15 MIN­UTES WITH … HARVEE KOK

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Fashion -

THE DE­SIGN­ERS Peggy Har­tanto, Teresa Lim, Sheila Agatha Wi­jaya, Yahn Adam, Jatupong Me­tula, Harvee Kok, Wiruwan Nhuyung, and Sean Loh

Con­grat­u­la­tions! How does it feel to emerge as the grand prize-win­ner, beat­ing so many com­peti­tors from across the re­gion? Thanks, I didn’t re­ally ex­pect it. I’m grate­ful that the judges ap­pre­ci­ate the con­cep­tual as­pect of my work. How did you get into fash­ion? I’ve wanted to be a fash­ion de­signer from the age of 11. Af­ter a de­gree in busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion and work­ing in Sin­ga­pore for three years, I de­cided to en­rol in a fash­ion de­sign course at Raf­fles Col­lege of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion in KL; that proved to be a piv­otal mo­ment in my life and gave me the con­fi­dence to fol­low my dreams. What do you love most about the in­dus­try? It is a form of in­tel­lec­tual en­ter­tain­ment. My aim is to cre­ate a new kind of fash­ion ex­pe­ri­ence and to open up peo­ple’s minds and the way they view things. Tell us more about the col­lec­tion you pre­sented at the awards show. My Spring/Sum­mer ’14 col­lec­tion, “Bipo­lar­ity”, was in­spired by “Go”, an an­cient Chi­nese strate­gic board game. The game re­flects el­e­ments of East­ern phi­los­o­phy, sim­i­lar to the the­ory of yin and yang that’s rooted in Tao­ism. The colours black and white rep­re­sent yin and yang. The use of me­tal­lic beads on the check­ered tex­tured fab­rics was meant to recre­ate the feel of play­ing the game. The com­plex­ity of the game is not fully un­der­stand­able with logic, which shows par­al­lels to the Bud­dhist phi­los­o­phy of en­light­en­ment. The Bud­dhist be­lief is that po­ten­tial­ity pre­cedes ac­tu­al­ity. There are no ul­ti­mate lim­its on the pos­si­bil­i­ties of be­ing; this idea was what in­spired me to use zip­pers to trans­form the sil­hou­ette into new shapes and add in­ter­est­ing de­tail. De­scribe the girl who wears your clothes. One who strives for new pos­si­bil­i­ties in fash­ion. Your all-time favourite fash­ion de­sign­ers? Phoebe Philo of Cé­line; I just love her aes­thetic and her magic touch to the gar­ments. Which artists are you in­spired by? Dutch graphic artist M. C. Escher. I was im­pressed by his math­e­mat­i­cal art, im­pos­si­ble con­struc­tions, and ex­plo­rations of in­fin­ity, ar­chi­tec­ture, and tes­sel­la­tions. What are you cur­rently read­ing? Alexan­der McQueen: Evo­lu­tion by Kather­ine Glea­son. Any other in­ter­ests out­side of fash­ion? Horror movies. At times, I’m ac­tu­ally in­spired by a creepy sense of beauty from th­ese films. If you could have din­ner with any fash­ion de­signer, who would they be? Some new tal­ents I ad­mire, in­clud­ing Mark Goldenberg, Ichiro Suzuki, Ma­son Jung, and Wisharawish Akaras­an­ti­sook. Sounds like a party! Fi­nally, where do you hope to see your­self in the next five years? Hope­fully with my own in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised niche brand.

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