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Fashion festival The Front Row takes over Raffles City till Sept 25

Fashion festival The Front Row takes over Raffles City till Sept 25
PHOTO: Facebook/The Front Row

When Covid-19 hit more than two years ago, fashion producer and director Daniel Boey decided he wasn’t going to sit still and twiddle his thumbs while waiting for the storm to pass.

To support local and regional fashion creatives including designers, stylists and models, the industry veteran created The Front Row, Singapore’s first virtual fashion festival. The event evolved into a hybrid affair last year, as restrictions eased.

Now, with much of the world returning to some form of normalcy, The Front Row returns for the third year with a brand-new format. Taking place from Sept 16 to 25 as part of Singapore Design Week (which returns after a two-year hiatus), The Front Row will be held at Raffles City Shopping Centre in a takeover called #Fashtag. The 10-day festival will include fashion shows, talks, workshops, and exhibitions showcasing NFTs as well as virtual fashion presentations.

Says Boey, “For our third year, we are partnering with exciting and sometimes unexpected local, regional and even international creatives consisting of designers, photographers and content curators, as well as the brightest students from Singapore’s fashion schools.

“We are showcasing NFTs and the metaverse, which are rapidly shaping the future of design and fashion… We are immensely proud to present The Front Row in a hybrid, phygital format that blends the best of both worlds to deliver a fresh and unparalleled fashion experience to consumers.”

Activities including runway shows and discussions


#Fashtag will encompass two main areas: Exhibitions and activities. Taking place at the Level 3 atrium space of Raffles City, the roster of activities includes discussions with industry players as well as “cabine shows”. According to the organisers, “cabine shows are small, intimate shows that designers in Europe used to organise for their closest clients.”

Says Boey, “Cabine’ is a term that’s no longer used but I feel it’s important to bring back the intimacy of runway shows, and focus on the craft of fashion and the skill of the models in embodying the spirit of the designers and the styling.”

Focusing on themes relating to sustainable fashion consumption, these runway presentations will feature curated selections such as designs by local labels that engage in small-batch production. Boey promises an “inclusive fashion cast”, which will include local models aged 50 and above, as well as talent scouted off the streets by the fashion director himself.

Also worth making time for are sharing sessions called Void Deck Conversations. The speakers will include entrepreneurs such as Susannah Jaffer, founder of sustainable fashion platform

Exhibitions bridging the physical and digital worlds

Executed in phygital or digital formats, the five exhibitions will be held across Levels 1, 2 and 3 of Raffles City during the entire duration of the festival.

Highlights among the list of exhibitions include #MetaMatters, a phygital exhibition that blends fashion, photography and artworks. It will feature the work of creatives such as photography team Chuando & Frey, the incubator programme by Web3 fashion brand MIRL, and LA-based Filipino photographer Filbert Kung. The showcase also includes a collaboration by photographer Rui Liang, fashion designer Thomas Wee and former top local model Pat Kraal.

Elsewhere, visitors will get to watch digital fashion presentations that were created by designers such as Max Tan, Nuboaix and Shirt Number White during the height of the pandemic. The designs of sustainable regional design names such as Indonesian label Sean Sheila and Filipino couturier Michael Cinco will also come under the spotlight.

And then, of course, there’s the metaverse: #MadeInRealLife is an NFT showcase curated by MIRL. Taking centre stage in this presentation is “an upcycled couture gown with NFT elements” — intriguing, to say the least. To check out the full schedule for The Front Row 2022, click here.

This article was first published in The Peak.

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