Monday 23 April 2012

EXCLUSIVE: The clouds are here, but the SS2012 Depression has lifted

I've made no secret of the fact that I think Depression is one of Singapore's best labels.

The design duo of Kenny Lim and Andrew Loh have been making waves both at home and abroad over the past year with their indefinable brand of edgy but cutesy streetwear.

Their current collection made it into the pages of Vogue and saw Black Eyed Peas superstar Taboo become their highest profile customer.

Now the brand is back with their SS2012 collection "CLOUDING OF CONSCIOUSNESS" and I've been lucky enough to have been given an exclusive sneak preview of the entire collection.

There are blue skies ahead for Singapore's Depression label
I can presume from the Facebook posts that the collection is inspired by mental fog, but the duo surely had plenty of clarity when they were designing what is simultaneously their most accessible and avant garde collection to date.

For the ready to wear crowd, the good news is the vivid colour palette that proved so popular in their t-shirt range late last year is here to stay.

This time its more focused, with a cloud theme running through the heart of the more accessible side of the collection. And despite the label's name, the imagery is not dark and foreboding, but more the Orbital-esque fluffy white clouds.

Uplifting is the new Depression it seems these days.

Dare to bare? Do you let your legs go nude in this fabulous dress?

The womenswear range has been expanded (I'm guessing in response to public demand) and features lots of beautiful asymmetric dresses, interesting drapery, cloud tees and necklaces and as usual some challenging pieces that you're going to have to be brave to wear.

I'm particularly in love with a super sexy and short black and white kaftan dress which has a very risque angled hemline. Would you dare to bare your legs in this? I'm not sure I have the legs to pull it off so I'd be teaming it with leggings!

I won't spoil the surprise of the rest of the womenswear SS2012 collection, but there will be more pictures once you've made it to the end of the piece.

The menswear range is underpinned by three cloud based shirts - one for each mood if you like. My favourite being the thunderstorm, partially because it fits more with the label's ethos and partially because there us a super cute character sheltering under an umbrella that looks like they may be a relative to my logo :)

But what Depression made its name for was their ability to persuade Singaporean men to dress so far out of their comfort zone that they might as well be walking on coals. And this collection is no exception.

The storm clouds are gathering, but not over Depression. Let's celebrate
the new collection.

In fact I'd argue that this collection is their most outrageous to date. Whereas previous incarnations played with cuts, missing sleeves, giant shoulder pads and angular tailoring, they always stayed in the black territory, which somehow made the edgy seem more acceptable.

Clouding of Consciousness moves that on several notches, with more colours and more edge. It's going to take someone with real panache to carry off the men's leggings or the silver and grey harem pants cum leggings for example.

The most outrageous piece in the whole collection has to be what can best be described as a cape shirt. That is, a black and white buttoned shawl that can be draped or worn. Open or closed. As crazy or sensible as you want it to be. Perfect for someone who just can't make up their mind and even better, it can double up as the perfect boyfriend shirt dress, because its been designed to be draped.

Is it a shirt? Is it a shawl? It's probably both. And it's Depression-ly awesome!

Before I finish, let me get one thing straight. Less accessible does not mean it's horrible or that it doesn't work. They do, these pieces are actually beautiful and playful at the same time. It's just that Kenny and Andrew have made the intelligent decision that you can do both bread and butter and bleeding edge without losing your label's identity.

Speaking of which. One of the most refreshing things about the lookbook is the return of the glasses! Yes, that's right, the much loved spectacles from previous collections has made a comeback. This time in both men's and womens's guise.

The twist? The faces are upside down.

Personally I can't wait to start trying on some of these clothes and even though they are way edgier than my normal look, I'm going to be pestering the boys for a styling session and photoshoot very very soon.

In the meantime, you'll have to make do with professional models who are much better looking than me showing off those fabulous clothes.

The Depression SS2012 Clouding of Consciousness collection will be available very soon at their flagship store in Cathay Cineleisure Orchard . You can catch up with the latest news by becoming a fan on their Facebook page.