It was a bit of an impulse in fact. It was during business school when I realised I wanted to focus on doing something more creative. At that time, a friend of mine just got accepted to Central Saint Martins. Although I always liked fashion, I didn’t know anything about the industry and the school. It was probably after 10 minutes of research that I decided to give it a shot.
I had absolutely no technical knowledge. I took some evening sewing courses with old ladies with biscuits and tea prior to attending the school. But I learned a lot regardless.
I think fashion strikes a very strong balance between the fantasy and the finance. I don’t particularly think it is a negative or a positive thing. The only problem I have with it is when someone views it only from one perspective and is ultimately disappointed to discover otherwise. I have seen students who give up fashion upon discovering the reality behind these established houses. And on the other hand, I have seen businessmen investing into fashion, thinking that it will be an easy way to make quick money.
I don’t think I had a vision of who I was as a designer. At the school, we were just pushed to our creative limits. And that was all that was in my mind: to try to be as creative as possible. I did enjoy researching fashion a lot. And I think a lot of Japanese designers have always influenced me. For example, Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamoto or Jun Takahashi.
I think I still have the same referents, but maybe now I am also more open to historical street styles.
Yes, because it is a great and exciting place. It is always inspiring and I love how the city embraces creativity.
London gives me freedom and art. However, coming from smaller cities like Macao and Vancouver, sometimes I do want to get retreat into somewhere quieter. I suppose it is just finding a balance between the two extremes.
It often begins with dealing with work texts that were sent to me from Asia over the evening. From there I would go to work and check on everyone’s progress from what they did the evening before. I would then arrange each person’s duties that day and set everyone off to their tasks. I would either have meetings or appointments during the afternoon. If not, I would have time to work on my e-mails and also designs. In the evening I might grab a drink with some friends or watch a movie. Then it is back home to try and finish more work before Asia wakes up.
It is really hard to say exactly where it starts. It could be a recent experience or something from my childhood. Other times it could be an artist I enjoy. However, whatever the inspiration, it often sparks off the textile experimentations first. From there, the clothing designs follow.
The clothes are often slightly awkward and casual. I suppose I am like that too quite often.
A woman who wears steventai is humorous, offbeat and humble yet confident.
Not always. I think it depends heavily on the purpose of the garments. It could be costumes for performance or for an exhibition.
I hope so, although I think that is quite an unlikely mission.
When I was a kid, I used to love people with glasses. So I thought I had to read in poor lighting so that I would need glasses too one day!