Elyn Wong of Stolen: Buro 24/7 Singapore Playlist #133


Text: Elyn Wong

Stolen's creative director Elyn Wong Yinyin shares the emotional soundtrack that underpins each collection from day one to now

While compiling this playlist, I revisited the Stolen journey in my head. Joyous moments, rough patches, times when the world seemed like it was telling me to give up and messy periods in my personal life which bled into my work. Stolen is very much an extension of me. Everything I succeed in or fail at is seen as a reflection of myself, which can feel like a burden sometimes. Creating Stolen, however, has been the most liberating decision I have ever made in my life. 

'Katy Song' by Red House Painters is the song that is most significant to the birth of Stolen, which was born out of my insecurity as a creative individual. This is a very dark song. I loved it, but I did not want it to bring me to a dark place. I used it to explore the darkness that I had been lost in for too long, searching deep for my calling. I needed to find more meaning in my life. Something I could wake up to smiling every morning. Something that validated me, from within myself. Something exciting to call my own. And Stolen was born.

'Broken By' Jake Bugg is passionate and intense. No other voice has cut so deep. I remember running to my computer to find out who this magical voice was when it came on unexpectedly. It was like nothing I'd ever heard before. Then a funny thought occurred to me: I want to make sure my creations deliver that same sense of magic to consumers. No one needs another song. No one needs another dress. People need something different, and I try to make sure that Stolen is that something different. This song played throughout the development of my Plaine Words collection in 2013.

Yo La Tengo's 'Green Arrow' was not a new song to me, but I got re-acquainted with it after years of not listening to it. There's a distinct physical sensation that I get whenever this song comes on. Absolute emptiness, a tingling cold sensation from head to toe, the same sensation I had when I first heard it. Again the same sensation years later. It's amazing how our body remembers. This emptiness translates very differently in my head though. It all depends on what I was going through at that point in my life. Sometimes that emptiness becomes positive, other times it becomes scary. 'Green Arrow' was played a lot when I was creating the Kami collection in 2014. Perhaps the predominantly white collection was influenced by the emptiness in this song. 

The voice of Alexi Erenkov from The Saxophones melted me in an instant. I turned into a puddle at the unbelievably smooth vocal, which transported me to the middle of an ocean. Underneath that ease I felt a sadness, an uncertainty and a regret. It turns out that the song, 'If You're On The Water' is actually about how fragile life is. It's taken from real experience about how Alexi and his father met with a boat accident that nearly lost their lives, and how their friend committed suicide slightly after. Dark songs tend to attract me. This was the song that I listened to a lot when I was preparing for Stolen's CONCUR collection in 2016. I was juggling with too much in life, and my days were filled with countless uncertainties. It was also the year I lost my dad. This song was on repeat, trying to fill up that emptiness.

When your world suddenly feels much bigger than you ever remember it to be and when you feel lightness and joy — 'Rivers' by The Tallest Man On Earth has that magic on me. Even though it is about impermanence and loss, it is delivered in the most delicate manner that makes me smile and celebrate change. This is the nature of what life brings. A positively contemplative song to me. This song is playing often now as I am preparing for my upcoming 2018 collection. I'm very ready for what is to come and for a new exploration again.

Stolen has just relaunched their website and webstore where you can discover everything about Stolen since the start of the brand to the latest offering.