Melinda Looi is the versatile child prodigy of a hardworking seamstress. Moving between art and fashion, she paints, cuts, sews and experiments to transform fabrics with a radical obsession.
Melinda trained initially at the La Salle School of Fashion in Kuala Lumpur before winning a scholarship to continue her training at the parent school in Montreal, Canada based on an outstanding graduation collection in KL which also earned her the Malaysia Young Designer Award in 1995.
In the following Q&A, the couturier and mother of four opens up about her life thus far….
How have you and your family adapted to the new norm?
For me, it is already normal. It is stressful at times but I still feel lucky to be alive. Of course, it is not easy, especially because I still need to go to work and not being able to help the kids with the online classes. This on- off lockdown is not helping us at all. We should have a proper lockdown … it will help our frontliners with their job. But otherwise I do enjoy having my children around when I don’t have to work, especially when we can cook together, watch TV and just do silly things.
What’s the biggest lesson learnt during the pandemic?
Love yourself … so you can love others and take care of others.
What is your beauty routine like?
For me, it’s a super simple routine. Maybe because I have quite good skin so I just need to cleanse and put moisturiser on during the day and night. I don’t do facials, maybe once in a blue moon if I can find time. I do take loads of soupy food, especially those Chinese herbal soup. No deep fried and greasy food for me! These help a lot. I started very young in taking care of myself with proper food and lots of healthy fruits that are good for our system. Also, I listen to my grandma’s advice which is to avoid iced drinks as much as possible.
What are your must-have products?
I depend on good moisturisers such as La Mer The Moisturising Soft Cream and Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream. Also a must have is L’OREAL Paris Dermo-Expertise Gentle Lip & Eye Makeup Remover.
When you have free time, what forms of wellness do you indulge in?
I love massages and acupuncture. Before I had kids, I used to enjoy going to a spa with my BFF. Since we both became mums and got busier with our work and she moved to another country, I stopped.
What are your plans for the rest of 2021?
Take things one day at a time. Don’t rush because we are still at the stage of uncertainty!
Your advice to those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t follow my footsteps. Follow your heart. What your heart tells you to do, go for it. Self-love is the most important of all.
What is your proudest accomplishment over the years?
I guess being a mum is my proudest moment.
Myeppo Talks To… is a weekly series in which we profile dynamic personalities. It is out every Monday. For more on Melinda, follow her @melindalooi on Instagram.