“I’m Inspired By Everything Around Me”
Recent London College Of Fashion graduate (and newly admitted MA student) Yirantian Guo (郭一然天) may be young, but she’s already gaining accolades for her unique sense of design and style. Recently, the Chinese site Fashion Trend Digest caught up with Guo to discuss her development as a designer, fashion inspiration, and dream collaborators. Interview translated by Jing Daily team.
Fashion Trend Digest (FTD): Can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?
Yirantian Guo (YG): I’m Yirantian Guo, female, from China. I’m a recent graduate of the London College of Fashion and a womenswear designer.
FTD: What words would you use to describe your design style?
YG: Deconstruction, abstraction and modernism.
FTD: How do you usually start working on a new series? What inspires you the most?
YG: Honestly, London’s not only a good place for education, it’s also a good place to live. I’m inspired by everything around me. I find a lot of inspiration in art, paintings and sculptures, buildings, even the human body. When I start a new series, I usually begin with a set of photographs and concepts that I’ve put together and try to develop a set of different templates based on them. This tends to speed up the process.
FTD: What are your first considerations when starting the design process? Lines, colors and patterns, or materials?
YG: When I start a new design or series, my first thought is usually how to translate my ideas into the materials, but at the same time I want to make sure the item will actually look good on somebody. So the starting point tends to be basic lines and contours. But everything has to come together at the end, you can’t separate [concept and form].
FTD: Can you say a little bit about your new series? What did you find was the biggest difficulty when designing it?
YG: I call the series “UN-.” (Unconventional Combinations) The idea is to bring together the conceptional and the real and non-mainstream elements, and to focus on materials and technology and the interplay between the two from a different perspective. I was inspired by Cubism and the way it deconstructed traditional objects, so I used that as a starting point, which is why you see things like broken mirrors and asymmetrical lines in the series. The most difficult part was the process of sketching the clothes out, then experimenting with how to actually produce the final finished products. Also, it was tough because I had to deal with melting and manipulating the reflective materials to reshape them to better fit the wearer’s body. That took a long time, and it wasn’t always successful.
FTD: If you had your own design team, how would you balance being creative with the demands of the market?
YD: That’s something I’ve thought about a lot. If you’ve got enough financial support, you can spend time on developing [your style], you can ignore the market. No doubt every designer wants to balance their creativity with market forces, but it’s something that requires constant work.
FTD: Which designers do you particularly want to work with?
YD: Hussein Chalayan, Maison Martin Margiela.
FTD: What are your next steps?
YD: I’m starting my MA program at LCF this month, and right now I’m also working hard on my next series.