|160||[인터뷰] AUXILIARY MAGAZINE / BLENDER BOOK MAGAZINE||VANDALIST|
유럽 매거진 AUXILIARY MAGAZINE과 BLENDER BOOK MAGAZINE (2020, SUMMER)에 게재된
디자이너 VANDAL의 인터뷰입니다.
BLENDER BOOK MAGAZINE, VANDALIST
1. Why did you decide to choose fashion designing as a career?
I have been interested in clothes since I was young. I naturally wanted to design myself, and while majoring in clothing in Yonsei university, I launched a vandalist in fourth grade. It was natural.
2. What according to you is a favorite part of being a fashion designer?
Well, I can express my own emotions and imaginations. And it's best to see the people wearing the clothes happy.
3. The designs you created are no doubt good enough, but who and which things were your inspiration while creating such designs when you started ? Do you have a model creator ? What are your main inspirations ? (movies, events, music, drawings, life, nature .. )
Thank you, everything around me is an inspiration. Music, movies, and reading books are the biggest parts of my daily life.
I enjoy imagining and taking a walk alone.
4. How would you define fashion and haute couture ?
It's a very difficult problem. Thirteen years have passed since the first collection, but it is still a difficult problem for me. It is difficult for a designer to strike a balance between a collection (haute couture) and a fashion business. Rather than agonizing over the format or concept or leveling the show, I concluded that I just have to show my own imagination every moment.
5. How did you start ? Did you had internships etc Say something about your background.
Ever since I was 20, I have been hanging out with fashion and music lovers. They are now photographers, directors, and designers like me. Each started early in their respective fields without anyone's help. I've never been an intern, and I started alone bravely. ^^
6. What skills according to you are necessary for a successful fashion designer?
They should understand the basic aspects of being a designer. material, pattern, color, etc.
And what I think most important is that I have to have my own philosophy. Making good clothes and expressing one's philosophy through fashion is a very different matter.
7. Are you literate regarding computers and technology for designing? Or what kind of software you use while designing. If no, then also be frank?
I know a little about computer and various programs because I have been doing electronic music together. But sketches and designs are still hand-drawn. Then the instructions for production are made into the adobe program.
8. What do you think about work ethics and what kind of ethics you believe in following while working with fashion?
Wouldn't it be similar to other jobs?
However, I think that the special nature of fashion should be more generous in some areas and more sensitive in some areas.
My philosophy is to impress people with my clothes and designs.
The same is true of the rocess of making clothes.It is also my work ethic.
9. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Sensitive imagination seems to be my talent. And persistent patience. That's what people say around me.
The weakness I think is that I seem to lack a business mindset (I'm trying), and I like to meet new people and too much interesting, so I'm spontaneous and emotional.
10. How would you describe your personal style?
I like minimal architecture and fine interior, love heart-moving music, watch movies that are extremely realistic or extremely unrealistic, and my most comfortable and old habit is reading books.
11. Do you usually wear the kind of clothes you like designing in your everyday life ?
What surprises others is that I only wear what I make. I sometimes wear clothes that other designer gave me as a gift, but I wear clothes that I make every day and think about design or comfort.
12. By the way, why did you decide to create dark fashion ? Is dark fashion recognized in the industry ? Is it a growing trend in Korea ?
Fourteen years ago, there were very few. There are more and more these days, but there are still things that aren't mainstream.
And I've never defined Vandalist as dark wear, but whatever you call it is fine.
Many fashion people say that Vandalist is a pioneer of dark wear in Korea.
13. If you had the opportunity to co-create with another designer, who would you choose ?
It has been the same since 20 years ago.
Martin Margiela, Yōji Yamamoto, and Paul Smith.
14. Your style is very minimalist. How do you explain the recurrent minimal use of props ? Are you playing with space when you display your creations during a fashion show ? Is there an inner message behind your minimalism ?
I have been a minimalist ever since I was young. Everything, as well as clothes, seeks minimal form. Decorations without function are unnecessary to me unless the decorations themselves mean something. It's hard to explain, but I just look, and I see what I need to get rid of. Every part of the fashion show I try to control. I am trying to express my own hidden message and feelings. But It doesn't matter if other people know or not. It includes both the main theme of the show people already know and a very personal message that only I know. For example, I was a big fan of Nirvana. Before Kurt Cobain committed suicide, the graffiti on the guitar of the last unplugged performance was vandalism. I used that music for finale music of collection.
15. That minimalism gives the impression of unhuman feelings, distance, lack of empathy. Models look faceless. Would you say that your works are emotionally un-charged ?
The minimalism I seek is not inhuman. Rather, I pursue an extremely emotional and human sensibility. It's just imagination and my natural taste. Nothing more to subtract, nothing more to me is complete.
16. How do you create a piece ? Can you describe your typical creative process ? (how you get an idea, how you sketch it ... )
Suddenly everything comes to mind. Design, model, mood, music, details, etc.
I keep sketching and sketching when that happens. I keep taking notes so that I don't want to miss it because I've experienced it so much.
Most of the collections are then conceived After that, it's all the work that makes it a reality. I think 70 percent of what I imagined would be a success, but it has never been. All the past collections are unsatisfactory to me.
