Meet Meiling, a Trinidadian fashion designer specializing in Ready-to-Wear and Bespoke fashion for women.
Meiling's mother was one of Trinidad's leading dressmakers. She grew up in her sewing room among ribbons, thread, and buttons, knowing from a very early age that she wanted to follow in her mother's footsteps. Meiling believes that every brand has its own unique signature, hers being an attention to the detail of garments and keeping a lot of old embroidery work in her pieces. She sees this as imbuing each garment with a bit of, "human love". "In my work, you'll find a lot of embroideries done by hand," says Meiling, "hand beading, and other details distinguish my brand. I am also known for my take on white shirts. Each white shirt is a little out of the box in its design."
Her design process varies from piece to piece, from sketching a design beforehand, to draping on a mannequin. Because Meiling lives in the Caribbean. she doesn't have as many fabric options readily available, so she often has to source the material before she can begin working with it. She usually starts with a sketch, drawing in her sketchbook. he describes her style as very minimal. "Less is more." says Meiling.
The hardest part of Meiling's day to day, is dealing with the daily stress of running a business and wearing many hats, while also managing the creative side of her job. When dealing with creative blocks, she believes that the best thing she can do is to step away from the project and clear her head. Before creating a new collection, she often becomes overwhelmed when trying to come up with new ideas and concepts. She chooses to back away and meditate, read a book, watch a movie, or engage in another creative activity that might help her spark new ideas.
For Meiling, her biggest accomplishment in her career is the sheer longevity she's been able to maintain throughout 40+ years of business. "That I still have people wanting what I create is a great achievement." says Meiling. She aims to continue to make waves in the industry and grow as a designer, staying relevant and not fading into the background.
Meiling's advice to aspiring designers? "First, I would say that education is necessary and then internship. The world has changed so much since I started working. Everything seems to be moving and changing so fast, it's easy to get caught up and feel rushed as a young designer. Give yourself time. Don't try to get from A to Z in just a year. Give yourself time to grow. Always be curious."