doll of the day: Gen

Dearest ______,

There are very few people who have Spring naturally and genuinely implanted in their systems.  By this, I mean people who have such vibrancy and colour in their personalities that one cannot possibly imagine a more perfect season for them than this season in bloom.  One such person is Gen from work, and everything about her- language (both speech and body), the spring in her step, and her zestful sartorial choices- will tell you straight off the bat.

In fashion, as in any form of art, there is real inspiration on how one can live as bold as the patterns of her dress, as adventurous as the choices she makes in colour and cut, and as high- spirited as the collections of Spring – Summer 2012.

Karlita:  You studied Architecture in New York, a place which completely changes for all four seasons of the year.  Did you like Spring at all?  If so, what was the best thing about it?

Gen: I actually studied Architecture at SCI-ARC in Los Angeles, where the seasons weren’t so definite like NYC. In LA, it seemed to be Spring all the time! Maybe that’s why everyone there’s always cheerful. Maybe that’s why its my favourite season!  Haha.  I think the best thing about it, fashion- wise, is that you can inject anything odd into your attire and pull it off easily since you need at least a couple of layers in spring. You can’t slack off and be too casual with t- shirt and shorts like Singapore Summer, yet there’s no need for exaggerated puffy coats like Winter either…

K:  Well I’ve always imagined you were a “spring person”, because you always seem so lively (possible understatement, hahaha).  But what are the 3 things that you actually like about spring- dressing this year?

G:   Do I always seem lively? Mmmm… Maybe it’s a cover to hide my existential angst!

K:  I prefer the former on you! Haha, sorry- but you have to be our guru of joie de vivre!

G:  3 things I like about spring- dressing this year:

1. Juxtapositions of warm colour! Tangerine on Fuschia.  Cobalt Blue on Red Stripes, etc.  I’m also loving the overkill of floral patterns and animal prints. I’m always particular about the scale, density, and resolution of the animal / floral print.  It has to be almost exactly the way you want it. Also, animal print on silk/chiffon has a different effect than animal print on cotton. I tend to avoid the latter.
2. The play on details of necklines and cuff lines. I think the neckline in particular makes or breaks the whole outfit. Cufflines, too, have this innate ability to sharpen/crispen the outfit. All these lines of termination speak volumes about the entire outfit’s design.
3. Calf-length silk skirts/dresses. I like how long fabrics flow along the lower body. Not too long though, because showing your ankles is kinda sexy.

K:  Now I know you have lots of fun wherever you go… in the aspect of personal expression though, do you have more fun with architectural design or with fashion?

G:  I think that I express and release myself in both ways. Fashion keeps me inspired, while I express myself through writings, design, thoughts, and articulation- my behavior, basically. And then all these also affect the way I wear my clothes. It’s an excruciating yet curious process. That’s how I grew up I think, a bit stunted like a crooked tree- but I’ve found a love for immersing myself in environments and fashion without holding back!

K:  Do you think architects could make good fashion designers?  Why or why not?

G:  One of the biggest misconceptions about Architecture is that it’s just about making a building. A building is only one manifestation of Architecture… in other words, it is just an end product. Architecture itself is a constant process- methodological or not, an outburst or steady flow, and is a frustration in itself!

Architecture comprises techniques, explorations of form yet it also encompasses our socio-economic landscape, urbanism, cities, public behavior, infrastructure, migration issues etc. All of these elements are embraced by a fashion designer as well, and same goes for a writer or a product designer or a stage designer. Design is One. So yes, I strongly believe that architects could make amazing fashion designers. They just need to stop being so uptight all the time…


K:  Design is One.–  I like that a lot!  And I totally agree with it.  Design should never be a limiting concept.  Creativity does encompass a lot of landscapes, and all of them are more related to each other than one would like to admit.  Just curious now- who’s your favourite fashion designer? Favourite architect?

G:  For Fashion…

– Nohke J, a young, emerging Korean designer who has her flagship store at Cheongdam-dong in Seoul and has been exhibiting in Seoul Fashion week for the last 2 years…

– Elena Manferdini who’s an Architect, Fashion Designer, Engineer, and Design teacher at SCI-ARC… or

My favourite architects…
– Rem Koolhaas, for his writings on urbanism and his understanding of urban culture.   Also for his Prada Epicentre in Los Angeles and NYC!
– My classmates at SCI-ARC… including my design partner, Sona Gevorkyan who did her architectural thesis on Fashion, where she “dressed” the facades of the building…
– Can Altay, an Architect/Artist who writes about public behaviour and spatial anthropology. He’s one of my idols who’s inspired me throughout my schooling days.

K:  What’s the best statement piece one can carry around this time of the year (spring – summer)?  

G:  A cute Korean boy. Haha, just kidding! I would go with a piece of technology!  Like an and I.pad. Anything to keep you inspired by writing, taking snapshots, creating designs on your sketchpad app, blogging, etc.  Also a nice cocktail ring and crazy gel-lish nail art just so you look good when touching that piece of awesome technology.

K:  What’s the best attitude one should have for the rest of the year?

G:  Keep challenging yourself. Let yourself be your own greatest inspiration, instead of waiting to be inspired… Don’t be afraid of what others might think of you. Always have a dream, yet always be grateful for what you already have.

K:  Very well- said, Gen!  Long live Spring!


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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “doll of the day: Gen”

  1. your pics are great – whimsical and quirky! and i think gen’s pretty gorgeous too! 🙂

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