Interview with Elsie So
Elsie is a fashion student with some fresh and original ideas and attitude. Originally from Hong Kong she worked as a fashion design assistant for Cecilia Ma Couture, an emerging designer brand, before moving to London to attend the London College of Fashion pursuing her studies in Fashion Styling and Photography.
Elsie, tell us a little about growing up. When did your interest in fashion first begin?
I was first became interested in fashion when I was studying in Hong Kong. I always think people who study fashion are amazing.
I want to become one of them in the future. Before I studied in the UK, I took a part-time course in HK for fashion and image design. That course really gave me a big change. I decided I must study fashion afterward.
How would you best describe your style?
Well, personally, I love black and white. Maybe some people think these two colors are too simple and it’s not attractive and colorful but simple is the main reason that I love B&W. How to make simple become stylish is my faith when I’m doing different works or collaborations. I know there are so many people think that fashion is for rich people only. Including my parents. They always think if you study fashion, you have to spend a huge amount of money on it but it’s totally wrong! I’m not rich but I want to change their minds and tell them fashion is for everyone by all my works. Fashion is just like air. It’s around us in our everyday life. Even you don’t have any luxury items, what you wearing now, any window-shopping that you doing now, they are all “Fashion”!
Who do you design for? Describe the type of person who would wear your designs?
Actually I’m not design for anyone because I’m studying fashion styling not exactly fashion design and I still haven’t started my career yet. I just do the styling for some collaborations with different schoolmates and friends sometimes. Also for my own coursework. But in March, I created an event myself and I’m gonna do it between July to August in Hong Kong. It’s about collaborating with different online shop owners and young fashion designers. I’m planning to do the photo shoot for them because there are some online shops owners and they got so many cool items and stuffs but they may need someone to help them taking photos of it and make it looks more attractive. I know some people who studying fashion design and they always got some really nice garments and they need a photographer to take photos of them for preparing their portfolios. I’m really happy to be their photographer and I can take it as part of my portfolio as well. Can’t wait to doing this!
Now that you are in school when do your classmates think of your designs?
We always exchange our ideas together and share our own works to each others. Also we often have some group workshops in my class. It gives us a great chance to work with different classmates and with friends from different countries.
Who is your inspiration?
Well, it’s quite complicated to tell you who is my inspiration because it depends on what project I do and what theme or style I need. But every time when I do some research for my coursework, I won’t just focus on one person. I will try to focus on people who come from different countries and compare their styles together.
When you create something, what goes through your mind? What is your process?
Sometimes I got too much ideas at the same time. Too much like I can’t handle it. But sometimes I get nothing. When I’m doing my own work, I will try to write down what I’m going to do and what I have to do first. Listing those things out is really helpful for me to finish my work effectually.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love doing the styling so much. It’s so exciting and fun to mix and match different items together. When you see the models wear your outfits under the camera, that feeling is amazing!
What is most challenging about a career in fashion design?
I think it’s how people think about your designs. You know there’s nothing perfect in the world. It’s really difficult to convince people why they have to choose you. Someone may say something really bad about your work and we have to learn how to accept and improve.
What other skills do you feel are important?
The most important thing is you have to be yourself! I know everyone who doing fashion want to become famous. They think how famous you are means how rich you are. Before becoming famous, we have to be ourselves. Don’t copy ideas from others and learn how to be strong even you are facing some challenges.
You are also a photographer. What style or type of images do you enjoy taking?
I don’t really like doing some colorful photo shoots. I’m not saying they are not good enough. It’s just not my style. I love some dark style and black & white photos. I visited different places in London and took some photos of the people there in October 2011. I really love taking some street portrait photos in black & white. It shows the reality. Also I love taking photos of different street fashion. That’s why I created a facebook page with my friend in Hong Kong in November 2011. It’s called WATCH-OUT.
We share different street fashion snaps between London and HK. We still keep going on it. I hope more people can get in touch with my page and love it.
Do you feel having a background in photography will help your fashion design and vice versa?
Well I think fashion styling and photography are inseparable. You can’t get the perfect image without doing a photo shoot even you got a great outfit.
What is exciting to you right now in fashion?
Since I got into LCF and study what I love is already really exciting to me, not just right now. But I really look forward the rest of my school life in the coming year!
What do you hope to do when you graduate?
I hope I can become a fashion stylist or work for a fashion magazine in my future. It’s really my dream since long time ago. I wish it can come true. And if i have enough budget, I hope I can publish SPY magazine.
Where can we go to find more about you and your work?
Here is my website and I will upload all my works there.
Here is Watch Out on Facebook
You can contact me on facebook as well.
Elsie S. Jane (firstname.lastname@example.org)