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Postage stamps have played important roles throughout the ages.  In my early teens, everyone took pride in collecting stamps and first day covers were sought after treasures. I remember my beautiful red stamp album which had to be just as well-filled with unusual stamps from abroad, as my brother’s.  The most eye-catching stamps then used to come from Poland, and of course, we tried our best to find ‘pen-pals’ in those countries with beautiful postage stamps. Through the exchange of constant letter-writing with these pals whom we would never meet,  my brother and I managed quite a grand collection of precious postage stamps between the both of us.  How I wish I had never sold them away. Alas, being on the move always, I never managed to keep too many bulky things like well-filled stamp albums, for long.

Years later, I continued to collect stamps – but only if I found them useful for use in my painting collages – two of which ended up in my 1999 artwork entitled SHADES OF BLUE, complete with postmark and all, which creatively recorded my time in Beijing, China, for posterity.

More recently, I used part of a Malaysian stamp with lovely pink lotus flowers – with part of the postmark – in LOVE BLOSSOMS – a silk chiffon scarf design from my CELEBRATION Collection.

Playing an important part in MEMORIES, my silk chiffon scarf collage of vintage memorabilia from Fujian, is a sepia-toned image of a vintage stamp bearing the word ‘Amoy’, the old name of this Fujian Province in China.  To view the full CELEBRATION Collection, please click here.

Naturally, it was a thrill to find that in the recent London Fashion Week, all eyes were agog at one of the more keenly watched new breed of fashion designers – Mary Katrantzou, In her 9th runway show, Mary incorporates postage stamps and currencies from far-flung countries in her designs, which are now the talk of the fashion world.  See more of her delightful outfits in the SPRING 2013 RTW shows on style.com and read fabulous reviews of her latest showing, by vogue.com here.

From style.com:Mary Katrantzou’s Spring 2013 RTW.                                        Photo: Marcus Tondo/GoRunway.com

From vogue.co.uk – designer stamps profiling the best of British fashion. Picture credit: Johnson Banks

In another creative take on Stamps in Fashion, or perhaps more aptly, Fashion in Stamps, a postage stamp collection was unveiled earlier this year in UK to commemorate 60 years of British fashion, incorporating memorable iconic pieces by the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Zandra Rhodes, among others. Soak in this lovely fusion of stamps and fashion or vice-versa, here.

All said and done, in this age of cyber communication, let us hope the humble postage stamp never diminishes in importance and value.

There are two persons on my ‘must write list’ who prefer hand-written mail to any other form of news exchange. One is a jet-setting cousin and the other is a long-lost/found-again pen-pal. Both live in Europe and perhaps I should write them more often to start a new collection of postage stamps…