Gaga for Luo

Updated: 2013-11-13 01:19

By Lin Jing (China Daily)

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Fashion designer Luo Yuhao not only impressed teachers at London’s prestigious Royal College of Art, but one of his designs has been worn by pop star and trendsetter Lady Gaga. Lin Jing reports from Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

Gaga for Luo

Lady Gaga wears a pair of pants designed by Luo Yuhao (top) at a promotion for her new album. Photos Provided to China Daily

Lady Gaga is well-known for her outrageous outfits and unique style. Now the pop queen has her sights set on the work of a young Chinese designer.

In a recent promotion for her new album, Lady Gaga wore a pair of pants designed by Luo Yuhao, a Shenzhen-born designer.

The wide pants are paired with a black crop-top with leather trim. A belt, resembling a piece of architecture, is a standout feature.

The design, Mechanical Minimalist, was created by Luo, and presented at London's Royal College of Art MA graduate show in May, as part of his graduate collection.

Gaga for Luo

"I felt so happy when I heard the pop queen planned to wear my design. It not only relieves my stress from my final collection, but also strengthens my confidence in my design, which came from deep thought and study," says Luo, 25.

Inspired by the work of Sarah Oppenheimer, a visual artist based in New York, Luo has developed a mechanism similar to Japanese shoji doors, restructuring the fabrics to surprising shapes by folding. He spent more than six months researching and testing the mechanism before the fashion show.

"What I pursue tenaciously is perfect details, the most impressive part of a design for audiences. I think that's why Lady Gaga choose my design," says Luo.

After the Royal College of Art MA Fashion show, Lady Gaga's assistant contacted him about cooperating with Lady Gaga on style design. He accepted the proposal immediately.

Luo is proud to be the first designer shown at the Royal College of Art MA Fashion 2013. It is an unwritten rule of the college that the best final collection will be shown first.

"The originality and details of the design are well balanced, enhancing its artistic charm and practicability," he says.

"The only regret is that the limited final collection meant I could not display all my ideas, such as extending the cool mechanism to a complete set of clothing," he says, adding that he tried his best to show his inspirations.

Luo talent was on display long before the graduation show. He started drawing as a hobby when he was in first grade. "I enjoy the process of drawing, observing a little thing then depicting it with my own feelings," Luo says.

Influenced by his architect relatives and friends, Luo dreamed of becoming a great architect before entering university. "The dream of being an architect changed into becoming a fashion designer when I was a sophomore. Fashion's artistic beauty and visual effect deeply attract me," says Luo, adding that being a fashion designer can reflect his strong practical ability and meticulous thought.

It took his family some time to accept Luo's choice of career. "My mother fully supports me, despite my father's opposition. But he has now changed his mind having been moved by my persistence," he says.

Luo was born in Shenzhen, a coastal city in southern China. Rapid development has transformed old cottages into modern high rises. The dramatic changes in Shenzhen have been a big influence on Luo. "The unique cultural background of Shenzhen cultivates my ability, independent thinking and creativity," he says.

Shenzhen Middle School, one of the top high schools in Shenzhen, is full of precious memories for Luo. "I liked watching the sunset in my classroom after school. The changes in the color of the sky and people's activities gave me a lot of inspiration at that time," Luo says.

"He is different from other students, Luo is a quiet and modest boy," says Wu Jianhui, 40, who teaches art, design and photography at Shenzhen Middle School.

"Luo prefers to immerse himself in his design work instead of chatting with others. Luo demonstrated a strong character and his own style when he learned art in the school."

After four years of study at Tsinghua University, Luo entered the Royal College of Art for MA study. The vibrant fashion culture in London gave him numerous opportunities to learn more about his chosen field.

In London, fashion stores are everywhere. Many of the salesclerks are designers who share information about the latest fashion trends. "In London, there is no distance between fashion and me," he says.

Luo's enthusiasm and curiosity means he is never short of inspirations. "Art work, music, perfume — even an old self-portrait or handcraft can inspire me," Luo says.

He works at Nicole Farhi, a high-end fashion brand in the United Kingdom as a designer.

"I would like to pour my whole inner world into fashion, which is like my close friend, deserving my lifelong love," he says.

Luo says his designs are influenced by his emotions and weird ideas. But he will maintain his architectural design philosophy in subsequent creations. "I can find and use many special elements and details in this area, which will become my strength," he says.

Although currently living in London, Luo pays close attention to the China fashion industry. "I am happy to see the advancement of the domestic fashion industry. Actually there are many young Chinese fashion designers, who are much better than foreign designers. But sadly, most of them lack a platform and a chance to go global," says Luo.

He says the fashion industry in foreign countries has a system linking education to industry.

Now, in addition to his work at Nicole Farhi, Luo is preparing to launch his own brand, Yuhao Luo. "I will establish a brand which can represent my hometown Shenzhen, and shows the potential of fashion to the world," says Luo.

Chen Wenli contributed to the story.