The San shines on –

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

The fashion industry gets a bad rep sometimes, for its alleged back-stabbing nature.

But there are times when fashion insiders get together in celebration of their compatriot, and that could not be a more beautiful moment. This was most evident at the Eclipse Spring/Summer 2018 showcase during the recently-concluded KL Fashion Week in Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur.

Everywhere you turned, there was a familiar face, as the biggest names in local fashion – from Melinda Looi to Khoon Hooi – turned out to show their support. In the pre-show area where guests congregated, there was an overwhelming sense of camaraderie.

The event was significant as it marked the first runway presentation for the homegrown brand since its founder Sonny San passed away last October.

Read: A life less ordinary: Remembering Sonny San 


Founded in 1996, Eclipse has always been synonymous with San’s unmistakably feminine style, with impeccably draped dresses and silhouettes that best represent pure, relaxed luxury.

Would the ready-to-wear label thrive without its creator? The answer, based on last Saturday’s outing, is a resounding yes.

A campaign clip before models made their entrance featured a touching tribute to San; I confess I teared up a little.

The Eclipse design team – who previously worked under San – was inspired by the layered art installations of Nobuhiro Nakanishi; they drew from the Japanese artist’s fascination with the the passage of time to create their looks.

Starting with youthful athleisure looks, the models transitioned to chic classics before maturing to elegant evening dresses.

At the collection’s centre is the season’s definitive print of life-inspired botanic florals and living insects, translated on to satin and polyester, as well as applique motifs embellished on tulle. There was also menswear that echoed the design philosophy.

In its own way, the collection marked a new beginning for Eclipse as well as a celebration of life.

Attendees couldn’t agree more.

Founder of Kensapothecary, Ken Lim, who has known San for more than two decades, remembers San as “the one who gave me the opportunity to start my beauty business at his Eclipse boutiques before anyone took my beauty brands seriously”.

In regard to the new collection, Lim said: “It showcased a stylish collection, yet sexy with fluidity in its carefully chosen fabrics that is true to Sonny’s aesthetics. Sonny may be gone but his legacy lives on.”

“Sonny would have been proud!” enthused Ferhat Nazri-Aziz. “The show stayed true to the brand’s identity of wearable and stylish wear, featuring a collection of well-thought pieces that can take you through the season effortlessly. What a beautiful collection.”

“Having inspired so many young designers throughout his lifetime, Sonny’s inspiration lives on through Walter Lo and his team,” mused Andrew Wong, whose Acme Bar & Coffee provided a hospitality suite for the fashion week. “They masterfully brought his strokes to life and created a beautiful collection.”

Public relations consultant Peter Lum added: “It was a sublime collection. Eclipse lives strong with Sonny’s spirit!”

Not surprisingly – but deservedly so – a standing ovation greeted the design team as they came out for their post-show bow.

As a fan and friend of San, I loved and appreciated every minute of the showcase.

And in my heart of hearts, I know he must have watched with approval from above.


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