PICTURES, VIDEO

Caution: Models crossing Orchard Road at Fashion Steps Out

The stretch of Orchard Road between Ion Orchard and Paragon became a showcase for fashion last night when it was closed to traffic and converted into a giant runway.

More than 10,000 people turned up to watch 170 models show the latest spring/summer collections from nine local and international brands.

The Orchard Fashion Runway was one of the closing events of the six-week-long Samsung Fashion Steps Out (FSO) 2013, now in its fourth year. Organised by the Orchard Road Business Association (Orba), the FSO aims to promote retail on the namesake street. Pop-up shops and shopping promotions were also held.

FSO creative director Jeffrey Tay said the Orchard Fashion Runway was unlike other fashion shows. "It's more accessible. You can buy the clothes off the models' backs," he said of how most collections were in stores.

Spectators were excited as they watched the models making their way down the 658m-long strip, lit by giant helium balloons and closed to traffic from 8pm to 10pm.

IT professional Victor Yeo, 34, said he had read about the event online and it had piqued his curiosity. "It's quite special. I've never seen a fashion show on the road here," said Mr Yeo, who was with his wife.

Others, like teacher Rachel Ang, 24, were there for the clothes.

Brands on display included Italian labels Fausto Puglisi and Blugirl, UK brands Victoria, Victoria Beckham and Maria Grachvogel, American labels Coach and J.Press, Spanish brand Adolfo Dominguez and department stores Robinsons and Marks & Spencer.

Sponsor Samsung also presented capsule collections from local designer Ashley Isham, Malaysian brand Joe Chia and Spanish label Amaya Arzuaga to mark the launch of its Samsung Galaxy S4.

Invited guests sat on chairs painted by street artist Mazlan Ahmad. The 500 chairs will be donated to the National Council of Social Service for its charities.

Last year's Fashion Steps Out initiative brought in five million visitors and drew almost $5 million in receipts, according to Orba. A spokesman said the response this year has been "encouraging".

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