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

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, 23 May 2013

Fashion Forward Dubai: 5 Middle East designers to look out for

I’ll admit. It’s probably the only time I miss being in Dubai, even though I lived there for many years before moving to Singapore, I've never really had any feel for the place.

That was before the Fashion Forward event, which took place recently and could be the first step towards nurturing a real fashion scene in the desert

When people complain to me about the ‘lack’ of a proper fashion scene in Singapore, I always tell them to compare it to Dubai, where there is hardly anything interesting fashion-wise. The first vintage shop in the country opened only a couple of  years back while the concept of ‘local’ and ‘independent’ designers was non-existent bar for a handful of individuals who introduced this idea not too long ago.

But when I learned about Fashion Forward happening in Dubai, I breathed a sigh of relief that perhaps the city has finally started celebrating the young talent and giving them a proper platform and the exposure they deserve.

A beautiful dress from Lebanese designer Dina JSR at Dubai FF

And as usual, Michael Cinco brings the drama to the catwalk...
And oh how I wanted to be there for the Starch Foundation show! I'm
especially in love with the work of Celine Der Torrosian of AZADE like
this cool outfit which I want to get my hands on!!!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Uniqlo UT pop up shop: Giving a little something back to the Singapore creative scene

I very rarely attend international brands events in Singapore.

With my niche focus on independent designers, and the fact these brands have massive marketing machines and the whole blogosphere to promote them – I’m going to struggle to add anything of value if I cover them on this blog.

However, last Friday I decided to break the rule and go to the UNIQLO UT pop up launch party which is part of a global pop up series by the brand, stopping in Tokyo, Taiwan, London and NYC among other cities around the world. The UTs are a collection of t-shirts which are ‘used as media for modern expression inspired by pop culture and collaborations with companies worldwide’ which UNIQLO as started producing and will be running and changing on seasonal basis.

Apart from this interesting concept for UTs (who wouldn’t like the funky take on regular t-shirts?), the reason I was interested was the fact they have collaborated with Noise Singapore - the local platform for emerging creative artists - to produce a range of t-shirts specifically for the local market.  Moreover, the proceedings from these sales go to Transmission, an experimental incubatory platform organised by PHUNK - one of Singapore's leading creative collaboratives to mentor young people from various creative disciplines.

Loved the display of flying tees at the event!!!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Bonjour Beirut: Falamank does vintage, modern and antique jewellery like no one else…

As someone with eclectic taste in fashion, I rarely make big definitive statements about my style. But here is one which I’m sure will be true for a long long time to come: if I had to choose only one jeweller to wear their pieces for the rest of my life, it has to be fellow Lebanese designer Tarfa Itani of Falamank.

I hear you ask what about my love for antique jewellery? Well, the best part is that Tarfa makes her own designs AND picks some amazing antique jewellery from around the world to sell or even transform into statement pieces without undermining or ruining their appeal.

I was first introduced to Tarfa’s work just over two years ago on my wedding day, when my fashionista extraordinaire cousin gifted me a delicate gold and diamond bracelet, featuring a flying dove. I instantly fell in love with it as it was something I would pick for myself and naturally I decided to find out more about this Beirut-based label and catch up with the designer for this blog.

An exceptional pendant from Falamank's Mosaic collection...  
'Omri' ring: Arabic for 'My life' as in 'sweetheart', how sweet is that?

Monday, 29 April 2013

Bonjour Giveaway: Win ONE of THREE stunning items (I selected) from Inverted edge

Whenever another platform – a boutique or an online store – promoting independent Asian designers pops us, I’m always excited and intrigued to know more about it.

Within the last year, I’ve witnessed the springing of at least a handful of these places around Singapore alone and only last month, a new welcome edition has surfaced on the scene. This is Inverted Edge, a Singapore-based online fashion e-tailer selling some carefully curated items from a pool of Asia Pacific independent designers.

There are so many things on the site which are drool-worthy, from the now familiar local favourites like Carrie K. and Lion Earl (check out the stunning limited edition structured peplum vest!) to Indonesia’s Nina Nikicio and Major Minor, New Zealand's Stolen Girlfriends Club, Australia's Injury and much much more…

This limited edition LION EARL peplum vest is exclusive to Inverted Edge! Love it!

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, 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.

