“I’ve never really been a girly-girl, more like one of the
guys and have always been drawn to taking things apart and reassembling them”
Whereas most girls are interested in the frilly side of life and anything to do with the color pink, designer Vigin Lo took a particular interest in the technical aspect of things from an early age. Thanks to this bèta state of mind, the originally Chinese Vigin started her career as a graphic designer. And not quite unsuccesfully. Business is blossoming when she decides to radically change directions. She trades her hometown in Hong Kong for London where she obtains her Masters degree in Fashion, Design & Technology, specializing in menswear. “This turned out to be the best decision of my life. London taught me to discover the beauty of design, the art of dissecting and I still get butterflies the moment all these separate parts become unified”. She quickly points out that’s exactly why she’s so fascinated by menswear. “At first glance mens clothing appears to be less extravagant but it requires a lot more technical knowhow and eye for detail. A pants will always have room for 2 legs, in that sense you’re not reinventing the wheel, but within those restrictions there’s an immense room for development. I do notice something’s changing, men are less afraid to go all out, they’re not quite as conservative as they’re tend to be portrayed as and can be quite demanding about the fit of a garment. Maybe even more so than say, their girlfriends”. Smiling she adds: “Luckily my designs can be worn by both sexes”. Which is exactly what sums up Vigin’s work, a contemporary image of a layered, human perspective, non-conformist and more focused towards a unisex sense of style.
As a woman mainly designing for men, where does she draw her inspiration from? “The design process itself I find endlessly fascinating and mainly the research before actually starting the design. My most recent collection is based on the relationship between sensorial sightings in human communication, both verbally as non-verbally”. It’s clear Vigin has a quite conceptual approach to her work and is looking for a deeper meaning in the construction of her special garments. This also explains why she feels a kinship with Yohji Yamamoto. “In his work the pattern features a prominent role, the almost holistic way in which he brings the flat, two dimensional patterns to life on the contours of the human body, elevates cutting to a form of art. He’s also a firm believer in keeping up with the traditional, historical and technical competences, as am I, and he’s able to hand down this affinity to the next generation of designers. The way he ‘listens’ to his designs makes sure he does not just create for the eye, but for the soul”. Vigin’s almost filosophical approach to her work is strongly influenced by the combination of both Asian as Western influences, two seemingly opposite extremes when it comes to beauty ideals, not in the least because of the use of the history in her contemporary designs. “There’s no looking forward without taking the past into account, that would be sacrilegious. No creative thought stands on its own, everything is related to what has been accomplished so far and that knowledge contributes to how we look at certain things”. This does not mean rules are not meant to be broken, on the contrary, Lo searches for the boundaries between cultural phenomena such as masculinity and femininity and is adamant there will emerge a third form of sexuality, molded by the best of both worlds. In any way not to be pinned down or classified. Just like Vigin’s designs.