M: So tell us, Jo, how did you get into the fashion world?
J: As a child, i was very interested in making things. I would take felt fabric and hand stitch it together making pouches and many other things. I made lots of crafts and was very interested in art. My family was a big influence to me as we are all into arts. We were all artistic in our own way.
In my early teens, I would read a lot of fashion blogs and magazines and I started to wonder how clothes were made, how was it drafted and what other possibilities were there in the design. I then started to mess with my mom's old sewing machine. A few years later I found myself in Raffles College of Higher Education Kuala Lumpur pursuing fashion design.
J: These designs are from my graduating collection. It's a mini collection that consists of 5 looks. The collection was inspired by the mysterious femme fatales in Film Noir. I looked at Greta Garbo and Mata Hari as one of my influences for this collection. I wanted to capture their mystique. My clothes are very sheer, provocative and revealing. It's something a daring women would wear and be able to pull off.
M: What about current fashion trends? Any favourites?
J: As a fan of the applique technique, one of the trends that I love is floral appliques. Many 3D floral applique have been seen lately from Spring/Summer 2013 runways. Another trend I like would be the sheer look. It's a trend that have been evolving to be a seasonal year-round trend.
M: All in all, how would you define fashion in Malaysia? Is it really different? Are there any special trends going on?
J: The fashion scene in Malaysia definitely has a lot of potential. There's plenty of growing talented young designers from Malaysia that are now making their mark in the local and international scene. One of the trends now would be the white shirts as it's easy to pair with and a wardrobe staple. Also since, the weather in Malaysia is constantly hot, many tend to wear looks that are lighter and comfortable.
M: What's your plan for the future? Do you consider starting a men's clothing line someday? Or may be a jewellery collection?
J: Currently, my plan is to further my studies to the UK to pursue a degree in women's wear. I'm definitely interested in starting a men's clothing line. Men's wear is something I would like to explore more as it's much more limited in certain ways and I it would be fun to challenge that.
Photographer: Cyntia Chen Barbachano
Clothing: Jo Yean
MUA: Tob Thippawan
Model: Melanie de Wit