Report by Aleyah Solomon
From model casting to setting the lights for the show, preparation for a runway presentation is an intensive process.
Model casting often means individually visiting different agencies; add that to strategizing hair and make-up, accessorizing the clothing and, in Adrian Wu’s case, creating the environment on the catwalk, and this makes for quite the process.
Casting for the show
“I don’t know if there is anything ‘favourite’ about the process because it is exhausted,” says Wu. “But I look forward every season to my ideas being done.”
Wu has a very distinct style as a designer. He says he likes to stay true to his design aesthetic: “The shapes and silhouettes are my brand. The average person doesn’t realize that I have already created over 500 pieces.”
When asked about designing a wearable version of his clothing, Wu explains that he will do so one day when he has the right investors. “I think it is inevitable that I will come up with a ‘real’ collection, that’s buyable and consumer-friendly.”
Wu’s spring/summer 2013 runway presentation at the World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto was inspired by the video game genre. He explains that he was influenced by his friend Christos Marcopoulos who is an architect based in Toronto.
“I approached him and told him I was showing at Toronto Fashion Week about six weeks before the show, and that I wanted to create a collection with a different kind of material. He was telling me about all these interesting architects who work with different mediums, but specifically about a guy who created a foam house. I was like well, why can’t I make a dress out of it? And he said: you can, why not use polyurethane?
“So I ended up spraying it on a mannequin to see how it moves, and after about a month-and–a-half of research I came up with the dress concept. I had to do a lot of market research to make sure it would actually work, and that was the beginning process of how I came up with the production. Later on, with the show aspect, I put on the inspirations of romanticism and video games to give it context.”
Spring/summer 2013 – backstage & runway
Some of his fall/winter 2012 criticism did not affect Wu’s experimental mind. “I think last season was a good example of me experimenting with what I can get away with. I am not one to cover up my motives, as not only a fashion designer, but as a businessman. And, I guess, I wanted to go with a different approach this season because my life was changing, and a lot of what I do is a mirror of what is going on in my personal life.”