An interview with Mel Rice, AWA Fashion Show Chair

Apr 29, 2016

Last week, Shopping at Tiffany's had the pleasure of being featured in a fabulous fashion show at the Park Royal Hotel, hosted by the American Womens Association.


It was a celebration of fashion, style and (of course) - shopping! Many local designers both new and established were featured on the runway, all beautifully accessorised by Desti Saint and Stones That Rock.


We caught up with Mel Rice, Chair of the Fashion Show to pick her brains on what it takes to bring together an event like this, and her own personal views on fashion and fun.




"I have been a member of the AWA for eight years. This is my sixth year being a part of the fashion show. Previously I was one of the models and last year I was asked to be the Chair of the event!


The most exciting and best part of being involved with the AWA is the people I meet. I have met so many different women from all walks of life, whom without the AWA I may not have crossed paths with.


The focus of the fashion show this year was not only on the clothes, but also to showcase the average AWA woman and put her on the runway in the most beautiful designs. Not everyone is a typical model shape and size and we really wanted to celebrate that by showing lots of different types of models walking on our runway this year. This meant that we had to be really focused when choosing the designers to work with on the show.


Spicy Sugar on the runway!


We started the search for designers last September – so it was a very long and precise process. When we had selected our designers, we arranged a fitting with them at their store, with all the models, for about two hours. It was a fun and intense process beginning with each model choosing a few styles that they really liked. We wanted the models to feel beautiful and comfortable so it was important for them to select what they liked. Once they had chosen their outfits, we sometimes suggested a different colour or fabric, so that there was a strong story to each designer showcase.


After we had chosen all the outfits the real hard work started… Our AWA Fashion Show Committee of five (myself, Rohita, Lori, Dana, Erika) cut out tiny colour pictures of each model in each outfit and sat down at what looked like a giant fashion chessboard! Trying to figure out the order and flow on the runway was a real challenge and took over six hours of moving around the tiny pictures to decide which model should walk in what order.

From left to right: Mel Rice, Rohita Rajkumar, Erika Masiero, Lori Nowak, Dana Glore Thompson 

It was a very proud day for me, as we could not have had such a successful event if it had not been for our amazing designers. Their support and encouragement, not just in the AWA, but also in the women who volunteered to walk the runway was fantastic."


Quick Fire Questions:


What item of clothing could you not live without?


My favourite pair of bootcut jeans, you can wear them anywhere – dress them up or down.


What item(s) of make up could you not leave the house without?


I always have moisturizer, compact, chubby crayon for lips and cheeks. If I had to pick a favourite I would say moisturizer as it is so hot in Singapore and I coach so much I need


What would be your favourite dinner or lunch in Singapore?


A picnic on East Coast Park would be fantastic. It’s so beautiful around there.


What has your favourite travel destination been?


Laos. I went there four years ago. The people were wonderful, it was very calm. Luang Prabang was my favourite area in Laos. The villagers would come down every night and host a street market. The food was incredible and the vistas and hiking were great. Laos stole my heart!


If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?


Never give up! Stay strong and don’t let other people crush your dreams. It doesn’t matter how old you are. I read an interesting article the other day about celebrities and that a lot of them didn’t hit their stride until they were in their mid 30s or early 40s. It doesn’t matter what age you are – if you have a dream then follow it!