Dan Liu

Images by: Kris PinterMiss Preen Line March 2017 Dan Liu wearing Preen Line Resort 17

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
The latest collection was inspired by a performing artist from the 1970s called Bas Jan Ader. A lot of his work involved falling from trees, falling from the roof and just giving himself to gravity and we found that really refreshing. In his most famous video, he is just crying in front of the camera for 2 and a half minutes. For the 1970s, this was so refreshing - that men could openly express themselves in terms of emotions. These days, modern masculinity really constrains and restricts and men brought up in a traditional way almost repress themselves. So I took him as a muse and took the collection forward.

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.

Favourite destination?

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 difficult was it to break into the menswear market?
Just as difficult as anything else. Not easy.

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!

Miss Preen Line March 2017 Dan Liu wearing Preen Line Resort 17

Discover more from the amazing Dan on instagram: @danshanstudio

Photography by the talented @pinterk

Shop the Preen Line Resort collection here



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