Showing posts with label asian designers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label asian designers. Show all posts

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Mode in Asia: Curated and eclectic online shopping from Shanghai

A while back it was entirely down to Singapore to hold up the reputation of Asian designers online.

But that’s starting to change, as other parts of the region start to get their online act together.

And nowhere is the fashion e-tailing concept growing faster than in bustling and busy Shanghai.

The business city of China has embraced online in a big way, with the likes of the super curated Bundshop making waves in the West.

Now it’s the turn of Mode In Asia to shine the spotlight on the pan-Asian fashion scene. This newly-launched site is both curated AND eclectic. Two of my favourite words!

It stocks emerging designers from across the region – from Thailand’s LaLaLove London (keep reading to find out how you can win a LaLaLove London top through Bonjour Singapore), to Singapore’s Aijek and Stolen (check out my previous post about this amazing label!).

From quirky party frocks to elegant evening numbers: Mode In Asia offers many choices for the eclectic ladies. Best of all, they are all unique pieces from independent Asian designers!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Helen Lee: From Shanghai with love…

There can be no doubt about the serious fashion talent emerging from Asia – after all I manage to run a blog focusing only on labels from this side of the world.

But rarely have I seen a designer who has perfected everything about their craft and can be compared to some of the polished gems you see in places like London or Paris.

Although the talent is there, a lot of these young designers seemed to lack the one thing which I consider very important in garments: quality.

However, one designer whom I had the pleasure to meet recently has climbed right onto the top of my must buy list of Asian designers. Ladies and gentlemen, meet China's very own Helen Lee.

From her choice of top-notch fabrics to the original prints, immaculate cutting and finishing and superb details – Helen had me at hello.

My two absolute favourite looks from Helen Lee: A lace rain coat
from the SS13 collection...

And a stunning combination of knitted sweater, moon-printed skirt
and gorgeous accessories from the AW13 collection.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Audi Star Creation 2012 Winners: Q&A with Thailand's Soravit Kaewlamon, one year on!

The last interview of the three part series with Audi Star Creation 2012 winners (the other two are here and here) is with the boldest of all three: Soravit Kaewkamon from Thailand.

If you're familiar with the Bangkok fashion scene then you'd know that it is probably the most colourful and fun of all Asia. From prints to cuts and daring designs the Thai designers love to experiment and Soravit is no different.

After seeing her menswear winning collection, I'm looking forward to see the designer's complimentary womenswear collection which she will be showing at AFF next week!

So why did she switch to womenswear? Will it be as bold as the first one and what are her future plans? Find out this talented designer's answers below!

(P.S. I've giving away 5 pairs of tickets to watch the ASC winners show at AFF. Find out more on facebook).

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Audi Star Creation 2013: Introducing the 12 Finalists – Part 2

Last week, I’ve introduced the first 6 of the 12 finalists of Asian fashion design competition, Audi Star Creation.

Today I follow up with the rest of them to give you a hint on these young aspiring designers’ ideas and inspirations – as well as sketches!

I’ll be looking forward to seeing their full collections on the runway at next month’s Audi Fashion Festival and find out who will eventually win the competition.

But despite the fact there can only be 3 winners, it is important to remember that these 12 designers were picked from 355 entries from around Asia and thus getting this far is an accomplishment in itself.

Here’s hoping that regardless of the results, all these talents would get eventually discovered and endorsed by someone who will be able to turn their dreams – and hard work – into reality.

An interesting and futuristic design by Vietnamese finalist Ngo Hoang Kha  

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Audi Star Creation 2013: Introducing the 12 Finalists – Part 1

Almost a year ago I had the pleasure of doing what I love doing best on this blog. Namely, talking to 12 aspiring designers from around Asia as they made it to the finalists list of Audi Star Creation competition.

For a few weeks in a row, I ran interviews with each and every one of them, got to know more about their inspiration and approach and finally saw their creations come to life on the catwalk at Audi Fashion Festival (AFF).

Fast forward one year and here is another batch of talents for this year’s competition and while I won’t be interviewing them at this stage, I wanted to at least introduce these designers and some of their sketches and ideas as something to look forward to at AFF.

