10 things you need to know about haizhen wang
As Haizhen Wang's eponymous label pushes frontiers of silhouette, count the reasons why he's a designer to watch.
Sculptural, structural pow wow, wow. If London is a place that celebrates the talent that fears not the experimental, then Haizhen Wang is a designer that belongs here. His aviation inspired autumn/winter 16 collection saw elongated body lines with crafty layers. Navy and black cashmere and leather fetes were met with explosions of earthy oranges and reds, with conceptual graphics splayed against leathers and neoprenes. It made for an intelligent collection filled with flights of fancy. Before pressing play and floating away in this season's film, we talk fashion, luxury and newness.
1. London is an inspiration
"For me, London has a purity of what creation can be. It's great to be part of such a diverse fashion week."
2. He believes clothing should be more gender-fluid.
"I don't think there is a clear divide and it's something I'm interesting to explore further. I've always made pieces for myself and am open to adapting styles to suit both sexes. We've just produced a version of of the striped shirts from autumn/winter 16 for a shoot for an editorial coming up in GQ. Last season, we also had men walking in the show because it felt right to me."
3. His autumn/winter 16 collection was based on aviation.
"I found an incredible old 1920s flight jacket on my travels that became the starting point to the collection. I get obsessed with detailing in garments and construction methods they use. Flight became a focal point and it was important for me to get a sense of falling and motion into the clothing - from panels constructed into the tailoring and left to hang - through to the raw finishings left to fray."
4. He thinks fashion should slow down.
"I feel that the pace is going so fast it can only trip itself up. I'm starting to doubt what a fashion designer is really creating now…
5. He's looking to break beyond traditional catwalk shows
"I am interested in exploring different options of showing work through different platforms. I want to go away from the traditional catwalk. Instinctively, I feel this is the right way to go and at the moment it feels like a different approach is needed. The film felt right this season and we wanted to find a way to capture a feeling of free falling that had been so important to me. We had an aerialist model and she felt so right in her elasticity - it showed the clothes in a way that the catwalk couldn't and I think it allowed me to create a feeling that the catwalk cannot."
6. Ideas are his currency.
"Luxury to me is an offering which is very considered. Thought is the only real value for me."
7. He describes the Haizhen woman as...
"Someone who holds a strong character and conviction. She's self aware, always gracious but not a pushover."
8. He believes in inner beauty.
"The internal construction of the garment is key - It affects the outlook significantly!
9. He questions the status quo.
"At the stage I am right now, I am not afraid to challenge.
10. There's always food for thought
"I had a fortune cookie the other week which said 'your future will be happy and productive...' I can only hope the cookie is right..."