Singapore Fashion Week 2016 opens with a bang

Supermodels (from left) Fiona Fussi, 20; Hanli Hoefer, 24; Huda Ali ,40; Pat Kraal, 54; Ethel Fong, 53; and Charmaine Harn, 36.
Supermodels (from left) Fiona Fussi, 20; Hanli Hoefer, 24; Huda Ali ,40; Pat Kraal, 54; Ethel Fong, 53; and Charmaine Harn, 36.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - If anyone was expecting super traditional Chinese outfits from Guo Peo, it was anything but. She made tassels, embroidered trains and brocade look incredibly wearable - modern day luxury and glamour that was restrained and tasteful.

The 49-year-old designer's evening show on Wednesday (Oct 26) opened the five-day Singapore Fashion Week (SGFW) 2016's main stage inside the National Gallery Singapore - one of two stages at the annual event.

Home-grown womenswear designer Max Tan - known for his avant garde designs and exaggerated silhouettes - raised the curtain on the other stage at the Auditorium Foyer, marking his SGFW debut.

The 22-show line-up features creations from 20 Asian designers - the first time such a large crop of has been displayed in the show's 15 years. Last year, only seven Asian designers were featured.

Indian-American designer Naeem Khan, whose dresses have been worn by Michelle Obama, will take the stage on Saturday (Oct 29) and Thai actress and singer Sheranut "Namcha" Yusananda will be unveiling her trendy and fashion-forward label Sheranut on Thursday.

This year's show has more of a local bent - with 13 home-grown designers, its highest number yet. Last year, there were just seven.

Ong Shunmugam, the brainchild of Priscilla Shunmugam, will be showing her modern interpretation of cheongsams on Saturday.

On Friday, three other local womenswear labels will take to the stage: Aijek with its contemporary lace separates and dresses; Chi Chi Von Tang's brightly coloured and Asian-inspired Anime collection; and Exhibit with its minimalist and on-trend pieces.

Closing the festival on Sunday will be Malaysian-born designer Han Chong of popular London-based label Self-Portrait - with his signature feminine and lace dresses - and local women's shoe designer Mashizan Masjum, who is making his SGFW debut with creations that have been spotted on American celebrities Solange Knowles and La Toya Jackson.

The show's end this year will mark the start of shopping. For the first time, consumers can buy selected designs - such as Max.Tan and Aijek - seen on the festival's runways immediately on online retailer Selected creations from other designers will also be available at the SGFW & Co pop-up at the National Gallery Singapore from now till Sunday (Oct 30).