Fashion Fashion Forward Singapore

Fashion Forward: Singapore Stories 2021 Fashion Design Competition Empowers New Generation of Locally-Based Talents

Singapore Stories has officially unveiled its latest edition with a total of 10 semifinalists, who will join the 6-month fashion design competition. Organised by non-profit trade association Textile and Fashion Federation (TaFF), Singapore Stories 2021 is supported by the government to develop the local fashion industry by advocating the next generation of Singapore-based talents for a global audience.

Commencing today, Singapore Stories is making innovation, technology and sustainability its core focus. Contestants will be trained to produce a fashion apparel collection suited for the global stage, while being cognizant of conscious consumerism as a result of the ongoing pandemic. From sketchbook to runway-ready capsules, the semi-finalists will access a coveted network of international and local experts, exclusive collaboration opportunities and a platform to showcase their interpretation of the themed-inspired fashion collection. Benefits also include fabric sponsorship from wholesale fabric platform SwatchOn and its database of 100,000 fabrics, free access to Browzwear for 3D fashion design, development and merchandising solutions.

Contestants can also utilise Maker’s Studio at The Cocoon Space, a workspace equipped with professional sewing facilities and machinery for the duration of the competition. In partnership with Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM), ACM will also connect the contestants to their experts and collection, for opportunities to enrich each contestant’s designs with inspirations and influences from Asia and Singapore’s heritage.

As part of TaFF’s goal to develop the industry by working with institutions, LASALLE College of the Arts is partnering in the design competition to coach and guide each contestant’s journey in creating their 6-look capsule collection. The fashion and design lecturers from LASALLE School of Fashion to join Singapore Stories’ mentoring sessions are: Corneliu Dinu Tudor Bodiciu, Lecturer in Charge of the Fashion Design and Textiles, Martin Bonney, Textile Designer, Research and Lecturer, and Nadya Wang, Lecturer, School of Fashion at LASALLE College of the Arts.

This year, Tatler Singapore will also be collaborating with Singapore Stories to produce digital and social media content for the competition from the beginning to the end, with insider scoops and rare titbits of what happens behind the scenes. A yet-to-be-named reality TV-like docu-series on Singapore Stories 2021 will also be shown on both Tatler and TaFF’s digital platforms, to give the viewers a more in-depth understanding of the contestants and their expertise. Through the four episodes, viewers can witness the thought process behind each design and the challenges and difficulties that the contestants face as they cross each hurdle in the competition.

Commenting on this initiative, Perng Aw, Marketing and Events Director of TaFF said: “As the regional hub for many sectors, Singapore has been promoting sustainability and innovation across various industries. Singapore Stories contributes to this national endeavour via the fashion industry, by challenging creative talents to bring forth innovative designs, foster a sustainability mindset and provide them the opportunity to be seen on a global stage. In this year’s edition of Singapore Stories, our designers will flex their creative muscles to construct a 6-look capsule collection by incorporating the following mentioned into their designs while bridging our garden city’s kaleidoscope of multicultural narratives. Through Singapore Stories, present opportunities that are essential to our local talents while placing Singapore onto the world map through our proud celebration of Asian craftsmanship, sustainability, technology and innovation.”

The latest Singapore Stories will comprise 9 locally based semi-finalists, including Nikasha Khemka, who recently launched her new line ‘Nika’, of evolved essentials and everyday wear, with a whimsical touch and a conscious focus on nurturing a circular economy. Nikasha is also the eponymous founder of her more established brand, with her signature bohemian-infused, colourful Indian separates, and works with the blind women’s association, training them to work with unused fabric, that they make accessories with and sell directly.⁠ Nika currently retails at Design Orchard, which showcases an extensive collection of local designers.

Also confirmed is Dicky Ishak Couturier of the namesake designer, who specialises in creating glamorous and embellished dresses, including wedding gowns. Dedicated to creating outfits that radiate culture, Ishak’s designs have graced an international presence from Florida (USA) to London, and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Romania. He has also collaborated with pageantry organisations to dress beauty queens.

Jalene Seah, the founder behind homegrown womenswear label Kinquo, has also been named semi-finalist. Previously from the advertising and marketing industry, Seah creates its signature sustainably produced, functional yet sophisticated designs that incorporate couture-quality sewing techniques that maximize comfort and stylishness. Seah is also an alumni of The Bridge Fashion Incubator (TBFI), a Singapore-based biannual mentorship programme and TaFF initiative that helps early-stage entrepreneurs become market-ready over a 4-month progression, through mentorship and exclusive networking.

Semi-finalists include designers: Alexis Fong, Angeline Oei, Jon Max Goh, Nantana Boonchuayseng, Yan Ng and Sebby Ng.

The winner of Singapore Stories 2021 will bring home the Singapore Fashion Award trophy; secure retail opportunities at Design Orchard and TaFF’s online platform OneOrchard.Store (OOS), debut their collection at Paris Fashion Week 2022 with Fashion Division Asia Europe as well as have their winning look showcased at the Asian Civilisations Museum’s special exhibition, #SGFASHIONNOW, in the following year The winner and runner-ups of the competition will also receive cash prizes, amongst other prestigious benefits.

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