[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he design aesthetic of Alia Bastaman brings a cool, comfortable and neoteric up-to-date culture into the glamorous and enduring idea of fashion. And it always best suits what women want. Drifting through a wanderlust composed of luscious, wispy movements of soft fabric, sophisticated risqué for subtle sex appeal, and sharp cuts and fine tailoring for a substantial dash of class. Alia is inspired by unequivocal beauty at first sight and what looks best on a woman. She carefully reflects the charmed classic vintage works of Valentino Garavani and Roy Halston, the edged contemporary tones of Zac Posen and Haider Ackermann, as well as the playful nonchalance of Stella McCartney. Not only exclusive to a clientele, Alia has also dressed local celebrities for award ceremonies. The statuesque Scha Al-Yahya and super actress Tiz Zaqyah have both been given the head-to-toe treatment; refining and redefining the brazen Malaysian red carpet. Innovating trends is one thing; orchestrating the design of a garment that lasts through the times is a more intensive understanding. Alia has made it essential that her designs are enduring and never out of style; making beautiful clothes that a woman will love forever and to pass down as heirloom. And in all that, there is always an injection of collected modernity for the fashion forward woman of today: respectable, individualistic, bold, smart, fashionably aware and womanly.
IRENE SEE, ‘CHIC YAMADA’ FOUNDER Fashion designing has been a passion for Irene See since the tender age of 9, being constantly surrounded by her Barbie dolls. That passion was made into reality when she launched her very own Malaysia High Street Fashion Label by the name of Chic Yamada back in July 2009. Irene picked up her designing skills through watching multiple tutorials via YouTube and other social networking sites. The brand has grown over the years with its creation of colorful yet eco-friendly pieces made suited for women of all walks of life. It incorporates the essence of music, life and style into its silhouettes and use of materials. Now, Chic Yamada has expanded not only throughout Kuala Lumpur but also in the United Kingdom and India.
JOE CHIA Joe Chia’s mission is to reinvent fashion by infiltrating and innovating the cultures of all mankind to transcend the unconventional fashion approach. His ready-to-wear designs are ‘timeless monochromatic, hyper-modern and sophisticated unisex’ – Chia has styled his label as something simple yet edgy with structural silhouettes that ready to indulge anti-conformist individuals. “I consider a woman who wears Joe Chia is conscious about the existence of individualism. She is sleek, hyper-modern and possesses the elegance of being effortless. My designs are made for women who understand the idea of a world that we could live in and shape ourselves,’’ said Chia.
JUSTIN YAP With the raw talent of a frisky designer-to-be and a humble pie background in watching his grandmother sew, Kuala Lumpur-born Justin Yap spent his childhood crafting woven dreams of becoming his own label. This self-assured lad approaches fashion with much appreciation for juxtaposition; his love for contrasting colours show bright in every collection, but none more so than his signature hue of bold turquoise. Adopting tailoring skills from couturier Carven Ong at his academy in 2004, he demonstrates precision in tailoring by creating innovative garment constructions with a strong understanding in textile to perfect form. The result? – Clean, understated, classic styles that shine an effervescent trend of its own. The designer founded his label in 2007 after winning the MIFA Best evening wear designer award in 2005. Justin has also collaborated with several international brands for special projects and shows such as Triumph, Valisere, Redken, Volvo and Krononbourg to name a few. He is also member of Malaysian Ofﬁcial Designers Association (MODA).
In Justin’s perspective, garments are all functioning limbs of one’s self-conﬁdence.
His collections often stem from his elaborations on simple principles of construction and form, drawing simultaneously from couture and tailoring traditions with a reasonable dose of luxury. To add drive to passion, Justin also designs a line of shoes made to ﬁt the modern woman of today. Twisted classics with a taste of equally strong colors and exotic leather meticulously crafted by hand, his shoes playa strong part in creating his ideal woman; one of a kind in a mind of her own. In addition to his achievement, Justin was named as one of the uprising star designer of Kuala Lumpur by Lonely Planet.
SHUENKEE CHONG & LINDA CHONG, ‘THIRTYFOUR’ FOUNDERS
Founded by Shuenkee Chong and Linda Chong, thirtyfour is an interdisciplinary design practice + lifestyle initiative. Drawing from a design pool that weaves together skill sets and aesthetics from such ﬁelds as architecture, metal smithing, fashion, industrial, graphic and interactive multimedia design; thirtyfour conﬂates diverging forms of design into one directional perspective, yielding an entity as freeform as it is controlled.
