Punk by agnès b., not Vivienne Westwood

Always a nice surprise to see exhibitions by fashion labels. The last one I visited was Chanel’s The Little Black Jacket and that was more than a year ago!

One would immediately associated punk with Vivienne Westwood and perhaps be pleasantly surprised by this agnès b. exhibition. In reality, agnès b. has been collaborating with various art mediums including photography for decades. I’ve always been fascinated by the agnès b. CINEMA in Hong Kong and I applaud their support for the arts community.

Agnès worked closely with photographer Sheila Rock to launch this travelling exhibition, which began in London and Paris in 2013 and is making its rounds across Asia this year. With a last name like Rock, it’s no wonder she is able to capture the unpretentious, raw and creative energy of the punk movement in her photographs.

Of course, there is a pop-up store and you may find me hanging out (permanently) there! Punk+: A Photo Exhibition by Sheila Rock is presented by agnès b and opens today at the Substation Gallery at 45 Armenian Street, Singapore 179936. The exhibition runs through 26 October and is open daily from 12 noon to 9 pm. Admission is free.

x Sybil

(Image from The Substation)

Kenta Matsushige: Clean, intellectual, minimalistic

Kenta Matsushige’s designs first caught my eye when he was shortlisted as one of the finalist of HYÈRES 2014.

Clean, intellectual and minimalistic, the designs are in a neutral palette of different shades of white and grey.

Based in Japan, Matsushige graduated from the Chambre Syndicale De La Couture Parisienne .

” A work installed within a bucolic setting orin a small provincial town, will have more presence than lost in a city. My collection aims to be urban and modern whilst respecting hinabi, pastoral beauty, which is in opposition to miyabi, urban beauty “
– Kenta Matsushige

What caught me was the impeccable workmanship and the simple lines that highlighted the dramatic shapes in an understated and muted way. I especially enjoyed the element of surprise in the contoured button hole details and the attention to detail in the use of the swarovski elements.

It is no wonder that he beat 300 other applicants and won the Hyere’s 2014 competition. I find it impressive that he managed to impress with such a small collection and I’m truly looking forward to what he will come up with next!

X Alex

(Images from NOTJUSTALABEL)

 

A new silhouette for the Asian women: PHUONG MY

One of the most polished brands I’ve seen at BLUEPRINT is PHUONG MY and the SS2014 collection showcased at the trade show left a deep impression. The designer may be young but the brand targets sophisticated women who can afford luxury and enjoy the finer things in life. The simplicity and elegance of the designs shines through and I find the designs very refreshing amongst those featured at BLUEPRINT.

Aged 26, Tran Phuong My is born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and studied at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Her attention to detail is immaculate and again, this can be seen in her works. It also dawned on me that the fabric used for SS2014 is very unique; a beautiful pastel coloured organza silk, and I’m impressed to learn that fabric production is exclusively outsourced to the brand’s partners in Paris, Milan and Hong Kong.

PHUONG MY’s brand vision is to share the beauty of the modern Asian women with the entire fashion world; a truly inspiring statement. According to the brand profile, “PHUONG MY’s greatest inspiration comes from the exquisite virtue of Asian women, who are at the same time fervent and feminine, bold and delicate. Behind their dainty grace, there lies brilliant compassion and admirable strength. With beautiful, striking silhouettes and made from the most exclusively luxury fabrics, designs of Phuong My always embrace the feminine figure of the Orient and make women feel confident about themselves.”

The latest PHUONG MY SS2014 collection is titled Summer Scent which the designer calls “a special treat for women who want to feel feminine, elegant and gorgeous”.

 

Inspired by various element of nature during summer time, sweet pastel colours such as light and baby pink, chartreuse, mint and grey are applied in PHUONG MY’s signature cutting-edge designs.  The brand’s trademark puffed waistline is a prominent feature while the use of laser-cut floral appliqués is added to create a sophisticated 3D visual effect.

The collection centers on creating a diverse spin to the usual cocktail beat by applying a thoughtful selection of fabric and colours. The use of premiere silk, signature wool silk and luxurious Korean polyester organza creates a unique texture and silhouette to the pieces.

Their FW2013 collection celebrates the Asian women by crafting fabric structures and forms that embrace, with rhythm and harmony, the feminine figure of the Orient. The silhouette is further defined by dresses and outer pieces such as coats. While short-sleeved blouses and dresses hug and reveal the female form, the outer pieces carve out visually structural contours, think sculpted shoulders, large collars, and cocoon shape or straight form jackets.

