It’s been awhile and so much has happened. Since graduation, my classmates and I put up two independent shows, one in Apple and one at an art space, The Annex, in Hong Kong. Right after that, I had a month to pack and move back to Singapore where I currently am.
It’s taken awhile for me to get back on track. My parents have been so kind to allow me to renovate my room so that I can turn it into 80% studio, 20% bedroom. So I’ve been back on the machine and pattern drafting once again! Here’s some shots of what I’ve been up to lately:
Meanwhile, I’ve also been featured in Juice Singapore’s August issue with a whole list of amazing people! Thank you so much for the loveeeee. Things like these spur me on when I’m feeling low.
By the way, I’ve set up an instagram for my studio! Follow me at @dawnbeystudio. xx
Final collection is finally in full swing and I can’t believe how much work has gone into it! To date, I’ve done 4 different line ups as I begin to search for my style. Thanks to the help of my professor Ryan who is able to steer us in the right direction, I’ve turned my whole collection neon (my favourite colours!) and is full of bright pinks, yellows and purples!
I did my own print from a collage of watercolours, acrylic smudges, mainly inspired by the orchid (my favourite flower! such a strong beauty) and ink blot tests. Then we turned the colour up to become super saturated and we spilled paint over it!
I squeegeed fabric paint onto the fabric and went crazy!
Check out the plastic that was under the cloth while I was having fun!
Today, I got moved to a room and had the chance to work on the floor which brings so much more energy out in me! I felt like Pollock dancing and painting on the fabric! Absolutely exciting!
I’ll share more when I have the time to! We are about to start making our final looks this weekend, after making 6 toiles.
I don’t believe much in resolutions but I’ve come to find it very important lately to have things to keep in my heart to push me forward.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert has been one big factor that has helped me understand creativity and brought me back to the love of the craft. Another factor is my recent and sudden break up. Somehow, unlike my previous other break ups, I was happy with the person I am now. I realised how I’ve been keeping love in my heart constantly and been living in wonder. Personally, I feel that that’s important. Joy and positivity keeps me going every day and upon the break up, I told myself not to stop dreaming. That’s my first resolution for the year.
I used to hear people say ‘Don’t stop dreaming’ all the time and I took it rather lightly. I don’t know whether they know or apply it in the ‘right’ sense (I say ‘right’ because this can make some people very delusional in the wrong way) but I find that when I can envision things in my mind, that’s when I can make things quickly. Tell me to do something and I’ll take awhile but once I know what I need to do, I will do it quickly and precisely. Like when I envision a print in my mind, I can quickly get it done within the day and I will experiment with many media to achieve the vision in my head. As long as I can see it in my mind, I can get there.
The second resolution is to keep beauty unadulterated. I don’t want to say reproduce unadulterated beauty because beauty cannot be made up but rather taken from all around us and ‘repackaged’ into moments. I have come to see my fashion pieces as ‘capsules of beauty contained in a form’. I take inspiration, always, from unadulterated beauty around me- an orchid alive and an orchid dry and dead. I am merely a viewer who experiences the beauty God puts on display for us to see and I reflect this beauty into fashion pieces that freeze these moments of beauty in a garment. The first experience of unadulterated beauty for me was when I danced freely. There is a sense of rawness and a lightness at the same time when I am one with the music. For a moment, I am caught up in the music and I don’t think but in my head, it feels like sunlight suddenly falling on my head as the clouds clear. The feeling of pure beauty is abstract but it’s a moment I hold dear in my heart all the time when I approach a project. My creative life is all about experiencing, capturing and displaying this unadulterated beauty.
On a separate note, I don’t read much but Big Magic is definitely a book I would recommend everyone to read. (Everyone is a creative individual and hence the book is relevant to everyone.) Everyone wants recognition in their own field of work but when that happens and you think that’s the peak, how do you keep going? This book redefines creativity and lays out the fact that creativity operates on different rules from us humans. Ultimately, what should keep us going is the love for the craft. We shouldn’t be afraid of naysayers (there will never be once when everyone loves your work) and creative breakdowns. This book is seriously good that I bought her other books (I have not read eat.pray.love though I watched the movie!)
