Bianca Lim-Yip, Whitecliffe

From a young age, Bianca Lim-Yip's creativity has been her modus operandi which allowed her to express herself comfortably. Growing up, Lim-Yip knew she wanted to be creative, when she asked her mother what the role of becoming a fashion designer entailed, she described the experience as giving her a sense of clarity. “Looking back at it now, I guess that’s the reason why my thoughts and emotions are the primary inspiration for my designs,” said Lim-Yip.

While studying fashion at Whitecliffe, she learned the importance following the process. Realising that the final result will most likely differ from the initial design, and then learning to accept this as part of the process taught Lim-Yip the valuable lesson of patience.

For her graduation project, she presented a seven-look collection at the Whitecliffe Fashion and Sustainability show. Her collection B.Y.E. is an explorative expression of her thoughts and concerns regarding the next phase of her life following graduation. “A highlight during the process of making B.Y.E. was seeing everything come together. This collection is the first that I am happy with.”

She maintained her personal values of quality, longevity and individuality; the B.Y.E. collection was constructed upon these principles to develop and solidify Lim-yip’s design practice. Drawing on ideas regarding spatial-related semiotics and sustainable practices; this collection narrates the journey of a caterpillar which represents Lim-Yip’s current self, evolving into a butterfly, which depicts her future self through the breaking of its cocoon. Working alongside talented photographer, Kyrissa Kolisnyk, the B.Y.E. collection is both personal to Lim-Yip but also relatable to the viewer. “I always go into designing a collection with a current internal conflict that I aim to resolve somewhat. This year, it was of my fears and excitement for life after graduation.”

Lim-Yip used deadstock fabrics, natural fibres, environmentally friendly dye, fabric scraps, discarded plastic pipes and tussah silk interlining which supports her purpose of providing an alternative that does not compromise the wellbeing of future generations and the ecosystem. B.Y.E. took inspiration from works by Maison Margiela and Comme des Garçons. “Collectively, both brands inspired me to value philosophical expression over the commercial clothing framework within my designs.”

The young designer prefers designing but sees the importance of sewing as a skill as, without the ability to sew, there wouldn’t be clothes. She gained experience through interning for brands in New Zealand and Australia and was given roles like sorting paper for recycling to assisting in photoshoots. “I learned a lot about the industry and met many incredible people, with some even leading me to more great opportunities.”

When asked about the most significant challenge faced in the fashion industry, Lim-Yip explained that she had difficulty in staying true to herself.

“A weakness of mine is being a people pleaser,” she explained. “I can see myself in situations that will go against my design identity and values. I am slowly coming to terms that I cannot please everyone and that trusting my instincts and remaining myself is what’s important.”

Attending Whitecliffe has opened many doors for Lim-Yip, she is currently planning and saving for her overseas exchange in New York City which will allow her to further her experience as a designer.  “The idea of beginning a new life in a different country excites me, and I can’t wait to see where this opportunity will lead me, as a creator and as an individual,” she said.