With sustainability at the core of her labels, Hong Kong-born fashion designer Tiffany Pattinson has made creating eco-friendly garments that have a positive impact on the environment her mission. Since 2013, she’s had her work showcased in fashion weeks across China and in the UK. Aside from her distinguished career in fashion, Pattinson is also a well-known tarot card reader in Shanghai. In this interview, she tells us about the connection between her two seemingly unrelated talents.
How would you describe your brand and style of design?
I have two labels – Tiffany Pattinson and Bubblegum Factory – which are complete opposites in terms of style. Tiffany Pattinson is minimalistic, futuristic and elegant with some technological elements in the design (such as AR and light sensitivity). Bubblegum Factory is the wild twin sister that has all the vivid color combinations with a vintage touch, dramatic prints with double meanings and strange details. Both labels highlight the importance of sustainability with different approaches.
Why do you focus on eco-friendly, sustainable design?
I started my own fashion labels because of the encouragement from my mum, who aspires to be a jewelry designer, and my art teacher who believes that with fashion to set my own style and design, it will be easier for me to expand into other mediums. Growing up participating in a number of eco-design competitions, I have learned a lot about the ‘ugliness’ behind the fashion industry and believe that it's up to us and the future generations to be more responsible and put less burden on mother nature… My ultimate goal is to build a sustainable lifestyle empire and invite likeminded talents across the globe to create positive impact on the environment.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Nature, cultural elements, traditional crafts, white magic, stories for children and random encounters of cyber glitches are all sources of inspiration for my work.
“Reading tarot cards has taught me the importance of balance in creation, which influences the overall design concept and how are things are visually presented”
The wisteria flower is often used in your design. What’s its significance to you personally?
Wisteria is my birth flower and it symbolizes peace, wisdom and playfulness. I have adapted it to reflect the brand's focus on sustainability, its overall design concept, and as its signature color.
Tell us about tarot card reading…
I was bullied at school and I picked up tarot card in hopes that it would help me make some new friends who were weird enough to not be afraid to stand up against bullies. It worked so well that I became well-known in the tarot card reading circle. Discovering that I am actually good at reading cards came as a surprise, and I enjoy practicing as it's quite therapeutic for both parties. Whether people choose to believe the readings and follow the advice or not, it's great to open up and talk to someone without putting stress on family and friends or fearing that their secrets might get out. For me, I have made countless friends over the years through card reading.
Does reading tarot cards benefit your design work, or vice versa?
Reading tarot cards has taught me the importance of balance in creation, which influences the overall design concept as well as how things are visually presented. I love to hide little sigil details (magic signs that bring the wearer luck and protection) in my designs to send good wishes to the owners. In addition, what I have learned throughout the years about design has allowed me to create a beautiful setup for readings cards. Some of my clients were drawn to their first reading because of it.
Tell us a bit about what we can expect from your showcase at the upcoming Shanghai Fashion Week.
It will be more of an intimate experience as each show will only admit a small crowd so they can have a closer look at the details handcrafted by the Buyi tribe from Guizhou, and play with the different elements on each garment. It is a show experience that I have been dreaming of for years. I’m finally getting the chance to realize this dream for the very first time. Also, my signature bag line and personal care products will be officially launched.
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