LABEL TO KNOW: BODYBOUND, BY KIM CHOONG-WILKINS AND PLINY CHAMPION
NOMINATED BY Daniel Boey, fashion director
Fashion director Daniel Boey first met designer Kim Choong-Wilkins in 2011, when he was scouting fresh talent for the inaugural Asian Men’s Fashion Week. At that time, Choong-Wilkins was just about to launch his menswear label, Bodybound, with Pliny Champion. This was after they had been selected as finalists for the prestigious Hyeres Award by Yohji Yamamoto, and had received plenty of media attention for their theatrical runway pieces.
Since then, the London-based label has evolved into a fashion insider’s go-to for pieces that merge traditional techniques such as ikat weaving, macrame and crochet with innovative textiles and knitwear, but are constructed in utilitarian silhouettes that make them highly wearable.
Boey, whose second fashion memoir, Behind Every Itch Is a Back Story, was recently launched, says: “Kim and Pliny have managed to take their signature style and turn it into wearable, commercial collections without losing their aesthetic.
They have successfully married the artistic with the commercial, without sacrificing their sensibility.”
He has worn Bodybound to many fashion weeks, red carpets and events, and quips that he often gets “photographed to death” in their pieces. Their FW2017 collection, says Boey, is an example of how Wilkins and Pliny have their fingers firmly on the pulse of fashion trends.
“The collection embraces the latest Gucci-esque aesthetic, married with their own, hard-edged silhouette and unusual finishes to create a standout collection of statement looks that is embracing, not alienating, to the customer, all without looking derivative,” he says.
“Think pieces designed by a hybrid of Alessandro Michele the stylist and Lee (Alexander) McQueen the master craftsman.”
LABEL TO KNOW: AMOS ANANDA, BY AMOS ANANDA YEO
NOMINATED BY Hideki Akiyoshi, marketing consultant, Wonder Asia
Launched just three years ago in 2014, home-grown designer Amos Ananda Yeo has already churned out seven collections that have caught the eye of some of Singapore’s savviest fashionistas, including fashion marketing maestro Hideki Akiyoshi. (We hear singer-songwriter Dick Lee is also a fan.)
A graduate of the Raffles College of Higher Education with a bachelor’s degree in fashion marketing and management, Yeo is known for his sophisticated take on streetwear, combining excellent tailoring with the slouchy yet athletic silhouettes of street fashion. The young designer also uses unique details, such as embroidered appliques and tassels, to add visual interest to his pieces.
“I like the details and finishing of the designs, as well as the edgy styling of the collections,” says Akiyoshi. “Instead of following other trends and designs, Amos is proudly Asian without being kitschy.”
The label has already received various accolades, including being named menswear designer of the year by Nuyou magazine in 2015, and young designer of the year at the 2016 Zalora Style Awards. Last July, Yeo made his international debut during Paris Fashion Week as an invited participant of the Tranoi trade show.
Akiyoshi believes Yeo’s journey has just begun: “Amos has the hunger for success and has already learnt the ropes of not just designing, but also marketing, his label. I believe he can go far.”
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