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A Brief Q&A with fashion designer – Justin Oh


Q How was London Fashion Week for you?

Justin – This London Fashion Week was a watershed for us, having the support from the Victoria Miro Gallery, where we showed, was truly uplifting and inspiring. I was really happy with the show, the organisation of it and it marked a new level for us.

Q What were your main sources of inspiration for your latest spring/summer 2005 Swindle collection?

Justin – Based on a research trip to Burma, the inspiration came from the prints – BATIKS, which is also native to Malaysia, where I was born. The rawness and political situation in Burma, ruled by a rigid military junta – hence the influence of punk with the Batiks – essentially to update the ethnicity of the print and the need for the Burmese to repel these tyrants.

Justin Oh S/S 2005                    Justin Oh S/S 2005

Q Tell us a bit about some of the pieces from the collection

Justin – I used pleating extensively, especially on the skirts. One skirt in Batik was re-interpreted into a kilt, with silver buckles and all and the hem left raw took centre stage – everyone wanted it! Another skirt had 144 panels and 32 METRES of hemline…

Q The fashion industry is incredibly tough how do you keep positive and motivated?
Justin – Sounds truly cliched but it’s in my veins. I initially went to university to study computer science and was truly unhappy – after 2 years I dropped out and switched to fashion. 12 years later, admittedly, with alls its ups and downs, I am still at it. I enjoy it and want to succeed in my chosen field.

Justin Oh S/S 2005                      Justin Oh S/S 2005

Q Do you plan to continue showing in London – or do you foresee a move elsewhere?
Justin – I have been loyal to London for the last 9 years, but a move is on the cards… 

Q The media have been giving London Fashion Week a bad rap – what are your feelings on that score?
Justin – No comment.

Justin Oh S/S 2005                            Justin Oh S/S 2005

Q What do you personally like to wear? 

Justin – Natural fibres.

Q Are there any particular designers/artists you admire? 

Justin – Francis Bacon and Dries Van Noten.

Justin Oh S/S 2005                 Justin Oh S/S 2005

Q Do you have any future projects up your sleeve? 

Justin – Yes, it’s too early to discuss them though.

I introduced a capsule menswear collection this season, using the same themes and inspirations as the main line.

Q Where can people out there find creations by Justin Oh?
Justin – Stockists include: Gloss, London, Non de Plume, London, Lilli Diva, London for the UK as well as in Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Malaysia, Russia, Japan, America and Australia.


By JoJo Iles


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