Earlier this week, we told you that Korean-American designer Doo.Ri Chung had just dressed Michelle Obama and is slated to design a capsule collection with Macy’s. At the press preview for her eponymous runway collection and contemporary Under.Ligne line, we had the chance to chat with the articulate, talented designer about her design inspirations, designing for two different markets, and how motherhood has changed her work. Read the interview transcript below, and click through to see our favorite looks from her Spring 2012 runway collection!
I love the spring collection! Can you tell us what your inspiration was?
Definitely. The starting point was with [the illustrator] Beardsley. I have always had tears from past seasons, things that I am inspired by. When I first started the spring collection I had a lot Beardsley tears and then from there we started researching a lot of other illustrators. Daniel Auteuil was one of the other illustrator that came to mind and from that I knew that print was going to play a larger part in the collection, more so than what I have been used to. So I really started illustrating and doodling and the staff took over it and made it into a print. That really became a starting point for the collection.
Was it an Art Nouveau inspiration then?
No not really, [it was] more of the illustrative quality [of Beardsley]. I love hand quality. There is something very tactile about it, especially when things seem very computerized I love the idea of a linear line I have always been drawn to line qualities you know? So when I see that, whether it is in charcoal or pen and ink, there is something really personal about that.
I have noticed that your Under.Ligne label has grown so much, can you tell us a little bit about the difference between that and your runway collection? How do they compliment each other?
When we first started Under.Ligne, there was a lot that I didn’t know about the contemporary market and I think that we had a lot of mistakes and I have learned so much from that. We took some time off and went back to the drawing board and wanted to figure our what it is about Under.Ligne that we wanted to say and ultimately I want to convey the same thing as I do with Collection.
I want to provide a wardrobe for a very modern, powerful woman. I really admire [the] intelligent woman and I want to provide a wardrobe for her that makes her feel sensual and intelligent…and when I say intelligent I don’t mean boring. It can still be girly but in my way.
I heard that you recently had a baby. Has becoming a mother changed your work as a designer at all?
It hasn’t changed my design aesthetic at all but my work ethic is much more efficient. I have to compartmentalize how I work, as in my day has to end at a certain time so that I have to go home to my second life at home with my baby. I think it is very important that I have to float between two worlds and make it so that every moment counts. When I am in the office I am constantly thinking that the faster I finish, the faster I can go home.
It has made me a more efficient designer, I edit faster knowing that if this isn’t a design that I truly believe in then I am not going to waste time on it. I am going to focus on the ones that I truly believe in and really hone in on those ideas.
Photo of Doo.ri: Courtesy of the designer
Runway Photos: Imaxtree