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WYM interview| Before the rain

South by Southwest (SXSW) is an annual festival that takes place in Austin Texas. Originally started has a music festival, SXSW has grown over the last 30 years since when it was originally founded. Now on its 30th  anniversary the festival brings together technology with the interactive conferences, Film and Music from all over the world to the heart of Texas.

Interview with Manuel Diaz

We first saw Manuel Diaz designs while surfing the web, it was one image in particular that captured our attention and provoked our curiosity to find out more about the designer.

As we continued searching for more information on him, we discovered an array of designs so unique and bespoke that we knew we needed to find ‘Manuel Diaz’ and ask him a few questions for the rest of the world to get a better view of his original creations and possibly to get an insight into his world.  
First of all tell us how did your adventure in the world of fashion, did you always want to become a fashion designer?

MD: No, I never wanted to be a fashion designer, it was until I went to Centro, a design university  in Mexico city to ask for information about a career in design, then the person who checked me in asked me about that was it that I was interested, and without hesitation I said, “fashion design”, and that’s the story, is not that interesting.  
I’ve always envied people from small knew what they wanted to pursue.

LF: Your designs are very visual, that is vanguard and full of couture if not also unique pieces that seem to transcended the lines of reality and the many questions in our culture.
MD: Thank you very much for the compliment, but I have to clarify that I do not have that high couture preparation nor is my aim, haute couture is more than craftsmanship you can bring a piece.

LF: As you visualize your designs, as is the process by which you design these parts.
MD: My process always starts as a mostly literary research on the issues I find important at the time.

LF: There have been some point in particular that has inspired you / affected to design?
MD: depressive emotional crises.

LF: How has the fact of being Mexican influenced in your collection? I say this because of  the recent video ‘Reinas del Narco’
MD: Of course, whether you believe on not, we can not deny that drug trafficking is a fundamental part of Mexican culture.

LF: In your own words describe your collection / style.
MD: It would be very pretentious on my part to describe my own style, as that should be found and developed over time. I like complex and beautifully structured pieces. Mainly what I seek is currently the experimentation through artisanal work with unusual synthetic materials.
I like complex and beautifully structured pieces
LF: Tell us about your latest collaborations.
MD: More than a collaboration it was a publication, I am represented by Lewis and Leigh PR in London and they are in charged of most publications and collaborations. For now I find myself one hundred percent focused on my next collection.
LF:  Are you currently in Mexico and are you preparing to present your collection back home or are you thinking to go internationally ?
MD: After living and studying my career in London, UK,  I am back in Mexico since just five months ago, my studio is established in the City of Mexico, but I am not showing my collection in Mexico at the moment.

LF: What real or fictional character  would you like to design for?
MD: Divine “the filthiest person alive”

LF: Is there any topic you would like to visit on your visual exploration of your designs?
MD: Demonology

LF: What challenges face you and your brand?
MD: Not being directed to a public commercial is very difficult to find the resources to finance parts, projects and / or collections.

LF: Where you can get your designs?
MD: bespoke only for the moment, info @ manueldiazbrand.com

LF: What legacy would you like to leave in the world of fashion?
MD: Wow, I’d love to become a household name in the history of fashion.

LF: Who would you like to wear your clothes, or who you would like to design for?
MD: Sheikha Mozah, Daphne Guinness, Olvido Gara Java “Alaska”, Dita Von Teese and many others.

LF: What do you like and what you hate to be a designer?
MD: One of the things I like most is the research during the creative process, and what I hate being a designer is the environment within the industry.

‘LAS REINAS DEL NARCO’ from Manuel Díaz on Vimeo.

For more on Manuel, visit his FB , Tumblr, Twitter

TRISTA

It was a typical Thursday in France during fashion week in January, make that men’s fashion week and there is usually a fashion show almost every hour. This time around I’m skipping some of the shows and I make my way to TRANOI just off Étienne Marcel. Why TRANOI? You may ask. TRANOI is an International Fashion Tradeshow were designers from all over the world get to show everything that revolves around fashion.

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The range and scope of fashion related merchandise that is covered here is just amazing, you name it and you will find it here. To be honest, I’m not just here to look at trends I’m here to find TRISTA. TRISTA is the brainchild of José Alfredo Silva and Giovanni Estrada from Mexico City south of the border from the States. Coincidentally, TRISTA is making its move towards the European market and this was one of their showings. I was lucky enough to get a few minutes of José’s time to chat about the evolution of TRISTA.

