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Interview with Singapore fashion designer Ashburn Eng (young&restless)

April 8th, 2011 Comments off

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The Team

Photography / Soon Tong
Designer & Creative Direction / Ashburn Eng
Graphic Artist / Yong Yi ( www.yongyidesign.com )
Make-up and Hair / Chris Ruth (MUSE b’ART)
Model  / Anastasia Kolganova ( Upfront Models )


 

For young&restless’ Spring/Summer 2011 collection, Ashburn Eng’s inspiration came about as he looked through the eyes of a Flying Squirrel moving through the route of constant escapism and gliding through the air of the cityscape. Follow his vision of the small creature with our exclusive Test Shoot Gallery interview!
By Luth Seah Zhiqiang

 

 

 

 

 

TSG: What does escapism mean to you?

To own a pair of wings which takes you wherever you want to go.


 

TSG: How do you describe your aesthetics that you apply to your designs?

I have always been intrigued by the amount of discomfort dedicated followers of fashion are willing to put up with. From tight corset dresses to painfully heighted heels, suffering in style remains in fashion. I go through a lot of thought processes and strongly believe in applying my core strengths to my designs and at the same time, I feel that the wearer should also play a vital role of putting the looks together.


 

TSG: Any individual/celebrity/socialite in your mind that will suit “The Flying Squirrel” collection perfectly?

Locally, it will have to be Zhou Ying and Rebecca Lim. Internationally, I would think of Angela Zhang, Li Bing Bing and Zhou Xun. 


 

TSG: Despite the construction (based on basic shapes) of the pieces in the collection, you were able to visualise the draping results when worn on the body even during the initial stage of the production. Is “visualizing the result” a recurring skill that you equip yourself with every time you style/design/creative direct in your works?  How well Did it help you?

It definitely makes the production process (e.g. drafting pattern and sewing up the samples) much easier if you clearly understand the subject you are working on dimensionally. It also helps to avoid unnecessary wastage of materials, money and time. 


 

TSG:  Does freedom always mean happiness?

Yes and No. Being chained and bonded can mean pleasure to some people as well.


 

TSG: Does timeless always mean banality?

Something so beautiful, important, so revolutionary, so life changing, so inspirational, so true, so meaningful that it transcends the confinement of time.


 

TSG: Does trendy always mean unoriginality?

There is always a chance that seasonal musing can become timeless in the future.


 

TSG: Does fashion-forward always mean excitement?

Fashion-forward is more like guilty pleasure.


 

TSG: Has empowering the wearer of your works an all-time goal for you? Why?

Power dressing is not always necessary. I like the idea of the wearer being able to fantasise themselves on escapism, like a non-earth bound creature with a desire to escape from reality.


 

TSG: If not in fashion, where will you most probably be now?

I would have been an innovater. Like fashion, it provides an outlet for this endless pursuit of unconventionality.


 


 

Stockists  

Blackmarket  No.2  –  Orchard Central, #02-10, Singapore 238896  Tel:  +65 6296 8512
EGG3  –  The Cathay, #01-04, Singapore 229233 Tel: +65 6733 0889
Hide&Seek   –  176 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068264 Tel: +65 6222 2825
M CULTURE  –  The Heeren, #04-40, Singapore 238855 Tel: +65 6887 3365

young&restless “RITUAL” Autumn/Winter 2010 campaign & interview by TSG coming your way..

August 23rd, 2010 Comments off

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The Team

Photography / May Lin Le Goff
Designer & Creative Direction / Ashburn Eng
Graphic Artist / Yong Yi ( www.yongyidesign.com )
Make-up and Hair / Larry Yeo
Model  / Egzona Lulaj ( Upfront Models )
Styling Assistance / Shanna Matthew

Max.Tan “AGAINST” Autumn Winter 2010 Campaign by Test Shoot Gallery

July 19th, 2010 Comments off








 
 
 
The Team
Photography / May Lin Le Goff
Creative & Fashion Direction / Ashburn Eng
Fashion Designer / Max.Tan by Max Tan
Make-up / Mav Chang
Hair / Annie Tay
Model & Text / Luth Seah Zhiqiang
Styling Assistance / Shanna Matthew

 

