Interview with Kelly Ng

Today I want to introduce you to the lovely Kelly Ng,  a very talented artist currently studying design in Japan. Once you see her photos, it soon becomes obvious that not only does Kelly have incredibly skill in fashion design, but that she appreciates and creates beauty everywhere. She is an avid collector of fashion – especially Dior – and is someone who truly appreciates the fine craftsmanship and story behind a piece, versus just how trendy or “IT” it is in the moment. I really enjoyed meeting Kelly and getting a glimpse of her perfectly beautiful world, and I hope you do too.

Kelly’s dress that she designed and created
First things first: who are you? What do you do and where do you live?
Hi! I’m Kelly Ng. I’m a Malaysian student who is currently studying fashion design in Tokyo, Japan.
This year is my third year in Tokyo. My major is stage and film costume design. In school, we design and produce costumes that make the most of the unique effects available from the stage and visual media. I will graduate in the spring of 2013.

Kelly’s collection of Dior Saddle bags
You have an amazing collection of Dior. Was Dior the first brand you were crazy about? What got you started, and what are other designers you admire?

Of course I love other designers such as Chanel, Celine, McQueen, Gaultier, Prada, Fendi, etc. But Dior was the very first brand which I felt had designs that matched my style and personality.
I got my very first Dior “Victim” Saddle pouch when I was fourteen, but at the time I wasn’t a Dior addict – though the designs impressed me. After a few years, the Dior Gaucho and 10th Anniversary Saddle Bags were released, and my passion for Dior exploded while standing in the Kuala Lumpur Dior boutique when I saw the burgundy Gaucho bag in real life. I tried it on while listening to the kind sales associate’s explanation, and when I touched the soft calf washed leather, I knew I wanted it! The antiqued silver metal buckle, the “1947″ Christian Dior medallion and the large dangling key told a story of adventure.The spirit of adventure and independence in the Dior Gaucho really spoke to me and I turned into a Dior addict from that time on. In the spring of 2009, carrying a Gaucho, I started my very own journey to Japan to study design!

Kelly in a Dior coat and her beloved burgundy Gaucho bag
What is it about Dior and other brands that you love and which draw you to them?
Actually, I think what I love is not Dior, it’s John Galliano’s designs. It’s the way he designs clothes not just as pieces of cloth, but pieces of art. I adore his culturally inspired designs. All of his romantic and theatrical fashion shows revitalized haute couture, and made the Dior couture shows artistic treasures.Although the Dior style often had historic origins – updating the famous 1947 New Look of the founder Christian Dior – Galliano added an undercurrent of sexuality, perversity and sometimes a dark side. Each collection was be meticulously researched, often by visits to distant places, and developed after a hand-made reference book.

Issey Miyake “Pleats Please” dress, Rotiny coat, Dior dragon bag
Do you buy most if your items straight from Dior? You must be one of their best customers.

50% of my fashion items are from Dior and the rest are other designer brands.

What percent of your items do you buy full price, and what percent on sale? 

About 60% of the time I pay full price. I usually paid full price for most items before coming to Japan, as I didn’t use eBay or any other online shopping sites. I still remember when I bought my second Dior burgundy Gaucho bag from an online shop in Japan – I was so scared that it would turn out to be fake!

Dior coat
Can we get an idea of just how big your closet is? 
Hmm…I have two closets in my hometown, full of clothes and bags. Of course, that’s not including hats, shoes and other accessories.

My wardrobe in Tokyo is considered to be a big closet here relatively, but it’s still overflowing.
Dior Dragon embroidered Saddle bag
What are the items in your wardrobe that you wear the most? How about your most treasured items?

I wear long coats in the winter, blouses in the summer and dresses all year round.

I love all my clothes. As for my bags, I think they I wear my Dior Samourais and Dragon Embroidered Saddle the most.

Kelly’s beautiful calligraphy
Kelly’s beautiful art
I know you’ve won some prizes in art and calligraphy. Can you share more about that, and maybe some of your favorite pieces of artwork?
I’ve around 150 awards so far in art and calligraphy, and was invited to my very first calligraphy Asia exhibition tour when I was thirteen.

