PEOPLE he confesses, “changing my mind at the very last minute”, despite time-pressure ramifications. This course of action is one of the privileges of running his own independent label but Le admits that due to the other show-related tasks he also needs to tackle, he only classes 10% of his job as “purely creative”. SHOW TIME… Hien Le (above) slugs water with his team as last-minute notes and final adjustments are made on show night, before a model (left) strides confidently out onto the catwalk in one of his glamorous dresses Atypical day starts with “a good breakfast followed by checking emails and organising logistics with suppliers”, he says. “I work on the collection step-by-step and delegate tasks to my assistants while fitting in meetings with production companies.” With 60% of his samples created in-house, this rising star has to stay organised, but even the best-laid plans can go awry. “It doesn’t matter how early you start,” smiles Le, “there is always something that goes wrong. Every season we have problems with fabric suppliers, deliveries from overseas getting stuck at customs, or broken seams during fittings which are always on the last weekend before the show. Then there are models who do not show up on the day or get cancelled last minute by their agencies because of another job. Everything is always really last-minute.” It’s no surprise to hear then that he considers “patience, endurance, a strong will, business acumen and passion,” as key virtues and attributes for a designer, before adding, “you really have to love what you do otherwise it won’t work, you need to be prepared for it to be difficult”. To Le’s mind, the most important element in conceiving a strong new body of work is to “conceptually finish an entire collection before starting a new one, in order to free the mind and close one chapter before opening a new one”. However, in reality this is largely just a zealous ideal for a designer who often works on three collections for upcoming seasons simultaneously. He cites the importance of taking creative breaks along the way though and pays tribute to the people he surrounds himself with – his assistants, stylists and PR agency – in helping to “ground me in stressful situations”. At least there’s no complicated show pyrotechnics or conceptual razzamatazz to worry about, as he confirms: “We really focus on the clothes, there are no special effects. Of course it is important to create an atmosphere to catch the audience’s attention, but I think we do that with the simple styling of hair and make-up, as well as in our choice of music.” By the day of the show itself he claims to be calm. “I usually feel quite relaxed, because there is nothing more you can do at this stage,” he reasons, before concluding: “But right before the show, when the lights turn off, the music starts and the models are in their first looks waiting in line, I start to get excited. My heart beats fast and I feel kind of nervous … but happy.” 68 j THE PERFORMANCE ISSUE
“I usually feel quite relaxed on the day of the show, because there is nothing more you can do. But when the light turns off, the music starts and the models are waiting in line I start to get excited. My heart beats fast and I feel nervous … but happy” – HIEN LE THE PERFORMANCE ISSUE j 69
Jaguar Magazine celebrates creativity in all its forms, with exclusive features that inspire sensory excitement, from beautiful design to cutting-edge technology.
In this issue, we explore the art of creativity from the Brazilian masters who devised the graceful art of Capoeira, to the Irish artists mixing new culture with old. You will also discover the creative line that links Victorian wallpaper to the iPhone. While the multi-talented actor and performer, Riz Ahmed, explains why it is the right time to reveal his true self to the world.
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