The room was packed for ISSUE (March 23, 2017 at BIFW2017), the famous and playful Thai designer brand built on traditional Thai and multicultural designs and textures, and for good reason. After building up anticipation through a lengthy cricket-chirping soundtrack in the dark, lights flashed and hip hop blared, drawing gasps and cheers from the crowd. Energy flooded the runway as the first model, dressed in a printed sports jacket with matching pants, sauntered onto the colourful, beach-themed platform, which set the tone for the rest of the show.
Like most of ISSUE’s collections, which aimed to transport you to another place and time, this collection, presented by Wacoal Mood, introduced attendees to a trip to Malacca, a historical city in Malaysia that has been colonized by many countries including Portugal, Japan, France, and Great Britain, before being granted independence in 1963. Malacca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a melting pot of different colonial heritages, full of colour, wall art, diverse architecture and fashions, qualities that were successfully channeled through ISSUE’s collection.
Attendees were treated to a wave of funky and vibrant designs, along with all the must-haves for going away for the weekend: tropical prints on light fabrics, accompanied by straw hats, textile totes and the occasional dreadlocks; relaxed-fitting two-piece suits for men, who keep it casual with headbands, sandals, and slip-on sneakers; flowing beachwear cover-ups for women, some wearing headdresses with exaggerated feathers, text (“ISSUE” and “HIGH” in bold letters), or palm trees; and a couple wearing matching white pantsuits and headwear (a straw hat for him, a floral one for her). Accessories included patterned surfboards, totes embellished with floral patterns or animals such as tigers, and even a live eagle flapping from the wrists of the models, a highlight of the show that instantly took attendees to the Malay Peninsula.
The vibe was effortlessly cool, the models striding along in quick succession, some with hands in their pockets, some with septum piercings, all of them walking with attitude to the beat of the music—mostly sounds from around the world (multilingual lyrics, steel drums, gongs, and more diverse instruments), which speak to the richness of Malacca’s history.
ISSUE has pulled off another stunning collection that includes all the qualities typical of their work (prints, textiles, colour), but with the added bonus of bringing to life the diverse cultural influences that served as this collection’s inspiration.
By Millie Ho (www.millieho.net)
Photos courtesy of PR Siam Piwat
Produced by Le Flux Asia (www.lefluxasia.com)