PENNY CHU is a renowned designer based in New York. She is greatly influenced by the architecture she sees every day. A walk through the great cities of the world is like research for her. She takes these experiences and manifest them into handmade headpieces, many of which have been featured in fashion shows and editorials over the last six years. Currently she is focused on creating these great works through the art of paper folding.
“Since childhood, I have been amazed by fashion works from all points of history. I was taught the art of sewing and knitting by my mother when I was small. This made me appreciate craftsmanship by hand. A former job at an architecture literary house, refined my eye for this great art.”
- What got you started as a milliner?
A life change prompted a pause that I filled with world travel. Unfortunately, what was I to do with all my vintage hats? Then a thought came across my mind while looking at them, ‘Wait, what if I learn to make these hats myself?’ I was fortunate to learn from a great milliner who helped hone my craft, and enlightened a pathway of pure creativity.
- What do you think of fashion today?
Fast fashion has taken the seasonality out of fashion. Instead of thinking, what is my point of view for this season, we now just shop for what is available in that moment and then throw out and repeat.
- Thoughts on creating a brand.
A brand should be inseparable from the creator.
- How you manage the harsh realities in the fashion industry?
Creativity makes me happy and feeds my heart as it shapes me as a person. I cannot let whatever harsh realities exist cause me to compromise that. If my art can find a place in that world, great. But the process of true creativity gives me so much, that no material gain is worth sacrificing that feeling.
- An example of someone who inspires you
Very early on I was greatly inspired by Gaudi, while that is still the case, within the last few years, Ernst Haeckel, the naturalist who was also an illustrator, artist, biologist and physician, has greatly influenced my work.
“What’s next” always the most exciting part. I would love to do 3D printing with natural materials. Also, I do not want to confine myself to just headpieces. I view each piece as a sculpture. Moving forward, I’d like those sculptures to be bigger.
Credit for the pictures:
Photography by Ylva Erevall
Model: Linda Holmes/ KhrystyAna
Paper Headpiece by CHUCHU NY
Hair by Koji Ichikawa
Makeup by Deepti Sadhwani
Alena Zolotnikova- Retoucher