Marrying the principles of Chinese painting and calligraphy, Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award 2022 finalist Serina Lee is breaking barriers between art and fashion. The specialist in textile design also has a 15-year background in Chinese painting and calligraphy. Each outfit is an original artwork hand-painted by Serina herself, designed to be both worn and displayed as wall-hanging art.

With her unique aesthetic and branding, it’s no surprise that Serina’s designs have caught the eye of Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng. At this year’s National Day Parade at The Float @ Marina Bay, Mr Baey was even spotted wearing a hanbok-inspired shirt designed by the NewGen finalist. We caught up with Serina to find out more.

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What was the inspiration behind the shirt you designed for Mr Baey?

Melding traditional East and Southeast Asian seal line work with contemporary line work, the design draws inspiration from the Singapore MRT map. The silhouette is inspired by a Korean hanbok and the collar, a Japanese kimono. This elements are “tied together” with a seal, often used in these cultures. I worked closely with Mr Baey to create a design most suited for him for NDP 2022.

What did you hope to convey with your design?

I wanted to showcase traditional elements with a touch of modernity while incorporating a crucial part of the Singaporean identity.

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How did this unique collaboration come about?

As part of his National Day tradition of wearing shirts custom-designed for the occasion, Mr Baey collaborates with one student from LaSalle every year. My alma mater, LASALLE College of the Arts, linked us up after my final year. From there, I worked closely with Mr Baey to design this top.

How does it feel to be a part of NewGen?

I’m so happy and excited to be a part of NewGen. I look forward to all the new experiences and learning opportunities the competition will bring.

Stay tuned for more on Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award 2022.

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