I came across Aloysius Liew’s label, VVHATIF, at Vancouver Fashion Week, and he has since stood out to me as one of the ones to watch. I can’t get enough of his architectural designs and playful shapes. Aloysius attended the prestigious Central Saint Martins, home to Matthew Williamson and Gareth Pugh. Shortly after enrolment, Liew was named the National finalist of the 2008 Triumph Inspirations Award in London, and was featured on one of my favourite blogs, Style Bubble. Liew has interned at Alexander McQueen Design studio as well as Viktor & Rolf Atelier in Amsterdam. Liew returned to Singapore in 2012 where he founded VV H A T I F, a conceptual fashion label for the experimentation of designs through hypotheses.
His first collection is called “The perimeter is.” True to his geometric style, the idea is that depending on the journey of a line, a shape is defined when its ends meet. The collection that experiments with just the use of lines, that upon joining the two ends, creates shapes or pattern that exhibits fluid geometries.
Just before I asked Aloysius the 7 questions, I was curious to know where his name was derived from. He says, “Aloysius is actually a self-given name when i was 10, after hearing it in class one day. I just fell in love with the name and decided it would be mine. I later found out its of german origins and means ‘fame’ and ‘war.’ My label VVHATIF, on the other hand, is the habitual instinct of my design process where I often doubt or hope to create.”
1. What was your experience like at Vancouver Fashion Week?
It was an indicative experience that made me want to share more of my work.
2. You mention you started designing at 19. Surely, you must have had previous sewing/illustration/art experience before that? Tell us about your early years.
During my childhood, I was heavily drowned into the world of cartoons. The unbounded world of cartoons became the trigger that led me to submerge myself into my own imaginary world and the only way I could illustrate my escapades in this world were through doodles and sketches. Everything else just followed through later on.
3. What inspired you to enter into the world of fashion design?
When i was 10, i would iron my own uniforms and prep myself for school in the early mornings. I remember I would fold them and press them, to mimic the fold lines when your parents would fold the garments for you. I think it was during this time where i already paid attention to how little details on a garment could express so much that led me to my interest in fashion.
4. How did you decide on starting your own label rather than working at a renowned brand?
I never really wanted my own label. I always dreamt that I would be a heroic fashion designer that would revive a dormant heritage fashion house. By chance, everything just kinda fell into place when fashion events and investors approached me and most importantly, I really felt like i wanted to have a voice of my own. It felt like i was at the very moment of my life where i should be taking a risk to do something heroic for myself
5. Who or what has had the biggest influence on your work ethic or design aesthetic to date?
It’s an instinctual feeling that responds to the movement in society. It’s like there’s an invisible movement happening around the world that unknowingly affects everything else that happens. And once you sees it and seize it, you create things that either rides with it or opposes it.
6. What is it about women that inspires you to design for them?
It’s the women who seek individualism and I could be a part of it.
7. The concept of VVHATIF is heavily based on experimentation. What is the biggest risk or most interesting question you have had to “hypothesize” through your designs?
There was never one question that was most interesting or risky. The questions are always interesting and easy to ask as it is limitless to the extend of questions you can ask. But it is the attempt to answer those questions and to realise the answers in the context of fashion that is truly interesting and risky sometimes. The answers are always unexpected and exciting. Even just asking “VVHATIF the seam moves 1 cm to the left” can be very interesting and very risky.
‘The perimeter is’ by VVHATIF is Aloysius’s first collection, and will only be available online at WWW.VVHATIF.COM. His average price point is between USD $140 for a pair of shorts to USD $350 for a more complicated jacket.