A maverick in the local landscape, designer Priscilla Shunmugam departed from the spring 2017 and fall 2016 calendar of Singapore Fashion Week this time around, and brought the buzz to yesterday's show schedule with Cheongsam — a coquettish take on the traditional qipao. A line originating from her yearly Chinese New Year (CNY) collections, Shunmugam shared, "If you think about CNY, it is after all a festival celebrating the arrival of spring in the Lunar calendar."
"I just want to keep challenging what we are doing. Persuading Asian women to keep experimenting along with us. The other thing we're experimenting with is making our own accessories for this collection. We're making our own earrings and shoes. Everything is handmade. We bought white plastic flowers and hoop earrings, and my team has been hand painting the flowers with colours of the collection and sticking it onto the earrings." - Priscilla Shunmugam
Not really, but it makes the most sense. After all, this is our playground. It's going to be far easier for us to gain access or understand the fabrics than it would be for foreigners. We're just playing with things that we are comfortable with. Firstly, it's practical. Secondly, we almost feel like it's our responsibility to give Asian fabrics a new lease of life. Typically, they've been used in rigid and set ways, and many times, their use has not been questioned — just followed. That's another aspect of the Asian philosophy and mindset I hope to change. I feel like we don't challenge or question enough. We just follow and do what we're told to do. I know that the work we do doesn't appeal to everybody and not everyone agrees with the approach we take, but I think that's a really good sign. It's becoming more and more clear what our purpose is as a brand.
To challenge assumptions and stereotypes when it comes to Asian tradition and history by defining it in our own way, instead of waiting for someone else to do it.