I knew David Cheah way, way back when we (my mom n i) were helping him sew one-off designer cushions in silk, taffetta, velvet and other opulent fabrics. He even choreographed an intimate "Cushion" fashion show for his friends and clients at a furniture shop in Bukit Ceylon in 1990s
Then he became my guild (The Arts and Crafts Guild, KL & Selangor)'s president, taking over from 'nature' artist, Teh Yew Kiang who has been helming the guild for a decade. I also became part of the committee and later when David left for Sydney, i was entrusted with keeping the guild running (it was formally registered in 1993) as it's president. Nothing glamourous there. What an uphill task...and this was way before the Internet era, where newsletters were posted out with committee members complaining tht they had to lick too many stamps! My guild just turned 23 in October 2016.
Two decades later, Joe Sidek started George Town Festival (GTF) in Penang. It was and is a multi-discipline festival ranging from performance art (dance, theatre, song) to visual art n photography and street and community based art.
Prior to the festival, the Municipal Council of Penang held a competition to find a way of displaying and informing the public about the story and anecdotes of each road in Penang's UNESCO heritage site (centre of Georgetown). A company called Sculpture At Work came up with a witty, yet informative way to make sculptures stand out yet do not intrude into the heritage buildings' architecture.
David, who trained as an architect but found more satisfaction as a multi discipline artist (textile n design) has been assisting Joe Sidek @ GTF. In 2014, the theme was indigo and since David has a wide collection of indigo fabrics and clothes he was made in charge of Mission Blue - Indigo House (see previous post) and guess who was roped in to design and produce a range of clothes for their pop-up store, since I have interest in both traditional and contemporary wear and was trained as a fashion designer (among other things). All to be completed within 3 months!
While I sourced for fabrics locally, he sourced from many Asia countries (mainly Indonesia). Our focus was on minimalistic dresses with often asymmetrical detailing, blocking of various textures and patterns. I re-organised my small apartment, bought extra tables for pattern n fabric cutting. Even got a cute little Juki workhorse (in plain English - is bought a new small but reliable/strong sewing machine) The brand Juki is synonymous with industrial sewing machines. But I needed one I could carry around in case I was required to work partially in Penang. Mind you, I was also holding a regular job. So working into the wee hours of the morning everyone alternate day became the norm.
Here are some of the ready-to-wear that were designed specifically for Georgetown Festival 2014!
Hope you like them -
You can find the complete collection and other collections too in my little online FB store - Three Black Cats Studio