Full-time fashion designer with his own eponymous brand and part-time cellist, Lionel Low has an interesting train of thought in his finalist collection for BAZAAR Asia New Generation Fashion Designer Award. Having grown up hearing about legends and myths such as Madame White Snake, Low enthused about the fantastical story and injected his own imagination in his reinterpretation for his luxe sportswear-inspired creations.

What was your key inspiration?
I’m mainly influenced by the classic Chinese tale Legend of the White Snake. There was a new film version of the legend in 2011 called The Sorcerer and the White Snake and I was thoroughly inspired by the colours and costumes, which are a lot more contemporary.

How did that inspiration evolve into your collection?
I took a new stand on it and came up with a story where Madame White Snake travels through time. So in my designs, you will see a range of fabrications, from Egyptian cotton and spider web-like laces to metallic snakeskin and iridescent sheer silks. There are lots of nettings and skin-revealing ideas because it’s about a snake and the nature of the snake shedding skin and having a new emergence.

Lionel Low’s inspiration moodpboard that consists of iridescent fabrications that are reminiscent of the shedding of a snake and the textured of frayed threads
His moodboard that consists of iridescent fabrications that are reminiscent of the shedding of a snake and the textured of frayed threads

Who are you designing for?
A confident woman who dares to embrace herself in whatever she faces throughout her life.
What’s your design ethos?
My philosophy is about mixing two extremes into my pieces. For example, a Dior-inspired fitting bar jacket but paired with a boxy over-sized top or mixing ’60s-styled mod prints with ’80s silhouettes.
What was the best advice you received from the mentors?
To follow my gut instinct and not follow what other designers are doing. Also, not to be afraid to fail because what matters is that I get up from it, adopt a new mentality and maybe invent something new along the way from that experience.

umper, dress with fringe, Lionel Low. Brief (worn inside) Sandro. Choker, stylist’s own
Jumper, dress with fringe, Lionel Low. Brief (worn inside) Sandro. Choker, stylist’s own

What The Judges Said:
“Lionel is straightforward and comes across as a professional designer by the way he articulates his collection. He’s focused and you can tell he thinks internationally with his
work. Looking at his work, I could tell he has a very good working relationship with the people who make his clothes—the finishes, shaping and construction of his creations are very well-done. He’s what we need in a good young designer of today.”
—Thomas Wee, Veteran Fashion Designer

 

Calling All Applicants For Harper’s BAZAAR Asia New Gen Fashion Award 2016

Now in its third year running, Harper’s BAZAAR is looking for the next promising fashion designer in the region.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Download the form HERE.