Bio: A Singaporean investor, commercial model, beauty queen and philanthropist. Liyann began her commercial modelling career at 16 and later represented Singapore in international beauty pageants in Asia Pacific and in the United States. She has since won several international beauty pageant titles. Liyann is also responsible for founding the International Children Foundation that advocates equal educational opportunities for underprivileged kids.
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Get ready to disco on at the Marc Jacobs & MTV Resort ’17 party at Cherry Discotheque.
The 80’s was a defining era of non-stop glamour, music, television, and culture. Fast forward to three decades later, Marc Jacobs recently unveiled an 80’s kitsch Marc Jacobs & MTV capsule collection as part of its Resort ’17 offering.
As we arrive at the second weekend of January ’17, we’re getting our fav pair of party footwear on, as we begin to countdown the hours till the Marc Jacobs & MTV party at Cherry Discotheque, Singapore begins.
The brainchild of Earn Chen and Hasnor Sidik, Cherry Discotheque in Singapore evokes a nostalgic 80’s vibe, with neon signs and a chequered dancefloor adding to its retro architecture. Located at the York Hotel, Cherry Discotheque offers cultural-savvy clubgoers with a top-notch blend of Hip Hop sounds. Not to mention, there are our old-school favourites – Pacman and Street Fighter arcade games to fill in those “time-out’ moments at the disco..
The Marc Jacobs & MTV Resort ’17 Capsule Collection
Bright “electric” neon accents, animal graphic prints, and military-styled silhouettes are emphasised in the 2017 Resort Collection. Acid-washed denim jackets and leather coats come adorned with embellishments and embroidered patches.
I Want My MTV
The collection also features statement tees and sweatshirts with the iconic MTV logo on front and centre.
Bags from the Marc Jacobs Resort ’17 Collection
An ongoing highlight in every Marc Jacobs’ collection, the Resort ’17 collection will also showcase a range of youthful and vibrant range of printed patchwork shoulder bags with metal hardware chains and embellished backpacks.
Photo Credits: All photos in this article are provided by Marc Jacobs unless otherwise stated.
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Put your Best Heels Forward this New Year with our Cinderella-worthy List of Haute Couture Heels of the moment.
Cinderella is a fairytale ‘testimony’ that a new pair of heels can transform your life. This season, we want you to live that fairytale. Our crew has put together a 2017 Covered Asia guide to this season’s most coveted haute couture heels of the moment to get you off on the right foot. From Christian Louboutin, Ralph & Russo, Sophia Webster, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Saint Laurent, Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo.
“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” – Marilyn Monroe
#8 Saint Laurent
#7 Sophia Webster
#6 Christian Louboutin
#5 Ralph & Russo
#4 Dolce & Gabbana
#3 Manolo Blahnik
#1 Jimmy Choo
“If you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true. One shoe can change your life.” – Cinderella
Get it now! See something you like and want it now? Write to us and let us know at email@example.com. We might well be able to get it for you.
Price Note: Prices listed are correct at time of publishing.
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#UNCOVERED – Turning Heads: In Conversation with Yousef Akbar
He has dressed celebrities the world over including Kimbra, Jessica Mauboy, Kelly Osbourne, and most recently Chrissy Teigen. A former sportsperson turned fashion designer with a penchant for challenging the convention of fashion design, Yousef Akbar is undoubtedly one of the most promising young designers to watch in 2017.
Yousef Akbar: The Resort 2017 Collection
COVERED: Tell us about your brand, what does it stands for a and what was your inspiration behind your Resort 2017 collection?
YOUSEF AKBAR: This collection is inspired by the concept of sustainable and socially responsible couture; it supports women in the developing world, such as the Middle East and India. It offers them opportunities to work and support local artisans and dying crafts.
The Resort 2017 collection celebrates the courage and strength of women through times of adversity. Growing up in the Middle East, I have witnessed women being oppressed in a male dominated society. It has had a huge impact on me.
“I dedicate this collection to all women – the widows, the orphans, the teenagers fighting to get an education, the sexually and physically abused, the brave women fighting and standing up for their rights, revolting against their cultures, challenging the norm in their fight for equality and freedom, by shedding a light on their pain, suffering and struggles they face in their lives.” -Yousef Akbar
YOUSEF AKBAR: I have researched on revolutions, wars and the destructive effect on cities as well as individuals. I came across multiple stories of women fleeing their homes and becoming refugees. Many whom cross miles on foot and facing death in hope of finding a better life.
Inspired by these brave women, the main focus of this collection is to challenge convention, by taking classic feminine silhouettes, deconstructing and then reinventing them using innovative and unconventional cutting techniques.
