I had to ponder really hard about this month’s theme of power. What does power mean today? Fashion-wise, there’s been no better time to dress like a CEO, with tailored trouser suits and shoulder pads angling for space on rows of pristine designer racks. If you flip to page 36 and read about “The Fashion Resistance” that’s happening right now, you’ll realise that Matrix-adjacent looks and fashion armour are giving women a sense of empowerment that goes way deeper than a runway trend. With the Russian/Ukraine war, growing unrest with climate change, over-burdened airports and wave upon wave of new Covid-19 strains criss-crossing the world (let’s not even start with monkeypox), a sense of fearlessness in your sartorial get-up arms you to do battle with what the world throws at you. Utilitarian fashion, combat fatigues and flight suits suddenly make so much sense in fashion and a faux fur coat from Saint Laurent could be the cosiest and eco-friendly alternative for keeping warm and ringfencing you from all the viruses in the world.
With fashion leading the charge, I decided to focus the idea of power on The Mavericks—designers who have forged a path of their own, regardless of any trend, movement or shift in people’s tastes or wants. Designers like Rick Owens and Rei Kawakubo continue to challenge society norms of what is “nice and easy” to wear. There’s nothing “nice nor easy” about their fashion—they are meant to prod, provoke and challenge the way we think about our bodies, our society and our standing in the world. Read Associate Fashion Director Jeffrey Yan’s piece on these trailblazers on page 79 where he talks about how these iconoclasts march to the beat of their own drum, bringing to life new ideals of beauty. For me, the designer that truly spoke to the masses was Virgil Abloh. His death late last year from a rare form of cancer truly shook the fashion world, but his presence and influence was felt far deeper and wider. He was designing at his Off-White label and was Artistic Director for menswear at Louis Vuitton, but the conversations he sparked, the questions he asked of himself and the world, made a mark. Turn to page 82 to read about how his work continues to live on and how his last menswear show for Louis Vuitton was shown again in Bangkok because no one can get enough of his genius. I know—I just got myself a semi-transparent mini Keepall in a monogrammed chess motif that he created for Louis Vuitton. It’s my first Virgil piece and one that I will keep forever.
And finally, our “The Power List” this year focuses on the women who are stirring up the food scene in Singapore. Whether it’s baking sourdough bread, distilling spirits, crafting cakes or churning vegan ice cream, these one-woman-many-hats ladies are changing the way we shop, buy, eat and drink in Singapore. Let’s support these trailblazers and vote with our hearts and mouth—because power today is not just about money, connections or status. It’s about the difference you make.
—Kenneth Goh, Editor-in-Chief
Photographed by Tung Walsh
Creative direction by Windy Aulia
Styled by Christopher Maul
Fashion: Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello
Model: Lili Sumner/NEXT Models
Makeup: Ruben Masoliver/ Walter Schupfer Management
Hair: Nicolas Philippon/ ArtList Paris
Manicure: Philippe Ovak/Marie-France
Casting direction: Dominyka Angelyte/D.A. Consulting
Photographer’s assistant: Pacome
Stylist’s assistant: Florian Sudres; Summer Jiang