I am Chen
Fashion Scout’s ‘Ones to Watch’ is a collaborative show, put on each season to highlight the profiles of emerging designers. AW18 saw a catwalk featuring collections by Maddie Williams, Susan Fang, and I-am-chen, as well as a presentation by knitwear designer Kristel Kuslapuu. It’s the place to see the very best and brightest in new homegrown and international talent, with each of the designers presenting their own unique visions for the future of fashion.
I am Chen
Exploring the interaction of the body with clothing, Susan Fang’s eponymous label manipulated new colour dimensions and fresh silhouettes in her AW18 debut collection ‘Airwave’. She used an innovative air-weave technique to create garments that can be worn by multiple sizes and shapes, essentially creating an accordion-like movement of expansion and contraction through clever fabric manipulation. Garments had a futuristic and three-dimensional feel, in a bold and bright palette of candy cane reds, azure blues, and sunny yellows on white. The continuous illusion of wave between colour and form moves with the wearer’s natural body movement, returning to an entirely two-dimensional piece when unworn.
Hong Kong based designer Zhi Chen is behind this bold and colourful label, bringing a fun and lighthearted element to fashion with looks that embrace an air of childlike playfulness. Experimenting with different machines and unconventional yarns, she creates her own unique take on knitwear full of eye-catching shapes and a very wearable punchy palette of unexpected colour combinations.
Whether it’s a canary yellow sweater splashed with accents of baby pink, azure blue, and pillarbox red; or a delightfully clashing cardigan in jade green and royal blue, covered in abstract arboreal motifs in orange, yellow, and purple, Zhi favours using classic shapes in creative colourations to create a very contemporary take on knitwear.
A graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, Maddie Williams proves that “eco” fashion doesn’t need to be bland or boring. She uses sustainably produced renewable and recycled materials, playing with silhouettes and textures in creations that cross boundaries between fashion and fine art, with elements of costume design.
For AW18, Williams showed multi-dimensional pieces that glorified the female form in unconventional silhouettes; showing contemporary interpretations of fertility symbols and Goddess-like figures inspired by Art Brut, the Ancient Greeks, and the French Revolution. Each look was bold; structured shapes in a colour palette of bright blues, yellows, and reds. Oversized and shapely outerwear was padded in sculptural proportions to redefine conventional femininity, and recycled textiles were woven, quilted, and fringed to create a wholly three dimensional look to innovative and avant-garde pieces. The collection had a futuristic vibe unlike anything else we’ve seen on the catwalk.
I Am Chen