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Print & Digital
I’ve been planning to do an issue dedicated to my motherland for the longest time — and this Lunar New Year was the perfect occasion to do it. China has been such a rich treasure trove of inspiration this season, with everyone from Alessandro Michele to Miuccia Prada presenting their own spin on it — the former embroidering everything from tigers and flowers to dragons on dresses and jackets; the latter, exploring a “new elegance” via sheer printed qipao tops and trousers, edged with marabou feathers and made gossamer light in silk chiffon.
Read what Associate Fashion News Editor, Gerald Tan, has to say about the runway trends — the ’80s are back in a big way but given a dramatic dose of the Orient; it’s bolder, brighter and a whole lot sexier. But beyond phoenixes and dragons, China’s role in the fashion world is also about how it influenced genuises like Yves Saint Laurent and Tom Ford in their collections. Who could forget YSL’s seminal eponymous 1977 Chinese collection?
Windy Aulia, Senior Fashion Editor, delves into the late designer’s glorious past and notes how that one iconic show sparked off a whole slew of collections since — from established hands in design like Karl Lagerfeld for Fendi and Phoebe Philo for Céline, to the new school of designers like J.W. Anderson for Loewe and Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent this spring/summer 2017.
They didn’t go down the clichéd route but rather, subtly referenced China in their collections. Could they have been influenced by the incredible show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last year, <em>China: Through the Looking Glass</em>? I spent hours there when I was in New York and was awe-struck. Inspired, I dotted our February pages with little Chinese icons — signature blocks in red ink to bookmark our regular pages; swathes of rhythmic calligraphy strokes across major stories.
We fashioned beauty products into Chinese words of wisdom. We arranged kaleidoscopic gems into Chinese motifs. We took three beautiful girls to a landmark spot in Singapore’s history — Haw Par Villa — for a lyrical tribute to all things Chinese, dressed in the most current fashion. Our cover is splashed with the most vibrant red ink against a blue Gucci dress with a print taken off a Ming vase.
Being Chinese, but born into a Peranakan household, I have seen the traditions of China change, morph and adapt to Singapore’s unique cultural melting pot. I am a product of this — a salad of difference, a smorgasbord of choice but always Chinese at heart.