Future Fashion Now (FFN) is Asia’s first pre-order website that features a curated selection of the newest and most promising designer labels from around the world. It is created in collaboration with Mastercard Worldwide and was launched at the Audi Fashion Festival in Singapore in May 2012. 

Whoop, whoop! We are totally digging this new concept of letting consumers pre-order the latest runway designs online and having them custom-produced for delivery before the next season arrives in stores. That’s some VIP treatment right there. All you trendsetters and people who don’t feel special often enough, come and have yourselves a ball.

Khoon Hooi (Malaysian)

The first FFN segment opened with Lee Khoon Hooi’s SS13 collection. And what a brilliant start it was– Khoon Hooi’s lineup of womenswear was nothing short of a masterpiece. His style is a beautiful balance between feminine sophistication and youth, romance and modernity, and all topped off with a very distinctive quality of whimsical innocence such that even children, I’m sure, would be entranced by his works. We see pops of neon colours on seams and waistlines, as well as on the orchid appliqués, subtly and harmoniously complementing the otherwise dull teal/nude coloured dresses. And an orange jumpsuit which could have gone so wrong in a million ways but instead achieved a curious blend of vibrance and understated luxury.

All was well and dandy, but then I almost cringe when I see a peplum waisted (PEPLUM! groans) mini dress being sent down the runway and was going to slap myself for falling in love too quickly when I decide to give this abominable piece a second chance and check out how the back looks, and… Oohhh, sweet salvation *cue music Amazing Grace*. The peplum waist is given an innovative twist, and wraps around only the front like an apron, and ends in a cute strappy open back.

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In fact, all the next few pieces had a pleasant surprise on the back. And how I looooove ’em details on the back. For example, open backs in classy, structured cuts, tassels on zips, orchid motifs in sequin…Overall, Khoon Hooi did an excellent job of pulling together the perfect subtly-sexy-and-simultaneously-cute-and-artsy look by alternating elements like mesh overlays, bright colours, provocative or unusual necklines, short hemlines, and bare backs. Each and every one of Khoon Hooi’s designs was oh so precious (maybe except the peplum top plus trousers ensemble simply because I’ve had enough of peplum) and has its very own character distinct from all others in the same collection. Très chic, j’adore!

Elohim by Sabrina Goh (Malaysian based in Singapore)

The label name is Hebrew for God. It’ll be no surprise if Sabrina Goh, creator of brand Elohim, is in fact really religious. What we do know is that Sabrina is inspired and influenced by architectural forms, because her father was a draughtsman. Her designs are sculpted to create “strong yet sensuous silhouettes, celebrating confidence in the wearer”. This season, Sabrina employs vivid jewel colours, a little bit of bright red, along with a regular dose of gray & black, and succeeds in highlighting the sterile, steel-cold, modern touch that Elohim is known for. To further accentuate this cold, cool vibe, each model dons a pair of mirrored, round metal framed shades. Besides bold silhouettes, we also see a lot of geometric patterns such as thick stripes and patchworks going on in some of her pieces, especially for the comparatively more shapeless cuts, like the boyfriend t-shirt, and oversized t-shirt dress. These designs would thrill the androgynously dressed. Slouchy, casual, but most importantly, avante-garde.

A completely different style from the first designer we’ve just seen, Sabrina Goh clearly tries to channel a minimalistic, clean and fuss-less look. Her opening piece is simple and striking– an asymmetrical fluid maxi dress in minty jungle green. The model manages to pull it off in a rather sporty look. Ending the showcase is also the most inspired design: the puzzle side-slit dress (linked below) where strong architectural forms on top and soft flowy gray skirt certainly qualifies as a wearable work of art.

http://www.futurefashionnow.com/index.php/main/product/1242

Esther Perbandt (Berlin)

