And so January marks the end of our two-part series (just a recap, I had this grand plan to cover to cover the theme of nature across two issues). In December, to commemorate a most unusual year that was 2020, we paid tribute to nature at its most powerful, formidable and glorious, with visuals that depicted landscapes and phenomena that are rugged, pure, extreme and almost primal. 

This month, to welcome the year ahead, we moved on to nature’s more nurturing side, with flora and fauna highlighting man’s coexistence with the natural world. To kick things off, we gave the floor to six Singapore creatives who mused on the role of nature in their work and lives. For the cover, we dressed up a studio in London with luscious indoor plants and erotic anthuriums to show the sexy, the hypnotic and the potent, as embodied by top model Shanina Shaik—whom I first shot more than six years ago for our June 2014 cover, before she became one of the world’s most recognised and followed Victoria’s Secret model with more than 2.2 million followers today. Having Shanina front our cover this month with the most delicious high jewels from Bvlgari took planning of global proportions—the world, after all, is still deep in the throes of a pandemic. But nothing less would have sufficed, especially given that this issue marks the start of our 20th anniversary celebrations. Despite the odds, we managed to also sneak in two outdoor shoots in the UK: One evoking carefree abandon with beautiful red fashion amidst golden wheat fields and the other, infused with a serene melancholy aroused by everything in the arena—from the rocks the model stood on to the waters lapping at her feet and the liquid metallic fashion that clung to her body, all echoing the same grey tones of the skies above and the sea below. 

In our beauty pages, we dug deep into the crevices of earth to extract the most striking jewel hues that you can sweep across your eyelids for sparkling drama that’s guaranteed to get you noticed. In the jewels and watches section, we burnt sage and bundled herbs to ward off bad karma, and ushered in the new year with emeralds for peace and diamonds for good fortune. On the fashion front, Jeffrey Yan, our Associate Fashion Director, shone the spotlight on the new superstars to watch now: Peter Do, for his cool blend of masculine and feminine tailoring; Christopher John Rogers, for his glamorous ’80s exuberance and maximalist silhouettes; and Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh, for their eclectic mix of colour, print and slogans that exudes a distinct Caribbean vibrance. Then there’s Telfar Clemens, who created the most sought-after It bag with a waiting list not seen in years, and Fear of God designer Jerry Lorenzo, who’s got a whole cult following for his pared-down, luxurious easy basics. By resisting the usual dictates of big fashion conglomerates and producing their own versions of what they know their customers want, these designers are changing the face of fashion into one that is a lot more personal, reflective and freed of the usual logomania. 

I hope you will enjoy this concluding issue on nature, because if anything, it’s a wondrous ode to this Garden City we call home. 

—Kenneth Goh, Editor-in-Chief 

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Photographer: Claire Rothstein 
Stylist: Christopher Maul
Model: Shanina Shaik  / IMG Models
Makeup: Terry Barber 
Hair: Daniel Martin 
Manicure: Sabrina Gayle