LONDON - Sitting front row at London-based, Singapore fashion designer Eugene Lin’s Autumn Winter 2013 show at London Fashion Week, I was happy to see many of the same faces I’d caught at more established brands’ earlier in the week; well, Anna (Wintour) was missing but she can’t be everywhere I suppose.
Lin’s Autumn Winter 2013 (AW13) collection entitled “Cupid De Locke” is apparently a continuation from his equally weightily named “The Judgement of Paris” Spring Summer 2013 (SS13) show.
Some of the best looks from Eugene Lin Autumn Winter 2013. Images: Eugene Lin
Literary aspirations aside – I’m not sure anyone in the audience was really aware of the title anyway – the AW13 collection was an interesting mix of the digital prints which wowed viewers at his SS13 show and fine, almost sculptural, tailoring in the form of deconstructed/reconstructed trench coats.
At its most literal – sorry, couldn’t resist – this consisted of the classic trench coat shape being slightly modified by shortening it, adding studs in the form of cut-down Colt 45 bullet shells, or extending the shoulder flaps; not particularly groundbreaking and somewhat reminiscent of early Burberry Prorsum.
The reimagining was most successful when Lin let himself go and reconfigured the trench as bustier tops and dresses, collared capes – although these were also reminiscent of Burberry Spring Summer 2013 – and sleeveless shirtdresses.
Lin graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design with a BA (hons) in Fashion Design Womenswear and a distinction from the Post-Graduate Pattern Cutting course; while still a student he managed to intern as a pattern cutter at Preen and Vivienne Westwood and eventually worked for Roksanda Ilincic and another Singapore designer based in London, Ashley Isham.
This experience in pattern-cutting is what sets Lin’s clothes apart, he does a great skinny pant and some interestingly folded and draped pieces – dresses, tops and a fabulous wool coat in maroon for AW13 – which are more subtly directional than his fitted body-con dresses.
Warm tones of burgundy/maroon, gold and the buff of a traditional trench coat dominated the colour palette for AW13; a series of sharply cut black pieces – including a stunningly simple tuxedo jacket with leather lapels worn with straight pants and a studded high collar again featuring the cut-down Colt 45 bullet shells – were mixed with a monochrome digital print; it looked especially good on a collared blouse.
In some ways there were two different collections on show at Eugene Lin AW13; the structured reimagined trench pieces and the softer, but just as tailored, slight three-dimensional pieces alongside a series of fitted jersey dresses with a digital print of the Colt 45 bullet shells strategically placed to add dimension.
Some iterations of the jersey pieces could have been edited out; the focus could have then been on the stronger, tailored garments – an area that Lin can afford to expand into as it sets him apart from the general crowd of digital prints and draped jersey that can be seen from New York to Tokyo.
Wonderfully on-trend shoes bearing the same digital prints – the Colt 45 bullet shells on black, grey, maroon and apricot, and a monochrome “shattered glass” print – and with spike-heeled soles, helped tie the collection together.
The Eugene Lin label has been in existence since Spring Summer 2010 and while the continued riffs on the trench coat combined with the digital prints on jersey were exciting for a few seasons, it seems a shame to ignore the obvious possibilities of the designers more softly sculptural pieces. The jersey dresses and separates for AW13 in particular seem a bit tired; the Colt 45 bullet shells print not as strong as some of Lin’s early explorations in this area.
Still, all things considered, the designs of Eugene Lin show an assured hand and maturing sensibility as the label and designer grow each season; that Eugene is from Singapore is even more exciting … Who says Singaporeans aren’t creative?
Eugene Lin is absolutely an emerging fashion label, and designer, to keep an eye on. Buy his pieces now while you can still afford them.
WATCH EUGENE LIN AW13 RUNWAY SHOW:
Eugene Lin is available to shop online at glam-net.com and thenandnowshop.com. For more information about the brand, go to www.eugene-lin.com; follow Eugene Lin on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Eugene.Lin.RTW and Twitter at @EugeneLinRTW.