It's not the first time I met Yirantian Guo. I met her pieces and the mirror accessories in the Show+ing exhibition in May. I think my reason of loving the collection is the different textures of the fabrics she used which made some contrast of hard and soft feeling through the garments. I do love those huge reflection pieces. Although it's not a super unique idea, I like the cut and mode of them. I always watched Japanese cartoons with elements of the illusion and the reality and there are many designers tried this idea before. Let's see how Yirantian sees these two words.
Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your background?
I am Yirantian Guo, a girl come from China. I am a womenswear designer who just graduated from London College of Fashion this year.
How do you describe your design style?
There are several key words to describe my design style that is deconstruction, abstract and modernism.
How do you usually start your collections? What inspire you most?
Honestly London is a really nice place not only for studying but also to live in. I was inspired by everything through life. For instance, I always get inspirations from artworks, such as paintings, sculptures, architectures and human body as well. When I start my collection, I usually create my own research source by myself in the very first stage, such as take photograph and make some matrix that related to the concept that I chose already. That helps me understand the topic more quickly and find my own way to demonstrate the theme.
What do you consider first when designing – silhouette, colours and patterns or materials?
When I do a project/collection, the first thing in my head is how to relate my ideas and designs to the real fabric in order to display nicely when people wearing that. As for each project I start with the silhouette and the shapes. However, these elements will always come together when I start designing and they can’t go separately.
Why did you apply for womenswear for your BA and how do you feel about your study life?
I found it was really exciting to feel the surprise when a nude body wearing a piece of fabrics that create by yourself and the ideas form your mind. It is kind of display a story of mine, and you never know what will happened when few pieces were sewing together and becomes a new shape. I was very enjoying it so that’s why I chose womenswear.
Studying in London is very lucky. The source is very valuable such as the museum, gallery and library etc. You can find so many novel things from this culture-mix city. During the three years, there is no doubt that the pressure exist everywhere and every time, fashion is running so fast and you need to shape your own identity and at the meantime you need to improve all your technical skills. Therefore I have many opportunities to learn and explore, experiment and educate myself.
Could you tell us more about your collection? What is the biggest difficulty during the design process?
The concept of ‘UN-’ is to combine every possible unconventional element that presents the reality and illusion. It was taken from an unusual viewpoint of fashion in terms of garments and accessories. ‘UN-’ collection focuses on the combination of the technique and material. Inspired by cubism, breaking-up the original object and recombining to shape a new form is the starting point and then developing through the reflection accessories, deconstruction and asymmetric silhouette to achieve the concept. In brief, ‘UN-’ collection is creating a new channel to demonstrate fashion.
The experiments are always the hardest part. In another word, in order to transform what in my drawing pad to a structured garment, and slowly into the final designed piece has to go through many stages of experiments. Meanwhile, accessories is another difficult part in this collection, all the reflection materials need to be burnt first so as to make the shape more fit the body, the process takes long time and not every piece was successful.
How would you balance the creativity and the market needs you own a design house?
I’ve been thinking this all the time. I would say if you have enough financial support to do it as your hobby then you can rebuild your own system and don’t have to worry about the market at all. There is no doubt that every fashion designer is trying to find the balance between creativity and the market, and it is necessary to stabilize two elements together in the fashion industry.
Is there any designer that you want to work with?
Hussein Chalayan or Maison Martin Margiela
As a LCF graduate, do you have any advice for other fashion students?
Find you own identity and work harder and harder.
In this September I will be continuing my MA fashion womenswear study in LCF, and currently I am keep working on my further collections.
To know more about Yirantian, please visit her LCF page