Creative professionals are at the heart of so many cultural expressions, from art to architecture and even fashion we speak of our cultures through creativity. However, as time goes on, it appears these professions are finding it more and more difficult to eke out a living.
It was this concern that prompted a small collective of Design Hunters™ in Singapore to form Test Shoot Gallery (TSG) in December 2008. The online gallery and blog aims to showcase and promote emerging designers and artists within the realm of ‘Creative Fashion’ – creating a “platform of multi-disciplinary expressions of pop culture, design, fashion and photography”.
“Test Shoot Gallery knows that to bring our distinct Singaporean designs worldwide, we should start with supporting our own new talents,” explains co-founder, Ashburn Eng.
The site, which initially began as a Facebook page, creates unique fashion shoots that, through photography, cross the divide between art and fashion. Since establishing the official website late last year, the collective has garnered a strong following with over 40,000 visitors.
It seems there is a groundswell of support in the Singaporean design and fashion scene for ‘underground’ non-commercial offerings such as TSG.
“If Singaporean designers want to go global and survive in the long haul, we must learn to aggressively soak up and expand the technicalities of apparel-making and hold design shows which will draw feverish world-wide media attention and coverage,” Eng insists.
Although there are no immediate plans to take TSG into the offline world in the form of runway shows or other events, the team behind the initiative are adamant that Singaporean fashion must take hold of their destiny and support their emerging talent.
“When we wear our local brands, not only can Singaporeans be educated in brand appreciation and brand identity, but we can also invoke a sense of national pride,” Eng says.
“With every baby step we take towards our target, we aim to be the next London, Paris, New York, Tokyo or Milan.”