Khai’s collection was heavily inspired by her interest and fascination in Japanese culture, and for this project she focused on Japanese monsters (Yōkai) for her narrative. The collection is called HENSHIN which is loosely translated as transformation, and Khai chose this particular name for her project as she is ‘morphing’ the monsters into her handmade handbags. She has done this by simplifying the shape and form of each monster and transformed through use of various interlocking techniques.

Khai has also researched different topics throughout. One of the main topics was armour and how it was made. Her research into armour is what inspired her to create her own interlocking techniques. Throughout the development stage she has explored various shapes that she extracted from the monsters and really investigated the best way to connect the shapes. Her sustainable approach is mainly her materials, by using leather offcuts and vegan leather. However, her designs are also sustainable as she explored design longevity and the reusing of her cut-out waste. She also explored the use of laser-etching as a method of low-impact printing.

Delving deeper into Japanese culture, she has also explored a form of Japanese braiding called ‘Kumihimo’ (literally translated as intertwined cords) which featured in one of her bag designs. The collection has a unified theme, yet each handbag has its own story relating to a Japanese monster. You can see where Khai has gotten her inspiration from for the shape of her handbags, and how she has experimented with digital visualisation of the bags before then turning it into reality.