Fashion as a form of escapism has never had a stronger argument than now. More than a year on from the start of Covid-19, and with many of us still stuck working from home, we escape through our phones, ploughing through an endless stream of information from social media, websites and the oracle of our times, Google. The worrying reports from my iPhone state that my screen time hovers around the 10-hour mark. Add that to the day’s unending number of Zoom calls and Google Hangouts, and my vision is a blur by dinner time—and that’s before having to catch up on emails from Europe and the US. Technology, especially in these times, is a double-edged sword.
To be able to escape into the engrossing narrative of a good physical book or the visual literature of a magazine is truly an ASMR luxury—the crisp rustle of a turning page, the textured surface beneath your fingertips—to be enjoyed without some flashing ad demanding your attention. Perhaps that explains why I’ve been at the same magazine for over 17 years. I find great joy in working in print—even more so now that everything has gone digital. I adore seeing the photos shot by our talented, global pool of visionaries come to life on glossy paper, to be consumed at leisure and with pleasure by our readers. This month’s cover, shot at California’s Joshua Tree National Park, is testament to why it’s important for the eye to travel. We took some of the most spectacular fashion from Alexander McQueen and juxtaposed the precise tailoring, the layers of pleated cotton and the strict leather separates with the wilderness of a desolate land. Shot from morning to sundown with top models Li Xiao Xing and Daphne Groeneveld, we saw the sky turn into a magical hue of pinkish orange and captured it for our cover spread (page 146). Then, there are the grand vistas of England that set the stage for the season’s languid silhouettes. Associate Style Editor, Gracia Phang, sought out the quaint pre-war houses in Balestier for her day shoot on innocence and pastels—in stark contrast to the bright pops of colour in the arresting images of model Noelle Woon, shot at dusk, in “Punk Princess”.
The call for fantasy and escapism during these challenging times has been patently accompanied by a heightened sense of causal consciousness. Find out how the world’s biggest fashion brands have been changing their business approach to become more sustainable; turn to page 62 to read about the designers who have been upcycling deadstock fabrics for their new and no-less-captivating collections. For the low-down on spring/summer 2021, our extensive, twice-yearly Collections Report gives you a look by look, trend by trend breakdown of all you need to know about the major fashion brands this season. And as Associate Fashion Director, Jeffrey Yan, proposes in his report, there’s still lots of glamour and sexiness to be had: He dissects the collections and highlights the designs that will allow you to make an entrance. If you enjoy the thrill of fashion, the allure of travel and the joys of sartorial discourse, I’m proud to say that this March issue is a total keeper.
—Kenneth Goh, Editor-in-Chief
Photographer: Yu Tsai
Stylist: Wyman Chang
Models: Daphne Groeneveld/Elite Models; Li Xiao Xing/Elite Models
Makeup: Mia Yang
Hair: John Ruggiero
Producer: Trever Swearingen/88 Phases
Digital technician: Luis Jaime
Photographer’s assistants: Danya Morrison; Max Mamurov