But what’s fashion’s role in this climate?

It’s no longer business-as-usual. The impact of covid-19 on the fashion industry with countries on lock-down: production supply chains disrupted, inventories unsold and luxury consumption reduced. Everything is indefinitely uncertain for now.

But as the gloom sets in, it’s heartening to see humans find the beauty through the dark clouds. Just as musicians play, DJs spin and people sing from balconies worldwide while they’re in quarantine, can we also find solace in fashion?

The fashion world is responding: LVMH has begun producing sanitising hand gel in its perfume and cosmetics factories in France (instead of the usual Christian Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy scents and make-up) for distribution to French hospitals fighting the virus outbreak. Beauty companies and fashion houses have also donated to the cause from the very beginning.  

It may be a period of social distancing, stay-home notices (SHN) and work-from-home (WFH), but we know this shall pass. So stay safe as we wait for normalcy to return, and keep your spirits up in joyful, beautiful clothes.

(Related: How Are Luxury Brands in Singapore Coping with the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak?

Fashion-philes, these are the highlights of the spring/summer 2020 season, one of the most wearable season ever, as you can see on our Tatler friends, Kumar, Ivy Singh and Marisa Evelynn:

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Retro wallpaper prints

Tatler Asia
Above Marissa Evelynn

From classic blue French toile and damask prints to retro ’60s and ’70s hippie floral prints, grandma’s wallpaper came to life on the spring/summer 2020 runways. This trend is heralding the start of spring with wallpaper-inspired botany prints on whimsical, joyful dresses at Marc Jacobs and Christopher Kane, and this  psychedelic Louis Vuitton jacket that Thai fashion plate Marisa Evelynn rocks with layered necklaces: “The jacquard is so beautiful. It feels like I’m wearing art.”

Marissa wears wool-blend jacquard coat and Rendez-vous brooch, both by Louis Vuitton; pearl baroque necklace by Simone Rocha, hoop earrings in brass with pearls by Joanna Laura Constantine, and gold-plated hammered ear-jacket earrings from Joanna Laura Constantine, all from Pedder on Scotts.

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A high-drama dress

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The dress of the season is a distinct step away from the rest of the season, which is practical and oh-so-wearable. This dress is about making an entrance. It’s about being bold and unexpected—be it in its hue, material or shape, like high-drama ruffles, larger-than-life sleeves and voluminous bubble hems against a simple silhouette. Think of this as your out-of-quarantine debut dress.

Carla wears gathered taffeta tie-back dress by Molly Goddard from Dover Street Market Singapore; nappa leather sandals by Miu Miu; Les Mimosas beaded gold-tone earrings by Jacquemus, woven hemp hat by Nina Ricci, both from Pedder on Scotts; and patent leather gloves by Gucci.

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Tatler Asia

Suiting received heavy attention this season. No matter what your preferences might be, you’ll find something for you. Here’s how you can keep it fresh this season: Go lean in ’70s silhouettes a la Gucci and Louis Vuitton, or add a waistcoat and make it a three-piece suit, like Celine did. But our favourite one of all is the short suit—be it biker shorts or a pair of loose above-the-knee bermudas, this iteration is ready to be the new power suit; hurray for us living in sunny Singapore!

Carla wears wool jacket by Gucci; nylon-blend raw hem shorts by Shushu/Tong from Dover Street Market Singapore; leather belt by Versace; nappa leather sandals by Gianvito Rossi.

Vivien wears crepe square-neck dress, brass necklace and leather sandals, all by Versace.

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Tatler Asia
Above Ivy Singh-Lim

The trenchcoat is a practical, classic coat to buy, thanks to its trans-seasonal sensibilities. It was first developed for soldiers in the muddy trenches during World War I; then Thomas Burberry was credited for the invention of the gabardine– a waterproof and hardwearing fabric, making the Burberry trenchcoat a military essential. It protected explorers and pilots from the elements and today, its presence is ubiquitous. This season besides Burberry, designers like Daniel Lee of Bottega Veneta, JW Anderson and Junya Watanabe came up with various iterations, highlighting its timelessness. Ivy Singh-Lim, owner of Bollywood Veggies demonstrates how a trench-inspired shirtdress can be layered over a boyfriend shirt, and also instructed us: “Call my husband! Send him a picture of me!” 

Ivy wears organza shirt dress by Maison Margiela from Dover Street Market Singapore; wool twill blend belted shirt dress by Burberry; brass hoop earrings with pearls by Joanna Laura Constantine from Pedder on Scotts; sunglasses and chain, by Gentle Monster; rubber ankle boots by Louis Vuitton.

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Boyfriend’s shirt

Tatler Asia

How is Fendi post-Karl Lagerfeld? Silvia Venturini Fendi’s solo collection was season-centric and focussed on beautifully-made clothes reminiscent of a relaxed, languid European summer – nope, not a humid, sweltering afternoon in Singapore. Easy earth-tones separates formed the base of the collection, including this utilitarian boyfriend’s shirt with a sharp collar that takes inspiration from washed-cotton boiler suits.

Vivien wears cotton blend gabardine jacket and wool knitted sweater, both by Fendi; sunglasses and chain, both by Gentle Monster.

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Monochromatic dressing

Tatler Asia
Above Kumar (PR: Marie Alexander)

When black and white is actually a trend, it’s indisputable that designers are thinking about their customers first, and creating an extremely practical collection that can prance straight into anyone's wardrobe effortlessly. Be it power dressing at Proenza or romantic dresses at Loewe, monochromatic dressing will never go out of style. Singapore’s iconic comedian and drag queen Kumar shines in this Burberry ensemble that combines contrasting patterns—a sartorial move that is so easy to replicate.

Kumar wears silk twill shirt and silk blend pleated skirt, both by Burberry; Giardini earrings in white gold with two round diamonds and pavé-set diamonds by Bulgari; heels and leggings, stylist’s own.


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Tatler Asia

While summer beach holidays might have to wait for a little while, we can dream one up with a summer beach wardrobe of raffia and crochet. The prominent use of the humble raffia on clothing (like this corset dress by Dolce & Gabbana) as well as accessories from bags to belts, as seen on the spring/summer 2020 runways, highlight what can be done with the natural sustainable fibre, an essential step towards prioritising environmental consciousness. 

Carla wears cotton shirt dress by Maison Margiela from Dover Street Market Singapore; rattan and raffia dress by Dolce & Gabbana; and necklace with crystals by Miu Miu.

Vivien wears cable mesh knit top, cable mesh knit skirt, Pico baguette with embroidery, all by Fendi; and earrings by Kenneth Jay Lane from Pedder on Scotts.

  • Fashion DirectionDesmond Lim
  • PhotographyDarren Gabriel Leow
  • Stylist's AssistantJoey Tan
  • ProducerDaphne Chen-Cordeiro
  • HairGrego/Indigo Artisans using Keune, Marc Teng using Kevin Murphy
  • Make-UpCheryl Ow/Indigo Artisans using Dior Makeup, Dollei Seah using Dior Makeup
  • ModelCarla Martinez/AVE, Vivien Halasz/Mannequin