Mei Liu is the Design Director of fashion house Priory of Ten. Born in Northern China, Liu has lived in Canada and the USA. Priory of Ten was formed in 2012 and aims to produce quality pieces exuding harmony and balance. Before she moved into fashion, Liu worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) after acquiring a business degree from the University of Toronto. She speaks to Aesthetica about her future collections and the impact of her education upon her design work.
A: You have lived in a variety of countries, has that effected your style of design?
ML: Yes, absolutely. I think having been born in one country (China), growing up in another (Canada), and now living in the USA has really attuned me to the importance of having a global mindset of culture – including taste, music sensibility and definitely design.
A: Which other designers have influenced you the most?
ML: I am inspired by French fashion designer Bouchra Jarrar’s couture sensibility – a perfect mix of feminine and masculine. There is an elegant restraint in the silhouette. Riccardo Tisci, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Albert Elbaz, Phoebe Philo, and Olivier Theyskens have all also played an influential role in the formative years of my design aesthetic development.
A: Please can you explain the ideas behind your latest collection?
ML: The Fall 14 collection was inspired as a tribute to my homeland of Canada. I wanted to explore the depths of the Canadian woodlands: the lush greenery, the textural feelings of bark mixed with foliage, and creeping moss over tar glazed swamplands.
A: Do you think attending business school has helped you as a fashion designer?
ML: It definitely has. There is a very sound education in structure and process driving that has helped me to organise my creative workflow. It also has helped create frameworks where a balance between creativity, innovation, commerce, and price point all must marry seamlessly
A: What do you have planned next?
ML: I’m looking forward to building another collection, this time exploring a harmonious marriage between technology and nature. It will be light and happy, a celebration of warmer weather. I’m also collaborating on some new projects at the moment as well, which I’m very excited about.
Find out more about Priory of Ten at www.prioryoften.com.
1. Image courtesy of Priory of Ten.