Ana Diaz Lookbook & Interview
"Who wouldn't have fun wearing this stuff?! It's sort of impossible. In other words, GUARANTEED FUN TIMES."
Ana Diaz makes the kind of clothes you want to day rave in. Considering day raves are generally reserved for European tourists and middle-aged homosexual men, there is really much to be admired about her ability to instil these feelings. Ana has just three collections under her belt, but she's no rookie. Her most recent SS13 collection, 'Edo Tropica', is a buffet of summer fruit prints, a kooky colour palette and simple, relaxed shapes. Organic cottons are a feature, while plenty of fresh whites and matchy-matchy prints make 'Edo Tropica' the textile embodiment of a long, hot summer. Can you not see yourself on a vaycay, sipping a beverage with a cocktail umbrella in it and possibly also getting lei'd, whilst wearing these pieces?
We caught up with the designer for five quick questions.
Melissa Kenny: Hey Ana, congrats on your third collection.
Ana Diaz: Thanks!
I want to go to Thailand and lay on a beach for two weeks drinking cheap cocktails, wearing all of the things. Is that an appropriate reaction?
Definitely the desired effect! There are three top appropriate reactions to the collection — one being the beach and cocktail situation, second being compelled to eat A LOT of pineapple in the sun and getting a furry tongue and sticky fingers, and the third, feeling like you're in a dreamy landscape surrounded by hypercoloured tropicana and plastic flamingos.
I really like the t-shirt with opposing pineapples on each boob. It kind of reminds me of those obnoxious t-shirts that have printed hands over where your boobs sit, but, like, heaps better and less slutty and more 'yeah summer' vibes. I don't imagine those were a reference point though, huh?
Funny you should say that, I used to have a Supre tank with the hands on the boobs print and they were glow in the dark and I was, like, 13 or something ridiculous and I am glad that no photos of that time exist of me being an awkward teen. At the same time my 13 year old inner-bogan kind of likes that this is what it reminds you of... It's a bit of a subconscious throwback.
So your site tells me the collection follows "the journey of the Ikawana-Maru, tropical dreams and tropical nights washed up on the boat of the first Japanese-Hawaiian settlers". How did these ideas come about?
I was actually in Japan at the time, I designed the entire collection there — in the snow, no less! I was so taken by the attention to detail that Japanese culture have in all aspects of design, and the appreciation they have for it. It's all about the beauty in simplicity, but I wanted to tie that experience to something that was almost the opposite, so I did a bit of research and found this story about the first Japanese people to settle in Hawaii. The ship was lost at sea, the settlers nearly died but were saved by an American ship and taken to this primitive tropical island. I tried to think about what it would be like to look at that kind of landscape for the first time, with fresh eyes, how incredibly foreign it would be. Even the people would look so different to yourself, and from both perspectives it would just be absolutely bizarre.
I love that contrast and that's how it all kind of filtered down. The colours and prints are all about the dream state, and seeing things with fresh eyes which happens so rarely today — we aren't really shocked by anything. On a less serious side though, they are also just about having fun times! I mean, who wouldn't have fun wearing this stuff?! It's sort of impossible. In other words, GUARANTEED FUN TIMES.
If you were only allowed to eat one kind of fruit for the rest of your deprived existence, what would it be and why?
Well, I am nursing a mild hangover after a big girls catch up night (probably shouldn't have ordered that fifth bottle of wine), and the first thing my darling friend did was get up and slice a pineapple, and give it to me with a big glass of cold water. It really sorted me out. It's cliched but seriously pineapple is amazing — so acidic but sweet and satisfying to slice. Such a mean armour that wraps the goodness inside. I like fruits that you have to work to get to the good bits... Anyway there's clearly a bit of an obsession here, hence basing an entire collection on it. I should have just called it 'Ode to the Pineapple'.
One more depressing hypothetical question — If you were a cartoon character like Lisa Simpson or whatever, and had to wear the same thing every day, what combo would you pick from the collection?
Really great question, I actually think about this all the time because if any of the futuristic movies are right, we will all be wearing the same thing in 2050 and to be honest I'm not really into the space suit thing. I think I would wear head-to-toe Palmy Pines shirt and Palmy pines shorts in the pink print with the Diaz fruitbowl tee underneath, because firstly, I love pink, secondly, I would never forget my name, and thirdly according to Homer only two kind of guys wear Hawaiian shirts, gay guys and big fat party animals and as my anatomy doesn't allow the first, that automatically makes me a big fat party animal. Oh, and also the shorts have a drawstring so if I ever got into any sticky situations like needing to abseil down the side of a skyscraper or losing my hair tie I would have options.