As we gear up for the final runway show to decide the winner of the 2017 Harper’s BAZAAR Asia New Gen Fashion Award, get to know the talented crop of new designers from Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia, as well as their inspiration behind the collections they will be presenting at our fashion show tomorrow.
Inspired by the sculptures and statues in the Cimitero Monumentale di Milano on a recent trip to Italy, Thai designer Theeratat Thaninbenjakul dreamed up a collection that was anything but morbid. Flowers and decorations found on gravestones found their way into the textures and prints on his clothes, while the materials he used focused on marrying traditional Italian tailoring techniques with contemporary silhouettes.
Calling his collection ‘WAKE UP DREAMER’, Wivat Khamgat of Thailand found his inspiration in Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, and the protagonist of Dodgson’s famous ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, Alice Lidder, who takes centre stage in Khamgat’s dreamy collection with dark undertones. Romantic Victorian-era silhouettes take on an almost girlish edge with ruffles and embellishments that belie Dodgson’s dark story.
Phua Chun Huen
Phua’s chic line-up of cropped jackets, sheer dresses and flare pants were inspired by the fraying and decaying of an ancient house in Scotland. Denim was his fabric of choice, and he pushed the envelope of textile manipulation by laminating plastic over it or felting it with wool. But while the collection may have its roots in a crumbling mansion, the resulting collection is anything but—strong, streamlined silhouettes and boxy jackets exaggerate the form of the body, while his soft dresses and pants flatter it.
Joanna Lim of Singapore was inspired by the Li Basadung, a tribe from Hainan, China, whose womenfolk tattoo themselves from head to toe as a rite of passage to adulthood. She drew a link to fingerprints (“a modern form of identification”) and engineered an abstract pattern based on the unique grooves found on the human skin, which she applied as a leitmotif onto the back of sheer blouses and laser-cut skirts.
Who knew that the mindless drone of a first job would inspire Indonesian Alifia Maqnuun’s first collection? From ripping seams to cleaning up unfinished garments and leftover fabric, these formed the basis of Maqnuun’s utilitarian meets sportswear collection. Jackets pull open to reveal cartoons in the style of Roy Lichtenstein, while sleeves are laced through with shoe laces to accentuate her “unfinished-finished” look.
Michelle Tjong from Indonesia pondered on the feeling of emptiness and the Japanese concept of Zen for her collection, choosing white as her medium of choice to express that feeling. What resulted was a collection that played with exaggerated shapes, clean lines and unexpected details.
P.S. Want to win an exclusive invite to meet social media superstar Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper Girl at Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore’s high tea session this Friday, 27 Oct!
The Harper’s BAZAAR Asia New Generation Fashion Award 2017 is held in collaboration with Swarovski