Born in Taiwan, raised in Malaysia, Simon Mo’s unique background has honed in his work, an extraordinary and inimitable perspective. After graduating with a BA in Womenswear from Central Saint Martins in 2012, Simon went on to work at Alexander McQueen and Nathan Jenden’s ‘Mask’ in Shanghai.
We caught up with the designer ahead of his SS19 show at Fashion Scout, to hear more about how his passion for diving has shaped this collection, underpinned by the notion that marine life is deeply affected by human pollution. With powerful themes of aquatic life and sustainability set to uphold this collection, we're eager to see how Simon has translated his ideas and influences into a minimal and romantic collection.
What has inspired your Spring Summer 2019 collection?
This collection was inspired by a wildlife photograph from National Geographic which represented how marine life is deeply polluted by wastage. Many marine creatures are killed by rubbish and as such there are more countries supporting the ban of single use plastic product such as straw and plastic bags.
How do you stay inspired?
Massive reading! I also find that getting in touch with nature is a great source of inspiration. And of course drawing!
What themes and concepts are you exploring this season?
I looked into the history of diving and sailing to start my collection, with “Seas the day”(seize the day) as the theme.
I love and respect the ocean. When I look at the ocean, skyline and the marine world I can see every colour in front of my eyes when I dive. Therefore I wanted to do a collection to remind everyone living in cities, that people used to respect and cherish the ocean undoubtedly regardless of religion or lifestyle. I wanted to convey that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect the marine system because it’s part of our life too. Even though we may live in cities, we can all still be sailors in our own way.
Themes of sustainability, diversity and inclusivity are permeating the industry. What changes would you like to make through your work?
I always support green fashion, and personally I do not like to use existing plastic material, or animal fur in my work, because personally I don’t like to wear either of them. I want to create designs which are fresh, modern, comfortable, and timeless to the audiences. And I am always inspired by nature, humanity and culture.
What shall we look out for at your SS19 show?
I want to create a strong holiday collection to express my “Seas the day” (seize the day) concept to remind people to get in touch with nature and to protect it.
For this collection, I had fun playing with my colour palette to mix and match different fabrics and textures to emphasise the imagery I want to create for this season. For example, mix media designed mesh was inspired by the marine world, pleats made out of “straw print” with menswear suiting fabric, trench coats, shirts and blazers that are inspired from the vintage diving element and one of my favourite bedtime story “Sinbad the sailor”.