Designer Ryan Turner. Image supplied.
Ryan Turner founded his eponymous label in 2015 and the designer is known for his clever take on androgynous dressing. He will make his solo debut at New Zealand Fashion Week next week in a show that will showcase his unique style and flair for innovative garments. Ryan aims to redefine gender roles with his clothing and offer the wearer garments that push the boundaries but are still functional and great to wear.
We caught up with Ryan to find out more about his new collection, what inspires him and what you would never catch him wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
My latest collection is all about the simplicity of deconstruction. My designs are usually very heavily deconstructed and quite boldly so. For my AW19 collection I have pushed the idea of deconstruction and what it means to me even further and tried to unpick ideologies and expectations instead of just a physical garment.
What made you become a designer?
From a young age my mother was always sewing to make a bit of money to help feed us whilst she looked after us. I really admired the way she was able to create something beautiful out of some old fabric as a form of self expression. I suppose I never had a lot of money to spend on clothes and was always given hand me downs which kind of just culminated into me deconstructing second hand clothes to wear. It’s funny how these small thing in life have really shaped my designs today, I kind of love it, it’s just “me” in the most raw form.
What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from all over the place really, there’s never one thing that I draw inspiration from. I mean I do tend to design from a feeling or from an emotion and then I play with how I can represent what this feeling is through cloth and form. I think you could almost say I design from all my insecurities, my confidence, my love for different ventures and just a general freedom for not just existing but living. Also OCD and ADHD, clothes have to feel amazingly comfortable or I just wont wear them hahaha.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
I have quite a strong personality that really reflects in my own style. I am all about the comfort and flow of pieces layered together set against a few bold structures and tailoring. I like to have things oversized but also fitting at the same time? It’s a perplexing statement but it’s kind of like taking traditional tailoring and making things large enough to not be form fitting around the torso area but fit to the shoulders so to be slimming but also just fall and have a ridiculously large hem.
As I said before I do tend to design from emotions and feelings within me, a lot of these come from quite a dark past which really does keep my aesthetic quite solemn even when something comes out accidentally beautiful.
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
Oh I have so many of these it’s almost impossible to pick! Accessories wise is by far my tabi, I live in them and find them so comfortable! In general can I be lame and say my laptop, I would be seriously screwed without it hahaha.
What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
A warm pair of thermal tights! There’s absolutely no reason to give up your summer wardrobe in the middle of winter. Chuck on a pair or two of thick tights and you will never get cold, I’ve managed to wear mesh shorts and a singlet in the middle Muriwai in the pouring rain and still feel slightly toasty. This also means you can give your jacket out to all your friends that are freezing their butts off! Who said chivalry was dead?
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Rules and traditions stem from somewhere, break them, throw them out the window and really have fun exploring this new found freedom! When you’ve done this for long enough you’ll begin to understand the laws behind these rules and be able to create your own, it’s great!
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
By far it would have to be receiving messages from old school teachers, friends, people I’ve never met saying how much they love my clothes. It’s really amazing to hear feedback and such from people I may have never talked to before or at least for a while. Warms the old heart strings.
What can’t you live without?
A sewing machine, I’ve tried and I just can’t, I literally go insane.
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Uhhhh you wouldn’t?