August 2, 2016

Interview with designer and daydreamer Gilda Su

Last semester I had the opportunity to work with Singapore designer Gilda Su, who runs the label RÊVASSEUR and is the co-owner of SUPERSPACE fashion concept store for my school project. It was really cool to talk to her, understand her viewpoints and I got to photograph her as well. I personally love the outcome of the booklet I made for this project and I totally enjoyed working with her style.

Interview text at the end of this post.

'Hi, nice to meet you! Would you excuse me for 5 minutes as I get my makeup done?' she said it in a cheerful tone as we met. Fashion designer, concept store owner and self proclaimed 'daydreamer', Gilda sat down to chat about her inspirations, insights on the fashion industry in Singapore as well as her future plans.

How would you describe your style? I’d say that I’m colourful and loud. I like prints too so I mix these elements together which end up looking quite whimsical. I like wearing my own designs and live my brand. Who are the people who inspire you? What do you like about them? My style icons are Iris Apfel, Anna Piaggi and Isabella Blow. They dress in their individual styles and they don’t follow trends. I respect them as I don’t like how people change their way of dressing because someone tells them to. Your brand, RÊVASSEUR means ‘daydreamer’ in French. How significant is the phrase to you? 'RÊVASSEUR' has a negative connotation to the word 'daydreamer'. Back in school I liked to daydream but the teachers did not like that. I named my brand based on my experiences which have become an encouragement to me. Has being a fashion designer your childhood dream? Not really. I wanted to be a vet yet I have always been interested in arts and craft. I only wanted to be in fashion when I was around 17. How do you start creating a collection? I keep a folder of things that interest me. When I’m working on it, if something doesn’t feel right, I would drop it if a bigger inspiration comes along. Which is your favourite collection? What do you like about it? My first collection is my favourite as it speaks true to my brand’s roots. It is what I imagined my brand would be when it started, before people started clouding me with opinions like "Do you think that sells?". Who do you wish will be wearing your designs one day? It doesn’t matter, although when celebrities wear them it helps with the brand awareness. I am more than happy when I see a normal person wearing it on the streets. You have previously shown your collections at Seoul Fashion Week. Comparing Seoul Fashion Week and Singapore Fashion Week, what are your overall thoughts? Seoul Fashion Week is heavily supported by their government and 90 percent of the participants are Korean designers and models. On the other hand, Singapore Fashion Week does not showcase that many Singapore labels, and often pays for top tier international designers to do a recycled showcase in Singapore. Maybe that's what the audience wants, but we have to start educating them if we want to support local. How do you picture the future of your label? I can't foresee the future but I dream big.SUPERSPACE is a fashion concept store established through collaborated effort, how important is it in the long run? We have different personalities and abilities but we work out what is best for our common goal. How did you decide on which label to bring into SUPERSPACE? It’s not easy supporting the cult labels and emerging designers so they need to have commercial value. It’s based on what we like and what brings a different angle to the shop. You have recently signed a licensing deal with Disney, how did that come about? I met Disney last year at Blueprint and they already knew about my brand and were looking for a Singapore designer to collaborate with. Do you mind dropping some hints on the collection? There will be 2 collections. The first one is based on Minnie Mouse, but it includes all the original characters. Separately, I will be doing a collection based on Alice in Wonderland for the upcoming movie. Knowing how huge of a Disney fan you are, how does the term ‘A dream is a wish you heart makes’ sounds to you? It's definitely a dream come true! I've always loved Disney since I was a child, so I'm excited to work with them now as a designer.

Photography. Interview. Editing by Hanie Kuar.

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