One To Watch from Fashionclash Festival 2016! Designer Sue Suh – with her brand 8CUFF – presented one of my favourite collections in Maastricht. Taking inspiration from a Hungarian film, Taxidermia. Her design is modern and fashion forward. I had a little chat with the designer about her work and what challenges she faces during the design process. Well done.
Name: Sue Suh / Age: 27 / Hometown: Seoul /Menswear or Womenswear: Mens
Hello. Welcome to KALTBLUT. Why have you decided to participate at FASHIONCLASH Festival?
SS: I found out about this event in 2015. The event participants and organising theme caught my eyes, really wished to be part of the creative team.
Can you tell us something about the collection you presented at the FASHIONCLASH Festival 2016? What was your inspiration?
SS: The inspiration derives from Hungarian film, Taxidermia. The story is about desire and obsession through 3 era in a gore and eccentric mood. It inspired me the feeling of ‘uncertainty’, which linked to the loop of anxiety in our contemporary time; the nature struggle that we have in our creative practice, and the obsession on the uncertain hope.
This collection describe the uncertainty in our society through out different forms of obsession and desire.
What kind of material did you used for the collection?
SS: When designing the collection, I wanted to use various materials to challenge myself. I used satin, wool, knit, denim, hand ripped denim straps, lamb fur, linen, suede, lamb skin, cow skin, silk, and velour. I have tried to juxtapose some shiny fabrics with textured embroidery and untidy fabrics to describe glittery hope in the uncertainty.
What challenges did you face during the design process?
SS: Defining the inspiration took some time, as I had this indescribable feeling from the film, and I had to research and justify what I was thinking. A book called ‘Denial of Death’ by Ernest Becker helped me clear up my mind. “…Human beings are naturally anxious because we are ultimately helpless and abandoned in a world where we are fated to die”(Becker, 1973, p.23)
Also when designing the garments I was focusing on the mood of the looks rather then the colour, fabrics or shapes, I was worried that the whole collection would not look coherent.
How would you describe your self and your work?
SS: I see all the happening around the world is something that is unfortunate and we are all connected with, that we have to deal with it. I try to be realist, to see what issue is happening around me and what can I do about it, thats where the word 8CUFF came from, garments inspired by the issues.
Tell us about your journey that led you to this point.
SS: 4 years ago I was running a business which was nothing related to the fashion, I was attending the school for some other reason, then when I moved to Hong Kong, I met this amazing lecturer who changed my misunderstanding about fashion, and taught me that I can communicate with others through my collections. I was lucky to be featured on Vogue Italia for my BA collection and got some great exposures and opportunities, so I continued with my own label collections.
What would you say this is the biggest influence to your design process?
SS: People’s opinion, how people think about an object, how it can be so different from another, and how people can feel the same things. This kind of fact influence me big time when I design a new collection.
If you had not become a fashion designer, what would you do instead?
SS: I would be keep running the waffle house.
Who’s your dream client?
SS: Who would argue with me about the topics or appreciate the topics that I suggested.
What was the first item you have ever designed? And who was the lucky one to get it?
SS: From my BA collection ’Who watches the watchmen’, jersey that was printed with politician face, I sold it to a blogger who contacted me after the show.
What can we expect from you in near future?
SS: Maybe you have felt from my collection, fashion itself is an endless loop of anxiety for me, and I always have the feeling that I am not enough so I will try to get more experience and come back as 8CUFF or 8CUFFalpha.
Where can we buy your fashion?
SS: Not sure yet.
Interview by Marcel Schlutt
Photos by Team Peter Stigter