BY MYXEN MONTES
As a lover of both fashion and the environment, I always make it a point to search for designers who have the drive and determination to change the industry through pioneering innovation towards sustainability. One specific designer I am loving right now and whom I think we all should look out for, is the London-based designer, Susan Fang.
The Central Saint Martin's graduate shared about how the academic freedom given in the university gave her a chance to express herself more, and to be bolder in taking risks. “The vision of Susan Fang is not to be led by trend or style or even an aesthetic, but to surpass the realm of design to express a mirage of artistic illusions”, as per her designer profile on the website of LVMH Prize, a movement of the LVMH group to honour and support young fashion designers around the world, where Fang was also hailed as one of the finalists back in 2019. After interning for fashion houses such as Kei Kagami, CELINE, and Stella McCartney, along with the vision she developed in Central Saint Martin, she started her own label in 2015, that is “pure” and “design-focused”, as she would describe. Some of you might also be confused when you read about the word Mathematics on the article’s title but, trust me, that is not a typographical error. Fang successfully combined the beauty of perception and mathematical concepts as she perfected the balance between geometry and sequences to produce designs that are inspired by nature’s algorithm. To quote the young designer, “The most beautiful prints are always linked to nature.”
Susan Fang is also known for pioneering the technique which she calls “air-weaving.” It is a process of lacing several layers of materials together in order to give the clothes a 3-dimensional look. Her contemporary pieces where presented last year at the Milan Fashion Week and her work, with its ethereal and siren-like sense of style, truly captivated the hearts of many. The glass beadwork or bubble beads that she incorporates in her designs are like angel tears, frozen and sewn onto each of the clothing pieces. As if these weren’t impressive enough, the young designer also got acknowledged for her environmentally-friendly and minimal waste approach to production. Each piece in her collection is hand-sewn, and uses nature-friendly materials such as biodegradable thermoplastic. “My approach to sustainability comes very organically”, she exclaimed when asked about her vision towards sustainability. Fang implied that this stemmed from her early days when she was just starting out and her mother would always tell her not to throw away any piece of fabric. She even shared that she uses leftover strips to make headpieces such as hats and flowers. Seeing a young Asian woman thriving in the fashion scene makes me reminisce about the success stories of great Asian fashion influences such as Anna Sui, Guo Pei, and Vera Wang. From being able to combine perception and mathematical concepts, to pioneering in technique innovation and keeping sustainability in mind, her works are truly a poetry in fashion. To put it simply, I believe there is still a lot in store for Susan Fang.
References: 1 Granary. https://1granary.com/interviews/designers/susan-fang-is-desperately-seeking-beauty/ LVMH PRIZE. https://www.lvmhprize.com/designer/susan-fang/ Vogue. https://www.vogue.com/slideshow/susan-fang-spring-2020-milan-fashion-week-show Susan Fang Official. https://www.susanfangofficial.com