Here are some of the things were able to ask about TRISTA.

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When and how did you develop the brand?

We started the brand TRISTA 8 years ago when Giovanni and I had a radio program then, we were talking about fashion and just having a good time doing it. Shortly after that, I went off to grad school in France and left things unconcluded until my return. Then someone approached us to open a store at La Condesa in Mexico City. We started a small shop with some clothes.

The name TRISTA, how did you come up with it?

We were fascinated by literatureand different books inspired some of our collections. My graduate thesis was on a book by Gaston Bachelard who talked about the power of words to create imagery. So, one day Giovanni and myself were playing around with words and Giovanni said Triste, and then he turns around and said Trista. Trista is sophisticated feminine name, sort of oldies name and after that, we found out the latin meaning of the name is sorrowful

How has your undergraduate degree influenced your designs?

I think everything that you learn in life helps, Giovanni study Architecture and I studied industrial Engineering. It is more than the things you learn in school, it is the perception of things you experience in life. I also teach and I see this in most of the students who have a different background other than design, they see things different and tend to be more focused and they use their experience in other fields to create something different but the most important thing is the passion.

Simple by Trista is more Mexico Urban, how do you see Trista?

Trista is more like our queen and Simple by TRISTA is more like “La Vaca Lechera”. TRISTA is more of the concept originator and simple by TRISTA lives off those concepts. TRISTA now is moving towards Europe and that is the focus for 2015 and 2016

 

The design process how does it work with you and Giovanni?

Each of our pieces has a story behind it, you really have to see the clothes in person to understand it, and a picture alone does not convey the design. The pieces are more bespoke, it starts with the fabric, and we don’t just use the fabric the way we buy it. We do something different with all the fabrics. Like this silk organza piece in the booth, where multiple layers are used to develop the final design. Sometime we use 4 or even 8 layers of organza fabric before completing a piece. Another piece in the collection is made of embroidered pattern that take a week to modify the fabric for the final piece. Every single piece has something different and you need to know the story behind it that is the way TRISTA works. We have a love for working with fabrics

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The name of your last collection, how did you come up with it?

We work with a title for the 4 collections “El lugar de los objetos perdidos” uno, dos, tres and cuatro. TRISTA is a brand of remembrance we always go to the past to try to understand things of the present. That is why with TRISTA, we try to work with skiing and hiking influence from the 50’s and 60’s. With Simple by TRISTA we try to work with imaginary places “El lugar de los objetos perdidos” is like this place where you can open and discover something was untouched. This kind of place in your memory where something is different and each one of these collections has something that is very personal in a very simple way, usually we don’t talk about it because more and more people don’t care about the story. They are more interested in the clothes alone. As a designer you need to tell the story behind the designs and not be like the commercial big brands where the designs are soulless.
I was really thrilled I had the chance to see the designs in person and meet José at TRANOI, now I just need to talk myself into going to Mexico City to get my hands on one of their denim jumper suits for men.

One young illustrator

One young fashion illustrator named Vik.

We first spotted Vik after reading and surfing blogger’s sites. We were pleasantly surprised to find out the creator of http://suckerscloset.wordpress.com was so young and still so driven.

So, we did what we do best and ask him for a one on one interview for everyone to know a little bit more about him and his amazing illustrations.

 


 

Elizabeth: Vik, how old are you?

Vik: I am 17.

E: Where are you located?

V: I lived in Murphy, TX (close to Dallas)

E:. How did you get started in the fashion illustration world?

V: I love to draw ever since I was little, I used to draw a lot costumes from my favorite movies or cartoons (Like all the Disney movies). Then, I began to design my own dresses and outfits. I didn’t realize what I drew are called “fashion illustrations” until I started to read fashion magazines. I think that is the time I kind of figured out and understood what fashion illustrations are really about. I still have so many things to learn about fashion illustrations today; everything for me is just the beginning.

E:How do you find your inspirations?

V: I like to find my inspirations every where. Living in the age of the Internet, it is really hard for me not to be inspired by others. YouTube and Instagram are two main resources for me to find my inspirations. I also like reading many different fashion blogs and magazines or just watching people on the street. Learning and being inspired constantly from others are really important for me to create good quality works.

E: Who do you admire?

