This year’s Audi Fashion Festival was a game-changer in more ways than one. Boasting a new and bigger stage at Marina Promenade, it also managed to attract bigwigs like Carolina Herrera, Tsumori Chisato and Peter Pilotto to present their Fall Winter 2013 collections on the runway.
But the show I was looking forward to the most was that of British-Turkish designer Hussein Chalayan, the closing show for Singapore’s Audi Fashion Festival 2013. Twice named British Designer of the Year for his conceptual approach to fashion, he certainly did not disappoint the blockbuster crowd which turned up.
First to traipse down the runway was a series of charcoal black and gray asymmetrical outfits which paid tribute to the Japanese aesthetic concept of wabi-sabi through irregularity and imperfection. A drape-like scarf anchored the different looks, bringing a sense of edgy chic to an otherwise drab garb. The designer also showcased his mastery of form with an amorphous cowl tunic and even the simple skirt had a unique cut and moved with a perky flounce.
Next up was a burst of colour featuring outfits covered with iridescent brushstrokes and abstract mural motifs, looking very much like a modern art museum showcase. An emerald green and scarlet silk dress mimicked an octopus’s pulsating brilliance, switching between the two colours when the viewing angle changed. I was very impressed by the stunning limestone pink and whitewash dresses painstakingly put together to give a papier-mâché collage effect.
However, the best was yet to come and it was the instantly reversible dresses which astounded me the most. Taking his previous transformer dress concept up a notch, a knee-length dress is now transformed into a flowing long evening dress with a hard yank and smooth swish. The sharp contrast of colours, moods and wearing occasion were an electric climax, thrilling my senses much like a chameleon frock from a futuristic age.
The collection was truly avant-garde in every sense of the word – the kind that only Chalayan could imagine and aspire to. The innovative use of materials, meticulous pattern cutting and progressive attitude towards new technology provided a fitting finale to the transformative fashion festival now in its fifth year.
Video: Hussein Chalayan
Images: Milton Tan Photography