Each day during Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, Cream profiles an emerging designer, betting that these are the trend-setting folks to watch. Today we put 7 questions to designer Lisa Liu, whose hyperfeminine label lisazhl plays with gender stereotypes and is this season inspired by air force uniforms.
How long have you been designing fashion, and what is the primary reason you got into the industry?
I’ve been studying fashion for the past four years and only just developed my first collection, so I’m quite new to it all. There was this super cool girl I looked up to in high school who made her own clothes. It got me interested and I decided to give it a go — turns out I wasn’t too bad.
The fashion industry is often described as ‘fickle’. Designers need to compete in an oversaturated market, and address environmental impact, among other things. What are the key attributes you possess that will see you coping with all these factors?
I’m not really into keeping up with trends. Anything can be trendy if you want it to be, even daggy things can be trendy in an ironic way. I know what my label is about which is the most important thing when it comes to coping with the craziness of fashion. I do think that every designer needs to be environmentally conscious. It’s easy to forget how destructive the industry can be.
How long have you been preparing your upcoming show at VAMFF?
I spent a year working on my graduate collection and am super lucky I got selected into the National Graduate Showcase. It’s been a good ride.
How best would you describe your new season collection?
My collection is a response to military gender stereotypes and inspired by air force uniforms. It’s colourful, hyperfeminine and bold.
If you absolutely had to compare your design vision with a well-established, veteran designer, who would that be?
Maybe Jeremy Scott. I like how he isn’t afraid to dive into the deep end and how his collections have a feeling of optimism. Plus, all that colour!
Have you ever worked for another fashion company, either prior to or during launching your own label? If so, where was it, and what did you learn from working there?
I interned for a little while at this label called Shekudo, back when they made clothes locally in Sydney. We were a tiny team working out of this shared studio space. It made me realise how tough the industry can be, but also taught me resilience. Things will never pan out the way you expect and that’s totally okay.
Please complete this sentence: “I live for fashion. The only other things I truly live for are…”
Good company, and a full nine hours of sleep and dancing.
For updates on Melbourne Fashion Festival 2018 visit www.vamff.com.au.