Kristian Chase is Aqua Blu’s amazing Creative Director responsible for the stunning collection featured at Beach Life Australia.
Get to know this exciting designer in our brand new “Meet the Swimwear Designer” interview series!
As a swimwear fashion lover, it was inspiring to learn about how he turned his dreams into one fabulous (fashionable) reality.
Kristian was the star at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in 2016 with his amazing 2016 collection and his one and only master piece featuring over 700 metres of tulle and thousands of hand sewn Swarovski crystals bodysuit. Kristian truly put Aqua Blu on the Swimwear Fashion map with their extraordinary performance!
1. What inspired you to start a career in fashion?
Growing up in New York and around fashion my entire life laid out that path for me. My mom has worked with Conde Nast publication, Vogue in particular that had a major influence on me and my artistic direction. So when it came to making a major life and career decision, the choice was very easy. I wanted to be in an industry where I could unleash my creativity and make my own mark.
2. Tell us about your career until you reached the sunny shores of Australia and joined Aqua Blu as Creative Director
My first role was working in one of the worlds most prestigious ateliers , Christian Dior.
I learnt my craft in Paris but horned my skills in New York and London.
I worked for Dior, Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessy to name a few.
I then decided to become a buyer for a prestigious department store. This was so I could further immerse myself to strengthen my understanding of not just fashion and style but what people are truly looking for. A point of difference.
Armed with local and international knowledge along with a very intrepid personality and flare for design is what led to my appointment as Creative Director of Aqua Blu Australia.
3. What distinguishes Aqua Blu from other swimwear fashion labels?
My aesthetic is very different when it comes to swimwear. I find that the swim market is very lacking when it comes to a point of difference or flare. Its all tonal colours or the similar styles everywhere.
My lines are unconventional, daring, bold yet chic and above all sophisticated. I like to explore the limitations and boundaries for swim aesthetics and challenge those views. From designing daring prints and fabrics, I like to ensure that these pieces are transitional fashion items that you can carry through your day. Beach to bar, swim to gym whilst looking incredibly fabulous.
4. Aqua Blu is produced in amazing quality, how do you make sure your customers are getting the best design, fabric and fit possible?
I like to be very hands on. All my prints are designed in house and by me.
This is what sets my label apart from the rest. I tend to not offer current “trend or fads” I focus on creating something unique and ultimately something so different that catches your eye. Fabric is very important.
The one thing I truly dislike is watching people come out of the water and having to “readjust” themselves. I wanted to eliminate that, so we created a fabric that does just that.
My fabrics are not just light weight, airy and luxurious to the touch, it also works on enhancing the fit and look of the garment. Paired with the perfect fit you get something that truly breaks the mould when it comes to the stiff, rigid mentality that is “swimwear.”
I do this by using what I learnt in my days working on haute couture. All my patterns are done by draping. This follows the natural contours of the body enhancing ones overall shape.
5. Take us back to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, what influenced you for your 2016/17 collection and your Swarovski Bodysuit?
I have worked on countless runways through out my career. Locally and internationally. I am lover of theatrical drama, presentation and the “wow” factor.
My 2017 collection focused on the concept of “chase the sun”.
Its about radiant colours, lush fabrics and lifestyle based. Whether you are in a bar, yacht or the beach, its all about looking amazing.
The bejewelled body suit came to be when I was reflecting on how much I enjoyed the art of Tambour beading. A truly artisan technique that is phasing out and being replaced with machinery. It was my homage to my skills and my adoration for the art of couture. The bead work took over 3 months to do. In total there were over 10 thousands beads, sequins and crystals used to make a one of a kind couture gown that converted into a one piece. Using the Azure blues that Aqua Blu is well known for was a truly iconic moment that stole the show and became the highlight of fashion week.
6. What’s your favourite piece of the 2016/17 collection and why?
All the pieces I design are well loved by me. Hahahah its like asking which one of your children is your favourite. How ever if I was to pick one that it would be my “Luxe Diamond ” one piece. Why? It to me is a truly unique piece that you wont see on everyone. Its embodies my persona, my sense of out of the box flare and the wow factor. Be it at the pool or at the beach this person is looked at, she doesn't look :)
7. The Top Swimwear fashion trends for this summer (16/17 Aus, 17 Europe) in your opinion?
Active swim and Resort. I am huge fan of these 2 trends. It gives everyone a chance to mix things up a bit. With active swim you can go from yoga, gym, jogging to swimming. How amazing is that?
And resort to me is bringing that touch of luxury holiday feel all the while you are at home. Its my favourite trend because I personally like to look like I'm on the red carpet even when I am checking my mail hahahaha
8. Any Swimwear fashion tips for our readers?
I like to encourage people to be bold and try new things. don't play it safe. Make your own mark.
There is a very famous quote out there “ Fashion is offered to you 4 times a year, style is what you do with it.”
Nothing is more beautiful then a confident person with a sense of their own individual style.
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