We look forward to the appearance of Cerine Lee for The Surian at In bed With Designers Taipei next month. Cerine will be bringing her classy and elegant fashion design to VVG in Taipei for the third edition of our boutique designer sleepover from October 8 – 12. We caught up with the Hong Kong designer to find out more about her design perspective and why she’s excited for this event.
Why are you participating in this year’s In Bed with Designers? In your opinion, what sets this event apart?
I was a visitor at the French Kiss 2014 event in my hometown, Hong Kong, and I felt that this event sets itself apart in that it allowed real interaction between buyers, media, industry professionals and design lovers compared to other events I have attended. To me it was cool but not intimidating, hip but not off puttingly “alternative”. I also loved the choice of the boutique hotel location, the idea that each designer gets a cozy ‘bed space’ and the good mix of participants across different fields, which really encouraged a good exchange of ideas!
What makes your designs different and unique? What characteristics are consistent in your designs?
The Surian just had its first collection launched and it is my intention that every future collection too shall be centered on a novel. The first collection – “That side of Paradise” is a twist on Fitzgerald’s “This Side of Paradise” and there is a parallel drawn between the protagonist Amory Blaine’s path to self-realization and my own. The collection is all about the clean cuts and subtle sensuality, but I also wanted the slight sense of identity disorder to come through – there is always a twist in details – it could be a trim, or a clash of fabrics or textures, or an androgynous cut with feminine fabrics. I guess the very subtle darkness/ difference beyond the sweetness would always be something unique to The Surian brand.
Why did you choose the path of fashion design as opposed to other forms of design?
I have always had a love for fabrics; the touch of different fabrics on my skin is one of the few things I have an obsession with. It was natural for me to pursue my interest in fashion during university and since then my career followed that path of fabrics purchasing, fashion development, retail and marketing, which all eventually equipped me with the skills required to create my own fashion brand.
Could you explain the inspiration behind your brand name The Surian to our readers?
I have always loved the Suri alpaca – it is such an underrated, unnoticed yet totally loveable animal!! I love that they are so peaceful, noble, and free. They look adorable and yet are most resilient to the extreme climates on the altitudes on the South American plains. I think I want to be an alpaca deep down!
How did your experience with Graeme Black affect your designs?
A lot! Working with Graeme’s “stylistas” – the Italian fabric mills and pattern makers, was a really eye-opening experience. Graeme focused heavily on classic cuts and how fabric should drape well on the female form. A garment should look great on a woman in movement and not just on a mannequin. Also he was believer in elegance and always said no to any tint of vulgarity. I am heavily influenced by those beliefs and hopefully they are and will be reflected in The Surian!
If you want to know more about The Surian and their products, projects, and creations, come down to In bed With Designers at VVG Taipei from the 8-12 October. In bed With Designers is Asia’s first boutique designer sleepover connecting emerging visionary designers with passionate design lovers, media, and industry professionals and buyers in a relaxed and multi-sensory business and networking platform.