Phenotypic Plasticity is a phenomenon that involves the change in the appearance of an organism due to environmental stimuli without any alteration in its genes. Our exterior environment and experiences shape our identity and therefore our mode of expression, which for everyone, to an extent, is fashion.

The self, to every individual, is complex. It is a phenomenon that is metaphysical when explored by the subject themselves. In her case, the most objective method was to follow the sequence of events that led to the development of Tina to truly understand the self.

Looking through traces of Tina’s experiences from images of her growing up, art and writings she’s produced, and places and cultures she stems from, the one motif that she found to be the most fascinating is the similarity and contrast between her and her family. It is uncanny how members of her family approach the visual arts and are fearless when it comes to the variety of craftsmanship explored.

The traditional Chinese paper cuttings by her great-great-grandmother are a significant reminder of that. With this collection, Tina looked at the specific hundred-year-old paper cut-outs as a symbol of her inheritance and integrated them into her practice, whether through traditional pattern-making or 3D design.

 


The design process started off by looking into the traditional paper cuttings by Tina’s great-great-grandmother as a symbol of her heritage. The initial objective was to transform these shapes into fabrics and exploring their three-dimensionality. Laser cutting became a significant technique in which to duplicate the shapes of the bird paper cuttings.
 
 
Tina then began distorting these shapes on the software, CLO Virtual Fashion, in which she was able to pattern make digitally. This enabled her to distort and visualise the placement of the shapes of the paper cutting onto the body. It was concluded that CLO was the most effective way to design, however, to ensure the accuracy of the fit, Tina used her passion for pattern making which led to the full realisation of this particular look after 2 toiles.
 

 

 
Experimentation of different fabrications and their structural integrity was also something Tina had in mind during her design process. Her toiles include tricot-fused muslin, cotton twill, and black denim. Tina decided to use black denim as it was the most suitable thickness after being double fused. Tina also discovered that all of her non-synthetic fabrics must be double fused in order to avoid fraying.
 

 

Digital printing is another recurring technique in Tina’s collection. These digital prints are distorted from the shapes of the original paper cutting. Tina engineered these prints by altering them to the shapes of the pattern in order to determine a gradient for both of these looks. On the left, we have a dress shirt and shorts that transitions from a higher contrast of grey and white to a lower, muddier effect of the same colour scheme. On the right, we have a dress that transitions from blue and white to white and beige.
 

 

Tina’s collection also involves some staple pieces with less laser cutting including the black bodysuit with an embedded corset, as well as the organza layered dress.

The idea of puffer garments was also something recurring throughout her collection. This collection involves a puffer shawl, jacket, and skirt in which she has laser-cut, surface appliquéd, and quilted.

This collection allowed Tina to explore her full physical and virtual potentials and maximized her skillsets. This was not only a significant demonstration of her technical skills but also celebrated her family’s values towards artistry and how she is able to present that through her personal perspective.

 

 
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