From The Straits Times    |
AFF 2013: Singapore label Zardozë goes for drama

SINGAPORE – Drama was clearly where Singapore fashion label Zardozë’s Autumn Winter 2013 collection was heading. The opening soundtrack featured a quote from The Great Gatsby, “I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy” before piping music from the soundtrack of the Baz Luhrmann-directed movie.

If that was to indicate the collection would reference the glitzy 1920s, you guessed right. The Zardozë ready-to-wear collection was designed around the concept of nostalgia and the pinning for a time long past. However even though there were sparkling embellishments aplenty, it was hard to see what was retrospective about the collection.

AFF 2013: Singapore label Zardozë goes for drama

Metallic snakeskin in electric blue and silver appeared on the runway for the Zardozë ready-to-wear line on tailored blazers and pants, alongside modern day gowns and shift dresses that were perfectly wearable, but didn’t do much to excite. What it did however, was whet our appetites for the highlight of the show, the Panthea line.

The Zardozë Panthea line, the Singapore-based label’s couture line came up trumps with spectacular gowns, each more amazing than the one before. The proof was in the pudding; with front row A-list stars Fann Wong and Rui En showing their support in bespoke Zardozë Panthea gowns, Wong in a jaw-dropping floor-sweeping black gown and Rui En in a emerald green stunner.

Former top model Charmain Harn opened the Panthea collection in a tan fringe layered dress that swished as she strutted down the runway, setting the dramatic tone for the rest of the collection.

Dramatic effect came in three forms, either colour, texture or embellishments and sometimes all three. In colour, fiery red was a key shade, and made even more striking when paired with black.

AFF 2013: Singapore label Zardozë goes for drama

Embellishments pumped up the volume too, with intricate beading and sequins all over the bodices of dresses, but it was as if the Zardozë designers, headed by creative director John Paul Rangel, still found that to be not quite enough bling and added even more flair with added extras like fringes, bustles and tulle.

And finally, there was the much-talked about half a million dollar Diamond Dress as the closing look. Worn by Indian actress and model Nethra Guha née Raghuraman, the dress is said to be handmade in an atelier in Paris from the finest lace from haute couture fabric shop Janssens & Janssens and affixed with diamonds that add up to 130-carats worth.

With all the excitement about the Diamond Dress and the talk about its value, the dress was unfortunately, quite underwhelming after all the volume, colour and embellishments of everything that came before it.

Nevertheless, it was beautiful, and at the end of the day, that matters more than drama.

For more information on Zardozë, visit Zardozë is available in Singapore at Robinsons department stores. Zardozë Panthea is available by appointment only.