“It could be autumn leaves in a park, reflections in a lake or walking past a skyscraper. I believe beauty can exist anywhere, when you look.” The unmissable Lisan Ly and her global explorations are the foundation for similarly global ambitions. Flying the flag – or should I say flying her scarf designs – proudly in the air for all to see. One would perhaps need an atlas to explain the sources of inspiration behind the beauteous creations of the British born designer. Malaysia and Thailand are a few of the many pins in her map.
Lisan painted a picture for me, describing how ‘temple tiles, vibrant florals and beautiful insects’ played a role in shaping her explosive colour pallete. Chinese and Vietnamese heritage are another ingredient confidently stitched into the surfaces designs of the London College of Communication graduate, who makes reference to England’s Kew Gardens and Japanese kimonos as research points for the delicately balanced designs of her impressive debut October 2012 collection. “I absolutely love travelling and try to see as much of the world as I can. It’s an amazing source of creative inspiration.”
Lisan’s work displays a considerable level of technical excellence, perhaps stemming from previous studies at Kingston University; not in design, but computing. To this day innovative techniques and quality craftsmanship such as (deep breath) hand illustration, computer aided design, screen printing, pattern cutting, laser cutting and embroidery, all contribute to the elegance. Much labour and attention to detail has been woven into the fibres of this ‘wearable art.’ There is certainly much more than meets the eye.
Making reference to two of my favorite words – ‘organized chaos’, Lisan explains how her creations “aim to reflect beauty in the world and embody the simple pleasures in life” and I think she is successful in her intentions. Her luxurious but playful designs breath a level of sophistication that would make a perfect gift for the perfect woman. Lisan has great admiration for the likes of Alexander McQueen, Yohji yamamoto, Elie Saab and the prints of Basso & Brooke, Erdem and Peter Pilotto – but keep your eye on the catwalks, and listen out for the alliterate brand name – ‘Lisan Ly’ that will hopefully one day stand alongside the work of such well-known designers.