I’m not so much into dresses but there’s no doubt I’ll be waiting for the designer to expand her range of offerings to include pieces that’ll fit with the rest of my wardrobe. I can’t wait.

 

x Sybil

(Images from PHUONG MY)

Alexandre Vauthier: Sleek Sharp Dangerous

I was browsing the web when I came across the works of Alexandre Vauthier. Sleek, sharp and dangerous were the first three words that popped into my mind. I was grabbed by that look of the femme fatale, the confident show of skin and that luxurious glamour.

Having worked at Thierry Mugler’s studio and Jean Paul Gaultier couture’s team, he definitely have an impressive set of credentials. I especially love his bold and dramatic take on fashion, for that sexy, glamourous confident woman.

Here are some looks from his SS2014 Couture collection:

And some of his other works:

Definitely someone to watch out for.

X Alex

(Images from Alexandre Vauthier and Style.com)

 

Perfectly Paired: Where I See Fashion

If there is a website that perfectly mirrors our vision and inspiration, it’ll be Where I See Fashion, a tumblr created by Bianca Luini, a 22 year-old fashion design student studying at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Her tumblr, like ours, is about fashion and everything that inspires it, from art, design, nature to photography.

She started matching great works of fashion with images that she feels relate to them, either through form, texture, colour or concept, and she hasn’t stopped since. According to Bianca, “Sometimes a fashion picture reminds me instantly of something and I go look for it, sometimes it’s a random picture that makes me think of an outfit or editorial. Occasionally it happens that by chance I see two pictures near each other on my dashboard or in a random blog that perfectly go together.”

 

Details backstage at Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring 2012 | Terraced rice fields in Yunnan, China

Filed under Art, Design, Fashion Tagged with

Making Make: a celebration of artisanal craftsmanship

I’ve been meaning to check out the National Design Centre and I’m glad I finally did! In addition to visiting Kapok (always a pleasure!), I chanced upon an exhibition showcasing the works of students from the NUS Division of Industrial Design. The good news is you can buy the works and support new design ideas! The bad news is the exhibition ends this Sunday.

Making Make is a design platform, led by Hans Tan at the NUS Division of Industrial Design, to explore the artisanal charm of handcrafted products and the beauty of the creation process. Fourteen students were each tasked to create instruments to aid a small batch production of artisanal products; products with qualities otherwise unthinkable with mass production techniques. Some of the works show a sense of maturity that I did not expect to find.

Crinkle by Han Xi

Crumple by Kelly Yap

 

The students will be at the National Design Centre to interact with visitors and explain their design concepts this weekend on 24 and 25 May from 11am to 6pm. Drop by to show your support or you can buy the handcrafted artisan wares from haystakt.

National Design Centre is located at 111 Middle Road, Singapore 188969. It is open from 9am to 9pm daily.

 

x Sybil

(Images from Haystakt)

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Asia Fashion Summit: The Korean Showcase

Asia Fashion Summit is usually spread across three days with two days of talks and one day of workshop. This year, however, the programme consists of one day of talks and two days of workshops, which is a pity. Sometimes you get the usual sales pitch, i.e. our country is great for producing your designs or our departmental store has everything you need, but you usually find gems within the programme. These are speakers who give real insight to new trends or retailing strategies and there is Colin McDowell, because who doesn’t want to have a chat with him?

The unofficial ‘Korean showcase’ turned out to be the highlight of the Summit. Rick Yoo, Managing Director of Lotte Global Fashion Division and Jay Anne Jin, Executive Director (Business Development) of LF Corp presented the dynamism of the Korean retail industry and building a solid, long-lasting organizational capability respectively. What’s interesting is that they did not focus on their successful business models but instead discussed key issues within the Korean fashion industry and Korean culture. This ability to self-critique and self-reflect is probably why they are so successful. They understood that Korea’s development and growth in the industry has exceeded healthy limits and that traditions and quality are being compromised. Nonetheless, there are lots to learn from the Koreans, especially their sense of patriotism and loyalty to Korean brands; something we can definitely take a cue from. Time to prove yourselves at this weekends’s BLUEPRINT emporium!

 
x Sybil
(Image from Textile & Fashion Federation, Singapore)

Filed under Fashion

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