"PASSAGE (the collection) has gentle curves in place of sharp edges – a reminder to be kind to each other, especially as we weather through this metaphorical change of seasons. The fit is a little loose and not baggy, so that we can move with the ease that we’ve gotten used to."
― Karyn Lim, Industrial Designer
Share with us a little about yourself, your background, your fashion style.
I’m Karyn. As an industrial designer, I have designed various types of products including furniture, home accessories, brand merchandise, packaging, and now, clothing! My style is quite eclectic and not really following trends. My wardrobe is built around basics and thrifted vintage pieces that I can wear and re-wear for years.
Tell us a little about this collection.
This capsule collection is the second that I’ve designed for Barehands. Our first collaboration, MAYFAIR, was designed and launched during the whole pandemic lockdown season in Singapore. We had such a good collaborative energy between us that we just had to do another collection together!
When Barehands told me that they’ll be bringing in black and white as new colour options for linen clothing, the first typology that came to mind was “boyfriend shirt”. I mean, everyone needs a classic white linen shirt in their wardrobe, right?
While MAYFAIR was about looking effortlessly chic taking video calls from home, PASSAGE is about looking smart yet comfortable during this time of transition, be it going back to working in the office, starting a new job, getting serious about a side-hustle, or finally going on that overdue holiday. PASSAGE features semi-formal details such as button-up collars and modest lengths balanced by side slits. It has gentle curves in place of sharp edges – a reminder to be kind to each other, especially as we weather through this metaphorical change of seasons. The fit is a little loose and not baggy, so that we can move with the ease that we’ve gotten used to. It’s also forgiving to some of us who might be carrying extra grams from staying home.
The most versatile piece from this collection is probably the shirt dress. It can be layered or accessorised to suit different moods. Dress it up with a high-neck inner-shirt, slim leather belt, and a pair of heels for a smart look. On a casual day, use the linen belt that comes with it, skip the belt completely, or wear it as outerwear.
What would be your favourite picks for this collection & how would you pair them?
The nice thing about capsule collections is that we need only a few quality pieces to accompany us everywhere. I believe that clothing should be functional to the body, climate and lifestyle.
For men, it’s the long-sleeved linen shirt paired with pleated pants that taper at the ankle. This set is suitable for any day of the week, depending on how it's styled. I imagine it to suit women as well. I enjoy putting together an androgynous look sometimes. The pants could be paired with a simple top, and the shirt worn as the oversized boyfriend shirt.
For women, the wide "flowy" vibe of the pleated culottes balances well with the sleeveless blouse. We’ve loosened the collars in this collection so it feels relaxed even if the buttons are done all the way up. We did a lot of R&D on the culottes to perfect the curve, silhouette, and flow of material. Its curved hem is a unique detail that can elevate a basic look – pair it with a tube top or plain cotton tee.
What is your typical workday like?
I like to start my day with breakfast, usually a bowl of yoghurt with granola, and a pot of tea. Mornings are when I set my intentions for the day. It could be prioritising the to-do list, or planning a process of research and exploration for a new design project. If I’m up too early, I might read a book or watch a video. I work from home these days, and usually take meetings in cafes. I like to put on some music for good vibes while preparing to head out. Here is a little GRWM (get ready with me) playlist to set the mood for a productive day. :)
by Navaz Batliwalla
Nous Les Arbes (Trees)
by Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
by Lorrie Moore
More about Karyn Lim
The PASSAGE capsule collection will be available online 16 JUNE, 8PM (GMT+8).