Fashion is a realm where past, present, and future converge, and this is nowhere more apparent than in Feng Chen Wang’s latest Spring/Summer 2024 collection. The collection is an immersive tapestry that unravels the designer’s cherished childhood memories of her grandmother, who hails from Fujian, China. Wang pays homage to her roots by embedding fragments of her past, ripe with love and nostalgia, into her pieces, thus turning them into a celebration of heritage, resilience, and nature’s beauty.
Wang’s creations are not just mere clothes, but love letters to her heritage. She revives her grandmother’s favorite plants – onions, gallnuts, eucalyptus, and apple leaves – through an ancient botanical contact printing method on traditional Chinese silk. This process, carried out meticulously with local Chinese artisans, presents each plant as a vibrant tribute to life, a keeper of tradition, and a narrator of stories that are both personal and universal.
Wang muses, “Some memories are very profound but somewhat vague…but my creative process shows a sense of colour change with strong emotions.” She masterfully uses color gradation in pink, blue, purple, and black to mirror the process of remembering: dreamy, fluctuating, and intense. The patterns, unique to Feng Chen Wang, offer a window to the past while beautifully anchoring themselves in the present.
Wang’s love for natural purity is reflected in her selection of fabrics. Silk, the epitome of elegance and grace, is transformed into shirts, shorts, and transparent organza jackets. Denim and T-shirts crafted from pure cotton, a Wang’s staple, symbolize an unwavering commitment to the brand’s signature appeal. The botanical contact prints on wool suits lend an elevated finishing touch to the collection, a testament to the intricate process of handwork that goes into creating these pieces.
In the fashion show held at the Lycée Montaigne, the musical collective Nara Bara created an immersive soundscape. Their harmonies and intricate rhythms of jazz wove a sonic story around Wang’s collection, as models donned the garments and walked down the runway, painting a stunning tableau of East meets West.
Delving deeper into the mystical symbolism inherent in her culture, Wang also introduced a dragon motif in this collection, juxtaposed with her signature Feng Chen Wang phoenix motif. Given the Year of the Dragon in China, these mythical motifs evoke a sense of hope and optimism for a brighter year.
Completing the collection are a range of accessories, all made from natural materials – bamboo bags, wooden necklaces, and bamboo hair clasps – paired with the newly designed Feng Chen Wang eyewear collection. These additions harmonize with the reimagined Nike apparel and footwear, further amplifying the unique fusion of tradition and modernity.
By pushing the boundaries of design, craftsmanship, and fabric, Feng Chen Wang’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection becomes a conduit for memory retention and reproduction. It underscores the power of fashion to not only encapsulate personal histories but to also allow them to unfold, ever so gracefully, within the threads of the future.
© Photos: Feng Chen Wang
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