L'ET PROFILE: Cheryl & Agnes - Fashion Designer
Explain in three words what kind of designer you are.
Cheryl: Bold. Modern. Quirky.
Agnes: Contemporary, Minimalistic, Sophisticated.
Fashion design is such an alternative career path in Asia. What sparked your love for it and how much support have you received?
Cheryl: I've had a love for the Arts & Crafts, spending hours dabbling in pieces of works at a time as a child. However, being brought up in traditional Asia meant I was routed away from my passions into years spent on "practical" subjects of study. Despite the years spent, passions remained loyal through my continued affection toward the arts. Now coupled with an inquisitive eye for textile designs, I decided upon pursuing Fashion Design -a decision supported by family after witnessing tireless hours put into my works. Encouragement came with completing each piece as I express parts of the self through a moulding of styles.
Agnes: I believe Fashion is one of the few ways I relate to as it has always been the beacon of self-expression across the globe. Like art, I found the allure of it enticing. I chose Fashion Design after graduating high school, in a bid to challenge myself. Having no prior education or experience in the makings of Fashion, many would shy away from the risks of failure. Wherein my early days in Fashion Design, the constantly changing scope pressurized much of my decision-making processes; sometimes driving me up the wall. However, family and friends provided positive reinforcement to my well-being which ensured I kept to my promises in working hard -creating artistic expressions and beauty, eventually bringing me a step closer in my continuing climb to the top.
Do you intend to continue as a fashion designer? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Cheryl: Yes! I find myself looking towards a career as a Fashion Textiles Designer. The prospect of applying the skills and knowledge obtained from LASALLE in the working world excites me.
Following great response pertaining to our graduation collection and showcase at London Graduate Fashion Week, I see a possibility of the brand flourishing over the next five years.
After all, pre-orders are already on demand at, http://arylctto.wix.com/fashion
Agnes: Yes, of course. As a motivated individual, I see myself developing my skills further in the arts of Fashion Design. I see the successes of my business and works as I drive my brand toward a means of inspiration to people in and out of the industry.
Give us an insight to your graduate collection and how the inspiration came about.
A collaboration between fashion textiles designer, Cheryl and creative pattern cutter, Agnes.
Our collection, ‘Tik Anyar’ Spring Summer 17, explores creative ways to preserve traditional techniques. In a fast-growing world of rising technology, traditions need to be modernised in order to remain relevant -with fashion being one such avenue for its revival. Much of our inspiration stems from the philosophy by Gustav Mahler who said, “Tradition is not to preserve the ashes, but to pass on the flame”.
Our collection puts a modern twist on traditions, taking inspiration from traditional Batik, Ikat, the Sarong, Bauhaus movement and 1930s fashion in Europe. We also seek the celebration of similitaries between both the East and West, bridging them together. Tik Anyar: ‘Tik’ from the word Batik meaning 'the dot' in Javanese whilst ‘Anyar’ meant ‘new’ in traditional Balinese.
Cheryl: For textiles design, we looked to works by Bauhaus artist, Moholy-Nagy whom drew upon geometric lines and complementary colours with abstract shapes. Similarity seen throughout the Batik philosophy where 'the dot' marks the beginning of any design, which then echoes back to the Bauhaus philosophy of returning to the fundamentals of design. Applying Bauhaus principles of abtraction, Batik motifs were pixelised with circles in an attempt to reinvent modern patterns upon that of tradition. Inspiration was also taken from traditional Ikat and reinterpreted with abstract brush strokes over rough textures. A balance of handmade craftwork, such as intricate hand embroideries and foiling details were coupled alongside new technologies, like digital print and laser cut for its finishing.
Agnes: In garment design, the traditional sarong was reinvented into one-piece skirts and dresses with modern panels and cuts. Assymetrical panels in the garments are paired with crafted slits on selected angles of skirts and dresses. as was inspiration drawn from Bauhaus paintings. Other inspirations come from 1930s fashion in Europe, such as cuts to waistlines and the flattering silhouettes.
Our collection caters to the semi-formal or eventful occasions with a few evening looks like the maxi dress, beaded top and a dress with a long train.
What are your thoughts towards the fashion scene in Singapore compared to other Asian cities?
Cheryl: Other Asian cities such as Tokyo, Shanghai and Dubai are undoubtedly more advenaced in their growth as Fashion capitals of the world -their people generally equipped with open mindsets toward integrating fashion styles of even the variant genre. In which, the general Singapore public differs in their conservative directions in both mindset and dressing. Largely due to upbringing and the immersion of culture, this is slowly changing as years pass. The effect of globalization have promoted promotion efforts in the fashion scene of Singapore, bringing about a budding growth in the country as more support is garnered alongside homegrown labels.
Agnes: Compared to other Asia countries, like Japan and Korea, Singapore fashion is considered new to the fashion scene. However its ability to grow is slowly being recognised by other countries. With platforms such as the Singapore Fashion Week, Digital Fashion Week, Fashion Futures and Blueprint, emerging designers are nurtured and prepared for possible global growth.
Do you feel the fashion scene in Asia is evolving? How and what impact do you think you could make to it?
Cheryl: Yes, it is definitely on the rise. The fashion scene in Asia is growing rapidly, with moreemerging designers and its growing presence in the world economy. As a designer duo, we hope to contribute to the fashion industry with our different designs and styles -perhaps even gain attention enough as a label of Asia to ultimately raise awareness as a of talent befitting of our various heritage previously only labelled, oriental.
Agnes: Yes. Due to advancement in technology, fashion in Asia has made development quickly over the past few years. Different traditions and cultures that can be the unique points are made to create difference in the majority of fashion -that is Westernised. To make an impact, we as an emerging brand want to have a unique balance between tradition and modernity. We hope our collections inspire modernised traditions with our outlook on the balance between handmade craft with new technologies.
If you weren't a fashion designer, what alternative career would you have picked and why?
Cheryl: I would have probably studied Fine Arts to pursue my passion in drawing and painting. In another instance, perhaps even in music -seeing as I often play the guitar in my free time.
Agnes: Graphic designer. My love for art and the need for flexible and exciting change would probably propel my motivation in the works I produce. I find the challenge in thriving amongst creativity a compelling reason to remain within the creative industry. There is no copy and pasting in this line which presents a greater challenge as we actively explore in order to create something fresh off the mill.
Photography: Sebastian Tan & Dylan Quek
Makeup & Hair: Ryan Tan
Styling: Gabby G.
Photography Assistants: Mark Kinoshita & Royston Cheow
Model: Morgan P. @ Basic Models