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
No, I Don’t Have a Gun is a collection inspired by the grunge movement in the 90s. In a reaction against the excessive glitz and glamour of the ’80s, the grunge music scene, set in Seattle, championed authenticity. Many of the musicians were children of hippie parents who left them in search for personal freedom. These musicians thus channeled their rejection and disillusionment into tragic lyrics in their music.
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.
I’m not much of a good reader. I’m slow and if the sentences are too complicated, I get lost easily. There are books I have at home that start out great in my head and are left to sit in the cold now because I got bored 30% into the book.
But I often crave to learn more and books are a great way to do so. So I’ve learnt that I am most inspired by personal stories and biographies by people who truly changed the world (not by people who write books for their ego).
I’m only 20% into the book by Blake Mycoskie, the creator of Toms and I’ve found that the things I’ve had on my mind for awhile are not weird. After reading 59 pages, I’ve discovered the following things about myself:
I will, in the future, definitely create a brand that goes beyond fashion. Fashion is beautiful but clothes and designs are superficial unless you attach a meaning to them. Design, to me, is made for a greater purpose of giving back to society while being a profitable enterprise.
I can be naive to say that I hate it when people are selfish. Our modern lives revolve around what we do daily, instead of how we have changed other people too. We take selfies, record and collect memories and tell ourselves that we only have one life, so live it to the fullest (for yourself). We start to act out of our own interest (survival of the fittest) instead of realising how blessed we are when our lives are put in perspective against others. I believe in team work and working together for the same cause for the greater good. What benefit is there when you step on other people to get ahead, when you can join forces to achieve more?
Ideas are precious but execution matters more. I used to think that the first mover advantage is important, because you don’t want to come off as being a copycat. But an idea can be executed very differently from person to person. If your execution is terrible, your idea won’t fly anymore. And this reminds me not to be protective of my ideas. Back home in Singapore, I get the sense of protectiveness over something because I don’t want someone else to steal the idea. But if you don’t discuss it, the idea will never grow into something better or you won’t know if you should kill it. And that’s perhaps why we aren’t gaining big steps as a creative society but are copying a lot, when business models prove to be successful.
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.
Fishing in the Dark is a collection that explores the ability of blind people in sports. Often thought as handicapped, blind people have been breaking boundaries their physical ‘disability’ sets for them to excel in sports like golf, archery, skateboarding and fishing.
This collection aims at creating fashion which blind people can experience. Rather than focusing on colour or prints that they can’t see, these clothes pay a great attention to different textures and fabrics so that they are able to feel fashion. Incorporated into the clothes are ways for them to understand the clothes better, from flies on zippers to help them find zip ends to pockets with braille punched into the fabric. Their unique language of braille has also been incorporated so that they can ‘communicate’ with the fabric. Beaded on the sleeves, punched into the suede or weaved into the neoprene is the phrase ‘I am not blind’. Ironic or not, when braille is put on the clothes, the one who becomes blind are the people who have sight as they do not understand braille, thus turning the tables on them.
Truly, the collection can be summed up with a quote from Helen Keller- The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.
This collection was done during the menswear course where a tailor trained in Savile Row came to teach us how to make a tailored jacket. The following capsule collection incorporates the suit we were making.
Men at work. Women at work. If women had their own construction clothing, what would it look like? This collection mixes slip dresses with the elements seen at a road work, from construction vests to road signs.