 

The Interview

Max Tan has returned in new collaboration with Test Shoot Gallery for his Autumn/Winter 2010 collection titled “Against”. This collection follows the success of the first ad campaign for his Spring/Summer S2010 “Pressed” collection, also with Test Shoot Gallery.  Featuring a darker colour palette and a looser draping silhouette, the emerging designer challenges us with the question of what’s right (or wrong) in fashion. Hear about the designer’s opinion on conventional society, the “austere” emotion in his pieces, as well as all the must-knows about the designer behind this ever-growing eponymous label in our second exclusive Test Shoot Gallery interview. By Luth Seah Zhiqiang

 

 

 

 

 

TSG: The most of the world we live in has nothing to do with fashion nor finds interest in it. Whom do you work for and target? What does your work reflect?

I work purely for my own vision and by asking rhetorical questions. Through this rhetoric, I challenge how I can answer with my collection in a different manner. In that way, I hope to change the stereotypical image that the mainstream relates to the fashion industry, and I hope through that, it engages people to relate more to fashion, that there is more than what is presented to them on a commercial platform.

 

 

TSG: Can you tell us a bit about the starting point of the A/W collection? Technically, what are the differences between this season compared to your past collection?

The starting point of each max.tan collection is always either a question, or a challenge. It challenges the way we perceive objects, subjects or sometimes just purely a notion. S/S 2010 Pressed challenged the different ways I could re-imagine a white shirt. A/W 2010-11 challenges the right and wrong ways of traditional drafting. What is deemed right or wrong? Can the wrong be made to look right? If so, is the end result still regarded as a mistake?

 

 

TSG: In provoking the notion of “traditional methods of pattern making”, did you come across any interesting or unexpected interpretations of your collection by different people?

It is definitely an interesting collection to work on. Some have looked at my garments and have had difficulties in identifying the conflicting  elements used. For instance a particular piece from the collection is a jumpsuit which can be worn as a dress- it seems right when worn as a jumpsuit, what they do not realise is that the dress can be created off the jumpsuit from a different perspective. Worn as a dress, the jumpsuit hangs off it when looked at straight on.  Which is right then? Ultimately, this collection serves to send a message that we no longer have to care about what is right or wrong. Would you rather be right, or free?
 

 

TSG: Your collection seems to lean strongly towards the austere? Why do you think austerity is often dark and surreal with the suggestion of tragedy and death?

In death, everything that one acquires during his lifetime is proven to be transient. Everything is once again, blank. Austerity is simple, blank and stripped of details. That is also the reason why the collection vaguely alludes to funeral clothing.
 

 

TSG: What materials have you worked with in this collection to create such textural and protective shapes?

I worked with a crepe for this particular collection. It was a popular fabric for power suits during the ’80s. Camouflaged by the sharp lines of the suits, we have truly neglected how beautiful it is when the fabric is allowed to fall freely.

 

 

TSG: You mostly use dark and monochrome colours – is that why you don’t believe in seasons? What was the inspiration behind the colours?

A main area of interest in my creations are silhouettes. I believe monochromatic colours do not distract one’s eye from how differently or interesting my silhouettes are.

 

 

TSG: What are your opinions about life in conventional society?

At times, I do feel quite alone. It is hard to find someone whom I can relate to, even harder to have someone give constructive comments because there is hardly anyone I know that can understand what I am doing.  Then again, I am thankful for the few who understand and constantly critique my works so that I can improve.

 

 

TSG: Can you tell us a bit about your environment while growing up?

I grew up in a typically Singaporean environment. As a boy, I was not expected to do fashion despite the influence of my seamstress mother. Everyone seemed too caught up in the pursuit of the correct path that I was to
take on. It came to a point that I realised I needed to start living my own life and make my own choices. My teenage years were confusing with regards to my sexual orientation and career. I was considered unorthodox in the grownups’ eyes. It wasn’t a particularly enjoyable growing up experience, but it has contributed to who I have become.

 

 

TSG: If not for fashion, what would you be doing now and why?

I would have been a musician. Like fashion, it provides an escape from this endless pursuit of normality.

 

 

TSG: What is the worst question you have ever been asked?

