Popspoken
 brings you daily dispatches from the 2014 Asia Fashion Exchange. Follow our daily blogs for off-the-wall (and maybe off-the-record) updates on the ins and outs of the fashion week, plus bits that most people will probably not get to see it. Because here, we bring you right to the meat of fashion. Provided fashion people actually do eat, in the first place.

On Day 4, we explore the opening days of Asia Fashion Summit and Blueprint, where buyers and fashion business thinkers come together in a confluence of creative minds and rising labels. Also, Audi Fashion Festival kicks off its second day with shows by Desigual, SATURDAY, hansel, Ashley Isham and Essential Looks.

10.00am

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It is the start of a very long day here at Suntec Singapore, but one with a sense of buzz in the air. Buyers from all over the world as well as the region’s thinkers gather for two events highlighting the day-to-day transactional aspect of the business of fashion.

Asia Fashion Summit opened with Rick Yoo, managing director of Lotte Global Fashion Division in South Korea, taking about the dynamism the Hallyu wave has brought to fashion. It is a potent intertwine between fashion and pop culture in Korea: fuelled by vanity and stardom, many try to emulate their idols in their clothing.

During the buyers’ panel later, Rick shared how a major online shopping trend was in IPTV marathons of drama serials, where information of the clothes the artiste was wearing would show alongside the stars in the television show. Rick also said that price comparisons are rife in South Korea where “it’s all about price, price, price”

Robinsons Singapore managing director Franz Kraatz shared during his keynote that the departmental store’s new hip rejuvenation still has not alienated its previous customer base but is now geared towards the 25-year-old shopper, with personal shopping and visual merchandising now at the forefront of the brand’s look and feel. He chimed in at the buyers’ panel that the brand is venturing into the online sphere by looking at content creation and creating trend and seasonal stories that will attract customers to the store.

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At Blueprint, 11 international and local labels opened the show, including Singapore kooky fave Revasseur and India digital-print standout Morphe (photo above). The Audi Star Creation winners last year debuted their capsule collections at their Blueprint booth and a plethora of rising Singapore designers are showing at Blueprint, including urbanwear watch brand Hypergrand, bag brand Tacicco, costume jewellery label Thekang and cult faves Depression and Pauline Ning.

Thekang

Thekang

Depression

Depression

6.30pm

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Jo Soh truly has come of age: her brand hansel made its Audi Fashion Festival debut with a fun and flirty collection of separates and A-line dresses that are structural yet wearable. Plus, we loved the fashion show choreography — models were walking with their Sony Xperia Z2 smartphones and posing mid-walk for selfies and giving each other fistbumps. A show with a touch of its own: that, we like very much.

7.10pm

Out from backstage, we spot a familiar figure hustling down the tent…

IT'S GODFREY GAO HOMG

IT’S GODFREY GAO HOMG

8.50pm

Ashley Isham‘s showing thereafter was nothing short of high-octane glamour, harking back to the glamour of the 90s. In an ode to that era, veteran Singapore supermodels Huda Ali, Amelia Awi and Jane Chong took to the runway in splendour, stomping and kicking down the runway in a show-stopping walk.

New faces also took to the runway: 15-year-old Diya Prabhakar made another sterling performance, as well as half-Korean, half-Greek Alex who debuted thanks to a push by Edipresse managing director Gilbert Cheah.

In the final show, after what must be a whopping 40 or so looks, all the models did a death drop after their final walk and out comes SK-II ambassador Godfrey Gao and Ashley Isham jumping over the models to give a bow at the end of the runway. If there was an iconic show by any Singapore label in the past five years, this was it.

Check back for more dispatches. All photos, unless specified, are from Popspoken.