Shuenkee aged 33, has a degree in Metal Smithing from the Parson’s School of Design in New York. She is an accessory designer by profession, with 11 years experience in various design houses in New York and Hong Kong. Her designs have been carried by various specialty and departmental stores including Takashimaya-New York and H.P.France-Japan. As a designer, she has an illustrious track record for creating compelling designs that encompass the reality of labour, functionality, manufacturing and material cost without losing the integrity or unique character required for today’s competitive marketplace. She takes pride in balancing the ﬁne aesthetics with a sound technical knowledge.
Linda is 36 years old and has trained in industrial design and design management at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) in the UK. She is a design consultant by profession having worked in the ﬁeld for 12 years. She has worked and consulted on various projects ranging from home and ofﬁce products, furniture, to designing interiors. Her expertise also extends to conceptualising graphic elements, exhibitions, food branding and even market research. Her range of experience has not only enabled her to acquire strong conceptual, design, production, research & development skills, but also skills in the area of design management and entrepreneurial marketing. Her work echoes with attention to detail, function and balance.
ALIA ALIZAR & NASHA ALYSSA, ‘YADOTSA’ FOUNDERS
With aspiration to share their flair for fashion with the world, two young women through collaboration chose to develop their own line of clothes. These women go by the name Alia Alizar and Nasha Alyssa. Born in 1985 and raised in the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur, Alia Alizar a Fashion Design & Marketing degree holder from America Intercontinental University, London, is a unique individual who has a whole different outlook in art and fashion. Nasha Alyssa, also born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, a Masters graduate in Management & Marketing complements the other in making YADOTSA a successful brand. YADOTSA is derived from the nickname combination of the founders (Alia [Ya] & Alyssa [Sa]). It is a ladies wear launched with innovative and unique designs, cutting edge high street fashion to high fashion takes reference to current trends but at the same time offers lasting pieces. YADOTSA garments are created to make a statement.
Originated in Kuala Lumpur (hence the KL in KLutched), made a meticulously in Asia, KLutched brings you a series of highly crafted self-designed bags made entirely of plus exotic skins and leathers. From ready-to-party clutches and heart-gripping totes, to soft launches and oversized envelopes, each bag is well thought out to accommodate your daily evening essentials. Designs range from youthful to classy, with each creation conceived to bring rare elegance with a twist of eye-catching fun and edginess into every thread of your attire. Asian heritage and its extraordinary materials and refined craftsmanship are treasures of the East waiting to be unearthed. Inspired by the region’s energy, artistry and quality, not only is KLutched developed entirely in Asia, each bag also carries the name of an Asian destination.
JR CHAN, ‘-J-A-S-0-N-‘ FOUNDER Menswear label, -J-A-S-0-N-, serves to outfit independent men who are not swayed by trends. While each item is extremely wearable, it’s anything but predictable – thanks to an obsession with tailored cuts, details and prints. The brainchild behind the label is JR Chan, protégé of Singapore veteran designer Keith Png. –J-A-S-O-N- was first launched in Men Fashion week 2011 in PASSION by David Gan’s show. Barely a year in running, the label has since been picked up by high profile concept stores in Hong Kong such as SHINE* and INITIAL.
ALICIA ONG, ‘AL&ALICIA’ FOUNDER Singapore-based designer Alicia Ong’s fashion career began in 2005 with a coveted internship at Marc by Marc Jacobs. Ong, who graduated from Parsons School of Design, worked at fashion powerhouses Richard Chai, J.Crew and DKNY before returning to Singapore. Once back, Ong landed a design position with local favourite Wykidd Song. It was while freelancing that Ong began designing and producing bespoke pieces for friends-turn-clients. As with everything else in fashion, friends spotted other friends sporting her signature “boyish chic” designs and began requesting their own. Ong launched AL&ALICIA in 2009. Right away her pieces were a hit, as her first two collections tapped into Ong’s signature brand of blending whimsy with masculinity, each piece reflecting her creative spirit and independent nature. Ong designs for the modern dresser, striking a perfect balance of edge and wearability while emphasising subtle details – pleating, colour-blocking, cut-outs, mixing and layering different fabrication – and attention to construction details at the placket, pockets, joining seams. The final product is a piece that’s simple yet chic and well tailored.
