The future of Singapore’s fashion14 September, 2011 by Chad
It has been in the whispers for almost 3 years that Tokyo Girl’s Collection (TGC), one of the world’s most acclaimed fashion events would be making its way to local shores.
After a long wait, the first ever World Runway, an original new festival created by TGC founder Jake F.R will be launched in Singapore this weekend. The folks at Supermerlion were invited yesterday for a sneak peak of what to expect for this premiere event, details inside.
Looking back, before the perpetual flood of idol related updates, this site once covered other pop culture and fashion related articles too. I hadn’t had the time to support those interests as much but we will continue to move toward a more varied approach.
For those less familiar, the Tokyo Girls Collection is a one of a kind series of events in Japan that blurs the line between a fashion show and concert. While runway shows alienate the average person, TGC showcases popular brands among Japanese youths that are both affordable and immediately available for purchase at departmental stores. It is touted as a festival for real clothes.
All the clothes are modeled by some of the most popular teen models. With appearances by entertainers, actresses or other pop-culture icons and live performances by the most popular music artists.
Angelababy, Kinoshita Yukina, YUI, Nishino Kana and of course members from AKB48 and SKE48 are just some of the many examples. Unsurprisingly, the combination of factors attracts hordes of teenagers to all of the Tokyo Girls Collection shows each year.
It’s hard not to be a fan of the TGC festivities (and the resultant effects it has on the overall standard of fashion) so it was of great interest to learn of its foray into Singapore.
Attending today was of none other than Jake F.R. himself. He was joined by World Runway director Mr Sugar. Evan Czar, the Vogue Brazil’s International Correspondent for Asia was the one to have handpicked the stylists taking part in the World Runway debut. He joined this day through a webcam but will be coming down for the actual event on Sunday.
Like the Tokyo Girls Collection before it, the new project will introduce a novel new take on the typical fashion show. The organizers dubbed it a World Cup for Fashion.
Representing different countries were 8 stylists and their teams. The teams from Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, Singapore, UK and the USA will compete to assemble 10 looks each.
Once again the focus is on real clothes. The stylists will be given a budget of just $500 per look and just 2 days to purchase pieces from shops in Singapore with which they will create their showcase. To further up the ante, they will be provided themes (which are still a secret at this date) to work around.
There is certainly a reality tv show vibe going on with this competition. Stylists will also have to make do with a team of just one make-up artist and hair stylist. 40 models will be provided which the organizes have pointed out, might not be the sort that the stylists were used to.
The winning team will walk away with a prize of SGD$100,000 this Sunday. Like the Tokyo Girls Collection, another key point of World Runway Premiere is the promotion of social good. Which is why a portion of all profits as well as half of the prize money will be donated to natural disaster relief causes around the world.
The organizers believe that the best way to support the rebuilding efforts of the March 11th Tsunami is to spread a positive message and social awareness for such natural disasters.
They noted that as a premiere event, the World Runway is still at an experimental stage and will not be as large an event as the Tokyo Girls Collection as of yet. But we look forward to where it goes from here. The organizers have worked closely together with the Singapore Tourism Board to make sense of the event for a Singapore audience.
For example, while eager to continue to provide live music performances at the World Runway too they learned that Japanese artistes were not popular in Singapore. Which is why Korean pop star Se7en has been invited to perform at the event this Sunday’s show.
But beyond everything else, Singapore has much to gain culturally from such a show. While high fashion shows are rather common in Singapore, the average youths are not involved in fashion as much as in other Asian metropolises like Tokyo or Taipei.
As much of a mixing pool the port city is for all the latest trends, disappointingly fashion in Singapore is often thought of as something impractical and better left up to the socialites or to be read in magazines.
Overseas, events like the Tokyo Girls Collection have helped improve fashion consciousness among the general public. At the same time, brands have learned that there is important bigger market out there. Should an event such as the World Runway take root in Singapore, we could see good fashion becoming a bigger part of everyday life.
By introducing this new type of fashion show, a “fashion festival”, the World Runway hopes to empathize and inspire Singaporean youths.
With the World Runway, the focus on practical, real clothes is definitely a step toward resounding with the local youths. Both Jake and Evan repeatedly drilled the stylists the direction for this event. And it will be interesting to see how some most experienced stylists from around the globe interpret it.
The experiment is to see how these 8 stylists will be able to absorb Singaporean culture (and probably all the fussiness and limitations that comes along with the tropical weather).
Like tourists, they will need to navigate through this foreign land and (in the words of Evan), penny pinch their way through the fierce retail scene to create fashion that is comfortable and usable above all things. The measure of their success, will no doubt be how practical their styles will be for local audiences.
The World Runway Premiere will be held this Sunday on the 18th of September 2011 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Tickets are available for sale through Sistic outlets. For more information, check out the World Runway Official Site or their Facebook Page.