Left: A look from Cassey Gan’s Spring Summer 2015 collection; right: the designer. Credit: Cassey Gan
KUALA LUMPUR – Quiet confidence. That is the Cassey Gan woman. The representative pieces from the Malaysian designer’s Spring Summer 2015 collection may not scream for attention yet there’s something about the loose silhouette and turbulent wave prints that definitely make one do a double take.
I was seated with Cassey Gan at her booth at Mercedes Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week (MBSAFW) where she would be showing her Spring Summer 2015 collection on the runway for the first time. It’s evident that Gan personifies the woman she designs for – she’s not your typically flamboyant creative type but has a quiet spark that shines from within.
The Samurai warrior is an unlikely source of inspiration for the collection. Credit: Cassey Gan
Although Gan graduated with an engineering degree, she knew she wouldn’t be happy working nine to five. When she asked herself what job would allow her to use her crafty and creative side, she decided to enroll in a foundation course to give fashion a shot. “Two weeks into it, I knew this is really for me and I’ve not looked back since,” declared Gan with conviction.
Unlike most other designers, Gan didn’t work with another fashion house before starting her own label, although that had been her original intention. She shared, “Although I didn’t have any experience to fall back on and had to start everything from scratch, it was a good learning curve for me. Because I was not moulded (by another designer) before, I can actually try and experiment with something new and find my own way. This is truly my style and I’m slowly getting to know more about my own design, who I am and who I want to design for – that’s really important to me as a designer.”
For instance, the young designer’s non-form fitting shape has become one of her signatures. Gan’s pieces skim off the curves without restricting movement. “The Cassey Gan woman is relaxed and has quiet confidence. She’s always moving around. Hence, my clothes are not fitted at all, you can move easily to feel really comfortable and confident,” explained Gan, pointing out the key silhouette.
One of Gan’s favourite books is a book on Japanese prints and where her Spring Summer 2015 inspiration stemmed from. “I am very inspired by the fighting spirit of the samurai. Their garments have a really loose silhouette, mixed prints and a lot of layering,” said the designer who managed to translate all the aspects of the samurai’s armour including the plate armour details.
Wave prints, sequins and mesh panels make for a modern samurai. Credit: Cassey Gan
The resultant collection named “The Samurai Spirit” is a modern take on the ancient Japanese warrior’s armour. The prints are on point with turbulent waves and sunburst prints along with loose sashes and pleats and layers mimicking the different details of the armour. Gan throws in a dash of modernity with mesh panels that show off just the right amount of skin to pique interest.
For a designer with a very new label – Cassey Gan the brand is only one and a half years old – Gan finds comfort when she spots people wearing her creations and said, “It gives me assurance that there’s a market for this kind of clothes. Especially when customers keep coming back, you are probably doing something right.”
Judging from how impressive and how wearable her latest collection is, the young designer is definitely on the right track and we hopes she keeps doing that “something right”.
The Cassey Gan Spring Summer 2015 collection will be available from early December 2015 at Nana and Bird at at #01-65, 59 Eng Hoon Street. For more information about Cassey Gan, go to www.casseygan.com.