BAZAAR gets up close and personal with D and the powerhouse duo of Bowerhaus, Elizabeth Lee Yong and Shentel Lee for an interview on the majestic inspiration behind this creative collaboration.
How did this partnership begin?
Shentel: Friendship, travel and a whole lot of love for Paris sparked this collaboration. Last year D and I caught up for coffee and told me she was going to Paris and I told her about an unforgettable breakfast that I had with my sister at Le Maurice. I told her if it was the one thing in Paris she does then this had to be it.
D: I had no idea this place existed. I frequented Paris a lot when I was studying in the UK but as a student, you won’t really go to a place of such grandeur and opulence. It wasn’t until I met the 2 sisters much later and became friends with them, that I knew about this place. I had always wanted to collaborate with Bowerhaus, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity, bringing together not just our awe for Le Meurice, but also Paris as a whole.
Elizabeth: When D came back, she called us up and said we had to share this magic and elegance and the dUCk x Bowerhaus collaboration was born. I couldn’t wait to create something truly unique that would blend our brands seamlessly.
“The scarves come in three choices of colours – Pink, Jade and Grey, with a special limited edition Mother of Pearl dUCk charm and matching bracelet. Pearls and crystals are the heros in our Limited Edition dUCk x Bowerhaus bracelet. Colours were selected in soft hues to complement the scarf it is paired with.” – Elizabeth
How did you find inspiration in Paris – was it by coincidence?
D: I studied in the UK and always popped by Paris on my breaks. I just love the lifestyle there, people were nice, culture is rich, beautiful places everywhere you went. Just sitting at one of the cafes with a good sketchbook, that was just bliss.
Shentel: Paris is so rich in history, and there is so much inspiration everywhere you look. For me as a designer, I really looked into the intricate and ornate interiors of Versailles for inspiration to this design. D knew exactly what she loved and was very specific on the look she wanted to convey.
Elizabeth: The breakfast room at Le Maurice was our main inspiration, and after all these years the place has not changed. We were thrilled to see the photos from Vivy Yusof’s recent trip there and her posts brought us right back to the grandeur and opulence that the French do so well.
Talk us through the prints on the dUCk scarves, what was the creative process like?
Shentel: When we started the design process we knew that Le Meurice would be the sole inspiration for our design. The hotel is so grand and luxurious we wanted all dUCk wearers to be transported to Paris when they wear it. The room we were most inspired by was the breakfast room decorated in grand 18th century style grandeur. We had to research French interiors of the time and knew we had to include golden laurels and pearls in our design. D knew very early on the look she loved and it was something both Elizabeth and I loved. It made the designing part very easy.
D: I wanted the scarf to have that classic touch, which is very different from dUCk’s contemporary designs. I loved gold and all things Parisian, the detailing of the architecture buildings, the grandeur… I could envision it but I didn’t really know how to design it as this style wasn’t my forte. That’s why it was the perfect partnership with designer Shentel because she understood exactly what I wanted… without me having to say much! I chose the colours to suit what I knew dUCkies would like, based on my experience. The soft colours are also a nice contrast to the strong and bold gold tones surrounding the scarf.
How would each of you style or wear a dUCk x Bowerhaus scarf on an off-duty day out?
Elizabeth: I would wear it as a scarf top or take it pool-side with me.
Shentel: I would use it for when I travel; I love to wear scarves on the plane.
D: I wear the hijab, so most definitely as a headscarf. But I’d wear it in different styles; classic everyday style or maybe even a turban for my more daring days.
What is the final message you wish to convey with this collaboration and to each of your target audiences – Bowerhaus being one and dUCk scarves being another?
D: The Limited Edition collection is a dedication to all women, and a reminder to us all to always dream, always love, always appreciate and to always seize the moment.
Three characteristics to describe the ideal dUCk x Bowerhaus woman?
D: Strong, Loyal and Creative.