Ever since sweatpants first hit the street style blogs, comfortable has become the new classy. We’ve traded our bandage dresses for sack dresses, and swapped our skinny jeans for slacks with a little more, well, slack. In a city overwhelmed with excess, fashion has gone minimalist.
But it can take a lot of effort to look effortless. That’s where Dessu, a new brand from up-and-coming designer Angie Suh, can help. Ever since launching for Spring 2013, Dessu has been producing looks that hit a sweet spot between sophistication and ease. With pieces that manage to have flow and form, Dessu is a perfect go-to for a casually refined girl -on-the-go. (In other words, most girls in NYC.)
This week, we chatted with Angie Suh about her inspirations, her Taiwanese Grandma, and her daily uniform.
Where does the name “Dessu” come from, and what compelled you to start your own line?
"Dessu is named after my first-born, Desmond. When I had him, I decided not to go back to work."
You have a degree in architecture, which is very evident in your collections. How do you use architecture to inspire and inform your designs?
"I'm constantly inspired by architecture. For Fall, I was looking at Prairie style architecture and the work of Frank Lloyd Wright (not very trendy stuff). But I liked the warmth those materials convey. I always look at my environment for interesting shapes, patterns, and color."
How do you envision the woman you design for? What neighborhood of New York does she live in?
"The casual but refined vibe is definitely more downtown, or possibly Brooklyn. She could be a New Yorker longing for California."
Many Dessu looks combine menswear-inspired elements, like sweater vests and crisp collars, with feminine dresses and skirts. How do you play around with traditionally masculine and feminine components in your designs?
"Contrast is really important to me. I love to ground the pretty and delicate looks with something more structured and architectural. I also require that my clothes have an ease to them, because I personally am always running around."
Whose wardrobe do you wish you could steal?
"My grandma had an amazing wardrobe- all custom made. Unfortunately, none of it survived her various moves from Taiwan to the States."
What is your daily uniform?
"One of my shirt dresses (the ones with the crisp collars) layered with one of my cashmere pullovers or a boyfriend cardigan."
What do you see as the future of Dessu? How are you expanding and promoting the brand moving forward?
"We are continually refining our product and better defining our girl. Additionally, I am re-launching our website to incorporate an e-commerce element."
Follow along with Dessu's story: