Photography : Weichen Wu
MUA : Yili DONG
Photography : Haiwei SUN
MUA : Ziyan ZHANG
by Shuqian Zhang
Shuqian Zhang is a fashion designer from the Shandong province of China. Growing up, she always possessed a creative spirit which was nurtured by her grandmother. Shuqian’s grandmother worked as a tailor and would help her fabricate her first garments, inspiring a young Shuqian to become a fashion designer. The legacy of her grandmother developed her creative talent, which is highly influenced by her Chinese culture. The designer attended Minzu University of China to learn fashion design, which matured her fascination with Chinese culture in fashion design.
Shuqian then moved to Paris to continue nurturing her design talent. In the space of contemporary Paris, the designer felt a sense of freedom and began a new phase of experimentation. She wanted to engage with the historical savoir-faire of Parisian fashion together with the elegance of France’s design history. It is through this observation that Shuqian established the importance of the design skeleton to her creative practice, enthralled by the sloper and patterns of a garment.
The designer not only aimed to fabricate garments of the highest craftsmanship but add a conceptual awareness to fashion design, bringing it into dialogue with art. Shuqian thereafter adopted an attitude of creating art within her fashion design, embodied by the sculptural nature of her collection.
This collection, named “Flowers Shadows”, was prompted by observing flowers and rivers. The designer studied the movements of flowers, gently swaying in the wind and casting heavy shadows onto the ground below. She watched the water flow and ripple, sparkling in the sun. These observations influenced her whole creative process, from the curvature of the garments to the colors of the textiles.
The collection utilizes black, grey, and deep purple colors to enrich the curvature of the pieces. The black colour is heavy and silent, much like the dark shadows of the flowers, whilst the translucent textiles give a whimsical realism to the shadow effect. The shiny textiles remind the designer of the light bouncing off a moving river, repeatedly giving a layered narrative to each piece.
The grey color softens the topography of the garments and adds tenderness to the overall designs. The collection creates a connection with the shadows and sculpture, realizing a poetic moment in nature through fashion designs.
The collection brings together traditional French craftsmanship and the contemporary artistic approach of a Chinese designer. Under a Parisian sphere, the designer elevated traditional Parisian savoir-fare, by transforming fashion design into art that is symbolic of nature.