Wardrobe Designer Lori Lyu showcases the American Dream for stunning 'Nylon China' editorial
Lori Lyu credits her distinct tone as a stylist and wardrobe designer to her upbringing in China and her ability to integrate Chinese and Western culture through her work. She has lived and worked in many cities all over the world, and that diverse background is reflected in her aesthetic and personal style. This impressive style makes her a sought-after wardrobe designer in China and around the world and has allowed her to work on truly outstanding projects, including 361° Sports, Knives Out the game, and Nasty Magazine.
“This is my dream job. I'm very lucky because I've combined my hobby and my job into one thing. What I come into contact with every day is something I like very much, and I have different new ideas every day. I am passionate about my work,” says Lyu. “More importantly, I like the people in this industry. It's a creative industry, and everyone is so passionate and works together for the same goal. I enjoy being surrounded by creative people.”
One of Lyu’s more prolific projects was working with Nylon China, part of the iconic magazine chain Nylon, an American multimedia brand, publishing company, and lifestyle magazine that focuses on pop culture and fashion. Its coverage includes art, beauty, music, design, celebrities, technology and travel. Nylon is the fastest-growing publisher in modern media. With a circulation of over 200,000, it has been nominated for an ASME National Magazine award and a Webby Award and is owned by Bustle, a digital magazine with 50 million monthly readers. Nylon has many international editions, and Nylon China is one of the country’s leading magazines.
“Nylon China redefines the form of fashion and creativity. It’s a very popular magazine in China, especially for the newer generations, and it’s also finding inspiration from new generations. Sometimes they choose some unique marginal figures instead of those superstars on their cover, that’s how they become special and more and more people feel the connection to it,” says Lyu.
Lyu worked on the “I’m Kie Lie Fie” editorial December issue. The editorial highlighted marginal figures in the entertainment industry – Hollywood’s background actors. This subject greatly intrigued Lyu. Many of these background actors are minors and recent college grads. While shooting, Lyu talked to them, hearing their stories and their unique ideas, whether about life in the city or the dream they are chasing.
“Los Angeles is that kind of city that can make your dreams come true for sure, but the film industry can be really cruel. From this project, I learned not only their stories but also an optimistic attitude as a dreamer. I had a new understanding of these young actors and respected everyone in the industry more,” she describes.
Based on the theme and the characters she was working with, Lyu decided to style them in a way that could show their true self. The plan was to shoot in each individual's home. For keeping their style, she decided to use their own clothes. She went through everyone’s wardrobe, picked out an outfit that truly reflected their personality and matched the color tone of their room, and styled with some accessories to show off their overall fashion sense. She also picked some decorations from the room and brought them into the frame to make the shot more interesting.
“The project this time is very different from other editorials. The core idea is to find the most unique flash of the actors themselves, to show the true self. I styled them in their own clothes which was a lot more challenging than styling with a fashionable ready-made fancy wardrobe. Also, because the selection is relatively small and simple, the styles can reflect the skill of a stylist. I am lucky that I have completed this styling with the simplest collocation. The moment the editorial came out, everyone was surprised in the best way,” says Lyu.
“I’m Kie Lie Fie” was of course published in Nylon China’s December issue, but it was also published on WeChat, one of China’s biggest online social platforms, for tens of thousands of additional viewers. Many young people who have that American dream and curiosity about Hollywood bought this magazine because of the project. They posted feedback online saying they have a new understanding of Hollywood after reading the editorial, and Lyu’s sizable contributions to the project helped truly drive that success. She is proud of what she achieved, and proud to have worked with a publication like Nylon.
“Working with Nylon China changed my impression of China's mainstream fashion magazines. As a new generation magazine, its audience is mostly young people who have attitudes and understand the trend. Different from other mainstream fashion magazines, Nylon finds their inspirations from new generations, sometimes choosing some unique marginal figures instead of those superstars on their cover. That’s how they become special and more and more people feel the connection of it,” says Lyu.
View the Nylon China “I’m Kie Lie Fie” here.
Photo: ‘Nylon China’ Dec. 2019 issue ‘I’m Kie Lie Fie’ editorial cover, young background actors in Hollywood are waiting for the audition. Photograph by Chutong Huang.