How to stay creative? Be as childish as possible, says designer Dohan Jung
Today we sat down at the the Hoxton Hotel to chat with the Central Saint Martins fashion design student, Dohan Jung. After having seen his incredible pieces at the highly-esteemed Central Saint Martins Fashion Show in 2016, our team was eager to find out more about this young South Korean designer and the his incredible fashion talents.
Where do you get most of your inspiration for your designs?
From the people I see around me. What they do in their daily lives. I like to get inspired by random people I meet on the street and then make up a life story for them. For example, for the CSM Fashion Show (see pieces above) I was inspired by an elderly French woman I would regularly see in Paris. Whenever I went for a cigarette or lunch, I would see this same granny and catch glimpses of her daily routine. And when you see the same person every day, you start to get curious about them. So when I was back in London, I used the emotions that I felt towards her and the way in which I imagined her life to be and translated this into my pieces.
Where do you see fashion in 10 years?
It is quite hard to imagine fashion in 10 years. I think the diversity of taste and individuality is fading and it seems like it will be fading even quicker in 10 years. I personally think this is because the cycle of fashion is getting faster, so both high street and designer brands are pressured to design adn produce garments in such a short time. Therefore, there isn't much time for the creative process of creating a collection. I know there are some designers who want to change this system of fashion, so I hope that in 10 years time, the cycle of fashion gets slower and have more luxury to appreciate the creativity of fashion.
If you could use one word to describe your designs, what would it be?
I don't like this question because every collection I make is very different. 'Emotional' is therefore the word I would use because every collection of mine has a different emotion for me. My previous collection was warm and the current project is sad, quiet and colourless.
What would you say is the biggest misconception people have of fashion designers?
Some people think that being a fashion designer is fun and glamorous. But really when you have a collection coming up you have to work from 8 to 10 and it gets really tough. Plus inside a studio it definitely is not fancy. Designers wear tracksuits, have no makeup and look like they didn't shower for three days. They just put on their headphones and get to work.
What is the biggest obstacle about getting into fashion?
For me, the biggest obstacle is actually a very practical one. All the top and well-established fashion houses are in Paris, but I am from South Korea. So my biggest problem is getting a Visa to be able to work there.
How do you stay creative?
I try to stay as childish as possible. I try to be distracted and whiney and never stress about "adult things" ... like Visas.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Definitely my final show. It was very challenging and I had to push myself a lot. I had never created more than two garments before and all of a sudden had to design an entire collection. On top of that, I also had to figure out what music, accessories, makeup and hair I would have for the show. This experience definitely helped me understand that if I want to establish my own brand, I have to be prepared for a lot.
What is your favourite (self-designed) piece and why?
This is a difficult one. I get bored of my pieces really quick and by the time I am finished with the show I don't want to see the collection any more. But if I would have to choose, it would be the first image above. It really captures the aged emotion of the granny and I love the heavy fabric I used for it.
How do you define success in your career?
I guess for me, in the near future, success is seeing one of my garments being worn by random people on the street. Financial success used to be what I defined as success, but I've recently realised I don't want to be a millionaire, instead I wish to keep my youthful soul when I am older. That is what keeps me happy and creative, so for me a long run success is having a youthful soul and mentality towards my work.
What is the most difficult about the fashion industry?
Until university, the feedbacks you would get of you work was coming from a very limited crowd such as tutors and students– people I believe to be like minded. So its kind of easy to think I am on the right track of working. However, I feel like in the real world, there is a much wider range of an audience i.e. it could be designers, customers or anybody who sees the work. They all have their own opinions which are always very diverse. So it is hard to for myself to know whether I am on the right track.