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Fashion

These Are The Rising Singapore Models And Actresses To Know Now

Duan Mei Yue, Jean Yong, Ellison Tan and Cheryl Tan, remember these names. They're the up-and-coming Singapore models and actresses that'll be stealing the spotlight - we called it first.

Photography Lenne Chai/ADB Agency Styling Imran Jalal

Photography assistant Daniel Chan Styling assistant Christabel Teo Hair Sean Ang/Fac3inc, using Keune Makeup Beno Lim, using It Cosmetics Set design Bart, Jeremy Chow, Serene Lizzy Tan & Hazel Sim Special thanks to The Propz Company

This story first appeared in Female’s August 2018 print issue.

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From left: Duan Mei Yue wears wool and silk dress, and Flashtrek canvas and rubber sneakers with crystals. Jean Yong wears lace and silk dress, and leather slides. Ellison Tan wears silk shirt, wool skirt, and Flashtrek canvas and rubber sneakers with crystals. Cheryl Tan wears silk shirt and skirt.  All Gucci   Duan Mei Yue
With strong brows, wide-set eyes and a lanky 1.78m-tall frame, this 19-year-old is used to being taunted as “ugly”. Incidentally, those same features have landed her in the pages of i-D Japan and the runway of Dior’s S/S ’18 couture show in Shanghai – all within her first year of modelling. Adding to her X factor: her ’90s alt-girl style and boisterous, slightly goofball charm – best captured in her live beauty tutorials on Instagram (@dmeiyue). It’s little wonder that besides Mannequin Studio here, she’s signed to Women Management in New York – the same agency as Sun Fei Fei and Natasha Poly – and has netted an active 23K-strong social media following. As she cheekily puts it, she’s “Pinterest and Tumblr famous”. Wool coat, and matching collar and sash, Miu Miu. Tulle and nylon sheath dress, Prada Shu Yi Ching
She spent her formative years in China, then moved to Canada for a tertiary education in food nutrition. For this telegenic 25-year-old, none of that globetrotting can beat the experiences that acting – which she dropped out of food science to study – allows her to indulge in when working on a role. The ones she’s played are a colourful lot: from a cyborg school teacher in the dystopian drama Human+ to multiple roles in Toy Factory’s heartwarming Masters Of Comedy. Each time, she was singled out as a breakout star. Up next: her first lead role in the local romcom 20 Days. TV junkies, meet your next sweetheart.   Metal necklaces with crystals, Gucci
Clockwise from left: Ching wears leather and lace gown, Loewe. Yong wears grain de poudre bustier dress and leather boots, Givenchy. Cheryl Tan wears velvet and lace dress, Longchamp. Duan wears Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello velvet jacket, silk shirt, leather shorts, and suede boots, Saint Laurent Ellison Tan
This 29-year-old sums herself up in one word: theatremaker – the industry jargon for a multi-hyphenate, juggling acting, DJ’ing on radio, playwriting and directing all at once. “I’ve always loved creating, and they all fall under that umbrella,” she explains. She’s also a daring one. Besides having penned three plays, she co-created last year’s You Can Reach The Sky, an interactive theatre piece that was a first of its kind here. Its target audience? Infants. With a soothing soundtrack, specially designed lighting set, and quotidian objects such as bubble wrap, it was meant to appeal to babies’ psychomotor and cognitive abilities. It was also such a hit that she’ll be restaging it in October and December. Wool sweater, matching pants, and leather boots, Dior Cheryl Tan
It takes moxie to hold your own against top-billed veterans like Kit Chan, but this Singapore-based Malaysian did just that with her scene-stealing turn as the young Empress Dowager Cixi in last year’s blockbuster musical Forbidden City: Portrait Of An Empress. (For that, she earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination in this year’s The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards.) Her resume is packed with plum roles, many incidentally playing “princesses” – Juliet in Shakespeare In The Park’s Romeo & Juliet, and Ivy Chan in 2015’s Beauty World. Citing the likes of brassy American comedian Ali Wong as her idol, Tan says her dream though is to do “something that changes the way people think, or gives young women confidence to reject bulls**t”. For now, expect her in this month’s Singapopera, another major production revisiting Dick Lee’s hits. Wool jacket, Valentino
Yong (left) wears silk shirt, and leather and fur midi skirt, Chloe. Cheryl Tan wears cotton and leather shirt dress, and leather hoop earrings, Loewe Jean Yong
A game, experimental streak has led this 23-year-old to go from bioscience research assistant to one of our brightest modelling stars. Last year, she joined The New Paper New Face contest, and gamely loped off her chest-length hair into a pixie crop for a job a day before the finals – and went on to take the crown. A campaign for rising local designer Wai Yang and Antonio Marras’ F/W ’18 show in Milan followed. The bleached brows she sports here? She got them for the June 2018 cover of British indie magazine Beautiful Blood. We’re certain they’re going to take her further when she hits Paris Fashion Week next month. Cotton jacket and cotton poplin shirt, Dries Van Noten. Suede boots, Longchamp