Edmund Ooi—Classicalism in the Future
Slightly off the sights of the glamour in the city, Edmund Ooi, a young Malaysian designer, sits in front of a window looking down the quiet Rue du Château-d’Eau, expecting new eyes to approach and to understand his creations. On the second floor of a typical Parisian apartment built in the mid-20th century, the Edmund Ooi AW14 collection is neatly lined up on the two sides of the room.
Edmund Ooi, a 26-year-old Malaysian who studied in Antwerp, launched his premiere collection of men’s A/W 2014 not long ago in January. His inspiring and promising work and his honest, humble attitude are clear qualities of his potential in soon becoming a hot potato in the industry.
一月末。避过繁忙华丽的巴黎，Edmund Ooi，一位年轻的华裔马来西亚设计师，静静的坐在一个狭长的落地窗前望着宁静的Château d’Eau街,等待着他的伯乐。 在这个典型的20世纪中期的巴黎建筑，Edmund Ooi 2014男装春夏的collection整齐的排放在房间两侧。
Tell us something about yourself.
I am now 26 years old. I was born and raised in Malaysia until 2010 when I left to study fashion design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium. I started doing fashion design since 17 and before coming to Europe; I had my own women’s wear brand since 19 years old in Malaysia. After graduation, I worked alongside Romain Kremer at Mugler in Paris. I am currently based in Belgium.
Edmund remains a little bit shy, but very honest. He is does not brag about his creativity but the clothes not only look fantastic on his campaign, but also in the showroom. It is high-end, but very wearable. As seen from Milan, Florence, London and Paris fashion week this year, men’s wear remains majorly formal. As Milan can clearly show their economic crisis, the styles have all lean to a more commercial approach. While Paris continues to surprise the world with its creativity, inspirations and collaborations with art (the amazing Raf Simons crossover with Sterling Ruby), people have come down to the point that creating wearable fashion but not losing its artistic spirit has its rising importance these days.
略带羞涩地Edmund看起来很诚实。不会吹嘘自己的创意，但是他的创作，不论是宣传照或是展示厅里的作品，已经足够强而有力地帮助他表达他的理念。这是一个高端的可穿性强的系列。从今年一月份米兰，佛罗伦萨，伦敦和巴黎的男装周看来，男装仍然趋向于正式。不论是米兰由于经融危机所显现的疲惫无力的商业化，或是巴黎惊艳世界眼球的天马行空的创意，灵感和与艺术的融合（例如Raf Simons和Sterling Ruby的合作），我们可以看到设计师和消费者都在追求一种没有抛弃艺术精神的可穿性时装。
How would you describe your Men’s Autumn/Winter 2014 collection?
Edmund Ooi represents classicalism with a twist of futurism in science fictions.
What inspires you?
This season’s collection, I was inspired by a French science fiction called “Barbarella” with Jane Fonda from 1968. Barbarella is sexual, mysterious and futuristic. Taking place in outer space, this film is often regarded as a cult classic, and Jane Fonda’s look from this movie has become iconic.
Therefore, in my first season’s collection, I used classical men’s style and added this element to it and make it interesting and sexy.
－这一季我的灵感来源于一部1968年简方达（Jane Fonda）主演的法国科幻电影—Barbarella。 Barbarella是性感的，神秘莫测的，未来的。在外太空的背景下，这部电影被业界认为是邪典的经典作。简方达的造型在这电影中也成为了一个永恒的标志。所以在我的第一季中我取用了经典的男装设计做基底，加入了这些元素让他看起来更性感，更有味道。
What are you working on now?
I launched my first collection and I had a showroom in Paris during men’s fashion week now in Paris since lots of fashion people, magazine editors and buyers were in town. I am working on contacting different kind of people to come and see my collection and I mainly look for fashion buyers or independent boutique shop owners. At this moment I basically control and manage everything myself, from design to marketing and public relations. It has been tough. I am now working on the productions and getting my new collection done.
What do you have in mind for your next season? (If you do not mind leaking some hints)
Well I very much enjoy this “Science Fiction” element put into my design with the futuristic lining and cutting. For this season, I tried to experiment some different types of materials and fabrics such as yarns, silicon, wool, or even silicon coated wool. I have been working with fantastic fabric makers in Paris and they have been able to realize my vision. So the next season will be something new but still with a bit of continuation from the first one.
Any big events coming up?
For the coming season Yes but I prefer not to talk about it until it happened.
Edmund Ooi on Social Media
Words of Bohan Qiu
Published on the 3rd issue of Elsewhere Magazine–“ASIA IS THE NEW BLACK”