CLINTON & NICOLE, ‘AMEN’ FOUNDERS Highly inspired by Music, Subcultures, Art & Lifestyle – AMEN was created not to follow the latest trends but to portray all of our influences coming together to form something beautiful in more than one unique way. AMEN is dedicated to create products with a strong sense of identity and style which will outlast seasons and aim to be distinctively AMEN. Clinton and Nicole graduated from Lasalle Collage of The Arts in the fields of Fashion Design and Video Art respectively. They both have strong influences in subcultures, music, arts and lifestyle, which define their signature style in whatever they do. Both realize that they had a keen eye for fashion, thus it wasn’t long before they had their first foray into fashion, which was making hand-made silk screen t-shirts. They designed the graphics largely of bands, which they loved, and also graphics influenced by the mods and punk era, which they were highly influenced by. They were frustrated at the fashion scene in Singapore as they realized there was a lack of shops that would cater to people with a similar style to them, thus they opened This Is Transition, an online boutique selling hand picked vintage clothes and also imported jewellery. It gained a good following and that gave them the confidence to start their own jewellery line, AMEN. They believe AMEN represents the beauty of nature, the simplicity of things. Other than managing and designing for This is Transition and AMEN, they are also now ready to debut their first femme line in the upcoming A/W12 “Transmission”. When not designing, Clinton also DJs for pleasure while Nicole is a fashion blogger at ncwong.com.
TRIXIE KHONG, ‘BY INVITE ONLY’ FOUNDER Founded in 2009 and based in Singapore, By Invite Only specializes in handmade jewellery and accessories aimed to spice up a humdrum wardrobe. Largely inspired by 18th century circuses and the Victorian era in their branding, By Invite Only often incorporates soft touches of nostalgia into urban contemporary styles. Great for everyday wear or heart-felt gifts to love ones! All Jewellery pieces are painstakingly sourced from all over the world and come in limited numbers of less than 200 pieces. But fret not, the items are affordable without compromising its pizzazz. Coming from humble beginnings, the label stocked their jewellery online and largely survived through word-of-mouth in its first year. Slowly, it has expanded to stock in 13 physical and online shop spaces in Singapore, 1 in Hong Kong and 1 in London by 2011. In 2 short years, By Invite Only was able to secure press features from numerous esteemed Singaporean magazines and newspapers such as Surface Asia, Designare, Timeout Singapore, ELLE, CLEO, Female, Style, Juice Singapore, Nu You, Her World, Today Newspaper, The Straits Times and has been named the ‘Best Local Fashion Label (Women’s) 2011’ by Juice Magazine. Instead of having collections, the label focuses on producing style-lines that are constantly replenished with new designs throughout the year to give customer and buyers fresh choices. Special collections are produced during special occasions or collaborations with other labels or designers. Crafting since she was 16, Trixie Khong has since dipped her hands into jewellery making and runs Singaporean label By Invite Only as the designer and brand manager. During her stint in Temasek Poly studying for the Diploma in Chemical Engineering, she decided that this was not her path to follow. She went on to be trained in Public Relations and New Media from the National University of Singapore to hone her people and management skills. Today, Trixie continues to learn from industry experts and inspired individuals around her. She was also recently nominated as one of the 100 most inspiring real women by Cozycot.com in 2011.
XIE SHANGQIAN & ALEX YEO, ‘COUPE COUSU’ FOUNDERS Coupé-cousu was founded in 2008 with one goal in mind, to design real clothes for the urbanite constantly on the move. With no formal training in fashion design and little more than pure heart and love for menswear, Xie Shangqian and Alex Yeo began creating their first shirts. Their fascination with traditional tailoring and appreciation of something laboriously handmade cemented the label’s approach to fashion: design built upon the foundation of classic craftsmanship. We approach menswear quite pragmatically. We always try to marry form and function, never get carried away with design for design’s sake. We like the idea of engineering details, tinkering with the garment’s construction and combining tech and classic materials for contrast and depth. We want to create sensible clothes that are easily worn by the mobile man; someone who wants an interesting and versatile wardrobe that takes him places. In 2009, Coupé-cousu was selected as one of twenty-five young designer labels to participate in the inaugural Fashion Incubator Project helmed by SPRING Singapore, TaFf and Parco Singapore.
