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 Heeron. 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 a post by about the culture of mediocrity at her fashion design programme/school.
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&Woodsbut 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.
p/s Chin yew, no fashonista but a 30-day-artist has finished his challenge. Take a look at at his work here.