It’s often bitter and ashy, sometimes sharp and acidic, or mild and velvety. The depth of its complexity mirrors life’s challenges, its flavour profile every bit as nuanced as the human psyche.
Take away the cream and sugar, and you are left with a zero-calorie cup of black. There is a darkness to it that some shy away from, just as we instinctively run away from our problems, but persevere and the acquired taste turns into an appreciation. The bitterness mellows to a delicate earthiness. You realize that the murkiness is not to be feared, for it is in the dark that light shines its brightest.
You embrace it and let it propel you. As you do, you unveil the strength within yourself, your innate beauty blossoms. You find the Sher in you.
“In the depth of winter, I found within me an invincible summer.”
With the Lenore Collection from Sher by Twenty3, I wanted to bring to life the existentialist themes of numbness and disconnect in Albert Camus’ classic 1942 novel, The Stranger. The juxtaposition of isolation and living is a common urban phenomenon, with modern society often mired in an aimless existence. I also drew on Sherlyn’s battle against depression, and her recovery in which she finally uncovered the strength she never knew she had. We tend to forget that the bleakness of winter gives meaning to the relief of spring and the invincibility of summer. We must take the highs with the lows.
This juxtaposition is embodied by a colour palette of stark blacks and whites. The collection appropriates masculine silhouettes to create a new brand of femininity. Epaulettes, roll-up sleeves with button tabs, and flap pockets lend a militaristic, utilitarian feel to the garments, emblematic of the Strength in Femininity.
Embrace the strength and the darkness within. Challenge conventions, break expectations, live life on your own terms.
The Lenore Collection from Sher by Twenty3 launches Tuesday, August 11.
“She was sharp as a razor and soft as a prayer.” – Tom Waits
The Razor Collection from Sher by Twenty3 marks my first full collection for Twenty3, and is the first true representation of the new design philosophy that we’re injecting into the brand. I sought to embody all the qualities of Sher into the label, which is grounded in the idea that confidence comes from within. That is why I chose a monochromatic palette with varying shades of grey and black, because I wanted the subtle details in each piece to shine. The gaze is pulled to the strong, structured lines and exaggerated cuts, which is tempered by expert tailoring that accentuates the soft, feminine curves. The resulting pieces give the wearer an air of femininity while projecting an aura of unmistakeable strength.
While I created this collection with the modern working woman in mind, keep your eyes peeled for elements from the Razor Collection seeping into our runway collection for KL Fashion Week 2015. Here’s a hint as to what we’re working on – Derecho.
See you at the runway!
PS. Check out some of the campaign photos we snapped for the Razor Collection!
KL FASHION WEEK IS IN 11 DAYS.
I started this blog as a means for us to cope with the incredible excitement and stress leading up to Malaysia’s biggest fashion event. It’s a huge honour and a nice, giant rubberstamp of approval for the new direction that we’re taking for Twenty3. Where Twenty3 was about encouraging dreams and the spirit of perseverance, Sher by Twenty3 is our vision of a woman who is ambitious, confident, seeks out challenges and stands her ground, no matter what life throws her way.
The idea for Sher by Twenty3 was borne from a period of depression. Hospitalized with dengue and under attack from cyberbullies, I was at my rock bottom both physically and emotionally. Twenty3 was the result of gallons of blood, sweat and tears, and it hurt me deeply to see the things that were being said about myself and the company I'd created, by people whom I had called friends.
I wanted to shield myself in armor from the world, to cocoon myself away from reality. It was then that I began creating the persona of Sher in my mind. She was what I wasn’t, and everything I wanted to be. She was a fighter, but there was a beauty in her perseverance. She had strength, but never let it cloud her femininity. She was fit, not simply because of superficial purposes, but because she understood the value of self-improvement and self-empowerment through fitness. She knew what she wanted, and nothing could stop her. She owned her life, her goals, her dreams, and her self.
In the process of looking for Sher, I turned to fitness. Exercising is as much a mental activity as it is a physical one. Sometimes you think you can’t go on anymore but it’s just in your mind. The last five minutes is always the hardest but once you power through it, you'll feel an incredible sense of achievement. I learned to see every obstacle as that last five minutes. I learned to push on, and to focus on myself, and to love myself.
Together with our Creative Director, Sobu, we’ve brought through this idea through the outfits that we’ve created for Sher by Twenty3. I want Sher by Twenty3 to represent not just the ideal superwoman that we all want to be but don’t have the time nor the drive to be, but also to reflect the journey of discovering the Sher in all of us. Your journey may be through fitness as mine was, or it may be a simpler epiphany, but I envision an end goal for all of us – to be the best possible versions of ourselves as we can be, with no fear of what others think.