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!
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!