Posts Tagged ‘Joi Chua’

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

December 18th, 2010 Comments off





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.






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

Interview with Singapore veteran fashion designer Keith Png

April 20th, 2010 Comments off


Photo: XiaXue wearing bespoke wedding dress by Keith Png


The Interview

Not only appearing in countless local shows featuring fashion design and styling, not many local designers get to own a celebrity status like Keith Png. The owner of boutique Hide & Seek (which has recently relocated to 176 Telok Ayer Street) Keith has proven himself not just any designer or stylist, but also an entrepreneur with an ambitious mind.

In our exclusive interview with the veteran designer, Keith gave us a peek into the local celebrity circle, as well as his most recent collaboration for local blogger XiaXue’s wedding dress. By Luth Seah Zhiqiang 



Test Shoot Gallery (TSG): What was the idea behind the opening of your boutique Hide & Seek?

Keith Png (KP) : “Seeking the best in hiding”.  



TSG: Tell us more about the reason behind the shift of location?

KP: That’s the idea of Hide & Seek! I want to constantly relocate my hiding place so that my customers can experience other unexpected discovery while seeking for us in Singapore.



TSG: You recently designed the wedding dress for local blogger Xiaxue. Tell us more of the process, the inspiration behind the dress, and why she is a good representative of a Keith Png wedding dress?

KP: It was fun working with Xiaxue. At the back of my mind, I expected her request to be over-the-top, something extra-glamorous. But after much discussion, I realised that her idea was to look pretty, and was really open to my design suggestions.

She eventually came up with a mafia theme for the wedding, which gave me the idea of a Marilyn Monroe-inspired pouf mini dress for her.

Xiaxue knew exactly what she wanted and she trusted me to deliver. A good representative of a Keith Png dress is a confident woman.



TSG: Although you have impressive celebrity clients, you stock some underrated designers in your boutiques. Is it important to you to be supportive of young talents?

KP: Yes of course, I have been through times of being underrated myself, and so I know how it is like not being able to find a retail outlet as a supporting platform.



TSG: Who would be your ultimate muse in terms of styling?

KP: Madonna or her daughter Lourdes :)



TSG: How would our describe the style of Singaporean women?

KP: Casual.



TSG: What are the key accessories that you would not leave home without?

KP: Blackberry, my Corum watch, and my Bvlgari ring.



TSG: Unlike most designers and entrepreneurs, who spend most of the time behind the scene, you are featured in a lot of shows and interviews. Has it been more helpful or more pressurizing?

KP: Both. The exposure has strengthened my profile which has helped me in terms of gaining more recognition and professional respect from the public. However, it is also pressurizing as I’ll have to be more “well-behaved” when I am in the public eye.



TSG: Since you have been mostly based in Singapore, how has it inspired or affected your designing works?

KP: Factors such as Singapore’s tropical weather affect my designs to a certain degree, and how women like functionality in their apparels inspires me to create more dresses with no frills.



TSG: You have a great following from local celebrities, why do you think you have so much celebrity fans?

KP: I have been told that I am approachable and helpful.



TSG: What are some of your most memorable times throughout your career so far (e.g first dress, first celebrity styling, awards, etc)?

KP: I must say, my first involvement in the local TV program Channel ‘U’, Fashion Asia, really gave me lots of happy memories. It was my first time hosting and a really good opportunity to learn more about the fashion scene in Asia. I had so much fun with all the fatastic co-hosts who were kind and patient with me.

Being involved in some of the greatest moments of celebrities’ big day like Fann Wong and Xiaxue’s Registry of Marriage, Joi Chua and Kym Ng’s wedding. As well as being able to travel overseas to attend to my client with VIP treatment.



TSG: What do you foresee the future of our local fashion scene?

KP: As the current youth are all fashion, Internet, and business savvy, I would say that it looks promising.



TSG: Your thoughts about avant-garde fashion in Singapore? Do Singaporeans just accept wearability?

KP: How avant-garde can we be in Singapore? It is a question of lifestyle, do we have that kind of life style that allow us to dress avant-gardish?? No, we don’t.


TSG: In terms of fashion, which countries/cities do you think relates to Keith Png the most? And why?

KP: Can’t really put my hands on a specific reason, but I really love the fashion in Berlin.



TSG: What exactly is fashion in the eyes of keith png?

KP: Frivolous.



TSG: Thank you for this wonderful conversation.

: You’re Welcome.


Keith Png
Hide & Seek
XiaXue’s Blog

Get Adobe Flash player