Sophie Winfield: What was the starting point of inspiration for the collection?
Livia Tang: I started to research into historical pictures of sisters and brothers, so my mood board is filled with pictures of historical siblings from both western and Japanese societies. All the pictures are in black and white but when I look at them I feel like the clothing would have been made in pastel colours. I wanted to pick up on the closeness of the siblings but also how haunted the pictures look. I wanted to create a twin look because lots of the pictures show a brother and sister but dressed in a way which doesn’t show gender, so I used a male model to show the androgyny of the clothes. I also showed this sense of the twin through the fabric used – the dress with the different panels of fabric are actually the same fabric, I just used the front and back! It shows the duality that I’m trying to communicate through the collection. The dresses are reversible, and the wrap skirt can be wrapped the other way around so that the lining is showing. Everything was made with an aspect of duality in mind.
SW: What does it mean to you to be showing at Fashion Scout?
LT: I have never done a show or presentation before so this is an amazing opportunity for me. I think it’s a really great experience, I’m working with a stylist I really like and the Fashion Scout team are so welcoming.
SW: How did you come up with the concept of the presentation? The models are making tea and blowing bubbles, why?
LT: I love tea! And my sister loves to play with blowing bubbles – I wanted to show what real siblings do like, how they have fun. Plus, a tea ceremony is a traditional thing but I wanted to make it fun because I don’t think the younger people who inspired this collection would appreciate a tea ceremony, so that’s why I brought in the bubbles.
SW: What’s the meaning behind the makeup look?
LT: The two dots are both symbolic of Asian dolls and the twin aspect I spoke about earlier. It is cutesy but I think also reminiscent of the fun makeup kids would do when they’re playing around with bright colours.
SW: What are your plans for 2019? Do you plan to approach any stockists for this collection?
LT: I have luckily been contacted by a Japanese store who I’ve been trying to contact since I first started my brand! They finally got back to me and want to stock my collection, so I’m going to Paris to discuss the logistics of that. Nothing is in shops yet so this is super exciting!
SW: How would you summarise the collection in a few words?
LT: Curious, romantic, and edgy. The Livia Tang girl loves history, is romantic but also edgy and contemporary.