A portion of dialogue from the horror movie Sixth Sense played, setting a foreboding mood for the Frederick Lee show. The guests shifted in their seats, a sense of uncertainty in the air - after all, hearing a young Haley Joel Osment repeat "I see dead people" is rather unsettling for a normal person.
The silhouettes of three were revealed. Two topless boys with antlers, who looked like that were transported from ancient Greece, flanked Emily Hwang, vice president and spokesperson of the Asian Couture Federation and escorted her to her seat. The mood didn't lighten up, as red floodlights lit the runway a bloody tint and the first model stomped out in a hurry to the sound of sirens.
In thigh-high boots, long gloves, a feather bolero and an aviator cap, the model lifted up her long skirt so that it would catch the wind and fly like wings - she appeared like an angry crow. Cue, Alfred Hitchcock's classic avian-themed flick The Birds.
The Singaporean couture designer clad his heroines - or were they villainesses - all in black. From the feathers, chiffon, leather catsuits and leotards, the look was dark and gothic. Lee's girls weren't to be messed around - especially the model with the short jacket that had long nails hanging from it.
There was a showgirl, burlesque feel too - with feathered, voluminous mini skirts and hot pants cut up to there. But Lee's signature romantic couture gowns were still present, transformed into titillating numbers, thanks to swishy mermaid skirts, sultry sheer panels. Only silver sequins, metallic details and a red head-and-shoulder piece that resembled chainmail broke through the gloomy all-black colour palette.
The models kept the pace anxious, as though in a hurry to escape. A hint of taxidermy appeared - a stuffed bird was attached to the front of a gown. But this look was outdone by the finale. A creature with gold curved antlers and the cape of an eagle's wings strutted, taking her time unlike the rest - the queen of the birds perhaps?
Lee kept us on the edge of our seats with a consistent show that didn't veer off-theme one bit and played up the best of couture with excessive use of feathers, sequins, appliques and even nails.
The Frederick Lee show took place on October 19, 2013 at Singapore Fashion Week 2013.
For more information on Fashion Week 2013, go to www.fidefashionweeks.com.
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