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34 | Happenings

a week of glamour
Photography by Jean QingWen LOO

Women’s Fashion Week 2011 Singapore wows the world of haute couture, and becomes firmly established on the events calendar

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ashionistas from around the region and further afield flocked to the Sands Expo and Convention Center in October, anxious to catch a glimpse of the inaugural Women’s Fashion Week 2011 (WFW 2011) Singapore. Commencing with prêt-à-porter shows that were open to all, the event closed with explosive invitation-only displays of gowns from the haute couture collections of Gustavo Lins, Anne Valérie Hash, Christophe Josse, Dominique Sirop, Alexis Mabille, Eymeric François and Maxime Simoens,

culminating with a Stéphane Rolland show on the final night. Marking another first, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands also played host to the “Haute Couture Exhibition,” an exclusive exhibition featuring 28 haute couture gowns, retrospective and current, from various designers around the world, providing an exquisite prelude to the main event. WFW 2011 Singapore’s Chairman, Frank Cintamani, sees the week as being a key one on the world’s fashion calendar: “Singapore has
sands style | winter 2012

36 | Happenings

FRANK CINTAMANI (leFT) pReSIded oveR WoMeN’S FAShIoN WeeK 2011 SINgApoRe

sHOW stOpper
The inaugural haute couture show at the first ever Women’s Fashion Week in Singapore closed with a stunning selection from the Fall 2011 Haute Couture collection from Stéphane Rolland (pictured left), formerly creative director with worldfamous fashion house of Balenciaga. Having left the company at just 24 to design his first prêt-à-porter collection, he has since opened his own haute couture house, fast developing a reputation for bold, modern ensembles that represent a chic interpretation of couture while maintaining the bohemian influences for which he is famous. Reportedly inspired by caoshu, a style of Chinese ancestral calligraphy, there was no mistaking the Asian influence in his latest collection. Featuring bold, linear outlines softened with sinuous drapes, ruffles and Swarovski crystals, the sheer drama of the designs left fashionistas breathless as they came down the runway.

consistently evolved over the last few years as a cosmopolitan and commercial global center,” he enthuses. “As part of that, we have seen a significant growth and sophistication in both the retail sector and importantly the fashion industry as a whole. The inaugural Men’s Fashion Week established Singapore as the only city outside of Paris or Milan to successfully hold a dedicated men’s fashion week. It was important for the Women’s Fashion Week that there should be the same desire to push the boundaries in both what Singapore could do and how it was perceived on the world stage.” And when it came to choosing which designers to feature, Cintamani clearly enjoyed the challenge. “Couture is a highly regulated fashion industry, which is overseen by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture,” he

says. “Only the most exceptional talents, who meet the most exacting standards, are admitted to join these elite ranks. Ultimately, it took a great deal of patience and dedication to work with these designers to find a shared passion for bringing haute couture out of Paris and into Asia. I am delighted that we were able to showcase the work of eight highly esteemed and renowned couturiers: something that has never happened before. “This is indeed an international fashion coup for us in Singapore.  This is the first time that eight designers, who are either haute couturiers or invited members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, are showing their collections collectively, outside of France, in one worldclass venue – The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.” – Melinda Earsdon

sands style | winter 2012