Published in Issue 21
Interview by Jessica Canje

Story & Photos by Venice Wanakornkul
Animation & Composite: Audrey Xu
Fonts Design: Lucas Dillon
Model: Porwilai Apirachadaporn & Sleepy Flying Bag

From paper tissues to world maps, everyday items inspire VeniceW. Crafting a world where the mundane object can transform into an extraordinary garment is not a goal of this emerging designer, but a second nature. Venice Wanakornkul launched her eponymous label, VeniceW, in 2020, debuting off-schedule in New York. “The best thing about fashion school was that it confused you more and made you question everything,” says the Parsons graduate. While building up her technical skill at various fashion internships including Telfar and Eckhaus Latta and completing her degree, much of her personal brand’s success is located within the young designer’s minute day-to-day experiences. “Sometimes, I also design without planning, letting the situation lead the way, such as when loitering at the airport, I used found tissue papers to create the design or when leaving New York, I used leftover bread to create a mini outfit to be left behind, in hopes to see how it might have changed if I ever go back,” Venice writes to me from Bangkok, where she’s currently working, with a plan to settle down in London soon. Venice is among the herd of emerging designers going against the traditional and outdated systems of the fashion schedule and mass-production, while still creating longevity and community around her one-of-a-kind pieces.

Jessica Canje: What do you consider to be the greatest motivation behind your work?

Venice Wanakornkul: Boredom, nothingness and time are always the starting point. The end point is also a starting point.

JC: I’ve always been so intrigued by the silhouettes you create, whether it’s in your own outfits or your designs. What inspires these silhouettes? 

VW: I think the human body is always the core. It is something we cannot change much, whereas outfits have more possibilities. But for a good outfit, we still need to follow the body and a balance.

JC: How do you overcome creative blocks?

VW: Sleep a lot, sit on a train, walk with your shoes and talk to your bags.

JC: From what I know about you, you work quite independently. Can you tell me about your working process? Is it with a team? Do you start with references or just kind of rely on your surroundings?

VW: I guess I have been working quite independently, although this past month in Bangkok I have an assistant, Pakkad, who helps me with patterns and sewing. We talk a lot, sometimes about work but most of the time about something else that eventually transforms into a VeniceW design. For example, we have been discussing whether paper patterns are like the bones of garments. Then Pakkad told me about how her baby teeth are still being kept at home since long ago, so we ended up using her baby teeth shapes for our SS22 accessories. I think spontaneous conversation is an organic, honest, and fun way of working and I’m not interested in mood-boarding nor starting with references.  

JC: What is the best mistake you ever made?

VW: I think any mistake that you make and forget is the best.

JC: Any advice for up and coming designers and aspiring artists?

VW: I’m not sure if I could give other people advice, but here is my bad advice: listen to your feelings, feelings come and go but it was once very true to you. Logic is legit, but it’s not for everyone, and often those rules are made by another human being with good intention, but it also tends to make everyone do things in the same way. I hope down the road you can have more time to relax and enjoy life. Lastly, yes, hard work pays off.