IMAN FANDI, THE MULTI-HYPHENATE INDUSTRY DARLING WITH BURNING POP STAR AMBITIONS, DROPS HER LONG-ANTICIPATED DEBUT SINGLE IN FEBRUARY. WE CAN’T SHARE ITS NAME JUST YET; DITTO HOW IT SOUNDS, BUT WHAT WE CAN TELL YOU IS THAT – LIKE THE 20-YEAR-OLD STYLE CHAMELEON – IT’S SIZZLING.
THE SOUTH KOREAN SOLO ARTISTE BRINGS A BOLD AND SOPHISTICATED NEW FACE AND SOUND TO THE GENRE THE WORLD KNOWS AS K-POP. NOELLE LOH GETS CHARMED BY HER MAGIC.
Life Is Beautiful
Some might say that the spring/summer 2021 collections are a signal of hope and optimism after a year of social distance and isolation. Key to that: the return of the human touch in more ways than one. Here, an edit of some of the season’s best and most creative craftsmanship that represents the ingenuity of the artisanal hand.
The New School
From an altruistic champion of independent photographers to a fine dining restaurant curating art and music like no other, Keng Yang Shuen curates the people and spaces encouraging new ways of thinking and doing in Singapore’s art scene.
Put Your Best Face Forward This Festive Season
Targeting fine lines and sagging skin, Thermage FLX uses radiofrequency to help boost collagen production to lift and tighten.
How Indie Pop Has Changed And How Celine Autumn Intends To Heat It Up
Celine Autumn, the frontwoman of the beloved Singapore indie band Sobs, has a new solo project and – with that – a new stage name, a new sound and a mesmerising Harajuku girl-gone-sci-fi new image. Putting her own cyber-punk spin on the runway’s ladylike pieces, the charismatic 23-year-old tells noelle loh how indie pop has changed and how she intends to heat it up.
The French Floral Artist Aude Giraud Introduces Her Second Act As A Creative
In 2015, the parisian modern-day Bohemian Aude Giraud uprooted to Singapore then launched the flower-focused lifestyle business ask a French, which helped start the trend for bucolic-chic arrangements and has since become an industry favourite. Last month, she introduced her second act as a creative:
Talking On Miami
Held every December, the international design fair design Miami has always been a heady confluence of fashion and art. For the 2020 edition, fendi – which has been taking part in the show for the past 12 years – roped in new york artist sarah coleman to reinterpret not only its boutique in the city, but also a series of its peekaboo totes. Playing with logos and monograms in her work (fendi’s included), coleman recontextualises the visual language of luxury branding – an approach that gets the thumbs up from silvia venturini fendi. The collaboration is an “opportunity to see how such creativity can evolve”, says the brand’s doyenne. Gordon Ng gets an exclusive from both women on how the relationship between their worlds is more exciting – and important – than ever.
Masters Of Flash
Every year since 2016, the house of Dior has invited a coterie of artists to use its lady dior bag as a blank canvas for painting, sculptural assemblage and all-round imaginative freedom. Despite the circumstances of 2020, this distillation of the maison’s haute couture savoir faire did not stop and this year’s dior lady art has in fact yielded some of the most thoughtful (and fun) interpretations of the tote from the initiative. As these limited-edition pieces hit the brand’s ngee ann city boutique this month, gordon ng zeroes in on the brains behind 13 of them.
A Gritty Pop-Rock Track About How It's Okay To Not Be Okay
A gritty pop-rock track about how it’s okay to not be okay. A throbbing electro-laced tune about finding peace with letting go. A three-part anthology film that’s meant to embody every one of the songs that she’s released since 2019. From mid-January, Narelle Kheng unveils the climax to what she’s been referring to as “the project”, her personal musical endeavour that she started two years ago – and one of the most ambitious and artistic to emerge from the local pop music scene. Noelle Loh gets the famously candid singer- songwriter to share about her creative and emotional journey, and newfound community.
Tiger tiger, burning bright
FELIPE OLIVEIRA BAPTISTA IS REMAKING KENZO FOR A MODERN AGE, TAPPING AS MUCH INTO THE ARCHIVES AS ITS FOUNDING JAPANESE DESIGNER’S ETHOS OF CULTURAL CURIOSITY FOR HIS DEBUT THIS SEASON. GORDON NG REPORTS ON HOW HE’S CONTINUING KENZO TAKADA’S LEGACY.
A Fall/ Winter 2020 Collection Report
(And some of the asian models who commanded the season’s runways)
A Place In The Sun
For the multitude of differences that we ought to recognise and embrace, there are some things that Asian women in general share in common when it comes to discussing matters of the skin. For example, scientific studies have shown that the all-protective, outermost layer of the complexi0n known as the stratum corneum in asian women is thin. We also are more prone to pigmentation because of higher levels of melanocyte activity. At the same time, the region’s humidity means that our sebaceous glands – which asians tend to have more of – can overreact (hands up if oily skin bothers you) while UV rays and pollution levels have made sensitised skin a growing condition here. All launched this year, the products on the next two pages don’t claim to cover the skincare concerns of all Asian women, but they do help tackle some of the most common. And – in the spirit of this edition’s theme – they’re all created by brands with roots in asia. Sofia Kim reports.
LOCAL LABEL BEYOND THE VINES HAS COME A LONG WAY SINCE ITS TO MENTION STORES IN FIVE COUNTRIES), IT’S THE ARCHETYPE OF A, ’ INCEPTION FIVE YEARS AGO. WITH AN EXTENSIVE REBRANDING IN SINGAPORE FASHION LABEL MADE GOOD. SO WHO BETTER TO DISCUSS. PROCESS AND A NEWLY OPENED CONCEPT SPACE AT NGEE ANN CITY (NOT THE STATE OF SINGAPORE FASHION RETAIL TODAY? BY KENG YANG SHUEN
On the up
FROM AN IRANIAN MILLINER CRAFTING FANTASTICAL HATS THAT RESEMBLE SCULPTURE TO A GENDER-FLUID HONG KONG LABEL CHALLENGING TRADITIONAL NOTIONS OF MASCULINITY, THE SEVEN EMERGING BRANDS FEATURED HERE SHARE ONE THING IN COMMON: FOUNDERS WITH ROOTS IN ASIA – AND BOLD IDEAS THAT THE WORLD SHOULD KNOW ABOUT. KENG YANG SHUEN REPORTS.
What Does It Mean To Be Asian?
What does it mean to be asian? That question is so large, so vast, that answering it is nearly impossible. The truth is that Singaporeans today straddle multiple cultural identities: our own ethnic heritage, our place in the world as global citizens and our communal sense of a nation. So instead of trying to find an unattainable answer, we went in search of the particular. Image-making has the power of influencing how we view, imagine and define ourselves. Through their work and research, the three Singapore image-makers we spoke to here each deal with specific perspectives of asian-ness. All start unsurprisingly from some place (or something) personal then delve into bigger, more mercurial ideas: the dominance of eurocentric beauty ideals; the challenge of conceiving and creating a postcolonial identity; the fragility of heritage and history in a modern world. And in doing so, each offers a different viewpoint on what it means and looks like to be asian. Gordon NG goes in for a close-up.
Asia's True Top Models
A diversity report on the fall/winter 2020 runway season by the fashion spot – drawn from 194 shows that took place in the four major fashion week cities – found that 40.6 per cent of models cast were people of colour. In contrast, when the popular online portal started tallying diversity reports five years ago with the spring/summer 2015 season, that figure was 17 per cent. It’s commendable change, some might say – one that reflects the fashion industry’s growing interest in and recognition of the importance of representing a wide range of faces and ethnicities. Based in different parts of asia, the three modelling agencies featured here aren’t just vital players in this revolution; they’re expanding the conversation by championing specifically models from home. Gordon NG finds out how they’re changing the look and perceptions of Asian beauty.
The Power Of Joy
K-pop has undoubtedly been one of the biggest cultural exports out of asia and the same might just go for one of the scene’s most popular young female stars of the moment: the chameleonic style icon and multi-hyphenate entertainer joy.
In 2019, Louis Vuitton introduced its Artycapucines project, which invites leading international artists to reimagine its Capucines tote – named after the Parisian street on which the brand opened its first boutique and known for its extensive craftsmanship. For the second edition – limited to 200 pieces worldwide per design – hitting selected stores (including the one here at Ngee Ann City) on oct 30, the Maison Ropes in for the first time two asian names: Xinjiang-born Zhao Zhao and Beijinger Liu Wei. Here, an exclusive with these chinese luminaries on their art and how they’ve transformed an artisanal handbag into a true objet d’art. Keng Yang Shuen reports.
Fortune Favours The Boh
Fashion PR, writing, modelling – bohan qiu has tried his hand at all of them. In a way, the Shenzhen-born 26-year-old exemplifies the contemporary fashion multi-hyphenate with his latest turn being the entrepreneur behind boh project, a PR and digital content agency based in Shanghai. Founded last year, the company is already staking a claim in the chinese fashion scene, counting clients that range from giants (calvin klein, selfridges) to emerging names. Among the latter is the fashion and art presentation platform Xcommons, which made global headlines in march for producing a virtual reality presentation for the chinese labels Xu Zhi, Andrea Jiapei Li and Roderic Wong, and garnering over 4.8 million visits within the first day. So who better to speak to for insights into the fascinating, fast-moving and growing chinese fashion industry?
Singapore 's Animation Industry Is Small, But Thriving. Here, Seven Artists To Know
If the world of fashion – and content creation in general – is finally waking up to the limitless potential of animation, well here are seven names to know: based in Singapore, they work across a diverse range of styles – 2-d, 3-d, motion graphics and more. By Keng Yang Shuen.
Bringing Clothes To Life Into An Art Form
From models swanning about elegantly – number tag in hand, mere inches from guests in packed-out stores and salons – in the ’50s to christy, naomi, cindy and linda strutting with their arms linked down the versace runway to the tune of george michael’s freedom in 1991, the way one moves when wearing a garment has always been a significant, if underrated, part of fashion presentation. Now, a new league of choreography has risen, and creatives are increasingly elevating the task of bringing clothes to life into an art form. Gordon ng reports.
The Aesthete Treatment
As we spend more time at home, how beautiful one’s makeup and skincare products look on the vanity table matters as much as how beautiful they make one look. Aileen lalor gets into the aesthetics business of a different sort.
Are Virtual Models And Influencers Really The Next Frontier In Fashion?
Virtual models and influencers – 3-d creations that exist only in images and software – have begun to obscure the lines of fiction and reality. Gordon Ng reports on what is quite possibly fashion’s next frontier.
Harajuku Girlsi (And Boy)
Cosplay and fashion may not appear, at first glance, to be natural bedfellows. At their core, however, they share a love for fantasy and good style, both revelling in the metamorphic powers of dressing up. So, in conjunction with this edition’s animation theme, who better to model some of fall/winter 2020’s key runway looks than some of singapore’s most avid fans of the performance art form?
A Whole New World?
The realms of film, music and entertainment have long embraced the diverse medium that is animation and – going by its recent rash of CGI-led content and forays into gaming (yes, gaming) – fashion is raising its stakes in the scene too. The million (make that billion) dollar question: is this simply a trend or will it lead to new horizons? And what does it mean for all of us? Keng yang shuen reports.
What To Make Of Creative Directors Today?
When tie-ups and three-year-long creative director stints have become the norm in fashion, moncler bucks the trend by hiring the jil sander/phoebe philo-trained veronica leoni (opposite) as the women’s creative director of its 2 moncler 1952 line. (one of only two ranges under the brand’s moncler genius project that’s not by a guest collaborator, it had been designed by the in-house team until her appointment last year.) ahead of the launch of her third collection this month, gordon ng gets an exclusive with this understated ‘insider’b on why a role like hers remains pivotal.
Why Does Community Matter?
It might be one of the words most overused in recent fashion history to help sell a brand or product. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that shared beliefs and a sense of belonging can make an impact (and warm the cockles of the heart). Launched in the middle of the excess-loving ’80s, Cartier’s pasha de Cartier was a striking interpretation of the aggressively masculine sporty watches that were taking off at the time. Its case was sumptuously round when most designs on the market were geometric and its can’t-miss-it crown came with an idiosyncratic chain-link cap. This month, it returns to stores – available in 35mm and 41mm in handsome gold or cool steel. And to mark the occasion, the french maison has assembled an unlikely tribe of discipline-spanning celebrity ambassadors whose common denominators are their youth, success and non-conformist streak. Here, an exclusive look at – and message from – this radical pack.
Can We Do Without The Hype?
Yoon Ahn is something of a generational definer with a firm place in both the intensely masculine world of streetwear as co-founder of the label ambush and the historically bourgeois realm of high fashion as jewellery director at dior homme. Now, she’s teamed up with bvlgari on a reinterpretation of its signature serpenti forever handbag. Gordon ng probes this extremely in-demand creative’s mind on the future of collaborations and building a business on hype.
Maisie Williams Is Coming
For Eight Years, The British Actress Was One Of Television's Most Beloved Sword-wielding, Baddie-slaying Teenage Anti-heroines. Her Next Big Act: Mutant, Producer, Champion For Up-and-coming Creatives And Possibly The Next Most Powerful Woman In Entertainment And The Arts. Keng Yang Shuen Gets An Exclusive Close-up.