On 8 September 2012, Parco Next Next’s third batch of designers unveiled their Autumn/Winter 2012 – 2013 collection at Marina Bay, Millenia Walk. Parco Next Next is a government backed incubator project to help local designers launch their own fashion labels.The installation showcased a wide range of local labels from Quainthood, Evenodd, 20:TWOTHREE, MASH-UP, FFAYTH, FOREWOOD and many more.
Some of the labels like Evenodd, Quainthood and MASH-UP hit the runway in the Audi Fashion Festival 2012 earlier this year. Our writer, Abigail, had the opportunity to interview the designers from these aforementioned labels as well as the designer from an upcoming label, FAYYTH. The personal beliefs and attitudes of each designer reflect in their work. We can see how Evenodd’s signature look invokes subtlety and refined minimalism in their clothes because of its designer’s personal belief that fashion is an everyday thing.
Popspoken: What does fashion mean to you?
Samuel Wong (Evenodd): Fashion is a lifestyle. There is never a rule to fashion. It is an everyday thing which we cannot live without.
Joy Ng (Quainthood): Fashion is like a second skin because you have to feel comfortable in it and it shows the world who you are.
Nathanael Ng (Mash-Up): Fashion is about having fun and expressing yourself without caring about what others think about you.
Fayth L (Ffayth): It is about dressing with confidence. There is no need to follow trends because sometimes the trends are not appropriate for certain body shapes.
Popspoken: How did you decide that you wanted to be a designer?
Samuel Wong: I graduated from Fashion Communication at Lasalle College of Arts where I learnt how to design clothes. Back then, I usually designed my clothes to wear to special events. My friends complimented my work and I was motivated to start my own label and be a designer. I started out with only six different designs which I had launched at a flea market. On the day it was launched, Daniel Boey asked me to try a line for men’s fashion. It was then that I decided to go full-scale with Evenodd even though I was still a student at Lasalle. It involved a lot of hard work to manage both school and my label but I was determined to succeed.
Joy Ng: I have always liked fashion as a child. I was mainly influenced by my mother who used to make clothes for her children. I took on a design course in Temasek Polytechnic and after graduation, I worked at a retail outlet for awhile. I took a break from fashion and worked for an airline company after my stint in the retail outlet. However, fashion called to me and I decided to quit my job at the airline company to start Quainthood.
Nathaneal Ng: My parents were in the arts industry and so I was very much influenced by them to work in the arts industry too. I have always loved fashion and I decided that being a designer is a commercially viable job as it allows me to pursue my passion in arts and to make a living from it.
Fayth Lu: When I was younger, I used to modify my clothes as I did not like to wear what everyone else wore on the streets. I wanted my clothes to be unique. However, I did not study fashion. Instead, I was in the IT industry until the dot com bubble burst in 2000. After that, I worked as a salesgirl in a retail boutique. It was during my salesgirl job that I realised how much I love fashion. Subsequently, I went to Nanyang School of Fine Arts to study fashion and design. It was then that I decided to be a designer.
We can see how a designer’s inspiration can affect the way he/she creates his/her collection. Looking at Nathanael’s inspiration of pop and youth culture, we can see how the collection at MASH-UP reflects the fun urban life of the street with their use of loud and vibrant colours putting a smile on people’s face as they look at it.
Popspoken: Who is your inspiration?
Samuel Wong: Anyone and everyone. It does not even have to be a person; it can be an object or anything that relates to clean lines.
Joy Ng: A woman who is going through a phase of her life. Quaint means attractively unusual and hood refers to a stage in a person’s life like childhood, adulthood. I took inspiration from my life’s experiences.
Nathaneal Ng: Youth culture, ethnic culture and pop culture; both local and international culture.
Fayth Lu: Things that make people happy like amusement parks, origami paper aeroplane and the story of ugly duckling. Anything that is fun and happy.
Popspoken: What goes through your mind when you create something?
Samuel Wong: Function and comfort. For instance, if I chose a thicker fabric for a top, I will make sure that it is short-sleeved so that it is easy to wear given the weather in Singapore.
Joy Ng: Aesthetic like for instance how a woman would feel when she wears that piece of clothing and to make her feel more confident. I also focus on comfort and commercial viability.
Nathanel Ng: We go to libraries to look at books, the people on the street or online blogs. When we see something we like, we will take a photo of it and cut it out. Then we will put in our own twists so it is like a patchwork of art.
Faith Lu: Fun things like a circus and I think of acrobats doing their stunts, elephants playing with balls and loud, bright and happy colours and it looks magical.
Well, we can certainly see how Quainthood’s clothes have commercial viability. The clothes look good on women and it gives off a touch of confidence making them feel good about themselves as they walk down the streets in Singapore. Also, the materials are of good quality which makes it comfortable to wear.
Popspoken: How did you prepare for this season’s collection?
Samuel Wong: This collection is basically an extension to what I did for Spring/Summer 2012 which was showcased at the Audi Fashion Festival. It is about structure and playing with textured materials as well as studs. But, I never go over the top with any piece of clothing. I make sure to keep it to one element at a time.
Joy Ng: This collection used more knitted materials than the previous one. I also introduced new colours like mustard and heather greys. At the same time, I keep some elements of the previous collection like the cut, fit and leather trims.
Nathanael Ng: This season is very inspired by sportswear such as scuba diving and basketball.
Faith Lu: Circus. I got the idea from a Chinese song about a circus. As I listened to the song, I drew out images which came to mind. I started to choose the colours that are bright but yet have a touch of fall/winter. Then, I chose the fabrics and the details. After that I just started to sketch and piece them together.
Take a look at FFAYTH’s latest collection below! It definitely brings out the inner child in every woman and it certainly does portray the idea of a circus-like fun.