Shopping In Singapore: Stefano Pilati's Solo Label Debuts Here, Bags Inspired By The Japanese Art Of Fabric Wrapping & Jade Bangles With A Twist
Relocating to Berlin has done wonders for former Yves Saint Laurent and Ermenegildo Zegna creative director Stefano Pilati. Not only has the vibe of the city given him a boost of youthful energy, but the freedom of being an independent designer insulated from the gruelling grind of producing for a big fashion house also lets him be free to shake up how fashion should look and be sold today. Since its launch in 2017, his solo label Random Identities has garnered not only a cult following among fans who have missed his work. It also stands out for its value (think a US$405 or S$550 for a trenchcoat by a brand name designer) and its gender-neutral designs.
For its fourth instalment, which debuts here at Dover Street Market Singapore on June 26, Pilati shows what tailoring looks like when it’s mixed with utilitarian dressing. The result is a collection ($200-$690) comprising items like cotton cargos, rompers and denim. Even when Pilati takes a stab at the trendy ratchet aesthetic, he does it in an arty way – cue the long-sleeved T-shirts and shirts come with a trompe l’oeil bra print. As he once said in an interview with e-tailer Ssense: “My line wants to express my sensitivity to good taste and style. This is for what I am recognised.”
Looking for a more understated but chic alternative to that popular summer trend for wicker weave bags? Then this micro trend of totes inspired by the traditional Japanese art of furoshiki fabric wrapping might do the trick for its quaint homespun charm. Ukrainian sleepwear label Sleeper (www.the-sleeper.com) debuts a linen collection called This Is Not A Bag (left) which is made up of large cloth that can be unravelled to become a big picnic or beach mat. Meanwhile, Net-A-Porter exclusively stocks the Knot canvas tote (middle) by sustainable fashion label Emily Levine which features a wicker base woven by artisans. For a more subtle take on the look, then Tory Burch’s Zoe Tie bag (right), in supple pebbled leather from New Zealand, would do the trick.
Off-White’s Virgil Abloh has dipped his hands into almost every collaboration possible. There’s a Rimowa luggage collaboration, a Vitra furniture tie-up, a design partnership with Ikea – you get the picture. But it’s the man’s latest venture with luxury French swimwear label Vilebrequin that seems primed for the summer holiday season. The five-piece collection of unisex board shorts ($440-$490) showcases Abloh’s M.O. for streetwear-inspired designs even when he hits the beach. Expect designs in bright fluoro hues, floral prints, and Off-White’s iconic black and white stripes and arrow logos. They’re not exactly Rio material, but at least they check the box for that hypebae watch factor.
A BALANCING ACT
If you’ve not heard of 4D printing, then the latest sneakers drop between Adidas and Japanese leather specialist Hender Scheme will show you what that technology can do. This collaboration launches at Club21 Four Seasons on June 22 and features two new interpretations of Adidas’ popular ZC 4000 4D sneakers ($550) by the cult Japanese brand known for reworking iconic sneaker designs using vegetable tanned leather. One version comes with all-black uppers while the other features an eclectic mix of colours like nude, grey and white. The futuristic touch comes in the high-performance 4D-printed midsole which is said to be the first to use the Digital Light Synthesis technology to create a lattice-like midsole that promises to give the wearer better energy return with every stride.
Homegrown jade specialist Choo Yilin might have made a mark for her ornate metalwork design on jewellery. But for her latest collection, the designer goes back to basics – and then gives it a little twist. The debut Classic Oval Jade Bangle series (from $2,288) stands out from Choo’s normal body of work for its stark minimalist designs. Each bangle is crafted from high-quality Type A jadeite and then cut in an unconventional and contemporary oval shape that differentiates it from the O.G. versions. Even the hardware here is discreet: the inner band features a 9K gold plate bearing the brand’s emblem.