Artist collaborations take an in-depth look at the processes taken to achieve a final piece of work. This space pays homage to the work-in-progress and its documentation as an art form that is as worthy of admiration as the final piece of work.
Compelled by a futuristic vision, Kelbin explains his creative process of how he arrived at the brazen handwritten slogans — I AM THE FUTURE, THE BIGGER THE BETTER. Captivated by astronomy and the exploration of space, Kelbin takes inspiration from futuristic elements to create an ultramodern world. His vision for the future unfolds through the conceptual photoshoot which showcases his creation, the personalised tote bag that is transformed into one-of-a-kind wearable art.
As the Spring/Summer ’17 collection indulges in the theme of ‘Finding Inspirations’, Kelbin shares about how he overcomes a creative roadblock. Embarking on a creative journey is not always smooth sailing, but the artist and designer offers advice that the best thing to do is to take a break from work. Kelbin shares that, “when your mind is at ease, new inspirations emerge easily”.
Through his artistic narrative, Kelbin demonstrates the collision of the two worlds of fashion and art through the conception of the bespoke bag for CHARLES & KEITH. He agrees that both spheres are not mutually exclusive, as “Fashion and art always come along and support each other”. Captured in his sartorial street style element, Kelbin styles his arresting creation with his signature avant-garde looks, seamlessly merging high fashion luxury with a laid-back urban edge.
Audacious and irreverent in nature, Kelbin Lei’s creation for CHARLES & KEITH resonates with his personal style. Kelbin’s statement-making looks are best described as radical and avant-garde, made unique by a fluid mix of luxury and streetwear labels. The dynamic individual takes on dual roles as a stylist and designer, crafting a signature style that is an infusion of standout graphic prints, experimental silhouettes and bold slogans.
Mixed media artist, Vietnam
There is a story to be told from Lisa’s creations, of a woman who spent her life growing up immersed in the urban landscape of Phnom Pehn, but also drawn to the serendipity of nature. As many creatives who seek inspiration from the spaces around them, Lisa is inspired by the treasures of Cambodia, like the Angkor Wat, and all things that live amongst nature.
It is easy to sense Lisa Mam’s pride for her motherland, from the way she introduces herself as a local Cambodian Girl from Phom Penh City, to the influence of Khmer culture in her work. The first female street artist in Cambodia, Lisa is inspired by Cambodia’s ancient sites, infusing Khmer culture’s flowing organic intricate designs into her art in a modern, contemporary way.
Driven by her own independence and inspired by the female form, Lisa describes her art as “a visual translation of the modern day Khmer Woman”. Lisa’s art gives insight into the Khmer culture, with the purpose of allowing “the world to understand more about Khmer culture in the modern era”. Rather than merely drawing from traditional elements, Lisa creates a modern version of these designs, fused with her vision of a beautiful Apsara, a mythological female spirit of the clouds and waters.
Breaking boundaries and rewriting conventions, Lisa is a non-believer in containing herself within a certain art from. She is a fan of all styles of art, ranging from ancient, to contemporary to street art. As varied as her creations, Lisa’s artwork has captured an international audience, having painted on the streets of Phnom Penh, to commissioned works in overseas location such as Thailand, Maldives and Paris.
Mix medium artist, Cambodia
It started out with an analog camera, friends who pored over the glossy pages of fashion publications with aspirations to one day pose as a model for top photographers, and of course Charly's unwavering desire to make the best image that she possibly could. The magic of clicking the shutter to capture her efforts that went into hair, makeup, wardrobe and more importantly, creating a narrative had the Portuguese youth hooked in one attempt.
Knowing that the creation of striking and arresting images comes with experience and dedication, Charly enrolled herself at the Catholic University of Portugal when she had the opportunity to formally train as an image-maker. While pursuing a degree in Image, Photography and Sound, she also dedicated herself in other avenues to hone her skills. One of which is her blog, Therapa, which started out as a space dedicated to cataloging her interviews with influential Portuguese fashion, film and television personalities.
Thereafter, Therapa grew into more than just interviews but also, a platform for Charly to showcase her photography and short films. It was an intimidating experience when she first published her works online 3 years ago. However, that decision pushed her to participate in film festivals and eventually opened up opportunities for her to collaborate with global brands. Over the years, Charly has sought inspiration in music, movies, and more particularly, in observing strangers. She observes their behaviours, demeanour and idiosyncrasies that define them. "I notice how this person puts his hands, her make-up, how she ties her hair...From there I give wings to the imagination and start drawing."
A documentation and visual narrative of the ongoing stories around her that are both intimate and personal. A creation of visuals that not only reflect beauty, movement and glamour, but also her way of establishing a quiet strangers-to-muse relationship with all the lives that she has incepted.
Inspired by the likes of legendary photographers Robert Frank, Helmut Newton, Peter Lindbergh and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Charly's fascination with fashion imaging saw her through her childhood where experimentation and curiosity formed a significant part of her endeavours towards becoming an illustrator and photographer.
Mix medium artist, Portugal
Krizia doesn’t remember when she developed a passion for drawing. As far as she can recall, it started at a young age and evolved into something that has since molded into her identity. However, after enrolling in fashion school, Krizia turned the canvas to merge her passion for drawing with her fascination with fashion. Her creative process synthesises traditional and digital techniques which then translates into an amalgamation of initial sketches and experimentation.
“For this one, I gathered poses that will showcase the products very well and still be in line with the directions given. I did a mixture of whole body illustrations and 'cropped' ones to give a nice focus on the products. As for the colours, they are all based on the colours of the products and then I put textures and accent colours to make the illustration more appealing. Palm leaves are also added to give a tropical feel to it which is something I love!”
“Fashion and drawing are both things I really love so I am forever grateful to make a living out of what I love doing!”
Take a closer look at the canvas and you can find pencil traces flowing along the swashes of gold and indigo; an extension of the experimentations that the illustrator invested.
As the artwork seeks rhythm with each trace of ink, it develops into a deliberate chaos of steady repetition, until a choreography composed of gold and deep indigo strokes decorate the periphery of ultramarine parchment. Leaving the center unblemished and untouched perhaps suggests a metaphor for quiet contemplation amidst the visual crescendo.
Almost like a musical arrangement, Sun Lee’s composition of motifs finds allusion to her creative process as an illustrator. Starting with wary and guarded strokes, a selection of identifiable motifs form as an introduction to build a premise for the later parts of her illustration.
Mix medium artist, Singapore
She is globally recognised for her alluring and sophisticated designs, many of which have been sought after by the world's leading luxury fashion and lifestyle brands, as well as social media fashion communities.
Grace is also well-known for her breath-taking fashion illustrations that turn flower petals into stunning dresses worth of any runway. Imagine the soft and impermanent flower petals adding to a flowing, scalloped form of a dress, their delicacy and exquisiteness mimicking those of a soft fabric.
It is this tender beauty that Grace hopes to immortalise in her artwork, turning everyday blooms into perfect doses of fashion inspiration.
Grace Ciao is a fashion illustrator who has worked with brands such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Jaeger Le-Coultre, Fendi, Elie Saab, Saks Fifth Avenue New York and JW Marriott Venice among others.
Mix medium artist, Singapore