Bold, brash and undeniably beautiful Revelation
Josiah Chua’s graduate menswear collection, Revelation, is the product of an inquisitive cross-examination of a very present moment in fashion. Bold, brash but undeniably beautiful, Chua’s garments are a celebratory comment on the ever more daring street styles which have become as important to fashion as designer and couture garments.
Playful but decisive when designing, Chua’s approach is comforted by the realization that he performs at his best when he attempts ‘spontaneous creations, without any planning or preparations’ and the belief that ‘the best kind of creativity springs from spontaneity. … When a garment is created, it will remain as it is. Everything that is captured, its flaws, its mistakes and its beauty will remain.’
In this spirit Chua focuses on the unique ensembles found on the pavements of Tokyo and his hometown Singapore – enabling him to simultaneously examine his personal style as well as fashion on a wider scale.
Josiah, your designs stray quite far from traditional notions of wearable everyday fashion – was this intentional?
My collection is original and exciting to watch, it is bold and unrestrained. I didn’t want to be the same as everyone else, I don’t hold back when designing. My collection intends to be the reflection of this point in fashion where East meets West. It depicts the age we are living in, free from rules and rigidity. I want the pieces to be experimental and distant from conventions. My garments are akin to strong stage-wear – they are bold, suitable for layering and wearable by the brave.
Where did you find inspiration for this?
I love Japanese street fashion. I admire their creativity in styling and their boldness in experimenting with fashion forward silhouettes. My designs are inspired by Rei Kawakubo from Comme Des Garcons but I also love the works of artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Yoshitomo Nara and Jeff Koons. I love avant-garde fashion and I hope to create experimental, unconventional designs.
Your collection seems to include a lot of Ancient Egyptian references. How does this tie in with your street style inspirations?
The initial idea was to ‘recreate’ streetwear and introduce shocking new silhouettes in menswear.
I went to Tokyo and was so inspired by the teenagers I saw there; the way they put their clothes together, their spirit and their creativity greatly impacted my own view on fashion. I wanted to recreate that energy and spirit with my pieces.
I picked out my materials first and realised I had chosen fabrics with many similarities to what I imagine Ancient Egyptian clothing was like, with for example a widespread use of gold in fabrics. I also found some very interesting iridescent film material reminiscent of the shiny shells of Egyptian Scarabs. In short my materials and colour palette suited the Egyptian theme and thereafter the two elements were fused.
How much did your own personal taste in clothes affect the way you designed this collection?
There is a lot of me in this collection. It’s inevitable really, everyone is different and I believe that a person’s upbringing and life experience affects how they design, behave and think. The way we sew and design reflects our identity and character, it’s impossible not to put yourself into your clothes.
Do you envision someone similar to yourself wearing these clothes then?
Yes, I suppose so. I am targeting creative professionals working in the art, fashion and music industries. A typical consumer would be working in the creative industries, well dressed, bold and not at all shy about what they love, fashion or otherwise.