Waving a flag of eccentricity is Bensai Zhang graduate collection. Looking at body shapes, a very unconventional way, her body of work features odd silhouettes and exaggerated shapes, as she dreams of a future where we all walk around with morphed bodies. Her intense, and very story-telling imagery has been featured in the November issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK as part of our Global Young Talent, and it doesn’t leave you untouched!

1. What made you want the human body and our behaviours in the inspiration for your work?

I studied people’s fascination with different body shapes. So I grew curious about all the possibilities of silhouettes, I prefer using shapes over colour and texture to express a story. Sometimes I think to myself, wouldn’t it be cool that people are walking on the street with all kind of morphed bodies. That has got to be the future.
 
 
"Sometimes I think to myself, wouldn’t it be cool that people are walking on the street with all kind of morphed bodies. That has got to be the future." 




 
2. How do you begin the process of wanting to design a new collection?

For me, art and design are always reflecting a cognition. First, I would find a subject that I want to reflect on. Whether it is a personal obsession or social issue, I try to find out a reflection and express it through my design. Then I collect artwork or imagery that is related to the subject as the research process. I work my imagination based on the research. Then I explore with the material. It is a series of addition and subtraction.
 
 

 
3. What made you use very theatrical and narrative imagery for your shoots?

In my sophomore year, my friend told me that "as designers, we convey stories through images, not words”. People nowadays can only spend less than 1 second to examine a picture. So it is vital to make a strong impression. In order to tell a powerful story, I like adding more elements to the imagery rather than something subtle. To me, subtleness is poetic but timid. Only intense narrative imagery can bring out the point I am trying to make.

"People nowadays can only spend less than 1 second to examine a picture. So it is vital to make a strong impression."


4. Why was it important to you to have passionate but also wearable garments?

I see fashion as a medium of delivering art on a daily basis. Without being aware, we bring eccentric newness to society just by wearing clothes. Whereby it forms part of our culture and help us to evolve to the next phase. Usually, any interesting clothes are intricate to wear, it is a designer’s job to make it as wearable, and comfortable as possible.

5. Do you believe this collection will influence your future work?

Of course. I think every designer progress as they make improvements based on the previous collection. It is a continuous process. From this collection, I can see my strength and weakness, so I am excited to show my improvements in the next design. I will continue playing with shape, and add more textiles, colour to my upcoming collection.

"From this collection, I can see my strength and weakness, so I am excited to show my improvements in the next design. I will continue playing with shape, and add more textiles, colour to my upcoming collection."

Discover Bensai Zhang's full collection




Words by Lupe Baeyens
 
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