On Pursuing a Career in Fashion
COVERED: What inspired you to take the leap of faith to pursue a career in fashion?
YOUSEF AKBAR: I would not call it a leap of faith. I do not believe that I took any leaps or anything like that. I simply did what was natural to me and what felt right to do. It was all kind of by chance. For as long as I remember, I was always interested in art, painting and sculpting. I always dream of being an artist. I like to dress differently. I just loved clothes. I was always interested in what people were wearing and desired to be “cool” like them. For years, I remembered being so frustrated by not being able to find anything that I really like in the shops.
YOUSEF AKBAR: I would design my own clothes and deal with local tailors. Unfortunately, they hated the extra work involved in my clothes. They wanted to do conventional everyday blazers, shirts, etc. They would either cancel on me half way or refuse my request. I got fed up. During my last semester of my Master’s degree, I decided to search for courses to make clothes so that I can literally learn how to make a jacket for myself.
On Falling in Love with Fashion & Womenswear
YOUSEF AKBAR: I was good at drawing and illustration; I put a portfolio together and applied to TAFE Ultimo Fashion Design Studio in New South Wales, Australia. I could not believe that I was accepted into the school. It is funny because I remembered doing the first assignment where we had to design a few women looks. I was forced to do it as I was not interested in women to wear at the start. The teacher told me that menswear was coming down the track. I asked about tailoring and I was heartbroken to find out that it is a second year subject. I could not believe that I had to pass the first year and make it that long doing womenswear assignments.
YOUSEF AKBAR: Gradually, I was falling in love with the whole process. I started to really get into womenswear. By the end of the first year, I could not imagine myself doing anything else. It was the perfect medium for myself to express myself and share my point of view. I also enjoyed the technical aspect of it. From draping to experimenting to finding technical solutions to creative challenges.
On his journey from a National Tenpin Bowler to becoming a Fashion Designer
COVERED: Would you like to tell us more about yourself and your journey from a national bowler to a fashion designer? Did you feel there were any road blocks that you faced along your journey?
YOUSEF AKBAR: No road blocks. I believe if you put your mind and heart into something: nothing can stop you. It is all in the frame of mind that you have. In every challenge, there is a new lesson and an unexpected opportunity.
Of course, there were restraints such as financial restraints, time and manpower to help my vision come to life. Nevertheless, it is nothing out of the ordinary. I still believe with limitations, creativity flourishes, in a very strange way I see having everything at your finger tips can be paralyzing having all the choices and freedom is like having absolutely nothing.
YOUSEF AKBAR: I still bowl. It is still a very big part of my life and I believe that everyone will see me bowling internationally soon. Bowling and fashion are the two things that truly make me feel so happy; I feel blessed to not have only one thing but two things that I am passionate about.
On Chrissy Teigen & the American Music Awards
COVERED: When Chrissy Teigen wore your dress to the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, what was the first thought that came to your mind when you woke up to the news?
YOUSEF AKBAR: I thought to myself, “I couldn’t believe how unlucky I was for someone to design a near identical dress, and Chrissy Teigen wore it.”
I could not believe that she wore the dress. However, I recalled that the stylist, Monica Rose, took the dress from my PR showroom in LA, and it all clicked. I was overjoyed.
Chrissy Teigen at the American Music Awards
COVERED: This one’s for aspiring designers out there hoping to be discovered – How did Chrissy Teigan ‘talent spot’ your dress?
YOUSEF AKBAR: I wouldn’t say Chrissy Teigen talent spotted me. Many designers would work with PR companies who specialize in PR, media, etc. Stylist such as Monica Rose, dresses many major celebrities in Hollywood. She was styling Chrissy Teigen for a few events including the American Music Awards. Monica Rose will head to different PR showrooms and check out what is new and exciting, and would pull pieces for their clients. In my case, NIGHTCAP PR who is my PR in LA did such a fantastic job of targeting the right people for my collection. I am grateful to be working with a great team.
Words of wisdom to aspiring fashion designers
COVERED: What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
YOUSEF AKBAR: Believe in yourself. Believe that you can do it. There will be many who will try and stop you. Use that to motivate yourself to work harder. Do it for yourself. Do it because you love it not for any other reason. Be true to yourself. Never try and please anyone. Lastly, be nice to everyone.
COVERED: Moving forward, where do you envision yourself in 5 years? Will you be planning for a fashion show for your next collection? Which countries are you planning to expand your fashion line into?
