exquisitely*joy Fashion Show at NYFW FW2019 in Moda Mantra Magazine March 2019

exquisitely*joy Fashion Show at NYFW FW2019 in Moda Mantra Magazine March 2019

April 01, 2019

Exquisitelyjoy Fashion Show at NYFW FW2019 in Moda Mantra Magazine March 2019 Designer InterviewExquisitelyjoy Fashion Show at NYFW FW2019 in Moda Mantra Magazine March 2019Exquisitelyjoy Fashion Show at NYFW FW2019 in Moda Mantra Magazine March 2019




1.Why have you chosen to focus on Kimono's for you collection?

  • To do what I love
  • To make art
  • To share myself
  • To connect with likeminded people
  • To create beauty
  • Kimono is where ‘Architecture x Tradition x Fashion x Globalization’ meet. 

2.Where are you based and how does your environment play a role in your creative process?

  • Currently, I am based in Los Angeles and Hong Kong and travel regularly to New York and Tulum. 
  • My environment is a mirror to my internal world.  With enough awareness, one can see how they feed one another.  So the environment that I really focus on nurturing is my internal world.  I connect with my inner joy through meditation and yoga.
  • I was born in Hong Kong and raised a global citizen living in Hong Kong, Taipei, California, taking long haul flights alone since I was 12.   I saw the world as one country from an early age.  It’s my dream to create that one versatile outfit designed like the second skin for jetsetters to make them feel always at home.  And from that one outfit, depending on how one mixes and matches with other personal go-to wardrobe must-haves, thousands more looks are effortlessly generated.   
  • The Kimonos, in fact, came about because I wanted to create clothing that is comfortable and elegant for meditation, which is, in my opinion, the most important ‘exercise’ that can be done anywhere, anytime, and it’s totally free.  I started my brand the same time I attended my first Vipassana sit.  And I don’t know which came first but from sitting I began to create from my truth. 

 3.How many years have you been designing?

  • I started training Chinese Calligraphy since I was three, Chinese brush painting since I was six.  I enjoyed sketching dresses and hairstyles everyday in my yellow notebooks and compared ‘notes’ with my classmates during my primary school years.  My love for fashion design began when I was only seven. 
  • As a compromise, I eventually began my studies in architecture first at Cornell summer school then MIT for both my undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees. 
  • I have won several international architecture competitions during my early 20’s and from winning an interior design competition, I was commissioned to design furniture as well. 
  • After MIT, I took some courses in Denmark for furniture design, Central St. Martins for  fashion and art curation, Sotheby’s and Christies for Art Business.
  • So, I suppose I have been designing my whole life. 
  • Professionally, architecture, furniture, and spaces for about 15+ years and kimonos for about 4-8 years.

4.What was the first piece you ever created and what type of connection did you have to that piece?

  • It was a kimono made of bamboo fabric handmade by me for my fashion class at CSM in 2011.
  • There was an ‘aha’ moment.  For one, I won’t be the one making these kimonos, I will hire tailors to collaborate with me.  For two, re-interpreting  or re-imagining a kimono is the ultimate rabbit hole.  And most importantly, sustainability and beauty can co-exist.    

5.Why have you chosen to deconstruct Kimonos instead of designing them from scratch?

  • To me, that’s just semantics. Designing something requires total mental deconstruction and complete annihilation of any preconceived notions from the conditioned mind.  So, both had to happen in the mind.  And the physical exploration simply manifests to prove the point, and sometimes just to be the creative evidence.

6.What inspired you to create this collection?

  • My oil painting teacher once said to me that one should paint as though one was preparing for a show.  And that was how I manifested my first oil painting show in London back in 2012.  And it’s the exact same mindset I had when I started the creation process for my kimonos. I produced as though one day I would do a show and that the show would tell my kimono story.
  • To me, starting from using vintage kimono to create something new is my way of showing the world that we have enough to provide for everyone.  What would otherwise be considered useless to one was made into a functional treasure too.  The intention from the very beginning was to live sustainably and show others how it could be done. 
  • Then the following generations were about making new pieces that are more versatile, more travel-friendly, easier to maintain, and high quality so they last a lifetime.
  • That’s the DNA of my work.  From that, I created pieces that go inside or over the kimonos in order to complete a ‘look’.  And hence, that one outfit.