What's your name and what do you do?
My name is Di Huang and I'm from the mainland of China. I define myself as a fashion stylist, buyer and freelance illustrator.
I used to use ‘Janet, Edith, Vista and Heidi’ as my preference names, but finally I found nothing is better than my original name. It means ‘ wise’ in Chinese, brief, simple and pretty.
Where did you or do you go now to college? What is or was your major?
My bachelor degree was achieved in Macquarie University, Australia, majored in Commerce and Accounting. Then I studied BA, Fashion design in Savannah College of Art and Design for one year. Currently I have been accepted at Savannah College of Art and Design as a Luxury Management and Fashion Marketing Master student by fall, 2013. I'm quite satisfied with both of the fields I have learned.
Accounting has let me understand how the business of fashion works, while fashion marketing will combine the two together.
Out of all the places you have traveled to what was your favorite in terms of culture and fashion?
In the year of 2012, I had a vacation to Europe. It was probably my best journey ever. I took 24 hours to fly from Sydney to Madrid. During my journey through Athens, I was repatriated from Turkey because my visa was expired I was close to bankrupt as well haha. The strangers I had met and the emotions in the journey have a delicate but deep influence to my work. The unexpected conflicts and triumphs refreshed my the way I thought about culture and life in this world.
In my fashion design or daily looks, you can tell the mix-match of different cultures, religions, and gender. I'm inspired from Europe to New Zealand. I of course am of course inspired by a lot of areas in China. I love nature and first-hand ideas rather than fancy city walks.
Where do you get your inspirations for your clothing designs?
First, history. I'm the type of person who'd love to look backwards. It's a common view of most of the designers. I'm not intent to repeat history, I just re-organized and re-defined the information I achieved through books, movies and museums.
Childhood is the cradle of good resources as well. This week I begin to read “Mary Poppins” again. When I was a kid I hope Mary Poppins could fly to my bedroom in the night, but now I'm wondering if she could be a good model for an umbrella advertisement, that would need a better wind coat?
Why do you want to go into fashion?
The story is funny. I was very fat as a kid, probably 200 pounds. Normally I wore oversize men's sports wear because all the clothes for teenagers were too small for me. I still remember once my mum brought me a very big pink silk blouse when she was on business in Hong Kong, I cried badly and put the blouse over a pillow and holding it while sleeping… in my childhood I felt so eager to have beautiful clothes and a pretty appearance, COSMO and ELLE were my favorite magazines.
I think they gave me a rough principle to fashion during that time. In the few years later I lost weight very fast. I couldn't stop shopping and thinking about how I could play dress up whenever I had the chance. In some boring lectures I spent time by drawing clothes and models in my textbook. I even designed a virtual fashion boutique with my classmate through my whole year in Politics class. I enjoyed the games a lot. I majored in Accounting in my undergraduate study, but I realized I had to go back to my first love, which was fashion.
We're experiencing nowadays, and creating tomorrow, only yesterday we can't take control of.
If you could create an ultimate or your favorite style what would it be?
My fashion philosophy is to create styles within the inner world and intentions of human beings. Let ladies feel graceful, let kids feel innocent, let punks feel punk, let bitches feel slut, let people feel like what they would love to be. Let everyone feel comfortable to themselves and breeze the air of freedom.
In addition, I'm looking forward to use high-tech fabrics and 3D print techniques in the future. Technique is the trend and it indeed changes the industry. With the exhausting of nature resources, the usual materials today might be shortened someday, I'd love to make eco-friendly products.
What does vintage items mean to you?
Vintage item means endless stories, imaginations, inspirations, powers and resources. Rubbishes are rubbishes, they can't be more attractive through the time. But a lot of normal stuff could be attractive after the test of time.
We're experiencing nowadays, and creating tomorrow, only yesterday we can't take control of. I visit antique stores in Savannah every week. Once I found a 1970's purse, that looks exactly like my new Marc Jacobs purse. I believe good fashion designers have time machines in their brains, they have the ability to travel through past, now and future, create some classics and meaningful stuff. They try not to appease the public with a clap-trap.
Who inspires you as an artist?
Myself. No one pushed me to be an artist. I believe everyone has the chance and ability to be an artist, or any job. The ticket is wrote by ourselves, we need to decide which gate we should enter into.
What are you working on right now?
I'm seeking opportunities and researching the Chinese market. I noticed lots of designers studied overseas and went back to China to launch their own brands. In recent years, I've noticed their styles are so fresh and exciting, but most of them are in small size and not commercialized. One persons' strength is limited, I hope our local designers could be connected as a group, and more and more brands from China could be globalized and known through different nationalities.
What's your process in designing ?
The first step is to record inspirations and imaginations, then simplify the ideas and decide how to apply them through textiles and make sure they can transfer to wearable clothes.
What do you want to do when you get out of college?
I will start my own business for sure, probably just a small retail store, or personal fashion studio. It's my dream since kindergarten, never ever changed. I'm so glad my families and friends always supports me, I feel so encouraged and motivated.
Fun Questions -
If you could design an outfit for anybody in the world living or past who would it be?
There's an old man in wheelchair near the Starbucks in the town of my college. He never changed his clothes through the year since I came to Savannah. He has a grey peaked cap, dark blue shirt and denim Bib pants. He lost his legs so he doesn't wear shoes. He remembers my name so well. Each time I walk by he smiling to me and greeting: “You look good today.”
As a fashion designer, my target markets are those who have purchase abilities, and those people are not short for clothes. We have to receive the reality that our works might be one of the wastes in someones wardrobe. I hope I could design an outfit to people who think of the design as a treasure.
you had to go off into space to find the next rare treasure where
would you go to find it?
Probably I will fly all the way ahead to the furthest place I could reach to, and finally find the world we are living in is a false appearance like the movie of “Truman work”. I will step into the area totally different in spacing, timing and materials. If possible I hope to visit the Planet B612, spent one day there, sitting in the volcano, watch the sunset 43 times.
Do you like the color black more or white?
In the daytime I open my black eyes to see the colorful world. In the night I close my eyes to enjoy the peaceful of darkness. So I like black.