Luly Yang: Fash­ion de­sign­ers aims to in­spire

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By LINDA DENG in Seat­tle lin­dadeng@chinadailyusa.com

“Good de­sign can bring about so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal change. Be­ing sur­rounded by beauty evokes pos­i­tive emo­tions. This, in turn, en­cour­ages us to live bet­ter and be bet­ter.”– Lu­lyYang

Luly Yang’s name is syn­ony­mous with her highly con­cep­tual cou­ture cre­ations and highly sought af­ter fash­ion de­signs.

Her self-named store on Fourth Av­enue in down­town Seat­tle, which sells her evening and bridal de­signs, opened in 2000. Since then, Yang’s de­signs have earned her a suc­cess­ful busi­ness and recog­ni­tion. She has been named Best Cou­ture Dress Designer by Seat­tle Bride Mag­a­zine for twelve con­sec­u­tive years and was awarded Nel­lie Cash­man’s Women Busi­ness Owner of the Year award.

Although Seat­tle is not known as a fash­ion mecca, Yang de­cided to start her fash­ion ca­reer in the city where she grew up and lives with her fam­ily.

“I saw a need and pas­sion for fash­ion busi­ness here, and I be­lieve we have so many women with fab­u­lous taste and their own per­sonal style,”she told China Daily.

As for what makes a re­ally good fash­ion designer, Yang said,“Be­ing open minded and keep­ing cu­rios­ity alive.” She said she con­stantly gets ideas and in­spi­ra­tion from mu­sic, travel, movies and ev­ery­thing else around her. “Also, I am al­ways in­spired by Asian cul­ture and in­flu­ences, in­te­grat­ing it into the soul of my pieces,” said Yang, who is Chi­nese Amer­i­can and comes from a fam­ily of de­sign­ers.

“I was in­spired by the palaces and the story of Xi Shi, one of the renowned Four Beau­ties of An­cient China,”she said. Af­ter a trip to Shang­hai with her fam­ily, she de­signed her Pas­sage to Shang­hai col­lec­tion, which was the first of her now highly an­tic­i­pated an­nual cou­ture shows, on Septem­ber 21, 2006.

Born in Tai­wan, Yang’s fam­ily moved to Belle­vue, Wash­ing­ton, when she was 10. Her in­ter­est in de­sign be­gan at an early age. At the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton (UW) she stud­ied graphic de­sign, and then spent her early ca­reer work­ing as a graphic designer for ar­chi­tec­ture firms. But when she was in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in a fash­ion com­pe­ti­tion in 1999, cre­at­ing her first iconic monarch gown, ev­ery­thing changed.

“The com­pe­ti­tion paired de­sign­ers with pa­per com­pa­nies to cre­ate a gar­ment out of pa­per and that was how The Monarch Dress was cre­ated. At the same time I re­al­ized I loved and wanted to de­sign around the curves of the hu­man form, uti­liz­ing fluid and lux­u­ri­ous tex­tiles.”

The pa­per but­ter­fly dress is in Yang’s ar­chives, but she cre­ated a fab­ric ver­sion soon af­ter, which re­mains one of her sig­na­ture dresses. “The Monarch is still one of my fa­vorite dresses to­day,”Yang said.

Yang earned her BFA in graphic de­sign from the School of Art at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton. She shared that among the awards and hon­ors she has re­ceived her fa­vorite is The Time­less Award from the UW’s Col­lege of Arts and Sciences, awarded to only 100 grad­u­ates from the col­lege.

Yang’s love for de­sign is in her blood. Her grand­fa­ther was a well-known ar­chi­tect in Tai­wan and her mother is a artist of tra­di­tional Chi­nese paint­ing. that will of­fer her first ready-towear col­lec­tion, and to make them avail­able our clients na­tion­wide. “I visit Asia twice a year and we have dressed TV and movie celebri­ties do­mes­ti­cally, in Bei­jing, Shang­hai, and Vi­enna,”Yang said, in ex­plain­ing that she is also look­ing to ex­pand in Asian cities in­clud­ing in China.

“I love dim sum. I fre­quent the in­ter­na­tional dis­trict for meals,”she said. She ex­plained that she would drive to her fa­vorite dim sum restau­rant di­rectly from the air­port im­me­di­ately af­ter trav­el­ing to Europe, which has less choices for Asian cui­sine than the West Coast.

Yang be­lieves that great de­sign in­spires peo­ple to be­come the best ver­sion of them­selves. With this in mind, she said that she strives to cre­ate gar­ments that make women feel their most beau­ti­ful and con­fi­dent: “My dream is to cre­ate a world filled with beau­ti­ful things that in­spire us to live bet­ter and to be bet­ter.”

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Luly Yang re­laxes at her Seat­tle bou­tique with The Monarch (at the back), the first dress she cre­ated and icon of Yang’s col­lec­tions.

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