17. If you weren’t a designer, what kind of job would you have chosen ?
I would have been a farmer or a movie director. I love blue sky and flowers and movie.
18. Most families disregard liberal arts, as potentially non-lucrative ? Did your parents encourage and support you ?
Humanities are the basis of all learning. In Korea, any major is required to learn humanities. My parents value personality and manners. And My parents emphasized reading books, many books, since childhood. There is no pressure on what to do. It was the biggest support and also the pressure. Silent pressure, I guess. ^^
19. You come from a country in which alternative fashion and modus vivendi are considered to be quite unatural. Are you the « Black sheep of Korea » ? What is your opinion of Korean reticence towards non-mainstream subcultures ?
Unfortunately, I think I am still black sheep in the Korean fashion industry. But I don't intend to give up. The times have changed and it is now an era where anyone can act on the world stage.
As you know, Seoul is a very dynamic city. Many artists are working hard in the nonmainstream and subculture.
I believe that I will continue to do what I can and someday the Vandalist will be the main stream in the world.
20. What art areas, trends or subcultures inspire your work ? Are you a member of a specific subculture yourself ?
I am not a member of any particular culture. It never was. I just have no prejudice or restriction against culture or people. The artist I admire most in all fields is Paik Nam-june, the founder of Media Art. I think I was influenced the most by Namjoon Baek. And my friends are various. From underground musicians to carpenters. Unconsciously, it seems that everyone is inspired by each other.
21. Are you interested in contemporary politics ? How does it impact your art ?
I am very interested in contemporary politics. When I was in university, I was very progressive. Now changed a little. I want to live like Che Guevara said. "Be a realist, but have an impossible dream in hearts." (Not exactly..)
That is why my brand name is vandalist.
22. Many Asian designers like to incorporate their ethnic heritage in their work. Are you into it or are you not specifically interested in conveying your roots through your textiles ?
Of course, but I don't want the sense of duty to interfere with my imagination.
One day, if what I want to do goes well with it, I want to do it coolly.
Of course I have to study a lot.
23. You designate your collections as pure and raw. Pure art generally tends to be quiet and concilient. However, they actually are very vindicate and destructive. How raw yet pure art can be that rebellious ?
As we grow up, we go through socialization and lose innocence and rawness. The process of adapting to the social system is called the process of becoming an adult. That is why pure rawness can be more destructive and rebellious.
24. How do you choose your models ? Do they have to stick more to pureness or more to rebellion ? What is the prototypical profile of a Vandalist model ?
There is the purity I see. Appearance is important as a model, but I like a model that has something unique to express my clothes.
There are no specific criteria for choosing a model. I am always looking for a good model.
25. Have you been a model yourself in the past ?
In 2006, the first season since my debut, I was a model for a vandalist. In a few looks.
26. Celebrities such as Kim Hyun Jun, Jaurim or GOT7 wore your clothes. Picking one specific celebrity (BTS, Monsta X or anyone else .. ), tell us about the whole experience. What kind of design did you create ? For which event ? What artistic or stylistic purpose ? (on which song or movie or else) What kind of material you resort to then in order to fit the style required for the artist(s).
Almost every male and a few female celebrity in Korea, including BTS and MOSTA-X, wore a vandalist. K-pop STARS, actors, broadcasters, musicians, magazines, and so on. Too many. Their styling team comes to pick our clothes and pick up. It's the same process that customers choose clothes from our homepage. The case where I make clothes for a celebrity is a special case. For example, when I am the art director of the musician's album cover or something or has the purpose of appearing in a particular program. For example, a year-end ceremony.
27. Which other celebrity (or celebrities) would you visualize as models for your shows ? Who would be perfect for them ?
Kurt Cobain is the most perfect model for me.
And, Well, I want to find a model that would be a celebrity rather than a current celebrity.
28. What have been your favorite event(s) until now ? Favorite fashion show or moment.
Every show drives me crazy. From the small and corner Korean local gallery to the largest club in Korea, to the Olympic Main Stadium in Seoul. Most recently, the runway show in Paris was new. The response was so good that it was amazing.
29. As far as I know, you’re also into music. Can you tell us more about it ? Have you ever considered creating music for your shows exclusively in the future ?
From the first show in 2007 until now I make the runway music of the vandalist. I even played with other musicians during the runway.
My single album will be released at the same time with new design at the end of this month
From now on, I will continue to release electronic music albums.
I have been a member of an underground rock band since I was 21. I have been doing fashion design and making runway music myself, but now I want to try fashion and music in a completely different way.
30. Do you have specific upcoming projects ? Whatever they are. Music or fashion. This year or on a longer term.
In 2019, Vandalist was out of business for a year. Everyone advised me about how dangerous it is to stop the brand temporarily. I had worked for 12 years. I just want to take a rest. And so, I did it. Now, I am full of new enthusiasm. And from this year on, exactly this week, Vandalist opened again.
We are opening our homepage again and thanking those who waited for us.
First of all, the new Vandalist design will be released within a month.
At the same time, my electronic single will be released on March 30.
The album will be released under a different name that is not associated with Vandalist. But same time, same theme.
That is "Bird".
Thank you so much.
Thank you Yang Hee Min, it’s been a pleasure and hope to see you again in Paris !