16 Feb 2012

Interview: La Mode Outré

It's time for an interview here on the Rally and we have a great interview feature now on James Bent the creative mind behind La Mode Outré, Asian street style photography site that showcases some awesome new trends and brings out the best looks with a twist in their latest collaboration with fashion illustrators that takes the concept and amplifies it giving context to the illustration and holding up a mirror to both the photography and the style of the subject. So without further ado over to James.

1. Who are you?
Good question. I'm a 33 year old British guy who has been travelling for the last 13 years, now living in Asia. I have a job as a Learning Consultant which allows me to work remotely while living in cities that I like. And I run a site called La Mode Outré which is an Asian street style photography site that also collaborates with fashion illustrators.

2. How did you start La Mode Outré?
I studied English & Creative Studies at University (Portsmouth, UK) and loved writing fiction for which I used photos of people to base characters on. One day while in a book shop looking for photo books of people I came across the Sartorialist and fell in love with it. About three months later just after moving to Singapore for work, my partner said "why don't you take your own photos". So I did and the site kind of developed from there.

3. Why Asian street fashion?
Coincidence. Just how it happened. Realising that its still quite niche. Loving living in Asia. A whole bunch of reasons, none of which started with any kind of plan.

4. What is the idea behind the fashion illustration project?
Just like the site and the photography, it all happened when a friend told me that their friend was an illustrator who wanted to do a collaboration. So we did it, I liked how it worked in with the site and added something cool - I mean, people illustrating photos of people that I had taken, that's neat! - so I just carried on with it. I'm not sure I have an idea of anything, it's just if it works, if its cool, then keep it going! I look forward to what the next thing might be to add into the mix. Maybe fashion design collaborations!?

5. What is the plan for the future?
Just keep it going!

6. Any messages for our readers?
I think you can go at life and projects and stuff with the attitude that "I must be perfect at this before I try, I must make sure that I'm successful right from the start", but I think in reality you've got to be prepared to jump in at the deep-end, to give it a go, to learn on the job and to make mistakes so that you can rework it and make it awesome. Plus, I think things seldom happen on day one, or on month one, or even year one, it's like there are so many people doing good stuff now that the difference is who's still doing it after two years, five years, ten years. Aim big, collaborate, participate, get active and do awesome stuff.

And never think that to do something you need permission. The only thing who's permission you need to do something, to be something, it's yourself, your own permission. You know?

La Mode Outré
La Mode Outré on facebook

The names and links of the illustrators, clockwise from top left.
Natsuki Otani  (UK)
Carol Ryder (UK)
Rachel Wilkinson (UK)
Vita Yang (Taiwan)
Agita Meidiana (Singapore)
Ruth Marbun (Indonesia)
Jamie Lee Reardin (US)
Jude Chen (Taiwan)
Amanda Keisha Ang (Singapore)
pandapanda (Singapore)
Kristie Storm (Singapore)
Peggy Tsalikis (Germany)
Danielle Shepherd (UK)
Lily X (Singapore)
Hisyam Abdul Rahman (Singapore)
Vic Riches (UK)
Edi Kuo (Taiwan)
Sara Ligari (Italy) 

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