Singapore Fashion Week 2016 began with a theatrical showing by Guo Pei, the Chinese couturier who found herself thrust further into the international spotlight when Rihanna turned up on the Met Gala’s red carpet wearing a show-stopping saffron-yellow robe. Guo presented her spring/summer 2016 “Courtyard” collection, and it was a thirty-minute long extravaganza that left the audience lost in an opulent mix of sequins, silk and splendour. Guo divided the show into segments, of which she filled each portion with a passage of Chinoiserie-inflected clothes or a single dress that floated royally down the catwalk.
If Guo brought the drama, then local design wunderkind Max Tan grounded his show in austerity. One of the three designers chosen to take part in 2016’s edition of the Council of Fashion Designers of America-backed Fashion Futures programme, Tan has partnered with Microsoft on a series of “fringe activities”. In a pre-show video, the designer talked about working on the Surface, the tech giant’s “two-in-one hybrid device”, but results of the collaboration was most palpable in the show’s soundtrack, which contained familiar musical notes and tones we’ve all come to associate with Microsoft. As for the clothes? Tan’s strength in tailoring elevated basic shapes and silhouettes with fluidity. A belted striped dress, with sleeves sliced at the elbows, was especially memorable.
By Gerald Tan