Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Bonjour Beirut: Dina Khalifé’s playful silk prints

Note: this is the first of 8 posts on Lebanese designers and cool emerging labels I met/discovered on my trip back home. Knowing there are so many talents in Beirut I couldn’t reach while living abroad, was behind my inspiration to explore the emerging designers in what has quickly become my second home, Singapore.

I hope you enjoy this series and can see that regardless where you are in the world, there are some amazing talents out there who deserve to be known everywhere else. So keep reading and join me on this part of my journey which is very dear to my heart.

Dina Khalifé

Dina Khalifé's vibrant prints are just so charming!

Who knew that in my recent visit back home, I would find out that one of my dear university friends has recently launched a fashion label?

Dina was my classmate at university majoring in Graphic Design, and always had a thing for doodling and illustration. It seems she has finally found a way to bring her cute illustrations to life, through silk scarves, separates and enamel accessories.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

My Week as a Street Style Star

The past week has been a big ‘style’ week for me.

While I’m not big on ‘outfit of the day’ style posts on my blog, I was more than happy and extremely flattered to pose for street style photographers and bloggers (including Tokyo’s Rei Shito!), who captured my outfits at some of the Audi Fashion Festival shows (go to my media page to check them out).

the week was made even better by the fact that the post in her blog Style From Tokyo was ranked in the top 10 outfits of the day across the world by sartorial aggregation site Street Style News

But aside from these moment-in-time kind of photos, there was one style blog ( which wanted a little more; a-few-hours-long street style candid shoot, showcasing my personal style around my neighborhood, plus a little fun Q&A.

The shoot included a non-avoidable close up... do I look angry here?

Friday, 25 May 2012

Shoes versus bags – who is the winner? You of course!

While shoes and bags don’t always co-exist peacefully (remember the shoeholic /bagaholic war?), it turns out all they need is some balance whether in a shop or put together for an outfit.

I’ve recently visited Sole2Sole which despite the name, is actually a boutique that stocks as many awesome bags as it does shoes, and would win any bagaholic’s heart too.

And even I, a self-confessed shoeholic, couldn’t help but love the variety of unique handbags at Sole2Sole. The reason? Well they’re so much fun and interesting and couldn’t be more far from generic!

How much fun is this dress-up dolly handbag from LuLu Guinness? I'd be playing with it all day!!!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Blueprint Singapore: 7 emerging labels to lust after

And so it’s over in flash. Singapore’s biggest week of fashion was over far too soon.

And despite the AFF shows stealing the spotlight last week, there was one event which I was very keen on attending: The Blueprint tradeshow.

Unlike the emporium, the tradeshow is not a place to shop but it’s a closed exhibition for labels and buyers to interact; and for emerging designers to bag some regional or international stockists which would help their labels grow.

As a member of the media (who got selected invites), I was present on Thursday and Friday and it was one of the most interesting events I’ve been to in Singapore so far. I got to discover and spot some amazing Asian and emerging labels which have all what it takes to be the next big thing.

New Indonesian label TOTON simply blew me away at Blueprint...
From clothes to accessories and shoes, every piece looked stunning!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Audi Fashion Festival: Singapore designers dress and impress

 Apart from the Parco next NEXT designers’ show, (yup the one I was in!), Singaporean designers had a fair share of spotlight this year at Audi Fashion Festival.

Of course I would have loved to see more of the local labels represented but the turnout and the vibe was good start – and hopefully a platform for what is an incredibly strong bunch of labels this year.

The main show I went to was Singapore designers showcase which featured 3 labels: Saturday, Depression and a.w.o.l. – I also made it to see alldressedup’s show after label owners Lionel Leo and Tina Tan-Leo kindly invited me.

mustard dress from alldressedup
alldressedup provided one of the highlights of the show with their elegant,
wearable but slightly edgy collection

Monday, 21 May 2012

Living a Model Life: Backstage at the Audi Fashion Festival in Singapore

Ever since the guys at hip Singapore street-wear label MASH UP asked me to walk the runway at their Audi Fashion Festival show I had been anticipating this moment. May 19 was a big day!

