Singaporean Designer Elyn Wong’s Latest Collection is A Journey From Loss to Artistry

Singaporean Designer Elyn Wong’s Latest Collection is A Journey From Loss to Artistry


In an exclusive interview with MEGA, Singaporean designer Elyn Wong carries the weight of loss and then lets go of the burden in her deeply personal collection Zhiwa

Loss carries with it a paradoxical power. It is the catalyst that fuels change, that transforms and amplifies our deepest emotions. But to truly comprehend the impact of loss, one must first embrace the magnificence of love in all its resplendent glory. Love is a risk, and loss is its shadow, a price paid in grief. Yet, the pain of grief pales in comparison to the desolation of never daring to love at all. Loss leads to release. Through this release, it invites light. It brings in new life. For Singaporean designer Elyn Wong, this loss has accentuated and influenced her in ways she didn’t foresee. 

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Elyn Wong

Wong has unveiled a deeply personal aspect of her artistry through her latest collection, Zhiwa. This collection reflects a profound emotional journey, a testament to healing, and the tranquility discovered in life’s subtle moments. Her work emerges as an eloquent exploration of the intricacies of human emotion and the transformative power release, further distinguishing her as a designer with a deeply resonant connection to her craft. It underscores the idea that genuine artistry can elevate the basics, setting Wong apart as a designer with a unique emotional connection to her work.

Wong’s collection becomes a poignant tribute to her father, a fusion of cherished memories and the embodiment of personal liberation. In a unique juxtaposition, she intertwines the understated tones of browns and neutrals with meticulously structured designs, accentuated by vibrant bursts of color. This intricate balance encapsulates the very essence of her profound transformation, as she discovers exhilaration and solace in the most unexpected corners of the world—places like the serene landscapes of Bhutan.

The profound influence of Bhutan’s serene silence and the exquisite wonders of nature has become the nucleus of the designer’s creative inspiration. “About three days in, I felt really, really at peace. And I felt really comfortable. And it was a kind of feeling that was beyond what I was looking for.” Her artistic vision extended far beyond the boundaries of fashion, as she embarked on a remarkable endeavor to recreate the sensory voyage that Bhutan had etched into her spirit. “I soon realized it was the silence of the time. That was healing.”

With an artist’s discerning eye, Wong meticulously fashioned her fashion show to immerse the audience in the essence of Bhutan. The catwalk transformed into a tapestry of experiences, adorned with dry leaves that crunched beneath the models’ feet. The air was imbued with a bespoke fragrance, reminiscent of the earthy scents of Bhutan’s landscapes, evoking memories of her transformative journey.

But it wasn’t just the visual and olfactory senses that Wong engaged. She orchestrated a symphony, or perhaps a symphony without words. Musicians, bearing the soul of artists, ingeniously played wind chimes, shells, and singing bowls. Their melodies were the echoes of Bhutan’s silence, an auditory reflection of its serenity. 

“In doing a fashion show, I actually got the Bhutanese craftsmen to do embroidery,” Wong says. “But instead of having the typical way of embroidery, like to have bright red, bright yellow against black, against dark color, what I did was actually have red on red, brown on brown, black on black embroidery. Creating Zhiwa had its challenges, notably the language barrier when engaging Bhutanese craftsmen for embroidery. The intricacies of their work aligned with Wong’s vision, resulting in beautifully textured, subtle designs that tell a tale of cultural collaboration.

Trends can be transient, yet Wong stands as a classic figure with a twist. She doesn’t follow trends; she sets them, addressing the needs of women who seek a style that fits their lifestyles and bodies. She’s curated a line of elevated basics, offering a classic look detailed into her own components and resonance. Her thoughts on staying current in the fast-paced world of fashion add depth to her narrative: “I have never followed the trend. So in that sense, I don’t feel very constrained.”

The selection of the name Stolen stands as one of the most enigmatic facets. Drawing inspiration from the profound wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi, whose words echo through the corridors of time, she grasped the essence of his message: “Those who keep more than they need are thieves.” Wong’s choice of Stolen represents a purposeful reminder, an elegant allegory, that encapsulates the very heart of her creative philosophy. 

Luxury and opulence can often obscure the fundamentals, she uses this name as a guidepost. It’s a declaration to herself to strip away the superfluous and return to the core, focusing on the intrinsic beauty and functionality of her designs. In this manner, Stolen becomes not just a label but a profound reflection of Wong’s personal ethos, guiding her and her brand to unveil the true essence of fashion and art can bring: release then peace.

On the passing of her father, she reflects with profound wisdom, stating, “There is no more negativity because people leaving should not leave behind negativity. Now, what is left behind is actually a lot of bliss and happiness and joy. So I think that’s what he will be happy with.” Elyn Wong’s journey through grief has been one of transformation and rebirth, allowing her to lead with life rather than be overwhelmed by sorrow. “And that’s what I’m very happy with,” she affirms, her words resonating with a profound sense of closure and acceptance. She finds a sense of contentment, marking the conclusion of a significant emotional chapter. “I think it’s all come to a very good end.”

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