How a Malaysian makeup guru used her sense of beauty to design ready-to-wear

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From creating high-impact looks using brushes and rouge to creating outfits that can make a person stand out, a Malaysian makeup artist proves that it’s never too late to try something new.

Steven Sunny, 44, recently collaborated with department store Aeon to launch a ready-to-wear collection. It includes 10 variations of end-of-year arrivals from the in-house label Scarlet. Her designs range from pretty dresses to cool pieces.

“I would say fashion has always been my passion,” says Steven Sunny, who studied fine art. “But this partnership remains a surprise for me. I never thought I would design clothes.

Her experience in the beauty industry spans over two decades. He is also highly sought after by global beauty brands, having made a name for himself as a makeup guru.

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“I had two weeks of sleepless nights! With around 130 pieces, the entire collection was hand-sewn by me,” says Steven Sunny.

“I picked up the ready pieces and embellished them in different ways to bring out the ‘attitude’. Don’t get me wrong, the original designs are fine, but what I put in there are my own elements and thoughts.

For example, there’s a red two-piece outfit that he cut out and simplified for a cooler aesthetic. He also added a harness to provide a kind of avant-garde feeling.

Another, blue, was made from a simple black dress. It now has an oversized outer layer of sheer fabric that gives it a fresh, youthful vibe.

the Scarlet x Steven Sunny is fun, dynamic and comfortable. The message is that a person’s existing clothes can be styled in different ways to bring out their personality.

The collaborative collection offers women a fresh and youthful aesthetic. Photo: Aeon“I think what I want to show is that you can wear things differently,” says Steven Sunny, of his designs based on the brand’s existing ones.

“They are made to be easily mixed and matched with what you already have. If you empty your wardrobe, I’m sure you will find clothes you no longer wear. So why not dress them up with pieces from this collection?

On the transition from beauty to fashion, he says the two industries have always been linked. For him, it’s just another way of working to perfect looks – and using different tools.

“Fashion is seen as a new challenge for me. It’s almost like I started as a makeup artist all those years ago,” he comments.

“But the style industry, as a whole, has always been tough. What I always aim for is to inspire people and bring out their inner beauty.

Steven Sunny says his aesthetic has definitely evolved over time. It took him all those years to find his true style, which he describes today as “dark, punk and a bit edgy”.

According to him, everyone’s point of view changes over time. More so over the past two years, which he says has made comfortable clothing the number one choice.

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His collection for Aeon is also dedicated to this.

“It’s not just about being physically comfortable. Comfort for me is about having confidence, and that’s what I tried to offer with the collection, something easy to wear that maybe everyone can relate to.

Although he still does not know if he can still be called a designer – maybe more than a stylist, but he is happy to have accepted the collaboration. He says he will likely continue to offer new collections in the future as a personal business.

“Don’t limit us and just be positive. You never know what you can do. Everything is possible.

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