If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times. Time flies. Just last year, we made our runway debut at Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week (KLFW) 2015 with the Derecho collection by Sher by Twenty3. This year round, we showcased two (yes, TWO!) collections, consisting of 12 looks each from our sub-brands, Sher and Lin. In commemorating the success of the show and the months of hard work our designers have put in, we sat down for a talk with them to find out more about what got these young and talented souls into designing the clothes we love, and their inspirations behind this year’s collections.
Our designers with Twenty3 Founder & CEO, Sherlyn TanFrom left: Vivien, Hoi Cheng, Sherlyn, Yen Yon, Sobu
Q. How did you get started in fashion?
SoBu: Sketching has always been my medium of self-expression. I would literally vandalize all the tables in school with my pencil, sketching human proportions and garments. However, social expectations hindered me from doing what I liked. My grades improved tremendously in high school and from there, my parents, teachers and friends had this expectation of me that I felt I needed to conform to. I started studying Chemical Engineering in college under a generous scholarship. It felt good that I wasn’t burdening my parents with the cost of my education. It was until I did not secure a Public Service Department (JPA) scholarship that got me really thinking about my major. I thought, if I were to spend money on education, then I might as well invest in something that I like, which is fashion. I did not give any more thought and got myself a place in an art school. And that’s where the journey began.After graduation, I started as a Visual Merchandiser with Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge. Then, I moved to Khoon Hooi as an assistant designer. And later, I found myself here, at Twenty3!
Hoi Cheng: I have always been attracted to all things art. I remember when I was young, I would draw, paint and dabble in Chinese calligraphy whenever I got the chance. As I grew older, I somehow started to pay more attention to fashion.When I left high school with my SPM certificate, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I had thought about the safe and popular choice of studying Nutrition, but I was really hoping to be able to ply my trade in the fashion industry in the future, something that I knew I would enjoy doing instead of you know, working in some other profession with the sole purpose of making an income. So with encouragement from friends and family, I took up a fashion design course in KL, which many might think is a risky choice given that I had scored straight A’s for my SPM. I completed the final year of my degree on a 1-year twinning programme at the Paris American Academy in well, Paris, during which time I was lucky enough to have worked alongside some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Elie Saab and Rick Owens. After my degree, I worked as an intern under the renowned Malaysian designer Jonathan Liang at his studio in Paris and at the end of my internship, I came back to Malaysia to launch my career in the local fashion design industry.
Vivien: Well, it kind of just started right after high school with me getting a place in the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design course in London. At 17, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do in life so I figured, "Why not?". After all, I've always leaned towards the Arts compared to Maths and Science (which I'm terrible at). During the duration of that diploma course, I got to explore different forms of art, from sculpture, to photography and, fashion. This helped fortify my desire to pursue fashion design. I then got accepted into the Fashion Print degree course at Central Saint Martins. It was so liberating to have the freedom to create whatever you want at my time at CSM. I later had the opportunity to intern with Mary Katrantzou in London, and that really reinforced my love of prints. Artsy and creative has always been my 'thing' so I really can't imagine doing anything else.
Yen Yon: I have always had a passion for fashion since I was little. My parents would buy me dolls and I would be curious about how, and what, their pretty little dresses were made of. That's how my interest in fashion slowly grew. I followed my passions and continued to learn more about fashion by pursuing a fashion design degree in Sydney, where I had the chance to train with Leonardo Salinas. After all that I have learned and experienced in my years in the fashion industry, I must say that fashion is so much more than just making clothes.Q. Tell us more about this year’s KLFW collection. Let’s start with Under One Small Star, the collection by Sher?
Sher by Twenty3 on the KLFW '16 runway
SoBu: So this year, I worked with Hoi Cheng on the collection. Our inspiration behind it is the idea of evolution. Specifically, evolution from the stress and issues women face in our hypermasculine society. For example, being insecure about the way you look, or feeling like you are not enough, worthless. The collection consists of 12 looks, all representing this persona of an evolved and empowered woman. For example, the deconstructive way the fabric is worn conveys destruction. It is about being destroyed before finding strength to rebuild yourself, coming out stronger than before. The colour palette is subtle and faded, and the collection starts from white and slowly turns darker to grey, black and navy. All of this gives the idea of the transition into a darker, stronger entity.
