Founder of the brand The Rune and menswear designer - Yujin Chen has recently graduated from her MA at University of Westminster. Yujin has experimented with worn-out and faded texture, using floral print and bleach technique, putting the pattern together with irregular cut and ripped seams. Apart from being a fashion designer, Yujin is also a musician. We had a great pleasure to talk to the Fashion Crossover London designer recently featured in the UK Harper’s Bazaar in December issue.

1. What does your brand name The Rune stands for?

Rune means ‘secret’ in Greek. In Norse mythology, as long as it is carved on wood, stone, metal or even any material, it can get infinite power. I was inspired by the ancient wisdom and mystery so I named my personal brand The Rune. I carved the meaning into garments through unique tailoring and materials, hoping that people who wear it can gain a kind of spiritual power and produce miracles.
 
 
"I was inspired by the ancient wisdom and mystery so I named my personal brand The Rune. I carved the meaning into garments through unique tailoring and materials, hoping that people who wear it can gain a kind of spiritual power and produce miracles." 




 
2. Your collection is mainly inspired by the 90s grunge, how does this take shape in your work and what lead to this inspiration?

Grunge is one of my favourite music genre, which lead to the fashion style of that era. I have watched a lot of the music videos scenes from the 90s and bands such as Sonic Youth and Nirvana. I was obsessed by their music and the rough energy. I have one very precious book- Cobain Unseen, which features many intimate and unreleased photos from Kurt Cobain's collection of art, journal entries, and other personal artefacts he collected throughout his life. This book also inspired me a lot to design this collection with grunge spirit.
 
 

 
3. Being a musician yourself and having your graduate collection featured in a music video during lockdown, will this experience have an influence on your future garments?

I think my identity is half musician and half fashion designer. So I have been exploring the connection between fashion and music culture for a while now. During this quarantine period I tried to make this music video with my partner under limited conditions, and incorporated grunge energy into my graduation design. This unique experience will also become my future design reference and foundation.

"I think my identity is half musician and half fashion designer. So I have been exploring the connection between fashion and music culture for a while now."


4. What sets your collection apart are the unique prints used, could you share your design process with us?

Research is usually the first step for me to get inspiration and conduct the design process. In this collection, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love are my muses. Kurt sometimes wears Courtney’s floral dress on stage, with worn-out jeans. This style inspired my choice of fabrics and prints. I collected some vintage second-hand fabrics and tablecloths from the 90s, redesigned them, printed them on corduroy and cotton cloth, and finally bleached them with different shades by hand.

5. What other plans and dreams do you have for the future?

My future plan is to make The Rune a crossover label. I would like to make both my fashion and music projects under this label. It can also include music records, and my clothing brands, and occasionally collaborate with artists I am interested in.

"My future plan is to make The Rune a crossover label. I would like to make both my fashion and music projects under this label."

Discover Yujin Chen's full collection


Words by Katarzyna Korcz
 
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