So much was happening in fashion when I joined Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore in 2012. The spring/summer 2013 season saw Raf Simons head to Dior—a career highlight for me was being invited to see Raf’s Haute Couture Shanghai debut—and Hedi Slimane show his first collection for the newly rechristened Saint Laurent in Paris’s Grand Palais. There was so much anticipation of what was to come. Fashion was at a pivotal moment, so for me to helm the magazine during this period was such a great honour.
When I reflect on my time at BAZAAR Singapore, I have memories of our celebrity covers that are now iconic images within BAZAAR Singapore’s archives—I also had the additional pleasure of hearing the fabulous behind-the-scenes stories Kenneth (Creative Director at the time) would bring back to tell afterwards. Highlights include Naomi Campbell, who was in Singapore for only 12 hours and sat for our January 2014 cover. There was Tyra Banks a year earlier, wearing a headpiece reconstructed from a cage corset by Singaporean couturier Frederick Lee—the repurposing of the corset could only have been imagined by the most creative fashion team.
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Michelle Dockery in Armani Privé for December 2012 reflected the return to elegance we saw on the runways that season. Kenneth styled Michelle in swaths of veiled headpieces and in the most divine confections by Alber Elbaz-designed Lanvin, Alexander McQueen and Chanel, then draped her in decadent Bvlgari in the corresponding cover story inside. This shoot was at the height of her Downton Abbey stardom. There was also Liu Wen for our June 2012 issue, wearing the same Dior Haute Couture look for our cover that she walked in the show, but this time wearing a pixie-cut wig.
During my tenure, we launched Harper’s BAZAAR Art. We collaborated with Singaporean artist Andre Tan, art and design collective PHUNK and the fabulous Donald “Drawbertson” Robertson, still fashion’s favourite illustrator, to design exclusive covers. Art has always been a part of BAZAAR’s DNA—collaborators in the magazine’s 154-year history include icons such as Man Ray and Salvador Dalí—and with Art Basel having just arrived in Hong Kong at that time, launching a standalone Art issue felt so relevant to our readers.
As Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore celebrates its 20 anniversary, it’s the perfect time to indulge in a bit of nostalgia and walking back in time has triggered memories brought to life by the imaginations of the most creative people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. I can’t wait to see what the future will bring as Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore continues into its next decade and beyond.
Lauren Clarke Jensen was editor of Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore from 2012 to 2014.