It actually took me a while to think about this question. However, I wouldn’t what I am doing today without the motivation from one of my favorite lifestyle vloger Shameless Maya. Fashion is something I passionate about ever since I was little, but I was always too afraid to say that I want to be in fashion industry when I grow up. First of all, most of my families and friends think that working in fashion industry is more like a fantasy than an actual job. Secondly, I was afraid of the criticism from others.

I feel like things changed since I began to watch her videos. She went through a lot in her life, but she decided to shamelessly promote herself by starting her own YouTube channel. She tried to get out of her comfort-zone and just shamelessly be herself without concern about how other people think. Shameless Maya really inspired me to listen to myself and do whatever I want to do. After watching her video online, I finally have the guts to express myself and release my creativities.

E: What would you like to accomplish in the next 5 years?

5 years? sounds like a really long time, but in reality you couldn’t imagine how fast it would go by. I wish I can do what I love and keep doing my blog, Sucker’s Closet. Last but not least, I would really like to see my illustrations come to life and be able to have my own clothing line.

We are sure that Vik is an emerging talent in fashion illustration and with his drive and confidence he can get to achieve any goal he sets up for himself. Below are some samples of his work.

Illustrations by Vik

Illustration1 by Vik/ http://suckerscloset.wordpress.com

Woman by Vik

OTTD-Girls Night Out by Vik

For more on Vik, please visit his site and stay connected with him and his awesome illustrations on FB.

MingPin Tien: abstract concept based design.

fashin Scout

Exclusive

At Livingfash we had admired the work of fashion designer MingPin for a while. We first saw his collection SS13 at the prestigious Fashion Scout. Since then we set up to find out more about the man behind the brand and we wouldn’t stop until we got this exclusive interview for all of you out there wanting to know more about the individual and his personal perspective.

Interview

Hi MingPin, thanks for taking the time to chat with us, we know how busy you are with the design for the next collection. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.

How did you first get started in the fashion world? Do you have a key moment when you realized fashion is what you wanted to do?

I started my life in fashion when I enrolled in Shih Cheng University in Taipei, Taiwan at 2003. I was definitely not the person who is so keen on fashion design and sees being a fashion designer as the only option. Yet I decided to be a fashion designer while I had my first job as a visual merchandiser. Although it was also a creative role, I didn’t feel fully satisfied and I knew it was the time to really step forward. That was the main reason why I quitted my job, came to London for my MA degree, as well as to find more opportunities within a market with bigger capacity.

What are the current challenges for you and your brand?

Funding has always been a major task for any new designer to overcome and sometimes you need to step back a little and compromise in order to deliver the best within the limited budget. It has been very different from being a student, yet I think it is something I need to learn to deal with if I wish to stay in this industry.

Where do you draw inspiration from, anything in particular?

The concepts I have come up with for each collection are generally quite vague and abstract that I think it is because of my Asian background. I wish my design is something people can somehow feel related with and that’s why I love the idea of things like time, love, emotions that are more difficult to give a clear definition to.

Who do you consider to be the most inspiring person for you and why?

It is a difficult question for me to answer since I don’t have my “favorite” list of anything. Yet when it comes to people, I like people that have their own stories. From my personal point of view, I appreciate all the dramas happened in my life so far and I also enjoy discovering other people’s stories that made them who they are now.

What would you be if you were not a fashion designer, will you be part of the fashion industry at some level or something completely out of it.

I think I might become a psychologist if I had never involved in fashion since I am genuinely fascinated by how human mind works.

How is the typical day in your life?

Work! Work! Work!

I normally wake up at 8:30am and start working from 9am to 5pm. Then I will have my daily walk before dinner. It is the only time in a day that I actually can be alone and think through things. That’s what happened when my workaholic mode is fully turned on. But I can also be very laid back and extremely lazy when I determine to have my break!

What was something you learned at your first internship or job that you’ll never forget?

I would say that I learned how to work with people better and truly become a team player when I had my first job. I transformed to a better way and learned how to communicate with my employer more efficient, smoother and calmer yet still keep my edges when it comes to creativity.

How do you relax after a long stressful day?

I like to take a long walk to Waitrose to do a bit grocery shopping when the weather is not too bad. Otherwise, I would take a shower, stay in bed, eating snacks and watching cartoon.

Many thanks to MinPing and his fabulous team for taking the time to anwer our questions, we always want to show the personal view from the talented and amazing people in the fashion world.

For more on MinPing’s collection, please visit: