21 Apr 2019

Royal Commonwealth Society of Singapore partners MDISPress Releases

Singapore, 12 Mar 2019 – In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the formation of the Commonwealth, the Royal Commonwealth Society collaborated with students of the MDIS School of Fashion and Design to champion the message of sustainability through an avant-garde themed fashion show. The show featured recycled plastics as the centrestage material in students’ designs of wearable fashion.

Held on 11 Mar 2019, the event hosted by the British High Commissioner to Singapore, His Excellency Scott Wightman, aimed to connect people from diverse backgrounds to drive movements in sustainability. Mr Wightman said, “Our theme for 2019 is ‘A Connected Commonwealth’, which encourages collaboration to protect the environment and drive sustainability. The Royal Commonwealth Society of Singapore’s partnership with MDIS students speaks to many aspects of the Commonwealth’s focuses. It showcases how we can each do our part for sustainability and encourages youth to step up in thinking creatively about the issue.”

The brief to the students also took into consideration the cultural nuances of the region. They are required to design and create modest fashion that would look relevant for our times, while ensuring wearability and sustainability.

12 students from across the region responded to the challenge, with many designing their works based on inspirations drawn from cultural environments they had interacted with. Charis Tan, a 24-year-old Singaporean student, was inspired by Arabesque (Islamic art) and mosque architecture. “The intricate repeating geometrical patterns held a profound meaning and that's what appeals to me to incorporate such elements in my design,” said Ms Tan.

The fashion showcase won the hearts of the panel of judges which consisted of representatives from different Commonwealth nations. Ms Anne Wightman, spouse of the British High Commissioner to Singapore and one of the judges, said, “The students went with the themes and requirements given to them and showed creativity and originality in their works. We can even imagine wearing some of these designs!”

Ms Alda Ntezilizaza, spouse of the High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to Singapore, elaborated on the judges’ impression of the students’ designs, “They proved that modest wear can look really stylish. We like the mix of design that ranges from bold looks to something more muted and classical.”

Other than being on-trend, the judges were most impressed with how each of the pieces makes a strong statement on sustainable fashion through clever use of recycled materials.