It’s worth noting that the 12 finalists who made it came from different parts of Asia including China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and even Mongolia – and each has displayed some great potential which I leave for you to judge.

So here’s a little about the first 6 finalists and will be introducing the rest next Wednesday 17th April so keep watching this space!!!

(For more about the competition and last year’s finalists and winners, click on this link)

A sketch from Malaysian finalist Jean Teoh

Monday, 8 April 2013

Bonjour KL: Young aspiring Malaysian designers steal the show at the country's International Shoe Festival

Shoes, shoes shoes… my recent (and maiden!) trip to Malaysia has turned out to be all about shoes!

And I don’t mean just shoe shopping! Although that was firmly on my list to do (check out my love for Malaysian shoe labels here), believe it or not, I got to do more interesting shoe-related stuff namely attending the annual Shoe Festival in Kuala Lumpur and meeting shoe legend Jimmy Choo for lunch!

I’ll discuss the latest in another post as I still need to get my head around the fact I was with the Godfather of glamorous shoes himself!!!! But today it’s going to be all about the talented students I met at the 4th International Shoe Festival and the utterly inspiring shoes they displayed!

The Shoe Festival seemed more like a museum with showpieces like
this Dragon-inspired pump which just loved!
Another extravagant design on display at the Shoe Festival...
But while some went all out, others kept it more simple yet inspiring.
I especially loved these booties!!!

Love these shoes made from recycled material by promising student Soo Tzu Hoo!
I WANT!!! (check a lot more photos below)

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Toton Fall/Winter 2013: Of love, Lurik and other things…

I’m not just a big fan of Indonesian label TOTON. I’m one of their very first customers and a proud owner of some stunning pieces from their SS13 collection last year. Truth is, I am obsessed with it! (you can read more about that in my previous Q&A with the designer).

So despite following up with the collections and trends at all the international fashion weeks this season not to mention attending one, the collection that I was really waiting for was TOTON’s.

And it was well worth the wait! In fact, it was even more than what I anticipated and from the looks of it, the designer is determined on sticking to his vision of presenting traditional Indonesian techniques in a modern – even Avant-garde – interpretation.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

When East meets West: My top 5 picks from ‘I Love Designer’

When I met I Love Designer founder G. Bond on my last trip in London, she was on a mission. As a product of Eastern and Western upbringing herself, she wanted to create a platform where East meets West specifically when it comes to creative and emerging talents.

Her recently launched e-boutique - which specializes in luxury accessories - is certainly one to stand out, as it carefully selects beautiful products from various parts of the world.

And while big brand names from both sides of the worlds are ever so expanding nowadays, smaller, independent boutique brands are much harder to get hold of unless you live in that specific city or part of the world where they happen to exist.

This is exactly where I Love Designer comes as an exciting new place where all these cool brands have become available regardless which part of the world you live in.

Rocking this Queen of Hearts bangle certainly takes some attitude!! I'm in love
with this piece from Manish Arora for Amrapali collection available on the site!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Bonjour Beirut: Johnny Farah's fabulous bags!

My husband has always joked that no matter where he went in the world, there would be four things – Chinese, Indians, a Lebanese businessman and an Irish pub!

While it is understandable why people from the two most populated nations on earth would exist everywhere, the Lebanese one has always puzzled him. That was until he met me and came with me back home to understand more of our unique culture.

Most of my co-nationals will write prose about the natural beauty, the weather, the food and the party scene which Lebanon enjoys but for me, nothing makes me more proud than seeing some truly unique people making it everywhere in the world while keeping a distinct character about them.

Johnny Farah is one of those people. And although I only found about him on my latest visit back home, believe it or not, he’s been around in the industry at least a decade before Elie Saab and enjoyed the company of greats such as Andy Warhol while living in NY in the 70s!

Johnny Farah's collaboration with artist Ranya Srakbi has produced some to-die-for bags
which live up to the label's chic identity but adds on a stunning twist!

Friday, 8 March 2013

What I’ll be wearing this Spring/Summer from Singapore designers

One of the great things about living in Singapore is being spoilt for choice when it comes to fashion. And I don’t mean by that the availability of big designer and high street brands everywhere you go, but rather the variety of Singaporean designers and labels, who seem to improve each season.

