April 27, 2011

Andrea Wolf

Because no likes Sophie and myself, no one answered our emails so we don't have our own interview to show you, but fortunately for us we have some awesome friends who let us use one of there many interviews (obviously people like them ). Anywhoo this interview is with the talented Andrea Wolf.
How did you become interested in Fashion Design? And how do you feel about your achievements?
I wouldn't say I am interested in 'fashion design'. It is the process of creation and construction of garments that interests me. I have been very fortunate in the competitions and opportunities I have won/received, albeit through a lot of hard work, and am proud of my achievements but there is still much more I want to do.

What’s the inspiration behind your ecological approach?
I don't like to think of myself as an 'eco-designer'. Responsible and sustainable design and the creation of beautiful pieces need not be mutually exclusive. My motivation is that I would hate for my designs to have a detrimental effect on the life of someone else and so I try wherever possible to minimize the negative impact.

Who is your favourite designer? 
Yohji Yamamoto, although I prefer his older collections. I love tailoring and have a great admiration for genuine bespoke tailors over many designers. I admire those who design and create with longevity in mind, creating beautiful quality pieces that only look better with age.

As a student, you may understand the struggles behind the economical hardship. How do you feel about celebrities getting all the high-end freebies when they are able to afford those items?
I dislike the notion of celebrity. To celebrate achievement is one thing, to fawn over someone because they are merely well-known is horrible. I cannot imagine dressing someone, anyone, for free just because they are well known. To a designer, the greatest compliment someone can pay is to purchase your pieces as they want to wear them, regardless of their name or status. 

Do you come up with concepts for designs first or is it more of an unplanned thing? How did you bring your inspiration to reality?
My ideas generally come from whatever I'm reading. I tend to have an idea of what I want to create and then I let the piece evolve as I work on it. There's no point forcing something to look like what you've drawn on a piece of paper as it will end up looking contrived.

I have a great admiration for the aesthetics of Japanese design which is based on the principles of imperfection, incompleteness and impermanency and always have this in the back of my mind when designing.

What do you hope to have achieved in the industry, 10 years from now?
I'm still not sure what I want to achieve in the industry as it is constantly evolving. I would like to travel and work internationally and then work on establishing my own label. 

I hope one day to be able to be a positive influence in the industry, as with any other industry, it cannot continue the way in which it currently is without significant social and environmental impacts. Even at the moment, we have a significant skills shortage as the industry continues to send manufacturing offshore rather than cultivating a local skills base.
We cannot continue to pollute waterways and farm lands with harmful dyes and chemicals, to allow people to work for next to nothing in horrendous conditions and to create billions of pieces of 'fast fashion' which end up as landfill within the year. 

What do you have to say to the next generation, particularly for those hoping to follow in your footsteps?
Only if you have conviction in what you are doing, will people pay attention to what you are creating. Immerse yourself in as many aspects of the industry and gain as many skills as you can. Merely being a 'designer' is not enough.

The craft of making garments, for instance tailoring, is rapidly dying out and it is for this generation to continue to absorb and pass on the knowledge to others as it would be a tragedy to lose sight of what this whole industry once was.


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