Li Ling Wang, based in Taiwan, studied MA Textile Futures at Central Saint Martins in 2011. Wang’s signature design consists of the creative application of new materials and the continued success of science and technology combined with fashion. She has explored the creative possibilities within material science and high and low technology. This has been achieved through conceptualising the forces of nature and further experimenting toward the development and application of technology in fashion.
Ling is a specialist in smart technology textiles and she has developed an innovative luminous fabric with a Taiwan textile company for her brand WANG LI LING. She was invited and sponsored to show at New York Fashion Week in 2016. Ling also showed at Taipei IN Style which was sponsored by Remy Martins Group in the same year. She has worked with big brands such as Heineken International Co. and Triumph. Her collections were well received by the press internationally and have been featured in magazines including Vogue.
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Ruizi Shi graduated in Fashion Womenswear from Istituto Marangoni, Italy in 2012. After her studies abroad in Italy and London, she returned to China and founded her brand and store SHUR RUITZ in Chonqing in 2013. Her designs can be described as an amalgamation of East couture with the West and aim to bring harmonious aesthetics to the modern days.
She is influenced by Taoism, the concept of inner peace translates into her minimal contemporary designs. Many of her pieces are cut dismissing traditional gender boundaries, designing for both men and women with a neutral frame of mind. Ruizi has been selected to show at various shows including London Fashion Week 2012 showcasing Marangoni's graduate talent.
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Tian Wang graduated in BA Fashion Design Technology Surface Textile for Fashion at London College of Fashion in 2009. After returning to China she founded her brand 'tiantian' in 2012. Her distinctive personal style is feminine yet contemporary. Inspiration is mainly derived from nature using hand drawn and digitally printed florals and soft tones in simple modern silhouettes. Her collection was well received by STYLEBUBBLE.COM's Susie Lau and Mark Luper describing her as the perfect combination of business and creativity. Her designs have received numerous awards including the ASOS LTD100 award. Tian’s collections have been published in numerous fashion media such as Surface magazine and Vogue. During and following her time at London College of Fashion, Tian worked at ASOS, Giles Deacon, Jasmine Di Milo, Alexander McQueen and many other renowned British brands.
Fei Fei Yang graduated from MA Menswear at London College of Fashion in 2014 after studying BA Womenswear. Soon after she launched FEI FEI YANG, her own menswear brand instilled with a concept of blurring traditional gender boundaries in fashion. Inspiration is derived from architecture, astrology, music and feminism. By creatively deconstructing traditional handicrafts and the heritage of bespoke menswear, she recreates the structures of garments in innovative ways for the modern man. Her bespoke garments have been worn by well known Chinese actors and singers.She has received extensive media coverage for her final design collection ’15 Degrees of Displacement’ and has been interviewed by magazines including Deux Hommes, Fashion London Milk X Monthly, BAZAAR Men’s Style.
With a background in tailoring, she is interested in the study of innovative pattern cutting and material exploration. Her design philosophy explores the relationship between space and the human body. The core of her design is innovative cut and material reconstruction. Using the principles of architecture as a starting point, Fei Fei Yang plays with the contrast between softness and hardness of form. Inspiration comes from traditional British menswear and Japanese geisha's resulting in a combination of western elements and eastern spirit.
Alex Shen graduated in Womenswear at Bunka Fashion College in 2013 in Tokyo. She served as president of the Foreign Student Association, and received a scholarship of excellent performance. She has a solid foundation in fine art, and has been appraised for her art heel sketches by Jimmy Choo. During her time in Tokyo, she also studied at an avant-garde school, Coconogacco famous for art and creative performance training at which she was highly appraised. Alex has exhibited at various competitions at: BUNKA Academy, MITSUI Technology Textile Contest, Triumph Global Creative Contest, Tokyo New Talents International, Fur of Japan Design Contest. After Interning at HANAI INC. and HIROKO KOSHINO INTERNATIONAL INC., Alex Shen founded Alex Design Studio in Tokyo Shibuya, and started a series of art and design practices. Alex’s studio is based at Guangzhou China since 2014, operating her brands SIN’S SUIT and HULUN. SIN’S SUIT is a young sporty brand inspired by street and Japanese pop culture. HULUN contains a few sporty elements but is more directed to luxury high fashion with an emphasis on textiles and digital print. Her collections have been shown at Shanghai Fashion Week, and Beijing and Paris Fashion Week in 2015 where her designs were selected to be a part of the capsule showroom.
As one of Northumbria’s twenty most innovative fashion students, Wen Yue Zhang’s debut collection was showcased at London Graduate Fashion Week 2016 where it was met with rave reviews.
Wen Yue Zhang’s graduate collection drew inspiration from the cult Chinese movie Farewell My Concubine (1993) which had a lasting impact on young people of Wen Yue’s generation. The film centers around two male apprentices to an opera school in the mid-1920s, following their journey of rigorous training to master the art form of the Peking Opera. In the film, the line “yet I am by nature a boy, not a girl”, is repeated pointing to the tradition of men performing female roles on stage, namely that of the coquettish female type, an aspect of traditional Peking opera that became Wen Yue's motif. Wen Yue notes that actors capable of performing female roles often have neutral features. Thus, neutral overtures became the framework to her collection. Applied on top of this foundation are traditional Chinese elements such as the use of brocade fabric, cloaking styles, headdress details and pattern specifications to be inlaid with modern techniques and fabrics.
