What does the future of fashion look like post-pandemic? How will the ways we dress ourselves for work and play change, as our lifestyles evolve and environmental issues become more pressing? How do we preserve traditional craft and heritage while moving forward to embrace new technology?
These are just some of the questions explored in the work of 21 up-and-coming designers from LASALLE College of the Arts’ BA(Hons) Fashion Design and Textiles graduating cohort. Garments from their final year collections will be on display at LASALLE's Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Earl Lu Gallery, from 20 May – 1 June. The showcase is part of The LASALLE Show Exhibition 2022, an annual exhibition by final year students from LASALLE’s diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
Visitors will not only have the opportunity to get up close with the physical garments, but also experience them digitally with the fashion film Between Worlds, premiering on YouTube on 20 May as well as in-person through projections in the gallery. The film explores notions of meta-realities and virtual worlds, and imagines an alternate space in between the analogue and the virtual as a platform for 12 selected collections from the final year students.
Circe Henestrosa, Head, School of Fashion, said, “The theme of Between Worlds really spoke to us this year because in many ways, this is where we all are right now—between worlds as we transition from pandemic to post-pandemic, from physical to virtual and now hybrid. Fashion has always been about the spectacle of the physical runway show but thanks to the pandemic, we are seeing more and more possibilities open up in collaboration with digital industries, in the metaverse, and in many spaces that fashion has not traditionally been a part of. Our students are really expanding the definition of what fashion can be and I am so proud of all of them.”
Highlights from the featured collections in Between Worlds include:
Inspired by the global pandemic
Being in lockdown inspired designer Adeline Biancha Gunawan, who recounts that in her home country of Indonesia, she and her family stayed in and played board games to pass the time. Her collection infuses elements of a board game she designed as well as traditional Indonesian games. Meanwhile, Pauline Nathalie Hadiputri’s collection is specially customised for home wear, prioritising comfort as well as designs that suit postures and positions we often adopt at home. Pauline’s collection uses the local natural fibre kapok, ensuring it is environmentally friendly.
Sustainability, mindful consumption and connection with nature was a theme that resonated with many designers. Maria Ivanco’s collection features garments made from cassava bags, a material that easily dissolves in hot water without leaving any trace. She also used laser cutting and natural handmade spray paint to reduce textile waste, water usage, and pollution.
Natasha Viodora Simarmata created a hand-printed leaf design for her collection ‘Memento’, using traditional dyeing methods and discarded leaves to emphasise our connection to nature, while Xia Ming’s collection ‘Photographic memories’ features upcycled vintage garments and leftover textiles overlaid with photographic prints of her childhood memories.
Craft, heritage and new technology
Interdisciplinarity meets traditional craft in Serina Lee and Li Wentong’s collections. Serina’s collection is inspired by her 15 years of experience with Chinese art and features hand-painted garments that draw on painting, calligraphy, brushstrokes and poetry, while Wentong has created a seasonless collection that draws on her childhood memories of repairing broken porcelain in a porcelain workshop in her hometown. She reproduces the sculptural elements of this process with a combination of hand knitting, machine knitting and crochet techniques.
Other designers have looked to combine elements from their heritage with new technology. Vivian Darlene Utomo uses laser cutting to create shapes and textures referencing Javanese culture. Likewise, Iris Zulfa Binte Mohamed Isa presents a modern perspective on Malay traditional garments by combining textile techniques such as heat setting and batik motifs to create new digital prints. Her collection aims to deconstruct and explore what the kebaya is and what it can be for the modern Malay woman.
BA(Hons) Fashion Design and Textiles showcase
at The LASALLE Show Exhibition 2022
Fri 20 May – Wed 1 Jun
Earl Lu Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
LASALLE College of the Arts
1 McNally Street, Singapore 187940
Opening hours: 12:00pm – 8:00pm daily