FRAGILY STUDIO INTERVIEW
FRAGILY STUDIO - INTERVIEW
This week we get up close and personal with the designer behind Fragily Studio about the fundamentals of his emerging label and the inspirations behind this exciting new start-up
Fragily offers a contemporary reinterpretation of classic tailored pieces in a monochromatic palette. With each collection carefully constructed, the contemporary forms create a coexistence between femininity and masculinity.
Uncon: Ernest, let us begin by exploring your childhood, what kind of a youngster were you?
Ernest: I was born in a monster family. My childhood consisted of study, study and study no play time, so I didn’t have many friends. I had to study extra curricular activities like piano, badminton, swimming and triathlon, but I never studied any form of art . In my first contact with art was in my form5 elective course from which the government suppliedg and I studied fashion and image design. From this I learnt some basic fashion knowledge. When I graduated from high school I was worked as an intern for Nimes studying denim craft and the skill of dying cloth. The brand was like a factory. I was an ordinary student, no degree, no childhood, no friends, during the day I try my best to promote my work, at night I continued to develop my design.
Uncon: Could you recall a unique moment that perhaps served as a trigger for you to explore garment design?
Ernest: When I was a teenager I was liked to people watch. Everyone was wearing Nike, Adidas, H&M, maybe someone would stand out wearing Supreme but the style was very much street culture. I felt this was boring and I wanted to make a change in fashion. The first fashion designer I admired was Yohji Yamamoto. In their clothes I could see their soul, their philosophy. I felt very satisfied to become aware of the magic of fashion. In that time I knew in my heart that fashion could be like this and this is was my intention.
Uncon: Your work is deep, meaningful and so rich in craftsmanship. How reflective are you in your craft?
Ernest: My work is based on the ethos of crafting my past and my deepest feelings within my work. All of the clothes I produce will have a title of this woven through the fabrics, expressing my childhood pursuit of the dream and the freedom of life that society desires,
Uncon: How did you define your particular style or approach to fashion?
Ernest: I would say my style is unisex and dressed-down. I don’t want to do any gender stereotypes. Why do we need to limit ourselves? just liberate yourself.
Uncon: How would you like for your designs to be appropriated, when they journey onto your clients?
Ernest: Fist of all I would be happy that someone liked my designs. On the other hand though you cannot appropriated my past and my deepest feelings, so my main goal is to try and portray this.
Uncon: What do you believe is the most important characteristic of a garment?
Ernest: I think pattern cutting is most important. Stripping it back to the traditional way of draping on the mannequin, no digital printing, no colours so you can see the outline of the clothes, for me every other skill is auxiliary. The real talent is shown through pattern cutting.
Uncon: What are the main influences of your design process, and what guided you to this way of design?
Ernest: My design process is different from other designers. My design process is the feeling of the moment to draw and design that moment, the feeling is always the focal point. I hate to do mood boards. I see and feel what I want to create and implement this through a quick sketch and work on the mannequin.
Uncon: Originality and authenticity are important factors in your design process, How do you stay at forefront of contemporary fashion?
Ernest: I think if I stay at forefront of contemporary fashion, I have to create a new fashion, originality and authenticity are only the frame set by the present society, our job is to create a new fashion trend, as long as someone agrees with what you try to achieve, originality and authenticity can coexist .
Uncon: We spoke of inspirations before. I am intrigued to ask you more about the artists that you feel drawn to emotionally?
Ernest: I would say Rei Kawakubo. Most people think she is a fashion designer but I feel she uses clothing to express what she feels just like me. I also feel emotionally drawn to music. I like to listen to classical piano sounds, When I sketch the design I listen to this while smoking and drink coffee, in my mind the performance of the pianist creates a fantasy, so I can feel free drawn to the moment emotionally.
Uncon: What makes Fragily, truly Fragily?
Ernest: Fragily is from the most tragic stage in my life, this brand should not have existed, I was forced to start. From the beginning when I was working at Nimes - Denim the boss wanted to close his brand and he hoped I would open my own brand hand making denim bags. But then I thought this had a limited capacity. I remember I saw a video on Facebook that was about four of Hong Kong's newest fashion designers, during that video one designer said young people have an advantage as they are young and have time to start again. This was very encouraging for me and I thought if I start my own brand I will do what I want to do as I don’t like denim. At first I called the label Fragile but this was hard to remember so I changed it to Fragily to reflect my heart as it is so fragile.
Uncon: If you could wear and repeat one of your designs eternally, which one would you pick?
Ernest: I cannot say which one I want to wear or repeat because each tells a different story, so to be honest I wouldn't repeat any of my designs as the original feeling that was there during the creation would no longer be authentic.
Uncon: What advice would you give young designers starting out?
Ernest: I do not feel I am qualified to give any advice to young designers, as I’m young too, but I would say that it is worth taking risks, if it doesn't work you are young enough that you can start again. You need to be ready and to prepare yourself and you need to trust your abilities, use you emotion, use your heart, use your soul, put it in your design and strive to better yourself.
Uncon: What does Fragily as a brand hope to contribute to the future of emerging fashion?
Ryan: I hope Fragily can have a resident fashion show in Paris or a concept store in the future to showcase my work to the market and I hope I can use my collections to change the world, and I hope that one day I can be proud to say “ Hello, My name is Ernest. I am the fashion designer of Fragily “