Kara Liu is a designer on the rise. Shanghai-born and Melbourne-raised, she graduated from Melbourne’s RMIT with first class honours to go on to working with renowned designers, including a stint at Alexander Wang. Now concentrating on her own eponymous label, Kara Liu explores intelligent design with a minimal, body-focused impetus in mind. Her second collection, Apartment 8, presents simple garments in a rework of the everyday wardrobe in a palette of black, white and navy. Considered details are key: tailored lines, micro pleats and layered panels.
Your new collection is steeped in a wearable wardrobe classics. Which piece(s) are the standouts in the collection for you?
My favourite is the Shire Dress and the Billie Top. Both are extremely clean and edited. The Shire dress is a very easy to wear silhouette, it’s got this beautiful drape detail, a split seam back detail, and completed with a raw edge finish. There’s a lot going on but it looks very effortless. Billie Top embodies minimal perfection. There is nothing that is not absolutely essential on this garment. What makes it special is that simple yet special neckline.
Do you design with yourself in mind or a particular customer?
I’m pretty selfish and always design what I’d want to wear. But I don’t think it is a bad thing because I like to wear easy, comfortable, functional things, things you don’t have to think very hard about how to wear it or what to wear it with, yet when you put it on, you still feel beautiful.
When designing for the wearer, what are the main elements that concern you?
Comfort, function, ease.
What did you learn from your time at Alexander Wang?
So much! The most valuable things I took away from that experience is the importance of teamwork, and the importance of attention to detail.
To you, how does Australian fashion stand up against New York?
It’s a completely different market. New York is much bigger, the market there is a lot more global. Australian fashion industry is a lot more localised in comparison. However, in saying that, I do think our fashion is quite unique. It reflects our relaxed lifestyle and chilled attitude.
What Absorbs you?
Find more from Kara Liu here.