You’re completely invested in the storyline, poised at the edge of your seat anticipating what’s about to happen–until you’re confronted by a complete shift in direction leading to an unexpected outcome, leaving you suspended in a whirlwind. That’s the undeniable thrill of a plot twist, and the theme for the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) 2023.
More than 200 programmes span over the two festival weekends this year, embracing the unpredictable. The 26th edition brings together an eclectic array of lineups from exploring familiar genres through an unconventional lens to bridging unlikely topics and disciplines. This year’s theme of ‘Plot Twist’ is a fanfare of “our emboldened spirit as we become more daring with the areas of interests and conversations that the Festival engages with. By expanding the playing field of what the Festival addresses, we hope more audiences can find a common ground with the literary arts, in all its diverse and multilingual forms,” as festival director Pooja Nansi shares.
Festival-goers can expect to see illustrious names in the literary field from Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen to Jack Edwards, the internet’s “resident librarian” and author. As the festival explores literature with a multidisciplinary lens that goes beyond the norm, an array of fashion-led programmes offer contemporary perspectives on the sartorial landscape. Here, style-lovers can enter Singapore Writers Festival with fresh curiosity and an open mind when plot twists crop up as fashion forges with literary genres.
Revealing the Kebaya: Past, Present, Future and Beyond
Nothing is quite as quintessential to Southeast Asian fashion as the kebaya. Reigning as the region’s traditional icon, kebaya virtuosos Oniatta Effendi and Dr Lee Su Kim, author of ‘Kebaya Tales: of Matriarchs, Maidens, Mistresses and Matchmakers’, unravel the significance of the kebaya to the strata as they unpack narratives of its heritage at the intersection of globalisation, feminism, and postcolonialism.
Revealing the Kebaya: Past, Present, Future and Beyond is on 18 November, 4.30pm to 5.30pm at The Arts House.
Strutting Through Stories: A Fashion Masterclass Talk
Every year the Met Gala exhibits fashion’s biggest and boldest as celebrities walk the carpet in dazzling costumes that ooze opulence and glamour. Look closer however, and you’ll discover layers of narratives that hold profound meaning and emotion beneath the exquisite couture. Delve into the world of storytelling and fashion with fashion editor Maya Menon to uncover unique stories from the Met’s most memorable outfits.
Strutting Through Stories: A Fashion Masterclass Talk is on 18 November, 3pm to 4pm at the Asian Civilisations Museum.
Sustainability in Inclusive Fashion
Join a conversation on inclusivity in the realm of sustainability and fashion as The Curve Cult’s Rani Dhaschainey, Werable’s Claudia Poh, and model and advocate Zoe Zora discuss the current direction of sustainable fashion, and the space it leaves for bodies that don’t conform to the standards of the fashion industry.
Sustainability in Inclusive Fashion is on 19 November, 11.3oam to 12.30pm at The Arts House.
The 26th edition of the Singapore Writers Festival will take place from 17 to 26 November. All information regarding Singapore Writers Festival tickets can be found on their website.