A cloud of heavy expectations surrounded Haizhen Wang’s show on Tuesday evening, not only because it was the last one of this year AW Fashion Week, but most importantly because it was the first official one of the designer, winner of 2012 Fashion Fringe. The prestigious award has been rewarding the most promising talents in fashion design for the last ten years, including Fyodor Golan and Erdem, and it provides the lucky winner with the opportunity to showcase his or her collection at Fashion Week, alongside mentoring and financial support. Reasonably then, the crowd could not wait to enter the BFC Show space and see the show.
The designer previous studies in interiors and design, as well as his fascination with architecture, continue to be the visible starting point of his creative process, influencing the shapes and construction of his designs. The pieces were highly structured with bold, futuristic silhouettes, created through the use of panels and the combination of materials such as leather, wool, faux snakeskin and metal details. The dynamic designs suited a powerful, independent yet sensual woman, mirroring Wang’s interests in feminism theory, another inspiration the designer likes to reference to.
With the exception of the one extravagant coat structured through the combination of quilted and wooden panels into a complicated architectural design, all the clothes, despite their graphic ethos, had a high level of wearability, proving the business-driven eye of the designer. The collection presented a well balanced combination of skinny and more loose trousers, sharp-cut jackets and easy sweaters and wool dresses, enriched with belts, turtlenecks and collars. The palette was also simple, featuring dark green and blue, black and flashes of bright red.
Wang’s sophisticated collection proved that he has already set a clear aesthetic vision for the brand but, most importantly, that, in the words of Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative Officer of Burberry, he ‘knows how to cut an sew, how to construct clothes, and how to create a business’.