Quite Contrary

Featuring

Shan
Design

Wearing

Skirt

Ostwald Helgason

Ring

custom-made

We asked Shan what she might have done if she weren’t a designer at IDEO. She said, “When I was in college, I entertained the notion of being a jazz recording artist and live performer,” she says. “The first bar a friend and I tried to peddle our services to at Club Street sent us home with $50, saying the stuff was too sleep-inducing! But I say, fail early to succeed sooner. We’ve both found our place in the world.” One of the things she loves most about her job is being able to help others draw out their own personal forms of expression. One of the biggest things she’s learnt and is still learning about is the fact that everyone needs to feel recognised. “Not just for their successes, but for their desire to contribute,” she says. “The trick is learning to balance the sense of collective with advancing the effort, because things need to get done.” When asked what advice she has for other creatives, she said, “try not to have all the answers as the beginning.” When she’s not at work, Shan enjoys all the “sheer joys of consumption, like any Singaporean worth their salt.” This includes shopping, eating, drinking good coffee, and reading, and doing all these in good company. She also shared the story behind her wedding ring, made out of three different kinds of gold. Just like her ring, Shan’s personal style is anything but conventional. She enjoys textures, silhouettes, and patterns, like the skirt she’s wearing today (“It’s designed by Ostwald Helgason,” she says) and her shirt, which was tailor-made by Hong Kong tailor Ascot Chang. “They usually only do menswear, I almost had to beg them to give a women’s shirt a shot!” For now, Shan seems to be content where she is. “We’re very fortunate in Singapore to have a healthy creative community that is growing in new capacities all the time, and consists of very nice people!” Shan was last seen here.

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