Sunday, June 27, 2010

Designers Discuss: Interview with May Chiu!

May rocks her own Grecian dress, available here.

Being a college student is always challenging...what with a heady mixture of classes, exams, friends, and parties. Now try adding fashion designer on top of all of that! May Chiu, a Rutgers University sophomore, creates adorable and chic clothing, jewelry, and hair accessories in her spare time under the name, The Mayflower Fashions. Scarlet Style engaged in an e-mail correspondence with May, asking for the scoop.

1. How'd you get interested in fashion design?

When I entered middle school, I learned about the social hierarchy of cliques and how discriminating they could be. You were not considered "cool" unless you dressed a certain way and wore a certain brand. Of course, this infuriated me. I could not be accepted unless I conformed! So, I enrolled in weekend class at the Fashion Institute of Technology, determined to learn how to sew. After the first class, I fell in love with sewing and started designing in a sketchbook.

2. What are your favorite things to create? What sort of challenges do you face as a college student/fashion designer?

Dresses and skirts! For some reason, I feel that those are the two clothing items that reveal most about someone's personality. One challenge is time management! I'm taking a huge course load next year and I have extracurriculars as well! I also plan on opening another Etsy shop in August that sells graphic tees for everyone. And because there's so much going on, I have to learn to be neat and organized, two things I'm usually not. And finally, as a student, I face a lot of repetition. There's a schedule that keeps repeating itself for a period of time, and I follow it because, well, I have to! But at times, doing the same thing every day or every week can actually dull my creativity and prevent me from designing more. I normally get inspiration from the things I see, and if I see the same thing over and over again, it won't help me find new ideas!

May's bow necklace can be purchased here.

3. Who are your favorite designers?

Hmmm, let's see. First off, Leanne Marshall. She has topped my list when I saw her final collection on Project Runway. Her looks seem really simple and effortless until you look closer and notice how much detail she puts into them. I also like how she can create textures. She said her inspiration was waves for her collection, and you can easily see the connection. My second favorite is Halston. My tagline is "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" and Halston fits it perfectly. I admire them for making simple dresses that can still make a statement! My other favorite designs are Elie Saab, Marchesa, Lorick, Luella Bartley, Tara Jarmon and Lela Rose.

4. What has provided a recent source of inspiration for you?

Most of my summer collection on Etsy is based on what I see in the spring/summer. Gardens filled with flowers inspired this, my garden full of roots and vines inspired this, and the way the wind blows through dresses inspired this:

May's cream tiered ruffle mini skirt can be purchased here.

5. How do you hope your collections will change in the future?

As I keep designing and creating, I hope my view of fashion becomes clearer and more pronounced. When I first started, it was a bit of a disjunct. I had a general idea, but it wasn't fully developed and seen by others. Hopefully, for my future collections, a viewer can look at my work and know exactly what my inspiration was and what I'm trying to say.

6. How do you feel about fashion at Rutgers? Is there a community? What would you like to see happen?

Rutgers is a HUGE school. I haven't seen everyone, so I can't say for sure if there is a community or not, but I have seen a few people who are very stylish and fashionable. And Scarlet Style has helped me meet a few more! From what I see, I like the fashion at Rutgers. Mostly everyone dresses very casual, in a t shirt and jeans or sweats. I'm a big fan of that since college started actually. There's nothing better than rolling out of bed and going to class!

I have no idea what I want to see happen. I definitely think that more participation from other fashionistas out there is needed though.

We can't thank May enough for willing to participate in this interview! For more of her designs, check out her etsy.



City of the World Gallery said...

What a great interview. Such a talented and articulate young lady. I wish you all the best in your future career as a fashion designer.

You've got what it takes!

Lynne @ HiJinx

The Tote Trove said...

I always enjoy reading about fellow Etsians/fashionistas. Good luck!

designsbydenise said...

Great article. Really like May's sense of style.

wreathmiccreations said...

Great interview--keep up the great designs!

capitalcitycrafts said...

Great article, looks like your on the way to success!

Anonymous said...

Wow I love the clothes. Great stuff you have. Good luck.

Florna said...

Fantastic article! I hope you do well in your future endeavors and sales!


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