Community, Spotlight Happenings - 05/19/17
Runway Series: GRAYE Studio Written by Yvonn Ong
Menswear fashion label GRAYE is dedicated to using eco-friendly fabrics that drape well, let’s find out what Founder Qian Qian has up her sleeve for her SS17 collection.
The hope for an ever-evolving menswear was the starting point for GRAYE studio to launch in 2016. A simple and easy-to-remember brand that defines creativity your own way.
With GRAYE as her blank canvas, Qian Qian, a fresh graduate from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts hopes to constantly create on a clean slate and share new perspective as she evolves as a designer.
Debuting at Runway SS17, the young designer demonstrates an eye for subtle details through unusual drafting techniques. Curious to see what Qian Qian has up her sleeves? We had a chat with her to find out more.
Your eyes light up whenever you speak about Fashion – when did you discover your passion for it?
It started when I did a set of 5 fashion illustrations inspired by Singapore architecture for my secondary school art class in 2011. The illustrations got me thinking: What if I can make them come alive? I was interested in transforming these Avant Garde-looking illustrations into practical and wearable garments, so I pursued my BA(Hons) at Nanyang College of Fine Arts (NAFA).
Why did you choose to specialise in menswear?
There was a period of time when a lot of my male friends sought my opinions for good quality and unique menswear in Singapore. That was the moment I realised how limited the options were. That sparked my interest to introduce unusual fabrics like cupro, linen and tencel to the Singapore market.
These fabrics drape well and they’re eco-friendly, yet seldom seen in menswear. With that in mind, I embarked on a project to make a simple boxy men’s top with a round-ribbed collar using cupro. It was very well-received amongst my male friends and I saw the potential to grow a menswear label designing understated street-casual pieces.
Can you share your about your creative journey of launching GRAYE’s first collection?
It was tough- launching a label is different from the school projects I used to handle. I am now dealing with real time challenges – decisions after one another.
The biggest challenge lies in the shortage of material and manufacturing power in Singapore. Due to the small manufacturing base here, we often need to outsource the materials and factories overseas. Our orders rarely meet the Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) of many factories and we are hence not able to produce products which meet our quality standards.
Which is your favourite design from the collection and why?
My favourite piece is the Noir Linen Jacket which I am showcasing at Runway 2017. This design is a manifestation of GRAYE’s DNA – we fused both Eastern and Western influences; the jacket was designed with a traditional Western lapel collar with a kimono style overlapped closure featuring an inner tie. It is a reinterpretation of the men’s jacket, shaped with a raglan sleeve that has been tapered slightly for a smart casual look. This contemporary, casual outerwear offers an ornate yet wearable alternative to a blazer, jacket or overcoat.