Last week I visited Parco next NEXT, an open retail space for up and coming designers in Singapore. This space houses a total of 24 young designers who are able to operate a one-year retail space and be mentored by industry experts under this 18-month incubation programme. And I must say, there are a few good ones here!
The first retail spce I visited was that of OwnMuse, a power girl design duo made up of Johanna and Juang. Their clothes are made predominantly from a black, nude beige and navy palette, and are all really edgy.
|An overview of their retail space!|
|Guestbook counter, with some of their press clippings|
Their fall-winter collection was significantly much more edgier than their previous spring summer collection, which featured heather gray crop tops with geometric cutouts, dreamy nude pink draped chiffon maxi skirts, and textured black shorts, which also had those cool geometric cutouts. You can see them here. For their fall winter collection, the girls introduced clothes that were both feminine and strong. It's like menswear power dressing, but with a feminine touch.
|Newest F/W collection - featuring asymmetric chiffon tops, billowy tulle dresses and lightweight knit tops.|
|The cutout blazer with strong shoulder detail - one of my favs|
|From left to right: Juang and Johanna - thanks for being so sweet!|
The second retail space I visited belonged to my friend, Mae Pang or Pang Ai Mei. Looking at her clothes is always refreshing, because she has so many wonderful details in her designs, and she has a penchant for mixing different fabric into a single piece of clothing. Shown above are some of the clothes from her previous collection which had a primary colour palette of nude, brown and light green. There were pleated details in the beige elastic leggings and from the photo you can also see that she used a special fabric for her skirt and jacket, that gave off an iridescent gleam. Her latest collection, Supernatural Science, was just as amazing. Below are some of the photos which she had kindly allowed me to use: -
Supernatural Science featured a palette of smoky grays and midnight blue, and had angular cuts, as well as irregular fabrics incorporated into different pieces of clothing. The first photo shows a long sleeved net top, which is actually made of a knit fabric with faux snakeskin imprint, paired with a lame maxi skirt adorned with black gems. Second photo features a long sleeve snakeskin imprint cardi, while the last top has a vinyl applique on a sheer netted blouse, that made it look really futuristic. I felt that this collection was a good continuation from the previous collection of Mae's attempt to explore the interaction between man, nature and technology.
Hehe this is actually me in the fitting room trying on a top from Mae Pang. You can't really see the ingenuity of the top here, but it's a mash of 3 fabrics, topped off with a heavy duty gold zipper that allows the top to be worn as a vest as well.
The last designer I checked out was max.tan. Max works with only a black and white palette and he is genius at doing reinterpretations of the button down white shirt, and also loose trousers.
His white shorts have been deconstructed and reworked into many variations, with some of them having draped, some others pleated, and some with high mandarin collar-ish details. I tried out one of his amazing shirts and trousers and had fun in the fitting room posing. The shirt that I'm wearing has a sleeve that looks like they are linked and impossible to fit into, but upon trying it out, I discovered that there were 2 small slits at the sides that allowed for arm movement. The buttons are hidden by an additional layer of trimming, topped off with a small collar. The trousers almost appeared to look like a maxi skirt from afar, and they were really comfortable and smart with the white angular lapels.
I also liked Pauline Ning's designs, but because my camera was dying, I couldn't take any more photos ): Pauline juxtaposes soft draping with sharp angular cutting at the back, together with some really good pleating details, that looked really fresh as well.
Altogether, I must say that its was an interesting experience to know touch the creations of young Singapore designers! It made me feel excited that there are some brilliant designers out there, that are creating things that are still refreshing to look at in today's sensory overloaded world.