Amelia’s Magazine interviews CSM MA Womenswear Graduate Yang Du about the research and process behind producing a runway collection. Unsurprisingly for one who has studied with Vivienne Westwood, Giles Deacon and John Galliano and whose inspirations are Victor & Rolf and Castelbajac, Yang Du’s collections are the epitome of surrealist fashion design.
Yang Du presented her SS10 collection as part of On|Off (see previous Amelia’s Magazine coverage at London Fashion Week). The collection of bold coloured oversized dresses are an eclectic interpretation of everyday clothes, whilst representing the possibility of fun to be had when adorned in the following garmets.
The press release mentions that her “previous two collections are like my travel diaries…” Subsequently this interview started with the following question:
What was the inspiration behind the new collection and did it involve an aspect of your recent travels?
In April I visited Ecuador for three weeks; I spent a few days in the rainforest and hung out with the local children. We sang, danced and drew together, it was wonderfully peaceful. Those kids live in very basic condition; they all were these over-sized T-shirts which were left by previous visitors. These discarded and re-used t-shirts were the starting point of my collection. They are fun designs that I see people wearing.
How was London Fashion Week as part of On|Off?
It was a great experience to work with OnlOff and they have been incredibly supportive through the whole process of Fashion Week, I was able to go to Paris as of the On|Off showroom. There has been great encouragement to work with someone who are special and inspirational to you.
How was Paris?
The high light for me would be going to the JCDC Show, and meeting Castelbajac back stage.
I love the idea of fashion sending a message into life, the possibility of it it making a statement.
How did the exhibition Soho happen?
A friend of mine Tian Tian Zhu, a sound artist who runs the organisation TIEN, who I had met a few times accidently as we both went to the same gigs, the last being Yoko Ono. We started to talk about working together at the some point in the future and now she is curating my solo exhibition at Assembly Room, it is a very sweet place.
You were previously a Painter, studying at Central Saint Martins, how was the transition to Fashion Design?
Like many designers I trained at art school first, but I have always been interested in fashion. My mum studied pattern cutting, and made all my clothes when I was young.
Where did the ideas of the hats in the SS10 Collection spring from?
I was in the flower market, taking photos of everyday people and there was suddenly a moment where carton images appeared in my head. Everyone became a different kind of plant according to their look and what they wearing. It is from this place of imagination, that the cacti hats came from.
May I ask about your design ideology?
My ideology… I am very open-minded to new things, and mostly, look at things from a very different angle. I often go on trips, where I take lots of photos and meet lots of people. When I come back to London, I always have so much in my mind, some of them like stories which I really want to share through the clothes I design.
How did you decide to produce your designs through knitwear?
It was the right material to work with at the time according to the concept. The use of wool produced the right mood for that collection. I want to find a media that translates my painting without literally knowing what it is that is being translated.
Yang Du currently has an exhibition titled “Falling in Love is a Risk” at the Assembly Rooms in Soho, I thoughly recommend a trip that provides the opportunity to view her sketchbooks and most recent designs. The exhibition runs until November 27 2009.
All photographs (except the last image) are from the SS10 collection: Mr Right Town. Look book by Bella Howard and styled by Grace Woodward, make-up, Andrew Gallimore, hair, Bianca Tuovi and was produced by Platform
Central Saint Martins, Falling in Love is a Risk, Giles, JCDC, John Galliano, knitwear, London Fashion Week, onoff, painting, surrealism, surrealist, The Assembly Rooms, TIEN, Victor & Rolf, Vivienne Westwood, Yang Du
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