Two homegrown fashion maestros fuse fashion and technology for this year’s Audi Fashion Festival. By Zaki Jufri
The bright runway lights, the oh-so-hot leggy models, the fabulous fashion set all dressed to the nines—the fashion world will bring on its glitz and glamour this month as the Lion City braces itself up for the Audi Fashion Festival come Apr 28. Although you can expect a string of big names from the likes of Roberto Cavalli, Dsquared2 and KTZ whose sartorial threads will grace the catwalk, our own fashion heroes Ben Wu and Desmond Yang have something up their sleeves as well. The pair has teamed up with Samsung to create the Samsung Wave AFF ’10 Fashion Collection—a fashion collection of six design creations, that complements the festival’s official phone. We caught up with the two designers to find out more about their creations.
Can you elaborate on your creations?
Ben Wu: My “Archetype” series was modeled after the diamond shapes that can be found on the back and front of the Samsung Wave smart phone. In today’s context, if we observe anyone who isn’t carrying a bag, purse or carrier in their hand, it is very likely that they’re carrying a mobile phone. Hence, I wanted my creation to be an amplified work of art that is stylish, practical, meaningful and most importantly, original.
Desmond Yang: My key inspiration for “Wings—Take Flight” was taken from the concept of birds flying, and of how birds spread their wings to take flight and soar to greater heights.
Are you guys tech junkies? What’s one gadget you can’t live
BW: Yes, I have always been a keen early adopter, whether it is a mobile handheld or any device. Ever since owning the first generation PDA phone, I have never looked back since and have moved on to using smart phones.
DY: Definitely the mobile phone, because these days, I cannot imagine getting by without one. All my contacts of everyone I know are stored in it, and I will be so lost without it.
How did you begin this project: Fusing fashion and technology? What
kind of research did you do?
BW: As I wanted my designs to center on human behavior, I did quite a bit of investigation of mobile users’ actions. Furthermore, my research is meant to focus beyond the mobile user’s needs. As 3D HDTV is essentially a home entertainment device, I designed a 3D eyewear that is not just a fashion statement but one that rocks everyone in the family. The result is “Baby Boomer”—a retro-inspired frame, updated with modern contemporary materials that houses all the mechanics required for its function.
DY: Today, more than ever, fashion has become part of our daily life. And this is why I designed Wave-inspired accessories that will make fashion statements and yet remain useful and functional. I had based my research on the word “wave,” as inspired by Samsung Wave, and utilized the concept of wings for my designs.
What are some of the challenges you
BW: I had difficulties searching for the materials needed for the creations. In the end, I had to source for the fabrics from overseas. Also, I spent quite some time to produce the sketch for the 3D eyewear as I had to use the 3D modeling software to do so.
DY: The challenges were mostly deadline issues, because we were only given one month to execute the design and production of the prototypes for the “Wings—Take Flight” series. All the pieces are painstakingly hand-crafted and that is why the production takes a longer time as well.
The Samsung AFF ’10 Fashion Collection is exclusively available for sale at the Samsung Flagship Store (#02-28/29 VivoCity, 1 HarbourFront Walk, 6376-9150), BenWU (#02-05 Mandarin Gallery, 333 Orchard Rd., 6233-0977) and abyzz by desmond yang (#02-21/23 Orchard Rd., 6509-8892).