With the unpredictable weather these days, why not bring up the one fashion accessory that's timeless? Scarves. They don't know the seasons. They don't know the weather. They don't need to - not when they're always 'in'. We caught up with Lu Schaper, a free-lance artist for the famous high end fashion chain Shanghai Story. Since 2010, her art designs have been used to create a series of famous silk and pashmina scarves, including a special series for the Shanghai World Expo 2010.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into designing scarves?
I am a professional artist, and was approached by the famous company Shanghai Story, who found me via internet. They proposed that I make designs for them as a free-lance artist. As Shanghai is my home town, and I know the brand pretty well, I decided to embark on this new line of art, also to increase my exposure.
世博之旅 Shanghai world expo
Invited to design ，combined with different venues in the design of the elements, as well as the countries' national flags
Where do you get your inspiration for the patterns?
The first two were inspired by the Expo 2010, the first one has as its theme the HangPu river, with both PuXi and PuDong on it, representing both side of our city. The second one is more abstract, but inspire by the many different buildings at the Expo. After these, series are planned around Shanghai stories and qipao girls, in line with my paintings: delicate, luscious and trendy.
上海之恋系列 Shanghai, This is the city where I was born, This painting of my express the new view of the bund of Shanghai
How does an idea go from inspiration to finished product? Can you explain a bit about your creative process?
As a professional artist I am used to translating my creative impulses into paintings. Designing scarves is somewhat different: I have to pay even more attention to colour schemes and whether it would be suitable for wearing. In addition, there are time schedules to meet for the production. Painting is like playing a solo instrument, designing scarves is more like playing in an orchestra.
How would you describe the style of your designs?
The style is very much akin to my painting art, a style which we have named Shanghai Expressionism: expressionistic, usually colourful, but with clear Shanghai themes.
Why choose Shanghai to sell these?
Because it is my home town, and because the company who approached me is from there. The scarves are also for sale in branches of Shanghai Story outside Shanghai. In addition, my style has clear Shanghai elements.
How did you find a collaboration opportunity with the Shanghai Story Fashion Chain?
They approached me after finding my art on the internet.
What do you love most about your job?
This offers me a new page in my career, I always like to try different things. More people can enjoy my art this way, compared to making and selling one painting.
How has the reception to your designs been?
The first designs are selling very well, they are very successful, and the company has decided to use my art as decoration in their shops and office.
What are your future plans for your brand?/How do you hope to expand your line in the future?
Shanghai Story is a clear example of high class products made in China, aiming for trendy women from all over the world. They have a wide of line of products, and it is possible that my designs will find broader applications in this company.