Photo: John Tods

The September issue is typically a month that embraces and promotes everything to do with fashion. It’s a celebration of all the hottest, latest and greatest; the very best edit of fashion, beauty and lifestyle goodies to keep you enthralled and looking your best ever. But I wanted to delve a little deeper this month about something quite seismic that happened in Singapore just a few weeks ago. After years of advocacy campaigning by LGBTQ+ groups, Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, announced at this National Day Rally that the government will be decriminalising Section 377A, a Singapore law introduced under British colonial rule. This is a historic moment for Singapore; one that recognises that sex between consenting male adults is no longer illegal. Of course, this has come with questions around topics such as marriage. It’s a very challenging arena that’s incredibly polarising, with members of the public speaking out fervently, both for and against the issue.

Coincidentally, for the past few seasons, fashion has put forth its stance with designs that propose a gender-neutral, gender-fluid way of dressing. While fashion has always played a huge role in gender issues, we see it taking centre stage much more prominently this fall/winter. Shocking pink, a colour adopted by the LGBTQ+ community, has been pushed to the forefront with 48 out of 81 looks in fuchsia by Maison Valentino for fall/winter 2022. Pierpaolo Piccioli sent out looks for both men and women that subverted the cultural connotations of pink—such as girlishness and its limited use within men’s fashion. Likewise, there was no mistaking Miu Miu’s message when it presented a cast of gender-diverse models in its women’s fall/winter runway. Perhaps, it’s a bid to expand the gender lines beyond the binary, while spreading a message of inclusivity and acceptance. Read all about this in our comprehensive “The Collections” report on page 56.

Photo: John Edmonds

On our double covers, we have two very interesting personalities in the world of fashion. Dressed in CELINE, there’s Mika Schneider, a new model of Japanese-French descent who is the current darling on the international catwalks. And there’s Bright Vachirawit, the Thai actor, singer, host, model and Asian sensation, best known for his lead role in 2gether: The Series, a boy-love coming-of-age romance that blew up over the lockdown. Read what he has to say about his stratospheric rise to fame and his role as Burberry’s newly appointed spokesperson—a first for a Thai celebrity and South Asia Pacific.

As I go about putting the finishing touches to this issue, I can’t help but muse on our covers: Not only have both our cover stars been dressed by prominent gay designers, there’s also the fact that one of them found fame with millions of female fans for his portrayal of a gay man on TV. Fortuitous coincidence or the way of progress? Whatever it is, fashion and sexuality have always made for easy bedfellows—and that, to me, makes this a great September Issue.

—Kenneth Goh, Editor-in-Chief 

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Bright Vachirawit photographed by John Tods
Styled by Windy Aulia
Fashion: Burberry
Makeup: Pornpichit Khumngen
Hair: Thanupol Phoothepamornkul
Photographer’s assistants: Wanlop Banchuen; Audomsak Aemausin; Narong Tharveeyart
Stylist’s assistant: Prueksapak Chorsakul

Mika Schneider photographed by John Edmonds
Styled by Yashua Simmons
Fashion: CELINE
Jewellery: Tiffany & Co.
Hair: Johnnie Sapong at Salon Benjamin for Leonor Greyl
Makeup: Grace Ahn
Manicure: Emi Kudo for Chanel Le Vernis
Production: Eric Jacobson at Hen’s Tooth Productions
Set design: Jesse Kaufmann