For those who doubt the ability of these talents, this Spring/Summer season will especially prove them wrong. The season has not yet begun but from the collections which have been released so far, a few things have caught my eye already!

From day to occasion dresses, accessories and even swimwear, check out which 5 items from Singaporean designers have hit the spot and made it to my summer list of must-haves. We’re still in March so the list will definitely expand once more collections are unveiled and once I’ve saved enough for the next batch ;-)

This dress from Singapore label Yumumu is firmly on my list this season!

Monday, 4 March 2013

5 emerging Asian designers to look out for

For decades, Europe and America have been the centre of the fashion world. While that’s largely true – the four most important fashion weeks do happen in the West after all – but that doesn’t mean that it’s only Western designers who are shaping the future of fashion.

Take a look at the rise of the Asian designer in the states, and the increasing number of designers from that side of the world muscling their way into London and Paris.
Even back in the day the likes of John Rocha (Hong Kong) and Jimmy Choo (Malaysia) were making sure the world was aware of Asia as a creative hub as well as a manufacturing base.
Over the past few years you have the more established lines of Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung, Vera Wang, Richard Chai or Alexander Wang all flaunting their Asian heritage all across the major fashion weeks.
Now the question has to be, where is the next generation of Asian designers coming from? Who is going to be the next big thing to hit the catwalks of London, Paris, New York and Milan?
Read on to have a look at my pick of five Asian designers to look out for and remember you saw it here first!
Yeashin Kim (S. Korea), Haizhen Wang (China) and Lionel Low (Singapore) are some
of the rising Asian designers to look out for!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

London Fashion Week: War and fashion collide with Taiwan’s Ming Pin Tien

If there is one designer who truly wowed me during London Fashion Week, it has to be Ming Pin Tien.

Another Asian designer whose talent has already been attracting some interest from significant industry players, this was a show that a lot of mainstream writers had their eyes on.

The London-based young Taiwanese designer was named as ‘one to watch’ by the prestigious Vauxhall Fashion Scout last September and took the challenge head on. Stepping up his game with some innovation and originality – traits not always common in the industry these days.

Fashion mainly entertains. It inspires sometimes but it rarely moves you. However Ming’s show gave me goose bumps as it wasn’t just about clothes, there was something much deeper to his work that allowed you to admire him as an artist.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

London Fashion Week: Huishan Zhang does East meets West at its best

It might be surprising to some that the majority of the London-based Asian designers who showed at LFW did not force their cultural or ethnic backgrounds into their designs.

And while it was a refreshing change to see designers from the East feeling confident enough to simply design beautiful and wearable clothes sans any ethnic twist or gimmick, there is something to be said for keeping your influences subtly on display.

Step forward Huishan Zhang, the Chinese-born designer held a mainstream LFW show and demonstrated that it is possible to nod to tradition without being a total cliché.

I mean, a man who considers the picture of Chinese elegance that is Maggie Cheung his ultimate style icon isn’t going to veer off into making asymmetrical monochrome prints with conical bras and Grecian draping is he?

Monday, 25 February 2013

London Fashion Week: Haizhen Wang rounds up Asia's triumph

Closing London Fashion Week has got to be a big honour. And that honour went this year to a rising Asian designer who has emerged on the fashion scene lately by winning the prestigious Fashion Fringe award last year.

This is Haizhen Wang, the Chinese-born designer who is fast making a name for himself in the industry.

Haizhen’s show was a treat and his stunning creations came as an appropriate end to this fashion week which saw a huge rise in emerging talent – one of the things that London has carved a reputation for.

Monday, 18 February 2013

London Fashion Week: South Korean designer J. JS Lee's show

Transitioning from warm and sunny Singapore to freezing London in winter is no joke. Especially when my entire wardrobe consists of summer-friendly frocks with hardly any jackets or knitwear in sight.