YOUSEF AKBAR: With fashion the way it is now and with the internet, I dont have any specific place I would like to expand in. However, I hope to strengthen my brands position, create a strong identity, and expand in general globally. I hope to make a difference in terms of contributing back to the people locally and in developing communities, who in many cases have great talent and skills, and rare crafts that are rare and dying, that needs to be supported.
For more on Yousef Akbar and his collection, check out www.yousefakbar.com
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Gucci x “Trouble Andrew” – The Gucci Ghost
Recently available at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, is the much anticipated “Gucci Ghost” capsule collection. The collection is the brainchild of two veritable artisans in their own right; Gucci’s Creative Director, Alessandro Michele and former Olympic Snowboarder/ Street Artist, Trevor Andrew. Gucci Ghost is a synchronized duet of quintessential Italian luxury label with the cornerstones of graffiti art and the collection constructs a signature medley of quirky vintage infused with historical references.
A fortuitous style legend was born on the eve of Halloween – Gucci Ghost. Trevor Andrew, the man behind Gucci Ghost, was an ex-Olympic snowboarder who created an alter ego by dressing up as a ghost using his Gucci bedsheets on Halloween. The athlete with a peculiar obsession with the Italian luxury label, Gucci, slit a pair of holes through his Gucci bedsheets to create his Halloween costume. As Andrew strides down the street of the Big Apple, New Yorkers termed him as The Gucci Ghost.
Impassioned by his interpretation of the timeless Gucci logo and the insatiable desire to explore new frontiers, Trevor Andrew (#troubleandrew) went jaunting through New York City (NYC) with a spray paint can as his weapon of choice to cover the Big Apple’s walls and dumpsters with his version of the iconic logo.
The intrepid NYC-based graffiti artist posted the images of his rendition of Gucci’s double G logo pattern onto his personal Instagram using the hashtag #guccighost. To his bewilderment, his artworks were well-received and attracted 26,000 followers with 3,000 posts.
#TroubleAndrew’s audacity to choose the road less travelled and break new grounds found himself in an unlikely spot: Gucci’s Milan headquarters. The Gucci Ghost was neither arrested for vandalism nor sued for copyright infringement. Instead, his works captivated the attention of Gucci’s Creative Director – Alessandro Michele.
In an unanticipated twist of fate, an invitation by Alessandro Michele was extended to the ex-Olympic snowboarder to customize a capsule collection of Gucci’s next product line. The debut of Gucci Ghost by Trevor Andrew was designed with a singular vision of constructing pieces that are deeply rooted in individuality and adorned with graffiti-style flips of the label’s double-G logo.
Perhaps, the destruction of luxury is in fact, the driving vehicle that makes NYC-based graffiti pieces so covetable and satisfying for the wearer. Toting a black caviar leather bag may be gratifying, but carrying a bag with a purity ravaged with a vandalized dripping “Double Gs” puts it to a league of its own. The art of vandalizing a treasured piece that is so covetable and pure, takes it to a whole different level. The result is the evocation of a street ethos; “It is my world and I will do whatever I want”.
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An Artisanal Night of Fashion and Music
“ Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
– Robert Frost,“The Road Not Taken”,1916
Impassioned with the desire and inclination to transcend boundaries, break new frontiers, and explore the road less traveled. The Benjamin Barker gentleman is also an intrepid traveler. From sequestered lanes in old Kyoto to the Sahara Desert of Morocco, his love for serendipitous encounters is rivaled only by his innate hunger for adventure.
Inspired by the insatiable traveler, Benjamin Barker launched their Fall / Winter 2016 collection alongside with Fender’s award-winning In-Ear Monitors. The In-Ear Monitors offer the wearer personal acoustic sanctuaries tuned to deliver aural and intense pleasure. The artistic partnership by the two homegrown labels transcended the glass ceilings and explored new frontier for the worlds of fashion and music.
Galvanized by the jetsetter and the man on the move, the brand’s casual collection – B by Benjamin Barker was born. The debut of B by Benjamin Barker was designed with the singular vision of constructing practical and basic apparels without comprising on comfort, style and fit.
By referencing classic work apparel and delve into its functions, the B by Benjamin Barker collection combines tailoring concepts with technical and modern construction.
Act 2: The Blues Explorer (music by : Dru Chen)
The fashion presentation progresses from featuring urban jet setters to adventure seekers and explorers. Guests at the event experience a world of syncopates blue with sands and khaki colours. The coveted high street model-off-duty look was created by pairing the signature Benjamin Barker blazer with well-tailored basic shirts and chinos.
