INTERVIEW BY SANZA BULAYA, TRANSLATION BY PEI-YING HSU

 

Established in 2016, Ray Chu is a contemporary label which showcases designs inspired by subculture from 80s- 90s and combined with the use of carefully placed cut-outs reveal the intriguing and sexy side of women without being overly provocative. Casual silhouettes and clean cuts unintentionally add to this harmonious contrast. Ray Chu offers a unique sense of aesthetic through his vision focusing on orchestrating the imagination with the most diverting understated details.

Ray Chu 成立於2016年,是一個當代品牌,風格展現的靈感,來自於80-90年代非主流文化的激發,小心翼翼出色的挑起大家的好奇心,並顯露女人性感的一面,但又不過於挑逗。服裝款式偏向休閒,透過剪裁,展現出不經意的俐落感,形成一種協調的反差。Ray Chu 從他洞察的角度來想像,呈現特別的美感品味,和低調的細節設計.。

 

In the 80’s and in the 90’s, being an underground meant: being out of the mainstream, contrarian, controversial, small by the size, relatively unknown… and provocative. What’s being “underground” for you today? Can we say that “Ray Chu” is an underground label?

在80和90年代,對於地下文化的意思是:非主流、不同於一般人的想法、有話題性、小眾、較不知名、有些爭議的。現在對於你來說, 地下文化是什麼?我們可以稱Ray Chu是一個地下文化類型的品牌嗎?

First, I would say being underground today is still relevant. To me being underground is still a little bit of everything you just said. We cannot distinguish the brand from the designer for example, so the designer, the person behind the creative process, personifies the brand. And of course he/she brings about his/her personality. In my opinion, in “Ray Chu” as a fashion label there is always something mainstream with a mixture of underground or let’s say subculture attitude in my design.

首先,我認為現在對於地下文化的定義,還是有所相似之處。我想,地下文化就像是你所提到的,但我們無法從設計師的個人風格,來對一個品牌下定論。例如: 一個負責發想, 來塑造這個品牌的人,當然會帶入一些自己的風格個性。對於我來說,Ray Chu是個主導潮流的流行品牌,在設計風格裡,混合地下文化,但又有一些次文化的精神。

 

Can you tell us about some underground movements that have influenced you as a person and as a designer?

你是否可以告訴我們,哪些地下文化影響了你這個人,以及讓你成為一個設計師?

Grunge and rave do have an influence on me as a designer, and so does music: especially music genre like indie, techno & electro.

Grunge and rave 影響我成為一個設計師,音樂也是。特別是像是獨立音樂、高科技舞曲和電子樂。

 

Ray Chu AW17 GLOSS – In general, as a designer, where do your inspirations come from?

Ray Chu AW17 GLOSS- 通常,身為一個設計師,你的靈感來源來自哪裡?

Mostly, my inspirations come from some small things from my daily life or previous experiences or imagination… Sometimes I tell myself: “if I was a girl, what I would like to wear?” If you notice, actually you can see in my collections some pieces that are more genderless. I really try to translate those inspirations in my design.

通常,我的靈感啟發來自於我生活的小細節,或是以前的經驗和想像…有時候,我會問自己:"如果我是個女孩,我會想穿什麼?"。如果你有注意到,其實可從我的各個系列裡看出比較中性的一部分,我很努力地試著將我的靈感呈現在我的設計裡。

 

Art or Imagination? How much Art or Imagination is part of your creative process?

藝術或是想像? 這兩個部分占有你的創作多少成分?

I would say “imagination” works more for me, but I also like to make some deep dive in previous era to revisit History via photography for instance and to dig in the past to understand what was the means of representation used back then. Let’s say it’s a combination of art reference and imagination.

我會覺得"想像"影響我比較多, 但我也喜歡深入研究以前那個時期,以及透過照片來快速深入了解當時的歷史故事,來發現哪些是過去具有代表性意義部分。可以說,這參考了藝術並結合想像。

 

Art is all about transmission: from inheritance to legacy… if you can choose what will be your legacy, on what aspects would you like to be your footprint?

藝術是一種傳遞:從承襲到傳奇…如果你可以選擇,什麼是你的經典傳奇, 你想要從哪一個面向來成為你停留的痕跡?

I just started this brand on my own and I’m still building up my brand image, which takes time… I don’t see myself yet into that thinking.

我自己才剛開始經營這個品牌,也還在塑造這個品牌的形象風格,這都需要些時間…所以目前,我還沒有進一步想到這部分。

 

What is the most fascinating underground trends / movement you have seen lately in Taiwan?

你最近在台灣是否有看到最令人著迷的地下文化潮流或改變?

“Rave” and many others trends from the 90s like “grunge” culture. Indeed people have been starting wearing those neon color either in clothing or accessories for a while here in Taiwan: typically wearing slouchy pants with oversized pockets and dancing on acid house music…  And for the “grunge” culture, it is definitely going on here in Taipei, you can see girls wearing chokers fishnet top or socks, frayed edge denim…

“Rave” 和像是"grunge"很多其他90年代文化的潮流。的確,有一陣子台灣的人們,會開始穿戴螢光顏色的衣服或飾品:有經典的大口袋的窄管褲,聽迷幻浩室跳舞… 那些 "grunge"文化在台北是很常見的,你可以看到女生戴著頸鍊、網狀上衣或網襪、復古仿舊感的單寧….

  

Why did you choose to be a fashion designer?

為什麼你會選擇當一個時尚設計師?

There is no specific reason behind the path I have chosen. I feel comfortable doing it and I’m really enjoying doing it.

沒有特別的理由讓我選擇這條路,但當在做這件事的時候,我感到自在和很享受在其中。

 

To you, is the Taiwanese culture “underground”?

對你來說,台灣文化也算是一種地下文化?

Not really sure about it. It really depends from which angle you look at it. I would say, for teenagers or people around my age, yes: we are trying to figure what Taiwanese culture is… Not just those night market things, we are talking about something culture related such as the lifestyle and politics: we want to design the way we live, the streets, the architecture, everything.

不太確定,這真的是看你從哪一個角度來看。我想,青少年和與我年紀差不多的人,對的,我們在試著瞭解到底什麼是台灣文化….不只是那些夜市的東西,我們討論些有關於文化層面的東西,像是生活風格和政治,我們想要設計我們的居住方式、街道、建築和所有的事物。

 

 

For his collection Automn / Winter 2017, Ray Chu stays focusing on understated details with playing with placed grommet and hardware detail and frayed edge hem on denim and poplin. The collection was inspired by the street of humid winter in Taipei.

This season, Ray Chu continues to play with denim with a darker shade of federal blue. With playing on frayed edge and P.P. spray to create a look of soaked pants hem

從他FW17”這季,Ray Chu 保留專注於一些低調的細節,玩些鉚釘材質、金屬配件、洗舊單寧和府綢材質。這一季靈感,來自於冬天潮濕的台北街頭。

這一季,Ray Chu會繼續玩些有較暗色系的藍色單寧,加上那些洗舊邊緣和噴漆,來創造一種濕掉的褲子下擺感覺。