The past 10 years have seen seismic shifts in the world of fashion and culture at large. Gone is the dictating manner in which fashion used to speak. Today, influence and inspiration bubbles up as much as it trickles down. The speed at which movements now take root and cross-pollinate across cultures and communities would have been unimaginable a decade ago. In many ways, the rise of social media and the digital age has revolutionised the way we access, consume and interact with fashion. At its core, style is still about looking a certain way to telegraph a certain message, but the key components of that message have evolved to centre around the ideas of authenticity, individuality and positivity. To close out this progressive, transformative decade, we’ve chosen to celebrate a group of originals who are as sharp as they are stylish; the ones who march to their own beat while maintaining a certain polish and verve that drives home a uniquely Asian perspective.
How would you describe your style?
Visual aesthetics are an important part of my job and I think that extends to my style. Ninety percent of my wardrobe is black and white, but I look for unique details or interesting proportions in each garment. Although I dress monochromatically most of the time, I pick pieces I can throw on without much fuss, but still instantly make a statement.
Do you have a signature look?
I love a dramatic top with a voluminous sleeve or gathered waist, paired with simple black pants or jeans. I almost never wear dresses or skirts— I think you can be equally feminine in trousers or even a suit, so I always find myself gravitating towards these pieces.
What’s powerful about fashion to you?
Fashion has the ability to reflect a moment in history, whether social or political. For example, in the ’20s, Coco Chanel took inspiration from menswear when women were lobbying for wider issues such as the right to vote. It didn’t develop out of a vacuum. Much like the arts, fashion is a product of society and culture, and another avenue for us to consider the human condition.
Which designers do you love?
Chitose Abe of Sacai is one of my favourites because of the innovative and contemporary way she constructs garments and combines fabrics. I also love Cecilie Bahnsen because she puts a lot of emphasis on silhouettes to create luxurious, romantic clothing. Finally, I really miss Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy— I loved every collection!
Whose closet would you like to raid?
Probably Ashley Olsen’s, because she has a great collection of vintage pieces like the black and white Dior gown she wore to the 2011 Met Gala; as well as a wardrobe full of The Row, which has an amazing maximal minimalist aesthetic.