Act 3: Jazz and Soul (Music by Fender Artiste, Charlie Lim)
The final act was by galvanized the music from the Jazz era and dapper gentlemen like Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charles Mingus. In the Jazz era, the dapper gentlemen were the icons of style and soul. The fashion presentation ended with a display of the classic collection of well-tailored blazer, suits and pants in Fall’s key colours.
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The Hermès Kelly Bag : The birth of an iconic design.
At Hermès, every collection tells of an inspirational and sometimes whimsical story. The story of the iconic Hermès Kelly bag is no different. Originally designed as a saddlebag, the Hermès Kelly bag was subsequently redesigned multiple times. Eventually, the Hermès Kelly bag gained popularity with its namesake of today from the glamorous Princess of Monaco – Grace Kelly.
The story of the Hermès Kelly bag tells of a Cinderella fairytale behind it. First designed in 1892 as a saddlebag, it was referred to as Haut à Courroies (HAC) due to its high handle design.
Mystically, the Princess of Monaco and Hollywood actress, Grace Kelly, fell in love with the emblematic bag while it was used as a prop for the film: ‘To Catch a Thief’. The Princess, immersed within the charmed worlds of Hermès, appreciated its purist aesthetic design and eventually procured a number of Hermès bags in various colours.
On one eventful day in 1956, the Princess of Monaco was pounced upon by the paparazzi as she exited from her car. In her defence, Grace Kelly shielded her emerging baby bump from the media with – you guessed it – her Hermès bag. As the birth of the future princess was planned to be a secret from the press , the bag served as a guardian angel to shield Kelly’s unborn princess from the media.
Making Its Way onto the Cover of Life Magazine
The picture made its way onto the cover of the then popularized American lifestyle publication; Life Magazine, which was then circulated worldwide. Through the series of whimsical events, the bag became synonymous with Grace Kelly and was renamed the Kelly bag.
Celebrities & the Hermès Kelly Bag
Hermès Kellydoscope Exhibition in Singapore
Earlier in October, Hermès invites guests in Singapore to step inside a super-sized Kelly bag and discover the charmed worlds of the emblematic Kelly bag.
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A tribute to the best of fashion weeks around the world.
In celebration of the fashion season, the best from fashion capitals around the world – New York, London, Milan, and Paris – go on show at this year’s FRONT ROW.
On going from now till the 5th of October 2016, FRONT ROW at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands Singapore will pay tribute to the major fashion weeks around the world. From New York (8th to 15th Sept), to London (16th to 20th Sept), Milan (21st to 27th Sept), and Paris (28th Sept to 5th Oct), a series of fashion shows and luxury lifestyle event showcases have been planned throughout the FRONT ROW season.
At the epicentre of the fashion festival’s fanfare is the FRONT ROW stage located on the skating rink. The FRONT ROW stage will feature more than 70 brands, all of whom will be holding by-invitation events at the FRONT ROW stag The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Participating brands include Burberry, Coach, Diane von Furstenberg, Ermenegildo Zegna, Kwanpen, Longines, Michael Kors, Mikimoto, Moschino, Repetto, Versace, Uomo Collezioni, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Anne Fontaine, BALLY, Hugo Boss, Boggi Milano, and Braun Buffel,
Mr. John Postle, Vice President of Retail, Marina Bay Sands, said, “As one of Asia’s most celebrated shopping destinations, The Shoppes has an unmatched representation of the world’s most inspiring and renowned brands. We are privileged to work closely with our distinguished retail partners to bring our shoppers all the excitement and a glimpse into the world of fashion weeks – right here in Singapore.”
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Korea and the Business of Fashion.
Riding on the phenomenal wave of “Hallyu”, or “The Korean Wave”, Asia’s fourth largest economy (South Korea) is climbing the ranks to break into the world’s top fashion league alongside that of London, Paris, New York and Milan. This is the rise of K-Fashion.
In the past decennium, ‘Brand Korea’ has been positioned at the lion’s share of crossroads where Korean pop music (K-pop), television dramas (K-dramas) and Korean fashion (K-fashion) collide to form a nebulous #swag factor.
The “Hallyu” wave (coined to depict the rising popularity of Korean entertainment) has taken the world by storm; K-fashion is now fashion’s new sorority and she seems to have the right recipe for her rapid expansion plans to break into the international fashion league.
According to The Korea Herald, it has been reported that South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, or MOTIE, announced its plan to invest about $27 million into South Korea’s fashion industry. That is just the icing on the cake; The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has invested 484 billion won ($413 million) to transform the capital city (neo-futurist landmark Dongdaemun Design Plaza) into the fashion hub of Asia. Dongdaemun Design Plaza is now home to Seoul Fashion Week.
