While big name brands and labels all over the world have been launching their latest collections via live fashion shows, Singapore has been noticeably quiet on the fashion front. This August however, virtual fashion festival The Front Row is back to resolve that, as its second edition arrives to sate our hunger for local fashion.
The Front Row returns from 27th August 2021, and offers up an impressive line-up of on-demand virtual fashion shows, podcasts, and interviews with industry heavyweights and fashion creatives, alongside styling workshops and interactive exhibitions. Organised by Daniel Boey Creatives and AP Media, The Front Row 2021 is also the first virtual fashion event to be supported by Singapore Tourism Board’s Kickstart Fund this year.
One of the focuses of The Front Row 2021 is conscious consumption, establishing it as a revolutionary virtual platform that works towards a future of fashion that is responsible, inclusive and seasonless, by spotlighting some of the local and regional fashion labels that share the same ethos and business practices.
This year’s festival boasts an impressive line-up of artists from Singapore and the world in a fashion gallery showcase, featuring internationally renowned celebrity photographer Filbert Kung and featured paper sculptor Marianne Guely, who is also known as one of the pioneering women to introduce paper into the world of design and scenography.
The Front Row will also be showcasing the work of up-and-coming local fashion photographer Hans Goh. Known for his experimental and contemporary work, Hans will be holding his first online exhibition on the site, showcasing a range of editorial shoots featuring swimwear and evening eleganza.
Says “Godfather of Singapore Fashion” Daniel Boey, co-founder and Creative Director of The Front Row: “The Front Row kickstarted a digital fashion revolution last year in response to changing times and a growing demand to bring fashion online into the future. We want to continue to embrace new trends in the fashion, retail and digital space, and more importantly, keep conscious consumption and minimalism at the forefront of our vision in this year’s edition, and beyond.”
“Our fashion and retail industry has continued to stay agile and resilient through these difficult times. The Front Row 2021’s immersive, innovative format and its focus on future trends is an example of how businesses can transform challenges into opportunities. We will continue to support our industry partners through the Kickstart Fund in test-bedding new and differentiated lifestyle concepts that will add vibrancy to our local retail scene.”– Ms Serene Tan, Director, Retail and Dining, Singapore Tourism Board
The 360-degree 3D fashion village is also taking it a step up from last year, and will be set in pastel teal and blue-hued metaverse world, where viewers can move around in the environment and not just teleport between locations, creating a more immersive and improved user experience. The Front Row 2021 will feature films shot on full scale Extended Reality (XR) sets transformed into a 3D world, and incorporate Augmented Reality (AR) showcases for runway shows. This year’s curated line-up continues to be staged in a virtual world against a backdrop of iconic local landmarks and familiar locations.
With the inaugural The Front Row 2020 being awarded Gold Award for the Best Use of Technology in the Marketing Interactive PR Awards 2021 and the Silver Award for the Most Creative – Experiential in the MARKIES Awards 2021 recently. Nick Tan, Managing Director of AP Media and co-organiser of The Front Row said: “With everyone plugged into the digital space and virtual worlds, fashion and other mainstream entertainment events are looking towards incorporating a digital element in their showcases. Technology provides us with endless possibilities to reimagine the future of fashion and how brands and designers can navigate these challenging times.”
Get ready for first looks and new experiences from up to 10 local labels, designers and creatives, as well as a curated selection of recognised names from the region. Viewers can shop the latest collections of womenswear, menswear, swimwear, jewellery and accessories from around the island and across the globe on the immersive virtual platform.
Bringing on board new homegrown labels this year, The Front Row 2021 features both the renowned and niche labels, including In Good Company, NUBOAIX, alongside returning homegrown brands, such as ITT Swim, MAX.TAN, Olive Ankara, Shirt Number White, and TRIA The Label, showcasing new collections (including exclusive capsule collections) through virtual runway shows, fashion filmlets, and on-ground hybrid events that seamlessly combine in-person experiences with digital technologies. There is also a special collaboration between Singaporean eponymous jewellery label, Marilyn Tan Jewellery and one of its kind, lab-grown diamonds Singapore start-up, The Better Diamond.
Regional and international labels participating this year, include the likes of Malaysia-based Singaporean designer Celest Thoi, celebrity model Kelly Tandiono’s COVERMENOT, Paris-based Singaporean designer brand Deva & Gabo Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco, Indonesian labels Sean Sheila and Sebastian Gunawan, and Korean young designer’s collection Vacant Label.
In line with the festival’s ethos of being inclusive and diverse, The Front Row 2021’s key campaign visual brings together Singaporean faces of today and tomorrow’s fashion and culture.
Shot by Singaporean photographer Hans Goh, the campaign is fronted by Singapore Supermodel, Diya Prabhakar, who has walked the runways of Paris, Milan and New York Fashion Weeks for top names like Dolce & Gabbana, Prabal Gurung, Christiano Siriano and Marine Serre, and done numerous editorial spreads for Singapore and international magazines. Modelling alongside her are Lisa Van Duren, a fast-rising, new model in the Singapore fashion scene with an edgy outlook, Alexis Cooke, who represents the new breed of models who defy the conventional standards of body type in the fashion world, and up-and-coming model Srri Raam, who displays the versatility and confidence of today’s sartorial male.
In addition, The Front Row 2021 will be introducing a fifth face – Singapore’s top virtual influencer Rae, who boasts over 528,000 followers on Instagram and Weibo. Rae thus embodies the latest development in digital trends and content creation by her existence alone, pushing the boundaries of the real and virtual realms, and cementing The Front Row 2021’s focus on the future of fashion.
The Front Row 2021 will also be steering the conversation about the changing face of fashion with a series of chats, featuring the owners of Singapore’s top modelling agencies, AVE Management, MISC Management and NOW Model Management, as they delve into topics such as representation in fashion, the changing definition of ‘beauty’, and how local modelling agencies are now shifting their focus to becoming more inclusive.
In addition, The Front Row 2021 will also be working with Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) to present “The Debutants of 2021”, comprising a podcast featuring the NAFA fashion graduates, as well as broadcasting the graduate fashion shows for 2021 NAFA designers.
“This year, NAFA’s involvement goes beyond panel discussions to showcase our recent design graduates’ best works and collections. The Front Row has provided NAFA’s aspiring designers with invaluable exposure and inspiration, serving as a creative stimulus for homegrown and international designers during these difficult times,” shares Mr Anthony Tan, Vice-Dean, NAFA School of Art & Design.
“With a growing number of good designers producing fashion pieces backed by strong principles of sustainability, The Front Row 2021’s theme of conscious consumption is a timely message and a step forward into a sustainable, post-pandemic future for fashion that NAFA is thrilled to be a part of.”– Mr Anthony Tan, Vice-Dean, NAFA School of Art & Design
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