Rethinking Labels

Interview by Caitlin de Laure
Photographs courtesy of Elyn Wong

Inhabiting the peripheries of the colossal fashion industry, Elyn translates her penchant for Brutalist architecture and installation art into garments that transcend the fleeting influence of trends. Coming from a graphic design background, she also brings a fresh perspective to the fashion scene, and forges ahead with understated tenacity and commitment to her vision.

For SG:IO, Stolen embarks on an existential investigation of the garment with an installation and a collaboration with CHANG Architects, T.H.E Dance Company and Syndicate. Elyn speaks more about her label, the SG:IO four-way collaboration, and how the showcase has proliferated the dialogue among creatives within SG:IO and without.

Rethinking labels stolen fashion

Could you share one thing you refuse to compromise on in your fashion career and why you are adamant about it?

I have never believed in following trends because they are usually short-lived and rather vacuous. My brand aesthetic and ethos are never based on what is popular now but what works best for women and how good it makes them feel now or 20 years later.

Can you tell us what the collaboration process was like for the SG:IO projects you were involved in?

The process for the SG:IO four-way co-creation was surprisingly smooth as the curators were very respectful of our individual strengths and brand directions. Also, though we may come from four completely different disciplines, our aesthetics and creative visions were very aligned.

After generating individual interpretations of “Inside Out” as a creative expression, we explored how our artworks can coexist aesthetically and conceptually. It was already pretty cohesive at that point but certain adjustments and accommodations were still required for the overall presentation. That way, we could look tight as one composite artwork while keeping faithful to our individual concepts.

Having never designed dance costumes before, it was rather challenging to consider the limitations of different venues, ensure everything went well with CHANG Architects’ art piece, while bearing in mind all the restrictions of the dancers’ movements and the need to bring out the dynamism of the dance routine. But, I’m loving every bit of it.

Personally, sound design is a significant part of my art piece as it sets a tone for my installation and helps people see and feel from my perspective. The sound design for the dancers and my installation was created after numerous chats with Kiat and Cherry. Eventually, we recorded my own breathing for the base of my installation track as it seemed like the most authentic way to deliver my message. These experimentations are what I love about collaborating with people from completely different disciplines because you never know what you’re gonna get.

Read more in The U Press N˚10 (Singapore edition).