What’s the allure of supercars and high fashion? Is it the respect for the high craftsmanship that goes into their making; the thrill-seeking pleasure of owning the best of the best? Or is it the belief that you need the chutzpah to carry it off with aplomb? It’s all of the above and more. Continuing a creative and symbiotic relationship that has spanned years, Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore and Automobili Lamborghini have collaborated once again on a project that pushed the creative boundaries of fantasy and technology, culminating in a fashion presentation never before seen on our shores.
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Titled “2021: Fashion Odyssey”, the virtual fashion voyage (which unfolded on a microsite created especially for the event at the start of March) presented a special eight-piece capsule collection by veteran Singapore designer and regular BAZAAR collaborator Lai Chan, who looked to the Lamborghini Huracán EVO RWD for inspiration. It was an evocative coming together of cultures, disciplines and design icons that treated the evening’s 250 guests to a futuristic trompe l’oeil world, created through cutting-edge extended reality (xR) technology, that set the stage for the visual audacity of the evening.
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Gilded gravity-defying pagodas made way to space-agey gardens that look right at home on the USS Enterprise. Animated Tron-like tunnels led to stylised cityscapes that were outlined against expansive, star-filled skies. And just as the models were seen exploring and interacting with a surrealistic environment that reconfigured and morphed with their every move, guests were guided through an East-meets-West optical narrative punctuated with Chinese design motifs and Lamborghini’s signature hexagon pattern.
It was a galactical journey through time and space that culminated in the appearance of a sleek, gleaming Huracán EVO RWD taking pride of place in the eight-look finale. And to think all this magic was achieved through an xR set (measuring a modest 3 by 8 by 2.5m) that sat in the middle of *SCAPE The Ground Theatre for the two-day film schedule.
“Lamborghini [isn’t just about cars]. It’s a lifestyle and we have always been a brand that creates new experiences for our customers because we want them to dream about Lamborghini even when they’re not sitting in the car,” says Francesco Scardaoni, Regional Director of Lamborghini APAC. “And there are many parallels between our cars and fashion, especially because at Lamborghini, we have the Ad Personam customisation programme that allows our clients to create one-off cars [suited to their taste]. This is similar to couture, where clothes are made specifically for one person. That’s why I think that this association of Lamborghini with a collection like the one Lai Chan did is perfect.”
With his mood board filled with images of the Huracán, Lai Chan distilled the car’s sleek lines, sensuous curves, exacting proportions and signature palette of bold, head-turning colours into modern iterations of the traditional qipao for which he is famed. A mandarin-collar mini dress in croc- embossed calfskin leather trailed a swath of taffeta behind it for added drama. Sequinned numbers were adorned with oversize bows and reinforced the high-octane glitz and glamour so associated with the Italian supercar. Nuanced with the design ethos of the world-famous automobile, the collection was undoubtedly created for strong, empowered women who act firmly with the belief that they drive their own destinies.
“When Kenneth (Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore) told me about this project, I was excited because I’ve never collaborated with a car producer before; and not only that, it’s Lamborghini. I couldn’t help but be inspired,” Lai Chan shares. “This was a chance for me to show the strength and power of the qipao and the woman [in it, together with] a very sexy car. So I came up with mini skirts and trousers that allow women to get into the car easily, and tailored the pieces in a way that complements the signature silhouette of the car. I couldn’t find enough coloured fabrics here [in Singapore] to do justice to the bold colours of the Huracán, so I took photos and videos and sent them to my suppliers, who sent them across to me.”
The result was a rich, saturated colour range as wide as the rainbow, which made for a spectacular finale to the five-minute presentation—a truly fitting way to wrap up the months of hard work and coordination that went into bringing this vision to life.
“It’s been an incredible journey working with such a dedicated team for the past few months—from BAZAAR to the Lai Chan atelier to Lamborghini, who has shown us such wonderful love and support,” says Editor-in-Chief, Kenneth Goh. “It couldn’t have come at a better time—when we’re all experiencing cabin fever and feeling the need to escape. And it’s so wonderful that we can provide this means of escape and entertainment. This was our third collaboration with Lamborghini, and the whole synergy between fashion, sports cars and Singapore style came about because we wanted to take the partnership to the next level, to see how far we can push the boundaries of reality. This year marks BAZAAR’s 20th anniversary and this xR fashion presentation—the first in Singapore—shows we’re all about embracing the future. It’s about engaging the audience and giving them a means to fantasise and dream. The eye has to travel.”
Watch the “2021: Fashion Odyssey” presentation at harpersbazaar.com.sg. To order Lai Chan’s designs, visit the LAICHAN boutique at #03-20 Paragon or get in touch at laichan.com/contact.