Fusi tell me a fun fact about you!
I remember when I was small, I only had a few toys and no computer; and I was always home alone. But we did have basic sewing kits (thread and needles) and some used clothes at home. Thus, I started to hand sew clothes for my cousin’s dolls at spare time. It’s funny how I only liked to dress them, rather than liking the dolls in general. I remember my older cousins misunderstood that and brought several barbies for my birthdays afterward. More mannequins yay.
How did you get into fashion and designing your own collection?
I think my initial interest in fashion design was actually back in high school due to a very special teacher of mine. My freshman and sophomore French teacher was a costume designer, so she started a sewing club after school. She taught me how to use patterns and draw fashion illustrations. However, I did not really get into these during high school due to classes and tennis training. But we did hold a mini fashion show during school open house. The club slowly faded away, then I turned the sewing club into a fashion club in collaboration with FIDM. During my two school years with her, she also required her students to create two culture projects each year. The projects have to be related to French culture. I remembered I created two scrapbooks of research for two different fashion designers Christian Lacroix and Monique Lhuiller, made a collection of berets, and made a collection of doll’s garments replicating designs of Sonia Rykiel. During the process of researching fashion designers, I was fascinated by the details on couture dresses.
Growing up in a typical Asian family, I did not dare risk studying an “artistic degree”. Thus, I entered college with an Economics major,
thinking to study marketing and business. Two quarters passed, I realized economic was not my thing, but I was extraordinary passionate and awake when I took Design 001 ( intro to design) with Professor James Housefield. I changed my major to Design with no doubt after that second quarter in college. After that, I just to take classes that I’m interested and that I can do; and they just happened to be fashion related.
I guess it is fate. I never meant to get into fashion design in the beginning. Thank you UCDAVIS for having a design major and fashion courses.
Doing the collections is because I want to prove to my family that I’m not just playing studying fashion design. Another reason is that I really do enjoy it.
What people did know is that I used to be a very negative, overthinking person. During the process of designing and creating garments, I found myself the most focused and happiest. One of my friend’s sister remembered that when people played on their phone during our group dinner, I was embroidering a belt with needles and thread while chatting. The longest time my eyes stay open is three days. Not for other things, but for my garments. I can’t stay up one night for studying economic courses. After several of my projects come out, I gained a little confidence through people’s compliments. That’s when I have the initial thoughts of continuing fashion design and do the collections.
Having mentors also helped me getting into and finishing designing collections. Their passion of wanting to help you just keep get you going.
I love that your collections have bigger purposes and ideas behind them than simply being pretty. So when you’re starting up a new collection, does the concept or design come first?
The concept comes first, then design. There are countless designs possible. But to settle on that ONE design, I need a concept to convince myself that this is the worth the time and effort and has enough value in it. And I want to create meaningful designs, something that is not just wasting fabric just for the creation of a beautiful collection especially when I knew that these collections will be not on the market. And I’m always jealous of the society’s appreciation of scientists, doctors, teachers, etc. There is a common understatement about fashion designers that they are just superficial.
What is the higher priority, making sure the message is clear or that the garment is made the way you exactly imagined it?
I guess I can compromise with making msg clear and made the garments same way I initially imagined. But making msg clear maybe has a higher priority. I found that I like to change designs as I working on them if they turned out to not going along with my concepts.
The XYS Collection is your ready-to-wear designs so does that mean it’ll be on the market for purchase?
People thought XYS collection will be on the market. At least for now, I will say no, but maybe in the future when I have enough industrial experiences.
Just creating a collection is easy compared to getting it into a production process and marketable products.
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