Eating is like reading a book or shaking someone’s hand. In one bite of food, our sensory organs receive immeasurable information about history, geography, people, and culture. Food and drink has always been at the center of our most powerful memories. For most, specific meals call back good times, special people, or particular milestones. For nearly everyone, a particular dish brings memories of home. This season our designer was inspired by the magic of food, the universal phenomena of chefs on break, and childhood memories of growing up in Southeast Asia.
Our story continues with a chef from Singapore who originally immigrated to Europe for culinary training, now living month-to-month in a tiny flat (with two roommates) and struggling to prove themselves on the line of a militant kitchen. Chain smoking on break, messages to- and-from home, dreams of “making it” are punctuated by doubts of whether they will recognize themselves when or if they do. But they have discovered the power of food, fallen in love with the process of making it, bonded with peers they now consider closer than family, and have seen the impact of their work firsthand. They’ve come too far to give up now.
Colors, patterns, and materials from the season are a story of old and new. Vibrant greens, amber, and yellow are Peranakan elements of home our character can’t let go of. Traditional plaids, classic tailoring, and an injection of functional technical fabrics are the new world that are part of the language they are learning to speak. Strangeness comes from the constant pull between looking back and looking forward, a combination of utilitarian survivalist mentality and unshakeable nostalgia. Our protagonist has many needs--but only one suitcase.