If there is anything, London-based fashion label Ground Zero by designer duo and brothers, Philip and Eri Chu have clearly conjured up magic in their latest collection at Paris Fashion Week AW 2013-14, making the sci-fi genre that has so often been associated as geeky and nerdy into something really fashion-forward and avant garde.
Despite drawing key inspirations from machineries and robots, which are hard and structured, the brothers have managed to infuse a Midas touch, by morphing such elements into fluid digital printed fabrics that are consistently incorporated on looser and easy-wearing pieces, meandering round the wearer’s body.
From beams of rays on the prints of straight-ace blazers for the outers, to oversized sweaters that are totally appropriate for the cold season ahead, as well as uniquely cut-out shoulder details on the dresses and a whole lot of irregular hemlines.
What is totally stunning about the collection is the fact that Philip and Eri have managed to incorporate a play of textures on the fabrics, using the help of technology, such as ripples and lines within the yarns of the fabrics, making them in-sync and at the same time, to contrast with the architecturally-inspired printed fabrics, making it one of Ground Zero’s most intriguing collection by far – all paced in accordance to the theme and the momentum of an unconventional direction in designs.
For a moment or two, the collection reminds us of Star Wars, an ode perhaps, that is truly something that George Lucas would be really proud of.
And for that, we interviewed Philip Chu as he speaks more about this wonderful collection of theirs, and what this exciting year means to the both of them, especially since it’s the 10th anniversary for their label:
Jess: Hi Philip, we love how you and Eri have infused the sci-fi elements into Ground Zero’s Fall/ Winter 2013 collection. What made you choose this genre as a source of inspiration for this season?
Philip: “The initial idea was provoked by interior parts of machinery, from products such as cars to more playful pinball machines. Throughout the design process, the graphics and silhouettes gradually emerged into a stronger space element.”
Jess: Your previous Spring/Summer 2013 collection was also very architectural-driven, with angled geometrical lines. As compared, this season’s linear prints are tad more fluid. Are any reasons for this?
Philip: “We feel we found a better balance in the AW13 collection, where the garment shapes remain to hold linear structure, in contrary the graphic prints portray a softer approach.”
Jess: For a brand that focuses largely on clothes of digitally printed fabrics, what are some of the most important elements when conceptualising a collection?
Philip: “Any collection that consists of prints requires a large amount of time in development. Not only do the silhouettes have to be consistent, also the scale, usage and application of each print have to be considered well together. Fabric testing is a must for quality and colour, amongst precise pattern cutting with the play of print placement. “
Jess: This year marks the tenth year for your label Ground Zero, what are some of your most memorable experiences and highlights for you and your brother during the brand’s design journey?
Philip: “Just being in the official on schedule calendar show for Paris Fashion Week is amazing. There are no words.”
Jess: How do you think your label has grown during the past few years?
Philip: “Ground-Zero has grown towards a more feminine, sophisticated direction, evidently with the past few seasons. We hope to connect to a broader audience; of course still keeping our signature prints and humorous approach.”
Jess: Being based in UK, what are the reasons for showcasing at Paris Fashion Week instead of London Fashion Week?
Philip: “London was our starting point, the foundation for Ground-Zero; over the years we developed a great relationship with our press and showroom solely based in Paris.”
Jess: What are some of the highlights for you and Eri during the recent Paris Fashion Week?
Philip: “The stress and crazy times before the fashion show and the the moment of getting applause at the finale :)”
Jess: Who are some of the designers/ artists that inspire you?
Philip: “Nicolas Ghesquière. Klaus Nomi. Saint Seiya. God Mars (cartoon)”
Jess: For some people, they are actually driven to design by music. What are some of the songs that you listen to while you are designing?
Philip: “Recently we are in love with the Colette Kids Album, i Love the 1st cut so much. Highly recommended! http://www.colette.fr/#/eshop/article/31155023/colette-kids-various-artists-telechargement-mp3-320-kbps/900/ “
Jess: You are quite the social media maven! How do you think the likes of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have helped in shaping Ground Zero, especially during fashion weeks season?
Philip: “All these social network websites are prominently useful in every industry especially design, word of mouth is a powerful method. Apps such as Instagram hold the impression of a more personal touch, rather than a professional scene in which you see on official publications. During fashion weeks, anyone who shares on instalgram allows an instant backstage access to their followers, where the public can see and appreciate another perspective. “
Jess: If you could sum up your style of design in one word, what would it be?