In a Buro exclusive with designer Linda Hao, we sneak a peek into the workings of Yesah's final collection, Tibet Dreaming
Evoking the enigma and reverence of the lush, borderless Tibetan landscape is Yesah's first fall/winter collection, which will also be the homegrown label's last as it closes following a highly successful three-year run.
First established in 2012 by Shanghai-born designer Linda Hao who translated her personal quirky style into a couture wardrobe for the masses, Yesah has grown tremendously in the few years since its inception. Associated with fearless, spirited and dynamic style, Yesah was quickly snapped up by fashionistas and was soon making its mark on the international scene with retailers in other Asian countries, such as Hong Kong, China, Thailand and even in New York.
With six solid collections comprising of garments and accessories under its belt, Yesah garnered a cult following from those who admire Hao's ability to channel her colourful personality and innate understanding of fashion into unique and iconic pieces. For her exemplary work in the local fashion industry, Hao has also graced the 55th birthday issue of Her World as part of their 55 Millennials feature on young women aged 20 to 34 with interesting and inspiring careers. She was also featured in Female's F-Collective series which sheds light on women who have made a difference in Singapore's creative scene.
"For the longest time, I've seen Tibet in my dreams and felt this special connection with the place."
Having earned her stripes, it is befitting that Hao's last collection for Yesah is the penultimate creation — Tibet Dreaming is the culmination of her dreams and experiences. In a tribal-inspired collection that blends the mystical with the modern, Hao returns to her Chinese roots and looks to Tibetan cultural costumes and emblems to create fresh, bold silhouettes with vibrant colours to represent elemental tributes. With complementing details like intricate trimmings, faux fur and plush quilted fabrics, Tibet Dreaming promises to set you apart from the rest.
Speaking to the creative mind behind Yesah, Linda Hao lets us in on what fuels her creativity which gave life to Tibet Dreaming, as well as her plans for the future. We find ourselves caught up in her effusive enthusiasm of dreams, art and fashion.
In creating the Tibet Dreaming collection, you've backpacked across some of the most beautiful expansive places in the world. How did you find the experience in Tibet?
I dream a lot when I sleep and it is in my dreams I find inspiration. For the longest time, I've seen Tibet in my dreams and felt this special connection with the place. I really wanted to explore my dream and experience it in reality. I also needed a long overdue trip where I could find peace and solitude, and all I could think about was Tibet. So I made the 10 day trip to Tibet happen. The experience was sensational, overwhelming and incredibly surreal to me. It's the first time I've hiked up 5,200 metres above sea level.
What aspects of Tibetan culture was most fascinating and inspiring to you and how did that translate to the collection?
I'm really glad that I had a chance to interact with the local monks. Just being with them gave me something that words simply can't describe. When I was at the Drepung Monastery, I followed a group of monks to observe how they do their daily rituals. Watching them I felt this overwhelming surge of energy internally and I started to tear. I couldn't explain why or how it happened. All I knew was that I received so much good energy and pure blessings in return that I felt recharged.
This trip did not completely inspire the collection because I created it even before I went to Tibet. I went there looking for something and when I came back I found the answer — that this shall be my last collection.
Describe the woman you see wearing this collection. Kind, soulful and liberating. I've always imagined a woman who has just set herself free, dancing in the wild.
What is your favourite piece from the collection and and how would you wear it? I really like the high slit wrap skirt because I bought the fabric in Tibet! It's just amazing how it turned out as it wasn't planned at all. It was a last minute add-on because I fell in love with the prints. I would wear it with a vintage T-shirt and my Converse.
I'm sure this is not goodbye. What can we expect from you in the near future? In general, I just want to set my creativity free and make art with creative people. Right now, I'm planning to start a photo journalism magazine project with some friends. For something more full-time, I'm planning to work somewhere else away from Singapore, although that's still in the wings for now.
Discover Yesah's Tibet Dreaming collection here and look out for an exclusive exhibition that will be taking place during the store opening of Mporium @ Suntec City later in the month.