Wen Pan is the SS20 Fashion Scout Merit Award Winner

Influenced by the designer’s interpretation of Chinese aesthetics, Fashion Scout’s SS20 Merit Award Winner WEN PAN’s eponymous brand is a vision of raw edged fluidity with a nod to the romance of 90s grunge. Since the London-based designer launched her label in 2017, she has carved a name for herself with distinctive looks that play on the concept of quietness in chaos.

“I discovered design when I read an article about the Seven Sages of Bamboo, a group of scholars in ancient China. It only described what they'd worn, but I could picture how they were living and the cool, careless, ‘anti-social’ attitude they had 1000 years ago. That was when I realised fashion, or clothes, could say many things."

Oversized and exaggerated, AW19’s statement sleeves were a veritable waterfall of glistening sequins and liquid metals; bold colour was paired with tactile velvets shot through with gold and silver thread, soft viscose and draped silk in a captivating colour palette of lipstick shades in crimson, deep berry red, magenta, and blush pink.

Wen’s muse is quietly confident; her collections feature upcycled silks cut on the bias with asymmetric seams, deconstructed draping, and contrasts in texture and fabrication.

"The design journey always starts from human traces. This trace can indicate a mood, a scene, or a story. In the end they are deconstructed pieces that translate brokenness into delicacy. WEN PAN shows an image of quietness in chaos, and celebrates the confidence in imperfection.” Wen combines a utilitarian workwear aesthetic in a muted palette of dusky tones; her view of the world is dreamy and yet pragmatic, a delicate balance somewhere in between prettiness and roughness.

“Sustainable practices should be introduced in our daily lives; we use deadstock for the production [of our collections] and try to reduce the waste of fabric. We are doing our best to use recycled and non plastic packaging. The Italian and Japanese fabrics we source are from factories that are careful about the environment.”

SS20 will return with the designer’s signature juxtaposition of ethereal layers in delicate linens and sheer silks over rough cotton drapery, raw edges, and asymmetric silhouettes. “The inspiration for SS20 collection is human traces in abandoned family houses. From the ripped floral wallpapers to the cozy fireplaces. Even if abandoned, in the houses you can feel the presence of the past.”

By Lucie Dhog