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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

Interview with Singapore fashion designer Jr Chan (Cloak&Dagger)

December 18th, 2010 Comments off

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A stroll down the streets of Singapore, what change you notice besides the renewing skyline? Evidently obvious is how much more adventurous the fashion enthusiasts are in their style choices. Layering are embraced and silhouettes are experimented. From the sleek to the draped, from the minimalist to the flamboyant, a whole week with these stylish strangers is anything but boring! Label Cloak & Dagger caters to the stylish gentlemen of our city. Read more on how designer JR Chan illustrates her idea of “collapse of stereotypes”, her design aesthetics, and all things you need to know for the debut collection of Cloak & Dagger in our exclusive interview! By Luth Seah Zhiqiang

 
TSG:  Where does the label’s name come from?
 
Cloak&Dagger takes the image off its sister label, Hide&Seek.

  

  

TSG: Cloak&Dagger hints at mystery or espionage, while Hide&Seek suggest good things well-hidden and tucked away in places that are really difficult to find.

A play on the words of the co-relation of the sister labels.

  

  

TSG:  Can you tell us your starting point and inspirations for your debut collection?

My debut collection pays homage to traditional men’s wear. It is a collection that questions fixed notions of masculinity, giving rise to the idea of a “slip” that adds new possibilities to clothing for men, and provides an alternative line for women. I played with silhouettes that can be worn multiple ways, making it more experimental for women as well.
  

  

TSG:  Cloak&Dagger’s unchanging theme is the “collapse of stereotypes.” We want to offer something different, something that incoporates Asian designs. Who are you making fashion for?

 For the cosmopolitan career woman who wears both international and local designers when they travel.

 

  

TSG:  How would you describe your style to someone who doesn’t know your work?

I like structured and smart tailoring embodied with unconventional and unexpected details.
The label is also known for its Asian cut for men.

 

  

TSG:  How would you describe your design aesthetic?

I place priority on the balance of body proportions and the color scheme.. I simplify as much as possible, and explore the different placements of the details. I aim for a playful yet balanced aesthetic.

 

  

TSG:  Let us talk about silhouettes. You work with a lot of non-Western styles, like voluminous silhouette, cowl-neck shirts and harem pants, which are notoriously difficult to get men into. What’s the thinking behind that?

I am inspired by the streets of Daikanyama in Japan where people put in effort in what they wear and are all distinctively different from one another in their dressing style. I also love the way people dress in Berlin! They don’t overdress but manage to look very smart and chic. The collection’s silhouettes is a fusion of the east and the west. I want to take daily items from a men’s wardrobe and break down their traditional look, meanwhile making sure that they can still be put together in a different way. It is about providing an alternative to individual style.

 

TSG: What inspires you and influences your work?

People. Someone once said that “Fashion is all about lifestyle”. I feel that it is true. The weather, technology, lust, moods, the way we spend time and what the world is dressing for.

 

  

TSG:  What do you most like and dislike about the age we live in?

I like the fact that we are more experimental with fashion, but I have issues with global warming since the weather has gone mad.

  

  

TSG: Your designs won you a sort of local celebrity fanbase that includes Andi Chen Bang Jun, Christopher Lee, Dawn Yeoh, Jun, Jeanette Aw, Joi Chua, JJ Lin Jun Jie, Lawrence Wong, and Nat Ho, how do you feel about it?

I am thankful for their support. They are amazingly nice and humble people. It motivates me to work harder when a celebrity choses to wear a local label over  an international label for events.

  

  

TSG: Besides platforms like Singapore Fashion Festival to create awareness,what kind of support do you feel home grown labels need?

Support from a good mentor who is a veteran in this industry. We need to be humble all the time and learn, not only from our seniors but also from our juniors. When we stop listening, we stop growing.

  

  

TSG: What are your coming plans for Cloak&Dagger?

Cloak&Dagger is ready to expand. We intend to bring the label to more conceptual and retail spaces.
I want to establish the business in Singapore in the coming year before moving overseas.

  

  

  

  

Stockist 

 
 
Blackmarket  19 Jalan Pisang, Singapore 199084 Tel:  +65 6296 8512
Hide&Seek       176 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068264 Tel: +65 6222 2825

Shito “del.icio.us” Autumn Winter 2010 Campaign by Test Shoot Gallery

May 11th, 2010 Comments off

 

“del.icio.us” presents a palate of colors – in stripes, bright shades, glitter and prints – influenced by retro pop culture. Shito brings these colors into strips of suede, PVC and snakeskin leather. This sinfully irresistible collection screams, “You know you want it!” to all women out there. 

Shito enters Autumn/Winter 2010 in its most titillating form. The collection rebels against traditional fashion trends and chooses instead to flirt with colors in the grayest season of the fashion year. The collection “del.icio.us” is just too delish to resist!

The Team 


Photography / May Lin Le Goff
Creative and Fashion Direction / Ashburn Eng
Shoes / Shito
Make-up & Hair  / Chris Ruth
Tattoo Artist / Jeremy Tan
Styling Assistance / Shanna Matthew 
Interview  / Luth Seah Zhiqiang
Model / Anna L  

  

Shito, despite being a young shoe label freshly introduced to our local designing scene, proves that it is packed with enough sensuality to flirt with the feet of our local woman. In conjunction with the collaboration together with TSG for their latest ad campaign, Alice Soedirman (one-half behind the label) helps familiarize us with the label more in our exclusive interview. 