This was probably going to be the most exciting thing I’d done in my life. I mean, seriously, how many chances do ordinary people get to walk a real life catwalk, in front of well over 1,000 people?

So you can imagine just how crestfallen I was when Thursday came around. My eye went red, and basically closed. I was stood in the street, helpless, waiting for my husband to come and pick me up.

Can you spot my red eye?? Practicing the pose I never gave...

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Max Tan fashion film Crane Wife wins award

You may remember a while back that I wrote about Singapore label Max Tan's releasing a short fashion film to accompany their latest collection.

Well I'm pleased to report that 'Crane Wife' has already won an award.

The Allysa Sing directed short won the originality prize at the Very Short International Film Festival held here in Singapore.

Crane Wife from strangexperiments on Vimeo.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Mash-Up on the catwalk at Audi Fashion Festival (Video)

If you read my Facebook page (and if you don't shame on you, here is the link now go and like) then you'll know today was a very special day for me.

Never in my wildest dreams would I consider myself model material, so when new Singapore label Mash-Up asked if I would walk the runway for their show at Audi Fashion Festival I was totally speechless.

Was I a good catwalk model? Probably not, but I couldn't help smiling.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Audi Star Creation Finalists’ Showdown and announcing the winners

After 6 weeks of posting twice a week interviews with the 12 finalists of Audi Star Creation, I was excited to finally see their sketches transformed to reality on the runway.
In fact as each collection came down the runway I felt as if I knew the designer and the clothing intimately.

But in the end it was a competition and there had to be winners and losers.

The winners were announced at the end of the show and they were Roderic Wong from China, Soravit Kaewkamon from Thailand and Ko Youngji from South Korea. And there was also a People’s Choice Award which went to Natalia Kiantoro from Indonesia.

Do they look familiar? If you've been reading the interviews
on this blog, then you've probably seen the sketches!

The winners of Star Creation: Ko Youngji, Roderic Wong andSoravit Kaewkamon  

Monday, 14 May 2012

5 things to watch for during Singapore’s ultimate week of fashion

The biggest week in the Singapore fashion calendar is upon us and I cannot hide my excitement! Unless you’ve been living a in a bubble you probably know that two huge fashion events are happening this week. That is, the Blueprint tradeshow and emporium (i.e. shopping heaven!) and the Audi Fashion Festival.

Naturally the mainstream media are wetting themselves over the fact Thierry Mugler’s creative director (and Lady Gaga’s stylist) Nicola Formichetti will be in town and opening the fashion week. Big names like Zac Posen and Roland Mouret will be also showcasing. That’s huge news for Singapore, but what I’m really most looking forward to, are the shows and events where local and other Asian designers will be given the runway to show what they’ve got.

Raoul, one of the most successful Singapore - and now international
label - will be among those showcasing at AFF

Friday, 11 May 2012

Mother and Child project: The ultimate Mother's Day gift

It’s Mother’s Day this weekend and as much as it is the day to show our moms how much we love them, it should also be a day to think about those mothers who are less privileged than we are.

So instead of running and getting your mom that LV bag that you’ve been coveting (just so you can borrow it!), why not look for something simple and more meaningful this year?

If you need any ideas, then I’ve done the work for you and discovered this little store which I think many of us should support especially for this occasion.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

AUDI STAR CREATION 2012: Q&A with the 12th finalist Vincent Wong from Malaysia

Perhaps unusual but Malaysian finalist Vincent Wong draws inspiration for his collection from religion. Entitled ‘Confession of Sins’, the collection is entirely in white and reflects the 21-year old’s reflection on concepts like purity and cleanliness. Read to find out more about his inspiration below.

