Glamorous collection by Singapore designer Lai Chan opens Singapore Fashion Week 2017

ST VIDEO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
One of Singaporean couturier Goh Lai Chan's 24 unique pieces created specifically for this year's Singapore Fashion Week.
One of Singaporean couturier Goh Lai Chan's 24 unique pieces created specifically for this year's Singapore Fashion Week. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
One of Singaporean couturier Goh Lai Chan's 24 unique pieces created specifically for this year's Singapore Fashion Week.
One of Singaporean couturier Goh Lai Chan's 24 unique pieces created specifically for this year's Singapore Fashion Week. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Models wait backstage before the Laichan show at Singapore Fashion Week 2017.
Models wait backstage before the Laichan show at Singapore Fashion Week 2017. ST PHOTO: MELISSA HENG
Models wait backstage before the Laichan show at Singapore Fashion Week 2017.
Models wait backstage before the Laichan show at Singapore Fashion Week 2017. ST PHOTO: MELISSA HENG
Models wait backstage before the Laichan show at Singapore Fashion Week 2017.
Models wait backstage before the Laichan show at Singapore Fashion Week 2017. ST PHOTO: MELISSA HENG

SINGAPORE - Singaporean couturier Goh Lai Chan's evening show opened this year's Singapore Fashion Week (SGFW) at the National Gallery Singapore with a bang on Thursday (Oct 26).

The 55-year-old veteran fashion designer, known for his dramatic theatre costume designs and signature cheongsam, showcased 24 unique pieces created specifically for this year's event. The show was presented in partnership with Her World.

Ms Rosalynn Tay, 54, a fan of the designer who attended the show says the collection was amazing: “It was really awesome. I love that it really captured the Singapore spirit and the different cultures and races that we have here. A fabulous collection.”

Goh's show was one of three held today, out of a total of 13 shows over the three-day event that will wrap up on Saturday. Other headline shows include one by New York-based fashion designer Jason Wu, best known for dressing Michelle Obama, who will be making his runway debut in Asia on the event's last day.

This year, the focus is on Asian designers, with more than 50 from 11 Asian countries being featured over three days, up from 40 designers from five Asian countries over five days in 2016.

Mirroring other fashion weeks worldwide, it will also place a greater emphasis on modest fashion, with three such shows featuring established designers from the region including Malaysia's Jovian Mandagie and Indonesia's Dian Pelangi.

For the first time, the event will also include a series of technology talks. Over day two and three, about 20 speakers including Zalora Group CEO Parker Gundersen and Goldman Sachs senior vice-president Andy Tai will speak on the business and technology of fashion.

The annual show has also been cut to three days this year, the first time in the show's 11-year history.

 
 
 

"In this age of digital disruption, fashion weeks need to adapt, change and reinvent to stay relevant and sustainable," says SGFW chairman Tjin Lee in a media statement. "Singapore is a small country with a population of only 5.5million, so it is incredibly difficult for local designers to grow and scale in such a small market, compared to our regional neighbours, who are at least five to forty times our size."

"We should play up to our strengths, which would lead us to the natural evolution towards thought leadership, business investment opportunities, networking and the business of fashion," she says.

Today, the collections of six emerging designers from Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand also hit the runway as they battled it out for the Harper's Bazaar Asia NewGen Fashion Award 2017, a platform for up-and-coming fashion designers to showcase their talent.

The winner was awarded a scholarship for a master's degree in Fashion and Luxury Brand Management at the prestigious Istituto Marangoni, a private Italian school of fashion and design, along with $10,000 cash and $15,000 worth of Swarovski crystals.

The event opening night ended with a joint runway show between local designers Goh Ling Ling, founder of bag label Ling Wu, and Gin Lee, founder of contemporary womenswear brand Ginlee Studio.