The Fashion Conversation has teamed up with Limkokwing University to profile some of the incredible students behind the Limkokwing Fashion Club. In our third and final profile, we talk to Maureen Kumala Dewi.
Born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, Maureen followed her sister abroad to study and made her way to Limkokwing University in Cyberjaya, Malaysia. Despite spending her first year at university studying accounting, Maureen knew she was always destined to pursue creative ventures. ‘I didn’t really understand fashion when I was a younger, but I always had this need to to be different from others’, she says. Now 23, and firmly ensconced in fashion, realising her childhood dream and continuing her love for designing, sewing and craft, we chat to Maureen about her university experience, graduate collection and plans for the future.
The Fashion Conversation: What are some of your favourite memories from Limkokwing University? What is one of the most important things you learnt during your time there?
Maureen Kumala Dewi: I love the diversity found on campus at Limkokwing. There is such a large international community and it is all under one roof. This diversity has taught me one of the most important things so far – how to communicate with people from different backgrounds and how to dive into their cultures.
TFC: What inspired your graduate collection? You’ve used really interesting materials in your collection, chains and leather, what did your design process involve?
MKD: I was inspired by my boyfriend’s game, Skyrim, which he always invites me to play along.The character’s outfits in the game were from the Viking era. I fell in love with the rough hardcore designs. I researched the Norseman from Scandinavia and got inspired by their chains and raw materials. I began my design process by cutting all the panels then puncturing holes on all the panels which I planned on braiding. When that was done I then sewed the panels together and braided the panels with long leather straps along with metal chains. It was so complicated as leather is quite a thick material and the metal chains made it even heavier. I enjoyed the whole process and it was worth it in the end, I think the braided design looks really beautiful.
TFC: You interned for Khoon Hooi, can you please tell us more. What sort of work did you? Any favourite moments?
MKD: Khoon Hooi is one of the most famous designers in Malaysia. I loved the experience of working there! I had the privilege of exploring everything related to the fashion industry, from how they run a design studio daily, the designing aspect of the fashion line to the marketing and promotional aspects of the brand.They allowed me to be involved in every project. Most of my friends proclaimed that I was lucky to get this internship placement at Khoon Hooi as it proved to be a one-on-one educational experience with the designer himself.
TFC: What influences your style – in your work and how you dress?
MKD: I love to be minimalist with bold statement accessories. I love earrings and necklaces! It’s not what, but who influences me. It’s our Creative Director at Limkokwing Fashion Club, Dato’ Tiffanee Marie Lim. She made me realise that appearance really matters.
TFC: Who is your favourite designer and why?
MKD: My favourite designer is Jean Paul Gaultier. He is a detailed-guy and his designs are fantastic!
TFC: What are some of your biggest achievements or moments you are most proud of so far?
MKD: I have two moments from my time as a fashion student that I am so proud of. The first one was when I won 1st runner up for iStyle KLIA 2015. It was a competition that we have to do weekly for 4 weeks in a row. The results were based on points accumulated on a weekly basis garnered from our weekly themed tasks and overall judge’s evaluation. And the second one was when my artwork was selected to be showcased in San Diego for the Textile Design and Fiber Art Proceeding Exhibition ITAA in 2013. Those were sweet moments indeed.
TFC: What are your goals for the future? What are some of your upcoming projects?
MKD: My goal is to become a successful fashion entrepreneur. Upcoming projects? They’re still a secret!