Written by Tess Chia
Dr Georgia Lee, now better known for her socialite aspirations as a fashionista than her doctoring work, stepped over a thick bold line into the world of fashion on 9 May when she modeled four and a half outfits in “Private Life”, a fashion-meets-furniture show at the Audi Fashion Festival 2009. Her co-star was Baker, the lauded American luxury furnishings house that boasts Barack Obama among its many fans. The air was thick with anticipation pre-show. This was a first on the local fashion scene: a show combining theatre, entertainment and couture. None of the guests knew quite what to expect.
But some things were not such a surprise, as this glitzy event pulled together all the beautiful people in Singapore, including celebrities and famous faces such as Diya, Beatrice Chia, Apple Hong, Daryl Lim, Cynthia Koh, Sara Ann K, Tina Tan-Leo and Dick Lee. Representatives from the US embassy and local government agencies such as the Singapore Tourism Board, SPRING Singapore and the Economic Development Board were present as well.
The show opened with a line-up of male models in sharp suits standing at both sides of the runway as the backdrop opened to reveal Dr Georgia Lee, clad in a beautifully tailored Jean Paul Gaultier suit that matched skinny cargo-inspired pants with a men’s jacket. There was a considerable lag between outfits as Lee was the only model, but the choreographers cleverly took the opportunity to show off Baker’s exquisite furniture through images of armchairs and dressers, juxtaposed against images of American presidents — all to capture the essence of the furniture line “The Statesman”.
Soon, Lee re-emerged in a breathtakingly beautiful, lilac and pink Christian Lacroix gown. Her statuesque figure did the flowing gown justice, and mesmerizing the crowd as she sashayed down the runway like a seasoned pro. Morphing into the next theme of “The Aristocrat”, a cellist and soprano glided on stage to perform. Lee reappeared on stage in an edgy yet stunning black Dominic Sirop gown, accessorized with a blinding diamond tiara on her crown. She paced the catwalk as the cellist played.
After all the very serious and dignified performances early in the evening, it was time for some fun. “The White Finale” was aptly named as Lee came out decked out in a dreamy white Vera Wang bridal gown that made the crowd gasp. Suddenly, blowers at the corners of the room shot out millions of white feathers, catching the audience completely unawares. It was, to be honest, very distracting. But as everyone was busy sweeping feathers off their hair and clothes, the whole line-up of male models emerged once again, clad only in striped boxer shorts and cheeky grins, each holding a pillow. Once all of them had come on the stage, a full-blown pillow fight commenced! A naughty but welcome relief, and a suitable prelude to Lee’s final outfit.
She re-appeared on stage, hair pulled back into an elegant ponytail, wearing a tiny lace teddy that left nothing to the imagination, even with her seethrough coverup. Wolf whistles erupted and rippled down the crowd. A dazzling diamond Chopard necklace was draped around her neck. The thunderous applause from the star-studded crowd said it all as the show came to an end.
When City News interviewed Lee after the show, she looked radiant and happy. On her finale outfit, which showed off flawless legs among other things, Lee laughed: “I had to work five weeks with a personal trainer before the show or I wouldn’t have dared to wear that infront of everyone!”
Why fashion and furniture? “Fashion is not just about clothes; it’s also about home design and it’s an entire lifestyle,” she explained, while emphasizing that she loved all the pieces she got to wear. “They were all so beautiful!” City News also caught up with CEO of Baker, Freddie Low, who explained the collaboration. “Georgia’s an important socialite known for her exquisite taste and love for fashion – she’s able to channel what Baker stands for,” said Low. “Like fashion, furniture is art and part of a lifestyle. Baker combines art with functionality – it’s the furniture of choice for the discerning”. For more than a century, Baker has been the hallmark of design excellence and uncompromising quality to create furniture with a classic sensibility in form, finish and function. To date, the most popular Baker collections are the Stately Homes, Thomas Pheasant and Historic Charleston.
|PHOTOS: Jimmy Yong, Desmond Tan & Xavier Tan|
Baker endeavors to show its support for homegrown talent in ways such as this show. Here, local designers Terence Chan, Norman Yeo and Joseph Lim were granted the opportunity to design the three Baker showcases, says General Manager for Baker, Henry Tan. The show worked to demonstrate the beauty and class of Baker pieces. Little wonder it’s the furniture of choice for celebrities like Madonna, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and even the US President. Baker was launched in Singapore in 2008 and will be opening a new store in Central, Hong Kong, on 20 May 2009. Its next collection will be unveiled in stores in October this year.