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Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

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 veteran couturier Tan Yoong

July 14th, 2010 Comments off

 


  

  

The Interview

A veteran couturier for the past two decades, Tan Yoong might just be the only designer from our local ground to reach legendary status. Known for his exquisite craftmanship and tailoring from his made-to-measure label, which includes a couture bridal line, it should come with no surprise that his main group of clients are attributed with having elegant taste.

Tan Yoong gives us an eye-opening view of the highs and lows of his prolific career thus far, and hints at what he has in store for his label in our exclusive Test Shoot Gallery interview. By Luth Seah Zhiqiang

  

  

TSG: What kind of environment did you grow up in?

I can recall that I enjoyed drawing from a young age. I frequently used chalk to draw female forms attending different parties in different  outfits, as if they had a endless supply of clothes designed for parties.

My parents and siblings were very supportive of my choice to do art despite the fact of them having little understanding of the arts. Perhaps it was because I was the youngest in the family.

I was naturally attracted to the aesthetics and beauty of the female form (always sketching made-up eyes or lips). As a teenager, I was very much influenced by my sister’s many issues of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. I remember David Bailey’s shoots with Jean Shrimpton, Penelope Tree and Marie Helvin, and also the pictures of Irving Penn and Horst. I was fascinated by the compositions in the photos, and it molded my base of aesthetic appreciation.

After pre-university, I pursued the arts by enrolling into the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. After graduation, I became a graphic artist, because back in those days, aspiring locasl fashion designers were unheard of!

Eventually, I went into advertising and I worked my way up to become an art director in BateyAds, which really widened my view to the world of design. It sharpened my skills enough to differentiate and allowed me to strive towards an international feel in all aspects of my work. Till today, I am still applying the knowledge learnt from advertising to my fashion designing.

  

  

TSG: What was the starting point for you in the arts? How did you know that you wanted to become an artist?

I think it is a gift from God. I was always my art teachers’ favourite student. Always excelling in art although I did badly in other subjects.

I excelled even in my advertising days when I won top awards in poster design, lettering design, interior design and fashion design. I best expressed my ideas in an artsy way, and I enjoyed and appreciated anything to do with art expression – be it photography, fashion, culture, dance, music, etc. I still do of course!
 

 

TSG: How would you describe your design aesthetic?

My design aesthetic would be ethereal and fluid, always feminine and dreamy in terms of silhouette and detailing.

 

 

TSG: Why the move from being an art director to a fashion designer, and how do you compare it to your job as an art director?

First of all, I love fashion. Unlike advertising (especially locally because one’s creativity is controlled or dictated by your clients), fashion gives me more freedom to fantasize and dream. I am not a wordsmith, so if I am not in fashion, I would most probably be doing something associated with fine arts, photography, or interior design.
 

 

TSG:  What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

To quit advertising and start my own fashion label without knowing anything about the business!

 
 

 

TSG: What was the most excited project you had been involved and why?

Two fashion design contests I took part in Tokyo in 1974 and 1976 while working in advertising. Those were the only chances I could show off my fashion flair and I was the first non-Japanese to win worldwide! I felt like I was representing Singapore and it was my first trip to Japan, where I was chauffeured everywhere with a lady translator in tow. It was an amazing experience!
 
 

 

TSG: You certainly seem to be reaching for the surreal and cinematic effects in your advertising campaigns for your label. What led you in that direction with your work? Did you feel disillusioned with mainstream fashion photography?

I am very much a dreamer. I like to think about a woman in different moods and situations. I try to break free from repeating my works and to achieve a cosmopolitan appeal to my designs.
 

 

TSG: Do you like the models doing typical model poses when you are directing the shoots?

In the beginning, the models called me a professional bone-breaker, because I put them in impossible poses just to be unique! Nowadays, I want them to be natural, but still portraying a certain character in a story. Of course, it has to show my clothes in the perfect angle.
 

 

TSG: In your opinion, what’s a designer’s role in the current economic climate?

I think designers have to work more magic to attract. What’s the balance between refining the signature of the house each season and doing something new? It seems there’s tremendous pressure now to do something completely new every time. Yes, it’s not easy to achieve the balance to please your followers and to attract new customers.
 

 

TSG: In five words, what does beauty represent to you?

Anything that pleases my eyes.

 

 

TSG: What other artists do you admire in your own field of work?

Currently, I admire the design sensibilities of Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, as well as the Mulleavy sisters from Rodarte.  Though, my all-time favourite is definitely still Christian Larcoix!
 

 

TSG: What was your most memorable work experience?

One of that moments has to be collaborating with photographer extraordinaire, Willie Tang. It is the way he shoots. Always inspiring and demanding perfection, whether it is from the models, the stylist, the setting, basically everything!

He has influenced my works and creative vision to higher standards; to try and view the ideas with perfection.
 

 

TSG: What makes you laugh? 

I laugh easily, I love sharing my laughter and joy with close ones. Although my friends always tease me about having a fierce exterior demeanour.

 

 

TSG: What are you working on at the moment, and what future projects do you have? 

For the year end, I am preparing the looks for my campaign, and I am exploring the idea of a film for that collection.

 

   

 

TSG: Do you have any advice for young people who would like to start a career as a fashion designer?
 
No advice, except that they need to have a lot of passion and patience, and be very focused on their work.
Link


Tan Yoong

Paper Couture

October 14th, 2009 Comments off





 

The Team

Photography / Soon Tong
Fashion & Creative Direction / Ashburn Eng
Model / Weronika H (Ave. Management)
Hair, Bodypaint & Make-up / Chris Ruth
Text / Joyceline Tully
Assistant Designer / Shanna Matthew

From brown paper, toilet paper and tracing paper to old magazines and newspaper, this series is a nod to the sheer ubiquity of paper in urban life, and an indictment of its wanton waste.

But a little imagination and some assistance — in the form of gum tapes, raffia string, aluminum foil, cling wrap, egg trays, bubble wrap and last but not least, trash bags — go a long way in transforming rubbish into wearable art, a truly modern artefact, or what we like to call, paper couture.

With paper, you can scrunch it up to create crinkle effects, as well as twist, braid, weave, pleat and fold to achieve astonishing and remarkable shapes, details and texture.

In everyday life, many people treat paper thoughtlessly, mindlessly. There is some poetic justice then that recycling and rescuing used paper demand hard work and incredible thought. Ashburn Eng and his design assistant spent 2 weeks conceptualizing and experimenting with the designs and materials, and another 364 hours to complete the outfits. Each of the outfits were painstakingly put together through multiple fittings, piece by piece of recycled paper, commanding the attention to detail worthy of fashion’s best.

Dry Spell

October 12th, 2009 Comments off

Photography / Soon Tong
Fashion Direction / Ashburn Eng
Model /
Nastya Kolchanova (Mannequin Studio)
Hair and Make-up /
Chris Ruth
Text / Wong Kee Soon
Fashion Assistant /
Shanna Matthew
Fashion /
Mallika Kapoor (Lasalle College of the Arts)
Accessories /
Jolie by Amelyn Ong

She finds herself lost and alone, trapped in a deserted terrain, and thirsting to unravel the truth behind her journey. A void of unhappiness or simply a self-imposed mirage…

Thirst [noun]: a strong or eager desire; craving; a need for something to drink

The White Rabbit

September 28th, 2009 Comments off


Photography
/
May Lin Le Goff
Beauty Direction / Ashburn Eng
Model / Anu K (Upfront Models)
Make-up / Larry Yeo using M.A.C PRO Cosmetics
Hair /
Chris Ruth
Styling Assistance /Shanna Matthew

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