Grad Night 2015: Fashion Watch

by Heather I’anson-Holton (16A01E) and Adelyn Koh (16S06H)
Photos by Chang Po Chun (16S03K) and Hoong Li-Ann (16A03A)

During the annual Grad Night on 3 December a week ago, the fashion sleuths of Raffles Press and Raffles Photographic Society went outfit-watching together among the throng of Year 6s. What we found at this night of class and elegance certainly did not disappoint us, in terms of diversity and creativity from the trendy Year 6s. Read on for some highlights of the fashion parade!

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At first, Chua Ting Wei planned to buy his suit from Benjamin Barker (a popular choice amongst the guys), but did not manage to find something that could fit him as he was “really small sized”. People of Asia, on the other hand, had just what he needed. (Our vertically challenged readers, take note!) Ting Wei strayed from the conventional black suit, choosing instead a light grey suit with thin black checks that quickly caught our eye. What really made this outfit however, were the details that Ting Wei accentuated it with. A plain white dress shirt was made instantly more attractive with gold rimmed buttons, and a smart purple vest with similar gold buttons provided an additional pop of colour. His accessories didn’t disappoint either – Ting Wei finished off his outfit with a red ribbon bow tie with a pearl and gold button to fit the theme, as well as a matching pocket square, gold collar tips, and a pair of brown brogues that complemented his vest. This was truly an outfit that inspired envy.

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Dominic originally wanted to get a suit, but in his words, “a nice suit was very expensive.” Instead, he opted for the more wallet-friendly option of a well-paired casual blazer and checkered shirt. The deep blue of the blazer and the warm brown shades of the shirt, pants and shoes gave his whole outfit a level of cohesiveness deserving of praise. We especially loved the blazer’s deep pockets and unique elbow patches, which added a nice amount of detail. Dominic’s outfit just goes to show that if you shop smart, you can look great on any budget.

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When queried as to why she chose ethnic wear, Marianne provided several reasons: it’s more practical, it’s a unique look (we agree!), and that on a personal level, she feels she looks better in traditional clothes as compared to modern clothes. She also added that “one should not be afraid to wear ethnic attire even when everyone else wears modern clothes. Your culture is your identity and you should not be afraid to flaunt it!”

Marianne was one of few who were unafraid to wear bold colours. Her daring paid off, and she looked exceptionally regal in her sari of royal blue, crimson red, and shimmering gold. Marianne also picked her jewellery well; her gold headpiece helped frame her face and accentuate her features, and her dangly earrings and many bangles served to play up the colours of her outfit. Another thing worth noting is Marianne’s use of henna on her hands, which had the dual purpose of representing her culture, and adding a level of detail that was unique in the ballroom.

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Some might have thought that such an unusual look must have been coordinated by the two, but when asked, Vint Seng (left) and Danson (right) replied, chuckling, “no we didn’t [coordinate], it was a complete coincidence.” Their reasons behind their choice of trench coat weren’t harmonious either. Vint Seng claimed that “blazers are lame. Everyone wears blazers anyway, it’s boring.” Danson on the other hand, had a more practical reason. “My mom said that I could use the trenchcoat when I go overseas to study. Besides, everything was on discount!” Whatever the reason, their choice paid off, and the boys stood out amongst the crowd. Danson wore his black trenchcoat over a white shirt and red tie with shoes to match, while Vint Seng chose to wear his grey trenchcoat with other dark colours, with the exception of the rather unconventional accessory of a purple knitted scarf, which brightened up his look.

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Ragini chose this dress because she felt it was “the right mix between party and sweet,” and it was indeed a refreshing change from the many heavy gowns worn by others that night. Ragini brought some sparkle to the event with a bodice encrusted with glittering crystals, which she paired with bejewelled hoop earrings. The sweetheart neckline and bare back showed off Ragini’s figure, helped along by a pale pink chiffon skirt that cinched her waist. We loved the skirt’s flowy layers, which along with the transparent straps of the bodice, helped to balance the heaviness of the jewels, and kept the outfit light and airy.

