Jonathan Liang

ABOUT Jonathan

Jonathan Liang embarked on his fashion journey with eager hands and a cultivated mind. Through the humble desire to bring forth his knowledge in fine arts into life, he sought out tutelage from one of Malaysia’s most prestigious fashion schools, emerging with not only the ‘Most Promising Designer of 2009’ award at Malaysian Fashion Week but numerous other honors including the best collection award in 2010 voted amongst all Raffles Institute of Design students and as the iStyle KLIA winner, a fashion show dedicated to acknowledging the best emerging talents in the Malaysian fashion world.

Seeking inspiration from sources such as the Pink Panther, Shakespeare and the Burning Man event, it wasn’t long before acknowledgement of the young day-dreamer’s keen eye for quality and unique designs proliferated. After only one season, London Fashion Week invited Jonathan to feature in their “A La Mode” showcase.

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What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?

To be able to create a world of my own through the mood, story and designs of a collection would be the best part of this job. Then, to be able to find people who shares the same vision and love with that collection, to enjoy the different world I create each season.

Do you have a specific research process when you start a new collection?

Not really, I’m quite the free-falling kind of person. It doesn’t really matter how I get there, it’s always fun to discover different methods of doing something. You find a little bit more of yourself in this process too.

Who inspires you the most in fashion?

I’m always intrigued by the minds of artists. Pure artist, a purist. Mike Bayne, Luis Feito or Lucile Hadzihalilovic. It helps me look at design in a different perspective, and the challenge is to make it a piece of art everyone would wear on daily basis, even as a comfort attire while they watch crappy tv show and eat junk.

When did you realize it was time to start your own label?

There wasn’t really that moment of awakening, but as I met my partner Jake Chen who runs the business side of the label, and as we became great friends, we’ve just somehow decided to take the plunge. It looks a lot more dramatic and bittersweet in my head, but in reality we were probably in a room, arguing about which Ramen store’s the best in Paris and decided to start the label.

What was the most challenging thing about starting your own label?

Financial support like most young designers face, but we’ve been taking things very slow and steady and we’re constantly learning each season. I feel like, the biggest challenge is yet to come.

…it’s always fun to discover different methods of doing something.

Jonathan Liang
Jonathan Liang

Resort 2015

Inspired by game-goers, bleachers and 80s pop culture, the resort collection explores new silhouettes made for timeless durability and style.

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© Jonathan Liang
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© Jonathan Liang

 

How can you define the result of mixing both fashion worlds, Malaysian and Parisian?

I’ve never really been inspired by neither countries, nor have I incorporated cultures or styles from both countries. I try to approach what I do with a wider angle of what makes me a designer. Do I condone to a given style heavily influenced by my roots? Or be sucked into a style heavily influenced by my dream city? I’ll admit it was a struggle at first, but eventually I discover a little bit more of myself that seems to be a result of mixing both art and the random bits of everyone’s life.

Tell us about you collaboration with Uniqlo as a top designer from Southeast Asia. What was the process of inspiration and design to meet their standards without losing your personal aesthetic?

We’ve collaborated with them twice now, and the process wasn’t that complicated. As it was a series of tees, the struggle came from very limited use of space, colors and prints. We went back and forth on different designs, and the prints were basically a little bit of my collection’s inspiration from past season. So there’s a little bit of me in there.

What was the most rewarding lesson you got from this experience?

Dealing with tight limitations with a megabrand.

What are you working on at the moment?

Our pre-fall 2015 just launched and we are about done with our fall/winter 2015, and we’re planning on our pop-ups, new stores and showrooms for the coming year. It’s going to be a crazy one, but I really am enjoying this long journey ahead.

Where do you see yourself and your label in 5 years?

Hopefully in New York where the studio will be based along with D.D a Malaysian brand where I’m working as their creative director too. The showroom will still be in Paris. And well maybe to be in a cool “travel and food tasting” tv show where I get to go around and try weird food around the world.

Burners – Spring/Summer 2015

This season draws inspiration from freedom fighters fused with the careful study of abstract technique and progress by Jackson Pollock, creating pieces that are versatile, interchangeable and effortless grace

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© Jonathan Liang

 

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© Jonathan Liang