SINGAPORE - Dresses took centre stage at the start of Singapore Fashion Week as Diane von Furstenberg kicked off the five-day event that mixes top international designers and local emerging names.

Furstenberg, known for her signature wrap dress, showcased her Autumn/Winter 2015 “Seduction” collection, which she said was partly Asian-inspired. Models wore red patterned dresses and dark-coloured knits for the line, first shown in New York in February. Furstenberg also heads the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), an industry group which has teamed up with the annual fashion event to help nurture local designers and showcase their work abroad.

“Singapore is such a dynamic city and it has so much excitement,” she said backstage on Wednesday night. Singapore Fashion Week, previously known as the Audi Fashion Festival Singapore, promises a star-studded line-up including Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett and singer-turned-designer Victoria Beckham, who will close the event. “We’re at the centre of Asia, we’re sort of the gateway between East and West,” Singapore Fashion Week creator Tjin Lee said. “I really believe that Singapore can be the hub, that fashion capital, that people from around the world gather where they find the best of Asian designers.”

CFDA Chief Executive Steven Kolb said the organisation planned to bring some local designers to New York in June. “There’s a nice group of talent and it’s worth developing, it’s worth looking at more closely,” he said. “(For) a designer showing during Singapore Fashion Week, the opportunity is endless because it is so close to China and throughout Asia, and that really is the new market ... where one can be successful and have a very broad customer base.” Singapore Fashion Week runs until May 17.