‘Men written by women’ was a phenomenon taken over the Internet a year or two back then, and the term female gaze—coined in response to the conventional male-dominated film industry where most film characters were created through men’s perception—is so impactful in today’s world no just in pop culture but also in fashion.


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Initially, ‘dressing for the female gaze’ was vastly and mainly adopted by female wearers after realising how most of the major fashion houses were originally founded by men and designed by men. Over the years, female wearers realised the importance of dressing for themselves with garments created from a female perspective that, oftentimes represents them more accurately. In the 2010s, Phoebe Philo took over Celine and turned it into a label that championed women’s empowerment, creating clothes that fit the realistic needs and wants of female wearers, hence had successfully developed her own loyal followings regardless of gender, so much so large fashion houses began to tap into creating through the female gaze, hiring more female voices to take over the creative helm. From Muccia Prada to Chitose Abe, from Grace Wales Bonner to Martine Rose. It’s only a matter of time before we, the consumers, pause and wonder, where are the female voices – not just in female fashion, but also for men’s.


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I invited three female fashion voices who have been contributing, leaving important trails in the local fashion scene: Skye Lai, an up-and-coming fashion stylist; Asha Farisha, known for her online moniker Girl Meet Couture that shares all-thing-fashion from cultural to history; and Kelly Lim, a fashion writer and a model herself, to talk about men’s fashion – what menswear styles and trends are appealing from a female perspective and who do they think is the ‘men written by female’. Before we proceed, I believe fashion doesn’t need to ‘ask for validation’, you wear what you want, but we can still be open to opinions that who knows, might be game-changing.

Emri Vision

What is that one look — head to toe — that will make your head turn on the streets?

Asha: If you ask me, there aren’t any specific head-to-toe looks when it comes to fashion and style as trends change as fast as it comes. Every time I get starstruck by an outfit it’s always a look that says more about the type of person the wearer is, something very expressive and bold but also very elegant and concise when seen as a whole. A good style to me is a look that tells a story or sends a message.

Kelly: As boring as it sounds, a timeless, well-put-together outfit with a twist will be the one to turn my head before anything super loud or flashy. The devil is in the quiet details and making it look effortless doesn’t come easy. Whether that be a monochromatic look with a play on different textures or a subversive take on wardrobe basics, finding new ways to style and elevate tried-and-tested classics and make them your own will be the most eye-catching to me.

Skye: I don’t have a specific head-to-toe, but I do love a look with lots of thin layers, creating a layering effect with different textures. Texture is key.


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On and off the runway, where do you think menswear is going this year? What would be ‘in-trend’?

Asha: Fashion itself is moving a lot towards individuality that’s why we see a lot of new niches and ‘ –core’ in style like gorpcore, blokecore and more. Younger generations are obsessed with aesthetics and hyper-individualism, they like to be identified with a community or lifestyle and they do it through dressing up.

I’d expect a lot more very specific niches of fashion coming up in trend through hobbies, interest or nostalgia and that’s usually something that happened out of the blue and pretty hard to predict. We’ve already seen this from the outwear and camping hobby being ‘in-trend’ and birthed the gorpcore fashion, it’s exciting to see what’s more to come but I’d say dress as you like, who knows if that’ll be the next big thing?

Kelly: A creative fluidity has blossomed across menswear in recent years, with the blurring of boundaries between men’s and women’s clothing and an emphasis on self-expression. I think we’re in an era of personal experimentation–there’s more space than ever for men to explore their style, and recent runways have expressed a similar sensibility. From the omnipresence of skirts of every length to new takes on traditional suiting, designers are reworking the classics with a focus on tailoring, shape and silhouettes. We’re headed towards a menswear refresh and hopefully, a spotlight on craftsmanship and technique over hype.

Skye: I think more slender silhouettes will be back but in a more elegant and soft manner.

Joe Chia

Personally, which men’s fashion stereotypes or trends, should men stop or start

Asha: I rarely dislike anything but I’m not a fan of the stereotypical ‘alpha men’ fashion that was rather popular a few years back, tight shirt sleeves, skinny jeans, and denim all over. It’s very generic and everyone looks the same which lacks personality and for me, that’s boring.

Kelly: I think we should let go of gendered notions of clothing and just embrace wearing whatever makes us feel good.

Skye: It’s 2023 but still… it’s got to be logo tees and also socks with slides.


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“I’m new to fashion. How do I find my style?” is probably one of the most common
questions when it comes to day-to-day fashion. What would be your answer?

Asha: I get this question a lot especially when it comes to men, it’s always ‘how to dress well’ or ‘how to be stylish’ but there’s no simple answer to that question. If you ask me, I would say to find your style, you need to first find yourself – what do you like and how do you want to be perceived?

A good style to me is not just wearing the trendiest item, following certain ‘styling rules’ or carrying the most expensive bag but being able to show who you are, your personality, culture and lifestyle through how you dress. My advice is when buying clothes think of how YOU want to be perceived instead of what you think people would like! Styling is all about you and less about others.

Kelly: Discovering your personal style is a continuous journey of understanding what you love and what makes you feel confident. Take the time to work out what silhouettes you like and what makes you feel your best. Experiment, experiment, experiment! Look for inspiration, pin down what styles you most align with and work towards creating a wardrobe of staples to always come back to. Dress for yourself.

Skye: I would say start by just looking more, whether it’s Pinterest, Instagram or at a store. Pay attention to the style you’re gravitate to,as well as colour, silhouettes and material. And just start experimenting from there!


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Any stylish men, on and off the Internet that you personally adore, style-wise? Or
even brands, local or international, that you think do men’s fashion well.

Asha: Oh there’s a lot to just fit into one sentence but designer wise locally, I really like Emri Vision and the fresh take of Dickson Lim in menswear.

Gen-Z designers are on the rise, I’ll book a front-row seat and be the first to watch them grow.

As for style inspiration, I’d go with actor Evan Mock and Korean model Lee Jungwon! One thing I like to do is to go through editorials and work done by Korean stylists, they’re always so experimental and creative. One I would recommend is to check out work by stylist Wook Kim.

Kelly: I love Martine Rose—her play on proportions has set new standards for menswear over the last decade, offering joyfully utilitarian collections that include a transgressive range of reinterpreted staples, for example, her signature voluminous trousers, to create a statement.

Skye: I’ve been following Jean Jacques on Instagram for quite some years now and I can say that the way he dresses is still my favourite. I’m also looking forward to seeing where Peter Do goes with his menswear collections, I’m liking his takes so far. And in terms of local brands, Joe Chia and Motoguo, two very different styles but have been on the top of my list in terms of local menswear and an emerging local brand, Lazyheads, looks quite promising as well.

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IWD 2023 Fashion Voices: From Her POV
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