Pew Pew Patches drops a new collection today!

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Two months ago, I launched my own little business selling iron-on patches. The idea behind it was to create original designs together with my friend, Danny K, for creative fashion accessories. Iron-on patches was once the rave during the ’80s, with everyone patching their denim jackets and jeans with these wonderful accessories.

I’ve always wanted a tattoo but because of my religion, I would choose not to. So in some way, the patch serves as a tattoo for myself. It’s a way to wear your heart on your sleeve and to say something about yourself. All our patches are one-of-a-kind because we design and produce them. You can’t find them anywhere else but hereeee 🙂

So with that, I present to you our second collection, Lulu’s bakery, which is centered around Lulu, the french (bulldog) chef who whips up these amazing cupcakes and pastries. Yes, I have such a love for bulldogs and food. I’m definitely going to wear this on my sleeeevesss!

Shop the collection at pewpewpatches.com! Our first collection, Hawaiian summer, is also available online and at Rockstar Singapore.

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Braille everything

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So each fashion project ends with a photo shoot and illustrations. This time to close this project, I decided to draw illustrations for sighted people and dot my technical drawings for blind people to understand my clothes. During my braille research, I came across a polaroid camera that helped to take braille pictures for blind people. Okay, I can’t exactly say it’s braille since it dots the shape of the object and doesn’t utilise the language but you know what I mean!

So, I studded the lines to allow them to feel the outlines of my clothes and possibly the different parts in it. If I had more time, I would perfect the dotting system, perhaps using the same sized dots for everything and getting all the spaces right.

This braille concept has so much more space to explore and I don’t feel like I’ve totally exhausted everything. Maybe womenswear next?

Fishing in the dark: Photoshoot

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So each collection culminates into a photoshoot and with this collection, some suggested that I do an outdoor shoot at sea but I chose to go with a studio shoot, intending to make a lot of blur shots, showing a person in motion but the clothes in clarity.

It’s pretty amazing what photographers do. Many of us think that their products are just pictures and almost anyone could do it, but when you get down to the technical side, there’s way more to photography than you know! “What’s the aperture? And the ISO?” Frankly speaking, I usually just move the aperture to the lowest or to a reasonable number and play with the shutter speed. There’s so many combinations to play with that I just need to settle it down to one thing, thank you.

So here are some of the unedited photographs from our shoot. I’m saving the blur photos for editing (yes, photoshop everything). I LOVE the silhouette shot though! It fits the whole “fishing in the dark” theme SO WELL.

PS: The pictures have some red and blue marks everywhere but that’s cause the Jpeg had to be downsized. Everything is supposed to be black!

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Ready, set, shoot!

Finally after two intense weeks of working day and night (and in my dreams too, seriously!), the outfit I’ve been working on is finally done! Just three weekends ago, I was beading the sleeves of the garment with white buttons in our hotel in Shanghai and now it has been cut and sewn into my garment.

To bring you up to speed (since I actually have not), the name of my collection is Fishing in the dark. It brings together the abstract topic of blindness and the sport of fishing in a collection. Frankly speaking, I wouldn’t have chosen to put these two together if I could, but our assignment required us to pick both an ethnic group and a sport. Somehow I immediately went with fishing but my initial choice of ethnic group was Indians. However upon further research, I was convicted to change it because Indians believed that unstitched garments are more holy, which explains why the iconic sari and dhoti are both draped.

I immediately went on to pick something I felt for- blind people. Although it was not an obvious option, it fulfilled several elements of an ethnic group, other than geographical proximity. These people had a language and a culture. It was very hard to research into their world but I stumbled upon a whole bunch of videos from a school for the blind in Washington that brought me to tears. They had video lessons to train helpers to blind people with videos on how to zip a jacket or button a shirt. These simple things to us were such hard tasks for these people and it never occurred to me how precious my eyesight was, beyond just seeing the beautiful world out there.

The project was very tough for me because blindness was a completely abstract subject. At the same time, I was also designing menswear and when I put these two together, I really wanted to create functional clothing. However, I kept making ‘work wear’ rather than ‘fashionable clothing’ and had to rework my looks a lot.

