FASH­ION IN­SIDER: PRINTS CHARM­ING

TEX­TILE AND PRINT DE­SIGNER, SHAN SHAN LIM INTRIGUES NABILA AZLAN WITH THE TYPE OF ART THAT SHE’S IN­SPIRED BY AND HOW SHE TURNS THEM INTO HER OWN CRE­ATIONS.

Female (Malaysia) - - FEMALE NOVEMBER 2018 -

We speak to tex­tile and print de­signer, Shan Shan Lim who is mak­ing it big in the lo­cal art scene.

FE­MALE: What pushed you to be­come a de­signer?

Shan Shan: “I’ve been mak­ing art for as long as I can re­mem­ber, but noth­ing beats my love for tex­tiles. I moved to In­dia for my se­condary ed­u­ca­tion and my school was in the Hi­malayan foothills, sur­rounded by small vil­lages of farm­ers, weavers and pot­ters. That’s when I learnt about Gandhi’s khadi. Deeply moved by the hand spuns, wo­ven cloth and how it re­flects In­dia’s strug­gle for free­dom, it in­spired me to spe­cialise in weav­ing and print­ing when I was com­plet­ing my de­gree at Cen­tral Saint Martins in Lon­don!”

F: De­scribe your sig­na­ture style when it comes to de­sign­ing. SS: “If we’re talk­ing about themes, I’m drawn to min­i­mal prints and ab­stract shapes with bold colours. I be­lieve my re­turn to sunny and trop­i­cal Malaysia af­ter my stud­ies has some­thing to do with that; ev­ery­thing is so colour­ful – from the hawker cen­tre plates to our di­verse rain­for­est. Medi­ums, on the other hand… I might have some form of artis­tic ADHD in me cos I’m never tired of ex­plor­ing dif­fer­ent medi­ums up un­til now!”

F: You got to work with d.d Col­lec­tive’s fash­ion de­signer, Deb­bie Chung for the Fall 2018 col­lec­tion. What’s the story be­hind the col­lab?

SS: “I reached out to d.d Col­lec­tive my­self upon my re­turn from Lon­don cos the first thing I wanted to do was work with our lo­cal fash­ion brands. Deb­bie showed me the brand’s colour pal­ette for Fall 2018 and like magic, it syncs with the draw­ing and paint­ings that I kept in my per­sonal travel sketch­book. I started cre­at­ing mo­tifs from my sketches based on that and aes­thet­i­cally speak­ing, we clicked re­ally well! Work­ing with Deb­bie was smooth sail­ing and the whole ex­pe­ri­ence was truly amaz­ing.”

F: What’s your idea of a pro­duc­tive day?

SS: “I live by lists. I can’t tell you enough how sat­is­fy­ing it is to have my tasks and goals crossed each day but of course, ev­ery­thing must work ac­cord­ing to my own pace. I lis­ten to a lot of clas­si­cal mu­sic, doo-wop and ’50s blues at work – noth­ing in­tru­sive to keep my flow go­ing. When­ever an artist’s block hits me, I’ll re­mind my­self to take a step back be­cause more of­ten than not, when art is forced, it doesn’t trans­late well.”

F: If there’s one ad­vice you can pass on to an aspir­ing de­signer who is just start­ing up, what would it be?

SS: “The time is now and there isn’t re­ally the ‘right time’ for do­ing what you love! You’ll learn from your ob­sta­cles once you start and they’ll make you bet­ter at what you do. Also, never come in con­flict with your own voice; re­mem­ber, orig­i­nal­ity will al­ways stay rel­e­vant.”

F: Your work has been show­cased on mats, posters, clothes and even on a wall at Snack­food! What’s next on your list? SS: “If given a chance, I want to work on ev­ery­thing – al­bum cov­ers, fur­ni­ture, mu­rals and tat­toos – you name it! I want all my col­labs to be with those who value the crafts­man­ship and maybe some­day, even work with In­dian de­signer Sabyasachi too. In the mean­time, stay tuned for my works with mod­est­wear la­bel, Cala Qisya, and be­spoke sta­tionery brand, Ana Tomy!”

Of­ten­times when art is forced, it doesn’t trans­late well. – SHAN SHAN LIM

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