29.8.05

dwarf dreams

giant
click for larger view in flickr

We got to know L and G better a couple of weeks ago, though we've been dropping by their shop for some time now. Both were graduates from art college. L, older and an interior design graduate, is now working with a furnishing company and an associate lecturer at a polytechnic; and G graduated from a fine arts programme. Together, with no formal training in fashion, both have scraped together their savings and some brave investment, to start a little boutique at Heeren. It was great watching the shop pick up over the months, and seeing L&G develop greater confidence in every new piece.

I was reminded of L&G partly because of this post by the angrylittlegirl about the culture of mediocrity at her fashion design programme/school. (p/s Just found out The angry little girl's cover was blown at school, so she has removed her blog temporarily.)

Amongst the industries that have failed to take off in Singapore despite years of government investment, the fashion industry sticks out because our colleges and polytechnics continue to graduate classes of fashion designers year after year. The only label from Singapore I really admire is Woods&Woods, but Jonathan Seow told me oonce it is impossible to survive if he sold only in Singapore. So it made more sense for him to spend his time and effort in Europe. A real pity...for consumers like me here! Thank goodness Baylene came along. J and I also watched Baylene with interest a long time, since she set up shop at Stamford House. A Taiwanese who grew up in New Zealand and now working in Singapore - I think her clothes carry that same sense of free-spiritedness.

What do L&G, Baylene and Woods&Woods have in common, though their backgrounds and design approaches are vastly different. I don't know. Maybe they take what they do seriously, design intelligently and pay attention to the slightest detail. For sure, they are determined not to be mediocre - and at least Woods&Woods have proven this.

So friends, this is the lesson I drew from all the shopping (given my job, I could also call it "research" into the Singapore fashion industry, heh): If you dream of being a giant, either act on it now or be contented with just the dreaming. To help you reach your own conclusion, ampulets give you the picture above after nights of photoshopping with tens of colour schemes that failed miserably.

J and I, we are quite happy for now to be Tolkein's grouchy and vain dwarves...or (on our few good days) hobbitses.

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p/s Chin yew, no fashonista but a 30-day-artist has finished his challenge. Take a look at at his work here.

9 comments:

samuraibunny said...

which one is L & G's shop? is it new?

main reason for post is because i have been really silly for not thinking of this earlier

there is this guy, jason sho green, who does quite detailed shirts. his website is www.jasonshogreen.com .. maybe you can ask him what type of printing he does on his shirts? the quality looks quite good.

ampulets said...

Hey, thanks! Will go check.

L&G's shop is fairly new - it's called york canvas (the floor with all the restaurants). It's mostly tailored trousers and tops. But they've got a couple of pretty t-shirts for girls with designs by G's artist friend (I forget the name).

samuraibunny said...

no worries. gd luck with that.

Kay said...

I *really* like the artwork for this post. Really. =)

ampulets said...

i like this picture too! shameless huh? :P

Chuang Shyue Chou said...

I like the way you write, referring to people as L.and G. It is so Kafkaesque. The juxtaposition of this form into a commentary on fashion gives it a ... I don't know how to describe it.

missy-j said...

I think many local aspiring fashion designers have to get training and exposure overseas. The pool of resources and talent in places like NY and London is unbeatable.

One local brand I like is x:odus!

ampulets said...

chuang - thanks :) i'll take the "indescribable" response as a compliment.

missy-j - yah, seeing more of what's out there is always good. but we're back to the "no critical mass" issue again...with so many industries to be #1 in and a population of only 4m, we'll need every one to be a "worldclass" airport, i mean, talent. ;>

Barffie said...

Most of my fashion design friends either end up doing sales, banking or nothing. =\

My graphic design friends are trying hard to survive in a small, suffocated, claustrophobic environment as well. The pay is shit and the workload is shitter.

As for my fellow media/TV/video production mates, somehow the film industry is slowly slowly opening up at least. TV is getting smaller instead. TV Commercials? They'd rather do it in Malaysia now.

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