Editor’s Note: Please join me in welcoming Malia Peoples of Lady Konnyaku Clothing! She is a quirky, fun, talented gal and we are so pleased to be hosting her today at The Daily Catwalk.
Meet Malia Peoples of Lady Konnyaku Clothing
Q. Where are you from?
Q. What’s your educational background?
Q. What type of products do you design?
Clothing and accessories for ladies, and soon– for men.
Q. What are your general non-professional interests?
I love to do interpretive dance, speak Chinese, listen to music, hang out with my family and friends, exercise, sleep in, do yoga, and snuggle with my boyfriend Mike.
Q. What are some of your favorite fashion websites, magazines, or books?
In print, I love looking at Japanese coverage of fashion events and runway stuff in FN. For cutesy stuff, there’s Can Cam, Non-no, and Vivi. I also check out vogue.co.uk. Regionally, I enjoy the blogs of Glamspoon and Millie Vixen.
Q. What does fashion mean to you?
To me, fashion is much more about putting a look together with personality, heart, and humor, than it is about spending an awful amount of money on gross luxury.
Q. How would you define your personal style?
Thrifted vintage outerwear, designer knock-offs from mainland China, weird stuff, handmade stuff, surf-brands, and an excellent pair of shoes. I dress for warmth when it’s cold, and to show it all off when it’s not.
Q. How would you define your city’s fashion?
Functional fashion, dressing for warmth and fighting the elements.
Q. When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
After I graduated from college, I immediately went to work behind a desk for a big Taiwanese conglomerate corporation and it was too boring for me; it made my mind rot and with that, I enrolled in fashion design school.
Q. How long have you worked or studied as a designer?
I think I will always be a student. This type of career is more of a journey, a path, because new challenges present itself with each client and each new collection. That having been said, I’ve been very casually designing and making clothing for the past 5 years.
Q. What are some of your accomplishments as a designer?
Q. Do you consider yourself an artist?
I think of myself more as a “maker of things” or a “real creative type”.
Q. What matters to you most as a fashion designer?
I want to amuse myself and have fun, exercise my creativity each day, make some money doing what I love, and engage with and encourage other designers in a positive way.
Q. What are some of your fashion goals?
I’ve got a lot in the works. I have a big fashion show in January 2013 that I’m currently working on. In February 2013, I begin production cutting and sewing my popular looks for ladies, which will include multiple sizes (stoked!). Somewhere during all of this, I’ll be laying the ground-work for my new men’s line of knitwear…those are the short term goals. One day at a time!
Q. Where do you get your inspiration?
Q.Who are some of your favorite designers?
Q. How would you define the style your line exemplifies?
It’s the stuff my family wore in the 60s and 70s. Mod, Disco, and Sci-fi in flavor. Japanese Street fashion in color and print mixing.
Q. How long does it usually take you to construct a piece?
Pattern Making takes for-everrrrrrrr for me right now. I’d say developing a pattern can take a few days. Then once I have that, it’ll take me a day to construct it. The more I construct it, it goes faster and faster to the point where I can do 2-3 pieces a day. That would be something like a puff-sleeve top.
Q. Describe the general process you go through to design and realize a piece of clothing.
I start with a simple sketch with details, then I’ll pin the lines on a dress form and drape. Or I’ll use an existing pattern and modify it. Then I’ll transfer it to tissue paper or tag board, make corrections, pin/trace it out on fabric, cut, sew, finish and BOOM- a dress!
Q. Where do you buy your fabrics and other sewing materials?
I find my fabric in thrift stores, estate sales, from the very occasional donation, at the NW Fabric Show, and from my friends who are jobbers in LA.
Q. What other experience do you have in the fashion industry?
Besides tending to my own independent fashion line, I am an instructor at the New York Fashion Academy in Seattle. I teach sewing, garment construction, and pattern grading classes.
Q. What are your favorite fabrics to work with and why?
I love double knit polyester fabric from the 1960s and 70s. There is nothing like it in color and craziness and it will be a sad day for me when it becomes obsolete. I also love thick cotton knits because they are so comfortable and a staple in nearly everyone’s closet.
Q. What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
Give it time. Lots of time. Much more time than you can imagine. Don’t spend too much money on anything- machines, supplies, fabric, marketing. Spend a few years working for someone else, or work part time for yourself and call this time your “personal internship”.
Make stuff for other people and charge less than you would prefer.
Work hard enough, but not too hard so as to burn out.
Network, take tons of pictures, and carry your creative spark as far as you can, no matter what. Be friendly, courteous, and please don’t play into the stuck-up fashionista bullsh*t.
Q. Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
Q. Where can readers buy your clothing and accessories?