Born in Beijing and brought up in New England, Michael loves the tension between genres, and he wears it so well. He makes a plaid button-down shirt exotic by closing it at the neck, with his gorgeous unisex long, straight black shair, drapey wrap pants that appears to be a skirt, and his handknit version of a tie that is inspired by indigenous cultures. Michael quotes a designer whom he admires: "When you make something, most of the time should be spent thinking about it." I can see that Michael gives this same all-encompassing thoughtfulness to his designs and style, which are one and the same. He loves dressing in the images he is conceptualizing ("when you design a collection, you are presenting your world"). Very different from my approach to dressing is how cerebral Michael is about it and it's all of these type of nuances in people that fascinate me. He loves color so much that he wears black only every so often as a "refresher" or as "a way to fade away for a day." He sees knits as an expression of anrogyny, because of how limitless and unbound they are in the way they fall on the body. He is writing his thesis on the life and dress of bedouin nomads, so he is currently donning the bomb of pleated earth-toned "Aladdin" WilliWear pants and "Jesus" sandals with thick melange socks. Michael has decided to become a menswear designer, because he feels there is more to be discovered and explored as compared to women's clothing. Lately, he's been feeling denim and American sportswear, but to make it his own, he will pair it with something akin to the enigma of his awesome (one of my SLU favorites) camel vintage knit scarf. It is on the one hand classic and utilitarian in that Harvard, Love Story, kind of a way, but on the other, it's pure show and avant garde, with its exaggerated fringe and purely artful shape. Exactly what it is, is a question left to the imagination, which is what draws the observer both to it and to Michael.
"I always say [in the way I design], it should be 90% concept and development, and then 10% should be a mystery, should be up in the air, unfinished, questionable, because that's what is going to draw people in." Michael Liu