DRESS FOR SUC­CESS

Ac­tress, stu­dent, and now… fash­ion de­signer? Feli­cia Chin tells why CHERYL LEONG she’s al­ways fol­lowed her pas­sion in life.

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Cover Reads - Pho­tog­ra­phy Frenchescar Lim Styling Martin Wong Hair Gary Low/pas­sion Hair Salon Makeup Agnes Ng, us­ing M. A.C Out­fit H&M Lo­ca­tion Hide & Seek

Ac­tress Feli­cia Chin tries her hand at de­sign­ing a dress.

Three years af­ter Feli­cia Chin made the de­ci­sion to quit show­busi­ness to fur­ther her stud­ies at the National Univer­sity of Sin­ga­pore (NUS), she has de­cided to set aside her books and re­turn to full-time act­ing. The 28-year-old knows that some peo­ple may re­act neg­a­tively to her turn­around, but she feels that this is her pri­or­ity now.

“We have dif­fer­ent pri­or­i­ties at dif­fer­ent stages of our lives. I’ve al­ways loved act­ing, but maybe when I was younger, I wasn’t sure if it was what I wanted to do. The years I’ve been away from it have al­lowed me to grow and re­alise that it’s still my pas­sion.”

Nev­er­the­less, the ex-NUS Bach­e­lor of Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion stu­dent hopes to have a busi­ness of her own in a few years – prefer­ably in fash­ion de­sign. “Be­ing in show­biz, I’m con­stantly sur­rounded by beau­ti­ful clothes made with such ef­fort and work­man­ship, which has fu­elled my in­ter­est in fash­ion de­sign. I feel in­spired by the cre­ativ­ity that goes into it, and I hope I can un­leash my own in the same way,” she ex­plains.

The pretty, pe­tite ac­tress – who counts the Olsen twins’ ca­sual-chic style as a fash­ion in­flu­ence – is en­thu­si­as­tic when she talks about her de­sign as­pi­ra­tions. Call­ing it her way of plan­ning for the fu­ture, Feli­cia says she owes it to her “nat­u­rally cu­ri­ous na­ture” to keep ex­plor­ing her in­ter­ests.

“That way, I get to step out of my com­fort zone to dis­cover what I’m re­ally in­ter­ested in and if I’ll be any good at it. I can de­cide for my­self if that’s re­ally what I wish to do in life. And if not, I can cross it off my list.”

1 Get­ting in­spired

Feli­cia didn’t turn up for her “ap­pren­tice­ship” empty-handed. She brought along tear sheets from fash­ion mag­a­zines show­ing styles that ap­peal to her – in­clud­ing embellished out­fits, white T-shirts and bell-shaped dresses. Dili­gent, we say!

“Let’s make some­thing sim­i­lar to the bell­shaped dress and make it a drop-waist. It’s chic and smart enough for work but

can be fun too.”

2 De­sign de­tails

“Let’s make some­thing sim­i­lar to the bell-shaped dress and make it a drop-waist. It’s chic and smart enough for work but can be fun too,” the bud­ding de­signer tells Keith, as she sketches out the dress she has in mind.

Af­ter dis­cussing whether to in­clude pleats and throw in an embellished neck­line, Feli­cia fi­nally draws the de­sign.

3 Play­ing with colour…

Here’s where teacher and stu­dent have a tiny dis­agree­ment. Feli­cia wants to pick a bright sun­shine yel­low for her dress. But Keith warns her that it’s a tricky colour to work with – dif­fer­ent shades suit dif­fer­ent skin tones – and sug­gests she should pick an­other colour.

But she holds her own and they even­tu­ally set­tle for a shade of pale lemon.

4…

and fab­ric

Feli­cia is slightly at a loss when Keith probes her about the type of ma­te­rial, sheep­ishly ad­mit­ting that she “hadn’t re­ally thought that far ahead.” He then gives her point­ers on why her de­sign re­quires a stiff fab­ric like taffeta or duchesse satin. “It’s heavy so it weighs the bot­tom of the dress down and gives it the bell shape,” he says.

5 Assem­bly and fit­ting

To help Feli­cia un­der­stand how fab­rics move around the body when worn, Keith makes her prac­tise drap­ing on a mannequin.

“A tip I picked up is to first pin along the cen­tre line of the body, so that the dress isn’t crooked when you fit it. Then work on the gath­ers at the bust, waist and hips,” re­cites Feli­cia, as she steadily pins the folds of the fab­ric.

The last step is to mark out the neck­line for her dress with fab­ric chalk.

6 Sneak peek!

Here’s how the fin­ished dress will look!

“I’m ex­cited about see­ing the fi­nal prod­uct. It’s a dream come true that some­one will ac­tu­ally be wear­ing some­thing I de­signed!” gushes Feli­cia.

Tools of a fash­ion de­signer

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