Paint It Trendy
Trendsetters in their own right, fashion designer Khoon Hooi and colour expert Akzonobel Dulux come together to showcase the significance of colour as they repaint his showroom in Starhill Gallery using the new special effect paint Dulux Ambiance
Could you share with us the new colours that you have chosen for your new showroom? Why these colours?
I chose grey because I find the colour sophisticated and timeless. The one misconception I often hear about grey is that it is dull. From the psychological perspective, grey is the colour of compromise because it is neither black nor white but rather the transition between two noncolours. Being both motionless and emotionless, grey is solid and stable, thus creating a sense of calm and composure, a relief from the chaotic world. In the world of fashion, grey is considered the colour of intellect, knowledge and wisdom. Choosing grey for the showroom was no doubt a conscious decision. I wanted people to walk into this space and feel at ease.
How has the new paint helped with the entire look and feel of the showroom as well as the collections on display?
As mentioned, we picked grey for our feature wall – paired with a marble effect, it brings out a cooling ambience. But the one thing I truly
like about this special effect paint from Dulux, called Dulux Ambience is that it resembles real marble in both its look and texture! Although those who frequent our showroom in Starhill Gallery are usually visitors by appointment, we have seen an increase in the number of walk-in customers following the whole repainting process – something I am very happy to see.
From the point of view of a fashion designer, what is the importance of colour?
Fashion is brought to life through the different use of colours. Not only does it play an important role in creating a story, it also draws attention, helps make a design statement and sets the tone of the message I want to portray through my work. Colours and fashion go hand-in-hand because it is an avenue to showcase something different with every piece created. It’s safe to say that colours give meaning to design – it spurs emotions and expresses a collection. Its impact can be immediate or long-lasting; and can make or break a collection.
Can you describe your signature design style? Do you think it inuences the way you approach interior design?
Modern, bold and, at the same time, feminine – that is how I would describe our design style. We often utilise embroidery techniques and feather detailing. That is why I prefer the interior design of our showrooms to be sleeker and cleaner – neutral, subtle wall paints and practical furniture pieces – which allows our collections to stand out.
How do you research and plan for your upcoming collections? What is your source of inspiration?
My inspiration usually comes from my surroundings, be it the places that I visit or the books or magazines that I read as well as the people that I meet. My first step of planning usually involves choosing a theme for the collection, before deciding on the looks and the silhouettes that revolve around it. But the most important part of the process is the fabric sourcing. Touching and feeling the texture of fabrics often brings additional new ideas.
Colours play an important role not only in the world of fashion design, it is also a big part of our daily lives. How do you decide which colours are trendy for the season? Do you take into consideration colour forecasts such as Akzonobel’s Colourfutures – an annual colour trend forecast by its Global Aesthetic Centre?
As a designer, the task is to marry colour and design together, then with the right combination, new trends can spark. I believe it is always good for designers to have an understanding on what is trending, thus being able to set their own trend. This year, Akzonobel forecasted Denim Drift as colour of the year for 2017. Aside from being a popular colour, blue is also a versatile one. I do, in fact, have several pieces this year that has incorporated the colour. How does the right combination of colour and texture complement each other and make a great fashion piece? Different colours suit different people in many ways. With the use of various palettes, you can create a classy ensemble or a huge fashion statement. But, to achieve this, the first step is to decide on the look you want to achieve. This is because the use of different colours would suit better for different themes.
Do you have a favourite colour? Could you share with us?
Blue is my personal favourite. It symbolises depth and stability and never fails to bring me a positive vibe.
What is next for you?
Expanding our Middle East wholesale base and growing our bespoke business within Southeast Asia – that is our present focus.
THIS PAGE Khoon Hui
OPPOSITE The feature wall in Khoon Hooi’s showroom uses Dulux Ambience Marble French Silver