A beautiful message from Vivian to me: “always believe in yourself. If you create something new and you think it will happen, then you have to make it happen. If you think sometimes that it is impossible to create then you have to think it through in your head, keep going, never give up and somehow the result will come out. You have a beautiful heart and always remember to carry that on in your life”
When I started working at Vivian Chan Shaw three years ago, I didn’t know much about knitted garment. I thought to myself: how am I going to sell these expensive pieces without knowing the real value behind them?
The first thing I said to Vivian in my interview was that the best way to promote her collection is by showing customers how to appreciate the art of her work. It’s not like selling a jacket that has a clear function from the buyer’s perspective. It’s all about the character. Like a new teacher in a school full of children to look after, Vivian’s garments become my children. I have to find these children a new home. I need to understand the character of each piece to be able to get them a new home.
After working in the shop day by day and interacting with customers, I learned more about the value of Vivian’s work. The key of her collection is the material used, each piece was thoughtfully created with high-quality Italian yarns blending beautifully to perfect colour combinations. The material was fluid, falling over the body like second skin, giving shape and elegance.
Vivian Chan Shaw’s version of the retail world is also about relationship with customers. Customers are our friends. Claudia is like my big sister; she always inspires me to think positive. Working with her has taught me how to create positive energy around people. This is also the key to great customer relationships.
I present this book “FLOWER CIRCUS” as my personal gift to Vivian Chan Shaw for her 80th birthday. It reflects on the extraordinary life of Vivian Chan Shaw and her fourty years of creative contribution to Australian Fashion, from the early playful year, the enjoyment, the courage, the celebration and the dance of life to the colourful journey of grace.
Glenn Thomas‘ testimonial
It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to photograph these classic Vivian Chan Shaw designs for this book. To be honest, I was previously unfamiliar with any of Vivian’s work. But learning that some of these outfits had been displayed at the Powerhouse Museum before, and seeing how timeless the designs were, I was quite impressed. Even though quite a few were decades old, they still looked as cutting edge as ever.
The photo shoot ran very smoothly. For the actual photography, it was kept simple with just single reflector to handle any additional lighting needs. Everyone involved did a great job on the day, working right through until the sun set. And thankfully all the hard work payed off. Definitely a worthwhile project to be involved in.
Felicia Ta‘s testimonial
What a pleasure to be the Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist for the ‘Flower Circus’ album featuring 15 of Vivian Chan Shaw’s valuable vintage pieces. Some of these garments have had been on the exhibition of the Vivian Chan Shaw 40 years of Restropective and some have had been on display at the Power Museum,Sydney.
‘Flower Circus’ is a meaningful and special present from Angela May Kurnia, a birthday wishes that comes with a special message to Vivian Chan Shaw of her retrospective garments which have for decades attracted international attention.
Angela had a clear vision of how she would like to pursue the ‘Flower Circus’ concept, Pulka bun was the first hairstyle to begin, then branches out to a messy bun, loose braids, side bun and loose out. Each of the 15 garments has had the hair and makeup moods handpicked to captivate the fashion in the 70s and 80s, yet bring out the East meets West in fashion.
‘Flower Circus’ celebrated Vivian’s 80th birthday, a lifetime Australian designer known all over the world as a source of an amazing exclusive knitwear.
We hope Vivian enjoyed and touched with the Flower Circus – a tribute look book towards her very special 80th birthday.