SINGAPORE — Someone with strong views of the world, who embraces new possibilities and opportunities and loves the vibrancy of life, but isn’t loud or attention-seeking. Someone who’s so quietly confident in herself that she never fails to attract attention everywhere she goes. Such is the woman whom local designer Elyn Wong says her label Stolen was created for.
The inspiration for the brand, Wong said, stemmed from a love of art and architecture and if you look at its Spring/Summer 2014 collection, there is no doubt of Wong’s homage to clean-cut lines and silhouettes reminiscent of geometric architecture. Opting for a “simple and timeless” signature style of backless pieces, she says her line juxtaposes her minimalist designs with the sensuality of a woman’s exposed back. “No matter how much (skin) you reveal, it remains elegant,” she said.
Stolen founder Elyn Wong believes keeping it simple — in a backless number — is the best way to grab attention.
Q: Tell us more about Stolen’s Spring/Summer 2014 line, Kami.
A: Kami includes garments with the signature backless feature that Stolen is renowned for. Fabrics manipulated and details accentuated to emulate the look and feel of paper. Pushed-up sleeves mimic the structure of a crumpled piece of paper, parallel lines and pleating recall sharp folds in thin sheets, and the layering and panelling of fabrics in various textures and thicknesses take on the effect of thumbing through reams of different types of paper. Strong yet vulnerable, sharp yet fragile, structured yet feminine.
Q: How do you come up with such simple yet edgy designs?
A: When I am finally happy with some designs, I will put them aside for a couple of days (before I) revisit them with fresh eyes to see what else I can subtract from them. When there’s nothing else I can strip away, that’s more or less when I know the design feels right.
Q: What’s the best piece of fashion advice that you’ve received?
A: It wasn’t advice given to me — it was a comment made by a friend about someone else! “She looks so good all the time and it’s boring.” This opened up my mind about personal style. Every day we make decisions about how we look so why not have some fun? Take risks. Try something new.
Q: That’s true. So what advice would you give women looking to improve their personal style with only one item?
A: Wear a bright lip colour or a pair of comfortable, complementary shoes. Nothing else is really necessary. Don’t look like you’ve stepped out of a magazine. Following trends will just make you one (out) of a million.
Q: Finally, what do you hope for Singaporean designers in the future?
A: I would want Singaporean fashion designers to reach out further — to express a stronger personality in their work and be able to craft their products (with) quality.