Stepping out in style

Stepping out in style
A 10m-tall mannequin, lined with LED rope lights and captured dramatically mid- stride, stands atop a base in front of Tangs Orchard at Orchard Road.

SINGAPORE - Shoppers walking along Orchard Road may have noticed that a new, unusual contraption has made its home at the main intersection recently.

A 10m-tall mannequin, lined with LED rope lights and captured dramatically mid-stride, now stands atop a base in front of Tangs Orchard.

The striking figure heralds the arrival of Fashion Steps Out (FSO), an annual six-week fashion event sponsored by the Orchard Road Business Association.

Running from today to May 18, FSO aims to celebrate the start of the spring/summer fashion collections hitting stores and encourage people to spend along Singapore's biggest shopping street.

Creative director of FSO Jeffrey Tay, who is helming the post for the third year, says the addition of the glitzy event tower is part of an effort to raise awareness of the event in people's daily consciousness.

"FSO is a retail event that seeks to boost the stature of Singapore as a fashion city," says the 52-year-old event producer and retail consultant. "The tower is a visual reminder to shoppers of the event and helps create buzz."

The design of the tower, with its sweeping lines, was inspired by the art of fashion illustration, he adds.

"I wanted to take fashion back to its roots and fashion illustration was the art form, even before photography, that really let designers communicate their garment ideas."

Mr Tay's interest in fashion illustration took root while he was a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York in the 1980s. It was there that he met and befriended the late illustrator Antonio Lopez, an upcoming talent at the time.

"It amazed me how he drew, and he was a great, approachable guy," says the Singaporean of the American illustrator, whose name is famous in fashion circles.

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