Q. What about for the Lin collection?
Lin by Twenty3 on the KLFW '16 runway
Vivien: For our Where The Wild Things Are collection, Yen Yon and I found inspiration in the organic movements from the Art Nouveau period. Characteristic of this time was silhouettes of teapots, vases and teacups and scenes of birds and flowers. With this inspiration, each look from the collection features hand-illustrated flowers, birds and insects, swirling together in harmony with a fun, cheerful and romantic colour palette of pastels. I personally love working with printed textiles so it was really fun getting to design the prints that goes along with each outfit.
Q. Who is the Sher and Lin woman?The Sher woman is a "fighter"
SoBu and Hoi Cheng: A Sher woman is a "fighter". She has strength but never lets it cloud her femininity. She is fit, not just to look good, but because she understands the value of self-improvement and self-empowerment through fitness. She values herself, her life, her work, her aesthetic and her philosophy. She owns her life, her goals, her dreams and herself. She believes that every individual is solely responsible for giving meaning to her life and living it passionately.
The Lin woman walks down the street with a 'devil may care' attitude
Vivien and Yen Yon: Everything, from the colour palette, embroidery, the fabric, the silhouettes and prints, is made to fit the Lin woman. Picture this. A woman walks down the street in a fabulous printed dress, smile on her lips and rolls through life with a ‘devil may care’ attitude. That’s the Lin woman. She knows she has strength and confidence. She knows she's invincible.
So do you fancy yourself a Sher or Lin woman? Maybe a combination of the two?
Meet the latest addition to MOVE by Twenty3.
The Karlie Collection brings you new and improved fashion-fitnesswear, designed for you to break your limits, in style.
Shop the Karlie Collection online or at our outlets at Atria Shopping Gallery (G35, next to Antipodean Cafe) and Publika (43A/G2, next to Baskin Robbins), open every day from 10am to 10pm, including weekends and public holidays.
Come MOVE with us!Join us at our #weMOVEtoday event, happening on the 13th of August (Saturday) at Atria Shopping Gallery! There’ll be free workout sessions and of course, lots of free food and gifts! Plus, other surprises in store for you!
RSVP here: http://bit.ly/23-WeMOVEtoday
Also, purchase any piece from the Karlie Collection and wear it on the day of the event to get 10% OFF your next purchase. T&Cs Apply.
See you there! And remember,
Keep MOVE-ing, ladies!
Let us know if you're coming, CLICK HERE
I'm Sherlyn, and I'm the founder of Twenty3.
If you’ve just joined us, WELCOME AND THANK YOU! If you’re curious about how Twenty3 began, you can read about it here 😊
For those who have been with us since Day One, you have my deepest gratitude. We've came so far together! I started Twenty3 on my own, buying and reselling apparels. Seven months later, I created my first ever collection, featuring girl-next-door styles, inspired by the clothes that I would wear. Two years after that, I decided to provide opportunities for local young & emerging designers who shared the same passion and dream to build something by Malaysians, for the World! 🇲🇾
With their talent and drive, we are proud to be recognized for the quality and comfort of our garments suitable for Work, Fun, Fit & even Weddings! We've also fixed & improved a couple of things :
All zip issues have been fixed! This was a persistent problem in the past, so if you own a Twenty3 piece with a broken zip, please contact us and we’ll fix it for free!
Our sizing is now much more consistent as we are now working with some large, experienced and reliable factories who deliver MUCH better quality! The cost of production has increased as a result, but we're comfortable with the thinner margins, as long as we don’t sacrifice the value of our products and our own company values.
- We now offer a longer return period, which is 15 days for Malaysian orders & 30 days for international orders. If you're staying in the Klang Valley, you can even return the pieces at any of our stores!
- We now offer full refunds in either cash or credit, if for some reason you don’t absolutely love your purchase!
- The most exciting news is, we’re gonna have TWO shows this year at KL Fashion Week 2016 for Sher by Twenty3 & LIN by Twenty3! We'll be inviting some of you to our shows, so stay tuned!
One other thing – some of you already follow my Instagram profile @sherlyn_fitness, where I share my fitness journey. If you do, (Yay! Thank you!) you may know that fitness has been a great help in overcoming my anxiety and depression. I can now confidently say that I’m a much happier person today!But I know how hard it is to get started, just to get moving. I was there too, I struggled with self-confidence issues and felt intimidated by the thought of exercise. I even broke down crying the first few times I was at the gym!
That’s why I want to reach out to you and help you get started on your own fitness journey!This #weMOVEtoday is for you!RVSP now & let's MOVE together!Love,
Founder & CEO
- All zip issues have been fixed! This was a persistent problem in the past, so if you own a Twenty3 piece with a broken zip, please contact us and we’ll fix it for free!