Fashion

Youthful new Singapore designers show at AFF2012

SEE PHOTOS: Eight young Singapore labels from Parco next NEXT’s design incubator project present at this year’s Audi Fashion Festival
 

A packed fashion tent, with audience members on the stairs too: that was the scene at Parco next NEXT young designer showcase for Audi Fashion Festival 2012.

It’s always great to see people turning up in droves to support Singapore fashion designers and for most of these eight young designers, it’s also their biggest ever fashion showing.

On Saturday, May 19, youth was also in full swing at Ngee Ann City; be it youthful ambitions or designs inspired by youth culture, a natural exuberance could be seen throughout the presentation.

This newest group of designers was also joined by PAULINE.NING, a graduate of the Parco next NEXT young designer mentorship initiative. Here’s a quick rundown of the eight collections:

MASH-UP
Youth and a youthful spunkiness abounded at the MASH-UP presentation: leading the way was a child model who skated down the runway in roller shoes.

Parco next NEXT Singapore designers at AFF2012: MASH-UP
MASH-UP at Audi Fashion Festival 2012

The models were a ‘“mash-up” too: alongside Singapore top model Sheila Sim, the label featured fashion blogger Rana Wehbe-Flinter and more friends of the designers.

From the loud and colourful tribal-inspired prints, day-glo chain accessories and creature motifs to the beaming grins on the models, Mash-up’s Spring Summer 2012 collection is all about having fun with hippy ‘casual Friday’ outfits and kitschy designs. Denim was prominently featured in this collection, with the designers creating designs out of embroidered patchworks of up-cycled materials; handsewn work that had a well-made, but DIY feel.

Mash-up’s certainly not for everyone but that won’t really matter for the label’s young and young-at-heart fans anyway: this label is for free-spirited dressers ever ready to embrace their inner child.

20:TWOTHREE

Striding down the runway in black Dr. Martens, 20:twothree's androgynous Spring Summer 2012 line was an all-black affair for arty goth types.

Parco next NEXT Singapore designers at AFF2012: 20:TWOTHREE
20:TWOTHREE at Audi Fashion Festival 2012

In lieu of colours, designer duo Genevieve and Jamie Goh chose to layer it up with a mix of fabrics and asymmetrical hem lengths. The label also injected a dose of the quirky with safety buckles on vests, plastic neon cuffs, some adorned with rows of googly eye buttons.

The stand-out design was a long and slinky garment with leather pockets and zippers at the hem. Slender shapes fared better in this collection as some of the loose tops and vests did appear to be draped awkwardly on the models. Perhaps a more adventurous play with materials and patterns could have created a more dynamic monochromatic collection.

MILS
A male dancer made a surprise entrance, gracefully leaping and pirouetting down the runway. He moved effortlessly while wearing a look from the MILS Spring Summer 2012 line; a ready example of the designer’s attention to form and the source of the collection’s inspiration.

MILS at Parco next NEXT Singapore designers at AFF2012
MILS at Audi Fashion Festival 2012

MILS showed a well-tailored collection – it was designer Sunny Lim’s third fashion show within a single month: he participated in the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia earlier this May, as well as a in small presentation at this year’s Blueprint Tradeshow.

One of the most attention-grabbing looks was a red pantsuit that paired a classic slim silhouette with a kilt-like fringe at the back. Even the less adventurous dresser could still easily wear the label’s structured shorts or the well-cut blazers: the latter’s skinny asymmetrical lapels make for a more stylish and work-appropriate option too.

The collection of eight designs seemed like just a sampling of more polished and well-made designs to come. We can’t wait to see more.

QUAINTHOOD
It’s easy to wear, and stylish enough to take you from boardroom to after-party with a pair of killer heels.

Parco next NEXT Singapore designers at AFF2012: QUAINTHOOD
QUAINTHOOD at Audi Fashion Festival 2012

Asymmetrical puff skirts and black netting kept office-appropriate layered ensembles interesting. One of the more unique numbers was a white v-neck shirt dress with tailored pockets and a bit of box pleating.

Interesting accessory finds from Quainthood include a chain and leather piece worn at the shoulders, giving a simple asymmetrical black dress a more rock-and-roll look.

LION EARL
With over a hundred hand-sewn buttons on his gowns, designer Lionel Low of LION EARL presented an elegant study in detail.

LION EARL at Parco next next at AFF2012
LION EARL at Audi Fashion Festival 2012

Evening looks retained a bit of an edgy feel with the frayed hems and liberal use of metal studs, while workwear-friendly looks were kept interesting with origami pleating on blazers. An architectural peplum top added dramatic flair to a black dress while the finale gown had a long train with swishing panels and a pop of pink on the reverse side of the skirt.

evenodd
A group of male models opened the evenodd show in raincoats with a painterly raven print: just the start of evenodd’s preoccupation with the black bird. With a collection clearly inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven’, the bird continued to be featured on evenodd’s blazers, shirts and pants.

Parco next NEXT Singapore designers at AFF2012: evenodd
evenodd at Audi Fashion Festival 2012

Although the raven motif was a fun addition on menswear, it did look a tad gimmicky after repeated use, in black and grey. One raven-less look that we preferred featured a black panelled cape with a vest with a rounded hem. A leather-sleeve bomber jacket was another favourite.

Singapore celebrity Nat Ho was also spotted walking for evenodd; the actor and singer has been hugely supportive of the label, having modelled for the label’s Spring Summer 2012 campaign as well.

Episene
For this collection, designer Lee Yun Ting of episene played with loose shapes, draped silhouettes and some colour-blocking. Layering was key: a double-collar shirt paired with a boat-neck jumper over harem pants for example.

Episene at Parco next next at AFF2012
Episene at Audi Fashion Festival 2012

The easiest looks to wear? We favour episene’s cape-like shapes: such as the loose cowl necked jackets and a shirt dress with a hemline sewn to the ends of a long cape.

Pauline.Ning
The most cohesive collection was Pauline.Ning’s; accessories and shoes had also been specially created for the collection. The designer collaborated with Ideas Empire and the Museum Label earlier this year to create accessories that were a perfect match for the oriental motifs and brass details on the clothing.

Parco next NEXT Singapore designers at AFF2012: PaulineNing
Pauline.Ning at Audi Fashion Festival 2012

Well-placed darts created clean and sleek shapes on silk dresses while jersey pieces were draped to accentuate curves. One look made an unusual layered hemline more wearable by fitting the mix of materials around a classic A-line skirt.

In all, this year’s Parco next NEXT show for Audi Fashion Festival was a laudable showing by fresh new designers, young talents with promise and the room to grow, if time and circumstance allows.

The Parco next NEXT presentation at Audi Fashion Festival 2012 took place on May 19, 2012; the closing show by Roland Mouret will be held on May 20, 2012. For more information, visit audifashionfestival.com.