Fashion Meets Flowers at the Inter-Chambers Night

Fashion Meets Flowers at the Inter-Chambers Night – an event organised by the Singapore Malay Chambers of Commerce and Industries, SMCCI.

In an interview with Bloem Singapore’s founder, Sukri Kadola, discusses his passion for artisanal flowers which will be featured at the upcoming Food & Fashion Festival on 10th November, 2018.

How did the idea behind the Floral Haute Couture concept come about?
Floral haute couture is as visionary as any art form. Since, haute couture (by definition) is expensive, fashionable clothes produced by leading fashion houses – applying this to flowers is very similar. Artisans like myself, fashion everything by our own hands, and we highly selective about the form and function. We are very discerning when it comes to materials and textures we use, the palate and hues that our creations interact with and the form or lines that we construct. It is born from the desire to be a league of our own. Haute couture is not for everybody – and certainly floral haute couture is an outlet for artistic expression, in my opinion. Anyone who appreciates good design knows what high quality is, the value of originality and what is fine from an aesthetic viewpoint.

You can say that anything produced in the spirit of haute couture would be ‘conceptual’. Often, it is inspired by something remotely unrelated to the subject itself. But once you seehaute couture fashion on the runway, it sets people talking, fashion buyers inquiring, before it influences a trend that will set a pace or new direction in the industry. Other labels will start to make copies, often compromising quality for more sustainable materials to make them cost effective for production and distributed to the domestic markets. I hope that what I do with my flowers can set the tone, eliminate what is cliche and tired with something refreshing or inventive.

I’ve been told that my works is a little ‘crazy’ (I choose to challenge myself and be more progressive, even though how impractical some of the ideas may be). I have to find a way to make an idea come to life. Haute Couture allows designers to challenge themselves and when it is well executed, it sets the trend, then others will soon follow suit. The fad may die off and something else captures the attention – and so, the cycle continues. It comes in waves, but riding this wave – it’s every designer’s dreams.

Where do you draw inspirations from?
I draw inspiration from everything I see, be it a painting, a photograph or – very often, by nature, including landscape and greenery that we are surrounded by. It does require an acute sense of observation and sensitivity to what’s around you. You have to let yourself in and be open to experiment.

When Bloem was incepted in 2013, I knew we had to be different. Knowing that we are in a mature environment here, consumers are becoming more discerning here – bespoke services will eventually find a niche in the market. Everyone knows that artisanal floral creations cannot be easily replicated. So, being distinctly different from the others will have some relevance.

How has your current profession as a Florist (or any other previous professional background) helped you to prepare for this Fashion showcase?
Did I say I am a florist? Ha ha …I’m not sure myself and have always felt uneasy with ‘labels’ that enforces stereotypes. As a floral artisan, a fashion showcase on flowers is a little indulgent but I admit it’s every designers milestone in their career. As a businessman, It’s the best opportunity not just to showcase your capabilities, but build a reputation and increase your visibility. The timing couldn’t be more perfect, because a month prior to that, I gathered a few fashion and retail entrepreneurs who needed a platform to showcase what they could bring to the local market.

I immediately took the chance and volunteered to take the lead in roping resources together to make it affordable for a few labels to take part in a the fashion showcase at ICN. We put our heads together, and called for an audition where 40 models turned up. We came to an agreement to use only one set of models for 3 programmes, this splitting the consolidated costs for hiring good quality talents, makeup and styling – these really helped to make things easier for the first timers.

This is the 4th fashion show I’ve coordinated and each one gets better and more exciting. I was a trained consultant in marketing, communications and event planning. I have a creative eye – so planning such a high visibility event – this is really second nature for me.

I hope I’ll see you on 10 November at Casuarina Cove, East Coast Park Beach Carpark F2.

Thank you.
Sukri Kadola