This is a PSA: if you aren’t already familiar with the sculptural and surreal works of Grace Ling, start paying attention. She’s the Singapore fashion designer-on-the-rise with her year-old eponymous label that taps on technology such as 3D printing and CGI to create conceptual tailored garments and the wittiest bags and jewellery that come across as at once sensual, gothic and hyper luxurious.
(For example, Ling’s Self Portrait signet ring was crafted by having her own face covered in hot plaster to create a mold. It was then scanned with 3D technology and refined into a ring.)
Having trained at Central Saint Martins in London, Parsons School of Design in New York as well as interning at Thom Browne and The Row, the 24-year-old has made the Big Apple her base since 2016 when she completed her studies.
Grace Ling has swiftly made a name for herself with her richly surreal accessories, such as this signature Butt Bag that’s inspired by biomorphic forms.
What is your take on Singapore’s fashion identity today?
“Singapore is a pretty young country, so it is natural for the fashion industry to be still developing. Although the current fashion here is pretty commercial, I hope to see it grow and value towards a more authentic and artistic direction.
Four years ago, Dover Street Market opened in Singapore. That was very impressive, and it provides a sense of hope and vision for many young creatives, which is essential in cultivating a long-lasting fashion culture of our own.”
Ling’s Fall/Winter 2021 collection, titled Mimicry, continues her fascination with the human body, and includes sensuous knits as well as witty accessories such as the Comb necklace (pictured here below model’s hand).
What more (or less) do we need to make Singapore a “true” fashion city?
“I think Singapore still has a dominant blog shop culture… perhaps the commercial side and the high fashion sit too closely to each other (with the same models, stylists and teams). Both have their perks but sometimes it can be quite confusing.
I think nurturing and funding street culture is very important. Fashion always translates from the ground up through authentic street culture and I am beginning to see this in Singapore, so that is very hopeful.”
Complete this sentence: In future, I hope that Singapore fashion…
“…will be filled with many innovative homegrown labels that are conscious of the impacts of fast fashion. And I hope Dover Street Market Singapore will buy more Singaporean-born labels.”