Life is like a paint­ing.

CLEO (Malaysia) - - FEATURE -

brush­strokes, another por­tion of the range fea­tured hand­painted whim­si­cal depic­tions of fruit and scenery. “The col­lec­tion is meant to rep­re­sent the hu­man touch, as op­posed to the in­dus­tri­alised repet­i­tive­ness of mass pro­duc­tion”, she re­veals. Luck­ily, I got to look into the mind of Man Chien when she opened her pri­vate work­ing space to #teamCLEO. Not only is it a work­shop for mak­ing her clothes, it’s also a stu­dio for her paint­ings. She shows me a sneak peek of her up­com­ing col­lec­tion,

a con­tin­u­a­tion of the work I was first in­tro­duced to last year. Again, she ex­plores Plato’s phi­los­o­phy of how the mind is tricked into be­ing ma­nip­u­lated by so­ci­ety. Although, this time, the run­ning theme for her lat­est work is de­tach­ment. It’s about re­leas­ing our­selves from our past ex­pe­ri­ences and old be­liefs, for the sake of men­tal free­dom, she tells me. Man Chien clev­erly ties this con­cept to all her new pieces, namely the Ital­ian Mo­hair knit dress which can be worn in mul­ti­ple ways, and the a nine-col­lared scarf. “Each of th­ese rep­re­sent de­tach­ment from the pro­fes­sional and stereo­typ­i­cal ca­reer ex­pec­ta­tions that have been thrust upon us,” she states, like a bo­hemian. The raw­ness of her fab­rics (wool, cot­ton, li­nen) re­sem­bles her paint­ing can­vases, too. Per­haps she does view life like a paint­ing. To my dis­may, this new­est an­thol­ogy won’t be show­cased at KLFW this year. Why? “[To] break out from the tra­di­tional fash­ion cal­en­dar,” says Man Chien. De­tach­ment in­deed.

Pre­par­ing for Fall/Win­ter 2016 pro­duc­tion. (2016) Man Chien gets in­spi­ra­tion for cuts of her pieces by cre­at­ing Rorschachin­spired por­traits. Man Chien's pre­vi­ous mas­ter­pieces.

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