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  • Date
    12 JULY 2023
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    Húdiégōngzhǔ Evokes a Fearless Attitude Through Aesthetics Garments That Brings Back the ‘90s

    HÚDIÉGŌNGZHǓ label was founded by designer Butterfly Princess in 2020 and draws inspiration from daily life and personal emotion and expresses the thoughts and feelings in a straightforward and wild way from the perspective of women. The designer always shows a fearless attitude and makes no secret of desire and vulnerability.  Tapping into past decades of Chinese fashion with fresh eyes, Princess Butterfly evokes the aesthetics that defined the ‘90s and ‘00s — bedazzled, ostentatious looks that were not long ago lambasted, but are now points of pride. Seemingly in response to years of Western brands defining “cool,” HÚDIÉGŌNGZHǓ finds its inspirations out of elements that were once considered tacky and then reinvents them into aggressively feminine garments. 

    Hello Princess Butterfly, welcome to RED EYE Metazine, reinterpreting the aesthetics that defined the 1990s and 2000s, how has your cultural background + childhood had an impact on the creative that you are today?  

    I was born in Beijing in the late 1990s and lived there until I was 22. My childhood experiences and memories have greatly influenced my present expression. I even feel that my creations are fulfilling the wishes and dreams I had as a child. My artistic language is also influenced by the unique local atmosphere of Beijing.

    When did you decide to approach fashion? How challenging was the start for you and looking back to that moment, what advice would you give to yourself now? 

    From as far back as I can remember, I have been very interested in fashion because I have always had a natural inclination to express my personality. As a child, I even entertained the idea of becoming a designer. However, as I grew up, my interests shifted to other art forms such as photography, mechanical devices, and 3D animation. I have experimented with various mediums, and I believe that fashion is also a medium for artistic expression for me.

    At the end of 2019, when the COVID-19 broke out, I found myself with a lot of free time. So, I started bringing to life the clothing ideas that had been lingering in my mind, and this creative journey has continued until now.

    The biggest challenges at that time were the lack of funds and a shortage of professional knowledge. Looking back at myself then, I feel that I was very brave. I don't have much advice to offer, but I do hope that my present self can recapture the same passion and courage I had back then.

    You have a strong and clear identity, how would you describe your approach to research when it comes to exploring more visuals for your garments? 

    I often collect and contemplate the most visually impactful images and elements, extracting them from their original context and reassembling them.

    How has your vision developed over time as a designer and what significant discoveries have you made?

    There are people beyond people, there is a sky beyond the sky.

    How important is the educational background for you? What are your thoughts about the future generations in fashion?

    I believe that educational background is important, and it doesn't only refer to whether a person has received higher education but also encompasses the education received from family and society.

    I believe that with the advancement of technology, the fashion of the future will be completely different from the current fashion. People will approach the design, production, and use of clothing with an entirely new mindset. We will have radically different fabrics that are no longer woven but instead formed as a single entity. For instance, 3D scanning will capture the body of each individual, and clothing will be generated (through printing or perhaps another unknown technology) to perfectly fit each person. The concept of standard sizes will disappear as clothing serves each individual independently. Clothing will also possess additional functionalities such as temperature regulation, sun protection, and skin moisture control. Fashion trends of that time might feature clothing with color-changing capabilities similar to chameleons or even garments made entirely of display screens. I am eagerly looking forward to the arrival of that day.

    The best things are usually created when people follow their own vision rather than just pursuing success or money for its own sake. How challenging is the business part for you as creatives?

    The Chinese market is reluctant to pay for creativity, and consumers still tend to prefer products with low prices.

    How do you approach potential platforms to collaborate with? 

    I will do my best and they will come someday.

    Name us a few creatives that you would like to collaborate with?

    Lady Gaga.

    A letter to your future self, what would you write? 

    Please don't blame me for not being diligent enough now because I already blame myself sufficiently. Don’t waste any more time on regrets, just enjoy the present moment.

    Interview by Mira Wandelust

    Image Courtesy HÚDIÉGŌNGZHǓ