Surrealist fashion designer Yang Du’s collection entitled, “It Is a Dream” blurs the lines between art, fashion, fetishism and is set to go on exhibition in the UK, Scotland, and New York. Du has already established a cult following in both Japan and her homeland China, with a reputation as an artist-turned-fashion designer extraordinaire. Her a/w 2009 collection ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’ was a vibrant colorful collection of sweaters. Relaxed, humorous and always a bit sexy in a subtle way.
How did you start your career?
“I was lucky to be selected by ITS*7, met some wonderful people who believe in my work, then soon picked up by Mandi Lennard…”
Why the interest in fashion?
“My mum used to make my clothes and she loved to dress me up when I was little. It was her dream to be a fashion designer”.
Where did you grew up and how was it like?
“I grew up on the sea-side in a city in the north of China. I used to go fishing with my dad a lot, spending hours to catch the dragon-flies, picking-up wild flowers and singing and dancing in the mountains. It was so much fun!”.
You studied at Central St Martins in London. Can you tell us more about your time there?
“I did both BA and MA at Central St Martins. It has been some of the most memorable time of my life, both good and bad. I didn’t have time to think whether it was hard or something. It was my choice and I loved it too much to take the risk”.
You’ve worked with designers like John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood and Giles Deacon. How was it like?
“To see people work so hard for what they believe in, has made me more down to earth. It has been wonderfull to be a part of such a creative team and to be fully involved from the beginning of the designing process to the final product. To see your work finally in the shop is just amazing!”
Describle your style and story behind your graduate collection “Falling in love is a risk”?
“It was a fun collection and based on my trip to Egypt. It took me so much courage and love to make that collection happen. It’s a combination of exuberant colours and rich textures with a bright colour palette in faux fur and knitting. I explore the cultural clash of the East and the West in the ancient country. The silhouette of the collection remains simple, including an array of cape-like jumpers in faux fur and shift dresses with stuffed bottoms.
And your collection ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’?
“My collection started with my trip to Budapest. It was a very short season and I was travelling a lot for exhibitions. One of the places I visited in between was Budapest and I remember walking on the bridge between Buda and Pest, the old town and the new city thinking: what would I like to do next? I thought it would be good to carry on from my last collection, have more fun and more experience with knitwear”.
Sex for me is…
Your designs are humoures, surrealistic, though sexy and almost more art then fashion. Can you explain?
“I like to tell stories. What you see is personal and real.
Where do you find inspiration for your collection?
“Almost everywhere. I like to go on a trip to somewhere I’ve never been, meeting different people, listen to their stories, collecting references on the way. When I go back to work, I write down the notes first, it can be a point of view, a person, things that really inspire me or make me laugh. Things I like to share, it’s like a travel dairy. Then I try to find the right visual form to present all those characters, until they start to play in my dreams…”
Most memorable fashion moment?
“There are are more to look for”.
Any dream project you would like to do?
“ I would love to design costume for film or theater or mabye make my own film one day. I love films, i don’t know what kind of film yet but I would love to make one, but for now, its more to enjoy and to learn”.
Most favorite song ever and why?
“The songs I grew up with like chinese folk rhyme”.
Which( famous) person would you like to see in your clothes?
“I would love to see Björk wearing my clothes. Mabye in one of her music videos.
What are you future goals?
“Enjoy what I do and doing it well”.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
“There are many but working with Moschino, Jean Charles de Castalbaljac or Viktor & Rolf would be great”.
Any artist or designer we should know about?
“There is a band from Oxford called “Stornoway and having them live on my catwalk show one day would be amazing”.
Last hardcore moment for me was…
“Partying at 798 art distict in Beijing…”
This interview is taken in 2009 for ILOVEFAKE magazine..