Your shirt is not a shirt until it can be worn as a skirt…
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am originally from Malaysia (where I lived for 17 years) and am now studying Accounting + Finance in Melbourne. Ok, I hope I haven't put anyone to sleep just by those few words! (But hey, at least I can count, right?!) Even so, I've never once failed at telling people how I deserve better; to be either on a stage or behind a sewing machine.
Does this mean you intend to pursue a fashion-related career?
Oh I fantasize about it a lot (on a daily basis)! And it tends to go a bit crazy up there in the brains. But in fact, my girlfriend and I are working on this little fashion project of ours that is still on the down low. It is basically a place where we throw in all sorts of fashion-fun ideas and get really hands on with it e.g. styling, DIY, photo shoots, buy & sell and the likes. It might work, it might not work. But I’d reckon it’s a good start. Ultimately, I have a dream of running a chain of opshops/vintage/secondhand stores in my home country, just to spread my love for cheapness.
How is the fashion scene in Melbourne and Malaysia, and how they have shaped your view of fashion.
Fashionwise, this was how my friend puts it: Melbourne’s nourished, and Malaysia needs lots of nourishment! Well, I couldn’t agree more! I basically grew up in a typical, conservative Asian family and environment, where fashion is secondary and being different is not cool. So when I first moved to Melbourne, that’s when little fashion-curious Sheryl came out to play. I started experimenting with different forms, and literally fell in love.
I would say I am now more openminded with the different sorts of materials I play around with: velvet, polyester, leather, lace and knits. It’s amazing! And living on a college budget, I try to reuse the same clothes just in different ways. So many times, I am spotted with the same piece worn and modified into different forms. This is what contributed to my current style, which is a jumble and recycling of everything possible, just ‘all in one’ goodness.
Now, Malaysia is growing in the Arts & Entertainment / Fashion industry with emerging young designers, good boutiques and flea markets mushrooming around town and people are actually starting to be a wee bit more fashion conscious, deep down inside. I’m glad and hopefully one day I will be able to contribute to my home country’s fashion scene.
How else would you describe your personal style?
I once asked a friend how he would describe my style, because at times, I kind of confuse myself. He thought about it for the longest time and summed it up in 4 words: "Neither here nor there." Umm, I guess what he’s trying to say is that, I’m versatile (I hope!). But I do have signature pieces, like highwaisted jeans, scarves and bow ties that I kinda play around with. And I know this sound like a freaking cliché but how I dress for the day depends immensely on my mood and you know, who I’m going to be spotted with.
I have my lazy days where I just chuck on a plain tee and jeans and flats, really minimal and comfy. And there are ‘me-days’ where it’s just me, myself and I, doing more elaborated dress ups, more layerings, more junk and then out for a stroll just for fun. And who I’m going out with really influences my choice of outfits. I’d dig into my vintage drawer when I’m out with my girls who love and accept my high waist jeans and vintage boots, put on a boring plain shirt with the boy, colourful clothes with my more indie-inclined friends and a bit more quirkiness when it’s party time!
Favorite designers and places to shop?
I am never one for bigwigs, but I love fresh labels like Lonely Hearts, and things that are more obscure and anonymous. I do a lot of thrift shopping and try to keep online shopping to a minimal because I’m always unlucky in the e-shopping Department and it drains out my cash at a lightning speed! But places like ebay, etsy and fredflare.com do not help with that at all.
The first thing you look at in another person's outfit is:
Colours! They either make me go gaga, eeeww! or mmmm, very much in an instant.
A fashion rule you always break:
I over-accessorize, because it’s so hard to refrain myself from wanting to rock everything in one go! So people always say, do it the Coco Chanel way by taking out the last piece u just put on before u leave the house.
And your favorite colour(s) of the moment are:
Grey. It’s the winter blues! I love greys + pastels, black + grey, green + gold, and recently I’ve been doing some black+brown. Surprisingly it doesn't turn out as bad as the fashion world thinks!
What do you splurge on?
Shoes! That’s the only body part that wont grow anymore, right? So bring it on!
What do you skimp on?
Everything possible! I’m a big cheapskate. Oh, except intimate wears. Comfort first, no?
What do you think is the latest trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?
Gosh, I’m a loser when it comes to trends, so I’m not gonna say much. But I do notice role reversals. Androgynous Doc Martens, grunge-looking girls, and ‘BryanBoy’ boys. Haha, ok I’ll shut up now.
What is the most underrated item in menswear and womenswear?
Hatsssss! It’s funny how we see so much of it in the 30’s and we don’t see any now! Well, besides the same ol’ fedora. But hats are such an amazing complimentary piece to an outfit, and at the same time, hide all bald spots from the world! So someone, please bring back the norms of the 30’s!
So I'm guessing your favorite wardrobe decade is the 30's?
Oh yes definitely! Although it was a time of massive change and the era of depression, the ladies with their perky hats, and the movie Gone with the Wind that was produced back then in the 30's would cheer me up, easily! Mainly, the hats with wide brims are just plain inspirational.
What is your next must-have purchase?
I’ve done most of my shopping already, so for now, a pair of JONATHAN ASTON CONTRAST SEAM TIGHTS will do.
Are there any fashion icons or famous people whose style you admire?
Lou Doillon, the daughter of Jane Birkin and a French fashion icon. Love her for her raw confidence, her crazy top hats, and for making flat chests look all the more hot! (Something I can relate to, hohoho!)
Next place you want to travel to:
Dubai, for the shopping experience, and apparently, almost every lady is clad in branded goods under those veils. I’d just wanna go and see it for myself!
What is your personal favorite outfit on LOOKBOOK.nu by you, and by another member?
My personal fav is yours in stripes., and Pinky by Andrea R. I am proud of that look because I think I managed to pull off blue and red in an outfit, without looking like I’m channeling Superman. As for Andrea’s, I chose it for its simplicity and those kickass Ray-bans…oh and that superb block of heels!
What would you say to someone seeking general fashion advice?
Don’t stop experimenting! Your shirt is not a shirt until it can be worn as a skirt, a dress and wherever your mind takes you, so get creative! Oh, and you can never go wrong with a basic white shirt. So if you’ve found the perfect one, get a few of ‘em!