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We'll Always Have Paris
The BAZAAR Academy heads to the City of Lights to soak up culture, craftsmanship and a new dawn at Chanel.
Jeffrey Yan

Harper’s BAZAAR has always been about nurturing new talent and uplifting the next generation. After all, what would this 153-year old title be, had the likes of Carmel Snow not taken the chance on a young Diana Vreeland, who in turn recruited Richard Avedon, who was 21 when he shot his first assignment for BAZAAR? To that end, Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore has been committed to the BAZAAR Academy for five years now— linking educational institutions in this country with the world’s most esteemed fashion companies to provide students an insider’s look into exclusive events, exhibitions, talks and parties.

Last October, we decided to take the BAZAAR Academy to the next level by flying a select group of students to Paris to experience firsthand the spectacle of one of the largest fashion shows in the world, visiting the ateliers of haute couture, and fully absorbing the rich heritage of a legendary 110-year-old House. Two of the spots were reserved for the local finalists of our Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award 2019 competition, Rena Kok and Zoey Zhao, while the remaining three were opened up to students of the other fashion and art disciplines at LASALLE College of the Arts. The winning entries— comprising essays and portfolios of their work—came from Navin Pillay, a student of Fashion Media and Industries; Si Xuan Chok and Sarah Lin, both Fine Art students.

First up on the agenda was the Chanel spring/summer 2020 show—a hotly anticipated affair since it marked Artistic Director Virginie Viard’s first outing on the Paris Fashion Week ready-to-wear calendar. Her set of steel and slate Parisian rooftops erected inside the Grand Palais reflected that unique blend of realism and romance she has brought to Chanel; her previous sets for cruise and couture were an old-world train station and a cavernous library, respectively. That same spirit of French effortlessness infused her collection—think tweed playsuits, easy A-line skirts, lots of shorts and weightless dresses, all worn with flats or low heels.

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January 2020