Malaysian-Chinese fashion designer Pa Ya Hui is a master of pattern cutting and draping techniques; having graduated from Middlesex University of Art and Design, she is now pursuing her dreams in London. Refreshing is her understanding of the female form; her ability to present the human figure in such innovative and extraordinary methods is key to her eye-catching designing style.
Nee Hao talks to the young and upcoming designer about her aspirations and inspirations.
Your designs beautifully highlight the human figure. What influences them?
As a woman, I believe that this has been accomplished intuitively. As for the concepts behind my collection, I wanted to inject a feeling of ethereal beauty into a modern-day fashion world, like that of a fox. In other words, I wanted to present women in a relatively distinctive way.
How did you get into fashion?
I can identify the enlightening moment as that when I was 9 years old. I escaped from doing homework by sitting in front of the television as a child. I changed the TV channels randomly until I was stunned by a beautiful image: Faye Wong (a famous actress/singer in Asia) playing with a toy airplane in Chungking Express (directed by Wong Kar-Wai).
I was so impressed: the music, colours and the way that the artist acted in the movie – particularly in that scene – was so fascinating. I realized that there are different ways to present women’s beauty, for numerous traits exist amongst the members of the human race. Since then, I naturally and gradually developed my passion for fashion.
How did Middlesex University affect your growth as an artist?
I did learn a lot from the university. First of all, tutors have been very supportive towards my development and they are very inspiring. From their teachings, it really strengthened my confidence in becoming a better fashion designer.
Most of my fellow students come from different backgrounds with different cultures and beliefs that are very interesting and helpful to me. By being immersed in such a multi-cultural background, it is eye-opening experience that helped to broaden my horizons in design. I can still recall that there has always been a level of healthy competition occurred among us all, leading us to brainstorm and generate innovative ideas: we can go on a discussion for whole night! In fact, these experiences serve as a motivational factor that keeps me feeling a sense of adventure when it comes to designing as a prominent among those who are eminent.
Who is your favourite designer?
Elsa Schiaparelli & Cristóbal Balenciaga.
Who would be your ideal model to showcase your designs?
Normally, I don’t have a specific ideal model in mind. Usually my muse is lovable, classy, confident, and independent. It actually depends on each collection. For now, I would say Amelia Earhart.
To find out more about Pa Ya Hui, visit her Model Mayhem Page.