Tea Chat With Designer Amalina Aman

Good day readers! 

This week's designer spotlight goes to a young designer named Amalina Aman. I had the opportunity to get cozy and have high tea(afternoon tea) for her from Australia and 7am tea for me from New York. We spoke briefly online and then she was kind to let me ask few fun and serious questions about her and her line.

Amalina Aman is a designer based in Sydney, Australia. Australia has been growing rapidly in muslimwear options for woman, which she has contributed to. Amalina has also been part of the increasing movement of muslimwear fashion in Malaysia and Indonesia. She has participated in both the Islamic Fashion Festival in Malaysia and the Indonesian Islamic Fashion Fair. Now, to some fun tea chat!

from designer's parents cafe in Australia.

ss: What color is the sky right now?

aa: Hmm the sky, well its 7am at the moment in Sydney so far its cloudy buy sometimes through the end of the day the weather seem to change, mind you we in summer in Sydney but it seem that we can never be able to catch the sun these days.

Amalina's parents cafe

ss: What does fashion and modesty mean to you?

aa: Well fashion:  Where do I start….I have loved fashion from a very young age.  I have always had a passion for fashion, in year 9 I decided Fashion is what I wanted to do.  I used to watched my grandma used to dressed me up with materials before she sew it to make different design, she put different clothes on me every day and I would sit and play with leftovers material next to her sewing machine…mind you my grandma is a self taught, she can’t read or write but she is so talented Masya Allah..It really fascinates me and after she told me to put it on and start modeling them for her.  Everything that she made people would place an order for it.  Gosh fashion to me is everywhere and everything, magazine, people wear, building, colours, nature, what my daughter wear, what’s the latest style…etc
When I started my business in 2003 there was hardly anyone designing modest fashion so at those time I wanted to make my design as modest as possible.  My first priority is for my Moslem women but off course with this in mind other non Muslim women can purchase my design which they done already.  
Modest design is very important in all my design, this reflected in all my styling for my model in all my fashion show….from head to toe…Insha Allah..

Designer Amalina Aman

ss: What kind of woman do you design for?

aa: I design for all type of women, women that love to be different and love wearing fashionable and modest clothing.  I have also started designing little girls clothing.

ss: Is there another reason other then the need of modest clothing options for the muslim women that you decided to take up on your own label?

aa: I guess I just love fashion, different ways designers inspired themselves from their own ideas.  With me when Inspiration comes I would sit and just start designing.  I love to look at different eras and looked at photos from my grandma’s fashion and latest fashion.  First is modesty but I would like to believe my fashion is different and unique, that’s the reason I wanted to do my own label to express my design through my name as my label.  
My whole family is quite unique, my late great grandfather was craftsman building 3 big yacht and building small models of yachts to sell and he never did any schooling.  And most of my great uncles and aunties are artist and most of my extended family is very crafty and very business minded.  To sum it up it’s in my blood..hehehe and I want to work to the best of my ability to achieve my dream…

Indonesia Islamic Fashion Fair 2012

ss: Who do you think is funnier Eddie Murphy or Jim Carrey?

aa: I like Jim Carey because I remember the first move I ever watched was “Mask” then he did this other movie called “dumb and Dumber, I thought that was so funny, but I do think both are super hilarious..hehehe

Indonesia Islamic Fashion Fair 2012

ss: How do you feel about trends?

aa: Trends are good.  We can follow or make up our own trends.  Sometimes from this seasonal trend I can get inspiration to design something different.

Amalina(far left) at the Arabian Night 2012, Emporium Function Centre

ss: What advice would you give an inspiring designer?

aa: Well…Be free to be yourself..always dare to try something different in anything that you design, any feedback that you get take it all in positive or negative cause you know it will make you stronger in your work and more determined to do better.  If you feel in your heart you wanted to do it, just go for it, if you don’t then you’ll never know if you can succeed or not!!  Good Luck!!!

Amalina at work in the Greenacre Community Festival in Sydney, Australia

ss: How do you inspire yourself? Is there a ritual or is it just something that comes?

aa:Well it’s not a really a ritual, I go by season…I looked,watched,read, or go near the beach, looking at natures then I will go with my mum to different café, we would searched for unusual cafes and attended vintage market and show and   then my inspiration would work overtime in my brain.  Or if I have a fashion show it’s easier as the organizer would let us know the theme of the show.

