LM. Apart from clothes, what else do you design?
ML: Under the Melinda Looi Group of Companies, we have Designer Uniforms by Melinda Looi which does uniforms and premier products. We have also just ventured into interior design under the BESPOKE brand name. I love to be flexible with my creative ideas, anything related to design, I don’t mind getting involved in to explore and to learn.
LM. Tell us about your latest collection and how it came about.
ML: I am currently getting my Cruise 2020 collection ready for my shoot. Cruise 2020 is going to be another exciting collection that is inspired by the beautiful culture of Baba and Nyonya (Straits-born Chinese). You will see intricate designs of embroidery, beadworks, pretty prints that are specially designed for this collection and exciting accessories that are unique.
I have always loved Nyonya style and designs as well as the colours. Not just their traditional dress the Kebaya and the accompanying accessories but their architecture and interior design of the Baba and Nyonya houses and food. It’s long overdue that I bring some of these elements into my collection.
LM. What is your definition of style?
ML: Style is a way to tell others who you are without saying anything. But first, you need to know who you are before you define your style.
LM. How would you describe the fashion design landscape in Malaysia?
ML: Malaysia is a special country which has a very diverse design industry. We are very much influenced by the different cultures of Malaysia. There is no limit to religion or culture when it comes to designing. Anyone can design a Chinese costume or Malay Raya collection.
It is amazing to see designers here who are not afraid to experiment and be adventurous. With the internet and smartphones, things got so much easier for designers who wish to venture into e-commerce and sell the ready-to-wear collection to a wider consumer base. These are the best of times to get your designs out there globally.
LM. What’s your favourite item of clothing hanging (or folded) in your wardrobe?
ML: It’s not just one item. I have a few favourites in my wardrobes such as shirts, big, easy lazy trousers, jackets, overcoat and chunky necklaces and accessories to go with all.
Melinda Looi – Where and how?
For further information on Melinda Looi, please visit www.melindalooi.com