there have been a couple of star local fashion labels that have the international market taking notice.

But we have a long way to go before we become a “must visit” market for fashionistas and buyers.
However, I am very optimistic as I see growing interest and support by Singaporeans and brands like Grey Goose, who seek quality craftsmanship and uniqueness rather than cookie cutter options.

The pool and quality of local talent is also slowly growing every year. And Singapore design is well positioned as interest in Asian designers by the international market is definitely on the rise.

How did you interpret the Grey Goose Guild concept in your pieces for the event?
Grey Goose is passionate about craftsmanship and the quality ingredients that make up their product.That mirrors Carrie K.’s beliefs and the inspiration behind our signature Heavy Mettle Collection in particular.

The Heavy Mettle collection (pictured above) is about inner strength and looking beyond surface appearances. The statement neckpieces and cuffs are a lattice-work of finely-cut specially treated leather that looks deceivingly like metal. The key visual icon is the humble gear mechanism that is usually hidden within an elegant façade.

We will be launching an extension of our successful Heavy Mettle Collection with new metallic colours for 2013 and two new necklace designs at the Grey Goose Guild.

In addition, I am creating a few limited edition Grey Goose Guild Heavy Mettle pieces that exaggerate the mix of artisan craftsmanship and a playful sense of humour.

MENSWEAR MENSWEAR
WHAT: Newly-launched menswear label based in London & Singapore
WHO: Zin Cattell, chief designer

Grey Goose Guild 2012 Menswear Menswear DECOR

What defines your design concept?
Rather than coming up with another fashion label, we felt we were almost pushed to create MENSWEAR MENSWEAR as a response to what the fashion industry is at the moment. There is a lack of simple, yet functional clothing for men, and the so it was as if we wanted to fill a hole in the industry. We are minimalists who also employ traditionalism, and are very forward thinking. We explore how technology allows us to be able to take into account what consumers want.

This MENSWEAR MENSWEAR collection is about the confident modern man. It is about being able to dress effortlessly, with ease. Men are ready to wear color. The collection is about being energetic and most of all, fun!

This collection essentially looks back on the ‘old’ and celebrates the ‘new’. The designs are all classic, simple pieces, and we have extracted all those extra details that we felt weren’t necessary on men’s clothing. With this, we have challenged the notion of convention and created very clean and well-tailored pieces. Of course, the spirit of cocktail drinking; the colors and flavours of Grey Goose have also been a stimulus for the collection.

What do you think is the position of Singapore design in the international market? Has its position changed over the last five years or so?
[Singapore’s position in the international fashion industry] is definitely evolving, slowly, but surely. There are a lot of major players now in Singapore, which definitely play a big part in terms of educating the population about fashion, or giving us more options for clothing. However, fashion is not really about the clothing, rather than the notion of having people express themselves. I guess ideally, I’d like to see people in Singapore become less “oppressed” and to challenge convention.

How did you interpret the Grey Goose Guild concept in your pieces for the event?
Seasonally, we have ideas, stories and themes behind our designs, but we are generally influenced by what is socially ‘current’. So, I guess you could say we are influenced in terms of ‘now’. We are pretty quick to convey what we want, and unlike most labels, we don’t work with the conventional industry calendar, with two standard collections per year.

For the Grey Goose Guild pieces we used the colors from their range of flavored vodkas and mixed them with the brand colours of grey and blue. Stylistically we created looks that are happy, joyous and mixed. Looks that can go from day to night but also challenge those rules; smart, sophisticated and cerebral clothes.

We feel very honored and fortunate that Grey Goose Guild has selected us, and we are very excited that they has given us the platform to express our point of view with this collaboration. I have worked with Grey Goose before in the UK, so it is quite nice to get a chance to work with them again in Asia. I have a close affinity to the Grey Goose brand in a way – they are very dear to me!

ONG SHUNMUGAM
WHAT: Singapore-based womenswear fashion label focusing on a re-interpretation of traditional Asian fabrics and clothing shapes
WHO: Priscilla Shunmugam, chief designer

Grey Goose Guild 2012 Ong Shunmugam DECOR

What defines your design concept?
Ong Shunmugam is a Singapore-based label straddling ready-to-wear and custom womenswear. The brand provokes a re-evaluation of traditional Asian dress beyond assumption and stereotype.

Layers of Asian aesthetic, textile and sartorial history inform the label’s new take on old fashion and its mission to engage the modern woman in dialogue about origin and identity. Conceptual collections are released for the thoughtful dresser. Employing intuition as much as information, Ong Shunmugam believes that clothing should be cerebral yet wearable.

What do you think is the position of Singapore design in the international market? Has its position changed over the last five years or so?
I think it’s still finding its feet. Certainly a lot of government support and initiative has driven a surge of Singapore labels getting international exposure over the last couple of years, but in all objectivity, we do have a long way to go in terms of homegrown labels themselves achieving consistency in putting out collections that are well-finished and commercially viable.

How did you interpret the Grey Goose Guild concept in your pieces for the event?
I did some reading on the origins of the brand and its founder Sidney Frank and from there used key Grey Goose themes to influence the silhouette, colour palette and fabrications. Some themes were interpreted quite literally, while others much more subtle.

For more information about The Grey Goose Guild and to enter a competition to win invites to the event, go to www.facebook.com/TheGreyGooseGuild; for more on Grey Goose vodka, go to www.greygoose.com. For more information about Carrie K. Artisan Jewellery, go to www.carriekrocks.com; for more on MENSWEAR MENSWEAR, go to www.facebook.com/Menswear-Menswear; for more information about Ong Shunmugam, go to shop.ongshunmugam.com.