  
TSG: Tell us a little more about yourself, as well as “Shito” the shoe label?
 
 Alice: 5 years ago, I came to Singapore from Indonesia to pursue my studies in fashion design in Lasalle College of Arts. It was during my last academic year, we (my design partner Cheryl Mok and I) decided to launch “Shito”.  Shito is a new exclusive footwear targeted for women who want to make a bold artistic statement. Created in early 2009, Shito produces shoes that were one-offs which the intersection of arts and the nature of the human body. Our vision for Shito is to produce well-heeled shoes that encompass erotica attraction, built with a sense of being in control and empowerment to the wearer. We believe in the quote from Geoff Nicholeson – “What a good shoe crucially does and must do, is to reveal the foot, enhance and display it, offer a frame and a setting for it.”
 
 
TSG:How and what motivated/inspired you to launch “Shito”?
 
Alice: As a shoe lover myself (which girl is not by the way?), I have always dreamed about owning a pair of shoes that could provide the perfect balance of comfort and excellent design. After experiencing shoes designing module in my last academic year in Lasalle, “Shito” idea was borned and launched.

 

TSG: This season you included wedges and flats, a different addition to your normally high heels-dominated collections in the past. Are there any reasons why?

Alice: We wanted to expand our footwear range to our fabulous heels. At Shito, we truly believe that great shoes come in any height.

 

TSG: What are the references you always come back to in your work? Are they any techniques you employed so far in designing and creating your shoes fascinated you the most?

Alice: I am constantly amazed by how a pair of good shoes can beautifully frame a woman’s legs. With designing, I always come back to how I can frame that leg to its outmost beauty. Technically, I find footwear designing fascinating as it demands me to look at many different perspectives that were never considered in the process of apparel design. For example, the space within the shoes needed for the arch of the foot, and the construction of stable high heels are crucial considerations in the designing process.

 

TSG: What is your idea of elegance in a woman?

Alice: I believe elegance is something that cannot be bought but is possessed naturally. To me a woman is elegant when she is confident in herself and knows how to carry herself in grace and femininity.

 

TSG: Who would be the ideal public ambassador for the brand? And if there is one, who is your muse?

Alice: Dita Von Teese. She carries sexiness in the most elegant and feminine way. She is sultry and has a little teasing edge, everything that Shito stands for.

 

TSG: What would be your own personal shoe choices?

Alice: Definitely high heels. I want to wear high heels 24 hours 7 days a week.

 

TSG: Do you have any plans to expand to other countries?

Alice: Yes. Aside from Singapore, we are currently available in Jakarta, Indonesia. We are also in the process of expanding to Malaysia, and hopefully to Australia as well.

 

TSG: With the upcoming trend of couture shoe designers like Christian Louboutin collaborating with Rodarte to create statement pieces for the runway, which major fashion houses would you love to design for and why? 

Alice: Dolce and Gabbana, and it would be a dream come true. As a designer, I have always been fascinated with 2 things- shoes and corsets. To me, no other brand portrays sex, confidence, and elegance in a woman better than Dolce and Gabbanna.

 

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

Alice: Test Shoot Gallery has been gaining reputation in the local fashion scene for their amazing advertising campaigns, and their various collaborations with various designers did manage to create a buzz.

 

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

Alice: The amazing advertising campaigns that Test Shoot Gallery have produced reflects their understandings of each label’s individual point of view.

 

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

Alice: Yes. As a designer, I believe with a balance of good design and individuality of the label will always reach out to the everyone out there. Hence, creative collaborations are one of the best platforms to showcase that balance.

 

TSG: Besides platforms like Singapore Fashion Festival to create awareness, what kind of support do you feel home grown labels need?

Alice: I think home grown labels need more frequent media exposure and support like being featured in the magazines, workshops and Asia-wide tradeshows. Frequent media coverage will create more awareness for home grown labels for local market knowledge.

 

Stockists

Antipodean            27a  lorong mambong                                                          Tel: +65 6463 7336
Blackmarket           19 Jalan Pisang                                                                    Tel: +65 62968512
Fashion First          Senayan City 1st Floor Kav. 12, Jl. Asia Afrika Lot. 19  Jakarta          
Shito                       www.shitoonline.com
Ztamp                     Far East Plaza, #03-47                                                      Tel: +65 63338526

“PRESSED” Spring Summer 2010 Campaign by MAX.TAN is on the bus-stop!!

January 29th, 2010 Comments off

 

Test Shoot Gallery is proud to be the official creative partner in producing this campaign for homegrown label Max.Tan. Posing alongside this campaign is Luth Seah, who is currently a contributing writer for Test Shoot Gallery. Ashburn Eng, the creative director for the advertising campaign skipped the safe option of picking another female model. Instead, he illustrated the genderless qualities in the designs by choosing Luth, who personally believes and dressed in Max’s creation as well.

links

Blackmarket
Max.Tan

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