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Fashion

8 Questions About Yoyo Cao's Fall Winter 2016 Exhibit Collection

In an age when more people seem to want to be social media influencers than they do a lawyer/banker/journalist/insert-traditional-respectable-occupation-here, Yoyo Cao has worked hard to prove that she’s much more than just her 192K Instagram followers (at least that was the number at press time).

Peruse her account and it’s clear that she’s no longer simply a street style star. Her deft hand in layering and breaking down runway looks to make them her own are what still gets her the most attention (including a recent feature on Vogue.com – props, girl), but her flawless sartorial track record really means she’s just One Of The Best Dressed Women Around.

Beyond being a fashion plate, she’s added photographer, stylist and host to her resume. Meanwhile, the fact that she’s managed to build a life that sees her globetrotting for weeks on end to work with brands ranging from SK-II to Louis Vuitton makes it clear that she’s a sharp, savvy, professional businesswoman.

Then of course, there’s her fashion line Exhibit, which has evolved from being a multi-label, cash-and-carry retail store at Far East Plaza to a brand in its own right, worn by industry insiders and coveted by legions of young women who aspire to be like Cao.

Revealed at Singapore Fashion Week at the National Gallery last Friday evening, everything about her Fall Winter 2016 collection – showcased in partnership with footwear giant Charles & Keith (another indication of her business smarts) – only further drove across the point that Cao has ascended the social media influencer tag to be a true millennial fashion creative. Here’s what went through my head as the looks hit the runway.

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#1: Is Yoyo Cao the most influential designer in Singapore?
It sure seemed like it from the guest list that included her international social media star pals like Vanessa Hong (@thehautepursuit, left) and Evangelie Smyrniotaki (@styleheroine, middle). #1: Is Yoyo Cao the most influential designer in Singapore?
Also among the A-list guest list: Hairstylist David Gan; “super stylist” Karen Ng; Cao’s telegenic inner circle that includes fellow newcomer designer Arissa Cheo; the local PR heads of some of the biggest luxury labels; and actresses Fiona Xie and Jeanette Aw (above), who came dressed in looks from the very collection that went down the runway #1: Is Yoyo Cao the most influential designer in Singapore?
Adding to the international social media star factor: Kim Jones (@kimcamjones), who hinted at a special Exhibit Fall Winter 2016 project she was working on on Instagram the next morning with an OOTD of one of the key dresses from the collection #2: Who wants to bet that this dress is going to be a best-seller?
It’s the white alternative to an LBD. It’s statement without being fussy; romantic yet intellectual. And depending how you see them, the extra long sleeves channel either Celine (can never go wrong) or a tinge of Vetements (so wrong, they’re right). #3: And who wants to bet that this satin top will sell like hot cakes?
The first look revealed pre-show, this mock/cowl neck, bell-sleeved number is quintessentially Cao while adding a girlier, more colour-friendly dimension to her repertoire as a designer. #4: Who would have thought that a sliver of contrasting satin could double as an accessory?
Lining the collar of a light pink mini dress, it’s an unpredictable and clever accent. #5: When can I land my hands on this shirt dress?
Answer: now – it’s part of the first drop from the collection on Exhibit’s retail website and – with its crisp tailoring and on-trend buckled detailing – guaranteed to appeal to both the fashion and intellectual set. #6: What's the perfect length of ribbon to create an "Exhibit" choker?
This whole skinny scarf/ribbon as choker thing is a signature Cao look. On the runway, she translated it with what looked like strips of grosgrain ribbon in pretty blush pink. #7: Why don't more women pair vintage-style bags with modern separates?
1. Vintage-style bags are big in Spring Summer 2017. 2. It’s an idiot-proof way to lend interest to any outfit. 3. See Exhibit Fall Winter 2016, where the surprisingly elegant yet playful versions came courtesy of Charles & Keith #8: Why not match your eyeshadow to your outfit?
Cao is a master stylist and this beauty tip is perfect for the year-end party period. #8: Why not match your eyeshadow to your outfit?
Purple top, purple eyeshadow, why not?   Like this? Watch our video interview with Yoyo Cao on her model crush of the moment, favourite comfort food and more, how she aces wearing the beret and editor Noelle Loh’s 10 questions about Chanel’s Spring Summer 2017 collection.