Fresh Threads: Luke Brooks
For our Youth Issue, The WILD caught up with four promising designers on the rise. Below, check out Luke Brooks, whose linguistic looks put him outside of fashion’s visual borders.
How did you get started in fashion design?
When I was very young I wanted to be an architect. I would sit and draw up plans for forts and castles. Then I wanted to be an interior designer. I was always very particular about my bedroom, my immediate environment: the colors, the textures, the dreamcatchers, the plug-in fountain. But, I never really thought about designing clothes. I was always expressive with what I wore—from time to time I cross-dressed. I still like the feeling of excess fabric hanging from my body. Roominess in clothing is freeing to me. It’s conducive to the feeling of my body being a mini-universe of its own, which I find to be spiriting. I started customizing things when I was in sixth form. Nothing complicated—I remember bleaching a squirrel motif onto a shirt for some, now forgotten, reason. I started really thinking about clothing design once I was in art school, though. Something clicked. There was a really positive energy in the fashion department and lots of interesting, involved people, who opened my eyes to new things and new possibilities.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I approach things in a linguistic way as much as the visual or material. Sometimes I’ll think of a name, phrase, or snappy description for something before I have any idea about what physical form it may take. The phrases can sometimes be clunky puns—almost like something is already in existence, hidden in the language, waiting to be made. That is likely to move me to work, when I feel like I’ve come across one of those. Specifically though, I do have a tendency to be very textual. I’m also very interested in how something can transcend its material boundaries, either by the power of imagination, the manner in which it is presented, or by some visual phenomena, like a trick of the light! The idea that something is experimental, or at least a newish process to me, I find to be motivating too.
What do you think you bring to the fashion world that’s original and has been totally lacking until now?
I’m not sure if anything I’m bringing to the infinitely-reheated, global-fusion, pot-luck finger-buffet that is fashion has been totally lacking before now. And I don’t mean to sound disparaging, for I love a never- ending, all-one-can-eat, mix-and-match buffet.
I suppose I’m here and I’m enthusiastic. My perspectives and energies are slightly wonky, but, in a sense, I think that there is another way of looking at originality, that has little to do with straightforward novelty, and more to do with novel ways of presenting things that point to age-old and soul-deep sources. To be absorbed by the most basic things and to get really giddy, free, excited, and downright high off of them, is important to me. In short, I feel I am good at unashamedly playing.
Where do you hope your career will take you and what do you hope to achieve?
Making declarations about my aims or hopes makes me feel a little queasy, although maybe that’s because I have a greedy number of them and I’m scared of falling short. But in this moment, I feel I’d like to make sure I can continue to make what I feel like making, whether that be fashion or not. I’m interested to see what it would be like to have a shop of my own, or perhaps even a chain-reaction of shops. I am also very much interested in working with all sorts of different people, in varying spheres, on collaborative projects.
What is your WILD Wish?
My WILD Wish is that when we die we go to a kind of cosmic green room and hang out there with the friends and loves from all our past lives before choosing to plop down for another go at life, each time temporarily losing the memory of the timeout. That would make my eternity. And my mild-WILD, probably-unlikely-to-happen Wish is to be a sort of housewife, who puts relentless amounts of energy and all creative powers into loving my family and making things, like surreally beautiful packed lunches and flower arrangements. If this did somehow happen to me it would be a kind of reincarnation, so there is the benefit of that.
To keep up with Luke’s latest work, make sure to check out her website here.