Orchard Road becomes centre of the fashion universe for Audi Fashion Festival

Orchard Road becomes centre of the fashion universe for Audi Fashion Festival
Kim Lim, Jamie Chua and Susanna Kang

SINGAPORE - Nearly 400 esteemed guests showed up at the Audi Red Carpet Night 2014 on Tuesday evening in support of one of Singapore's biggest fashion event of the year.

The gala dinner curtain raiser that night was a prelude to the 6th annual Audi Fashion Festival (AFF) that has returned to the heart of Orchard Road. AFF will be happening from May 14-18, 2014.

Guests received a red carpet welcome upon entering the Tent@Orchard at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza.

High fashion showcases, couture gowns and musical performances were the highlights on opening night as local and international fashion elite came dressed to the nines. Socialites Jamie Chua, Kim Lim and Linda Soo-Tan glammed up for the evening in gowns by Rubin Singer, and socialite Susanna Kang dazzled in a Gucci gown with her hair nestled in a bun embellished with diamonds.

Kicking of the evening was a fashion show by New York designer Rubin Singer, followed by a showcase by Audi Star Creation (ASC) finalists. The ASC is a regional fashion design competition aimed at uncovering local and Asian talents. This year, three winners were awarded $10,000 cash prize by Audi Singapore.

Rebecca Corine Lam took home the Audi Young Designer Award. The Hong Kong designer, who put forth a collection of six looks on the concept of "Zhi" (paper in Chinese), took home the top honours and an additional prize money of $10,000. This is the first time the award has been presented to a Hong Kong designer.

The annual fashion festival, which started in 2009, attracts top international designers and celebrities to the shores of Singapore. This year, AsiaOne understands that Hollywood actress Kate Bosworth and Taiwanese star Godfrey Gao will be attending the shows of Oscar de la Renta and London-based Singaporean designer Ashley Isham respectively.

Jeffrey Mannering, managing director of Audi, said Singapore has its place firmly on the map as a fashion city in his opening speech. Calling Orchard Road "the centre of the fashion universe,"he added that this year's fashion events will be keeping to this year's theme of "Art of progress" with the highlights of both established and budding designers.

Fashion enthusiasts can expect a record number of shows, local brands to have the largest representation at AFF, and the biggest number of designers having their own stand-alone shows this year.

Top young designers Prabal Gurung and Thomas Tait will be hosting solo fashion shows at AFF. Tickets to Gurung's show have reportedly been sold out.

Award-winning label Ong Shunmugam will be unveiling its latest collection along other local labels Hansel, Exhibit and Saturday.

This is the first year the festival is not receiving funding from the government. While the number of seats per show have been reduced, Tjin Lee, director of AFF, told The Straits Times that this year's "intent is not to make it smaller, but more experiential". The runway will be 30m long this year, up from 24m.

AFF will also be giving its fans and followers an insiders' look to the festival via its social media platforms.

Velda Tan, a former partner at local e-retailer Love, Bonito is one of the four such insiders, along with Arissa Cheo, Sheila Sim and Chelsea Leyland. With an all-access pass to the parties and fashion shows, they will be uploading live photos and happenings on Instagram via the hashtags, #AFF2014 and #AFFSG, to show the behind-the-scenes look and happenings.

The Audi Fashion Festival 2014 is now on until May 18 at the Tent@Orchard at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza. Most of the shows are open to the public and tickets are available at Sistic.com.

wjeanne@sph.com.sg

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