We spoke to Melbourne based fashion designer Claudia Ting about her creative practice, and how it has been informed by heritage and her own ethnic history.
Can you tell us your name, age, and a little bit about yourselves?
"My name is Claudia, I’m 23 and I’m from a small town in East Malaysia. I recently graduated from the Fashion Honours program at RMIT and currently live in Melbourne. I love dogs, Sarawak laksa, Yohji Yamamoto, Sandra Bullock movies and vintage clothing."
What made you want to study fashion design?
“I’ve always loved drawing and painting but only decided to pursue fashion when I learnt how to sew after high school. I love how dress can tell so many stories and being able to make anything I dream up in my head is also an awesome perk."
Every artist/maker has their own unique creative ritual, so what’s yours?
"Watching chick flicks and sitcoms while making, always having music on while working and chai lattes."
What was the first thing you ever remember making?
"A baju kurung, a traditional Malay costume."
Can you tell us about your latest body of work?
“My graduate collection tells the story of the Chinese diaspora in Malaysia. I wanted my final project in uni to be a reflection of myself, so I looked into my ethnic history for inspiration. I started the collection by deconstructing traditional garment archetypes associated with this history. The Baba and Nyonya loved their patterns and colours, while traditional Chinese dress fascinated me with their interesting garment closures, and the British were exceptionally skilled in creating structure with fabric. I combined all these elements and interpreted it in a way that would tell a story of my origins through my own eyes."
If you could design a garment for one person in the world, who would it be for?
You can view Claudia's graduate collection in Issue One of Good Material, available now!
Illustration by Lucinda Houghton.
Images provided by Claudia Ting. Instagram @claudiating_