SINGAPORE — Home-grown fashion designer Alfie Leong has been keeping himself busy this year. Besides bagging himself an esteemed President’s Design Award as one of the Designers of the Year for 2013, Leong unveiled the second edition of Workshop Element (W.E.) at Westgate last week. W.E. is a retail pop-up store that features the creations of emerging designers and veterans, such as fashion label MASH UP by Daniela Monasterios Tan, Nathanael Ng and Shaf Amis’aabudin, as well as Leong’s own A.W.O.L and Mu.
“I always wanted to set up a platform for young and veteran Singaporean creatives, curators and designers to come together to learn and to cross-pollinate ideas, and, at the same time, provide a physical space for them to showcase their products,” he explained. “It might function like a department store but each designer and curator actually has the creative freedom to decorate and curate his or her own space.
“We ensure that each brand has its own unique identity and aesthetics.”
Q: How would you describe your personal style?
A: Personally, I am quite casual and do not restrict myself to specific colours or silhouettes. I care a lot about comfort so you’ll usually find me in bermudas and sweaters, especially hoodies. I pay particular attention to good detailing when stocking my wardrobe and it is mostly filled with newly discovered brands.
Q: What techniques do you usually explore in your designs?
A: In terms of my designs, I like quite a bit of draping as it allows for more creative freedom. From experimenting with the different techniques over the years, it has become my favourite method. I discovered that draping is not limited to cowl necklines or droopy excess fabric, it can be fitted, asymmetrical or voluminous, and is highly versatile.
Q: What items should every woman have in their wardrobe?
A: One, black dresses — they are versatile, easy to wear and can never go wrong. Two, a simple black A-line skirt that ends just above the knee flatters most body types and is easy to match. Three, classic solid black heels that are suitable for all occasions.
Q: What about for men?
A: First, a classic pair of black tailored pants for those formal occasions. Second, collared shirts and a pair of black shoes for both work and events. Third, a pair of bermudas that is good for travelling and casual days. Fourth, a couple of T-shirts for casual days and as inner wear for layering. Fifth, sweaters and pullovers that can be thrown over T-shirts for coolers days or when we’re at the movies. And finally, a pair of casual sneakers.
Q: How can we play up our outfits in Singapore’s weather?
A: Light layering would be ideal for our climate. You could always throw a cardigan or a light jacket over your outfit and remove them when you’re outdoors or when it gets too hot. Also, never underestimate the power of accessories. The right accessory, like a bangle, cuff, necklace, tie or pocket square, easily makes an entire outfit interesting.