Emerging fashion designers in Shanghai present their latest collections
Usually, one might find it quite scary wandering around at night in a construction site. However, the IT show at WE International Hub recently turned the extensive reconstruction of a building into the venue of a glamorous fashion event.
Instead of hiring professional models to walk the show, organizers That's It magazine and ShicShanghai.com invited 11 of Shanghai's key opinion leaders to put on outfits designed by six emerging designers to walk through the T-station.
Designers and guests alike loved the fresh approach. The Global Times chatted with three local designers to hear what they have to say about their approach to Shanghai fashion.
(From above to bottom) Models walk on the catwalk displaying latest collections from Quinn & Shauye, Joyce Wang, and Rojo Clothing. Photos: Courtesy of the designers and event organizers
Quinn & Shauye
Created by Quinn Zhang and Shauye Fu in 2013, the brand Quinn & Shauye presented several pieces from their Light Deconstruction collection at the IT show.
"We prefer sharp, simple lines for our designs, because we love designs with architectural structures," Fu said.
Black, white and gray were the primary colors used in this collection, which adopts simple lines to highlight the geometric structures. The collection will appeal to maverick ladies with wisdom, assertive personalities and artistic temperaments.
Apart from their Light Deconstruction collection, they also designed the domineering Protea Cynaroides collection, a playful House of Cards-themed series, and the elegant Dim Moonlight collection.
But Light Deconstruction represented their concept in design, and will be carried on and renewed in future designs.
Zhang studied fashion design at the China Academy of Art, while Fu graduated from the School of Fashion Design and Engineering at Zhejiang Sci-Tech University. They met while interning for a local company.
Realizing they shared the same dreams and concepts in fashion designs, they launched their brand in 2013. At first they focused on making custom-designed dresses for private customers, but gradually they started to design their own collections.
As they prefer not to add any excessive elements to their designs, minimalism is the key concept in their collections. Media and art circle professionals have raved about their stark designs.
Eco designer Joyce Wang
Joyce Wang was referred to as an "eco designer" by the organizers of the IT show because she is known for using recycled fabrics to make new outfits. During the event, one of Wang's models strutted down the catwalk wearing a top made out of a pair of pants.
"I feel so happy that I can give these old clothes a second life, which reduces the impact on our environment," Wang said. Environment and sustainable development is a key concept of Wang's designs.
After graduating from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2014, Wang received an offer from clothing brand JACK & JONES to work as a junior fashion designer.
When she saw the company discarding unused materials, she would pick them out of the trash and use them for her own designs. Eventually she went to work for herself, leaving the formulaic corporate approach to fashion.
"All the big brands cater to the market, so they have to repeat their classic styles. But I can't do that. I have my own creations and ideas," Wang said.
"I felt that if I kept doing what people asked me to do, I would not have any more creativity. Instead of a stable job, I wanted to stay creative."
In April, she threw her first fashion show at TDM Shanghai Alternative Fashion Week. The feedback from fashion circles was surprisingly positive, resulting in her winning the best designer award.
In May, Wang launched her own brand in Shanghai, and in August she held her second fashion show in Shanghai focusing on her unique Upcycling collection, which utilizes recycled fabrics to make new outfits.
Architectural elements are another characteristic of Wang's designs, with her earlier collections using a variety of geometric elements such as cubes and triangles.
"Design is basically building on a human being," Wang pointed out.
Unlike many other fashion designers, Wang designs both men's and women's wear. She found that many of her female customers also like wearing the men's clothes designed by Wang.
"My style is kind of gender-neutral. Fashion is about everyone. We should not limit styles by sex. Looking good is what counts," Wang said.
Ronan Kent from Rojo Clothing
The event also invited three male opinion leaders from local fashion circles to walk down catwalk wearing suits designed by Rojo Clothing.
The first model wore an elegant light-blue linen suit with white pants. "The first one is a classic yachting look. When you go on a yacht for a party, you want to wear something fancy yet keep it casual," Kent said.
Hailing from Ireland, Kent started the company in 2014. Kent's company makes suits primarily for corporate employees in Shanghai.
With men's fashion an ever-evolving trend in this cosmopolitan city, Kent hopes to make more creative-looking suits for local and foreign professionals.
"I will invite two more fashion designers to co-design my future collections so that we will have more different styles and looks," Kent said.