Why I make clothes that do not fit. I see my creations as a cocoon, a safe armor that shields one from the stereotypical world. I disagree that my clothes are oversized, but in certain areas, it is made to fit and sit well on the wearer. I think creating this space between the wearer’s body and the garment is far more challenging than making clothes that just pieces together like a flat jigsaw puzzle. I prefer it to look at clothes in a 3D way, like a sculpture, rather than a painting.

 

 

TSG: How do you pick your materials, and what goes into your decisions when putting them together?

With an idea of the silhouette that I have in mind for the collection, I proceed to choosing the right fabrics which will in turn give me the desired results. It does take some experimentation with sample yardages for certain complex designs. I have do have a preference towards either fabrics in which are easy to sculpt, or fabrics with enough weight to fall nicely. The wearer’s comfort is also another important deciding factor. Although I
like the relation between fashion and art, fashion is however not entirely art.

 

 

TSG: How did fashion appeal to you to become a designer?

Garments allow one to take on an identity; changing our identities when we put on a different outfit. I think I am particularly drawn to fashion because, to a certain extent, I am an escapist. Clothes serve as an escape from who I need to become or who I am.

 

 

TSG: What does the term ‘beauty’ mean to you?

Beauty to me is fragile and transient but a non-stop chase to the end of the rainbow.

 

 

TSG: Can you tell us about your design process?

I start each collection with a challenge. I start draping and sketching at the same time. As I work with readily available monochromatic colours, I source only when I have finalised my designs. However during the design process, the properties of the ideal fabric are taken into consideration when developing the collection.

 

 

TSG: Best compliment ever?

It would have to be ranked together with the big players (Prada, Alexander Mcqueen, Valentino etc) in the summary of Spring/Summer 2010 women’s wear campaigns on the trend forecasting and reporting website, Stylesight.com. It was an extremely captivating campaign envisioned by Test Shoot Gallery and it proved so successful that it caught the eyes of the analysts behind a trend forecasting service.

Link

 

6-Fold Series Spring/Summer 2010 (Lookbook)

March 30th, 2010 Comments off


The Team

Photography / May Lin Le Goff
Fashion Direction/ Ashburn Eng
Model / Svetlana Mukhina (Upfront Models)
Make-up and Hair / Chris Ruth
Designer / Aw Yunn Yee (Lasalle College of the Arts)

“The Asylum – Trapped in” Spring Summer 2010 Campaign by bedlamite

January 23rd, 2010 Comments off

 

 

 

 

   

 

Judgmental comments we face daily. The confinement by non-required expectations. No progression in life from personal limitations and fear. People being viewed differently just because they do not follow the general “rules”. All these pushing us into individual imprisonment; we feel wrapped up and powerless. 

 
Designer Terry Yeo bring this sense of repression into bedlamite’s Spring Summer 2010 collection entitled “The Asylum – Trapped in”. His left of center approach is a much needed fresh breath to local menswear that need not stay typical, rather Yeo maintains a strongly masculine silhouette whilst offering up unexpected lengths and textures with manipulation within the form of traditional menswear. The garments give a sense of entrapment and constriction all the while looking composed and tailored. 
 
The Team
Photography / Micky Wong
Creative and Fashion Direction / Ashburn Eng
Fashion Designer / bedlamite by Terry Yeo
Hairstylist / Chris Ruth
Make-up / Larry Yeo
Text / Luth Seah Zhiqiang
Model / Eduardo Fiorindo (Mannequin)
Styling Assistance / Shanna Matthew
 
 
 

More than willing to express his fond of the insanity in every human being, Terry Yeo opened up about his menswear label bedlamite, design inspirations behind this season, and his latest collaboration with TSG for his spring summer 2010 ad campaign in our exclusive interview.  


Test Shoot Gallery (TSG):
 Terry tell us how you came up with the label “bedlamite”and what is the design philosophy behind this label?

Terry Yeo (TY): The label name is inspired from a London asylum that opened in the 12th century. Bedlamites was the term used to address the patients that were discharged from there. I like how the word has an archaic meaning in the current world and yet is ridden with a past of the insane and the lingering reminisce of lunacy burdened on the word. bedlamite will have future collections with themes relating to different mental situations. 

