Known for exploring society's stereotypical notions of beauty, alongside the concept of oppositional gender binaries, is Yu Lin Fu, graduate of Arts University Bournemouth. The emerging designer graduated from the last year, and since has spent time in the close knit menswear team at Nicholas Daley, working at Dover Street Market and taking on freelance projects.
As a designer that enjoys the process of creation from inception through to pattern cutting, and production to the final collection, there are many areas to consider when selecting a specific discipline. Whilst Yu ponders her future career, we sit down to discuss fashion as a platform to spread awareness of political issues, her experiences at university and living in the moment.
Which university did you attend, and what is the most valuable thing that you learnt there?
I graduated from Arts University Bournemouth. I think the most valuable thing I learned during my three years at AUB is technical skills. I worked very closely with the technicians, focusing and really pushing my pattern cutting skills. Which is what I really wanted focus on, and it has been one of the key skills that has really helped me move forward in my career.
Graduate Fashion Week provides a platform for emerging fashion graduates to showcase their work regardless of the specific discipline. Which area of the industry have you chosen to pursue, and what informed this choice?
I’m still thinking of what I want to pursue. I really enjoy the whole process of creating a collection. From designing to pattern cutting to production, I enjoy the creative journey. And it’s very rare one can find a position in the industry where you have influence in all those things, and it’s very hard for me to give up them.
Tell us a bit more about your career journey since showing at Graduate Fashion Week. How have you found life in the industry?
Since Graduate Fashion Week I have been doing a little bit of everything. I started interning at Nicholas Daley last year and I really enjoyed it. Working with a small brand is really rewarding and I think that’s the kind of environment I would like to work in the future. I get to do a little bit of everything, so it’s always exciting. I learned so much at Nicholas Daley and hopefully I’ll be able to go back soon. Currently I’m working part time at DSM and doing freelance work. I get to connect with a lot of creatives from different fields of work, it feels like things are constantly moving and new opportunities suddenly come up. It’s quite chaotic, but I enjoy it a lot.
Do you explore any political, social or historical notions through your work? If so, what messages do you hope to convey?
I’d like to think that there is always something to be explored through the work that I do, whether it’s historical or cultural. I think what I’ve consistently focused on is society’s idea of beauty and the concept of gender, femininity and masculinity. I just have a lot of questions in my head, that I just seem to be exploring through fashion. I don’t think there is a specific message I’d like to convey, I think my work is more about a journey of exploring and understanding.
Where are you hoping to be in five years’ time?
Honestly, I haven’t given it much thought. I’d like to live in the moment, as naïve as it sounds. I think I’ll be happy to work in a small fashion brand as a pattern cutter where I’m able to work closely with the designer, and a small team. Somewhere where I can be creatively and technically challenged.
Many say that the industry is undergoing a huge change, with sustainability, diversity and responsibility becoming PRIMARY themes. Do you have any opinions on these movements?
I think it’s great that we can explore these themes and topics through fashion. It’s such a great platform to spread awareness and step forward and take responsibility, as fashion is such a big industry, it affects our society and our environment.
Lastly, to any students that are reading this in admiration of your career-what advice would you give to the students hoping to showcase this year?
Just remember the only thing you can do is your best. Stay motivated, open minded and remember your goals. it’s very important not just to focus on your work, but also the people around you. Graduate Fashion Week is an amazing place to connect with industry, but also to connect with fellow graduates all over the country. I wouldn’t have had all these opportunities if it weren’t for everyone I met at GFW. Good luck and stay healthy!