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.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

London Fashion Week: Eugene Lin's evolutionary AW13 collection (photos+video)

When I was first introduced to Eugene Lin’s work – just before he took part in the first Singapore Digital Fashion Week (DFW) – I was truly impressed.

And even though he felt the need to head to London to pursue his dream, his talent gave me even more  conviction that there are many more world class creative gems in the little red dot.

I was initially attracted by the obvious. The breathtaking digital prints which featured in Eugene’s past two seasons collections have been extraordinary. But when interviewing the designer as part of DFW he mentioned to me that it is not something he will keep doing for long so I half expected his latest collection at London Fashion Week might come as a surprise for those used to seeing his stunning prints.

What he actually did was evolution and not revolution. He hasn’t ditched his staples, instead improving on his existing strengths and adding smaller experimental twists which hint at a new direction.

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!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Bonjour Beirut: Nadine Mneimneh - ditching couture for contemporary fashion

Coming back to Beirut, I always set up myself to meet the new generation of Lebanese designers who are following in the footsteps of their predecessors of glamour and couture.

So it doesn’t surprise me when people like Missak HajiAvedikian, Azzi and Osta who have interned at Elie Saab decide to do couture and focus on cocktail and evening wear, what Lebanese designers are increasingly getting known for, not just locally but on an international celebrity and red carpet level.

The surprise is, when I came home this time, I visited Nadine Mneimneh at her atelier, who unlike her co-nationals has decided to take a totally different direction and focus on contemporary everyday wear.

Unlike a lot of Lebanese designers, Nadine has ditched evening couture
for contemporary fashion.

The recent collection uses material like Linen to create comfortably elegant looks.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Gnossem: Photoshoot Promoting Asian and independent labels

One of the weirdest things about blogging is this notion that people want to know what you're wearing, what you like and even more strangely they want to see it too.

I've always found it endlessly amusing that people would be interested in taking photos of me but I will rarely turn down such an opportunity if it will help publicise some great Asian labels.

This is precisely the reason I was delighted to accept Singapore e-commerce website Gnossem's invitation for a styled dress-up session. I love the site anyway (being one of the few e-commerce sites which almost exclusively stocks emerging independent labels from Asia and around the world) so the chance to be glammed up and helping some labels along the way was too good to turn down.

H Fredriksson long Stina Dress
I love this photo of me in an H Fredriksson Long Stina Dress

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Bonjour Bangkok: Keith & Kym's best of Thai accessories labels

One thing about Bangkok - which I’ve heard over and over again – is that it is a great destination for bargain shopping or shopping on a budget. The street markets, weekend market and countless blog-shop type places are everywhere to be seen and even with a budget of S$50, you’re guaranteed to get something (or three) that you like.

While this is absolutely true and definitely great – hey I’ve managed to score some bargains as well – it actually leaves out some of the best shopping in the Thai capital. That is, something totally unique, creative and more of an investment piece rather than fast fashion. This is especially true when on the look for Thai designers whose pieces might not go for S$10 a pop but are still reasonable and definitely worth every penny you pay for it.

But in a place like Bangkok, finding the original from the copy, the unique from the mass-produced is not easy especially when it comes to accessories. So if you’re a quality over quantity type of consumer and you like something extra special, ditch all the other places and head to one shop which has it all: Keith&Kym Gallery.

Original pieces like this stunning pendant from Thai label Sinturak and more are found
at Keith&Kym's gallery in Bangkok, Terminal21.

Love these statement pieces which you won't be finding anywhere in the street markets...

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Digital Fashion Week: Singapore's Tze Goh talks minimalism

OK i'll be honest here! when I first got back the answers from my Q&A from Singaporean designer Tze Goh, I was a bit surprised. 

Before sending him my questions, I had done my research and seen a couple of interviews which he'd given, all of which were honest and straight-forward. So I knew I was dealing with a non-conformist designer.

I guess I was expecting a bit more volume, but he was probably short of time and preparing for his Digital Fashion Week show on October 21. His short, yet interesting and to the point answers actually reveal a lot more than at first glance.

I'm not complaining, but I'm just hoping when I interview this Central Saint Martin’s graduate LIVE on Google+ Hangout on the day of the show, he'll be in the mood to talk a little more, or it could be a challenge ;-)

For those who are asking 'who is Tze Goh?', let me tell you this Singaporean-born, London-based designer is as striking and minimal in his designs as his words. Geometric clean cuts and beautiful 3D silhouettes, you can instantly detect the influence of architecture in his work and the subtle details which are essential to form the construction of the garment rather than add embellishment as an afterthought. In architectural terms I see it more like Le Corbusier's Villa Savoy of the future, rather than Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia.

