Tapping into the flower-power and free-loving air of 1960 is Global Young Talent Yinglin Chen. With bold colours, loud prints and exaggerated silhouettes, the Kingston School of Art alumni aims to show the feeling of young power in modern life, the young generation rebellious, brave and full of creativity. As part of our April Global Young Talent as featured in Harper’s Bazaar UK, we had the opportunity to speak to the young designer.
Tell us a bit about yourself, you’re originally from China, yet moved to The United Kingdom to complete a course in fashion design at the prestigious Kingston University, what inspired you to move overseas and study fashion?
My strong passion for the fashion industry inspired me to study abroad. I can communicate and learn with people from different cultural backgrounds when I was studying in school, which could get more inspirational thinking and new ideas.
What’s striking about your work, is the bright use of colour, what inspired this fresh and loud colour-palette?
The main research field and inspiration for printing design came from the 1960s artist David Hockney. I inspired that he used various painting techniques, thick and bright colours, and bold strokes to depict nature and outdoor scenery changes. I studied colour proportions and distributions in David Hockney's portfolio and then developed to extract elements and palette from his work.
"I inspired that he used various painting techniques, thick and bright colours, and bold strokes to depict nature and outdoor scenery changes."
Your collection takes inspiration from the youth movement of the 1960s, how is this translated in your collection?
In the 1960s, young people's dress became very liberal and even genderless, especially in pop bands. At that time, pop bands were essential leaders in the way of dressing. Their clothes had a unique balance point on gender differences. I am inspired by these research fields, which I think are an essential point in this collection.
“ In the 1960s, young people's dress became very liberal and even genderless, especially in pop bands.”
Which is your favourite piece from your collection and why?
‘The printed drape midriff dress is my favourite because it can be used as a shirt or a short dress with a cut design, and the pleated fabric on the outer layer is movable. I also considered practicality and commercial value when I design, a garment that wears in multiple ways.
What have you learnt during your time at university and what tips do you have for future fashion design students?
I believe that creativity has no boundaries, and keep brave to everything. Creative inspiration and ideas find from usual accumulation, and habitually recording research and inspiration is very important for creation. Find your characteristics or strengths that are different from others and think about expressing them in your design.
Discover Yinglin Chen's full collection
Words by Lupe Baeyens