Local couturier Francis Cheong turns ‘naughtiness’ up a notch
Singapore’s celebrated designer puts on a show that was all about vivid colours and gold confetti, ultra bling...and socialites-turned-into-club-girls as models
Photos: Elliot Lee
Videos: Terris Chiang, Fiona Lin, Juliet Chow, Teng Siew Eng
During his debut of the iconic designer's Spring/Summer 2011 Couture Collection, local designer Francis Cheong shifted the concepts of glamour and femininity to a fast-forward outlook which celebrated the strength and confidence of a woman.
Together with Marie France Bodyline, his fashionable collaboration also celebrated the success of the 30-year-old atelier. The designer was the official designer for the Miss Universe Pageant back in 1987 and had always been reputable for his extravagant designs on remarkable fabrics. He's well-known for his meticulous crafting skills and his use of striking embroidery and bead work.
This season's collection reminisces the venue, Club Chinoiserie, a very notable local club in the 80s where Francis and the 'most beautiful people, celebrities, movie stars, royalties' would 'gather, have fun and move along to the crazy music'. This collection served as a nostalgic 'reminder of those days', explained the designer.
The heavy influence of the oriental China was also apparent in the couture collection which included '5000 years of history'. In 2004, Moet & Chandon paid a tribute to the designer for making outstanding contributions to Asian fashion. In his latest collection, the designer continues to look east. "It's about time I contributed to the Great Orient," laughed Francis.
From 'the usual dragon and phoenix designs', the designer strayed even further to include 'peonies, lotuses, bamboos, national art painting in black and white calligraphy' into his fabulous clothing designs. He explained that all pieces from the collection had 'come from a story'.
When asked to describe the lavish show's models, Francis immediately responded with 'vain and flirtatious', 'fun and fashionable yet, couture'.
Hong Kong celeb Christy Chung closed his runway show last night. On his choice of Christy as his muse, Francis strongly believes the hot mama embodies what today's modern woman should be; one who can 'juggle between her work and still look beautiful'.
He also noted that it is not only the woman's drive and capabilities that inspired him but also her 'courage, style, daringness and love for bling-bling'. A love that he shares as well.
Having been in the industry for over 30 years, Francis declared drawing his initial inspirations from 'old masters like Yves Saint Laurent'. The renowned designer said that if one 'reduced the silhouette and shape' of his ostentatious designs, they would come to realise that his pieces have indeed 'very clean lines'. He strongly stands by these strong cuts as he believes that they are 'a statement' by themselves.
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