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Nicole wanted to her outfit to be classy and elegant, and achieved exactly that with a stunning floor length dress. She still managed to set herself apart, however, with its solid red shade, which she chose for its “daring.” The fit of the dress lent her further advantage by showing off her figure and giving the illusion of longer legs. The outfit was complemented by some gorgeous silver jewellery – simple stud earrings and an eye-catching statement necklace, which were kept in the spotlight by her up-do hairstyle. This was a timeless ensemble that will never fail to charm.

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What impressed us about Nikhil was his ability to take staple menswear items (a grey blazer, a white shirt, black pants, brown shoes) and make it into an outfit that was his own, proving once again that details are everything. The choice of a wool blazer gave an added textural dimension, gold-rimmed glasses drew attention to and framed his face, and a fun floral print skinny tie gave his look a touch of personality. When asked as to why he chose that particular pattern for a tie, he replied that it felt right and he liked it – sometimes, that’s all it takes. Nikhil’s outfit shows that simplicity can be great too, and with a few careful touches, any wardrobe piece can be revitalised.

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Justine applied a geometric theme to her whole outfit that we thought was very clever. Her electric blue dress featured a series of black lines that not only framed her figure, but gave the illusion of longer legs, added height, and a slimmer look. The beaded detail of the dress also gave her look some texture. Justine accessorised with dangling chain earrings that mimicked the vertical lines of her dress, a necklace comprised of a series of rectangles, and a clutch with an outer casing that was segmented into triangles – each playing up a geometric element, giving her look an overall sense of cohesiveness. This was an outfit that was meticulously planned, right down to the crisscrossing braid Justine styled her hair with, and we loved it.

Yeung Jek.jpg
Name: Ho Yeung Jek
Everything: Topman

Yeung Jek’s powder blue suit stood out amongst a sea of grey and black, and we loved the soft colour palette that he went with, which was a refreshing change from the many dark and heavy colours sported by the majority of his peers. Yeung Jek kept his outfit perfectly balanced with a white shirt and a silver tie with a slight sheen, which complimented the pale grey buttons on his suit, and a black leather belt and a pair of brown shoes gave the outfit some darker tones, preventing him from looking too washed out. Like Nikhil, it was Yeung Jek’s clever manipulation of the basics made this outfit so great.

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Mudassar had no explanation as to why he put together this ensemble, only that the inception of a harness as an accessory popped into his head, and he simply had to go with it. This edgy outfit featured black leather straps, an army green button-down with an unusual collar, and smartly polished dark brown shoes. We loved how the pressed vertical crease down the front of each pant leg played upon the lines of the harness, and how the belt buckle, the hoops and accents of the harness, and the reflective watch face provided just the right amount of metallic shine to what could have been a dull colour combination. Another thing worth noting was the attention that Mudassar paid not only to his outfit but to his face too, something less commonly practiced by boys, but which definitely worked in his favour. His sculpted eyebrows, flawless skin, and sharp, defined cheekbones made this great outfit even better. A bold look indeed, this was hands down the most unique outfit of the night.

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Sinéad’s cocktail dress featured a bodice made of velvet – a daring material few can pull off, but which she certainly did. We loved the details of her dress – the crisscrossing velvet ribbons across the front and back that were reminiscent of a corset, the box pleats of the skirt that provided dimension, as well as its unique buckled shoulder straps. Sinéad’s consistent commitment to diamonds and crystals in all her accessories – double bar hair clips, earrings, bracelet, clutch, even down to her bejeweled stiletto heels and studded nails – brightened up the velvet, and beautified areas often neglected. We also loved the attention she paid to her hair and makeup, such as the interesting ombré effect of the dye and the self-styled soft curls, as well as the bold lip colour that matched her perfectly-manicured nails. Interestingly, we recognise this to be the dress worn by Miranda Cosgrove to a recent movie premiere, and while the dress itself may have been deserving of Hollywood, we believe Sinead’s finishing touches made it truly red carpet worthy.

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