Love for fashion
by Edwin Chandra. Posted on July 29, 2012, Sunday
I CANNOT do everything but I can do something – so I must not fail to do the thing that I can do.
This is the motto of Beatrice Ai Ling, 18, who aspires to become a famous Malaysian fashion designer one day.
“Fashion is my passion, style is my life and drawing is simply my hobby,” she said on why she finds fashion design one of the most pleasurable things to do — even though it is going to be a long, hard road for this youngest of four siblings.
Beatrice is fortunate her parents fully appreciate her aspiration and have supported her along the way even though her elder brothers, Gerald and Michael, are medical students now studying abroad while her sister, Stephanie is studying bio-technology in Kuala Lumpur.
Her father is the principal at Sarikei’s St Anthony
Secondary School while her mother is the headmaster of St Anne’s Primary School.
Simply loves fashion
Beatrice’s first interest was Japanese anime but her passion for fashion and style was kindled after
watching TV shows like America’s Top Fashion Designer, America’s Next Top Model and even Korean pop shows.
“Everything they wear, the designs from the top to the bottom, is simply phenomenal and fantastic – no
wonder most of the teens today are crazy about the
K-pop style of dressing,” she said.
The ambitious petite girl who is still undecided about her future career, said even though her parent’s expectations are high, she is not overly pressured to deliver or try to emulate the academic footpaths of her three straight-A siblings.
Now taking Foundation in Culinary Arts, Beatrice confessed she may not be a straight-A student
but is determined to stamp her own mark in the fashion design industry one day.
So far, she has a collection of almost 100 sketches of her dream clothing line she worked on during her free time after school.
“I simply adore the line of designer clothes being paraded by well-known models on the catwalk,”
said Beatrice who generates at least three design sketches daily from the comforts of her bedroom.
Fashion design gives her a sense of satisfaction and an avenue for her imagination to run wild.
To her, design can reflect the beauty she sees within the fabric and has the ability to transform people.
Fashion icons like Malaysia’s own famous fashion designer, Zang Toi and celebrated shoe designer, Datuk Jimmy Choo have also given her the inspiration to pursue the fashion designer dream.
During her leisure, Beatrice, who is a member of her school band, loves to play the guitar, the piano and violin.
Now in Grade 5 piano, she has competed in many inter-school talent competitions in Sarikei and has composed over 20 songs which she has shared with family and friends.
“I taught myself to play the guitar too and can play the violin as well,” she said.
Surprisingly, she and her father are the only ones in the family who are musically inclined.
Apart from performing in school shows, Beatrice also loves to play for her father who would sing along. Other times, she will sing her own compositions with him, showing her new compositions to him first.
While it took a while for Beatrice to come to terms with her ambition — “I was too busy being who everyone else thought I should be” — she has grown
to realise her talent in designing clothes must be
complemented by the ability to turn it into the actual thing.
No stranger to teaching herself new things, she is learning how to sew. Unfortunately, there are no proper dressmaking classes in Sarikei where she can enrol.
“My mother declined to buy me a RM2,000 sewing machine and that’s why I am saving up some money by working part-time at a stationery shop,” said the enterprising young lady.
In order not to burden others, she did not apply for a government scholarship to further her tertiary studies but instead, applied for a study loan from MARA.
“I did not do well in my SPM exam – that’s why it is difficult for me to get a government scholarship. But I will try to get a study loan instead,” she said.
Many of her friends do not understand why she wants to become a fashion designer.
“They always think I’m a bit strange because of my ambition which is a bit extraordinary, especially for a young girl from a small town like Sarikei.”
Beatrice wants to use her creativity to her advantage, creating her own line that would exude confidence, style and uniqueness for the enjoyment of others.
“I would also like to open up a fashion design institute or school to give Malaysians the opportunity to fulfill their dreams in the fashion industry just like me.”
According to her, there are lots of talented young Malaysians out there with creative skills and potential in fashion design but most of them do not know how or where to start.
Which is why she has applied for KTS Group’s Sarawak Youth Talent Development (SYTD) project.
The SYTD project
Held in conjunction with KTS Group’s 50th anniversary celebration, the SYTD project’s mission is targetted at helping to develop Sarawakian talents with its RM1 million grant.
Under this project, talented youths between 18 to 35 years old can apply to the KTS Group with their videos, artwork, proposals or essays that showcase their talent, along with brief details on how they wish to develop them.
The RM1 million grant will go to funding chosen applicants in pursuing their dreams of which the number of beneficiaries is not fixed.
As long as the applicants have passed the evaluation of KTS group’s committee members, successful applications will be provided with financial or material assistance.
The scope of talent under the SYTD project can cover a wide range of specialties in the arts, sciences, horticulture, agriculture, sports, engineering,
architecture, information technology, hospitality, mass communication and many more.
How to apply
Application forms can be obtained from KTS Holdings Sdn Bhd. For more enquiries, contact Karen Teng or April Lau at 082-345033. Alternatively, the forms can also be downloaded from www.seehua.com or www.theborneopost.com.
The closing date for registration is Aug 15, 2012.