THE SIXTH INSTALMENT IN THE BELLEBOSS SERIES!
(For all of those who are confused I have rechristened the Girlboss series to Belleboss series)
I hope that with this series, I would find a way to appreciate the incredible South Asian women of our generation, who are breaking boundaries and paving new paths for themselves. Moreover, I would like other people to take a little bit of their time to realize how incredible the women around you are. Especially if you are a woman! I hope that at least one woman’s story in my #BelleBoss series will inspire you to follow your dreams, your vision and most importantly your heart. Even if that means breaking a few rules and many societal prejudices along the way.
What motivated you to get a degree related to fashion and where does your interest from fashion come from?
I have always expressed myself through fashion. As a child, it was a form of expression and even as an adult I find it difficult to talk about myself. So yeah, I have always used clothes and fashion to express my emotions and feelings.
How did you choose where to study fashion?
I chose to go to LASALLE College of Arts. It is one of the most prestigious universities in Singapore and in South East Asia and I really like the vibe there. They let me be as expressive as I want to be. It’s a place where the arts really matter, that’s like their slogan actually! I feel like in Asia a lot of parents wonder how can you work with an art degree. Yet, I feel like in Le Salle they give you so much opportunity. They respect us as creative individuals so much.
Favourite fashion icons?
My favourite fashion icons? I would say… I really love Jackie O, Rihanna hmmm Audrey Hepburn, Lana Del Rey, Leandra Medine the creator of the blog Man Repeller. Recently I have been looking at J Balwin. He is Spanish rapper and his style is amazing.
I look up to people who take fashion as a form of expression because that is how I do my looks as well. I love it when people use the forum to express who they are.
Have you faced any unexpected difficulties with your diploma?
I think it was the workload. There is SO MUCH. I definitely had a challenge managing my time and since these three years, I have definitely learnt to be more responsible and organized. But that was the main challenge. The workload.
Could you share any memorable experiences you had with fashion designers/ class projects or even getting your own line ready?
I think a lot of people glamorize the industry. Like my memorable experience is basically not sleeping at all for months, having very little sleep and having a very shitty diet. It’s not glamorous and it’s not just fun and games.
It is a lot of hard work and you need a lot of dedication to ensure what you have in your head becomes a reality. It was that moment of seeing it actually become a reality, that made it a memorable experience.
You have a gorgeous Instagram feed with a growing fan base in Sri Lanka. What made you want to upload journey and makeup looks on Instagram?
Again it is a form of expression, I just post the stuff because I wanted to. I pursued whatever I wanted and didn’t expect people to like it! I am just being me. I’m just a girl who likes to dress up.
You have recently started you tube channel. What motivated you to do so?
My Instagram followers actually encouraged me. I actually felt that You tube was a lot of work. I didn’t know if I was ready to do that. But I had a lot of people requesting for it. I never thought I would join you tube until recently. But I am taking a little hiatus from it as I am currently getting a few equipment to make it more professional. So yeah, but now I am seriously thinking about You Tube blogging.
How did you get into makeup and do you have any makeup tips for the summer?
I started when I was 9. Ever since I was a child actually I was reading up a lot about beauty and makeup. I didn’t realize how much I know until I started to share my knowledge with people. It was such a fulfilling experience to teach people about makeup and beauty. Any tips for summertime? Hmm A few quick tips, moisturize sunblock and drink lots of water.
Do you feel the fashion industry is too commercialized? IS there anything you would like to change about the industry?
Umm… thankfully there are many changes that are being done. We are embracing bigger body types, embracing flaws and I just hope we keep progressing and it will be an international phenomenon. I know that it is happening in the western world, but I feel that Asia does have a lot of catching up to do.
You like to incorporate culture into your looks. Why and how do you do so?
I am a third culture kid. I was raised in a culture which is different from what my parents were raised in. So I always try to look at South Asian references such as Sri Lanka. I would do that by taking little accessories or take a sari top and matching it with jeans. Yea, so basically taking contemporary pieces and matching them with something more traditional. I guess I am doing things that people do not really expect.
How do people react to you incorporating Sri Lankan style to your contemporary pieces? Is there a backlash?
I don’t get a lot of backlashes. I actually get good responses. People like seeing the mix. Especially in Sri Lanka, I noticed a lot of people over there trying to Westernize themselves. I think “why do people not embrace their culture?”