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To cut the long story short, the final garment which is a look from my capsule collection of 6 plays a lot on textures. Rather than having basic simple pants, I played with fabrics like corduroy and suede which had a different feeling. I also manipulated the suede and punched in sentences in braille which only the blind could understand. On my top, I sewed braille in the form of buttons and for the main area, I weaved suede ribbons through holes to cover those I didn’t want, in order to create my braile form from a different manner.

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The fishing, on the other hand, inspired the silhouettes of the garment. The waders, crazy amounts of pockets, nets and waterblock zips. I added my ‘fashionable’ fishing touch with fish shaped pockets on the top and fish flies with feathers on the zips.

By the way, if you’re wondering what the braille said, it’s “I am not blind.” This was inspired by a quote by Helen Keller, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

The pictures from my photoshoot on Saturday will be out soon so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Braille in beads

So it’s pretty much crunch time in school. Our final outfit is due at the end of this coming week which also means I have to finish my textiles for the look as soon as possible!

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I spent 5 hours today beading 3 rows of braille that says “I am not blind” onto a mesh sleeve. Goodness, it makes me feel so slow and unproductive. After doing such manual labour, I have really developed an appreciation for all handwork. I’m not used to seeing the clock tick by so quickly while the work in front of me doesn’t seem to be progressing as fast.

The final look will be coming this week! And yes, I should be posting on Shanghai soon… SOON, I promise 🙂

Fittings

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It’s been an extremely tiring week. I’ve made two toiles this week in a span of 4 days to get it all fitted on my model, Lukas. While doing that, I’ve been busy making my final textiles for the garment I’ll be making. See the white dots in the sleeve? The sleeve will be filled with 4 panels that say “I am not blind”. It’d be pretty epic, I think! I’ve only finished one sleeve so far so I guess that is exactly what I’ll be doing tonight.

Welcome to fashion, where you’d be spending every waking moment doing something till you sleep and wake up to repeat the same routine again.

Shanghai Fashion Week

Having been to Audi Fashion Festival (Singapore) and Hong Kong Fashion Week, I was privileged to visit Shanghai Fashion Week last week. I have so many awesome photos from the trip and a few random videos but I just don’t have the time this week to post much because I’m making my garment soon!IMG_7725

So for now, here’s a picture of their ‘tent’! It was located in the 新天地 area where many historical buildings have been converted into chic restaurants and stand side-by-side with luxury malls. Before I let you know how the shows were and the show area was like, why don’t you tell me what you’d expect it to be? Drop me a comment if you can! I’m curious if you expected the same things as me 😉

Lionel Smit ‘CONTRONYM’

South African artist Lionel Smit will be exhibiting at Cat Street Gallery opening today till 8 November. Tagged as one of the young investment artists, Smit is best known for his contemporary portraits done in monumental canvases and sculptures. His work tonight explores duality in identities with mirrored portraiture pulled in opposite directions on canvas, sculpture and silkscreen.

Curator’s talk will begin at 6pm today followed by cocktails till 9pm.

Cat Street Gallery is located at 222 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan.

Strip it down to black

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Yesterday it hit me during my mid-term presentations that I was doing an all black collection. I must say, I love colour a lot. I can get a rush from seeing colour and for my 21st birthday present, I requested my mom to get me the pantone set which till today, is one of my most valuable gifts.

Then this quarter, I decided to try stripping down my strength in colour to doing an all black collection. A main reason for that is the nature of the collection. We were required to chose an ethnic group and match it with a sport. I eventually chose to do fishing and… blind people. I have interacted with the blind on a personal level and believe me, they are an ethnic group themselves! Although they do not have a specific geographic location, they have their own culture and language (braille).

Doing this collection exposed many of my flaws. It made me very stressed too, having to think about merging functionality with fashion. Most of the times, these two don’t meet very well. Fashion is usually seen as a form or something frivolous like decoration with no meaning while function serves a purpose. By choosing to look at fishing gear, doing a menswear collection and creating clothes for the blind, I got myself trapped in creating functional clothing which to be frank, looked absolutely like a robber’s get up in the night when it’s all black.

Moving forward, I have started to create some textures and prints in braille which I am excited to show you soon! This would keep the collection from looking like a robber’s wardrobe 🙂