Fashion Designer : Louis Chow
Q1. What qualities do you have that make you a fashion designer?
Louis: I like to observe what people wear. Everyone has a different style, and I pay attention to why they choose the clothes they wear, because they must have their own reasons for wearing them. For example, some people need to wear crop tops for work, and I’ll keep exploring these concepts. In addition, my current job is related to graphics, so I utilise a lot of graphic-related ideas in my designs.
Q2. Are you a demanding person in terms of outfits?
Louis: I don't have any requirements myself, I just pick up a piece and wear it, but I have an idea of what I want to wear. When I buy clothes, I already know what clothes fit and are suitable for me. I don't know if this is considered a dress code, but I'd say I’m quite casual.
Q3. As a fashion designer, can you share your criteria when choosing clothes?
Louis: I like to wear clothes with a wide body and simple style, but a little bit of detail. Maybe the collar is a little bit different, for example. When I see a design I like, it hits me right away.
Q4. What do you like about being a fashion designer?
Louis: My favourite part is when I’m researching and drawing at the beginning of the season when there’s no deadline, so I have the most time to work, and can do what I want without any restrictions.
Q5. When problems appear, how do you handle them?
Louis: As I’m a pattern cutting student myself, if there are some technical constraints, I first liaise with the factory so they can help me realise the original design as much as possible. First we’ll make the mock-up, then modify it, but we try to follow the original as much as possible. If it really can't be realised and needs to be abandoned, then we’ll make cut-offs, and maybe even change the whole design...
Q6. What’s the most exciting thing about being a designer?
Louis: The most exciting thing is when I see someone using or wearing my products, and they appreciate the concept behind my design and understand the usefulness of every detail, instead of thinking that some design elements are superfluous. It makes me feel that all the hard work was worth it.
Q7. Do you remember the first time you developed a love affair with fashion design?
Louis: When I was a student, I saw a Margiela exhibition. I had no idea about the plasticity of fashion before, but after seeing it, I realised it can be wild and has no limitations.
Q8. Would you say that Margiela is your inspiration?
Louis: Sort of. I wasn't influenced by just one look in the exhibition, but by his concept. One of Margiela's previous season's designs amplified the entire collection several times, and I like these ethereal themes, which will become an element that influences my future design themes.
Q9. What was the biggest challenge when you designed the uniforms for MINI last year?
Louis: I was in a hurry to complete this project, but they had a clear theme this time, which was sustainable development, so I focused on sustainable materials and spent a lot of time searching for different materials. There are a lot of eco-friendly materials available now, but not all of them are suitable for uniforms. Another difficulty is that when we make clothes, we usually have the size of the model, so we can easily make it fit and the model will look good, but the uniforms were for MINI staff, with different body shapes, so it’s difficult to create a uniform that fits everyone.
Q10. I heard that you’ll debut your own clothing brand this year. Can you tell us about it?
Louis: Yes, I’ll do a menswear brand. Regular retail clothing brands launch collections each season, but my brand that won’t launch ranges each season just for the sake of it. For example, I’m planning to make a series of trench coats, wet and dry, and use different materials, thicknesses and qualities to differentiate them.
Q11.How would you describe your approach to design?
Louis: My design style is relatively simple. I like tailoring things, such as the wet and dry trench coats mentioned earlier, but to also address functionality. In addition, I like to mix two seemingly contradictory materials to enhance the overall design.
Interview & text : KC