Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SS12 theme artwork & special kueh hangtag!

I have been creating an illustrative theme artwork for each collection since day one, regardless of whether the collection had a fabric print or not! For this collection, it was quite obvious to me that the Kueh Lapis artwork from the hello hansel label made for a more striking piece. We also thought about how to explain to people who might know of the little piece of cake or who might not realize that the print was of the kueh (cake).

Often, the first thing that appears in my mind proves to be the best way to go. In this instance, I immediately pictured a BIG piece of Kueh Lapis hanging on the dress, like this mock up!

The collection is supported under the National Heritage Board's Heritage Industry Incentive Programme (Hi2P) so I tried to find a nice spot for their logos.
The hansel logos were in weird space up on the top left hand corner so we moved them down next to the NHB and HiP logos for the final artwork, but a BIG Kueh Lapis it was and a BIG Kueh Lapis it ended up being. We even sourced special red/white string to match the ones that are already on our paper bags.

More on that in my next post! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

SS12 print development - Kueh Lapis Lines for hansel.

Yeeeeah, the names that I give for my print designs are pretty literal. 

I was intrigued by how these images were made up of a series of fine lines...

So I experimented.

And managed to find a more refined way to interpret the Kueh Lapis for the dressier hansel label.

I had them cascading down the fabric. Where the pieces gather is also the location of the waist of a dress. This creates a visually slimming effect (I know ladies would appreciate this!).

After some miscommunication issues with the fabric print factory....

We finally got what we wanted. So I pinned the swatch on another pretty assistant (my studio seems to be full of them!) to check on the scale and overall effect when seen against a real body.

The "Big Kueh Lapis" printed jersey swatches for the hello hansel label arrived at the same time so we checked on the scale and appearance of those too. (She's holding up the printed paper artwork so I could compare the difference.)

Once we were happy with all the swatches, it's the green light for the factories to go full steam ahead!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Audi Star Creation 2012.

It's my first time judging at the Audi Star Creation fashion design competition.
This was the scene that greeted me over 2 weeks ago when I turned up at the TAFF office.
A room FULL of entries.

I spent a WHOLE day inside that room and selected entries which I later conferred together with TAFF Vice-President David Wang to confirm our final 36 that will make it to the Stage 2 online judging.

This picture below was shot just this morning - that's David Wang on the left, me in the middle, and Star Creation 2010 winner Audrey Lim on the right. We were the spokespersons for Audi Star Creation 2012 and had to rock up at 8am for rehearsals before the actual AFX press conference started at around 11am. (I had to wake up at 6am today.... aaargh!!!)

We took to the stage to talk about Star Creation and answer some questions. I was a leeeetle bit nervous but I think I managed to wing it OK in the end!

The next step would be to select the 12 finalists online. These 12 finalists would come battle it out on the catwalk on May 14! Keep your eye on this space....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

SS12 print development - the BIG Kueh Lapis.

The watercolour print design didn't work for me, so I tried something bolder - just flat broad lines of colour to represent each layer of the Kueh Lapis. I experimented with various scales, positions and directions of the kueh and tried different coloured backgrounds, but sticking with neutral shades so that the kueh's colours stood out. 

It's important to see the scale against a real body so I enlisted the help of my lovely assistant (she's actually my sales & marketing executive) to pose with my printed sheets of paper. Once I was happy with the scale, I tweaked the final artwork and sent it off to the fabric printers!

This print was named the "Big Kueh Lapis" and was meant for the hello hansel label since that label is targeted at fun and playful weekend wear. Up next, developing a print for the dressier hansel label...

Monday, February 20, 2012

SS12 Tiers of Joy print development - Watercolour.

My first approach in developing the Kueh Lapis into a fabric print design was to create something happy and pretty and feminine - so I experimented with paintings that had a watercolor effect. (The facial doodles are signs of my wandering mind).

I tried various compositions and scales and got some pretty results but when I put the test prints on my body and looked in the mirror - it did not make me go wow. So I ventured on with other drawing techniques. More on that coming up soon!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Spring/Summer 2012 research.

Time to share my experiences in preparing our Spring/Summer 2012 collection. I was introduced to the Singapore National Heritage Board's Heritage Industry Incentive Programme (HI2P) 
and LOVED the idea of taking a local heritage theme and using it in a modern, contemporary context. 

So what did I do? I popped down to my local kopitiam (coffee shop) to have a poke around the snacks stall and spotted my ol' childhood favourite - the rainbow-coloured Peranakan Kueh Lapis

Meaning "layered cake" in Malay, this well-loved Singaporean teatime treat is also often known as the "nine layered cake" in Mandarin for its nine distinctively coloured layers.

One of the all-time favourite ways to enjoy this piece of happiness-inducing starchy sweetness is to peel off each coloured layer by layer...

Can you believe that's food? Looks pretty weird and cool at the same time! 
Those were also probably the same reasons why I loved this little cake - so much fun just looking at it and going through the process of eating it!

 You could even ROLL them back layer by layer...

 I also looked at the Onde-onde - another yummy sweet snack found in Peranakan kuehs (cakes).

I decided in the end that this could be more for an Autumn/Winter collection theme as they resembled snowballs (kind of) but oh, it was yummy!!!

In the end, I saw that the rainbow-coloured Peranakan Kueh Lapis had the potential to be translated into super duper happy fabric print designs (so perfect for a Spring/Summer collection!) and so chose that  as my motif for the season. I developed the motif into print designs and a range of clothes with layered details and aptly named the collection, "Tiers of Joy" :-)

More on the new collection in posts to come!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Stylish girl on the MRT.

A striking black and white patterned top, denim shorts, a classic Versace-style scarf and 3-tone leather sandals. A great outfit that proves the oft-heard "It's too hot in Singapore to dress up and look good" excuse as utter rubbish.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I am going to see Madonna.

I have loved Madonna since I was 10 years old. Hence, it has been a 26 year wait for my first ever Madonna concert. I bought VIP tickets to catch her in Seattle this October and I am SO SUPER DUPER EXCITED I am (nearly) speechless! 

I still have the cassette tape of her True Blue album - my personal favorite by far. 

And I still remember how at 10 years old, I was reading the lyrics for "Where's The Party" and I didn't know that the word "chaos" was spelt that way and spent my days wondering if it was a mis-print.
I pronounced it as "cha-os" (as in the Italian "ciao").
So embarrassing!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Reebonz's Valentine's Day styling feature . . .featuring ME! :-)

Remember that Reebonz photoshoot that I did?
Here's what it was for - Reebonz's "Dress Me Up...With Love!" Valentine's Day special. You can buy the items that were styled with my hansel dresses!

The behind-the-scenes video is fun to watch!

All screen grabs taken from

Pity about the reflections on my eyeglasses :-(