Menswear Designer Chiayun Hu, talks to 211 GIRLS on her design process and shows us how two worlds collide bringing her Taiwanese background and London schooling into her intricate designs in this month’s installment of ‘Ladies dressing the Boys’.
211 GIRLS: As a female what drew you to menswear?
CHIAYUN HU: I use to do womenswear when I was in Taiwan, after I came to Europe my mind mind changed. It was quite a rational thought initially. I found there’s so much more potential in menswear also as a women I can stand on the third-person-position to purely develop designs from the research and sources I’ve collaged together, instead of unconsciously making clothes I myself would want to wear. After a few projects, I have completely fallen in love with it, it’s more about construction and details which excite me.
211: What’s your earliest memory of wanting to be a designer?
CH: Scribbling in my sketchbook when I was 12ish. I can still remember one of the “designs” I drew; it was a curly haired blondie wearing a denim vest and a pair of flared jeans. At that time I was a collector of Japanese teenage girls magazine, after flipping through pages and pages, I wanted to make adjustments for each outfit as I thought by doing that, they would look better.
211: Where or what do you mainly draw inspiration from?
CH: Sometimes I see my work as a way to express my statement and a media through which to provoke something from the audience. What’s happening around the world especially our environmental conditions and social issues we are facing right now inspire me to say something with my work.
And sometimes my work is my journal that’s inspired by my everyday life in Europe. My Asian background offers me a different vision in living here. There’s always sparks when two sides collide.
211: Instead of new year new me, what’s one thing that you were doing last year that you will keep doing this year?
CH: Soaking myself in motivational surroundings. Last year I moved to Antwerp from London in the summer, also I traveled a lot for work. During the stays I made new friends with whom we share the same ambition. Whether they are in fashion, music or art; no matter if we are going toward the same goal or different destinations, it is always really motivational for me to see/know that I am not the only one who’s on the way to my “somewhere”. That feeling gives me great strength to be far away from home and keep going further.
211: What’s your life motto
CH: Pretty simple, “Everything is possible.”. When it’s applied to my design and career, I don’t give myself limitations and by keeping this faith I will try everything I can before I get to the aims.
On the other hand, since everything is possible, I am open to everything I see without being judgmental in this big world.