“THE IMMENSE POPULARITY IN FAST FASHION MAKES ME QUESTION AND DISAGREE WITH THE NORMALITY OF IT.”
What makes you feel like that?
My first internship in New York was at Martin Greenfield Clothiers. It’s a family-owned menswear manufacturer known for handmade suits. It was quite a different experience from my bespoke tailoring apprenticeship in Taipei. Both learning experiences were all about seeking perfection and accurate results, but Martin Greenfield has their own factory and the scale is bigger and the whole process is faster. It made me realize bespoke tailoring is clearly much more than just a passing trend; there are people I met and worked with who still believe in the whole handmade revival.
What can you tell us about your experience of making your thesis collection?
My graduate collection is all about finding a new facet of traditional bespoke tailoring. There are so many fabrics and variations of patterns within the collection, including hand stitching florals, geometrics, stripes and novelty conversationals to create one-of-a-kind suits; something you won’t see in traditional bespoke tailoring. I enjoy manipulating classic textiles into modern, intricate patterns and composing the perfect, concise, modern-looking suit. But it takes a CRAZY amount of time to create a new thing, a new idea. The most important part of the collection is to hand applique the fabric. I want to create handsewn digital-like prints that look modern, but feel like classic suiting fabric, which requires numerous hand-sewing techniques such as basting the seams together, hand-stitching the patterns, and overcasting the seam allowances. With such a time-consuming process, time management is the key challenge. There are just so many details packed into every stitch, that the effect gets lost in the big picture. Sometimes, the most challenging part gets overlooked.
You aim to specialize in bespoke tailoring, what is it about the creation of bespoke tailoring that appeals to you?
Maybe it’s the nostalgic joy I’ve got from watching old-timey movies, I’ve always loved the way men dressed in the 50s; they recognized intrinsic value of the well-crafted suit and enjoyed the ritual of having a bespoke suit.
I appreciate the sheer workmanship of bespoke tailoring and that makes me a very technically-driven designer. I am motivated by the handiwork, principles of craftsmanship and the initiatives of pursuing perfection. We live in the fast-fashion era; the immense popularity in fast fashion makes me question and disagree with the normality of it. I understand the importance of accessibility for the masses, but quality is always my priority. It reflects on shape, proportion, color or pattern; those are what constitute a well-made tailored garment in every aspect and you won’t find such quality in supermarket clothing.