As a warm weather lover, I’m no big fan of chunky winter wear but seeing the second South Korean-born designer Jackie Lee’s collection (under her label J. JS Lee) at London Fashion Week had me wishing I lived in cold weather all year long. Well not quite but at least a few month per year so I get to wear some of it ;-)

The beautiful and effortlessly chic pieces - from outerwear to elegant dresses - won me over. The main reason I never liked winter clothes is that heavy, gloomy feel and chunky silhouette which never looked flattering on me. The London-based designer’s mostly A-line coats on the other hand had a certain weightlessness about them. They looked comfy yet sharp and chic at the same time.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

London Fashion Week: Korea’s Eudon Choi opens Day1 with a bang

If there are still any skeptics out there about the power of Asian designers, this London Fashion Week (LFW) has come to prove them wrong.

Just looking at the schedules – both the main and the fashion scout one which is designated for emerging talent – shows you the sheer amount of Asian-born designers who are making it big and are on the rise to dominate the fashion soon really soon.

From names who have earned their spot in the main lineup like Jackie Lee and Eudon Choi – the winner of last year’s Emerging Talent Award at the Global Fashion Awards in New York – to more recently spotted designers like Nova Chiu.

On top of that are those who have a bit more excitement around them. The lucky few who have been billed by those in the know as the ones to watch: Patrick Li and Yeashin. And these are just the ones showing in the first two days!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Bonjour Singapore at London Fashion Week

When asked about my favourite fashion capital, my answer has always been London.

The city’s quirky and care-free style is much more fun and closer to mine than any of the other cities.

While New York’s is mostly chic, minimal and established, London’s runway is always bursting with cutting egde, prints, textures, colours and extravagance which reflect this city’s multi-cultural identity.

Attending London Fashion Week (LFW) has always featured heavily on my fashion bucket list. And luckily I can tick this one off long before the end approaches. The official crossing off takes place on Friday (February 15) to be precise.

I feel so incredibly lucky and excited to be able to report back from such a huge event! Trust me, I’ve been mixing and matching my wardrobe for five days straight now.

Honestly I’m not really bothered about the big shows. I mean who am I kidding? I’m not competing with Vogue or Elle who would have their expert reviews and flawless photos uploaded instantly after the show. And with today’s LIVE-streaming for shows like Burberry’s, I don’t see the point in fist-fighting to get a ticket (somewhere in the back if I was lucky!) when I can watch the show from the comfort of my own home.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Chinese New Year: an updated take on Jade jewellery

One of the (many!!!!) things I love about living in Asia is how traditions are carried on from one generation to another.

Take Chinese New Year for example. Despite a largely westernized lifestyle in a city like Singapore, people still celebrate it massively and families gather for a traditional meals and exchange of Ang Pows on the night.

It’s the same with fashion. Instead of starting from scratch, a lot of the upcoming designers have been re-interpreting traditional clothes and jewellery to make them more relevant to their generation and lifestyle without losing their charm and identity.

While in clothes it is mainly cheongsams, in jewellery it has to be jade! Specifically Choo Yilin, a Singaporean designer who is updating staples like the solid jade bangle, ring and Bi (jade disc) to fit into our modern wardrobes.

Monday, 4 February 2013

From Couture to Read-to-Wear: Malaysian designer Jovian Mandagie for

My Lebanese genes must have something to do with it but I just love couture!

In fact, there’s nothing that gets my heart pulsing quite as much as slipping into a custom-made couture creation which I have been lucky to have had on a few occasions.

But while couture can be the most sumptuous thing you could ever wear, sadly it almost always comes at a hefty price tag which not many people can afford, especially the young fashionistas.

However someone seems to be doing something about it, namely up-and-coming Malaysian designer Jovian Mandagie.

Love this look from Jovian's 'Femme' collection!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Best of 2012: Bonjour Awards PART 2

Ok, one last 2012 round-up post (I know I'm late) before I launch back into the usual mix of hunting and profiling Singapore and Asia's coolest labels.

This time I'm giving my Bonjour Awards for best second hand store, best collection and best accessories amongst others. But I also have to tip a nod to my favourite international label from the past 12 months. 

Hope you enjoy. Feel free to leave your feedback in the comments section below. Normal service is about to be resumed...

My focus in the last year has been more on Asian labels but when I
come across something as cool and quirky as the printed dress from
London-based Antoni and Alison, I cannot not share it!