Promising young graduate Lulu Liu is barely out of London College of Fashion and has already understudied at McQueen and Giles Deacon. Inspired by a striking fusion of surrealism and clown attire, her very own AW12 collection showcases vibrant colour, hallucegenic patterns, and her signature playful pleats. All of her garments are created with a sharp emphasis on quality and material. Surprisingly wearable, Lulu Liu’s show stopping garments have already graced a number of high end editorials; with pieces spanning the boundaries of innovative fashion; from opulent fur capes, painstakingly hand sewn, to her striking t-shirt line, and mohair dress, as worn by X-Factor starlet, Mischa B – she chats to Wonderland about the collections.
Is travel important to your designs?
I love to travel and I love different cultures. I think that moment of culture shock is the best time for me to get inspiration. I like to look at different cultures together. The new collection still has inspirations from the Chinese ethnic background.
How has your most recent collection evolved?
The new collection is more wearable compared to my graduate collection (AW/11). Rather than the avant-garde pieces, I want people to be able to enjoy my clothes and really wear them. It’s a change from my last collection in that sense.
You use a lot of real fur, have you experienced any difficulties or criticisms with this?
All my fur comes from legal companies where it’s registered and I have all the documents. I do agree, you have to be so careful with fur because it’s a very sensitive topic. I think it’s more important how you use it rather than not using it at all. Because fur basically is a material. It’s been used for hundreds of years; it’s actually one of the oldest fabrics human beings have used to make clothes. I think there’s got to be a healthy balance; do you use it for the sake of it or do you use it healthily? I mean, you don’t throw a fur piece away, you hand it down for your granddaughter and so on… so in that way I think it is sustainable.
What other issues have you come across? Is it hard being a new designer during an economic crisis?
Ahhh! It’s so difficult! Every day. Especially for new designers. I don’t know, I think I have to just go through it. I guess It’s nothing I can change, I just have to carry on making new collections and see if the buyers recognise me and realise that I’m actually serious in what I’m doing.
Is this why this collection is more wearable, less avant-garde? To sell more?
Yeah. It’s definitely something to do with the sales. I realised it’s not just a hobby, you’ve got to sell and If you don’t it’s really hard to make a sustainable business. But I didn’t want to lose my spirit. I want to make beautiful garments from beautiful fabrics. It’s hard finding a balance in between. I think I need to do more homework about finding quality fabrics at a reasonable price.
Who would you most love to see wearing Lulu Liu?
Jessie J. She has a beautiful body. I love her music, and I think she’d be perfect.
Words: Shannon Mahanty