Gunning for Fashion

My work day is now typically 16-18hours days and even sometimes on weekends, customers will call me. I contemplated changing jobs just so that I can spend some personal time with Hub. On one night while I was checking work emails, I got an email from TAFtc. It was a maritime port authority fashion competition. Usually they send job positions and I will look at it wistfully then remind myself the salary can’t sustain my upcoming BTO nor my insurance premiums and then delete it.

However the fashion competition caught my eye. It’s not the first time they send a fashion competition but I think the last one was uniforms and I didn’t had time to prepare. So I decided to take part in this. The theme was nautical and I literally only had 3 days to prepare. So one night I hastily googled some inspiration for my mood board. Below are the ones:


I really like the coat, however as we are supposed to create these garments if we get selected, I didn’t design this in the end.

It’s been 10 years since I last join a competition. When I look back, I am amazed this is my 11th year pursuing my fashion dream. My NAFA certification course which I had to defer after a semester and did not complete due to work  schedule was in 2005. Time really flew.

If you ask me, I’m ashamed to say my skills have not really improve a lot as I do not sew regularly. But I have always been a strong illustrator. So it’s with surprise and excitement when I got notified that I was one of the top 10 finalists! I had to rush till 2am on Sunday to do the submission. If you ask me, it’s not my best work, but I am just really happy I got in.

I was a little sad as none of my family members shared my joy. Hub asked me how many entries they got and I snippily replied that even if there are only 10 entries, I am just really happy I got in. Mum and sis kept saying they don’t understand why I took part given how busy I am in my current job. Thus once again, I am brought back to 10 years ago when no family member turned up for the fashion show of my fashion competition. And my sis who was in the same area in the same afternoon just refused to come over.

Oh well, at least my friends and colleagues are thrilled for me too. I just kept reminding myself about the frog story I read before. Where the frogs that were jumping up the mountain and listen to others saying you won’t make it, it’s too high etc dropped out in the end. But the frog that didn’t listen to anyone and just focus on the goal and kept jumping towards the mountain top finally made it to the peak.


I have to be the frog that focus & don’t listen to naysayers!

But it’s not easy. I teared that day during an argument with Hub who didn’t want me to wear my own design out to meet his friends as he find the top “funny” with the long ribbon trailing which he likens it as a tail. Maybe it’s too fashion forward, but I do get compliments whenever I wear it out.

The other day when I was at an interview, the HR expressed concern if I will ever return to fashion. Of course I told him I won’t contemplate the fashion career as it can’t sustain me. But deep in my heart, I do harbor a hope that one day when I saved enough money I will do my dream. Not retail, not even my own label, but just little bespoke projects for my friends & referrals.

My stint in the luxury brands company made me realize I am just not into retail industry. I prefer my internship at the bridal studio where I help in a small part to create one-off gowns. That is what I want to do.

My teacher in TAFtc once asked us to dream big and pen down our business plan on a piece of paper and set a timeline to fulfil that dream. I keep that in my journal. Sometimes, I will read it. The timeline I set was 40, which is 5 years away. I don’t know if I will ever reach that goal in 5 years time. However, step by step I will get there.

Today I pop by F’s bridal studio after purchasing some fabric from Gim Joo. She has moved to bugis and better location than her previous industrial park location. She wasn’t in. I look at the beautiful gowns and hope one day I can intern there again. Even if it’s for free I don’t mind, I can learn so much from F. I love Gim Joo they have all these lovely fabric at half the price of spotlight. The same guy served me, though I doubt he remembers me and he gave me some tips on how to better create my competition design. I am supposed to sew 3 pieces and because of the sustainable component, I submitted swatches using organic cotton and rayon. I am having a lot of trouble finding the rayon and I really hope I find it soon. 

In my haste to submit the fashion board, I actually used swatches from my Hong Kong trip. And the email stated we need to stick to what we have submitted and now changes. I regretted submitting the swatches, as its not a compulsory component. That one I will have more leeway for the fabrics. There is no way I can fly to Hong Kong now to buy the fabric. I need to sew 3 garments this month and I have not started! I planned to draft initially, but now I am thinking maybe draping will save me a lot of time. So I will probably drape 2 garments and draft the last one, the rayon one.

In case you are wondering, I am not sharing my board here now. I will share it after the competition. As 10 years ago, during my first competition, I stupidly showed one of the contestant my design and in the finals, I realised he took my concept and made a better version of it and he eventually won the competition. After that experience, I learnt never to show people my designs until the day of tue completion itself.

I will keep you all updated as I go along. The fitting and presentation day is 1st July and fashion show is on 16th July.

Wish me luck!

Till then, keep sewing, keep keeping on with Him.

Have a blessed weekend! ^^


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