Toronto Fashion Week: Adrian Wu SS’12

Adrian Wu, 21 year old Canadian fashion designer, is ahead of his time. Considering his age, we did not expect to see such innovative & avant-garde designs to come down the runway last Friday. Inspired by quantum physics (we can’t even wrap our head around this), Wu’s collection is 100% original design. With cosmic head pieces, voluminous sphere silhouettes, and handmade platform heels, that stood at least 8 inches high, each design made it’s own unique statement.

1. You’re pretty much a self-made prodigy, teaching yourself to sew, starting your own design company, releasing 7 collections, and being featured in multiple media sources. How important is it for you to present your latest designs to your peers at LG Fashion Week?

I think it’s important for me to show this season at LG fashion week, mainly because that event itself is what fashion is all about. There is a reason that LG fashion week is credible. I think that for me as a designer in this 21st century is to understand the importance of credibility – fashion by definition can be said to reference anything that is in current trend. And I see it as a stepping stone for me to greater my vision, bigger production, bigger vision. LG is the biggest we have in Canada as a fashion week and to be apart of it is defiantly an honor.

2. You will be opening a store front studio in downtown Toronto at the end of the year, was this the natural next step for your to take to further your brand?

Brand is such a sticky word for me. Branding is the money side of fashion or one could say business side. And it’s something I struggle with as an artist – do something for people or to do something for myself. But as a person – yes I thought it was the natural step was to be in Toronto. I think people need to be realistic when you talk about what is called the fashion industry here in Canada. And ultimately I think there lacks a scene. In the times of Andy Warhol he had a studio where creative people just hung around and did art and I think I want to bring something like that to Toronto. A fashion/art scene – another reason I’m doing this – is kind of just because I can haha.

3. What was your inspiration for Spring/Summer 2012?

I don’t want to get into it because I’m going to get too into it and nerdy like but, it’s inspired by quantum physics. Ultimately I am very interested in unlearning things I already know. And I talk a lot about this because I am very fascinated by what is considered the norm. Who says you can’t make a collection inspired by science? Or who says art and science can’t co-exist? Who says guys and girls need to dress like this? That’s why I’m doing this – it isn’t just about the collection – it’s about the message. Ultimately three things inspire me, my mother, philosophy, and the whole idea around “what hasn’t been done?”

4. Your designs are always so innovative, making use of strong structural silhouettes and geometric shapes. What draws you to these designs and shapes?

I guess a couple things draw me to this – I find that I am quite complicated when you bring up the idea of – why do I design? – when in reality I feel as if I don’t design at all but rather create. I think life is so boring, and that’s why I do what I do. To bring life to clothing. And yeah I guess I am a huge researcher of fashion and I think about the brilliance of historic traditional designers like Christian Dior or Yves Saint Laurent – to extreme modern designers like Victor and Rolf or¬† Hussein Chalayan – and in doing so brings a medium between tradition and modern.

5. What are some of your favorite trends that you’ve seen walk the runways this season?

I love this question because I am a huge fashion researcher and I loved this whole bold colors we are seeing with Burberry Prorsum or the femininity in Louis Vuitton and Chanel – did anyone see that Prada show with the cars? Insane…like the relevance of the 21st century seems to really correlate within fashion now a days – in my opinion –

6. What trends can we expect to see in your collection for Spring?

I think it will be pretty obvious what my main trend or concept is. But other trends would have to be lace and my use of voile. Voile is my fabric of choice in this collection – in French it means veil. I guess I am always fascinated in making collections out of the most unconventional fabrics in the most unconventional ways.

7. You collaborated with Allan Candy, and created designs using bus shelter ads, how do you feel about sustaining a minimal carbon footprint? Do you think about this when designing?

Have you seen the documentary “cool it?” – watch it, it’s brilliant because yes of course I think about our carbon footprint – but in all honesty I think it’s kind of corporate brain washing that humans are being blamed – I think not as a designer but as a human being you need to think about our carbon foot print but common, there are bigger issues on this planet.

8. Do you think your prior experiences in the fashion and media industry  (working at MuchMusic, and being published in Style Diaries) have prepared you for the tough critiques of the industry?

No – you know why – cause 90% of what is called the Canadian fashion industry – can’t name 5 British designers or the historic reasons why the top designers are well known – so no when you talk about that 90% – the only preparation I have for that 10% (that being those of editors of credible magazines and accomplished individuals in the international fashion industry) is my own research and knowledge of historic or successful designers that have made a name for themselves – and ultimately my confidence in my own designs.

9. You’re only 21, what gives you the drive and passion, that so many young people may be struggling to discover within themselves?

My drive is art. No seriously – it took me a while to come to that conclusion – finding your passion is most important. Watch sir ken Robinson’s Ted talks – he is a genius and lead me these conclusion – also ‘culture is not your friend’ by Terrence McKenna.

10. I read a past interview with you where you said success is being recognized through history and at such a young age you do not necessarily deem yourself successful. Do you see yourself 10, 20, 40 years from now still in this industry at the level of such successors as perhaps Karl Lagerfeld?

Let me meet him first and then I’ll get back to you.

Maddy Aubert