I want to play with unusual cuttings within the form of traditional shirts and trousers. I attempt this with the shifting of the seams to play with the structure, darting, an unexpected opening for the clothes, and with variable detailing in pockets, collars and cuffs. bedlamite wearer will be someone who is willing to explore beyond the traditional outfit, someone who wants to go a notch above “safe” and notices the technicality behind the garment. 

TSG: Tell us more about your inspirations behind bedlamite this season? How was that inspiration first sparked?  

TY:  We work in our own quirky/strange ways, and yet we are seen as different or our actions are frowned upon by others if we do not follow the general herd. This collection inspiration talks about how the daily limitations and strange confining expectations we put ourselves in causes our conscious effort to live felt trapped in; driving us crazy in our own self made asylum.  

TSG: In the eyes of Terry Yeo, what exactly is fashion?  

TY: Fashion is part of our life and how we express ourselves. We transmit what we feel that day without saying a word through what we wear, the accessories we layer on and the colours we select. It is an expansion of our creative psyche, to share our view or mindset for that day.  

TSG: Which do you enjoy more: the formulation or the implementation of an idea?  

TY: I enjoy implementation of a collection. As I like to create the outfit from a flat drawing to an actual three-dimensional piece. I enjoy the drafting part like how to create the outfit, shifting of the seams to the measurement of the garment and playing with the dimensions of the clothes.  

TSG: Up to now, many would assume that you are more of a menswear designer. Give us a sneak peek of what we’re able to expect from bedlamite.  

TY: Our mission is to create an unconventional style beyond the imagination of tradition. Our vision is to create a new style that provides consumers with another option when purchasing, while providing the brand an opportunity to create a new fashion statements in the local fashion line.  

As mentioned earlier, the bedlamite theme will always have a link to different form of mental institutions, insanity classifications or levels of madness. I think it is a great way to express frustrations from our surroundings and express it through the clothes we wear.  

TSG: If there is a person you look up to, or aspire to be, who would it be?  

TY: Vivienne Westwood. She can use the old English aesthetic and twist it around to create different new age ideas. Since I am also interested in structural detailing and the technicality behind creating outfits, I love how her clothes seams runs around the garment, and her play with structure. She keeps away from convention and has kept to her aesthetics.  

TSG: What made you collaborate with Test Shoot Gallery for your ad campaign this season?  

TY: Test Shoot Gallery has an experimental vision. I like seeing how each shoot has its own concept. It is expression of the clothing without putting the clothes into direct product placement. It is more about the atmosphere or feel of the brand.  

TSG: How did you get to know about Test Shoot Gallery?  

TY: From industry friends who have noticed the creativity of TSG. I even heard from friends outside of the industry. These friends are drawn to the artistic vision and efforts committed to the spreads TSG produce.  

TSG: Is the idea of creative collaboration important to you?  

TY: Of course. I get my inspirations from different media and different ideas. I love such collaborations as they bring in fresh ideas and share different views all together.  

TSG: Many designers have been exploring the different mediums of presenting their work through videos and short films. Would you consider catching up with that trend in the future?  

TY: Currently I have no plans to do that. But in the future, of course I am open to ideas about incorporating my designs into art installations or even short films. It will be exciting to explore different mediums to reinterpret fashion and its purpose.  

TSG: What can we look forward to from bedlamite next season?  

TY: We’re in the midst of diagnosing and preparing the right treatment for a male patient who suffers from Schizophrenic behavior. Excuse us while we study and proceed with the right treatment.  

TSG: Lastly, your thoughts on the future of fashion? Both the domestic and overseas industries.  

TY: With the growth of fashion trends education over the Internet, fashion awareness is spreading faster and this allows more people to become fashion conscious. Healthier competition between designers allows for better 

designs to be churned out. Fail to make a dent, and you sink. Overseas consumers are getting more aware of our little red dot in fashion as we continue to expand. With globalization through Internet shopping, consumers can choose to buy worldwide. Expect the fashion consumerism to be more accessible.  

TSG: Thank you for this wonderful conversation.  

TY: My pleasure
 
Stockists 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

boutique will be available from Parco at Millenia Walk from April 2010.

  

 
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