The rising star in the international fashion arena has been scouted by L Capital (private equity fund sponsored by the LVMH Group and Groupe Arnault); LVMH’s L Capital capitalised on the opportunity to ride on the Korea’s wave by investing in YG Entertainment Inc (the manager K-pop stars such as Taeyang, G-Dragon, Sandara and CL) and partnered with Cheil Industries to form a new fashion brand: Nonagon.
To weave the market more tightly and help Korean design houses and fashion designers enter into the Southeast Asian market, leading South Korean fashion brands, including the likes of Lucky Chouette, Rocket X Lunch, WORKWEAR, Jucy Judy, Lapalette, and Nohant have been launched on Asia Pacific’s leading online fashion destination — ZALORA.
ZALORA Loves K-Fashion
ZALORA Singapore commemorated a night of “Hallyu” with a curated fashion show of 16 premium Korean labels. The launch ceremony and fashion show was held at The Blue Room at The Arts Houseearlier this month, which was attended by Southeast Asian fashion journalists and influencers.
As an attempt to infuse fashion and technology, models for the fashion showcase were adorned with wearable technology, such as Samsung’s Gear Fit2, and high street fashion.
ZALORA Group is Asia Pacific’s leading group of online fashion destinations. Founded in 2012, the company has a presence in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan. ZALORA is part of Global Fashion Group – the world’s leader in online fashion for emerging markets. ZALORA Group’s localized sites offer an extensive collection of top international and local brands and products across apparel, shoes, accessories, and beauty categories for men and women. ZALORA Group is the online shopping destination with endless fashion possibilities.
In a summary of the K-fashion industry, we note that it is the intangible assets (‘Brand Korea’) that are inflating the fundamental values above any tangible number found on a financial spreadsheet. Needless to say, K-fashion’s move into Southeast Asia’s e-commerce market is an intelligent move that is poised to capture a lion’s share of the fashion pie in the international arena. A report by Google and Temasek (Singapore sovereign wealth fund) has projected Southeast Asia’s e-commerce market to expand at an annualised rate of 32 percent over the next decade; it will hit US$88 billion in 2025, which is 16 times its previous size in 2015.
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COVETELLA celebrated their first anniversary with a night of Cinderella-esque glamour at the New Asia Bar in Singapore on earlier this month.
Held a staggering 71 storeys high at the New Asia Bar at Swissotel Singapore was transformed into a Cinderella’s dream closet with the panoramic view of Singapore’s skyline as the backdrop.
Designer dresses lined the walls and couture gowns by Singaporean designers (Jessica Cindy and Danny L) glittered from the VIP balconies to the dance floor.
The anniversary ball was graced by Hanli Hoefer (MTV VJ), Sofia Dendroff (Television Actress), Karan Tilani (World of Diamonds Head of Asia), Cecilia Leong Faulkner (British Theatre Playhouse Founder), Peter Kennedy (Burda Executive Chairman), Johannes See (Founding Director at COM3 Singapore) Aaron Tan (Creative Director at COM3 Singapore), and Nick T. (Managing Director at COVERED Asia).
CEO and Founder, Carol Chen, addressed the guests with an inspiring speech:
“Once upon a time there was a little girl that was super shy and a bit awkward. She had thick glasses and nerdy braces, but once she put on a pretty dress, she felt like she could conquer the world. That little girl was me, and ever since I’ve wanted to create more reasons for women to dress up, and empower them by helping them look and feel beautiful. Because a beautiful woman is a happy woman, and confident one is an unstoppable one.”
When we asked Carol about her inspiration behind COVETELLA, she offered us a heartfelt recount of a conversation she once shared with her mum, “One day my mom asks, ‘What are you going to do with all these dresses sitting in your closet?’ Because like most women, I don’t wear half the stuff I own and I don’t own half the stuff I want. So that’s when I decided to create COVETELLA — a curated marketplace where you can enjoy hundreds of dresses for a fraction of the price, as well as share your own to make some extra cash. Good for your wallet and good for the environment.”
Founded in 2015, COVETELLA is Singapore’s premier online dress rental destination, providing every woman with an infinite dream closet right at her fingertips. The website features a curated selection of designer dresses and accessories from all over the world, all of which can be enjoyed for a fraction of the price and delivered the same day. COVETELLA also allows women to rent out their own dresses, monetizing their wardrobes while maximizing closet space.
Today, COVETELLA is positioned as a pioneer in sustainable fashion and provides the ultimate Cinderella experience for the modern woman.
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