DESIGNER TALKS CONTRADICTIONS & CREDIBILITY AS HIS FASHION WEEK SHOW APPROACHES
Story by Abby Chow
Photos provided by Adrian Wu
With Toronto Fashion Week approaching quickly, Plaid sat down with featured designer, Adrian Wu, and his assistant, Divya, to get to know him a bit better before his show. We talked about his new collection, politics, and all things Adrian.
Do you have a specific story or meaning in mind for the upcoming Fashion Week?
See, the irony is that I’ve convinced people I want meaning in my work. I’m all about contradiction – I can convince you that my collections have meaning or I can just as easily say the reality of the situation is that I’m just a 22-year-old wanting attention! In terms of this season, let’s just say that I still enjoy the humour of what I can get away with, and I’m still playing with it.
Do you feel differently about this Fashion Week versus your first?
Fashion is all about credibility. So, the fact that IMG bought out Toronto Fashion Week; I mean, [Alexander] Wang is represented by IMG too, and Jason Wu and Vera Wang, all these designers [at] London Fashion Week – now Toronto Fashion Week is a part of that. It has to be different; I have the responsibility to make it better than the past seasons.
What would you say is the most important survival item at Fashion Week?
My phone. You should read this book, The Singularity is Near. We’re on an exponential growth in society where he implies that within our lifetime the differentiation between technology and people will become blurred. Twenty years from now, it’ll actually be stupid not to have a computer in your clothing, or computer in the newspaper. That’s how I justify my phone being most important.
Do social and political issues still drive your creativity?
The government is the reason we walk on the sidewalk, the reason we go to school, etc. Look up Sir Ken Robinson, Education kills Creativity. Education is the only way to change society, because education is an act of advocating knowledge. Only when we have knowledge can we continue to grow and innovate. The contradiction is that, the companies are taking over. That’s why I’m interested in politics. Governments spend large amounts of money, but are they bringing any good? You have to question whether the system is correct or not and question the norm.
You’ve talked about wanting expand yourself and to sell your work as art. The first thing that came to mind was using a dress as installation art – is that similar to your vision?
Let’s just say that this is the first collection that will 100% support that idea. The thing I’m doing at Toronto fashion week has never been done. No one in Europe has ever done this before.
Have you always wanted to be involved with fashion?
I wanted to be a sex therapist.
[Divya] He’s not joking.
So how did your fashion career come to be?
Because I dropped out of university, because I had a boyfriend, because I thought to myself, “Life is going to be amazing!” Then, I snapped out of it – because we broke up. I had a sewing machine and it turns out I can make dresses!
People don’t think about fashion as an objective thing. It’s quite mathematical, for something to follow the human form the way it should be. The reason why fashion is so important is because it’s the only real mathematical art, one could say.
Is your career what you thought it would be?
No, if anything it’s amazing though. It’s mind-blowing to me where this world is going and how I’ve been able to be a part of it. I don’t think people give enough credit to the people around me. I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for Divya. You always have to remember the people around you are the reason why you’re getting up there. The reason why I’m getting my name out there is because you’re sitting here, wanting to interview me. At the end of the day, I’m very thankful.