Call it nouveau rhetorics, but the hashtag is the new exclamation point—as you would say rainbow is the new black. The affix makes even the most mundane word a power proclamation, uniting people with a single punctuation in the way #MeToo launched the formidable global moment towards female empowerment. In a greater way, art and music have always held that abstract power to bring people together towards a common cause; where paintings say a thousand words ... or even one missive in a masterpiece the likes of Guernica. We take this theme for this Power Art Issue, featuring artwork and artists who employ visual impact to make progressive statements on social issues, politics, and life. The genres are wide, from Frida Kahlo whose self-portraits articulated potent emotional discourses, to Yoko Ono’s avant-garde annotations, and present-time Instagram artists who use technology and connectivity to amplify their mission. We also present Malaysia’s serious art collectors, who for the first time share their treasured artwork in the manner of which they have been moved by their messages, no hashtags required.
Fashion turns a new tide with this issue as we present the Pre-Fall collections; no longer the precursor to Autumn/Winter but a seminal season in itself. I had the chance of travelling to Hamburg for the spectacular Chanel Métiers d’Art 2018 collection last December, and experiencing the seafaring city of bridges and canals, red brick buildings, and the newly minted Elbphilharmonie that inspired and staged Karl Lagerfeld’s stylistic tribute to his homeland. And then this summer, I returned to take it all in again in a totally different light. Back then the mystical melancholia of winter rendered an ethereal luminosity to the collection in situ; and seeing it live in the actual season, on real people, all its prismatic lavishness in the pre-autumnal sunlight, was quite magical. How marvellous to experience this creative journey from the craftsmen to the couturier, and ultimately to when fashion comes really alive, as Coco Chanel famously said, “in the sky, on the streets ... the way we live.”
Another craft that always fascinates is hairstyling, the creative discipline where beauty, innovation, and creativity fuse to produce living art. For this year’s BAZAAR Hair Awards, we invited over 20 personalities to review the expertise of Malaysia’s top hairstylists, professional colourists, advanced treatments, and quality products. The BAZAAR office and photo studio in the last two months were quite a circus of unicorn hair, daring cuts, beautiful tresses, and also some bad hair days (even mine!) ... I’m glad we’re done and now able to share with you the well-deserved winners so you too can experience the best of the best, to turn your crown glorious, or make it #statement.