EXCLUSIVE: APRIL YAP 'CTRL – C'
"Ctrl-C draws inspiration from the visual culture of Chinatown and explores its cultural mish-mash through the idea of collage, both through print and silhouette. Photorealistic prints and checkerboard checks intersecting with accents of glitter capture the kitsch and artificial nature of Chinatown. Odd shapes with haphazard cut-outs and digitally printed layers form a conceptual womenswear collection with a playful aesthetic."
April Yap is a 23 year old fashion graduate at the University of Technology Sydney and newly born fashion superstar. We had a chat to her about her graduate collection, "Ctrl-C".
Jamie: How would you describe your aesthetic? It's pretty unique and playful.
April: I think my aesthetic is kind of neo-nostalgic. It brings together different references that I relate to… I guess my aesthetic is sort of, thrown together, spontaneous and expressive
J: Whats the inspo behind the collection?
A: The main inspiration is the visual culture of Chinatown. I was really interested in how it is a constructed cultural space that contains a mish mash of different Asian cultures that do not reflect Chinese culture at all. From there I developed this method of collage that informed my design process, pattern cutting and print design. The idea of collage and taking things out of context and sticking them together, was how I came to express the essence of Chinatown.
J: Whats the influence or reference behind the pattern/typography prints?
A: All the photorealistic prints of signs etc in the collection were taken by me of things I came across in Sydney’s Chinatown. I wanted to emulate this energetic spirit of Chinatown by digitally printing these images of fake marble stairs, foliage, signs in both English and Chinese and then ‘collaging’ them to allude to the bricolage that exists in this space of Chinatown.
The checks are a reference to the transparent layer in Photoshop. I used that pattern in particular to reference the artificiality and constructed nature of Chinatown. I guess subconsciously I played around with the idea of space-negative space expressed through cut outs, the checks.
J: Why fashion?
A: I always have been a very visual person and I really loved visual arts in high school but I saw fashion as more of an opportunity to engage with people. I guess in a way I see fashion as more interactive.
J: Who would wear you clothes? Who would you like to see in your clothes?
A: My muses are people like Chela or Solange Knowles. Girls who are cool and a little bit dorky. Girls who aren’t afraid to be themselves.They are honest and expressive.
J: Where does one wear your collection?
A:For me this collection was a project that I really wanted to run wild with conceptually and push the limits of what a garment could be. Underneath all the cut out layers and bright prints, there are some wearable shapes such as the t-shirt shapes and culottes that I can see girls working into their day to day wardrobe, to go to art openings… I definitely see the prints translating onto sweaters, t-shirt dresses and shorts for more wearability.
Words/ Jamie-Maree Shipton