There is no doubt that the 2012 class of Parco NEXT Next labels was the strongest yet.
Taken as a collective whole they were more eclectic, innovative and interesting than before. But like a great band that hits the big time with their first album, the pressure is on.
As these fledgling labels get ready to launch into their second season, the questions on my lips were simple. Can they take these promising starts and grow as brands, evolving their style and learning lessons from their first collections?
In other words, would the learning curve continue or would some of the labels suffer from second album syndrome?
The A/W preview party which was organized and hosted by the designers had the answer, and by checking out whatever is ready from their second collection, it’s safe to say that there is no fear for these talented designers who seem to have watched, learned and improved have got it right for the second time.
For me, what were noticeable this time are two things in particular: attention to fabric quality and to current trends. Almost every label seemed to have taken feedback into consideration which is what serious designers would do to ensure continuity and consistency.
Browsing through the racks and feeling the textures and material, I was quite impressed by the quality and the thought put into the choices.
|Some of Parco next NEXT designers: Yun of episene, Gilda of revasseur, Samuel of|
evenodd and Sunny of MILS.
|Quainthood's A/W collection was not ready for the event but they displayed some gorgeous|
clutches as part of their collaboration with HOB.
Lion Earl has gone for high quality jersey which according to Lionel, is on par with the jersey used by Stella McCartney. The stunning figure-hugging dresses were also lined which makes it possible to ditch the spanx without worrying about untoned bits. And departing from their usual plain fabrics, the label has done some interesting digital prints this time, taking inspiration from white foxes, baroque and feathers. Unusual combination but works just perfect!
|Lionel next to his LION EARL gorgeous creations for A/W|
|Demonstrating how beautiful the dresses are is Nora from 21MM|
modeling agency as she rocks this LION EARL printed jersey frock!
Other labels like menswear WSDM have also picked lighter material this time and concentrated on shirts – which have been the most successful of their line. Camouflage patterns are the highlight this season and for dressier shirts, the duo have gone for cotton satin which creases less and has a softer feel. Asking on what feedback they took into consideration, Abel and Riane told me that it was mainly concerning the price point which some people thought was slightly high. So with smarter and more convenient choice of fabric and decreasing the price point, the couple seem to be on the right way for sure!
Same goes for labels like 20:twothree, Kae Hana and Episene, whose recent pieces feel nothing short of premium quality, leaving no reason for those complaining about the lack of it.
|Riane and Abel from WSDM...|
|WSDM's new collection featured the camouflage pattern as seen here.|
|20:twothree had some cool and inspiring accessories this season...|
|Beautiful quality of fabric was also obvious in their creations.|
|Jamie and Genevieve of 20:twothree who chose the theme 'Sanctuary'|
for their new collection, hence it looks comfy and warm.
|Episene had more feminine silhouettes this time like this corset dress|
which was inspired by 'Narcissism'.
|The lovely Yun and Terence of episene.|
Seasonal trends have also been present in some of these collections.
MASH UP took inspiration from the seaworld and of course interpreted it in their own quirky DIY style. The collection is colourful and funky with interesting cuts, shades and prints and despite the fact it’s probably ideal for a teen crowd – even a 30-year old like myself could not resist its charm!
The scuba theme and sporty cuts have been seen recently on international catwalks of major designers but these threesome give it an extra twist with their creative rendition. The accessories - a giant lobster necklace and colourful PVC clutch - which were a collaboration between MASH UP and Aaron Han are also a hit.
|Finally I managed to snap the whole MASH UP team in one shot!|
Say hi to Nat, Daniela and Shaf :-)
|Love the vibrant colour combinations of MASH UP's new collection|
'Atlanta Goes to Atlantis'
|The cute lobster necklace by Aaron Han for MASH UP - made to order.|
|And a perfect summer clutch to go with the collection...|
Kae Hana’s use of dryfit material for figure-hugging frocks is also smart and convenient, making it possible to wear black fitted dress with a lighter and more comfortable manner. I love her new prints and the black and navy dress with pink piping which is so flattering and easy to wear.
On the other hand, Foreword - whose necklaces were a huge hit last season – have taken inspiration from my icon Frida Kahlo and developed some interesting garments and fabulous accessories especially the to-die-for statement body harness which blew me away!
|Trying out one of KAE HANA's dresses... love the fit and colours!!!!|
|KAE HANA's signature prints were also present in this collection, even|
brighter than ever!
|The stunning body harness from Foreword...|
|Their new collection was inspired by my icon, Mexican artist and|
activist Frida Kahlo.
|The ladies behind Foreword have done a great job this season methinks!|
Sadly I didn’t have time to check every label in detail but other labels like MILS, 20:twothree, Saloni Rathor, Episene, Evenodd, Revasseur and more seem to have a lot of promising stuff this coming season! (I'll be posting more in-depth features about many of them soon :-))
I just hope that people will notice the efforts which these talented designers have put into their labels to ensure its survival and support them accordingly. Personally, I was very pleased with what I saw last Saturday and I don't think I was the only one.
|Samuel of evenodd, decked out in his label's pre-spring13 collection!|
|Colour clash: Kae Hana and Nat|
|MILS new pieces were mainly shirts, tailored beautifully with his signature twist.|
|Sunny of MILS, who is heading to Tokyo soon for yet another show|
for his label!!!!
|I soooo want this OTT headpiece from revasseur!!!!|
|Saloni stuck to her signature feminine style for this season which included a lot of party|
and cocktail dresses in vibrant shades and patterns.
|With Saloni :-) |
Oh and I was wearing DEPRESSION dress and necklace for the event!
|With Angel Coco, or as I call her, the girl who has more wigs than I do ;-)|
|Last but not least, my best dressed for the day goes to Elisa Lim who|
rocks vintage like noone else I've seen. Check out her blog athttp://ismellahero.blogspot.sg/