Updated: Sep 23, 2020
On the morning of 23 March 2019, I got a reply from the high commissioner of Singapore in London.
Thank you for your email, and congratulations on exhibiting at the London Bridal Fashion Week. It is exciting that you will be bringing the Jewel and your other bridal collection here.
Unfortunately, my schedule is already fully booked, and I will not be able to visit your booth at Excel. We will however, be happy to cross-post your creation on our own social media presence.
I wish you every success.
With best wishes
FOO Chi Hsia"
I didn't realise the post on their Facebook page was published almost immediately after she sent this email. But they did.
Being the first Singaporean bridal label to showcase in London's major event in the bridal industry gave us a kind of pressure that was very real.
I didn't want to present just wedding dresses. PLAIN WHITE, or ivory for that matter. I wanted to do so much more. I have ideas of creating an OVER the TOP couture piece using recycled materials because sustainability is in our Mission and Vision. Again, I am faced with so many options because there were literally tonnes of possible recycled resources out there. We need to narrow things down.
"Old violin strings, used drum skin, the mouth pieces made of reed from the clarinets or oboes..."
Because of my professional background in music, I have easy access to such resources.
Without designing background, putting these together was a big issue
I needed more than just recycled materials, I need also the ideas and technicality on how to fix these onto the dress without them falling off.
Then I thought I wanted more than just telling the world about myself being a musician and reminding our audience of sustainability. It's about me representing Singapore!
I thought we should bring something of our Singaporean heritage to London, which is also a city full of culture and heritage. Time was running out, we had barely less than 60 days to the show.
I was still stuck at the beginning stage of ideas, without actual action into making it.
The urge to bring 'Singapore' with me got stronger by the day. Surely there must be something that's feasible, without getting out of being tasteful. No, I didn't want to create anything controversial, like the gown Miss Singapore Universe wore during the pageant last year.
It has to be a work of art, yet of haute couture standards, representing our Singaporean identity.
The idea of creating the Jewel Gown struck me after sending my husband to the airport one afternoon and the entire vision became crystal clear after watching the Grammy award in Feb.
Cardi B in the Mugler dress might have gotten most of the attention, but Jennifer Lopez's highly ornamented Ralph and Russo's number resonated so much.
*** TBC +Coming Up tomorrow
How the I put the Jewel Gown together - piece by piece