A moment to go down in Ong Shunmugam history, the local designer writes about her personal experience designing the dress so far
When I first found out that Buro 24/7 Singapore was launching here in February, the first question that came to mind was "Is Mira coming?". Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to ask if I could gift her a bespoke Ong Shunmugam. It felt like the smartest decision on a whim. So I took the chance, asked for Mira's measurements and got it from Russia a month later. Excited and nervous altogether, it was no turning back from then on.
Mira's explorative taste is what makes her exciting to design for. Brave enough to switch between luxury and emerging designers, she doesn't have a formula - and I think that's precisely what makes her the style icon she is. Faced with the challenge as a designer to create something that captures her style yet still illustrates the essence of the brand, I decided the best route to take was to give her a rich history of Southeast Asian fashion through an Ong Shunmugam dress.
So the journey began with me digging through my fabric catalogue at our warehouse in Bukit Batok. This little treasure trove of archives (my best-kept secret) stores boxes and bales of some of the most beautiful textiles from around Asia. And after two weeks of deliberation, I decided on two extremely rare and intricate batik from two ends of Indonesia - one from Bali and the other from Java. The Batik Tulis is a piece entirely drawn by hand, while the Batik Cap involves stamping across the fabric. Both materials would complement the batik we're using for our upcoming cruise 2016 collection - and tick all the right boxes as the perfect gift for Mira.
With this one dress, we would demonstrate the variety of skills used across traditional Asian textiles, sum up the tensions that trouble modern Asia and it would be the best way to remember her first Ong Shunmugam show. Welcome to Singapore, Mira!