A long-standing sentiment held by some locals is that Singapore has cultivated an austere and strait-laced environment; an ecosystem devoid of creativity and individuality. And while that might have held some truth in the days of old, the same can’t be said of our current timeline. The emergence—and rise—of sartorial talents such as Youths in Balaclava confirms this.
An underground fashion commune consisting 18 members, Youths in Balaclava (YIB) has been garnering buzz since its conception thanks to their bold, unflinching take on fashion design. To date, their accolades include extensive features on international publications such as Vogue, being stocked at Dover Street Market, and, as of late, a return invitation to present their fall/winter collection at Paris Fashion Week. Here’s what to know about their latest collection.
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Psycho Highway is YIB’s most extensive capsule collection yet
Previous fashion collections titled Traitors 2 Society and Stigma comprised fewer pieces. Each ensemble from Psycho Highway is showcased through a short film that draws inspiration from movies in the vein of Mad Max and Blade Runner 2049; an apocalyptic landscape ruled by an all-knowing, totalitarian governing body ‘EYE’.
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The collection is meant to convey a “metaphor wrapped in a narrative”
Said story is centered around unhappy citizens that have fled ‘EYE’s’ iron-clad ruling and formed their own factions respectively titled ‘Wild Horses’, ‘Dirty MCs’, and ‘Midnight Berserk’—all of which harbour a unique sensibility and style.
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Hot-rod culture, the chopper scene, and customised bosozoku cars acted as points of reference for the collection
This is evidenced by key pieces that include tailored race-car jackets, printed bandanas and pants with baggy silhouettes that bring to mind the ripstop cargos conventionally donned by mechanics.
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The brand’s latest capsule serves as YIB’s personal interpretation of Singapore’s way of living
According to the brand’s collection notes, ‘Psycho Highway’ works as a “reflection of our country and the different subcultures that (seemingly) stand all alone…but ironically share the same enemy.”
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Psycho Highway essentially ties back to YIB’s tenets of revolution, rebellion, and authenticity
The devil is in the details, as they say. This is portrayed via the barren landscape depicted within the film that presents a stark juxtaposition with YIB’s threads featuring pops of neon, intricate corset lacing, and yards of tulle. The message is clear: you don’t have to be armed with pitchforks and signs to fight back against the rigid expectations of society.