Photography / Editorial / Print

We speak to designer Victor Tung about merging the boundaries between painting, art, fashion, and his approach to making 'wearable art'

With 80 per cent of your fabric sourced from leftover fabric pieces from major fashion houses and recycled vintage couture, how important is this to your label and values you hold about ethically sourced clothing?

The purpose is to get a variety of the finest material, and compose them into a piece of art. 80% of the fabric is recreated by dying and painting, mix-matching and quilting, to achieve a one-of-a-kind material from which I tailor into a stylish functional work of art. This is how I distinguish my label from fashion. 'Style' is individual expression, 'Fashion' is mass expression.

You hand-paint scarves and most of your fabrics, is individuality and personal style key to how you view the fashion industry?

Individuality and personal style is an artist's signature. One would stumbled into an unsigned masterpiece and exclaim "Ah! no doubt this is Picasso !" It's the individualistic preferences we make that express our style, whether it is food or shelter, music or books, wine or women, or art, .........or clothing.

Based in San Francisco, from images we see of your eclectic workshop, is creativity key to who you are and your everyday process?

Creating is my heartbeat. As long as I am awake, I indulge myself in a celestial realm. Even in my dreams, I am creating. It is a 24 hr process !

Do you like to surround yourself with interesting objet d'art? where do you draw your inspiration from?

Collection of Fine Arts, and Antiques, is my passion and can form an inspiration also. It's not necessarily a $10,000 item that I have battled, and won from auction, but could also be driftwood I have come across on the beach, a stone on the sidewalk, a fallen leaf, the ever changing cloud, the sound of a running brook, songs of birds, chanting of monks, scent of incense, ........or the attire a vagabond. Inspiration is everywhere, it is all around me.

Is dressing up all about making a statement?

Dressing is an image that we portray. It is part of the body language that we transmit, a hint of stating who a person is, a social status.

Do you have any interests outside the realm of fashion and art?

I am a devoted Buddhist. I meditate and communicate with the universe. I also enjoy reading, watching movies, cooking, music, travelling, and gardening.

If there was one person you would want to visit your workshop and wear your clothing, who would that be, and why?

I think it is more challenging to transform an "Ugly Duckling" into a fairy. It's the ordinary common people that I fantasise about... the agile waitress next door, the mature florist, the interior designers who always linger at my shop window. 

Will you continue to focus on one-off designs or will you make a transition to high street fashion?

I choose to focus on style, and avoid fashion. However, one still can see fashion in my style.

What can we expect from VT Couture over the coming years?

VT couture will continue to tailor style, but will be looking to target those who would not mind paying a high price for a distinguished image - wearable art.

As featured in Unfolded Magazine Issue 03 -


Image description