H’MUSE Based in Singapore, h`muse is a strategic location for brands and will achieve to provide a platform for international designers, which aims to connect with retailers and help build presence and achieve service excellence. The boutiques h`muse collaborates with are a carefully selected share to maintain a level of standard for all h`muse partners. Each of them heralds style and individuality, chosen to cater for every individual. The selected designers and labels range from emerging and niche, to more luxury established names. We will always look to bring in designers and labels, specially chosen to keep our customers and ourselves updated in the fashion forward industry.
HAZEL CHANG & LIYANA JOHAN, ‘LAUREN JASMINE’ FOUNDERS Brought to you by multi-label boutique Eclecticism, Lauren Jasmine was conceptualized and co-designed by Hazel Chang and Liyana Johan who wanted to design work-appropriate pieces that embrace the eclectic and diverse styles that Eclecticism represents. Lauren Jasmine’s first flagship store opened in November 2010 at Pacific Plaza, in a boutique-style setting to reflect the brand’s distinctive and exclusive nature. The label is named after Hazel’s niece Lauren Jasmine, who at four years old inspired the creation of the brand and each of the five collections released since its launch. Lauren Jasmine hopes to make work wear even more accessible to working women with classic silhouettes coupled with unique detailing.
SKYE’s new resort collection draws inspiration from far off lands, which will take you on a sensory journey into another world. A mystical palette of vivid hues and dreamy graphics highlights the multi-coloured imagination of The Exotic.The ‘INDIAN SUMMER’ Collection transcends resort wear and beach style with free-flowing, multiple-wearing and timeless styles. Featuring glamourously sheer kaftans and sultry mini and maxi dresses in bold, pastel, electric and jewel-coloured prints inMother Nature’s beautiful landscapes in luscious tropical floral & peacock prints. The relaxed flowing silhouettes occasionally sprinkled with gold rich patterns guarantee the wearer doesn’t just make an entrance but holds admiring gazes as she floats by.
Totally Jut (TJ) Founded in 2009, the brands Bedlamite and Bedlam hinge on the erratic and the abnormal. Originating from the name of the Bedlum asylum in 12th century London, the term ‘Bedlamite’ was used to refer to pateints of that hospital and has since become synonymous with insanity and lunacy. In the same vein, Bedlamite men’s wear and Bedlam’s women’s wear represent provocative and edgy clothing that aim to push the boundaries of ‘acceptable apparel’ in today’s society. Terry Yeo, chief designer for the labels, strongly believes that everyone is a freak in his/her own way and the brands “Bedlamite” and “Bedlam” represent this insanity in all of us. These two labels occupy the grey line between that which is normal and that which is considered “freak-ish” in today’s society. Through its provocative yet wearable designs that feature heavy details and unconventional cutting, Bedlamite and Bedlam explores the traditional concept of clothing and experiments with its reformation, pushing to the limits concepts held dear to traditional apparel. Through his creations, Terry hopes to expose the abnormalities of the world for all to see and thus make us question; what exactly is ‘normal’?
TRIOLOGIE In 2010, a trio of friends decided to put pen to paper and draw up their vision of a fashion label dedicated to the happy, free-spirited and world-savvy woman. Dreamer, traveller and trendsetter all at once, the Triologie woman possesses a timeless fervour for life, transcending boundaries with delightful ease. A trait embodied in the trinity of free-placing circles defining our identity. Embracing spontaneity, wearability and versatility. Inspired by the joys of wanderlust, Triologie is conceived for the modern female who loves to discover and enrich her life with fresh experiences.
TRIOON trioon was concocted to celebrate womanhood. In May 2008, trioon was first launched in Hide & Seek at Hong Kong Street. The brand name was derived from the title of a memorable tune by Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto. It is a fusion of beautiful piano melody and modern electronic beats. In line with the spirit of this tune, trioon strives to become a seamless concoction of alluring aesthetic and thoughtful technicality. trioon’s outfits aim to accentuate a woman’s curves, sensuality and individual style. Dressing well should be delightful, effortless and empowering. It grows one’s confidence and never undermines her credibility as a high flyer. A trioon design may well be described as contemporary, feminine yet edgy. In addition, each trioon collection is inspired by a unique destination, where the highflying fashionista will travel to for work or play. From Singapore to Mumbai to Capri, trioon suits her lifestyle and makes her feel fabulous effortlessly.