A Kazakh Design Student
Astana, Kazakhstan, now has the world’s biggest tent, a city-within-a-city called Khan Shatyr. To celebrate the completion of this monumental edifice and the new global prominence of Kazakhstan’s frigid, futuristic capital, Stylites’ Liang Cheng interviewed Siko, a fashion student from Astana. In Beijing for six years, he is currently finishing his first year at Raffles Design Institute, majoring in fashion design.
Siko 来自哈萨克斯坦, 在北京已经6年，能讲一口流利的普通话。Siko在莱佛士设计学院学时装设计, 刚上完第一年的课程。
LC: What attracts you most about Beijing? And why did you choose to come here?
S: Freedom, many things to do and fun places like Nanluoguxiang and 798.
I grew up on Bruce Lee’s movies, and I always thought the language they spoke was really interesting. But I didn’t realize there were different dialects – the language in the movies was Cantonese. After I finished studying International Relations for five years, a classmate of mine said to me “Hey, I’m going to Beijing to study Mandarin” and I thought “What a great idea!” I finally realized I was not studying Cantonese when I took a trip to Hong Kong. But its OK, I love Beijing anyway.
LC: Why did you choose Raffles? Likes and dislikes?
I always wanted to study fashion design, but never got a chance. I heard about Raffles from a friend and decided to try it out. What I like about it is the international teachers – you can choose to study how ever long you want and the subjects are all very interesting. You don’t have to finish the three year degree program. What I don’t like is that I don’t get enough homework; if I finish the work in class then there is nothing left to do. But I heard classes get a lot harder next year.
LC: What is your fashion philosophy?
S: I think fashion should come from your own ideas, and doesn’t have to follow trends. Everyone is different, so we should all have our own opinion on “what to wear”. And it’s so boring if you just follow trends all the time. There will always be those who like your style and designs, and those who don’t.
LC: What will you do after you finish at Raffles?
S: I want to work on fashion related jobs, then start my own brand in Beijing. I have all my friends here, and I’m so used to living in Beijing, it would be hard for me to leave this city.
S: 可以自由自在地做很多自己想做的事儿. 北京有, 南锣鼓巷,和798, 都是好玩的地方。
我小时候是看着李小龙的电影长大，我总是认为他们用的语言 发音很好听。但是我不知道中国有方言，而李小龙的电影里说的是广东话。当我学完五年国际关系以后，我的同学对我说：“我要去北京学普通话”，当时我认为这是个好主意. 我和同学来中国以后, 去香港旅游时才发现我在北京学的是普通话。但是没关系，反正我也爱北京。
S: 我一直想学时装设计，只是一直没有机会。我从朋友那儿听说北京有一个设计学校叫莱佛士，我决定尝试一下。我喜欢莱佛士的国际教师，你可以决定学习时间的长度。而且学习的内容都有意思. 我不喜欢的方面是作业不够。但是我听说高年级的作业会越来越多。
S: 我认为，时尚，应该是你自己的想法，并不需要跟随潮流。因为每个人是不同的，所以我们都应对自己穿什么有意见。如果你总是跟随潮流, 那就太无聊了。总是会有人喜欢你的风格和设计，总是会有人不喜欢。你不可能让每个人都爱你。
S: 我想找跟服装有关系的工作，然后在北京开创自己的品 牌。我还想继续留在北京因为我有好多朋友在这儿，我习惯北京的生活，我舍不得离开这个城市。
Text by Liang Cheng