Sunday, 2 March 2014

Interview: Fashion designer Kara Liu

I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Kara Liu a few months back and had a preview of her creations that reflect her love for detail and the philosophy that ‘less is more’, which also happens to be my favourite design philosophy whether it's designing interiors of spaces or jewellery. I admire the perfection in her minimal colour palette, perfectly constructed forms and beautiful lines that she has achieved in her designs at such a young age. Read on to learn more about her and what she has in store for us in the next few months.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself

I was born in Shanghai and raised in Melbourne. I don't particularly see myself as being super creative, I'm just very good at organising my thoughts into the visual design. 
I treat the creative process like 'controlled experiments'.
Some of my likes and dislikes...
I like clean things and big spaces.
I like lines more than patterns.
I like 'less' more than 'more'
I like squares more than circles. 
I like textures more than motifs.

2. Describe your background in fashion before you started your label.

I was trained as a fashion designer at RMIT's Bachelor of Design (Fashion), graduated with honours as the top of my class in 2012.
During uni I interned with Australian designers LIFEwithBIRD and Lui Hon. I also took part in MSFW 2012 and LMFF in both 2012 and 2013.
Then I proceeded to intern with Alexander Wang in New York. I worked the Womens RTW Department on the Fall Winter 13 Collection and the Resort 14 Collection.
Won a few awards here and there, including Glue Store Australia's One Percent Design Competition, which lead to a collaboration collection that will launch in Glue Stores nation wide in April.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Details. Not details of anything in particular really, it can be something as interesting as the leg of a great pieces of Danish furniture, or something as mundane as the handle of a water kettle. I like to document these things in my daily life and sketch or drape from them. 
And textures. A lot of times a designs starts from an interesting fabrics. I always spend sometime in fabric markets overseas trying to source unique fabrics and trims.

4. What is the style you try to portray with your garments?

Minimal perfection would be a good way to put it. A very quite, refined, distilled aesthetics. Function is also very important. I don't add embellishments of the sake of it, it has the serve a purpose, either aesthetically or functionally. 

5. What is the most important lesson you've learned since starting your label?

Know your audience and design what you believe in and they believe in. 
And also learning how to step away from your work and look at the designs from afar, it helped me to see a lot of things that would have missed.

6. How do you see your label in 10 years time?

I don't have a plan by design. I'd like to see where it takes itself. For example I did a footwear collaboration with Belmore Bootmakers last year, which will launch in March. I have never thought that I will design shoes this soon but the opportunity presented itself so why not. The products are amazing!

7. What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers?

Make sure this is really what to want to do. Because it is not an easy profession. But if this is truly what you love, then work hard, and have fun.

Kara is a very passionate and refined designer with a very impressive resume and line of work. We can't wait to see what her very own label has in store for us in the near future. You can check out Kara's work on her website and through her facebook page