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Fashion Forward: Just one week till The Front Row 2021 premieres

The Front Row, Singapore’s definitive virtual fashion festival, is back for its second edition from 27th August, online and completely free to view. This year’s festival takes on an on-demand viewing format, with virtual fashion shows from all participating brands available at the click of a button, anytime, anywhere. Viewers can also rewatch shows from labels they love, and browse and shop these hot-off-the-press collections instantly.

In addition to runway shows, fashion films and livestreamed hybrid fashion events, the festival also presents a curated series of podcasts and workshops with icons of the Singapore fashion industry.

Singapore photography duo Chuando & Frey, known for their discerning eye for detail and aesthetics that translate into high-octane images, will be showcasing their visionary works in a 3D virtual gallery, alongside other industry heavyweights such as celebrity photographer Filbert Kung, and paper fashion set designer Marianne Guely. Up-and-coming local fashion photographer Hans Goh, who shot the festival’s 2021 campaign visual, will also be holding his first online exhibition.

The latest overseas designer brand to join the curated list of fashion showcases this year is Khoon Hooi, whose debut back in 1999 took the Malaysian fashion scene by storm. The renowned veteran designer specialises in bespoke womenswear made with luxurious materials, with a strong play on unique and voluminous silhouettes. The festival will feature a total of 10 local and 9 international labels.

Viewers will also be accompanied by the soulful voice of local singer-songwriter Gareth Fernandez as they browse the site. Known for hits such as ‘Bit of Your Love’ and ‘Put You Through’, Gareth’s music draws influences from the likes of Sam Smith and John Legend, setting the mood for this year’s festival.

In addition to the 360-degree 3D metaverse world with familiar local landmarks at every turn, this year’s runway shows, campaign shoots and podcast interviews are also filmed at some of the more unexpected locales. Shows have been shot against the backdrop of locations such as Singapore’s last kampong at Kampong Lorong Buangkok, heritage hotel Raffles Hotel, National Museum of Singapore, home of local brands Design Orchard, Peranakan museum The Intan, and more.

With these unprecedented times, traditions will be broken as we enter the new normal. Niche brands and mega retailers embrace the future by going on digital overhauls, such as Singapore retail icon Robinsons Online, who will spotlight homegrown brands under The Front Row Collective. Collections and pieces from selected brands will be available for purchase on the online department store.

Junita Simon

For the podcasts, look out for Singaporean top model Junita Simon, who rose to fame in the mid-1990s. Listen out as she shares stories from her career, from how she shot to fame winning the Ford Models Supermodel of the World Singapore competition in 1995, to walking for the likes of Chanel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Founders of Singapore’s top modelling agencies AVE Management, Misc. Management and NOW Model Management, will share more about the shifting focus of local modelling agencies in becoming more representative and inclusive.

Riding on the whirlwind of Miss Singapore Universe 2020 Bernadette Belle Ong’s outfit, the podcasts will also cover what makes a national costume, and specifically, what a Singapore national costume could be. Guests on this segment will include Hiroko Mima (Miss Universe Japan 2008), Valerie Lim (Miss Universe Singapore 2011 and National Director of Miss Universe Singapore 2021), and the eight finalists of Miss Universe Singapore 2021.

Vintage Radio SG also presents some fashion nostalgia, pulling together pop music from yesteryears and packaging new and lifestyle pieces into bite-sized podcasts for the Silver Generation. At the festival, The Front Row’s Creative Director Daniel Boey will spearhead ‘Fashion by Daniel Boey’, for listeners. Other discussions include ‘Fashion Education in the Era of COVID’, featuring Anthony Tan (Vice-Dean of NAFA Fashion Department), and selected fashion design graduates, an ‘OnTheList x TFR; webinar and ‘The Spirit of Collaboration’ with TRIA The Label and Shirt Number White, who recently launched a collaboration collection, INTERSECTIONS.

The festival will also feature exclusive livestreamed shows and workshops, including a collaborative style workshop by Marilyn Tan Jewllery and Design Orchard, hosted by Daniel Boey, with special appearance by former top Singapore model Lyn Wang. The line-up of shows also includes The Debutants of 2021: A Collaboration with NAFA, set to showcase NAFA’s 2021 graduate designers’ collections. Also featured will be the Miss Universe Singapore Finals 2021, where the 8 finalists will battle it out in the first ever hybrid version of the event for the prestigious title.

The Front Row will be live from 27th August 2021. For more information, visit their website here

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