When I was young I’ve always wanted to study fashion in university. But with certain circumstances it never happened so every time I am invited to sit front row at a Design College Fashion Show, I’ve always wondered what it would’ve been like if I had the chance to present my first mini collection at my first fashion show in College.
For the second year in a row, Raffles International College presented their Graduation Fashion Show at Hong Kong Fashion Week Spring Summer 2016. Like the previous year, the designs featuring work by students across Asia was exceptional with Contemporary Womens wear being featured in several of the student’s collections. However, the biggest surprise was the level of creativity and craftsmanship menswear collections since we don’t often see a lot of menswear in a lot of graduation fashion shows and design competitions. Maybe because of the fact that sadly, we live in an industry which traditionally its very womens wear based and in comparison,menswear is often neglected. So I always have a lot of respect for students who attempts menswear.
For Raffles Fashion Show 2015 , there was 4 collections which featured menswear with Athram by Martha Sartika presenting a super wearable daywear capsule collection , Rickky Wong presenting a unique avant garde unisex collection and The Winner of the Special Creativity Award Tommy Chong presenting a Japanese inspired contemporary menswear collection. Last year’s “Collection of the year” winner :8CUFF by Sue Suh returned to the runway with a Korean Inspired Street wear Collection which will definitely win the hearts and the credit card bills of many fashion brothers in the room.
Without further Doodahs, Here is my review of the Menswear at Raffles Fashion Show 2015.
“Overshadow | Indistinct” by ATHRAM
For this show, Final year Jakata Student Martha Sartika presented a captule collection for her Clothing label Athram inspired by 90s Old school Jungle subculture.
Even though this is a small collection consist of 4 looks but this is one of my favourite collections of the show because it has the perfect balance between creativity and wearability – something which we don’t often see in fashion shows. I really loved the fact that Martha have used classic wardrobe staples in a men’s wardrobe but gave it her own spin by adding details such as pleating and geometric appliques. The prints adds a sense of character and boldness into the clothes. The denim was a highlight because its used and tailored in such a sophisticated way. The magic about this collection is the fact that it is creative yet not confronting and these are clothes which I can visualize selling in shops right now. I had the privilege to wear some of these pieces at an event last week so stay tuned for an up coming #ootd blog post. Congrats to Martha on an amazing pre-collection, can’t wait to see how she develops these pieces into her graduation collection.
“La Soif de L’Amour – L’Éternité” by Rickyy Wong
Based in Hong Kong , Graduate Student Rickyy Wong presented a unisex collection inspired by the fourth painting (The Love Letter) in the series of paintings ‘The Progress of Love’, painted in 1770 by Jean-Honoré Fragonard.
What I loved about this collection is the fact that the silhouettes feel very now. These are androgynous clothes which are being worn by fashionistas who dare to go this direction. What made it unique and innovative is the juxtaposition of softness- the light pastel colour palette , the sheer light flowy fabrics, the fluffiness of the wool and feather caps mixed against the hard – heavy pleating, the silhouettes of the necklines , the strong design lines , the straight, clean silhouettes to the street fashion inspired styling. To many designers, androgyny usually mean women in black suits or men in skirts but Rickyy managed to interpret this theme in such an innovative way. The collection really made us rethink about the definition of androgyny and when it comes from a fresh graduate, that’s what you call true talent.
“Extrication” by Tommy Chong
The Hong Kong based graduate student Tommy Chong won the Special Creativity Award with this menswear collection inspired by Botticeli’s ‘’Map of Hell’’ and Japanese novel, ‘’Kawaki’’.
The prize was well deserved because there is a clear connection between the inspiration in the designs. What’s special about this collection is that even though these clothes are editorial however when you look at these pieces individually there are pieces which can be worn with more toned down pieces in a men’s wardrobe. Really love the blazer like bibs which was a clear element in the collection because it feels like a new way to wear blazers in warmer weather. Tailoring was very strong in this collection as seen in the black and grey blazer which for me is one of my favourite jackets in the entire fashion show. I really love the juxtaposition of the traditional Japanese influence against the classic European tailoring. Call me biased but I am CRAZY about that creamy pink fabric with art deco print. It is not easy for menswear designers to design clothes which show skin without looking gay or camp and the looks which show skin actually look masculine by keeping the accessorizing clean. The looks have a lot of details but still looks polish and sophisticated. Congrats to Tommy for the Win, can’t wait to see this young talent shine in the industry.
“The Great Kim” by 8:CUFF
Last year’s “Brand Ready Award’ and the ‘Collection of the Year Award’ winner Sue Suh closed the fashion show with the latest collection for her design label – 8:CUFF. What I loved about this collection is the fact there is a military influence interpreted in the most modern and urban way. Instead of expected military jackets , Sue interpreted the inspiration into the Brand’s signature aesthetic- thru prints and street wear. My favourite pieces of the collection is the opening look – a flowy layered yet tailored ensemble in white, the boxy jacket rendered in olive green suede – its very tough looking even though its presented in a very over sized relaxed silhouette , A printed vest rendered in leather was incredibly executed – it was literally a wearable painting .
Even though it was only 8 looks, there was an exceptional range of different pieces from shirts , tees and sweaters , shorts and trousers, jackets, coats and vest. Almost every piece on each model is different both interms of style and type of clothing yet all the looks feel very cohesive. Really love the visors on every model – the modern take of the classic military cap. It is a collection which many fashion brothers would love to wear and every single piece screams “buy me buy me buy me” ( Which our poor credit cards will feel like giving them the finger from the pants of final look on the runway lol)
Anyway sorry for the incredibly long post.
Congratulations to all the winners and students involved in the amazing fashion show. So happy to see such large level of talent in Asia especially Hong Kong. Can’t wait to see how the designers blossom in the industry.
Don’t forget to follow me on instagram (search for timtimwongbtw for mobile readers) for immediate updates of my life and #ootd photoshoots.
Until Next Time