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Fashion Forward: Singapore Stories 2021 Announces Five Finalists Pioneering Fashion & Technology

One of the Singapore Stories finalist, Angeline Oei’s designs presented during the semi-finalist judging.

Singapore Stories, the annual signature event conceptualised and run by the Textile and Fashion Federation (TaFF), has announced the five finalists for its 2021 competition. The talented group of up and coming designers will move to the final leg to compete for the top spot that will encompass bagging 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.

With technology playing an integral role in the field of fashion, contestants created their capsule collection by interpreting this year’s theme: “Fashion and Technology: A New Era”.

The shortlist comprises New York-trained fashion designer, Jon Max Goh; Nantana Boonchuayseng who comes from a family of tailors from Thailand; accomplished designer, Nikasha Khemka, who is known for her handcrafted traditions; Amsterdam-trained Angeline Oei who creates pieces made from biodegradable cotton; and Yan Ng, an alumni of Raffles College of Higher Education, who creates made-to-order clothing that minimises the environmental impact.

The designers were evaluated for their creative vision, innovation and commerce readiness by a group of avant-garde judges led by Semun Ho, CEO at TaFF. “We were thrilled to see how each designer has given their interpretation of technology in their Singapore Story and how it has fuelled the creativity and imagination of the finalists.”

Nantana Boonchuayseng used the 3D fashion design software, Browzwear to create her collection for the competition.

Launched on 31st March 2021, the sketchbook to runway-ready capsules competition gave its 9 semi-finalists the access to digital design tools, more than 200,000 fabrics from SwatchOn, 3D fashion design Browzwear, development and merchandising solutions as well as the use of 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), the contestants also connected with the experts to enrich their designs by borrowing from Singapore’s heritage. In addition, LASALLE College of the Arts offered coaching and guidance to each contestant in their journey to create their 6-look capsule collection via design lecturers from 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.

To raise the bar of the competition this year, TaFF partnered with Tatler Singapore to produce docu-series for the competition comprising insider scoops and behind the scenes shots that will capture the thought processes behind each design and the challenges and difficulties that the contestants face as they cross each hurdle in the competition. This four-part feature will be available on Tatler and TaFF’s social and digital platforms.

Perng Aw who is the Marketing and Events Director of TaFF and spearheading this initiative stated: “Over the past years, we have seen an increase of technology adoption in the industry and COVID-19 has accelerated this process. Technology has the potential to resolve many of the challenges the fashion industry faces today. It helps to push the limits of manufacturing, production and marketing which improves productivity and it advances the creation of innovative products. It also helps to develop smart solutions to many of the problems that the industry has caused on the planet today. Technology will pave the way for a more responsible, more sustainable, fashion industry. That is why fashion and technology is the theme of this year’s competition. We want to encourage contestants to reconsider what fashion is and what it can become while celebrating Singapore, which has earned its reputation for being a Smart Nation. We also believe that Singapore Stories can play a role in building the future of fashion where technology is an enabler to create a circular economy.”

She added: “The mini-series with Tatler will showcase the journey the designers have taken to construct their 6-look capsule collection while incorporating our garden city’s global ambitions.”

Visit the website to learn more about the competition or follow them on Instagram @taff.sg 

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