ABOUT THE DESIGNER
A lover of all things weird and wonderful, Michelle’s style is both dark and unconventional.
She is inspired by conceptual ideas like Surrealism, Brutalism, Futurism and the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, where beauty is found in the imperfect.
Hedonism, anarchy, and dystopian futures also filter through and inspire her collections.
Paris-based fashion designer and artist Michelle Choo was born in New Zealand in 1992, grew up in Singapore, and lived in London, Copenhagen, and Berlin before settling in Paris. Her dad is from Singapore and her mom is from Brunei. She is the founder and Creative Director of her eponymous brand, Michelle Choo, and separate accessories label, The Hedonist Shop.
She is also the Creative Director of the brand Himspire, and works separately on freelance fashion design projects for other brands. Besides being a fashion designer first and foremost, she has a great passion for art and creates abstract art pieces in her own unique style in her spare time.
She interned with Barbara Í Gongini in Copenhagen in 2019 and following that, did another internship in Berlin. She honed her fashion design skills at ESMOD Paris, where she graduated in 2018, as well as at Central Saint Martins in London, and TafTc in Singapore.
Prior to this, while in Singapore, she studied at business school SIM-RMIT and did fine art studies at LASALLE and NAFA. After finishing all her studies, she decided to combine her knowledge and experience in all fields - fashion, art and business - and put them to good use.
Her interest in fashion began at a young age, when her aunt, previously also a fashion designer, used to make and adorn clothes for her every year for special occasions. She grew up surrounded by creativity and entrepreneurship, and that has influenced and inspired her throughout her life.
During her time In Singapore she worked at various fashion companies, the first of which was at fashion magazine “CATALOG”, where she was a styling and editorial assistant. This included casting of models, styling and sourcing for photoshoots, and posting of mini-editorials on their social media page.
She then ventured into the atelier of well-known Singaporean tailoring brand, CYC, where she learnt patternmaking skills from the master tailor and was first introduced to the world of CAD (Computer-Aided Design). with this, she learnt to upload full-scale patterns to the CAD program, create seam allowances, and to grade sizes accordingly in the software.
Following that, her first experience as a fashion designer was at Ellysage, a Singapore-based clothing brand. This encompassed all aspects of the fashion design process, from concept to creation, and then to production and presentation. Most notably, she had the opportunity to work with fabric suppliers and garment factories in Guangzhou, China, where she also sourced fabric, met with factory agents, and visited factories on-site.
Other important experiences include dressing models for Paris Fashion Week at Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester, Uma Wang, Manish Arora, Masha Ma, and Y/project; Oxford Fashion Studios for London Fashion Week; as well as working at the “Tomorrow” Showroom in Paris during the fashion season.
ABOUT THE BRAND
The eponymous prêt-à-porter brand MICHELLE CHOO is an avant-garde, conceptual dark fashion label inspired by surrealism, brutalism, futurism and the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi.
The brand embodies the experimental, subversive, and rebellious, using a juxtaposition of different volumes and materials in its collections.
Draped fabrics vs. structural silhouettes, raw textures against clean lines, innovative cuts with traditional savoir-faire.
The brand strives to be as sustainable as possible, while not compromising on quality, vision and style. All materials used are either natural, recycled, biodegradable, compostable or as eco-friendly as possible.
Natural products used by the brand may be plant- or animal-based, but are all sourced as ethically as possible. All waste fabric produced from the manufacture of garments are recycled though partner companies.
The brand also contributes part of its profits in partnership to organizations that help combat climate change and environmental issues. (See blog for news and updates.)
BEHIND THE BRAND LOGO & SYMBOL:
The brand logo is made up of two parts - the brand name and the brand symbol.
The brand name in bold, simple font reflects its strong industrial and futuristic influence.
The brand symbol is simple but meaningful - rendering the initial "M" in a rough, raw feel.
It is a reinterpretation of the Germanic rune "Mannaz", ᛗ which represents mankind, humanity, strength and awareness.
The brand symbol is also inspired by the wabi-sabi Japanese concept: an aesthetic centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.
It is one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”, and is derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence – impermanence, suffering, and emptiness or absence of self-nature.
Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes - all aspects of which the brand embraces and is inspired and influenced by.