Style File: Wing Luke Museum Launches New Exhibit “From Workroom to Runway”

Amid the vibrant, bustling activity of the International District is the Wing Luke Museum— curator, collector, and centerpiece of local Asian Pacific American stories and phenomena. Next up on the docket: fashion collections from local to national Asian-American designers (from Trina Turk to Vera Wang), including a visual narrative of the unique contribution of Asian garment workers.


The Wing Luke is hosting a fashion show on Saturday, January 19, featuring the original work of a half dozen local designers in the exhibit, including one of our favorites, Malia Peoples of Lady Konnyaku. See our interview with the wizard of whimsy below.


Seattleite: Tell us a little about the origin of the show. What was the inspiration for the concept and what role do the designers have in the exhibit?

MP: Most of us showing have been deeply involved in the exhibit, “Fashion: From Workroom to Runway”, from the very start (back in July). This show is a great example of people from different backgrounds coming together under a common thread: being Asian-American and working in the fashion industry. All of us know each other and have a mutual respect for one another… something I appreciate in our industry. It’s nice to feel supported.

Seattleite: Tell us something surprising about the show. What can spectators expect to see at this show?

MP: Through this exhibit, and also participating in the fashion show, we have discovered that although we are held together by the common thread of being “Asian-American”, there isn’t a specific “Asian-American” aesthetic. You’ll see this in the fashion show, and it’s pretty cool. Our styles are pretty broad in scope.

Seattleite: What are you showing? Do you have a new collection that you will debut?

MP: I’m showing 8 looks from my S/S2013 line, “Pop Soda”. It’s a little bit of 70s meets late 80s, early 90s. Many of these looks will be available at the Pretty Parlor and Sassafras next month. I’m also showing two preview pieces from my new line of menswear, “Other Peoples Polyester” (no apostrophe, it’s a play on my last name). My collection will be shown at the live runway show only; however my “indie workroom” installation will continue to be on display through April at the Wing Luke Museum.