A great interview with Gwen Lu was just posted on modelina.com.
Whether you know Gwen Lu as a brunette or a blonde, something will always remain the same: Her look is certainly one to remember. Get to know her in this exclusive Modelinia interview, and we promise you’ll become an even bigger fan.
How were you discovered?
I walked in to the one and only model agency that once existed in Penang. It was closed for business not long after, obviously there are very little demands for this industry in my hometown. I moved on to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, where I got a taste of what modeling is, then to Singapore. I got the opportunity to come to New York when I was spotted while modeling for Singapore Fashion Week.
What’s your favorite part about modeling?
My favorite part about modeling is the lessons that I have learned from it. It is the mould of who I am today. From the places that I have been to, people that I have met and worked with, ideas and concept behind every creations, living independently and handling the stress from rejections, competitions and fluctuating nature of business…all these priceless experience filling me up so full.
How did you make the decision to go blond? That’s a bold move!
I did it for fun when I was taking off from work last summer, as black hair is a more versatile look on me. After that I was switching between dark and blonde hair every 3 months, as there are clients who requested for this look. I like to try new things on myself, but I hope this will be the last time I change my hair color, maybe next time I will shave my hair off.
How would you describe your style?
My fashion style is deconstructed, especially detailed, and M.O.D.S. (model off duty style). My favorite designers are Comme des Garçons, Maison Martin Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, Viktor & Rolf, Issey Miyake, Helmut Lang, and Alexander Wang. I like to pair loose drapy pants with cut-out tops and a pair of statement shoes. Sometimes I put myself in vintage and nerdy look too. I love silk, leather, Rayban sunglasses, Doc Martens boots, pale skin, and bleached eyebrows.
What’s something that no one knows about you?
I have talent in the kitchen as well, especially making spicy food that tastes good. I do not have any specific recipes, each time I experiment with different ingredients and spices. I dare to combine western cuisine with an Asian touch, and my plates never taste the same!
What are your hobbies or recent interests?
I love the affair of combining different films with different cameras to produce cool pictures. I have 15 different cameras, mostly plastic. Some people called those toy cameras, but they always give me unexpected effect! I shoot with my 35mm SLR when I want more precise pictures. I also spend plenty of time in the darkroom, processing and printing my own B&W films.
Where do you call home?
My home is in Penang. But I made myself home no matter where I travel, that way I won’t feel homesick.
What should everyone do when they visit your hometown?
Eat the hawker food, usually sold at little stalls by the street or in open air food court. My favorite is Asam Laksa, a sour fish-based soup, with shredded fish (usually mackerel) and finely sliced vegetables like cucumber, onions, red chillies, pineapple, lettuce, mint, and ginger buds, served with thick rice noodles, and topped with think sweet shrimp paste.
What are your big plans for this summer? Any fun vacations?
I came from a tropical country, and didn’t understand the importance of summer vacation until I went on a one day cruise to three Saronic islands by myself three years ago. It marks the begining of my summer-must-do ritual, this year I hope to go Symi and Rhode island. I want to document the entire journey with only cross-processed films and square-format camera. I had this in mind for a long time, since I read the melancholy story of a girl name Astradeni who came from Symi, a book written by Fakinou Eugenia.
What is your favorite birthday memory?
Birthday is not an important day for myself. I only wish to have quiet and peaceful moment. But it is very sweet when somebody remember me on my birthday, more than a consolation for not getting to spend time with beloved ones. Last year in Tokyo, it was funny when everyone started calling to wish me Happy Birthday one week after the actual date. I was very grateful, and the same time embarrassed to correct them.
Who are a few models in the industry that you look up to?
I looked up to every model who has discipline, positive reputation, good behavior and a strong will. This is not an easy path for everyone to keep holding strong. So, bravo to everyone who made this far! I admire Du Juan alot, she was in a popular Chinese talk show, “A Date With Lu-Yu”, where she shared memorable moments that took place and changed her life. She is a hardworker.