Cassey Gan, the Malaysian designer with an eye for geometry, maximalism and vibrant palettes, is returning to Fashion Scout for Spring Summer 2019. In reaction to Malaysia's altering political scene, comes a collection is bold in prints, colourful and embodies a hopeful and optimistic spirit. We caught up with the designer ahead of her show at Freemasons' Hall, to hear more about her primary inspiration David Hockney, whose pop art of the sixties and confident use of colours created an aesthetic basis for Cassey's work.
What has inspired your Spring Summer 2019 collection?
The works of David Hockney. I think he is a really versatile painter and regardless of what he is painting, be it portrait, landscape etc, his strokes and use of colours are very consistent. I particularly like the way he uses colours and how he does colour matching. His paintings almost always has a controlled chaos look to it, which I find fascinating. The prints in my collection are mostly inspired by his strokes and colours. There are a lot of print on print looks as I would like to re-create that controlled chaos mood as depicted in his paintings.
How do you stay inspired?
I really believe that inspiration is everywhere. Travelling, reading, watching movie, having a conversation with someone, visiting an exhibition… all these can inspire a collection. Also, I enjoy pattern drafting very much. It is something I do a lot day to day and through drafting, I always find new ideas and techniques that would help my designing process greatly.
What themes and concepts are you exploring this season?
Back in May, there was a huge change in Malaysia’s political scene. It is the first time in 60 years that we have had a change of government. With change comes uncertainties, however, change can also bring hope and a brighter future for generations to come. I, for one, am really inspired by the spirit of nationalism and patriotism demonstrated throughout the entire country and wanted to create a collection that commemorates that.
Hence, this collection is bold in prints, colourful and embodies a hopeful and optimistic spirit. While researching on Hockney, I came across a passage where he mentioned everything is a moving viewpoint and nothing is ever stagnant. And this is so fitting because it is exactly how I feel about the change happening in my country and life in general in that change is truly the only constant. As a result, the name of this collection is “Moving Viewpoint”.
Themes of sustainability, diversity and inclusivity are permeating the industry. What changes would you like to make through your work?
Growing up in a country that is very diverse in culture, we are accustomed to being inclusive. As a brand, we have been designing for customers of all races and of different sizes. We are also very open to using a diverse group of models in our campaign shoots. For this coming season, we are interested to explore the possibility of having a 70+ year old as our campaign model. In terms of sustainability, I always emphasize on minimizing over-production. We only produce when we have orders, in that way, we will not be wasting resources. Also, in our designs, we always play with layering that are interchangeable between looks. That makes our designs very versatile and within a look, there can be 3 different looks for example. We always encourage our customers to buy quality and not quantity.
What shall we look out for at your SS19 show?
Look out for detachable layering in our collection. Also the clash of prints, colours and textures. We are also collaborating with a Malaysian milliner, Bremen Wong, for accessories and a couple of head pieces which we will showcase as part of the collection!
Where do you hope to be next season?
I hope that I will be able to continue doing shows in London and that more and more people in Europe would know about the brand. I also hope that come next season, I will have a few international stockiest!