From tops to skirts and dresses, the springtime trend of buttoned-up ensembles still proves to be popular this time of year. Reminiscent of shirt-waist looks that are a massive trend in the '40s, check out how the Community added their modern twist to this resurging 'it' trend.
...and the inspiration behind her bold collections
Our “I Am Her” series features the female movers and shakers of the industry to learn how femininity and power coincide beautifully and seamlessly together.
Just like an abstract painting or a non-representational sculpture, the story behind a fashion designer's collection is often shrouded by mystery. Their craft, manifested through fabrics and threads, have their own way of captivating an audience even without the aid of words. But while some go for more vivid and relatable ensembles, Filipino designer KC Pusing takes her own stride at creating edgier, darker and raw creations with roots from the most unexpected inspirations. Ahead, we chat with KC about her collections, how her love for art bloomed into creating her own fashion label, and how she took aprons and video games to high-fashion status.
Fill in the blank: I am a fashion designer, a _________ and a __________.
... an INFJ/ENFJ and a Leo.
Why did you choose to venture into the fashion industry?
I've always wanted a job that [allows me to use] my creative juices. But I used to be in denial about wanting to work in fashion so I worked in a corporate setup. But... it's unexplainable. It’s like how you love a person but you can’t put it into words — you just feel it and you just go for it. I would always consider venturing into fashion as "unexplainable love".
Your brand is known for its luxury streetwear vibe, often inspired by bold themes. Where do you usually get your ideas when it comes to conceptualising your pieces?
Usually, my process starts with planning a theme. Then I look for ideas that will fit the theme by researching. [My methods include] going to the art museums, bookstores, and even just walking around. I have a notebook where I write random things to build concepts and organise my mind because I'm an overthinker.
What are your favourite pieces from your collections?
For The Isolation, my favourite pieces are the androgynous jacket cape [from the first image] which is a perfect statement piece, the scarf [in the second image] because a scarf with pockets is rare, and the apron [in the third image], because I think they should be the next trendy accessory.
For Silent Rebellion, I chose [the look in the photo below] because I love the combination of the dress, the apron, and the jacket. Remove a piece or just pair it with some heels, sandals, sneakers, or boots and it will still look great.
What are your dreams for the KC Pusing brand? What can we expect in the future?
[We're living] in a reality where people are inclined to buy more imported brands than local ones so it is hard to find a niche. I hope that someday, more people will support my brand in order for me to sustain my art [and my passion]. I would be delighted if my clients wear my creations as a part of their closet essentials.
Also, no definite plans yet — which makes it more exciting. [That's] the beauty of the unknown.
What are your Clozette essentials?
I am usually drawn towards collared shirts (short or long sleeves) in neutral colours, paired with wide-legged shorts or skirts as I need to be comfortable while doing designer duties. For shoes, I usually wear boots or sneakers as I love to walk. But don't get me wrong, I still wear heels! It's just that in this career, comfort is a must since I am a hands-on designer.
Be experimental with your style [when you're young] because as you grow older, your choice and tastes will be different. With this, my top fashion tip is to invest in easy-to-pair neutrals to make it easier to add colours, prints, or accessories [as your style grows].
This interview was edited for brevity and clarity.
r brevity and clarity.
More empowering stories about women here.
Perfect for the year-round heat
Even as folks who are used to year-round summer, we all still struggle with looking stylishly hot — pun intended — in warm weather. So the key to surviving the daily rising temperatures and humidity? Choose light and breathable materials. Ahead, make sure you pick out these tropic-friendly fabrics to ensure your fashionable looks are as comfortable as ever even under this heat.
ALEXANDER McQUEEN Cotton flowing floral dress, USD4,544
Easily accessible and tried and tested against the heat, it's no wonder why cotton is one of our most favourite fibres for summer. The interlocking threads of this natural fabric create airy loops that allow for proper air circulation, giving your skin enough ventilation even under the immense heat. Instead of taking the safer route with shirts and camis, try on cotton dresses for a more feminine feel.
ZIMMERMAN Juniper linen jumpsuit, USD530 (net-a-porter.com)
One of the upsides of this lightly weaved fabric is how quickly it dries, making it perfect for sweat-inducing days. Similar to cotton, it also delivers maximum lightness and breathability. It makes for the perfect jumpsuit material considering that you are ensured style and movability without compromising comfort.
MARNI Two-tone printed silk crepe de chine shirt, USD980 (net-a-porter.com)
It's no secret that silk is amazingly smooth and cool to the touch, making it an ideal luxurious sleepwear material. But besides the bedroom, this natural fabric also makes colours extra vibrant, making it a great choice if you're looking for an eye-catching addition to your wardrobe. And did we mention it's hypoallergenic, too? No need to worry about rashes caused by the heat and perspiration!
6IXTY8IGHT Mustard bell-sleeved rayon top, Price unavailable
Next on our list is this man-made fabric made from cellulose that works like a chameleon. Can be crafted to imitate the look and feel of cotton, linen, silk and wool, rayon is also breathable and great in adapting to humidity. Just like its make, pieces made using this fabric are great for day-to-night agendas.
SKIN Chambray shorts, USD110 (net-a-porter.com)
Going for denim is a classic fashion move but it can be a crazy sweat trap in contrast with the scorching heat. Don't fret! Chambray is a great alternative that gives the same denim effect, minus the heaviness and discomfort. This woven fabric is made of cotton with a higher thread count, making it perfect for keeping you cool amidst the humid weather. Go for the staple choice of chambray shorts for a breezy casual look.
MSGM Pleated neon lace midi skirt, USD212 (theoutnet.com)
Go with lace for a fun and flirty look. This versatile weave effortlessly elevates a look without the struggle of discomfort with its close-knit pattern that allows for proper air circulation. Embrace your feminine side with a wide variety of skirts, shorts, or even dresses that come in this warm-weather-friendly choice.
Next, go logo loco with these stylish belts.