To a great 2016 and do keep these resolutions even in the hard times Dawn.
Months ago, I launched my own little brand of iron-on patches called Pew Pew Patches. It was inspired by the whole rave over denim, that would continue for awhile, and the idea of vintage denim accessories.
The patches have been lots of fun to design and the opportunities we’ve had have been beyond my expectations! Our stockists have been very supportive and our latest launch in Korea has left me feeling absolutely grateful :’)
Some people have been asking me how to style the patches. If you look up #pewpewpatches on Instagram, you’d find ways other patchers have done so! Some on shoes, some on jackets while mine has been on my denim overalls and tote bags.
With summer coming, I thought it’d be great to show you some ideas on how to patch some denim dresses. These can be purchased off ZALORA, an online shopping site which delivers to almost every part of Asia.
If denim dresses aren’t your thing, I like the idea of a boyfriend shirt dress. It’s big and billowy, making it perfect for summer. Here, I’ve patched on the Candy hearts collection and arranged them in a regular pattern with a slight tilt to make them look more dynamic on the dress.
Last month when I returned back to Singapore for a short holiday, I brought my newest outfit out with me to shoot with Lenne Chai in her studio. I haven’t had such an exhilarating experience in a long time and here’s why.
Dear friends, it’s been too long since I’ve updated you on my latest project! Right after the last project on clothes for the blind ended, I left for a two week trip to Portugal and Spain over the Christmas break and literally hit the ground running after I returned.
I break my hiatus to write about the new Gucci creative director and collection, simply because it does have an impact on my future and the future of fashion.
Gucci as a brand as been special to me because I did my first fashion internship at Gucci in Singapore. I spent a lot of time in the sample room examining and learning about luxury fashion and it had a great impact on me. In my mind, I began to form the luxury brands worked and saw how it operated with many locations worldwide.
After watching the new Fall 2015 womenswear show, I was filled with doubt and uncertainty. The new creative director, Alessandro Michele, to me has taken the path that Hedi Slimane did with Saint Laurent. Not only did he youthify the brand, as tasked since sales at Gucci were falling, but he designed a collection for a very young and skinny crowd. Holding on to Gucci’s 60s and 70s roots, Michele designed a soft and feminine collection full of frilly and billowy silhouettes tailored to the waist. Huge 70s inspired aviator tortoise shell glasses were on almost every model, adorned along with an artsy knit beret. This was a completely different Gucci that we’ve known- one that was very strong into the gender differences- sexy women and strong, masculine men. At the show yesterday, male models were mixed into the crowd and some female models looked like men. The whole gender-neutral concept was strong in this collection and just surprising for the brand.
NYT noticed that Michele was designing for the wearer, instead of designing from a concept which was usually the case. And that meant that a lot of the clothes were not exactly new, which I noticed too. Fur bedroom flats that appeared in the Simone Rocha show two seasons ago surfaced and were also combined with the classic Gucci brogues. In fact, one thing you always see at Gucci would be the luxurious sexy eveningwear closing the show but this time, it was completely different. The closing look featured a pair of red pants that hung off the model’s hips that looked much too low for the modern skinny pants lover. The show certainly presented the 70s very well but did it do well for Gucci? I’m not sure.
This then makes me wonder about the future of fashion. No doubt, there will be concept driven designers like Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen but is the future of luxury fashion only about selling straight off the runway? Designers like Nicholas Ghesquiere and Phoebe Philo also design for wearability but their collections are still concept driven with a stronger focus on construction and fit. Michele over here however, seems to be designing very simple clothes, much too simple for a luxury brand. To put it crudely, I even thought that Hedi Slimane’s clothes looked very much like the ones I could see in Bershka or Pull & Bear. The cut and fabrics are definitely different but somehow, I personally believe that fashion is about seeing something new and unique. It isn’t about producing clothes that has been done before or clothes that could be done easily by someone else.
So where exactly is fashion heading to? The battle between the bottom line and creativity continues.