When is fashion at it’s best, when its embracing it’s creativity, when it plays at colour, or when it challenges ideas and pushes at the seams of our worlds, well in the case of Ray Chu, it’s all three. The collection is creative, it’s colourful and in it’s themes of exploration of identity, culture and the parts of the world we hide away challenges the viewer to question their relationship with the places around them. In the story telling it takes us to dark places, light places and somewhat mind bending places. Here for those of you that enjoy my slightly off piste pop culture references is a collection and video that could be connected to the boat scene in the original Charlie & The Chocolate factory, it feels uncomfortable at time but draws you in, looking into the detail, deciphering the meaning, and in this enforced digital age are we not all just asking ourselves and our world a series of questions from a ride we can’t control?
Well with all these thoughts in my mind, I had to ask the designer a few questions of my own . . .
This has been a different period for fashion, has the need for a digital presentation felt like additional freedom to tell a story?
It definitely let us to explore many more methods to express our brand story and what is aligned with what the world is going through. It’s way better than just doing a runway. It gives us more time to prepare and organize and to create meaningful content.
The video for the collection has a darkness to it, almost film noir at times, Dali-ist at others, did you have any concerns about how the subjects within it would be received?
Not really. We are doing something that is mixing a classic presentation with tech. The tone of the film is somehow Wong Kar Wai-esque – abstract but truthful to our times. We wanted to create something that is not immediately easily acceptable – ultimately, from a creative standpoint, it is romantic. We want our viewer to digest and re-watch it and find the details hidden in the film, there are many and all are presented from a non-bindery standpoint.
Has the last year altered your connection to fashion?
The immediate change is that we don’t get to fly to fashion weeks. We usually fly to Shanghai and Paris, since the pandemic, the world just stopped. However, the internet is really efficient, we did several zoom meetings with buyers and we all reconnected, actually it gave us more time to talk to buyers than the tight schedule sales campaigns like before.
How did it feel to work with Pigo Lin to create your vision?
It came really naturally. We’ve known each other for a while and we’ve been discussing when is the best time to launch our collaboration and we have LFW which is a perfect time! This illustration Mating Centipede was created exclusively for RAY CHU and it’s also a retrospective to his early illustrations – Mating Snake
To change the stream to sustainability, do you think that the fashion consumers are ready to move away from animal products or is it still only a section of them that are attracted to fabrics like vegan leather?
I do think most of the consumers are ready to move on, they only purchase non-animal skin products in clothing. It used to be regarded by some as a higher social status, maybe still now. However with much more awareness of animal rights and to be honest, we have heating and some other heat-tech fibres – we don’t really need the old time ways to keep us warm.
If fashion is serious about tackling climate control, do you think it can return to a fashion week system that creates huge amounts of carbon as the industry shuttles around the globe?
Regarding any industries, I think traveling to participate in exhibitions was common. Each industry should be responsible for it. Starting last year, I’ve seen people in this industry coming up with new ways like zoom meetings & virtual runways but it also creates some difficulties for buyers to touch the material and see the actual fit even through zoom meetings.
And one question out of nowhere we ask all Taiwanese designers, 7/11 or Family Mart?
I like Family Mart hahahaha