Saturday 11 February 2012

More Singa-phwoar from the Parco next NEXT preview

Here I am again, as promised, introducing you to more hot local designers from Parco next NEXT’s latest incubation programme.

In my previous post I picked the 3 labels which blew me away mainly because they were totally unique and had a very strong presence about them, but also they were something I would personally wear as they’re exactly the sort of style I’d go for and they reflect my fashion sense.

In today’s post, I’d like to highlight 5 more labels – which while not necessarily something I would pick up (unless I start wearing menswear label or embrace androgeny) -  are some of the labels with the greatest chance of making the next step.

I've included menswear a label in this post so read on guys!

It’s worth noting that two of the labels I’ve picked were ‘unisex’ and had a sense of rebellion in their themes – railing against defined gender roles and for dressing.

While there are numerous other local and Asian labels who already cater for androgynous dressing, it’s  a positive sign that the young generation in Singapore are expressing their beliefs and convictions through fashion.

It is a strong statement which I admire regardless of the outcome of designs. Fashion after all is about expressing who you are and what a better way to portray this than designing for those who for a long time felt left out by the mainstream fashion trends.


Genevieve and Jamie of 20:TWOTHREE with their model/friend wearing their designs.

Everything I saw from the new label 20:TWOTHREE was black, edgy, anything but feminine but I couldn’t help but love the pieces!

For their debut collection Clarity in Blindness, Genevieve and Jamie, the designers behind the label take inspiration from the visually impaired - and bizarrely - a pair of octagonal glasses.

The outfits look simple but on closer inspection and upon a demonstration on the model (who looked unconventionally super cool by the way) you could really see the intricate work on the cuts that make one garment versatile and wearable in numerous ways.
I thought this vest looks very cool and versatile

All eyes will be on you if you wear this brooch...

I especially liked the knee-length asymmetrical vest which adds sharpness and edge to any dress it’s put on.

However dark the designs look, the accessories made up for the lack of colour. As strange as it looks, I loved the ‘eyes’ necklace and brooch which worked very well with the overall theme and feel of the collection.

So if you love wearing black, at least do it with a difference.

Lee Yun Ting, the designer behind Episene

One of Episene's interesting pieces

Another label taking on an androgynous approach to fashion is Episene, whose Lee Yun Ting based her collection on ‘involuntary memories’.

At first the collection and the theme might look complicated and too ‘artsy’ for the average man and woman, but who said that Yun Ting was designing for the ‘normal’ people anyways?

Her designs are more like wearable art pieces for those who dare. But most of the pieces can be worn in different ways to look versatile and change form depending on the wearer’s body and character.

I love this dress!!! maybe with heels?

They are bold cuts somehow manage to look light and airy due to the material and light greys used throughout. I really liked the balance between tailoring and draping which were played with to achieve a look combining both feminine and masculine elements.

My favourite was the strapless dress in grey and beige which has an interesting drape and laced up back. Naturally it also happened to be one of the more feminine pieces.


Kae Hana, the designer.

Speaking of feminine, two womenswear labels caught my attention. Both of which also use prints!

The first is KAE HANA whose designer makes her own prints, something I’ve not seen a lot of amongst the local designers.

Even as a print and pattern-loving person, I tend to stay away from very floral prints which might look too young and ‘girlie’ for my taste (and sadly my age!), so I found Kae’s digital rendering of the floral print rather interesting, wearable and above all - stylish.

I also love the casual feel of the collection which is printed on cotton and lycra and consists of a well-balanced plain and printed mix and match pieces.

My favourite piece has to be the digital flower print leggings! They look so comfy and cool at the same time!

Saloni Rathor

The designer behind he label Saloni Rathor

Another designer in favour of prints is Saloni Rathor whose collection Exotic Edge consists of tribal and exotic prints sewn into flattering modern silhouettes.

Saloni, who is a native Nepalese infuses a lot of Asian elements in her designs like the delicate ultra-feminine fabric to the beautiful yet understated beading mainly on the neckline, leaving the cuts clean and simple to appeal to modern women.

I liked the slight layering of chiffon and organza with more practical fabric like cotton and the colour-combinations which have just the right level of boldness and character.

Some of the dresses in Saloni Rathor's lookbook

Saloni was also one of the very few designers with a complete lookbook which helped bring out the theme of her collection better. I liked the maxi layered dress which felt so light and perfect for Singapore weather. The shorter dresses also had interesting details on the back and front of the neckline.

I don’t think anyone has any more excuse not to wear prints and colours given how practical and smart this collection looks!


One of MILS creations looking sharp and edgy

OK guys, I didn’t forget you! Like last year, there were few men’s labels in this batch of Parco next NEXT designers and all of them looked interesting, although most collections were not complete yet.

The men’s label that caught my eye most was MILS which is designed by Sunny Lim.
Despite the play on asymmetry, pleats and drapes (and Sunny’s inspiration which was hermaphrodite Hindu god Shiva), the collection is very masculine but in an interesting and unconventional way.

The tailoring is deconstructed yet very sharp so there is no blur here between this and the androgynous labels.

Sunny Lim, the designer behind MILS menswear label

I liked the overall colours and feel of the collection ‘Danseur’ which had some interesting pieces like a shorts based overall which can be worn as shorts and tied to the front as well, in addition to the tan leather collar which could be thrown on any work shirt to turn it into instantly something cool.

Apart from the clothes, I really liked the video in which French dancer Jonathan Guillarme appears wearing MILS pieces and talks about his art. I thought that was an interesting take on the theme where someone who is very flexible can indeed also be strong and masculine, kinda what the collection demonstrates.

The latest batch of Parco next NEXT designers will see their collections hit the stores in April. Follow Parco on Facebook for more updates.