Dior pink suit with lace details
Kelly in kimono and Dior Samourai bag
Can you share some pieces of advice on fashion/building an ideal wardrobe that you’ve learned over the years? What should readers beware of, what should we invest in?
  • Life is like a long drama, so please ignore what others think about you. Who is the main character in your drama? Be brave, try new styles and you can discover a whole new you!
  • Instead of following trends, choose the ones which suit you best. You won’t be outdated by ignoring certain trends, but instead special and outstanding.
  • Carrying a expensive designer bag doesn’t mean you have fashion sense – styling skills are needed. In fact, many people don’t know much about luxury brands, and if they can’t recognize that your bag is Chanel 2.55, Lady Dior, Fendi Spy, etc, then you’re out of luck. Good styling skills are what will make them think you “look” expensive and stylish.
  • People tend to choose classic styles when they are struggling between a classic design and favorite design. Choose the one you really like and plan to use. Ignore the classic rule…just because it’s classic doesn’t mean it suits you.
Galliano “Newsprint” bag
Can you share some of your outfits and style? What’s a typical look for you?
Haha…I am always evolving! I often change up what I wear, and my style depends on my mood.

Some of Kelly’s styling/design work
What are some of your other passions and interests aside from fashion and art?
Taking photos, mountain trekking, and travelling. It’s nice to live life to it’s fullest and without stress. Going on vacation and taking photos lets me recharge my “battery” by disconnecting from my regular life. When I come back, I feel invigorated and am happy to be back in my day to day routine.

Kenzo fur coat and Dior Samourai bag

What designers do you think are the best value and the most underrated – what about any overrated/over priced designers?
As you know, I personally love Mr. Galliano’s designs. But I think that all successful designers have some value. Every successful designer has their own style , and that’s why they’ve been able to create success.

Kelly’s Dior Samourai bag collection
Finally – please share something surprising about yourself!
I hope to create my brand in the future. It‘s not something that surprising maybe, but it’s my dream 😉

I would love to see Kelly create a brand, I think it would be so full of fun and imagination (would love to see the bags!) I hope you all enjoyed meeting her, and thank you again to the beautiful Kelly for sharing her art and talent with us!

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  • Ella Pretty Blog
    February 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Kelly's taste is quite different from mine – but I really admire her strong sense of self (as well as her Dior saddle bags LOL!). Reading her interview really made sense to me – especially this part:

    "Life is like a long drama, so please ignore what others think about you. Who is the main character in your drama? Be brave, try new styles and you can discover a whole new you!"

    I think a lot of my teen years was spent on trying to conform, while my 20s were all about comfy basics – it's only now that I'm taking styles I like and adapting them to suit me…and I think it's so much more satisfying!

  • Anonymous
    February 22, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Loving her dior saddle collection! Especially the dragon one!

  • Tabitha
    February 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    What an incredible interview, this is one of the most visually stunning features I have seen in a long time, what a talent and an eye she has. This makes me want to throw off my taupe, white, navy, black leitmotif!

  • Adele
    February 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I love how her style has an Eastern twist to it & the newspaper bag is GORGEOUS!
    Happy Wednesday xoxo

  • Diva In Me
    February 22, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Speechless…… Just gorgeous! Those Dior bags are to die for!!

  • Anonymous
    February 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Ah, I remember her pictures in . They were very artistic. It's great to know her personal story behind her thread! Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous
    February 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I am impressed with all of your interviews but this one is by far my favorite. It is nice to see someone found her style and not afraid to follow it.
    Kudos to her.

  • Tina
    February 22, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    wow, these are great pictures! stunning yellow dress in the first picture!


  • Chocolate, Cookies & Candies
    February 22, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Kelly is unashamedly confident with her strong stamp of fashion sense. Good for her! Absolutely incredible eye for styling. Such beautiful calligraphy too.

  • Chocolate, Cookies & Candies
    February 22, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Kelly is unashamedly confident with her strong stamp of fashion sense. Good for her! Absolutely incredible eye for styling. Such beautiful calligraphy too.

  • Veronica of The Refined Pursuit
    February 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Oh my! Love the dragon Dior saddle and the Samurai bags. Such a refreshing point of view and style. Nice to meet someone who appreciates history, craftsmanship and attention to details.

  • Annabelle
    February 22, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I like her fashion advice — being true to yourself in what you get and then using it intelligently sounds like the perfect route to great style.

  • katattack2000
    February 22, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Wow she definitely has fashion flair and her artistic ability is exceptional!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Couture Coco
    February 22, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Oh my, exquisite aesthetics, rich, sculptural and architectural. My fav is the kimono and Samurai photo. She's a walking work of art!

  • Annette
    February 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Wow Kelly's style is amazing. She goes beyond stylish and is so artistic with her looks. I loved this interview and the beautiful pictures.

