Hope springs eternal, as the age-old adage has it: but what happens when the tap dries up? Answer: 2020-2021. We’ve been barren of anything to look forward to over the last twelve months, with an impending sense of doom only upended by the occasional, fleeting taste of freedom.
That’s why, as we hopefully start to turn the corner (and never, ever look back), we’re excited for fashion that matches our newfound optimism. Enter this new collection from Chinese-born, London-based designer Feng Chen Wang, unveiled this week, glowing with wisdom, hope and positivity.
The launch film transports us to four different paradigms, all representative of the emotions woven into the collection’s pieces. First up is CONCRETE, eschewing any cold, hard, brutalism for signs of reconstruction, rebuilding and growth. The other three are all symbolic colours: RED (ceremony, fortune, luckiness), PURPLE (wisdom, mystery, decadence) and YELLOW (reflection, reminiscence, rumination).
These lofty, powerful, platonic Forms inform Feng Chen Wang’s design, along with her memories of brush painting as a child. Linking-up with a local artisan, she’s remixed the tradition by altering the dyeing methods, applying it to trench coats, shirts and bombers via broad, rich brushstrokes.
Meanwhile, phoenix (‘fenghuang’) imagery is resurrected from traditional Chinese art to invoke ideas of genderlessness (‘feng’ means male, ‘huang’ means female), emblazoned on boxy shirts and technical jumpers. The palette – purple, black, blue, olive green – is lushly decadent, giving us royal, regal vibes. Hope may not spring eternal, then: but it does seem to be brushed all over this new collection, and we’re totally here for that.
Press play on the video for Feng Chen Wang AW21 below now.