One of the Thai labels showing at the Asia Fashion Exchange (AFX) Blueprint trade fair in Singapore last week was Second Issue by Roj Singhakul of, you guessed it, Issue. I’m not sure if this is a bridge line, as suggested by the name, but I’m clear it is not lacking in the mad-cap, unapologetic exotica by way of lands north of meung Thai that always got the uninitiated wondering if the brand is from India. The mistaken identity is compounded by the daily incense-burning in Mr Singhakul’s flagship store in Siam Square, where it has stood for more than a decade as the heart of multi-sensory assault.
Histrionics have always been part of all Issue’s showings, as if the clothes by themselves cannot command any presence on stage. This time round, Mr Singhakul took the path trodden by Gareth Pugh, Jun Takahashi and Junya Watanabe. He gloved his model’s face with printed body stocking and crowned the head with remixed millinery that was part top of totems, part Kerala’s kiridam.
Do the head wear or wrapped faces lend a historical perspective to the clothes? Or a cultural one? I saw none. Perhaps they were Mr Singhakul’s way of showing the staid Singaporeans how to style a dramatic show. Or how to obscure faces you do not want the public to see.