the 25th hour interview // juniper lai

We've seen mahabis worn indoors and outdoors, but last week mahabis made their debut on the catwalk. That's right.. mahabis adorned the feet of models strutting along the runway this London Fashion Week. 

This year's FAD show at Fashion Scout tasked young designers to create two looks to meet the brief 'Physics meets Fashion'. The results showcased a variety of interpretations, including designs based upon sound-waves to the use of 3D sintering technology. A selection of the looks were complemented with mahabis and the coloured soles picked out the main hues used in the designs. 


photo: pause magazine. juniper lai with her winning collection. 


photos: tony wellington + FAD. designs by catriona pringle + christopher clarke.


photos: tony wellington + FAD. designs by rachel mcmurray + prash muraleetharan


In this week's interview series, we spoke to the winner of the 2015 FAD competition, menswear designer Juniper Lai. Her final collection exhibited innovative uses of 3D printing and 3D sintering, and also featured our very own larvik light grey x skien black mahabis


Tell us about yourself in one sentence:

Im Juniper, 25, Final Year Menswear at LCF. Lots of love for design, music, friends and family and my two cats.


photo: idol magazine


Tell us about the techniques used in your collection

I used 3D sintering for islamic geometry inspired fabric, which were the result of a collaboration with Francesco Napolitano. I used this geometry on my Jacket and Trouser.

Using acid dye I dyes the 3D material on the trousers which highlighted the use of handcraft vs future textiles. I also used tanaka on suiting wool to create the trousers in look one, but was unfortunately not visible during the show. They were also Hand smocked to create large gathers at the top of the waistband. 


photo: juniper lai


What inspired you to use such innovative techniques? And did you come across any challenges on the way?

I was inspired to use this technology as I feel it is important as a designer to acknowledge what is available to you and be inspired by something new. I came across a multitude of issues, experimenting with new technology of the unknown was never going to be straightforward. 

Your designs have a very distinctive style, who would you say has influenced your work the most?

During my design stages I was mostly looking at designer Anne Marie Beretta, and The Holy Mountain, a film by Alejandro Jodorowsky.


photo: tony wellington + FAD. juniper's winning collection


You must be have been pretty busy balancing the FAD competition with your own work at London College of Fashion, how did you juggle both projects?

I used two looks from my FMP on FAD, I was lucky to have been looking at a similar brief.

Alongside these projects, how do you maintain a work-life balance?

All work and no play makes Juniper a very dull girl. I don't really have a balance. I tend to see my friends and laugh one minute and cry with stress at the sewing machine the next.

Describe your ultimate downtime- how you would choose to relax and unwind after a busy day…

I cuddle my cats endlessly , EAT LOADS and have a bath in the dark. 

What was the last book you read cover-to-cover?

I don't really remember, since I got an iPhone I just stare at that now and seem to have forgotten the old simple pleasures  of reading  a book.

If you had an extra hour in the day, how would you spend it?

My 25th hour would be spent asleep just like the other 12 hours I spend sleeping!


You can find out more about Juniper's designs here, or you can click here to check out the mahabis used in her collection. If you enjoyed this post, why not tweet about it?

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