Designer Amalina doing what she loves best!

ss: What do you think has been the main factor to your growing success?

aa: I worked so hard in what I do, but if it wasn’t for my beloved mother I wouldn’t be where I am today.  I’m so blessed to have a mother and family that supported me in everything that I do.  My mother has pushed me to the limit and always tell me ”never to give up”.  She always says to me, ‘You never know if you never try’.  I don’t like rushing anything, I’ve always been the type of girl who like to everything just falls into place for me and everything happen for a reason.  It was great experienced been invited and co-ordinate all those fashion show.  I love the thrill, the sleepless night, stress, shouting and telling people off and choosing the right clothes for the models…hehehee and when it comes to crunch time all I do is shut off everyone and my mind.  I’m in my own world and that’s when all the magic happen.  I love what I do!!!  It’s wonderful…

Amalina(right) at Vogue's Fashion Night Out.

ss: What do you feel when you see someone wear one of your designed pieces?

aa:I’m so happy I get to express my passion for fashion.  No matter what department of category of the business you worked in.  If you work in the fashion industry you will live, eat, sleep and breathe fashion as all the fashionista say!!  
I always get happy when I get clients and customers telling me different types of fashion that they like to wear.  I have always liked a challenge.  I like to be different and I express it through my fashion and design.  I really love clothes.  I love each style and all the history behind each style.  I get excited when each season comes and I just can’t wait to start designing the next collection.  I love getting great feedback from my clients about their purchase.  The great thing is they always tell me how good the price is and quality of the item.
The best feeling for me is when my customers are happy with what they purchased.  It’s thrilling when people start wearing my range and that’s when I know that Alhamdulillah everything I worked so hard for is happening….

Amalina's mom(center)at Fashion, Faith, Fusion photoshoot in Australia.

ss: Are there any Islamic guidelines you use to design?

aa:In Islamic fashion everything had to be very modest in what you wear.  So Alhamdulillah I have that covered.  I had to researched a lot before I started designing for my collection.  I had a lot of different customers so everyone had different taste in fashion and style.  All of my design would be individual design for each person.

Even when I’m doing fashion show my design on all my models would have to be in hijab and covered from head to toe.  Nothing clinging or fitting on the body and I always tell them not wear heavy makeup.  Everything has to be a natural look no matter what season I’m in.  I’m very fussy and want everything 100% the way I imagine or pictured to be in my head.

Amalina choosing fabric

ss: A burger or a salad?

aa: Hmm, well I think I say Salad!!! I only like salad when someone else makes it for me.  I love different type of salad.  Well anything that anyone makes for me I eat. For burger it depends on what type.

Amalina's booth at Islamic Fashion Festival

ss: Your latest collection "Call Me Old Fashion" Tell me about why you called it this.

aa: Well my latest collection is called ‘Call me Old Fashion’ is inspired by the 1950s from the famous television show called,’ I love Lucy’ starring Lucille Ball.  This collection has been given a twist from the past.  With this collection I have used satin,lace,cotton jersey,lycra and chiffon.  It wasn’t only inspired by ‘I love Lucy’; it was also inspired with many 1950s movies and actress like Audrey Hepburn,Grace Kelly,Sophia Loren,Ruby Dee, Natalie Wood, Marilyn Manroe and Elizebeth Taylor.  I think when I was a young I was obsessed with classic movies and also with my study as a fashion designing you end up learning about all the fashion history and know all these beautiful actress was all a fashion Icon.
It was all the peterpan collars, lace,silk the full circle skirt, the cape, knitwear with little sweaters and cardigans and offcouse the pencils skirts, and also ruffles on the evening dresses.  The long gloves have to be in their handbag and hats to go with each outfit.  This era was so feminine and girly.  When I started designing these collections I just knew that I will love it so much. Something fresh and different. This collection was showcased in the “Indonesian Islamic fashion fair 2012” I had so much positive feedback.
From her collection "Call Me Old Fashion"

ss: How can a person in the U.S. purchase one of your designs.

aa:At the moment I’m only in Facebook but I do shipped internationally..Or if in Sydney I got a studio on top of my parent’s café….will be opening soon..My Facebook page is……www.facebook.com/Amalina.Aman

Amalina(far left) at the VIP Powerhouse Museum launch of Faith, Fashion, Fusion 

ss: East coast or West coast?

aa:Sydney is East coast.  I lived in southwest of Sydney in Lakemba.  I hope that’s what you meant.

Amalina(left) and her mom(right)

Thank you Amalina for sharing with us some tea time and most importantly contributing with your creativity and hard work to our wardrobe options. It was fun and I hope to see your designs visit us here in the U.S. sooner then soon. I wish you the best of success!



*images are a courtesy of Amalina Aman  

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