  • Geri Looker
    February 22, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    A very talented young lady!! Also, with very expensive tastes. What a collection, she must be worth a fortune! Very envious

  • Oh Sunnie Day
    February 23, 2012 at 12:07 am

    That is an amazing collection!! I can't believe she can fit all of that in a japanese closet!



  • GIAA
    February 23, 2012 at 12:27 am

    wow now that's creativity!

  • marla
    February 23, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Kelly is such an AMAZING talent! Thanks for sharing her with us 🙂 Those Dior bags are so awesome.

  • Latkes and Dim Sum
    February 23, 2012 at 3:27 am

    What a beautiful collection she has! It's not often that I run across a hard-core Dior enthusiast. Thank you for posting!

  • Life's a shoe
    February 23, 2012 at 3:43 am

    great post!! what an awesome designer and person!

  • Jennifer
    February 23, 2012 at 3:47 am

    I love the bit of advice about styling skills being necessary even with expensive designer purchases. I think that's where my fashion sense and wardrobe struggle! You can shop at the same stores or by the same pieces as your favorite fashion icons, but if you don't have the same styling ability it just looks forced or unnatural.

    motu viget

  • Susan
    February 23, 2012 at 4:36 am

    What a classy, elegant woman. Thank you for introducing us to such beautiful and cultured people!

  • Mrs C
    February 23, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Great post, Kat! I am becoming a fan of your interview posts. I think you write very well 🙂 giving me an inspiration to pursue blogging

  • Anonymous
    February 23, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Kelly is such a talented, stylish person. Being a Malaysian myself, I'm so happy to read this interview. I hope she'll become a well know international designer one day.

    Fabulous interview Kat.

  • Debby
    February 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Such a wonderful interview. I am loving all of the bags!! xo

  • pjlatte
    February 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Wow! This is definitely one of my favorite interviews that you have done, Kat! I envy her courage to just be herself and ignore others opinion… and her closet, of course :D. Her style is just so unique and interesting. So many beautiful pieces in this post. Love it! Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Molly
    February 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Love the Samurai bags.

  • homestilo
    February 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Fascinating. I for one would love to see her start a brand.

  • Not Just A Pretty Dress
    February 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Kelly has such an interesting sense of styles and an amazing selection of Dior pieces! Thank you for this interview and the stunning photos!

  • Prêt à Porter P
    February 23, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I remember seeing some of these on tpf before. She has a phenomenal eye for styling. And I think it's refreshing to see someone with distinctive taste. I love the samurai bags.

  • dietingfashions
    February 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    She's very bold and daring in her artwork and her fashion style. I see many pieces that I wouldn't know what to do with but Kelly would. And she is right. Choose the style that fits you not because you think it fits.


  • melliza122
    February 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    That's the beauty of fashion, there's definitely something for everyone. Her style is interesting, too custome like for my taste though.

  • Jen @ redsolesandredwine
    February 24, 2012 at 12:57 am

    How gorgeous are these images, collection and interview. Love how unique she is and her collection of bags is to die for.

    Red Soles and Red Wine

  • Shalika-Creative SOUL
    February 24, 2012 at 4:36 am

    I what to be you for a week! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your interview with Kelly Ng, I would love to see a Kelly Ng handbag design. I found you through Blog Lovin*when time permits come ck me out Always,SOULBeautiful xx*s

  • The Girl With a Feather
    February 24, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Wow what an amazing post! The pieces are just beautiful! Thanks so much for your lovely comment too. You have a lovely blog!

  • Lilli
    February 24, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Very interesting post, thanks for sharing, all the photos are amazing and she is really great!:) Follow you as well!:) Kisses!:) xoxo

  • Mica
    February 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I love this interview – it's great to read more about Kelly. She is incredibly talented, but so modest and kind too. I am sure she will go far and when she does have her own brand it will be really successful!

  • mish
    February 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    that made a very interesting read- thank you.
    She is supremely talented, with a fine eye, notwithstanding her amazing Dior collection!- everything is so beautiful.

  • Sianna
    February 24, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Very interesting designer and unique pieces. I love the corset of the yellow dress and would totally wear the purple bag from the last picture.

  • 24 Corners
    February 25, 2012 at 6:43 am

    What an amazing artist Kelly is…so talented, and in so many areas…every single image is absolutely stunning! Such a pleasure to see her work and read her thoughts!
    Thank you…
    xo J~