Mash-Up is a three-person design collective featuring Daniela Monasterios-Tan, Nathanael Ng and Shaf Amisáabudin. The three met in Lasalle College of the Arts and set up the brand in 2012. Self-described as an interpretation of the city they live in; the people of different cultures and sub-cultures; a rendition of the parties they attend, music and DJs they listen to; stories they read and hear as well as the places they’ve been.
Mash-Up is nothing short of Singapore’s most successful amalgamation of pop-culture and commercially viable (Singapore-based) fashion brand. (I’ll explain this second part, in a little bit)
While almost every brand boasts to target the ‘modern, contemporary, always-on-the-go’ woman (or man). Which is perhaps a nicer, more expensive way of saying (just about) EVERYBODY, Mash-Up instead opted for a niche market for their vibe, one that is youthful, edgy and unapologetically bold.
Mash-Up draws inspiration from club and street culture, examining current affairs and observing the going-ons in social media and the evolving global styles. Their latest collection, launched last Friday at Canvas Singapore (previously Home Club), was no exception to the norm.
#MASHUPDIGITRIBE, as the collection is titled, was inspired by the glitch art movement and explored the deconstruction of reality with and through social media. Poignantly described as “on one hand, an avenues for sharing selfless and animal videos. On the other hand a channel used of weapons of political control and warfare as shown by Syria, Israel and Cuba.”
With an inherent DIY spirit imbued in the brand, real-life ‘digital manipulations’ or ‘collages’ inspired the silhouettes for this collection. The set-up at Canvas Singapore was very elaborate, with two looping video walls. Watch the fashion films here and here. There was also a live social media feed wall with live updates from Instagram and Twitter.
The show started late, due to the rain, but was an entertaining and very conceptual show. All the models are social media stars in their own rights, so the event space was packed with friends and fans of those who walked the show. Everyone was also glued to their mobile phones, the models I mean, which made concentrating on the clothes harder.
Didn’t help that they blitzed through the event space. But the spot I chose to set up base camp wasn’t all that great, and I think it was a creative choice for the models to walk fast. I can imagine the brief: You know the speed at which what’s now trending on social media blitzes by, walk at that speed.
The models also tweeted/instagrammed and insta-videoed LIVE while walking the runway. In addition to it being extremely in-sync with the collection’s theme, could also be a nod to Cara Delevingne’s backstage instagram antics – twerking, harlem-shakin’ and being her goofy self.
There was also a flashback to a #bestselfieever moment as the show came to a close. And I thought this trio were really spot on with their collection, especially in terms of making the collection more than just clothes on a rack – but an idea, a lifestyle, a personality, a distinctive voice.
Since their 2012 launch, I believe they’ve matured as a collective. I finally took the plunge and committed to two pieces from their previous collection, which you may have caught on my Instagram (@wearewottoncool).
Looking through the catalogue, there’s a successful executing of a conceptual idea – a denim jean manipulated and reworked into a top. And I would love to see them challenge themselves with a workwear capsule – A-line and pencil skirts, blouses, even oxford shirts, but all done in a distinctly Mash-Up way. I see the semblance of it already, in their catalogue, the pencil skirts especially. I would love to see more of such pieces, and I think there’s commercial gain from such an avenue. Think of all the funky, creative-types who need workwear that allow them to express their personality.
Perhaps as the brand matures more, and their demographic grows, we may see this evolution? Then again, maybe not!
But maybe I think it’d fit because that middle ground is more my style as well?
I think a top to toe Mash-Up get up is more street than I can carry off. At the launch, I chose to go with a much more muted (or at least as muted as a beaded, sequined sweater can be) outfit, pairing the sweater with an In Good Company skirt and BCBG chunky heels.
This precious sweater is a delicate flower of a purchase. From what Shaf shared, it takes 6 hours of non-stop beading to complete. And I have to be very careful when handling it, if not, I’ll leave a trail of sequins everywhere I go!
Mash-Up is stocked at Superspace, Orchard Gateway, #02-18 and available online at mashupcollective.com.
#MASHUPDIGITRIBE retails for between $79 for a T-shirt to $269 for their RTW jacket.