Fashion tips with Haili Z: Designer Spotlight - Alister Yiap brings new feel to fashion

By Haili Z
Nov. 7, 2013 at 5:07 a.m.

A model wearing  Alister Yiap's creation walks on the Perth Fashion Festival runway in Australia.

A model wearing Alister Yiap's creation walks on the Perth Fashion Festival runway in Australia.

Alister Yiap brings a completely new feel to Perth Fashion Festival with a talent for putting architectural design into fashion. Perth Fashion Festival takes place once a year in Perth, Australia, with all of Perth's local designers in Western Australia.

The talented designer Yiap's collections are designed at his studio in the heart of Perth and unlimited to creativity. The creations are beautiful and unique. Yiap is so incredibly talented that his pieces mirror a live museum as though it is an art exhibit in full.

His newest collection, Band of Gold, was created right before the Perth Fashion Festival. The pieces were styled over solid black form-fitting dresses.

Not only does the designer have a keen eye for designing unique pieces, but he also has a knack for teaching students in his off time to help them distinguish their talents to develop into a career. Here is a look into the designer's daily life as of now - meet designer Alister Yiap:

When did you start designing?

I started designing when I was young, but it wasn't until 2008 when I gained my Bachelor of Arts in jewelry design that I began to feel I was a full-fledged designer.

Do you see fashion as art?

Most definitely. Art is a broad topic, and I address my work as wearable art and wearable sculptures.

Do you have a background in architecture?

I don't have a background in architecture; however, I've always been told my work is very sculptural and could become public art. Interestingly enough my preference for college was fashion, art, and architecture. I'm slowly finding myself doing all those things as the years roll by.

What inspired you to start creating these pieces, and at what point did you realize that this would be your career?

We were asked in our final year to produce a collection of runway jewelry, which needed to be bold and able to be seen on the runway. Since then, I have been creating runway couture pieces. I've successfully collaborated with ZSADAR, a menswear label, and with Kooey for the Miss Universe National Costume Australia's belt and headband in 2011.

Where would you like to see your label in the next couple of years?

I'd be interested in working as a consultant and a designer on creatively interesting projects. I never like to pigeonhole myself into one discipline. I find my career adapts in this ever-changing world.

What's the next step for Alister Yiap?

I'm moving into public artwork and sculptures in the near future. I'm interested in getting a product development positioned so I am able to hone in on my production and the manufacturing side of things - before attempting to launch any new commercial products.

Are you from Perth? What do you love about your hometown?

Originally from Sabah, Malaysia, my family migrated to Perth when I was just 2 years old and I have grown up here ever since. I enjoy the convenience of comfort living, my family and friends are here and that's what keeps me grounded.

Where's your favorite holiday spot?

Melbourne or Bali would be my favorite holiday spots. They are both relatively close via a plane ride and it's just easy to do business and pleasure at the same time.

What is it like teaching students who are up and coming artist like yourself? How long have you been teaching?

Teaching a class keeps me sharp. Students come to me with design problems and my job is to come up with concept solutions to assist them. I've been lecturing now for five Years.

What is a typical day in the life of Alister Yiap?

I get up and see what is planned for the day. If I am not lecturing then I'll head to the gym in the morning, then have some brunch before heading out to the studio or I will take scheduled meetings.

What would you recommend for visitors of Perth to do on their stay here?

I recommend our many eats and treats. We have a growing fine dining industry to explore, and many sites to visit outside of the CBD.

What is your favorite piece from your recent creations for PFF?

I think my finale piece, titled 'The Queen' is my favorite piece from Perth Fashion Festival. This piece encapsulated the whole collection 'Band of Gold' in just one glance.

Haili Pue is the president of All Ze Details. Visit her website at



Powered By AffectDigitalMedia