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April 15, 2017

Sitting down at the Esmod Graduation show was a sensory treat in more ways than one, even when we were clouded with uncertainty with what to expect from the show. Battling heavy downpour traffic on a Saturday evening, we decided to cast our doubts aside and have the experience lift us off instead. The moment we entered the room, it was all too clear; the showcase of clothes from the graduates did not disappoint. We were transfixed on a number of original pieces that emerged on the catwalk; one being from a young designer who sent out a collection of looks in crimson perfection. Ruffled in detail and ingenious plays with contrasting textures and in harmony with the silhouettes and designs that inspire the streetstyle scene today. Via email, we ventured into the mind of this young, promising designer Kevin (Say Houng) to pick the brains of a prime potential in the fashion design scene in Malaysia.


Tell us about yourself and how did that collection in that dramatic color came about?

My name is LIM SAY HOUNG, I am 24 and born in Taiping, Perak, Malaysia. My favorite colour is red and it has the same pronunciation in Chinese from my name “HOUNG”. Red for me is about passion and it also about equality as we all have same blood color. I like to mix things which are not meant together in order to make contrast and impact.

Congratulations for a successful showcase! Where did you gain your inspiration from?

Thank you. The title of my collection is called REDRUM a reference gained from the cult 1980 Stanley Kubrick horror movie “The Shining”. The collection was also primarily inspired from the Cambodia’s incident during Khmer Rouge (red in French) regime in 17th April 1975. This is a very personal collection for me, as April 17th is my father’s birthday. Since I was young I am always fascinated by Cambodia because the first time I knew about the country is through the movie Tomb Raider(2001) when Angelina Jolie went to Cambodia for the treasure.

Are there any particular challenges that you went through while putting the collection together?

The most challenging part is I learnt myself to make a glove with sleeve together, it might seen nothing but it took a lot of time and patience to do it. The second part is the creation of camouflage laces to make these 2 things work contrary together as camouflage prints give out a strong and tough texture, while the lace is soft and fragile. The last long dress took me around 3 weeks to make it as all the ruffles and laces are assembled by hand.

How do you usually derive your inspirations from?

I am a cinephilia and a gamer. I like to link these cinematic references or games to the current issues to form a new philosophy since fashion is pivotal to express a statement.

 What about the woman you dress? How would you describe that?

She definitely one of the kind, she is confident, independent, and I want to make her to have that aura which enough to influence the people who surrounded by her.

Any favorite designer that you adore?

There are plenty of designers who inspire me, but the designer who moved my heart by his work is Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy. I love all his haute couture collection. Every single detail on the dresses and pieces took my breath away just by looking at it. That also pushes me to focus on the details in my collection thoroughly.

Do you have muses that you admire?

Yes, Angelina Jolie. I love her as she is powerful, strong yet possesses a sensibility on what is happening around the world.

What do you think about the fashion scene in Malaysia?

It is getting better. The younger generation are more daring to express themselves and I love to see different styles and personalities of the fashion people here. I hope to see that Malaysia to become a fashion capital in the future.

What’s next for Kevin?

As I am still a fresh graduate. I will work with luxury fashion house to gain more experiences first before I launch my own label.

More is more or less is more?

More is More. Less cannot be more unless there is no counting error.

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