To be honest, the first two designs of Esther’s SS13 showcase were absolutely unremarkable. Sheer blouse with unflatteringly and strangely-placed zips, tank top with raw edges, and short pants. I can even spot a disgusted face among the audience from one of my photos. The black sheer side-slit maxi skirt that looked absolutely gorgeous in the lookbook turned out to be a mess on the runway. The palatinate blue weaved dress looked poorly executed and again messy, hopefully the loose folds will be fixed when custom orders are being made. She redeems herself with the later designs, and we start to have a better idea of her style– a mix of feminine, occasionally androgynous, and preppy. Muted colours, soft flowy lines, occasionally truncated by intricate accessories like a golden rope chain belt. The last five designs were truly more presentable. This included the sheer tank maxi dress with a golden belt and a high back slit, a matt black maxi with a jarringly edgy low cut with bold straps holding the skirt in place, and a gorgeous nude maxi with a flowy oversized t-shirt bodice and a keyhole slit to the back, matched perrrrrfectly with the nude sheer side-slit skirt (pictured below).

Ong Shunmugam by Priscilla Shunmugam (Singapore)

This label was founded 2010 by Priscilla Shunmugam from Singapore, and the name is derived from her parents’ last names. Ong Shunmugam was created “with a simple quest to craft beautiful clothes by focusing on sartorial construction instead of fast fashion; on cut and fit before look; on longevity over excess. Designed and made across Asia, our atelier often reworks familiar influences, weaving traditional textile techniques, colours and silhouettes into the modern wardrobe, while deliberately disregarding stereotypes and caricatures.”

This is probably one of the very few times where everyone I spoke to after the show unanimously agree on a favourite designer. Priscilla Shunmugam got us all charmed with her impeccable, supremely flattering tailor work, which is also signature of the traditional cheongsam, topped with a modern, aesthetically appealing twist in each design. Well, what can I say, but that she does magic, and not merely justice to the female form. We got to witness Priscilla’s creativity abound, for she transforms the cheongsam into absolutely delectable ensembles, and we even see a olive full-body cheongsam-pantsuit! Classy. My personal favourites have got to be the caped designs that we got to see towards the end of the showcase. Okay, now. I’ll shut up and let the pictures do the talking– check out the gallery for her divine creations.

Mae Pang

A former literature and history student at Raffles Junior College, Ai Me Pang graduated from Singapore’s Lasalle College of the Arts with many accomplishments. In 2007, she was one of the winners  in the Mitsubishi Motors Ralliart Apparel and Accessories Competition, with her winning design commercially produced. She has also designed staff uniforms for W Hotel in Singapore. At the 2007 Singapore Fashion Festival, her design opened the show for the TOPSHOP/TOPMAN Fresh! LASALLE students showcase.

Looking at her designs at Future Fashion Now, one can see why her label has been extremely well-received. Her collection never fails to disappoint as she combines design, fashion and art to create innovative and aesthetically conceptual pieces. The pieces elude a sense of confidence and beauty. Out of all her pieces, this outfit with its tailored look and collared top with simple yet intricate patterns caught my eye. It screams ‘strong yet feminine’ which is particularly appealing to modern women.

Dzojchen

Founded in 2008 by Chelsea Scott-Blackhall, Dzojchen is a Singaporean luxury street wear label with premium materials sourced from all over the world. Each Dzojchen piece is hand made, ensuring quality every step of the way. I fell head over heels in love with the chic and effortless style of Dzojchen. While Singapore may not be a mega fashion city like New York and London, it does not mean that we are allowed to slack in the fashion department. The uber fashionable designs combine practical necessity, cultural inspirations and personal identity.

One word describes it all: individuality.

Evenodd

Previously a stylist, photographer and self-taught designer, Samuel Wong now heads local menswear label Evenodd. Having had the opportunity to interview the man himself during his showcase at Parco Next Next, I was not surprised by the the brilliant pieces that I saw on the runway at Future Fashion Forward. Samuel did not disappoint with his prim and proper menswear with a touch of modernness. His passion for his work shines through in every single way.

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I have utmost respect for his intense attention to the intricate details of his pieces. I am a fan of his meticulousness and how he pays attention to every single detail from the cut to the construction of the garments to handpicking the right material all the way down to the types of buttons used.

See more photos from Future Fashion Now in our Facebook album here.

Written by: Shanhwa and Abigail