Susan Fang’s designs run rings and ripples of colour and creativity around the rest
Stocked by Joyce and I.T in Hong Kong and Selfridges and Browns in London, the China-born, US- and Canada-raised Susan Fang is a name to top your must-follow list. After graduating from Central Saint Martins, Fang set up her eponymous London-based contemporary womenswear brand in 2017. In her short but glittering career thus far, she has been selected for the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2019 and 2020, and was shortlisted for the LVMH Prize.
Much of Fang’s approach has been oriented by her experience at Japanese fashion house Kei Kagami, her six-month internship at Celine and her time as a womenswear trainee at Stella McCartney. With a dual focus on perception and mathematics, Fang’s collections combine innovative textiles, colours and silhouettes to create garments and accessories with artistic originality.
Thus, Fang’s brand focuses on sustainable practices within design and production. She works with her mother, who is a retired artist, and together they make every bag Fang sells. She also wanted to launch her label to translate her worldview into conceptual fashion, and has produced crystal glass beadwork and beaded sandals with biodegradable thermoplastic polyurethane sole, along with bags made from marbles. Fang also pioneered a technique called “air weave”, where as many as nine layers of material are laced together in a three-dimensional grid pattern.
As such, Fang is counter-cultural. Her vision is not to be led by trend or style or even an aesthetic, but to surpass the realm of design to express a mirage of artistic illusions. That much was apparent in her spring/summer 2021 collection, titled Air-Born, which showed at London Fashion Week in September.
Clearly influenced by the pandemic, Fang invoked a message of hope. Her set, which she directed, looked misty and rain-swept as iridescent lights transpired to mimic a rainbow. The spectacle was enhanced by dresses woven in 3D with hand-drawn coloured feathers, along with resin hats, glass jewellery and marble.
Fang says the feeling was inspired by the Chinese maxim “the rainbow comes after the rain” – in other words, things can only get better. The fashion was airy, artful, multi-dimensional, spherical, architectural, and a mash-up of urban and sylvan. You don’t just wear Fang’s work; you live in and with it.
Images: Susan Fang ©2020
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