I personally think Sri Lankan culture is SO BEAUTIFUL.
People are not using what they have over there. When I showed my lecturers pictures of the traditional Sri Lankan wedding garments, that men and women wear and they were like “This is amazing!” But people over there westernize themselves so much. But I am the opposite. I look to culture and I embrace it. I try to do it in a respectful way but in a fashionable way.
13) Do you think living in Singapore influenced you in any way and how did you grow your sense of style?
Singapore definitely influenced me. When people ask me where I am from I tell them I was born in Sri Lanka but my home is Singapore. I don’t think I would be the person I am today if I did not live in Singapore. I don’t think I would be this confident and I don’t think I would have so many opportunities to express who I am and I don’t think I would have a style.
What I do right now… I don’t think I would have developed my style to the way it is right now. Singapore will always be my home.
13) How would you describe your sense of style?
Hmmm well first let me tell you what I don’t like. I don’t like clothes which are overly sexy. I really LOVE denim. Denim is like my love! I love like pairing I really baggy pair of denim jeans with like a tight crop top or a bralette. Those are the only tight clothes I like. I just love the concept of duality… mixing two extremes together. It is a part of who I am.
What do you finally end up hoping to do after studying?
When I finish studying I will work in Singapore because I have to pay off student loans. I don’t see myself living in Sri Lanka. But it is a part of who I am.
I just want to work in fashion and beauty industry, express myself and be happy.
What is the best piece of advice you have given since you started your diploma?
Do not procrastinate and do not slack off.
I learnt the hard way about that. If you feel within your heart and soul you are meant to do something… then you must do it. No matter how many challenges you, face you should do what you want to do. Because no matter how many challenges you face, it’s worth it.
Could you please tell me the inspiration for your graduate collection… how long have you been working on it and where did you showcase your final collection?
My graduate collection… a lot of it was based on the concept of duality.
It really resonated with me because I had influences from two different countries, Singapore and Sri Lanka. They both have two very different cultures and societies. Also, I am a Gemini, and so I have always related to being two different things… or even many different things at one time.
I juggle different things and I love having my hands in different things and different projects. In the case of my graduate collection I wanted to do something which was contemporary but at the same time give a nod towards Sri Lankan culture.
That is kind of what it was mainly based on.
I wanted it to be wearable, chic and feminine, kind of sexy but mostly feminine.
It was meant to celebrate Sri Lankan culture but in a contemporary way. We had about half a year to work on it. We did not have a fashion show but we did have a graduate collection exhibition
Were you always planning on being a fashion designer or was there any point you were going to study something else?
No. I have always wanted to be a fashion designer.
But now I don’t want to just be a fashion designer… I want to be a blogger, curate stuff, do photo shoots and stuff like that.
I’m doing a lot of stuff right now and I am enjoying it. But since I was young I have always been a very creative person and loved drawing art and stuff like that.
How do you cope with stress? What do you do to relax?
What do I do to relax? Um…sometimes I try on makeup looks. Sometimes I watch tv shows. This Is a hard question because I am always stressed and rarely have time to truly relax.
Are there any you-tubers or fellow Instagrammers you admire or take inspiration from?
I don’t watch a lot of Youtube… which is ironic because I am on Youtube. On Instagram, I really like Cristelle Lim she is a fashion blogger influencer. I really love her and the way she curates her stuff. I love Olivia Lopez as well. She runs the blog Lust for Life. I just love their feeds!
Any parting words to other #Belle bosses and those who which to pursue a fashion related career
“Parting words… if you really want do it go do it. I fought for what I wanted to do, I had so many people asking me “Oh, why aren’t you a doctor?” “Why don’t you do this?” But I refused to listen to them… Ha! I don’t listen, I do what I want to do.
A lot of people look at me and think I don’t know what I am doing. But I am in control. I know exactly what I’m doing. Basically just believe in yourself. It’s your life and you have to live it without regrets. I chose my happiness and so should you!
Authors note : Hey guys for more interviews please follow the social links down below (scroll down). Also, if you know any awesome #belleboss in your day to day life then please use the hashtag #belleboss on their Instagram photos. Who knows… they may be the next to be interviewed.