Name of designer: Vincent Wong (Malaysia)
Age: 21
Name of Collection: Confession of Sins

  1. What made you participate in the Audi Star Creation? How did you hear about it?
I first heard about Audi Star Creation two years ago, when fellow Malaysian Daniel Ngoo took one of the three top spots and the Audi Young Designer Award. Seeing Daniel’s success made me feel that the competition is an excellent opportunity for young designers to stand on the international stage.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

AUDI STAR CREATION 2012: Q&A with the 11th finalist Tatsuya Tsukahara from Japan

The only Japanese finalist of the competition is Tatsuya Tsukahara whose collection stands out for its'unusual shapes and textures. The 24-year old’s collection ‘Braiding’ takes on traditional Japanese weaving techniques to a new level. Read what the designer has to say about it.

Designer Name : Tatsuya Tsukahara (Japan)
Age: 24
Collection Name: Braiding

  1. What made you participate in the Audi Star Creation? How did you hear about it?
I first heard about the competition last year when I took part in the Tokyo New Designer Fashion Grand Prix, where I won the Workmanship prize. However, I only decided to join the competition when I heard about it again from my friend, Hiroyuki Watanabe, who was the Star Creation 2011 Audi Young Designer Award winner. It was a big challenge as this was only five days before the submission deadline, but I managed to draw on my five years of fashion education and sheer determination to finish conceptualising and designing my competition collection on time.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Threadbare & Squirrel: Haven for Singapore Designers

From the strapline of my blog, you would have guessed that Haji Lane is one of my favourite parts of town. No, not because of the sheesha cafes but the cool independent shophouse-boutiques which give this tiny alley its quirky and laid-back atmosphere – unlike lookalike malls-infested Orchard Road.

But despite the street’s unique indie character, I was disappointed on a recent visit when I saw more boutiques selling generic blogshop-type clothes than the local designers and unique finds, which made this street popular in the first place.

Only a handful of shops remain true to what this independent shopping heaven stands for – one of them is Threadbare and Squirrel, a multi-label boutique which has recently relocated to the adjacent Bali Lane to distinguish itself from the clone shops which are increasing day by day on the stretch of Haji and everywhere else in the city.

Display of the newly-stocked local labels at Threadbare & Squirrel: A.K.A. Wayward,
LION EARL, Primary and ZAAK.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

AUDI STAR CREATION 2012: Q&A with the 10th finalist Soravit Kaewkamon from Thailand

The only unisex collection of the competition came from Thailand-based designer Soravit Kaewkamon. The collection ‘Love and Friendship’ is inspired by the hornbill as it is the symbol of friendship and the designs are so versatile that they can be worn by both men and women. Read what the designer had to say about her collection.

Soravit Kaewkamon

Name of designer: Soravit Kaewkamon (Thailand)
Age: 23
Name of Collection: Love and Friendship

  1. What made you participate in the Audi Star Creation? How did you hear about it?
I heard about the competition last year from my lecturer from Silpakorn University, Asst. Prof. Namfon Laisattrukai, who taught me Decorative Arts. After completing my education and gaining experience from other competitions, like winning the top prize at SINGHA LIFE 2011, I think I am ready to take on Audi Star Creation 2012.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

AUDI STAR CREATION 2012: Q&A with the 9th finalist Natalia Kiantoro from Indonesia

The only Indonesian finalist of Audi Star Creation is Natalia Kiantoro, 22, who was inspired by twisted objects for her collection ‘Tangled’. Read to find out what she has to say about the competition and her design approach.

Name of designer: Natalia Kiantoro (Indonesia)               
Age: 22
Name of Collection: Tangled

  1. What made you participate in the Audi Star Creation? How did you hear about it?
I heard about Audi Star Creation from my lecturers, Liz Thng and Gulbarshin Karaulova at Raffles Design Institute (Shanghai). Last year, there was also a huge poster of 2011 winner, Chen Zhi Gang, in the school foyer, after he won the competition. Thanks to the guidance of my lecturers, I feel that I am good enough and have the qualities of a real fashion designer. I want to show my abilities to everyone through the competition.