Love List

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Next Up - New Designers from Parco next NEXT

The past week at work has been so hectic that I completely didn't have time to blog about the wonderful re-launch of Parco next NEXT. With 13 new designers, each offering their own design identity, this new makeover has made Parco next NEXT  a much more interesting and diverse shopping destination. Out of the 13 new designers, there are now 2 menswear labels - Wanderwonder and A.K.A Wayward, designed by my friend Foong. There is also my personal favourite, Shito, an amazingly quirky shoe label, and also Veira that offers statement travel bags and wallets. Out of the veteran designers in the incubator programme, my 3 favourites such remain - OwnMuse, Pauline.Ning and Mae Pang, which I previously covered here.

Almost bought the one on the left!
Super love the upturned chunky front of the shoe that can be seen in so many of their designs.

Yummy cupcakes!
Shito's visual merchandising certainly stood out with its gorgeous shoes peeking out from behind a curtain of loose threads. I like how Alicia, designer of Shito, is unafraid to incorporate bright colours into her shoe designs that are usually unconventional. I also especially love the slight upturned angle at the front of each shoes covering the toe area - somehow that little detail just seems to elevate the coolness of all their shoes. Alicia also makes use of plenty of cutouts to show only a few bits of skin each time, making their shoes edgy and sexy.

Their latest collection was inspired by Alice in Wonderland, which explained the quirky black and white monogram striped heel paired with contrasting red straps, bunnies with bowties and candy colours. Shito shoes are all statement shoes meant to be worn out for a good fashion night out and get loads of complements - their shoes are carefully designed down to the very last detail in terms of how chunky the heel would be, the degree of elevation of the foot, and of course that signature upturn at the toes. In other words, it completes your outfit (or even outshines them).



Their first and one-off piece
Naked Room (no affiliation to Naked Glory, unfortunately) is another one to look out for with designers Jada and Lin ODing on black lace, chiffon and silk-screened suede. They carefully source all their fabrics out in Guangzhou, China, where it was being produced in high quality at the local factory. Lin shared with me that that the pair of them originally graduated from TP's design course and went onto their respective careers which were unrelated to fashion. But after a few years, they got together and did just that one piece (in photo above), which slowly morphed into one complete collection. Their first piece uses lace imported from Paris, as well as gold embriodery sewn onto translucent chiffon that drapes the body in layers. The gold embriodery and black lace sleeves makes the piece to be almost Renaissance like, but the suggestive placement of gold on black makes this a daring and modern take on the period.

I also particularly like their black lace tights - when worn under a draped black mini dress, the erotic lace details on nude skin seems very sexy but not over the top. Naked Room is not all about black and lace - they have some pieces that are conservative for work - such as nude shift dresses. I like how they selected a soft, thin "silk-screened suede" fabric for that dress as the silk gives a sheen to the fabric.

Really dig these felt necklaces from UNCVRD
At Pauline Ning - 100% handmade lattice cutouts
Extremely modern & streamlined
Note the use of white faux leather panels and pleated sleeves 
Me with the lovely Pauline Lim
I finally got to meet the lovely and talented Pauline Ning! Super happy because the last time when I was at Parco, she wasn't at her shop. Pauline is genius in the way she incorporates unexpected details into her statement pieces - for example, thin leather thank tops that has lattice cutouts at the back, double layered pleated skirts with black piping at the hems, and even that all black dress she has on - look at how she drapes the pleated fabric across the front of the cotton jersey dress - it almost looks as though she is delicately wrapped in black crepe paper. She showed me her new Cruise collection as well - a pity that I didn't take photos of them - one of the pieces reminded me of Alexander McQueen's Plato Atlantis dresses in the way with its frothy pale blue semi-translucent fabric and bold shoulder details in the form of white pleats. (Please excuse my lack of fashion vocabulary).

Pauline would be showing at the upcoming Blueprint trade show, where I hope her designs will catch the eye of international buyers, especially those from London, Europe and Japan, because she shared with me that she is looking to export her designs. Unfortunately, locally there are not enough people who are willing to make daring sartorial choices and take the plunge to wear Pauline's statement pieces as of yet - most people still stick to jersey/cotton basics - you hardly catch anyone wearing pieces that play on different fabrics.

"I love what I do and I still wanna keep on doing it, just designing what I like, but I need my designs to sell as well." In fact, Pauline handmakes many of her designs (vs the other designers at Parco who outsource the production part to factories locally or in Indonesia and China) because she shares that the local manufacturers refuse to work on her designs due to its complicated details and multiple fabrics that go into a single dress. Her persistence and belief in her work is just admirable and I hope she can continue to do what she likes and that her work can be appreciated and worn by people worldwide (:

Now presenting to you 4 stylish people that I caught on 'film':

Esther from To The Nines, local multi-label boutique
Wearing Mae Pang mesh top, Own Muse cutout bottoms

This amazingly dressed guy - extremely Japanese influenced outfit


Juaang & Johanna of OwnMuse

Janice Pidduck, editor of Catalog magazine
You can't see it but she's carrying her Chanel 2.55 - a good showing
of how you can mix luxury up with an extremely street look
She got her friend to make that cool leather harness.

I am lusting over her 'limited edition pony hair leopard Dr. Martens'!!!

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