Thulasidas takes the top prize of the fashion design competition with a collection that celebrates Asian heritage
Kavita Thulasidas has emerged as the winner of Singapore Stories 2022, beating out four other finalists of the annual fashion design competition.
Thulasidas showcased her winning collection on the runway at the Singapore Stories 2022 finale, which was held at the Asian Civilisations Museum. The finale was attended by notable figures of the local fashion industry, such as Semun Ho, CEO of the Singapore Fashion Council*, the organiser of Singapore Stories. The guest of honour of the evening was Senior Minister of State Sim Ann.
Thulasidas’ collection, titled “Heritage Reinterpreted and Beyond,” offered her take on this year’s competition theme, Fashion United. With a crane as a central motif, her designs shined a spotlight on historic craft techniques and fabrics from Asia, including intricate Parsi embroidery and woven silk brocades. To add a contemporary flair, Thulasidas elevated her designs with asymmetric cuts and dramatic draping.
“This collection is dedicated to our immigrant forefathers who worked hard to make Singapore the country it is today,” said Thulasidas, who helms the local fashion label Stylemart. “I am so proud of our rich and diverse background, and being part of this competition was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our collective traditions, roots and values.”
Similarly, the other finalists of Singapore Stories looked to Asia’s heritage for inspiration. Jamela Law, the creative director of Baëlf Design, presented 3D-printed designs inspired by the Astrolabe, an ancient Islamic scientific instrument. Studio HHFZ designer Hu Ruixian’s bridal collection was infused with elements of the various traditional costumes of Singapore, reflecting the country’s multiculturalism.
Feel Archives’ Felicia Pang dreamed up a colourful and whimsical collection that nodded to Singapore’s flowers, while Claudia Poh conceived a line of wrap dresses and separates inspired by the versatility of 18th-century sack-back gowns—all very much aligned with the design ethos of her adaptive fashion label, Werable.
“In the designers’ works and ideas this year, we continue to witness how clever innovation can energise the fashion world and holistically elevate Singapore’s fashion ecosystem,” said Leonard Augustine Choo, director of industry development for Singapore Fashion Council.
“We hope that their drive for reinvention will continue to inspire and uplift new generations of designers to push boundaries, and we look forward to helping them catalyse new opportunities to realise their global ambitions,” he continued.
As the winner of Singapore Stories 2022, Thulasidas has been awarded a cash prize of SG$5,000. On top of that, she will also showcase her designs at the #SgFashionNow exhibition held at the Asian Civilisations Museum, as well as internationally through a runway show at Paris Fashion Week in 2023. She also has an upcoming retail collaboration with Design Orchard, where selected pieces of her Singapore Stories collection are now available to shop until November 9.
“With this award, I am encouraged to continue creating designs that tell our Singapore stories to the world and pass our tradition of craftsmanship to the next generation,” said Thulasidas.
*As of July 28th, the Textile and Fashion Federation (Taff) is known as the Singapore Fashion Council (SFC) under the Registry of Societies (ROS).