From a comic strip creator to a milliner and a composer, we highlight our homegrown greats in the arts and design industries.
5 of Singapore’s best creative talents
In recognition of the creative minds in Singapore, here are five who have made a global impact with their passions in the fields of fashion, theatre and comics.
Affectionately called the ‘Godfather of Singaporean fashion’, Daniel’s talent in producing and directing runway shows has seen him jet across the world’s major fashion capitals to work for brands such as Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood and local designer, Ashley Isham. And as the nation turns 50 this year, Daniel has also just celebrated his 25th year in the industry with his autobiography, ‘The Book of Daniel: Adventures of a Fashion Insider’, a 460-page book chronicling Singapore’s fashion scene from the 1970s until today, as well as his career highlights. Next up on the busy fashionista’s list? The enviable role as official choreographer for the Amber Lounge Fashion Show, at the Singapore Grand Prix 2015.
Following the footsteps of illustrious milliners such as Philip Treacy and Jane Taylor, we are proud to say that Singapore now also has a hat maker to call their own – Eskpade. After spending time in Paris and falling in love with hand embroidery and antique crafts, Eskpade’s founder, Kristine promptly sought tutelage under British couture milliner Judy Bentinck, as well as at the Parisian embroidery school of L’Ecole Lesage de Broderie. The result is her luxury millinery atelier which opened its doors in 2012 at the Mandarin Gallery, selling one-off headpieces that are exquisitely handmade, whimsical and stunning, each piece a work of art in itself.
He’s a man who wears many hats, juggling his roles as a musician, playwright, composer, jewellery designer, creative director as well as being a regular face in the local society scene. This year is also turning out to be an important one for Richard "Dick" Lee Peng Boon. On top of his ambassadorial roles for luxury motoring brand, Audi, the 57 year-old also penned the National Day Parade theme song for the nation’s 50th birthday, and began directing duties for his first film, Sunshine Girls. As if that’s not enough, Dick has also just wrapped up ‘The Adventures of the Mad Chinaman Upsized’, a re-visitation to his sold out musical of the same name in 1989.
He is probably Singapore’s most famed comic creator, with his credentials including work for Marvel and DC Comics. He was also nominated for an Eisner Award in 2011, the equivalent of an Oscar in the comic world. Apart from working on his own comic strip ‘Frankie and Poo’ for local newspaper, The New Paper, Sonny has also debuted a 320-page book this year, called ‘The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye’. In line with the nation’s SG50 celebrations, the volume touches on Singapore’s history, comic art past, censorship as well as socio-political issues and more.
The silent hero behind local non-profit theatre company, The Necessary Stage, Haresh has been its resident playwright for the past 20 years, where he has written over 60 plays for film and television. Also, just ask any ‘N’ and ‘O’ level student about their Literature text, and they’ll probably be able to recite Haresh’s play, ‘Off Centre’ to you. It’s not just the local scene that has benefitted from his works either, with his talents reaching Hungary, Glasgow and Tokyo, just to name a few.