In case you missed it: Vogue Singapore Foundation, in partnership with Levi’s, set out on a mission to spotlight innovative local creatives in June of this year. The chosen designer was 25-year-old Lasalle College of the Arts alumni Justin Chua, who worked with upcycled Levi’s denim to create a one-of-a-kind creation. Proving that one can go big on style and sustainability with a compact wardrobe, Chua designed 0307, a modular, two-way and gender-neutral garment.
Inspired by the floral magnificence of the Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom exhibition at Gardens by the Bay, 0307 is Chua’s testament to the versatility of denim. A masterful blend of hand-cut denim petals, contrasting blue-hued panels and frayed hems, it can be worn as either a dress or a coat; and on its own or layered.
Chua worked with deadstock Levi’s material over the course of four weeks, during which he experimented with techniques such as strip-cutting and stitching in congested patterns. Looking back on the project, he reflects on his revelations as well as struggles. “This project has been fun and challenging for me as it was my first time working with upcycled denim. Trying to work with existing garments to create something new alters the design process as you are not able to just start conceptualising ideas and executing them,” he shares.
The experience has also helped him fully lean into his interest in sustainability, which he first displayed through his graduate collection, Polymorphism. “Upcycled pieces require you to dissect them into panels, which fits in with my love for creating different silhouettes. By incorporating upcycling into my polymorphic designs, it strengthens the conversation around sustainability and gives old pieces a new lifespan.”
As for who he sees wearing this custom piece and where to? Chua keeps it open-ended. “Honestly I think anyone could wear 0307 , as long as the design resonates with them. It could be worn as a statement piece, but it also could be styled casually as a coat and layered with other items.”
Want to own a one-off Singapore-made piece? Bid for 0307 here
As part of the Vogue Singapore and Levi’s joint initiative, 0307 will be displayed at Levi’s Raffles City store come 26 October and will also be put up for auction. All proceeds will be split between Chua and the Vogue Singapore foundation.
Photography Eric Seow
Styling Desmond Lim
Grooming Delanie Wong-Bonnefoy
Model Lucas Jong of Misc Management
Photographer’s Assistant Alfred Ng
Stylist’s Assistant Khad Normani