Images by: Kris Pinter
This month we speak to Dan Liu, one half of up and coming menswear brand DANSHAN and this month’s MISS MARCH. We caught up with her after her Preen Line Diaries shoot to talk about gender stereotypes in the menswear industry and modern masculinity.Hi Dan. Talk us through your latest collection
How do you find inspiration for each collection?
We usually start off with an emotion, because that’s one of the things we found lack in modern masculinity because men don’t talk about feelings and emotions much, so that’s the focus and we normally start with that.
Your Instagram has a lot of gender neutral models. How do gender stereotypes impact your designs?
Obviously gender is a big topic in the brand and in our designs, but gender is not the focus. We’ve always focused on the masculinity, the type of man that we were inspired by. It’s not about gender, it’s about a certain type of masculinity.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a city near Hong Kong called Guangzhou in South China. It’s quite an international city but obviously it’s not as interesting as London.
Where’s your favourite place to hang out?
My garden. I like to see things growing and be in touch with nature. It’s more relaxing - less to worry about.
Iceland. The landscape is so diverse and I haven’t seen anything like it all together in one place. I like the fact there’s not many people there, you can focus on just yourself.
How did you end up working in men’s fashion?
I studied womenswear at CSM but throughout that time I didn’t find an interest or the reason why I wanted to continue designing womenswear in terms of career, but after a couple of years working in the industry and after talking to a couple of my best friends including Shan, I realised we had quite a refreshing view on masculinity - and my menswear career was born.
How do you push the boundaries in your designs?
Everyone is saying boundaries, but throughout the time I’ve been designing, I don’t see boundaries. People say I keep pushing the boundaries but I don’t know what I’m pushing, no idea - it’s just how I think, and how I design.
How important is innovation in fashion?
In terms of textiles, technology is important but I don’t think it’s as important as people think. Because clothes are clothes, they’re something you wear: even if you add lightbulbs or speakers on top, I can’t call it innovative because it’s not practical and there’s no need for it. But to be innovative in fashion is to go back to the original human, to forget about the whole look and go back to the wearer - psychologically, how does this person think and what impact does this garment give. I think that’s the innovation in fashion.
What’s your favourite thing about Preen Line?
I’ve always loved it. The fact it has so much of the girly elements, but it’s not girly. I’m not a girly person, but with Preen Line I don’t feel awkward.
And finally, what’s the most rebellious thing you’ve ever done?
Getting into fashion!
Discover more from the amazing Dan on instagram: @danshanstudio
Photography by the talented @pinterk
Shop the Preen Line Resort collection here