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As the child of artistically inclined parents, Annie’s creativity was nurtured from a young age. Predisposed to art, it only seemed natural that she pursued this path in her education from high school and well into her graduate studies. After having studied Womenswear in Korea, she took hold of the opportunity to further her creative exploration by placing herself in the heart of London, one of the industry’s key players. Expanding her breadth, Annie took it upon herself to study fashion media, illustration and design before moving into Menswear at the London College of Fashion. She has since gone on to work for ADYN and Nicomede Talavera and continues to thread her conceptual approach to design through her newer collections.
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Xiao Zhu Chen’s first collection took inspiration from Pollock’s Toy Museum, a quaint yet historical venue showcasing traditional and contemporary toys. Transforming nostalgia into her designs, garments were covered in childlike scribbles and one-off prints that mimicked a child playing in the midst of their many toys.
Using specialized cutting and draping techniques, each outfit paid homage to Xiao Zhu’s fond childhood memories. Bold and vivid colours accompanied a mélange of textures and LEGO building blocks made their debut in the form of accessories.
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Central Saint Martins graduate Anson Lau’s first collection centers on textile and fabric design. For her collection, she took inspiration from three famous artist across a series of works - Marina Abramović, Eliza Bennett and Justin Bartels. The works from these artists revolve around physical sensations through the use and the infliction of textiles and objects. Ambramović’s work looks at the pleasure and pain induced by external objects, Bennett uses her skin as a canvas for embroidery and Bartels photographs the marks left by the uncomfortable pieces of clothing on a woman’s skin. From these three key pieces of work, Anson’s collection centers on the superficial perception of an object. Her collection encourages the wearer to engage in a dialogue with the garments to sense the disparity between what we see and what actually is.
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After watching what many netizens dubbed to be one of the best period dramas to date, The Empress of China, Melanie drew inspiration from the character’s costumes. Using a combination of traditional Chinese and Japanese wear with elements of modern European garments, Melanie’s collection focuses on using origami shapes and tailoring techniques to create a gender-neutral collection. Flowers were the motif of the collection. Using different folding techniques, Melanie applied this to her garment to create volume and three-dimensional shapes, focusing all of the drama on the top half of the body. In contrast, clean lines and refined tailoring were used on the bottom half, a happy medium between tradition and modernity, simple and decorative.
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Taking an abstract concept into design, Yu Ching’s work explores the different facets of love through colour and textile. Colour is used to map the differences in temperature felt by the nuances of love – red for heat and passion, white for simplicity and serenity, black for sadness and torture - whilst textiles are used to represent the physical environment of love. Using a variation of knitting and weaving techniques, Yu Ching’s garments reveal layer upon layer of hidden detail. Each detail links to a specific aspect of love. Fluffy lightweight and bright coloured yarn is used to express the romantic side of love whilst dark, twisted and uneven textiles are used to express the dark side of love. Weaving these two parts together in a chaotically seamless way, Yu Ching’s collection literally enables you to wear your heart on your sleeve.
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For her MA Fashion graduate collection at Kingston University, BoYang chose to depict the relationship between moving bodies and clothing. She turned to contemporary dance for inspiration and looked at alternative patternmaking theories to best create garments for a body in motion. The two inspirations for her collection came from famous choreographer and dancer Silvia Gribaudi and the patternmaking specialist Rickard Lindqvist – both of their work centered around movement with the body. Through this research, BoYang was able to inspect the different elements of dance to identify the correlation between expression and movement. She then transformed these movements into her garment patterns.
A recent graduate from the University for the Creative Arts, Xiao Qian graduated with a BA in Fashion Design. Her love for fashion runs deep, in her spare time Xiao Qian loves to immerse herself into the world of textiles and fabrics. While pursuing this interest of hers, she came across the knitting sector and became fascinated with the different types of machinery that was involved in its production. The movements of the machines intricacies and the synthesis of two discrepant materials, cold hard metal against soft malleable fibres became the inspiration to her collection. By using different materials and opposing forms in the construction of her garments, Xiao Qian was able to capture these complex discrepancies.
Emily He’s first collection was inspired by the cultural differences between the East and the West. As a local of both regions, Emily was able to witness the stark variations first-hand. Throughout her childhood and studies, she not only actively participated and seamlessly transitioned from one culture to the other but she also took on the role of an observer. She noticed habitual and behavioural differences that stemmed from the difference in thought patterns. In her exploration of the crossroads between these polar opposite places, Emily focused her collection on three main discourses: noise levels, self-expression and lifestyle. Taking a bold conceptual approach, Emily used different metaphoric adaptions and different materials to separate the two cultures.
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Haipu Zeng studied womenswear at London College of Fashion and is currently based in Shanghai. Zeng’s original inspiration derives from Chinese crowds where she spotted the subtle development of distinctive style within particular groups from the 60s to the 90s. She explores how individuals move beyond the straightforward notion of similarity towards a freewheeling, fabulously grey area where clothes push the boundaries of originality. Her designs express contrasts of wanting to stand out yet still remain within a group, allowing her collection to evolve into a scenic paradox of keeping to society’s standards while extending a fashion identity.
Alvin Lam studied Fashion and Textiles in Hong Kong before moving to the UK to do his masters. London culture heavily inspires Lam, particularly those based around gender. His designs are filling the gap between targeted gender-specific and androgynous apparel. Alvin is redefining industry standards on gender fluidity through his convertible and neutral designs that imply clothing is not personalised to gender, and this indistinctness makes the garments somewhat universal. Using playful minimalism and reflecting on issues surrounding subjective character, acceptance and unity his collection is about personality rather than masculinity or femininity.