In July of 2021, Vogue Singapore partnered with Charles & Keith to kick off the inaugural Vogue Talent Prize. Launched with the intention of spotlighting local talent, five promising applicants were shortlisted from an initial round of submissions before being tasked to create a brand campaign for the buzzy accessories label. Photographer and image-maker Jiajia Tan emerged victorious, walking away with a $2,000 cash prize and an internship opportunity with Vogue Singapore and Charles & Keith.
Fast forward two years, and the Vogue Talent Prize is back for its second run. This time, the new group of shortlisted applicants have been tasked to create a campaign for Vogue Singapore based on the July/August issue’s theme of ‘Reverie’. Inspired by their individual interpretations of it, the five applicants created original campaigns that utilised products from e-commerce platform Farfetch, while best illustrating their talents through works riddled with fantasy and promise.
The winning creative and campaign will receive $3,000 cash prize courtesy of Farfetch, an internship with Vogue Singapore and a complimentary one year U30 membership at Mandala Club (valued at over $4,276).
Now, here’s where things get extra exciting—you get to a have a say in who wins this year’s Vogue Talent Prize. Here, we’ve rounded up the five creatives, their one-of-a-kind campaigns, as well as the inspiration behind them. Look through the submissions to cast your vote and have your voice be heard—because we’re listening.
1. Danial Mirza (Papparilé), 26
For visual artist Danial Mirza, still-image photography has always been his medium of choice. Mirza goes by the moniker Papparilé, which has sentimental meaning for him as it stands for his father (who he calls pappa) and mother (her surname: rilé).
Titled ‘The Land of Otherworldly Pleasures’, his campaign speaks on the idea of indulging in one’s own fantasy. With the backgrounds and garments in each image synonymous with characters from children’s’ fables, Mirza shares the conceptualisation process: ” The inhabitants of this imaginary world are lost in the beauty and luxuries it offers, each of them main characters in their own minds.” Mirza also shares that his work often treads the line of fairytale and fiction, a factor that helps him lean into not taking his work too seriously.
Mirza also notes how effective image-making has the power to suspend reality. “I feel that telling a story will always be about transporting your audience into another world, however you see fit. With my practices, I always aim to invite my viewers to escape into another time or world, even if just for a little bit.”
Credits for ‘The Land of Otherworldly Pleasures’
Outfits Acne Studios light blue dress, courtesy of Farfetch
2. Yanni Chia, 26
For fans of 3D motion design, Yale-NUS graduate Yanni Chia’s work might resonate with you. Chia is an artist who is fascinated with solitude and its many forms and creates digital pieces—dubbed “calm design—that illustrate isolation in a myriad of ways. This time, Chia looked to traditional spots from his childhood, and injected ultra-modern elements into these nostalgic spaces in a blend of old meets new.
‘Dreamscape Escapism: The Future of Nostalgia’ is a series of animations that sees a futuristic levitating armchair placed in recognisable corners in Singapore, from the famous Dragon Playground to void decks. The juxtaposition is striking, and is further complemented by a soft, calming palette Chia adopted. Chia elaborates on his campaign: “I wanted to tell a story about the tension between the desire to strive for a more opulent future, versus holding on to the past and finding ourselves stuck comfortably in nostalgia.”
Chia also looks to challenge conformity and obedience in society further, wish he finds allows himself to be his true authentic self. “No matter how many people may disagree or find it odd, being true to myself when it comes to my work has proven to be more fulfilling and meaningful.”
3. Jamela Law, 30
To fashion technologist Jamela Law, producing a campaign for the Vogue Talent Prize served as a journey of self-exploration. The Lasalle graduate and co-founder of creative agency Baëlf Design was diagnosed with ADHD in her late twenties, and has spent much of her early adulthood coming to terms with what that entailed. “Growing up, I was always caught daydreaming, and was even told I would never achieve big things in life due to my propensity to wander and experiment with everything,” shares Law.
Reflecting on her womanhood and beliefs, Law’s campaign is a set of 3D visuals that reference the Three Graces of classical history, albeit reimagined in a contemporary way. Named ‘Modern Muses’, Law shares the message behind the imagery: “Before, these Graces epitomise the ideal of female beauty and form—submissive and demure. However, I wish to turn this concept on its head, to present my Graces as strong leaders, exemplifying the best qualities of today’s women.”
Law also wishes for this campaign to speak to the dreamers in society, applauding those bold enough to be idealistic and weather storms to transform their fantasies to reality. “The elaborate hats in my campaign embody an earnest metaphor of a dreamer’s thinking: that within the mental madness resides a clarity to envision and pursue worlds unexplored.”
4. Zhou SiTong, 23
Growing up surrounded by all that could be found in her mother’s fashion store, Zhou SiTong’s foray into the industry started at a tender age. She recalls helping customers with styling their purchases, which eventually sparked an interest in fashion design. The NAFA graduate had deferred from school during the pandemic to pursue an internship in a fashion design studio in Shanghai, where she gained valuable experience through research and external collaborations.
Zhou’s campaign submission—titled ‘Roaming Dream’—is a compilation of photos and illustrations that sees a female subject standing within dark and narrow spaces that are warped to represent a dream-like state. “I shot the images at Haw Par Villa and projected them onto the corridor of a HDB to emphasise the different dimensions between reality and virtuality. Additionally, I did an illustration of my views about the relationship between individuals and their spirits, as well as one’s unlimited imagination.”
With her dream to work within the fashion publication industry, Zhou enamoured over this opportunity to convey her thoughts and emotions through her work. “Effective storytelling for me is immersing audiences in the world you create and feeling the passion spreading through every story. Images capture feelings that cannot be expressed through words, and allows me to perceive my own reverie.”
Credits for ‘Roaming Dream’
Outfits Acne Studios black dress, courtesy of Farfetch
5. Celestine Chia, 24
To Lasalle undergraduate Celestine Chia, fashion research and theory has been a pivotal part of her work. Chia prides herself in deconstructing and reinterpreting social messages found in past milieus through imagery and her latest work is a beauty-focused campaign that explores escapism through the Greek tale of Icarus, the boy who flew to close to the sun. Chia breaks down the project: “I wanted each image to reflect a before and after of the story, providing some context to the narrative but leaving enough space for them to form their own stories of the in-between.”
The motivation behind the campaign started with Chia breaking down how the youth of today indulge daily in their thoughts. Shares Chia of her ideation process: “With this, I posed myself a query of our relationship with escapism and what happens if it gets too excessive to a point we eventually lose touch with reality. This then reminded me about the Greek mythology of Icarus.”
Chia also shot and produced the work abroad, as she was based in the UK for a semester-long exchange program during the time. This meant that her usual resources were unavailable to her, and also made for an ardous editing process. “I utilised any available resources in my school and reached out friends I’ve made there in the Singaporean community to find Asian faces to feature as part of my vision for this project.”
[Updated on 28 July 2023] Voting has now ended. We will be revealing the winner in an upcoming article, stay tuned to find out more.
Photography David Bay
Styling Jasmine Ashvinkumar
Hair and make-up Sha Shamsi