Singapore's Tze Goh
Perfect minimalisn, Tze Goh's collection is breathtaking in its innovative cuts and clean lines

Monday, 15 October 2012

Digital Fashion Week: EXCLUSIVE Eugene Lin interview

When you take interesting and original prints and mix them with well thought of details and top it off with immaculate tailoring, you get a recipe for some serious fashion to look out for!

Eugene Lin does just that. Impeccably-cut clothes which look modern, chic with an edgy twist and would fit into any style-conscious woman’s wardrobe.

The Singaporean-born, London-based Central Saint Martins graduate has already started making waves in the fashion world and it’s no surprise when his work set very high standards for emerging designers. And perhaps what’s even more interesting is his honesty and outspoken attitude in a world where diplomatic and politically-correct statements are the general rule.

I am very excited to be meeting and interviewing Eugene after his first ever show in Singapore during Digital Fashion Week (DFW), especially after this explosive and honest Q&A with a man not afraid to speak his mind. 

In by far and away the most controversial interview of the DFW series, the London based Lin lets rip on exactly what is wrong with the Singapore fashion scene, celebrity designers and the problems with Singapore's attempts to support local labels.

Singapore designer Eugene Lin
Eugene Lin will show his latest SS12 collection 'The Judgement of Paris' at DFW!
Certainly not to miss!!!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Digital Fashion Week: OwnMuse - EXCLUSIVE Interview with young Singaporean designers Johanna and Shu Juang

I won’t lie. The glamour and the amazing personalities taking part in Digital Fashion Week (DFW) are worth a lot of excitement and one of the reasons I took part of this awesome event.

But as much as I am excited to rub shoulders with, and interview the likes of Andrej Pejic and Sophie Sumner, I also cannot wait to see some young Singaporean designers finally get some great exposure and show their work alongside top designers like Thomas Wee and Guo Pei for the world to see.

One of the carefully-picked emerging labels taking part of DFW is OwnMuse. The designers behind the label, Johanna and Shu Juang started their journey 2 years ago as part of Parco next NEXT incubator program and since then, their work has been evolving non-stop and they stand out for their understanding of their customer and the need to dress well every day while still feeling comfortable and relaxed. their SS13 collection which will be debuting at DFW is a perfect example of that!

OwnMuse is building a reputation as being the to-go-to label for chic,
understated and comfortable everyday clothes.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

MYthology: THE hot new player on the Singapore fashion scene

When I first moved to Singapore, one of my dreams was to open a boutique in a cool shophouse, somewhere trendy and chic where people can shop unique for pieces and also get to discover some designers they never knew before.

I’m not that good at business so I stuck to day-dreaming and blogging about all the amazing finds I chance upon. Thankfully though, someone with the same passion but better business sense also had the same vision.

Step forward Apsara Oswal, the founder of the newly-opened Club Street boutique MYthology.

Apart from an instantly recognizable mop of curly hair, it seems we both have a lot in common. Both of us are passionate about promoting Asian talent, we’re both stylists, we both veer away from the monochrome Singapore look and we both want to play our part in jazzing up the dress sense of the little red dot.

To get to know MYthology better, you have to learn a bit about Apsara as the boutique is a mere reflection of her love for everything unique and chic.

MYthology boutique in Club St, Singapore
MYthology is setting the bar high in terms of stunning decor and equally beautiful fashion!

The gorgeous Apsara Oswal, MYthology's founder, whose vision has finally
come to life today.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

ZAOZAO: The crowdfunded future of fashion in Asia?

When I was contacted a while back by the people behind a crowdfunding site for Asian designers, ZAOZAO, I was very excited and happy to hear about it.

Having seen the difficulty (especially financial) emerging designers have in getting their collections produced – let alone marketed and sold - the whole idea of crowdfunding seemed like a perfect solution to test the market and get them started.

Co-founder Ling Cai, who resides between Singapore and Hong Kong, decided to start ZAOZAO alongside friend Vicky Wu to help budding designers but also introduce people around the world to something they are clearly passionate about: unique and interesting fashion.