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18 6 THE FASHION DESIGN REFERENCE + SPECIFICATION BOOK
(Text)
Where do you start with the design process when developing a new collection?
And why that first?
I start by soaking in the atmosphere. It’s very important to have a sense of what’s
going on in the world that we live in, a keen awareness of whats transpiring, the
mood. And that’s where I begin. I always try to figure out which moment I am in, and,
so, from that, what it is that defines the world of today.
How did you do that in your latest collection?
Well, I did a collection based on counting and on zero waste. I tend to everything at
the same time, so there’s no separation. The essential thing is to arrive at how you
feel about the season and the general mood and how you believe your clients are
feelingthey’re the people that you dress. And based on that understanding, I do
everything: Sometimes I make the pattern, sometimes I drape, sometimes I sketch,
sometimes I work with the fabric. Even though by then a lot of the fabric selection
has been made, there’s still time to tweak it.
Do you consider fashion an art form? A craft? And why?
I consider fashion a design discipline. You take raw materials and you convert them
into a finished garment, and the prerequisite, if it’s clothing design, is that it be
wearable. So its a design discipline. It’s neither an art form nor a craft—you have
to design something that has a function.
Did you have a mentor in the fashion industry?
No.
Have you assumed the role of mentor for someone else?
Sometimes, but I don’t assume the role. I think that if somebody were to approach
me, I would have a conversation with them and try to get a dialogue going about
whatever it is that they’re interested in discussing. But I don’t assume the role
because I think thats a little presumptuous.
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PERSPECTIVES: YEOHLEE TENG
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